How Do You Tell Identical Twins Apart? 


If you end up having twins, Ask Reddit has some ideas on how to tell them apart.

1. My cousin had twins, one had a name that rhymed with a color, so she painted that one’s nails in that color, until they grew old enough that she could tell without needing to look.

2. My twin and I aren’t identical but we sure look like it. I’ve always asked my mom this question and she said she knows 100% we are who we are because when we got home from the hospital she kept our hospital bracelets on for weeks. Everyday she would looks us over trying to find any difference in us, any freckle or dimple. Something to tell us apart. And when she found something she took the bracelets off and gave us small little beaded bracelets. And once those got too small she pierced our ears, I had diamond earrings and my sister had pearls. She swears to this day, she can tell us apart with her eyes closed. (Which is totally true. We tested it way too many times).

3. Often there is a weight difference at birth which persists for some time.

That’ll get you through the nugget phase without an accidental swap. I have no idea what you do once they are basically the same size and start actively working together, though.

4. When they were first born, my husband intently studied them, looking for any difference. They were .25″ and 1 oz apart at birth, so we didn’t have the luxury of a weight discordance. Twin B had folded cartilage on his left ear due to his location in-utero. Once that subsided, Twin B’s stork bite became inflamed, while Twin A’s did not. That got us through until about 18 months. Now, they have slightly different head shapes, but Twin B has a freckle under his right ankle.

Also, from the beginning, we always kept Twin A on the left and Twin B on the right and assigned them colors. It’s the only way I know who is who in pictures.

5. Mother of identical twin girls. now 22yrs old.

At birth they literally weighed the same. But Baby B had bruising on her forehead from delivery. We used that for the first week along with their hospital bracelets for two weeks. Then we tied a different colored cloth ribbon around their ankles for a few weeks. We could find no discernable mark, mole, freckle, nothing to distinguish them apart. Afraid the ribbon would fall off and cause a choking hazard as they began to move around, at 6 weeks old we had their ears pierced. One with gold balls, the other with silver. Real jewelry and safety backings that would not fall off.

They wore that until about 3 years old. By then, attitudes and personalities began to appear and it was obvious who was who.

The fear in the beginning of mixing them up was real.

6. My sisters in law are twins and I asked this question to my mother-in-law.

She said they probably did get swapped at some point or another 🤷🏼‍♀️ she also seemed unbothered by it.

Her daughters weren’t unbothered though.

7. We got lucky and one of our twin sons has a birthmark right on his unit. So changing diapers and bath time it was easy. Very early on you just get to know them. If he didn’t have that mark though they take footprints right away at the hospital and you can go back. There’s other ways now. They’re almost 14…one stepped on a piece of glass at the beach and has a scar on his foot. Another has a scar on his left index finger from a soup can.

8. I went to school with identical twins. Chris and Brad. They looked so much alike that their parents bleached one of their hair until they hit puberty and started caring about their own styles.

9. My twin sisters may be “identical” but I swear one is slightly wider than the other. Like, an extra millimeter down the middle. It’s not the only difference but it’s the biggest one.

What set them apart very early on was an accident with a milk bottle that was too hot, scarred a patch on the tummy of just one of them, instant way to distinguish one from the other if there were any doubt. Not sure I’d promote that as a deliberate technique though.

10. My father was a twin. One time my father revealed to me that only one of them had been circumcised! (My uncle, if you need to know).

11. My cousin put colored pieces of string on her twins wrists. One was green and one was blue. But now that they’re over a year, they’re starting to change a bit and not look so much alike.

12. My twin boys are identical, when they were first born we used different hats to tell them apart, but not one is just fatter than the other so it’s easy.

13. Not a parent of twins, but am an identical twin. Our parents used to write A and B on the bottom of our feet with a sharpie to tell us apart until we got old enough to walk, then switched to color-coding our clothes (one of us wore pink the other blue). We were never mistakenly swapped though, I’ve always been a half-inch taller than my sister since the day we were born .(i’m the firstborn and thus baby A btw)

14. Once when we were toddling I ran into a table and got a black eye. Dad then told anyone who would listen that he would blacken my eye to tell us apart. Dad was kind of an asshole.

15. My SO has an identical twin. Their mother has confessed to them that she probably swapped them a few times when they were babies. Also, it’s impossible to know who’s who in baby/toddler pictures, because they wore identical clothes. Later it became easier, because they have different voices – one has a low and calming, the other a higher and more sharp sounding voice. I can tell them apart by their facial features, hairstyle, fashion sense, mannerisms etc.

16. Identical twin here; my brother has a birthmark on his foot, and for the first 2 years of life we were basically shoeless. It was the only way to tell us apart… After it became obvious that we needed to wear shoes, my mother began color coding our clothing. To this day, red is my favorite color and blue is my brother’s.

17. I mixed mine up within 8 hours of birth. I kept their hospital bracelets on for a long time and then could always verify by the shape of their belly button scar.

Now I can kinda tell but I also have to ask them sometimes.

18. I have identicals, to me they are totally different. It helped that they were slightly different weights, I could tell as soon as I picked one up. But I could tell from how they held themselves, one would be more scrunched up, the other would stretch out. One would suck on their hand, the other wouldn’t, even their cries were different. I have never for a second doubted that they have ever been mixed up, they’re as individual as they are identical.

19. They started color-coding the girls with a color that started with the same letter as their name. I believe they still do this in school as the teachers can’t tell them apart. For example, Paige is pink, Bella is blue and Gemma is green.

20. Apparently, my sister’s face is more round than mine (mine is more oval-ish), and when we were born my mom just straight up stared at us in the hospital until she could tell us apart.

21. No joke, my mom sharpie’d a “P” on my brother Pat’s foot. But after a while, it didn’t matter. Another person said it here, but the weight difference persists. His twin brother was and remained considerably bigger than he was.

22. I asked my mum this once. She stared at me like an idiot before very slowly explaining that my twin had a scar on their chest from their open-heart surgery…

A scar you can still clearly see…

That was the day I realized I was the idiot twin.

23. My brothers were switched. One always weighed 6 ounces less than the other. My parents used to paint their toenails different colors. After a bath one day the nail polish came off. My dad guessed who was who and painted their nails again. At the next doctors appointment the wrong twin was 6 ounces less. We just kept it that way.

24. Not a parent but I have identical twin younger brothers and we usually tell them apart by the fact that one usually wears red and the other usually wears blue.

25. My brothers are identical twins. When they were born, my mom painted the toenails pink for one of them while they were in the hospital with the ID bands still on. One of them had pink toenails for the first two years of his life.

You can tell them apart easily if you know them, my mom just didn’t ever want to get them switched up by mistake. One has a slightly chunkier face compared to the other. Looking at baby pictures, you can easily tell which is which.

26. We put blue fingernail polish on the big toe of one of them just in case. Their head shapes are different because my wife labored the first one for 3+ hours, the second one’s heart rate dipped so they expedited his delivery so his is more round. To me they look entirely different, but other people who aren’t around them 24/7 can’t tell them apart. That doesn’t mean I don’t get them mixed up fro time to time at certain angles, but straight on I can tell them apart.

27. I worked with a girl who told me the story of her friend that managed to have identical triplets, or as close as those can be. After they were born the doctors gave them each a medical alert bracelet to keep on so that the family could tell the three girls apart. Almost a year later and the parents were still relying on those bracelets to tell their kids apart. The parents let the triplets stay at a grandma’s house, and during a bath, she took the bracelets off and forgot which one belonged to which child. The grandmother only told the parents about this months later and to this day the parents are unsure which child is which.

28. Identical twin here. And when I say identical, I mean my-sister-and-I-can’t-tell-ourselves-apart-in-some-pictures identical. My mom doesn’t even know which one of us is older. We were born via c-section within the same minute. The only reason I’m listed as older on my birth certificate is because they legally needed something to differentiate us on our birth certificates beyond just our names and mine comes first in alphabetical order. My sister and I have names that are associated with colors, so my mom colored our big toe nails with sharpies when we were babies. As we got older, she said I just started responding to one name and my sister to the other, so that’s what names we have. We don’t know if we actually respond to the correct names, but we don’t ever plan on looking into it. She sometimes still doesn’t know who is talking on the phone when we are in the same room. We are now in our 20s.

29. I knew a set of identical-looking triplets growing up. Their mom dressed them in matching outfits and had a different colored hair tie for each of them. I kid you not, these girls were still wearing matching outfits and their respective hair ties the last time I saw them, at 18.

30. My mom couldn’t tell my twin (non-identical but very similar looking) brothers apart when they were born for a month or so, luckily the rest of the family could and had to tell her when she needed to know.