Mom Defends Choice to Dress Twins in 'Color-Coded Shirts' Despite Criticism in Viral Post

A mom has turned to Reddit after her decision to dress her twin sons in color-coded outfits received criticism from a family member. So far, her post has generated a viral level of engagement, with individual comments surpassing 17,000 upvotes.

Assigning each child's clothing (and other belongings) a particular color is one of the most popular ways that parents differentiate their twins for others. The topic is more pertinent than ever, as twins are believed to be more common right now than at any other point in history.

In March, it was reported that one out of every 42 people is born a twin, translating to about 1.6 million children per year. North America specifically has seen a 71 percent increase in twins since the 1980s.

In her post, the anonymous woman, known as u/Throwaway_twin_sons_, explains that her identical twin sons are one-and-a-half years old.

"My husband and I are both forgetful and having a new baby is tiring," she said, adding that she "was scared of getting them mixed up."

"So we decided the older baby, Atticus, would be blue, and the younger one, Ezra, would be green," she wrote. "We bought only green or blue onesies at first, figuring that once their personalities developed more I would integrate more colors. "

Twin Newborns
A mom went viral on Reddit Monday after saying she was criticized for dressing her identical twin sons in color-coded outfits. Above, fraternal twin babies dressed in pink and blue. katrinaelena/iStock / Getty Images Plus

This color-coordination has since been accepted by their extended family. "Most of both sides of the family know we do this and quite a few even use it to still tell the boys apart despite my husband and I being able to know which is which," said the mom.

Now, the boys are allowed to pick their own shirts, but each chooses from their respective drawers. "The boys know which dresser belongs to them, they each have an average amount of shirts, just they are either a majority blue or a majority green," wrote u/Throwaway_twin_sons_.

The seemingly uncontroversial practice, however, prompted debate at a recent Christmas party hosted by the family. "The boys showed up in a blue sweater with a snowman on it, [the] other had a green sweater with a Christmas tree on it," said the mom. "Many people said they looked adorable."

But things took a turn when she was "cornered" by her husband's cousin. "[She] told me that I was stifling the boys' individuality since I am forcing them to dress how I want them to," explained the Redditor.

"When I told her I would probably diversify shirts when they turned [three]…she went ballistic, saying that it isn't fair to them," she said. "I tried pointing out that no 1.5-year-old knows what they are wearing, has a say in what gets bought, nor do they care."

Readers were quick to criticize the family member and backed the mom instead.

"The color coding is for you and others to tell them apart. Nobody is being harmed here, especially not your twins," said u/Acidic-Tomato.

"Father of identical twin girls here. NTA. We did not do this but I occasionally wished we had. We never had any trouble telling them apart at the time but it is sometimes tricky trying to identify them in pictures, especially if it is only one," noted u/geaddaddy.

While the response was overwhelmingly supportive of the mom, some made sure to note that, as the kids get older, they shouldn't be confined to their designated color.

"I wouldn't call you an AH at this point," said u/pinguthegreek. "However you do need to make sure that you ensure that they get a chance to express their own preferences for clothes and other items…so that they aren't given an explicit expectation to be The Twins."

"When they start to voice their opinions, then you can listen and adjust accordingly," echoed u/jinxdrain.

Newsweek has reached out to u/Throwaway_twin_sons_ for additional comment.