Monday, May 7, 2012

Do We Really Need TWO of Everything?

Um, no.

When you find out you are having twins, your mind starts to wonder if you will need two of everything.   On top of that, if you are first-time parents, you have no idea what you will need.  After a lifetime of attending baby showers and walking through Babies R Us, you assume that you will need at least two of every baby gadget and toy (in various colors and patterns, of course.)  But you don't.  I promise.

I'll admit that I too fell prey to the cunning lies shooing me back to Babies R Us week after week.  Those little voices whispering that I needed at least 2 of everything, one in pink and one in blue.  I hope this list will help you not make the same mistakes I did!

Here is what you definitely do need TWO of:

*Cribs - You can actually get away with just one for several months since your babies will be pretty small and easily fit together.  We had our twins nap in the same crib for a couple months, but we always put them to bed in their own cribs.  We went ahead and bought two before they were born because my OCD-ness wanted the nursery all set up and put together.

*Car Seats - Of course I know that you already know you need 2 car seats unless you are still in denial that you are having twins.  If your doctor told you that you are having twins, make sure you buy 2 car for each baby.  And if I were you, I would make sure to get a car seat that is compatible with your stroller.  More on this later.

*Boppy Pillows - These are the best invention ever.  These U-shaped pillows can be used to "hold" your baby while they nap, drink a bottle, stare out the window, or during tummy time.  You will rest your own head on the boppy to catch a quick catnap, when you are checking your email, or maybe even when you are watching reruns of the Kardashians at 3 a.m.  Just sayin'.  Oh, and you will need 2 for you and your husband to each have one.  I mean, for the babies to each have one.

 relaxing on the boppy!

 using the boppy to "hold" one

*Bouncy Seats - These vibrating chairs are wonderful and most babies enjoy them.  They help your baby sit at an incline so they work especially well if you have a baby that frequently spits up.  You can also put the babies in these to stare at the wall or the ceiling fan.  Exciting entertainment these bouncy seats provide, I tell ya!  I also used a bouncy chair for one twin while I was bathing or dressing the other one.

 great for photos

sunshine in the bouncy chair!

can even be used to feed young babies who cannot sit up

*Bumbos - I almost didn't put this in the "need 2" category because I'm not sure that we really used these that much at the same time.  But they are nice to have, and really help the babies sit up.  They are also great for traveling because you can use them to feed solids in and as a bath chair (and then you don't have to pack your high chairs and bath tub too!)

Here is what you need ONE of:

*Pack n Play - This is great for when you twins get a little older and you need to "cage" them for a minute or maybe five minutes.  And you will need to contain them after they start rolling.  Like when you need to go to the bathroom.  Or to make a sandwich.  I know you are thinking that you will be a super mom and never need to use one of these.  Seriously don't fight it.  Just trust me and get one.

*Swing - Not all babies love to swing, so don't waste your money buying two until you know if you will need them.  We did end up having two swings, but we rarely had both twins swinging at the same time.

*Exersaucer/Jumper - Again, not all babies love these over stimulating toys.  We had two of them, but rarely used them at the same time.  We kept one upstairs and one downstairs.  I let one twin play in it while I bathed/changed/dressed the other one and then we would switch.  Like doing stations together.  For babies.  Yes I am a cool mom like that.

*Baby Carrier - we had 2 of the Baby Bjorn carriers, but we never seemed to use both of them at the same time.  One baby always seemed to be content in the car seat, or wanted to be held, etc.  We also stayed home most of the time when they were little enough to be worn.  This item is not even a necessity, but it is nice to use when a double stroller won't work.  You can also go grocery shopping with twins using one of these.  One baby rides with mom, and the other one goes in the cart in their car seat.

*Double Stroller - I recommend the Double Snap n Go.  Because when you have twins, you need to be quick.  This stroller weighs like a pound and is so easy to operate.  Make sure you get car seats that are compatible with this stroller.

*A high quality breast pump - I wanted a good, reliable, fast breast pump.  Because with twins, you don't have the luxury of extra time.  I went with the Medela Freestyle.  In one word - Awesome.  (You may want to have a couple sets of pump parts so that you don't have to worry about washing/sterilizing them after every use.  I had enough to pump 3 times between washings.)

*Nursing Pillow - I recommend My Breast Friend Deluxe for twins.  This pillow is nothing short of amazing.  It is like a little mini table that you wear around your waist.  Be warned though, it is quite large.  I think a small plane could land on it.  Or you could nurse 2 babies at the same time on it.  Big but wonderful!

Things you will need a plethora of:
You will need more of a few items than your cousin who had a singleton will need.  Don't worry, a lot of these items can be laundered, so if you don't mind doing laundry all day and all night, you don't have to buy a bunch of them.  I prefer to sleep over doing laundry, so we bought a multitude of the following items.

*Bibs - It is amazing how many bibs you might go through in one day.  Especially if your baby spits up a lot.  And you will need even more when those little creatures start eating solids.  And then they will start getting teeth.  And drooling all over everything.  Bibs are super important.  We used approximately 5 bibs a day x 2 babies = 10 bibs a day.  I'm sure some days we used all 48 of the bibs we owned.  Buy extra.  You won't be sorry.

*Burp cloths - These are also known as "diapers" to our mother's generation.  So don't freak out when your mom says "toss me a diaper" and you do, and then she gets confused because she didn't really need a diaper, but rather a burp cloth.  Cloth diapers, or burp cloths, are pretty amazing in that they are so absorbent.  If your baby spits up a lot, you might need to buy 100 of these.  I'm not kidding.  You can also use them to clean up other messes, too.  I would suggest starting out with at least 12 clothes, and then you can decide if you need more.  I had one twin who spit up A LOT, and I think we own about 50 cloths.  And no, I am not exaggerating.

*Bottles - IF you are bottle feeding, newborns eat 8-10 times a day.  Now remember you have 2 babies, so you could potentially use 20 bottles in a day.  Would you rather wash and sterilize bottles or have time to eat a sandwich?  That's what I thought.  Buy 20 bottles.   If you are breastfeeding, you will probably only need about 4 -6 bottles.  I made the mistake and bought a ton of bottles and then didn't even use them.  And no I couldn't return them because I had already washed and sterilized them 3 months before the babies were born.  I'm OCD, remember?  Just start out with a few and you can always get on at 3 a.m. (after you watch reruns of the Kardashians) and order a few more.

*Receiving Blankets - These can be used to swaddle, as a changing mat, burp cloth, sun blocker, carpet protector, etc.  You need one jillion.  Seriously.  We got several from the hospital before we left.  I don't know how many we have, but they were worth whatever it was we spent on them.  And since we live in Texas, and it is usually HOT, I prefer the muslin style since they are lighter weight.

receiving blankets used to swaddle

*Diapers - Yep, you knew this one was coming.  Here is a hint though:  don't buy tons of preemie diapers.  Take all the ones that are in your hospital room before you leave.  Don't worry, it's not stealing.  Believe me, you PAID for those diapers.  One of our twins never even wore preemie diapers. He started out in newborn size.  Just buy a small pack of preemies one at a time until you are out of that size.  They will grow out of the preemie and newborn sizes faster than you think.

Here is a list of things you do NOT need to waste your money on:

*Bottle Warmer - Hopefully you are breastfeeding your baby.  And if you aren't, just run a bottle under warm tap water.  Done.

*Wipes Warmer - Seriously?  Don't give in.  Your baby will not hate you if you put a cold wipe on his little hiney.  He will not like getting his diaper changed regardless of what you do.  So don't waste the money/time/energy to make this gadget work.

*White Noise Machines - There is a huge market for these products out there.  Teddy bears that play womb sounds, machines with 18,000 sound options, and more.  Let me tell you what works best.....a tower fan.  Or a humidifier.  Or static on the radio.

*Super cute fancy outfits - When your twins are little, you will not go anywhere.  For real.  You will dress your babies in cotton onesies.  And that is it.  And they will be happy.  And you will be happy.  The end.

*Baby shoes - It is strange that they even make shoes small enough for babies to wear.  Why in the world do babies need to wear shoes?  We wear shoes to protect our feet.  They can't walk.  And have you ever tried to put a ballet slipper on a tiny foot?  Not fun.  So don't waste your money on 14 pair of shoes to match all those cute outfits you bought (even though I told you not to....see above).  If you are worried about your babies' feet, just put some socks on them.  

*Two sets of thermometers/nail clippers/syringes.  You will not remember which one belongs to which twin anyways.  Just get one set and clean often.  (And I know you are thinking that this is gross, and not hygienic....just remember, your twins shared your uterus for the past 10 months, and I'm sure they won't mind getting their nails trimmed with the same pair of clippers!)

*Nursing Cover - I know the hooter hiders (yes, that is what one brand it named!) are tempting, but you don't need this.  Especially if you are tandem feeding your twins.  You won't all fit under that little square of material.  If you are going to be nursing your twins one at a time, you can just use one of the receiving blankets as a cover.

So before your twins arrive, return those fancy pacifier wipes and that spa bathtub and get your money back.  Then use it to go buy some more diapers and extra strength tylenol....and maybe a bottle of wine.  Or two.


  1. I absolutely love our wipes warmer since I use homemade wipes. Also, our sound machine (plays sound of rain) has been terrific. Our babies sleep great with it anywhere since it's portable- nursery, daycare, the ranch, grandma's house, etc. My husband and I have slept with one for years. We also love our bottle warmer. Our babies wouldn't drink cold formula after breastfeeding And tap water or boiling water just took way too long. Both our boys LOVE there exersaucers too. We wouldn't have made it with one. Keep in mind I got almost all this stuff through our local mother of multiples group! That is a must to join!

  2. What you wrote in this post is EXACTLY what we discovered with our twins last year! The only thing I would add is to join the local Mothers of Multiples group so that you can shop at the twin sales to get a lot of this equipment at a much cheaper price. So much of this stuff gets used so quickly that it stays in great condition for awhile.

  3. After having experienced both a singleton pregnancy and then our twins I would really agree with everything in this post with very few exceptions. Thank you for posting. Like a breath of fresh air to hear reason instead of hype!!

  4. This cracks me up!!! We had an old iphone and spent about 30 bucks on a docking station, created some baby playlists for sleeping and playing. LOVE!I agree with you on everything else completely!