When I was pregnant, one of the top questions I asked, and others on the sites and boards I belonged to was “What do I need two of? What are the things I need?” There are lots of places out there to search for lists, but I’ve compiled my own list the top 10 must haves for multiples mamas (or any mama really).
1. Sleep Sack Swaddlers. Multiples mamas, you DO NOT have time to use a regular blanket to swaddle your babies. You just don’t. These suckers are lifesavers in that you just zip baby inside, and then fold over and velcro the wings in place. You can make them pretty tight. Our babies rarely got their arms free, and it helped them sleep so much more peacefully as newborns. We used them for night and naps from birth to 10 weeks. They are worth every penny. If you can afford it, get 2 each so you can have one in the wash and one with the babies.
2. My Brestfriend twin nursing pillow or original if you don’t have multiples. Seriously the most comfortable, easy way to nurse both of your babies at once. My husband would even wear it if I were gone and he needed to bottle feed. If you have a singleton, I still highly recommend. It’s sturdy but soft, and stays in place much better than other nursing pillows. We tandem fed on this pillow from birth to 8ish months. They were able to nurse much faster at that point, so I would just do one at at a time. I have a friend who used it with her twin girls all the way through weaning at 1 year.
3. Boppy original pillow. I know it sounds like overkill, but I promise you’ll need 2 of these. They’re great for individual nursing, but they’re a lifesaver when your two are learning to sit up, or you want to lay them down to look around. Just trust me, get 2.
4. Swings and bouncers. So here’s my recommendation for swings and bouncers. Buy 1 and see if you can borrow a second. You probably won’t have 2 babies the next time you have babies, and you don’t know if yours will both like it. If you can’t borrow a second, wait to see how the babies feel about it. If they both like it, get a second. I borrowed a second swing was given a second bouncer.
We loved the snugabunny/puppy swings and bouncers. BUT if I could go back and do it all over again, I’d spring for (or put on my registry) the Baby Bjorn bouncers. Those things are rockstars, and you can use them a whole lot longer as the angle adjusts for your growing baby. They have really good bounce too.
5. Baby wearing things. Maybe you aren’t a baby wearer. If you are having twins, BECOME ONE. Seriously. I would not have been able to grocery shop without our baby k-tan. We wore that thing out for about the first 8 months of their lives. The k-tan is SUUUUUPER comfy and allows you to wear one, push one/put one in the grocery cart. After 8 months, I felt the carrier needed more structure, so we switched to 2 Ergo Baby carriers. The 360 will allow your baby to face out, but it has a lower overall weight limit, thus limiting the time you can use the carrier (33 lbs/15 kilos). The Ergo Baby original carries on your front with baby facing you or on your back, and goes up to 40 lbs/20 kilos. My husband and I still comfortably carry our 2 at 17 months old, weighing 27+ lbs/12.5+ kilos (this was his 15 month weight) and 22+ lbs/10+ kilos (hers at 15 months). I’ve read it’s usually usable until 3. I had a Moby wrap too, but honestly, it wasn’t my thing. If I had to tie it out of the house, the ends would drag on the ground in the parking lot (ew), and if I tied it before leaving, the large knot on my back was uncomfortable. Plus, with 2 babies I didn’t have the time or energy to figure out how to tie that thing well all the time.
Let’s talk tandem baby wearing. That’s not my thing. However, if it IS your thing, I’ve seen great videos on how to tandem carry with the k-tan on the front and the Ergo on the back. My husband will occasionally tandem wear them in the Ergos, so that’s also totally possible.
6. Activity Gym and Exersaucer. Multiples mamas, I found I just needed one activity gym for my twins. They shared and took turns. I would buy 1 exersaucer and try to borrow a second. Again, just like the swings and bouncers, you don’t know if both will like it. I ended up getting a second exersaucer really cheaply at a MoMs garage sale.
7. Arms Reach Original Cosleeper. Twin mamas, let me start with the disclaimer that they now recommend that twins always have their own beds. However, our two shared this cosleeper for the first 10 weeks, and then moved to their bedroom. By 12 weeks they had outgrown sharing, which wasn’t a problem since we had them in their cribs by then. I love how this can sidecar up to your bed for easily getting them out in the middle of the night to nurse (this makes it great for a singleton, though I might get the mini for a singleton). I chose this over the twin pack & play for simple reasons– the weight limit. The top level on the Arms Reach cosleeper supports 30 pounds. The twin pack & play only supports 15 pounds.
You WILL need a second travel crib if you plan on using it when you’re on the go. We got a pack & play cheaply at the MoMs garage sale so we would have 2 for we we travel. Mine now use both in the daycare they go to, as we are required to provide the bed.
Many mamas swear by the Rock & Play for both twins and singletons. I’ve got no experience with them, but I’ve heard they’re also great for reflux babies.
8. Car seats. If you keep following, you might end up seeing my crazy car seat lady side. That aside, the Chicco Key Fit 30’s were the most amazing infant seats. They go up to 30 lbs/30 inches, but perhaps more importantly for moms of multiples, they start at 4 lbs vs. 5. I was very thankful because, although my son was 6 lbs 13 oz at birth, his twin sister was a dainty 5 lbs 1 oz, so when we left the hospital she was 4 lbs 14 oz. My son was nearly too tall by 10 months, so that’s when we switched to convertible seats. I did a ton of research, and as we want to extended rear face (as in, till they max out the seat- so around 4 years old), we got the Diono Radian RXTs. They’ll break the bank, but car seats are something I’m willing to shell out money for. Plus, they can use these harnessed until 80 lbs. That means when they max out rear facing, we can forward face harnessed until they meet the criteria for moving to a booster, probably around 6 years old. 5 years of life out of a $300 seat is worth it to me.
Car seats and cribs are really the only thing you HAVE to have 2 of, so don’t panic if that’s all you can afford to get doubles of.
9. Snap & go strollers. Personally, I recommend you get both a double and a single snap & go. For places like the doctors office, you’ll want to put snap both in and go. For places like the mall, where you have to fit through small spaces, I preferred to wear one/push one.
The Joovy Twin Roo is what we had. It’s a little bulky, but I think all twin strollers are. It’s super easy to fold and unfold though, and with the Chicco Key Fit 30’s you don’t need any adaptor. I also liked that the babies faced toward each other, and that I could see both without leaning over.
10. A good breastpump. If you plan to breastfeed, you’ll need a good pump, at least for the first few months. If you live in the U.S., breastpumps are now covered by insurance, so be sure you call and ask. I used the Medela Pump-in-Style with no complaints.
We registered for NO toys or clothes. People give you those things anyway, so I didn’t find it necessary. We got ALL of our toys second hand at the MoMs garage sale and Just Between Friends sales. Totally worth it, you’ll save SO.MUCH.MONEY. I also get tons of clothes handed down from friends, at the MoMs/JBF sale, and in online Facebook groups, like Upscale Resale $15 and under.
Breathe mama. Multiples are expensive, but they don’t have to break the bank! Prioritize what is the most important to you. Look for ways to save $$. We’ve saved thousands by using cloth diapers, but that may not be for you– decide if time or money is more worthwhile. Beg, borrow, and steal from friends. Shop used. You can do this. They’re SO worth it.
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