So has it sunk in that you are having multiples? Now are you trying to figure out all you will need for twins? Well, for us the first thing on our “to-do” list was to find a bigger place to live. We lived in a tiny apartment, not expecting to start a family so soon. We had a new place by the end of the month to move in and prepare for our bundles of joy. While a new home may not be on your list of things to do before the twins come, there are a lot of other things you will need to do, purchase and borrow. Here is a list of things to consider.
Check out the other articles in our Baby Basics Series below: Baby Basics: Diapering Twins Baby Basics: Burping Twins Baby Basics: Breastfeeding Twins Baby Basics: Bottle Feeding Twins Also… Preparing a Small Nursery for Twins Top 10 Tips to Get Ready for Twins Twin Dad Survival Guide Expecting twins? START HERE! Check out our ultimate list of the most important articles for expecting twins and managing your newborns! Are you a new twin parent? Check out Natalie Diaz’s new book “What To Do When You’re Having Two: The Twin Survival Guide From Pregnancy Through the First Year”, available in stores now!
Now on the flip side, when a fast-flow bottle is introduced frequently prior to nursing/latching becoming well-established, that may cause problems getting the babies to breastfeed. Not because they are “confused” between nipples, but because the bottle nipple makes it far easier to get big mouthfuls of milk rapidly, and with minimal effort.
Two mouths to feed. Two sets of burps to provoke. Two babies to dress. A diaper bag that needs to be prepped to handle needs of two infants. Two car seats to snap in. Two babies to strap into the stroller. Two children to undress and redress at the pediatrician’s office. Two cribs to keep in fresh linens. Two booties that need diapering. Two babies to individually hug and cuddle. Allow the extra time you need to do those things that must be done consecutively, one at a time. Attempting to “cram” too much activity into too little time will increase the stress on you, your partner, and your babies.
Even though you can only place a single spoonful in one baby’s mouth at a time, feeding your babies semi-simultaneously by alternating bites betwixt the two is far easier than trying to feed them in sequence. Especially if you have one hungry infant watching while his/her sibling is being fed! High chairs serve purposes beyond feeding. They are great containment for finger painting, coloring, and for off-the-floor playing with small toys/books. Some favorite photos of our twins have been taken in their high chairs. Get a pair. You’ll be glad you did.
Basics Diapers (cloth system or disposable – make sure to buy smaller packages of preemie and/or newborn sizes and buy Size 1 and up in bulk!) Wipes (buy in bulk after you have made sure that your baby doesn’t have a reaction to a certain brand) Diaper Bag – get a backpack style to free up your hands Receiving blankets Swaddling blankets / Sleep Sacks Humidifier (You will want this the first time your babies get a cold, believe me!) Pacifiers (optional) Clothing Homecoming Outfits (newborn or preemie size) Night Gowns (6) Bodysuits/Onesies (10-14) Pajamas (6-8 pair per baby) Socks (4-6 pair per baby) Bibs (16-20) This will save you from a lot of outfit changes! Coat/Fleece Jacket (optional depending on time of year your babies are born) Sun Hat (optional depending on the time of year your babies are born) Bath Time Washcloths Hooded towels (6) Bath Toys Baby Nail Clippers Baby Lotion/Oil Barrier Ointment (for regular diaper changes) Diaper Rash Cream (when diaper rash is present) Baby Wash/Shampoo (you will get plenty of this from your baby shower) Baby Bather or Baby Bath Tub (optional, but really nice to have) Babies’ Room 2 Cribs 2 Crib Mattresses Fitted Crib Sheets (6-8) Sheet Savers (This is more like “mommy sanity savers” so you don’t have to change the whole bed in the middle of the night because your baby spit up or had a diaper leak.
) Waterproof Mattress Cover Portable Crib (aka “Pack N’ Play”) Portable Crib Sheets Changing Table (or use the top of a children’s dresser) Changing table pad (to place on top of changing table; or can convert any dresser top into a changing table) Changing Table Pad Covers (6) Dresser Hangers White Noise Machine (optional, but nice to have) Nursery Decoration (seriously optional – buy used or borrow) Diaper Pail with Bag Refills (optional, you’ll either love ’em or hate ’em) On The Road Infant Car Seats With Base (buy new for safety reasons) Head support (a rolled up receiving blanket will do the trick) Double Snap n’ Go Stroller (make sure the stroller is compatible with your infant car seats) Full Size Double Stroller (for when the babies outgrow their infant car seats) Toys that will attach to the Car Seat and Stroller Sunscreen (recommended to use after 6 months) Feeding Nursing Pads Nipple Cream Double Electric Breast Pump Breast Milk Storage Bags + Adapters Microwave Steam Sterilizing Bags Twin Nursing Pillow (Twin Z Pillow or My Brest Friend Twins) and/or Boppy pillows (for breastfeeding or bottle feeding one baby at a time) Baby Bottles (16-20 bottles for twins) Bottle Brush Baby Bowls Baby Spoons High Chairs (to save space, get the ones that strap right to the chair) Food Processor (for making baby food) Baby Food Storage Infant Formula (buy one can to start, to make sure the babies take to it; even if you plan to breastfeed, have one can in the house for emergencies) Playtime Swing (Start with just one.
Buy used or borrow if you can.) 2 Bouncy Seats (great for bottle feeding and a place where babies can safely sit) 2 Rock N’ Play (a twin mom favorite!) Playmat (big enough for 2 babies) High Contrast Board Books Lullaby CDs Baby Mirror Teething Toys to Chew On Safety Baby monitor (video preferred, with 2 cameras if it’s in your budget) Safety Gates (They will be on the move in no time!) Outlet covers (the ones that are difficult to release; or install self-closing outlet covers) Wall anchors for furniture Digital Thermometer (rectal thermometers give the most accurate reading; use Vaseline with this!) First Aid Kit Smoke detectors / carbon monoxide detectors (install CO detectors in EVERY bedroom and hallway outside of bedrooms) Cabinet Locks Door Knob Covers Coffee Table Corner Bumpers Keepsakes (optional) Baby Books Disposable Cameras (make sure you have this in your hospital bag just in case you forget to grab the camera as you leave for the hospital) Newspaper from Birth Day Items to Skip Wipes Warmer (many moms say skip this, but others love them.
) Crib bedding / flat sheets / pillows / bumpers (unless they are breathable bumpers!) These are suffocation hazards for babies. The only things in the crib should be a mattress that fits snuggly to the crib (no gaps) and a firmly fitted crib sheet.
Mobiles Bottle Warmer – just fill a large cup of hot tap water and set the bottles in them for a couple minutes Glider – It’s just not big enough to hold both babies in. Personally, I used a full sized recliner, the 3 of us still snuggle in it while reading stories.
Another option is a chair and half rocker/glider. Baby gloves (these are to help prevent babies from scratching themselves, but you can just use baby socks!)
Cheryl Lage is a full-time, fully fulfilled mom to fraternal twins Darren and Sarah. During twin-synchronous sleeping hours, she is the Web host of www.twinfatuation.com, a Web support site for new and expecting twin parents.
You can’t leave the hospital without them. They can’t share. Our twosome even needed to be “tested” in their car seats for stress prior to being released from the hospital. We have a hysterical photo of our daughter sleeping away in her car seat with electrodes and monitors attached all over her. From what I hear, not every hospital requires this test, but don’t be surprised if yours does.
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For babies under age 1, and less than 20 pounds, the car seats must be rear-facing. (If your babies reach 20 pounds prior to their first birthday, they still need to remain rear-facing. You’ll then need to invest in “convertible” car seats that can go from rear to front-facing, and that accommodate heavier babies.) Most firemen will install the bases into your vehicle for you, ensuring they are safely and properly in place. Don’t wait until late in your pregnancy to get this important task accomplished. Twins can and often do come early. Be ready.
The rate of twin births has risen 79 percent over the last three decades, and continues to increase. A mom of fraternal twins and a national guru on having two, Natalie Diaz launched Twiniversity, a supportive website with advice from the twin-trenches.
Side note: Not a single book I read indicated when the parent-induced burping should stop. The “after-every-feeding” burping process continued for us until ours were about 6 months, and intermittently after that until they were about 8 months. Ours were exceedingly gassy. Yours may need regular burping for a shorter (or maybe longer) window of time.
You will need to feed babies approximately eight times each 24-hour period the first couple of months. Get 20 to 30 cloths and you should be fine. You’ll be doing laundry often enough for that to be about right. If you feel you need more, get more. You can always use them for dustcloths or to mop up mini-messes later.
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What to Do When You’re Having Two is the definitive how-to guide to parenting twins, covering how to make a Birth Plan checklist, sticking to one sleep schedule, managing double-duty breastfeeding, stocking up on all the necessary gear, building one-on-one relationships with each child, and more.
Most formula manufacturers offer special coupons and deals for parents of multiples. Get on those lists early in your pregnancy. Even if you intend to breastfeed, those companies distribute great developmental information on babies, and you never know. Best to be prepared. Likewise, once your babies are on solid foods, lots of coupons are available to mommies of twins. You’ll still need to get double foodstuffs, but you can save a bit here and there.
What goes in must come out. Two bottoms, you can’t chintz out here either. They need coverage. Many of the predominant diaper manufacturers put coupons in the newspaper regularly and offer coupons to moms of twins. Be forewarned. Even with coupons, the name-brand diapers are much more expensive than off- and store-brands.
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What would you add to our list of things you need for twins? Have you found a helpful baby product you used with your multiples that you would suggest?
Bulk shopping for one baby is a good idea, but for twins it’s a necessity!
Two mouths. Both have a suck reflex, and are soothed by the process. You’ll need a minimum of two pacifiers. If you plan to breastfeed your babies, some wisdom advocates holding off a bit on introducing the pacifiers until nursing/latching is well-established. The phrase “nipple confusion” is one you will hear repeatedly. Personally, I don’t believe in nipple confusion where a binkie is concerned. No nourishment flows through a pacifier; give your babies some credit.
They are two children, with two distinct sets of achievements to document and cherish. Granted, the babies may be in high school before you get a chance to fill them all in with the notes you’ve jotted in your poo journal and on notepads, but they each need to have their own book. There are twin sets of baby books out there if you are seeking to coordinate every aspect of their early lives.
Accessible and informative, What to Do When You’re Having Two is the must-have manual for all parents of twins.
Whether you’re a twin parent in the big city surrounded by scores of resources, or a triplet parent out in the country with no one around for miles — our multiples parenting forums are for YOU! Sign up for FREE and connect with people who are just like you — parents of multiples looking for advice, parenting tips, or even just people to chat with who will understand what you’re going through. Our forums are open to people all over the world and we offer scads of specialty rooms to find others who are going through the exact same thing as you. Check it out today!
After each feeding, each baby will need burping. Often, baby burps travel with spit-up. Hopefully, you will have Daddy or a second set of hands burping one baby while you burp the other. You’ll need to protect yourselves from the burp cheese.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.
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Even if you are handling burp duty single-handedly (which eventually you will have to) each baby deserves a fresh, cheese-free cloth. There are precious burp cloths out there that coordinate with bibs and outfits. If you get some as gifts, fantastic. For day-to-day and middle of the night use, cloth diapers serve the purpose well.
With twins, there are unavoidable doublings. Try to revel in all of them, especially the “Omigosh”‘s you’ll receive from onlookers when out and about with your precious babies. Twins are special, and as a Mommy of twins, you are, too. When you are purchasing double of the below listed items, try to look on the bright side. At least you will get through each need stage almost simultaneously. Here are the items you’ll need in bulk.
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Two mouths to feed, you can’t chintz out here. Breastfeeding can work with twins, and if you can make it work, it’s the healthiest choice for the babies, for you, and certainly for your wallet. If breastfeeding is not the route you decide to go, formula will do the trick just fine.
You can expect each baby to soil/wet 8 to 12 diapers a day for at least the first two months. Believe it or not, you want that. It confirms your babies are getting enough nutrition. You can do the math. You will go through 960 to 1,440 diapers in your first 60 days alone. We found off-brands (or less popular brands) to be just fine. We used off-brand petroleum jelly with each and every change, and rarely had rear rashes. You’ll figure out what works best for you. If friends ask what you need for the babies, you need diapers.
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While on the subject of burping, let me digress. When your babies are small, you will probably not burp them over your shoulder as you usually see on TV. For the first three to four months, until they really get good neck control, it often works best to burp baby while he or she sits on your lap. Hold his or her jaw around the chin in one hand supporting the head, and firmly pat the baby’s back with your other hand. We draped the burpie cloth over our hand supporting the head, and put the extra cloth over the leg toward which the baby was facing, just in case. Each baby gets a fresh cloth each burp session.