Q: I’m having twins and I need everything. Where do I start? Please help! -Julia
A: For this post, we’ve called upon friend, blogger, and twin mom Kelcey Kintner for some first person advice.
Twins! Yay! Wait, why are you hyperventilating? Ha. Kidding. I know it can be pretty daunting to figure out what you need when you’re expecting not one but two wriggly bundles of joy. I can’t help you take care of them (seriously, don’t even ask), but as a mother of twins, I can absolutely tell you what you really need to buy or borrow. And borrow whatever you can!
First of all, keep in mind lot of stuff for twins can be purchased secondhand. Join your local multiples group, and find out when they are having tag sales. That said, here we go on the things you really need.
Strollers for Twins
You will need two infant car seats and the Baby Trend Snap N Go Stroller. The car seats will snap easily into this carriage frame. It also folds up without a problem. I also recommend the Maclaren Twin Techno Stroller. This is a fantastic stroller because it folds up quickly and is very easy to maneuver. If you’re looking for an additional stroller to use for walking, I really love the Baby Jogger City Select Double Stroller. The City Select is a very smooth ride and the seats can face forward or backward. Of course, you won’t be able to walk too quickly, since everyone will stop you to admire your gorgeous twins.
If you are planning to nurse, you will need a nursing pillow approximately the size of the Love Boat. Try the San Diego Bebe Twin Nursing Pillow. You really will want to nurse your babies at the same time, and this is the only way it can be done. You will nurse them football style. I swear it, this works.
If you happen to be supplementing with formula or exclusively formula-feeding, I have always loved Dr. Brown’s bottles, because they are BPA-free. My picky babies really liked them.
Pacifiers for Twins
If your twins take pacifiers, separate them by color. I always bought yellow and green for my son and purple and pink for his twin sister. This will keep your babies from passing germs back and forth. Well, as much as that’s possible with twins.
Cribs: You really will need two cribs. At first, I put both my twins in the same crib, but very quickly realized they needed their own space. If you are trying to save room, I’ve always loved the Stokke Sleepi Crib because it’s a wee bit smaller and space-efficient. Don’t waste your money on bassinets or co-sleepers for your babies. They will outgrow these quickly. Don’t be fearful of your twins sharing a room. They will learn to sleep through each other’s crying! (You? Not so much.)
Bouncy Seats/ Swings: You don’t need two of everything, but just make sure that you have two of something. Maybe one of your twins will love the swing and the other will gravitate towards the bouncy seat. Another friend said she would have given up her husband before the Fisher Price Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper because her daughter loved it so much.
On the splurgier side, the Mamas + Papas Matic Astro Bouncer is very cool, and fairly high tech including an MP3 hookup for your own music and not the tinny stuff that other seats tend to build right in.
If you live in a home with two levels, I would recommend two of something on each level. It’s hard enough to lug twins around, and you will want to put your babies down once in a while to massage your aching biceps. You definitely don’t need to be dragging bouncy seats up and down stairs.
Diaper Bags for Twins
Definitely purchase a double diaper bag. You are going to have twice as many diapers, bottles and outfits, so you will need the room, guaranteed. I like the Skip Hop Duo Double because it has enough space without being gigantic, plus it’s very durable and lightweight. There are four colors but consider buying it in black. It’s chic and doesn’t ever look dirty.
Diapers for Twins
Yes, you’ll need double the diapers. But don’t immediately order a steamer trunk of newborn diapers, especially if you live in an apartment. Twins can often be different sizes and you don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of diapers in the wrong size. Once you do know the sizes though, consider a diaper subscription from the Honest Co which can lessen those challenging trips to the store.
Diaper Pails for Twins
You should invest in a Diaper Dekor, Diaper Genie or some kind of diaper pail. Oh, yes, you should. There’s also the new Ubbi diaper pail which Cool Mom Picks named among their favorite gear of 2012. And no smell–really!
Labels for Clothes and Gear
It’s very helpful to order labels with your twins’ names. That way you can label vitamins, medicine, bottles, and so on. Things can get a little confusing with twins. (I once had to pull over halfway to the doctor’s office to make sure I was bringing the right twin with me. Uh-huh.) I’m not suggesting you label your twins–although I occasionally considered it–but labeling other stuff can make life easier. I have always been a fan of Mabel’s Labels which makes pretty much any label you can imagine.
High Chairs for Twins
You don’t need high chairs right away, so hold off on this purchase. When your twins are ready for them, I would avoid two big bulky high chairs. Instead I love the simple and modern clip on Lobster seats from Phil & Ted’s. Or you can use seats that clip right onto a chair like the Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster. These are easier to clean than traditional high chairs, too.
Baby Carriers for Twins
I know they make twin carriers, but unless you are a body builder training for an Ironman, I don’t know how anyone wears one of those things. I would recommend owning two carriers like a Baby Bjorn or a mom-favorite Ergo Carrier. There is nothing cuter than you and your partner gallivanting around town carrying your babes. It’s also a great way to soothe one baby while you fold laundry. And there will be a lot of laundry.
Also, at night during the witching hour, I would sometimes leave one twin at home with my husband and put the other in a Bjorn and grab dinner with a friend. A sleeping infant never minds if you accidentally drop a sushi roll on his or her head.
If at all possible, line up some help (a babysitter, a friend, relatives) because taking care of twins is a lot of work. I was so sleep-deprived that I inadvertently locked my husband in the basement when our twins were infants. Luckily, he is a good sport.
Hiring a sitter for a few hours will give you time to nap. You will really want a nap on a regular basis. Preferably at a friend’s house.
Kelcey Kintner writes the humor blog The Mama Bird Diaries and co-founded the cheeky advice site The Mouthy Housewives. This Columbia Journalism School graduate also drives a gold minivan, because you can’t fit four kids on a Vespa. Follow her on Twitter @mamabirddiaries.
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