Dad Wants To Tattoo His 1-Year-Old Twins To Tell Them Apart

One father took to Reddit for help with a parenting dilemma.

Dad Wants To Tattoo His 1-Year-Old Twins To Tell Them Apart Getty Images

If you were the parent of identical infant twin sons, where one had a life-threatening illness that required specific care, how far would you go to be able to tell them apart?

For one father, tattoos or piercing seem to be the only answer. 

Reddit user Thrwydad went on Reddit to find help or possibly an alternative solution for this truly terrible situation. 


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He writes:

My wife and I have two very premature twin boys.

There is no difference between them apart from Aaron having very serious health issues, requiring him to have medication every 4 hours. If he doesn't have his medication it leads to significant consequences.

The boys are 12 months old and are completely identical.

Even me and my wife can't tell them apart and have been drawing on Adam's arm every day with permanent marker (Aaron has very sensitive skin and we don't want to irritate it).

This backfired when the twins were at grandma's and after a bath rubbed off the texta [Australian for marker] grandma accidently gave Aaron's medication to Adam. Adam ended up very sick and Aaron in hospital for a week.


This is a serious extreme situation and I don't want to take this risk again.

We have had other mix ups with the boys but it has never wound up this bad. 

We have tried other things but nothing else worked, as well as the texta for numerous reasons — nail polish, bracelet, anklets, specific color clothes for each boy, shaving one's head and having the other's long.

We are after a more permanent solution.

I read online about someone tattooing a single dot on one of their twins and also about piercing ears.

I really hate to say it but we are here. I need to do something permanent. I could have lost both my sons last weekend and I'm desperate.

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When you read his story and find out about the details, tattooing a one-year-old starts to seem like a very reasonable solution.

As some of the Reddit responders point out, they could make the tattoo look like a mole or a freckle, using a reddish ink, and when the baby grows up they can remove the tattoo.

The readers also suggested that the tattoo could look like a very small medical alert symbol so it wouldn't be confused with a birthmark.

The location of the tattoo is also key — fattier areas are less painful, and a tattoo on the bottom of the foot could rub off over time.



A post shared by Tamara Lippincott (@mrslippincott113) on Feb 2, 2020 at 6:53am PST

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​Another idea is to pierce the baby's ear, but the piercing could get infected or pulled out, and nail polish can be toxic with dire results if ingested.

The parenting decisions this couple must make for the health of their children are daunting and not everyone will understand the choices that they make. 

In the end, they will do what they consider is best for their children and we have no right to judge them for what they decide.



A post shared by Doris | Love Lettering (@lovelettering_doriswai) on Oct 20, 2019 at 3:51pm PDT

Christine Schoenwald is a love and entertainment writer. 

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on March 14, 2016 and was updated with the latest information.