Identical twins can cause most anyone to do a double take, and a toddler in a video posted on YouTube on Wednesday is no exception. When little Landon is surrounded by newborn identical twins, he can't comprehend why the same baby is on his left and right and thus hilarity ensues, earning the video more than 400K views in the first day since it was posted.
Landon, you are not alone. There are no less than six sets of twins – identical and fraternal – among my circle of friends and neighbors, and I am still trying to keep their identities straight.
When I shared this video on Facebook on a page of a mom's group, one mom commented that was the same look her husband had when she told him they were having twins.
It seems that the twin confusion might not subside any time soon, since according to a January 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control, there was a 76 percent increase in twins in the US over the last three decades.
In 2009, one in every 30 babies born in the US was a twin, compared to 1980, when only one in every 53 babies was a twin.
Two-thirds of the increase is probably explained by the growing use of fertility drugs and assisted reproductive technology. The remainder is mainly attributable to a rise in the average age at which women give birth.
Older women are more likely to produce more than one egg in a cycle, and 35 percent of births in 2009 were to women over age 30, up from 20 percent in 1980. This age-induced increase applies only to fraternal twins, though; the rate of identical twin births does not change with the age of the mother.
According to the website Dad’s Guide to Twins, one suggestion for telling identical twins apart, aside from little physical features, is to paint a toenail of one of the twins to remember who is who. When the cold weather comes and toes are covered, the site suggests dressing twins in different clothes to help differentiate twins.
As for Landon, he’s still on his own, because watching his confusion is much more entertaining than giving him a hint of who is who.