Expecting Twins? Don't Buy Two of Everything -- Just Some Things!
Kids are expensive. I'm sure you already knew that. Admittedly, toddlerhood has been pretty good to us because we have had some time to figure some things out, but oh, those first few days and weeks were rather interesting.
From the moment you find out you are expecting, you get bombarded with baby stuff. The right bottles, the right pacifiers, the right blankets, and on and on and on. One question in the moms of multiples world is, "What are the items I need to purchase in double and what's not?" Here's my experience of what to buy in double.
You need two of these for sure. My girls loved to sit in these and play with the toys or just observe their surroundings. They also free you up for important things, like needing to go to the bathroom!
Just one and obviously the double stroller persuasion. We have the Baby Trend Double Snap n' Go along with the corresponding infant carrier carseats. It was very nice to open the stroller and click their carseats into place. We decided not to go with a side by side model because for one, it was crazy expensive, and two, it was a wide load (or at least the ones we test drove). However, it's all about personal preference and budget. The one we have looks very similar to this one, except ours was black and yellow.
We only needed one. Natalie was the only one who was interested in swinging, and even that was short lived. We had the Graco Hug n' Love swing and it was great. Five different speeds, a few different songs and nature sounds, and is very sturdy.
Pack n' Play
We only needed one, and it wasn't the fancy schmancy twin model. It was a regular one with the newborn top that we only used for two weeks. When they got to that combined weight of 15 pounds, we just put them in bouncies. However, how adorable is it to look over and see this...
Two. Without question. This was the only way I could tandem feed and it helps as padding when they are learning to sit unassisted.
I know, I know. Bumbos are considered controversial. However, we never put ours on counter tops or of any height. We kept ours on the floor all the time and we didn't let them sit in it for more than 10 minutes at a time. For what it's worth, we only used it about a week before the girls were all, "Momma, we can sit on our own. We don't need this." With that being said, if you decide you want to go Bumbo, I'd get one from a friend or consignment. However, this pic is cute, no?
We formula fed our girls. It's a very personal decision, and while I would have absolutely tried to breastfeed with one, for personal reasons and for recovery reasons, we formula fed straight away. Meredith being underweight needed Enfamil Premature which we had to order straight from the company, and I called it Baby Creatine, because it was light brown, smelled terrible, but she loved it. We used the Nuk bottles at first because the nipples were tiny and helped them feed better. After that, we went straight to Avent and Playtex (the kind with a curve). I would really recommend having 20 on hand. I did have a few of the 4 oz bottles, but I would recommend going ahead and registering for/purchasing the 8 oz bottles because they will only be drinking 2 and 4 oz at a time for a few weeks. Even my preemie girls were guzzling 6 oz at around 2 months and they were hanging in at around 8 lbs, so that should give you a frame of reference.
Our girls love the Avent flat-nipple pacifiers and the Nuk pacifiers. We tried the Gumdrop pacis, but it didn't fit their mouth that well. I would only get a couple of a certain brand until you find out what your child likes. Then, once you have found a brand, get at least 10. Seriously. They tend to disappear quickly, especially if your kids are like my girls and realize they can stand up in the crib and throw them at each other.
Swaddle Mes and Receiving Blankets
On the day I delivered my girls, it was 99 degrees with a heat index of 105. However, I would still dress the girls in a onesie and wrap my girls up at night. They were used to being an environment that hovered around 98.6 degrees. Meredith had a love/hate relationship with her Swaddle Me. She had to look at her hands and know they were still there. Natalie was a kicker and couldn't stand being swaddled. The magic solution was to swaddle M with her arms out and put Natalie in a Halo Sleep Sack where she could have room to still kick and be covered up. At around 3 months, both girls wanted to be swaddled tight, and I swear this helped both of my girls sleep through the night at 3 months. I would recommend 2 sleep sacks and 3 Swaddle Me's to start. People will give you those Carter's receiving blankets, which are helpful for quick trips out and about, or to cover them up at the doctor's office.
One crib or two?
My recommendation is two separate cribs at night, and I would let them have lots of twin time during the day because they had laid on top of each other for eight months in the womb. As you can see, mine were quite close those first few months.
Would I have done anything differently?
I am pretty happy with how those first few months went. I do wonder how those Fisher Price Rock n' Play basinettes would have been. We didn't register for those, but I have had friends who did use them and loved them. Honestly, for those with triplets, I would definitely go with those rather than the newborn napper part of a Pack n' Play.
Any helpful information for MoMs in general?
Babies R' Us does offer a multiples discount of 10% each like item that you purchase in duplicate or triplicate. There is this wonderful post by Sarah Lynn of Life with Twins where she lists in detail companies who have provided her twins with freebies and companies that have a multiples program. I personally had success with Bordeaux's Butt Paste, Beechnut, and Enfamil and Similac ALWAYS provided tons of formula checks. I also enjoy going on the Multiples board on The Bump, as that is a supportive community of moms who have twins, triplets, and quads.
What is an absolute necessary item that your baby(ies) needed and that made your life easier in general?