So, I plan to start some shopping soon. What would you get (or not get) for twins? It's my first pregnancy, so I am clueless.
Honestly, I recommend saving money where you can. If you can hit consignment stores for some things, you could save quite a bit.
To me, the essentials were:
newborn gowns for ease of dressing (purchased most from consignment)
cloth diapers (we used mother-ease products) http://www.mother-ease.com/
- 5 gallon bucket with lid as diaper pail
- attachment for toilet for spraying diapers
EZ2 Nurse twin nursing pillow
swaddle blankets (more than you'd think you'd need. I made most of mine from a yard& a quarter of flannel fabric, hemmed.)
safe place to put babies for each level of the house (bassinette, pack & play, crib, whatever)
we had one "bouncy chair"-- the kind that vibrates, and one swing. I didn't need one of each, and I borrowed (or bought consignment) for both of those.
We used the bassinette part of the pack and play for baby sleep space at first, then they shared a crib until about 4 months. We started separating them soon after that.
Things that were useful for me:
high quality breast pump
haberman feeders (used as bottles in the beginning)
having NO formula in the house
Barbara Luke's book When You're expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads. Her best advice is about taking it easy, getting enough calories and nutrition, and arranging help for after babies are born.
Really, having help for the first week or two that you have the babies home is such a godsend. We found that three adults handled the babies great-- one (Me, recovering) to hold and feed, one (husband) to hold and change diapers, and one (my mother) to run the house.
My twins were also my first, and I found this site very helpful for ironing out what I wanted as a mother. Good luck on your journey.
This is not a thing, but my husband made a google doc with signups and we had friends sign up to bring us food. Lunches and dinners for the first two weeks after we came home from the hospital. (not all the meals, but some) We warned people that we might not be up to socializing. And it was *wonderful*. Wish we'd done it longer. And we've been paying it back in meals for other new parents and sickabeds. People love to help if they can, and food is a lovely way to do it. Some was homemade, some was takeout. But all was awesome and took the weight off my husband on the cooking front.
Oh! And a pair of car seats. We have buckets, because they work best with tiny tiny babies and we thought we might have tiny tiny babies. I love the fact that I can carry one baby in arms and the other in a bucket when I'm out, which means I can have a hand free when I need it. (set down the bucket, pay for a sandwich...)
In terms of things, we really needed diapers, some shirts, receiving blankets (all handmedown) and a place for the babies to sleep. (upstairs was a sidecarred crib, downstairs was a single bassinet we borrowed from a friend). We also had a single lie-flat stroller that we put the two of them in together for the first six weeks. And a diaper bucket. (we're using a diaper service, though we've also done wash-your-own and disposable at varying times; the diaper service was well worth it at the beginning, and we're starting to get to the point where we might be able to cope on our own).
A sling is good, because if you have one baby in the sling you can hold the other, and it's a lot more secure than trying to hold two at once. Ideally you would talk to friends and get a friend with a sling collection to come over so you can try a bunch (or borrow from somewhere) to figure out what works. I carried both girls in a moby when they were very tiny (with lots of taking the whole thing off because there was about a fifteen minute break between feedings), we used a pair of bjorns when flying, and I've been experimenting with back carrying with an ergo this week.
Now we're using a swing, and pretty regularly using bouncy chairs (they can lie in them and watch me cook, for instance). And some big blankets we can lay out in the living room or on the lawn to play on. And a double mclauren stroller for being out and about.
But for most stuff, borrow it and see if it works for your lifestyle. If it does, think about getting a second. Or buying one to keep.
But you don't need everything to start out with. And certainly not two of everything.
Oh. One more thing. If you're planning to pump, buy a good pump. If you're planning to nurse, be very very nice to your breasts. Spend some money on nursing pads (you may need to experiment. I have a combination of cotton (quick wash) and wool (warm and feel drier, but a pain to wash), that I gathered over time as I figured out what works for me), and on a nursing bra solution. (I use mostly nursing tanks with a regular shirt that is big enough (bigger than I used to be) over the top; but other people spend a lot of time topless or without bras or use nursing bras or regular bras.
But your breasts (if nursing or pumping) will be going through a lot. Be nice to them. And it's worth scrimping other places to have some (small) splurges to help with pain/discomfort/feeling attractive and covered to whatever degree makes you *comfortable* nursing.
look for a twins group in your area, they are after a great source of info camaraderie and good sales, mine has a huuuuge consignment sale 2x a year and we get nearly everything we have from them and saved so much its crazy.
some things on my list.
great double stroller, yeah i would love to wear them more, but in real lily i get to interact with them a ton and handle each of their needs better when out and about with my Baby Jogger City Select stroller. and i get out a lot for walk or bookstore trips and a good slim double stiller has been the reason i could. i loved the bassinets for the first 4 months or so, it saved them form the baby buckets and kept my winter babies snugly warm.
large packs of waterproof bibs, they ar much much easier to change and wash than clothing is! most babes spit up, even ones that dont have a spitting up problem, from my little experience and asking around it seems like it resolves around the time they get sit up control of their upper torso, apparently the muscles inside and out develop about the same time, makes sense to me. till then we got smart and they lived with these on http://www.amazon.com/green-sprouts-Waterproof-Absorbent-Terry/dp/B000CP2X9O/ref=sr_1_2?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1321505854&sr=1-2 we got one pack and loved them so much got a second pack so we always had the right color to go with an outfit, they actually make everything look so great!
two small swings, we had these : http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Precious-Planet-Space-Saver/dp/B0033RIE28/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321506450&sr=8-1 two fit together in most our rooms and we could carry them from room to room, even with a sleeping baby in them! the partially pulled apart for car travel (other styles can do this even better) and they were so useful for handing out i nthe kitchen to sleeping the longest naps ever
ooops babies waking, will write more later
So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!
PP have loads of great baby stuff suggestions, so here's a few that don't seem entirely baby related, but really helped me
this may be a little more difficult to swing depending on your finances, but think ahead to how much of non-perishable food items and household supplies you use and stock up as much as possible. depending on storage space, a year's supply is great. shopping will still have to happen, but not as much and not as often if you have stuff on hand already.
help for the last month or so of the pg and for at least 6 mths after they arrive. I know a PP already mentioned this. But if there is only one thing you did to prepare, this is IT.
get prepared as early as possible. bedrest is not a certainty (I never had it), but if it is, then you will be better prepared. also consider, when you get to the end of your 2nd trimester, your body will feel just about full term. THEN you've still got nearly a full trimester to go thru. NOT the best time to clean, shop, nest, ect. one thing I didn't realize, about 3 wks left to go, I couldn't fit behind the steering wheel of our car anymore. I had to have someone else drive. got a bit tricky when I had to go to the doctor a lot in the last couple of months.
Great info! Thank you all so much!!! I'm copypasting info from this thread into a printout for shopping.
I have to ask though (and when I said I'm clueless, I meant it) - how many receiving blankets is "many"? 6, or 12? or the bibs, how many? It's my first pregnancy, and we've moved a lot so I wasn't around to see what my friends did when they had babies a while ago. I need numbers.
I haven't posted in awhile (my twins are 21 mo).
If you can afford it, get two EZ2nurse pillows, unless you're in a ranch. It was a lifesaver that I didn't have to carry them up and down the stairs in addition to my two little bundles. I was able to get mine both used, one from a mama here and another locally.
Bouncy seats x 2 for each level of your home. Same reason. Safe place to put them on each level. A pack n play would work too.
Laundry is tough to do in the early days, you're resting a lot and nursing often, so unless you have someone to do that for you get about 20 receiving blankets. That way each child *could* spitup, have a blowout, etc. every couple hours and you'd still have enough to get through more than a day. But you'll get a couple. As far as bibs, same deal, if you have a spitter you'll have to change every time your nurse/burp. My oldest was a spitter, not my second or the twins, so I didn't need any (or I used cloth diapers I had nearby for spitup).
I also really liked my double baby trend snap n go. I'm short and skinny so I couldn't comfortably carry the twins in my wrap the way I've seen shown online. And I didn't feel comfortable with two different carriers (I tried). Plus, running in and out of preschool for drop offs, it was worth every penny. I got mine on craigslist for $40!
Definitely find your local moms of twins club. And find a friend to set up meals for you. I think the most important thing (besides a fantastic nursing pillow) was having someone else cook for awhile.