Having twins is daunting, and not just because carrying twins is hard or because having two babies to care for is difficult. It’s also expensive! How do you know what you need right now and what you can buy later? How many of each thing do you REALLY need? Do you need the most expensive version or will a less pricy version work just as well?
I had the pleasure of shopping with a twin mom-to-be last month and I kept a mental journal of things to remember so that I could share them with you. Here goes!
YOU NEED TWO (or more) OF THESE THINGS
Rock ‘n Play – This is one of the most important and essential things that you’ll need, and you’ll need two of them. For the first several months, or even half a year (or more), the babies won’t spend much time in their crib/s (see below); they will sleep in these suckers. These are lightweight, portable, rockable, and magical. When they’re tiny, tiny babies you use these types of inserts to keep them from puddling in the bottom. Seriously, get these. Two of them.
See that crib in the background where no one is sleeping? Yep. Rock ‘n Play is the way to go.
Aden and Anais blankets – These are pretty expensive considering that they’re just blankets, but they’re worth it. They come in various sizes but the larger ones are more versatile. You can and will use them for everything! They can be used as a swaddle, a “laying on blanket”, a nursing cover, a spit up rag and as, well, a blanket. They’re soft, lightweight and easy to stuff in a diaper bag. Now that my guys are older I use them when we have picnics outside. We had a ton of different blankets and these are by far the most useful. Notice they are in literally every. single. picture.
Activity Saucers – We called these command centers and you definitely need two – and get two that are different. Once your twins are able to sit up on their own you can keep them active in these bad boys for long enough to actually get some stuff done around the house, or read a chapter in a book. Then swap out who’s in which and you get another 10-15 minutes! They take up a lot of space but they’re totally worth it. My guys LOVED THEM.
Baby Carriers – You could get by with only having one baby carrier, but I found it nice to have 2 so that my husband could also wear a baby. We would use them on walks around the neighborhood or in places where a stroller was impractical, like at the beach or on a hike. I had 2 different kinds because babies and parents had different preferences for fit, etc. (For more info on Baby Carriers see my previous post)
High Chairs – You need two of these but there’s no need to get the super pricey ones. What you want to look for are high chairs where 1) the cushion/fabric part comes off easily for washing, 2) there is a removable top tray for easy washing, and 3) the footprint of the chair isn’t too big. This is especially important if you have limited space in your kitchen.
Changing Table pad – Get at least 2 of these. One to go on your changing table and one to go in whatever room you will be spending most of your time. And get used to changing diapers on the floor. It’s just so much easier.
Diaper Disposal – Unless your nursery is right off of your living room you’ll need one of these for the living area and one for the nursery. We have this kind and we like it. It does require special bags but I think most of them do.
Car mirrors – When my friend took me to start my baby registry she told me that I needed car mirrors to see the babies. I scanned one on to the registry and was ready to move on. “Are you planning on choosing a favorite and only checking on that one?”, she said. So unless you have a favorite you’re willing to admit to you need 2 of these.
Notebooks – Please make sure you have 2 small notebooks, one for each baby. When you get home from the hospital you have to keep track of how much each baby eats and when, how many wet diapers each baby has and how many soiled diapers they have. It seems straightforward but when it’s 2 in the morning and you can’t remember which baby you just changed and who you just feed…..just trust me. Get 2 notebooks in different colors and write their name on the front. You’re welcome. Also get 1000 pencils (not pens).
ONLY GET ONE OF THESE AND SAVE ALL THE MONEY!
Cribs – I had to look carefully through all of my old pictures to find even one picture of one of them in a crib, because they were never, ever in it. Eventually you’re going to need two, but save your money upfront because you’re only going to need one (or none) for the first 6 months at least. Did I mention the Rock ‘n Play?
Swing and Bouncy Chair – Both of these are great tools for soothing and rocking your babies, BUT you really only need one of each. In my case, Z preferred the swing but liked the bouncy chair for a change, and Ro hated them both (he only ever wanted to be in the Rock and Play on vibrate). Save your money, get one of each and if they both happen to love the swing and hate the bouncy chair you can always get another swing. And unless you have money to burn don’t bother to get one of these fancy baby swing things that looks like a space ship and mimics 32 different types of motion. Every baby I’ve ever met is perfectly happy in one of these suckers.
Pack and Play – This was one of the first things I got when I found out I was pregnant with twins and I got the twin version, which is bigger and had 2 bassinets on top. My thought was that we could use that when we went to visit grandparents. Full disclosure – I never used the bassinets because they always slept in the Rock and Plays, which traveled with us everywhere (did I mention that they’re very portable?). BUT, I used the Pack and Play a ton when they got older and I was glad that it was extra big so that they both could play in it comfortably. Pack and Plays have wheels so they’re somewhat mobile, but they’re heavy and don’t navigate standard doorways well. I would often take ours our in the backyard through the sliding glass doors and have the boys plays in it while I swam in the pool or worked in the garden. Now, we use it as the time out area. Scott calls it “the penalty box”.
Play Mat – They really only use these when they’re too little to crawl around, which means you can easily fit two babies on one of these mats. Take the money you’d spend on this and buy yourself a nice bottle of wine.
Changing table – I don’t think this needs to be said, but you can only wipe one butt at a time so there’s no need for 2 changing tables. Just make sure you get extra changing table pads and you’re good.
Also, try to avoid falling in to the trap of “I have twins thus everything they have must be the same”. Variety is good, and your babies will have their own preferences, so try out different things.