Whether you believe they have mysterious powers, or the notion that they are double trouble, twins never fail to provoke intrigue. It’s thought the increased availability of fertility treatment has seen multiple births soar by a third in a decade to 11,500 a year, the highest level since records began in 1940.
As a rule, around a third of twins are identical, with the remaining non-identical births evenly split between same-sex pairs and mixed. But despite them becoming more commonplace, why is our culture so fascinated with the complexities of being a twosome?
"The thought of having another half who is with you throughout life draws out our curiosity,” explains Emma Mahony, author of 'Double Trouble: Twins And How To Survive Them' (£10.99, Thorsons), who is a mother of twins and a twin herself.
It’s easy to think having two babies to look after simply means a double dose of everything from washing and nappies to coos from smitten passers-by, but raising twins is more than a straightforward numbers game. It can present some unique challenges.
“There’s a lot of pressure put on parents by the ‘identity police’ not to make twins appear ‘one’ by dressing them alike or making them partake in the same interests,” says Emma.
“Studies have shown that, from the age of seven, twins actively encourage each other’s differences, helping to develop their own individual identities. So putting them in matching outfits will do no harm.”
Teach your child about the wonders of being a twin with the heartwarming tale of a fairy named Tinkerbell who discovers she has a twin sister called Periwinkle. Addressing the role of twin sisters, but with lots of fun and action along the way, treat your twosome to Disney’s ‘TinkerBell and the Secret of the Wings’ (£16.99, out on Blu-ray and DVD now).