Baby goods have come a long way since my first time around the block six years ago, and probably as I write this, 17 months after the birth of my final two, they’ve come a long way AGAIN. There are some products that I couldn’t have lived for one second without with my twins, and some that I’d have been fine without, but was so happy to have, and I will tell you everything I know.
First of all, most or all of these products can be swooped up at your local “multiples sale.” Many communities have clubs for mothers of multiples. You pay dues for a year, meet people monthly and hear a speaker, and (in my experience) the great benefit is the sale that many of the larger groups will hold one or two times a year. Usually, they rent a huge auditorium, and fill it to the gills with everything you can imagine that your baby will need. These are open to the public, but usually have pre-shop opportunities for members of the club. I (should not admit this) joined a club just for this opportunity. This is where I got most of these products, on the super cheap (which is the name of the game for twins).
- The Itzbeen. We all but stapled (okay, seriously, I would NEVER staple anything to my children) these to each of the twins. With one baby, it’s easy to get confused about how long it has been since the last diaper change or the last time they slept, but with twins, it’s nearly impossible to remember. This little gadget kept track of everything. My little guy used to get lots of ear infections, and I could keep track of when I’d given him his last antibiotic or fever reducer. The best part was that when we shifted caregivers, between my husband, our babysitter, or a family member (or our professional postpartum doula from Welcome Baby Care) we never had to do the verbal rundown. Sure, a pencil and paper work just fine for communicating this kind of thing, but the ease of pushing a button really trumps the old fashioned way when your hands are full of baby. Get one for each baby, and you’ll be all set. Label them or color-code them. They’re the best.
- The Boppy Newborn Lounger. We got two of these when the babies were about a month old, and I couldn’t believe we ever lived without them. They are like little pillows that have a dimple in the middle that holds the baby in place. When they are small, and don’t go anywhere, these are great for transporting from room to room easily, and giving baby a place to sit. Because they have that dimple, they are much better than just a regular pillow, which could end up being quite unsafe for a baby.
- The Kristi G Go and Grow Chair. Maybe by now, you are realizing that the key for me was finding places to put the babies in different situations. Our twins were about 6-months by the time summer rolled around in the Midwest. These were our little saviors in the days when we basically LIVED outdoors. They grow with the child up to about age 8, so I’d say the investment was worth it.
- The Bebe Bottle Sling. Feeding twins is always an adventure. When their teeny, and you’re trying to figure out nursing and mastering the tandem nurse, that’s one adventure. For us, we got really dependent on bottles because of the challenge. We happened upon these bottle slings, and they were the game changer for me. They worked both on the car seats, but also on our Fisher Price Infant To Toddler Rocker. I don’t recommend these AT ALL for singletons, I think it’s very important for parents to hold their babies while they eat, but with the twins, I was spending most of my time feeding them, and I had a three-year-old who also needed assistance. We certainly didn’t use these all the time, but they were a blessing when we needed them.
- The Double Snap and Go Stroller. As far as I’m concerned, this was the best way to get from place to place for the entire first year of my twins’ lives. We used these in combination with the Graco 32 car seats, so that my twins could be in their carrier seats for the first year. It really made transportation a breeze. We would just grab the carrier out of the car and snap it in the stroller. I dreaded letting go of this thing when they grew out of their seats.
- Bum Genius Diapers. We used cloth diapers before we had twins. After having twins, cloth diapering became essential. It may seem like a lot of work if you’re used to using disposables, but I want to tell you that using cloth diapers is really nothing more than a load of laundry. If you can imagine yourself doing another load of laundry, then you can easily handle cloth diapers. I personally endorse Bum Genius, that’s what we use, but there are so very many options. We found that 25 diapers was the magic number for us. I bought many used, and some new. We could not be happier. Plus, especially with two babies in diapers, you can really see the savings with cloth versus disposables. This is a blog for a different day, but I am so passionate about sharing with people how very easy it is to cloth diaper. It takes no more time or energy really than using disposables.
That’s my list, for what it’s worth. Other MOMs, what’s on your list?