All pregnant ladies want to know: What are the must-haves for babies? When expecting twins, that question is a little more daunting, because two babies are more daunting and more complicated! I’ve put together a list of the things that we use and like. Hope it will be helpful to anyone else expecting, no matter how many. 🙂
And now, the exciting conclusion!
Part 3: For the House
This is where the ‘stuff’ starts accumulating. I said in Part 2 that babies themselves don’t need much, and that’s true. Except somehow there is so much of their stuff around the house! And I don’t even think we’ve been excessive!
Anyway, here are the things that have made our lives easier around the house, day-to-day.
Amazon Prime: We order so much on Amazon it’s ridiculous. We also have Prime (from a family member–thank you!!!). It is completely worth it to get free, fast shipping. We’ve gotten diapers, baby gear, and a bunch of stuff on this list, in fact. 🙂 And Costco for baby stuff–the prices on their brand of diapers, formula and wipes cannot be beat. The cheapest formula option on Amazon is $0.80 per ounce–the Costco brand is something like $0.42 per ounce! And of course their prices on most everything else is fantastic.
Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper: This was our babies’ first bed. We had set up a crib in their room a few weeks before they were born, but while we were in the hospital we realized that we would rather have the babies in our bedroom so we wouldn’t have to go as far when they fussed. So the day before we went home, I sent Andy to go buy a co-sleeper (a used one from someone in the multiples club). We didn’t have enough room on either side of our bed, so we set it up at the foot. Plus that way it was equidistant for both of us.
Rock n’ Play:I’ve mentioned before how these are different from other bouncers and how great these are. We switched our babies to sleeping in these when they were a week old, because they needed to be propped up a little after they ate. The incline angle of the Rock N Plays meant that we didn’t have to physically hold them at an angle for 20 minutes after every feeding. Plus they seemed to sleep a little better snuggled up in these as opposed to flat in the co-sleeper.
One week vs four months. So big now! Sob.
Swing: I got a used one at a consignment sale back in October, but we only started using it about a month ago. It’s a fantastic way to calm a baby who won’t otherwise calm down, or when both babies are crying at the same time and you can’t hold both, one can go in the swing.
Boppy Pillow: (2 or more) Duh. You’ve no doubt already heard of these and probably bought at least one. At first I was only going to get one, for some reason. I thought maybe both babies wouldn’t need to be on it at the same time? I don’t know why I thought that. First of all, our babies sat/slept on these on our couch for their first week, because we had nowhere else to put them when we weren’t in our bedroom. Second of all, we use them at all the feedings–two boppies makes double feeding as easy as possible. Sit in the middle of the couch, with one baby+boppy on each side. Use rolled up blankets to prop, and then adjust and burp back and forth. It’s a pain in the ass for sure, but the boppies make it possible, and make it easier.
Plus you can use two to fashion a seat support!
Changing Table: Instead of just open shelves, this one with drawers and laundry hamper is so much more efficient. Plus the stuff isn’t out and visible.
Bed Risers:If the changing table is too short to be comfortable for your back, raise it up a few inches. So cheap and so very worth it.
A silent room makes little noises really stand out. And babies make a lot of little noises, let alone big ones. 🙂 Background noise is helpful for the babies–when I first turned on the machine, I swear that the babies sighed–and it’s soothing for us too! We use the ocean setting on this machine, and when the babies are still awake at bedtime, we turn on the projector function.
Diaper Champ:Everyone knows about the Diaper Genie, but when I saw how small the bag part is, I was like, two babies are gonna fill that in half a day! Then I found this awesome contraption at a consignment sale. (Ours looks a little different than the picture.) It doesn’t use special trash bags (so it doesn’t cost any more as time goes on) and it holds a lot. And the two babies still fill it up quite fast. (Even faster now that the diapers themselves are bigger.) The only downside is that, even though no part is open to air, it doesn’t contain the smell.
Waterproof Crib Pads:I had never heard of these, but they are awesome. We got several sets (we registered for them) in different sizes. We put the small square ones under the boppies to protect the couch. We put two medium-small ones side by side in the co-sleeper to protect the mattress. We use the full-size ones as a ‘blanket’ on the grass outside.
Soaking tub, and fragrance-free dishsoap: A couple years ago I realized that the strong scents of dish detergents gave me a headache and sometimes left a residue on our dishes that I could smell and taste. We switched to Seventh Generation Free & Clear dish soap and that made such a difference. Once we came home with lots of baby things to wash, I never worried about the dish soap causing an issue. While we were in the hospital, there was a plastic dish tub for soaking bottle parts, and we were able to take it home with us. Good thing, too, because it is in use most hours of every single day. We do have a dishwasher, and our stuff is dishwasher safe–but we use so much feeding paraphernalia so often that we don’t even bother trying to use the dishwasher. If you have a lot of bottle stuff and only one baby it would probably be easy enough to put some in the dishwasher.
Fragrance-free laundry detergent: Again, I hate strong smells for myself, and figured that babies don’t need that either. Seventh Generation makes a free and clear detergent, and so does Costco. I know there’s a fancy ‘baby detergent’ but eh, no need for that label markup.
Dr. Brown’s Bottles: Once the babies graduated from the tiny (90ml) Snappies bottles, we moved to the Dr Brown’s 4 oz plastic bottles. They feature a vent that allegedly creates a vacuum and reduces or eliminates air intake, therefore reducing gas. And I do think they got less gassy after we made the switch.
Babies can be really particular about bottles–the type they’ll accept and when they’ll accept them. Ours started using bottles at 2 or 3 days old, thank goodness, and have never had a problem. When I was also attempting to nurse here and there in their first 6 weeks, they didn’t have any problems or confusion.
Dr. Brown’s Formula Mixing Pitcher: I’m not even joking, this thing changed our lives. Even at the beginning, when we were only using formula for one set of bottles a day, it was a pain in the ass to measure scoops into tiny bottle openings and then shake shake shake, trying to see past the foam for an actual level. Mixing in the pitcher is fast, super easy, and no foam. You just pour it right out into the bottles, and you can pre-mix a whole day’s worth if/when you need to. SO FAST AND EASY.
Lawn Drying Rack: This is a cute accessory and all, but it’s become more than that for us. For the first few months we put everything on a dishtowel on the counter to dry. Which meant things constantly toppling over, everything in disarray, ugh. The plastic ‘blades’ of grass of this drying rack keep things upright and it’s so much easier to have everything orderly while also drying/being stored. As you can see I like to build a ‘fortress’ of bottles around the edge to contain the small items in the middle. (We recently added a ‘tree’, which is a plastic branch bit thing, to corral some of the bottle nipples.)
For Going Out
Car Mirrors: for car seats. Makes such a difference to be able to glance back and see if those little faces are awake, asleep, cranky, etc.
Baby Jogger City Select: Ah, the stroller wars! Our first twin friends recommended this one and I think it would win. I’ve never used any other stroller, and I’ve never felt the need to, and even better, I’ll never need to. This stroller has car seat adaptors while the babies are in infant seats, and then once they’re sitting, there are ‘regular’ seats that snap into place. Those can be configured in many different ways, and you can easily just use one seat to make it into a temporarily single stroller. The initial expense is worth it in my opinion, because a) it’s a quality stroller–really easy to maneuver considering its size; and b) this one will last us for around two years. If you’re having twins, you need this stroller. If you live in the NYC area, they come up on craigslist all the time. I was lucky to get one on craigslist here in Portland–they don’t come up often and everyone pounces!
Double Snap-N-Go: Only get this if you don’t have a car seat adaptable stroller yet or if you don’t know what large stroller you’ll be getting. They’re cheap (only buy them used!) but they’re not sturdy and they’re tough to maneuver/navigate. But they’re a lot better than nothing for the first few months!
And there you have it! Phew! We’ve accumulated a lot of stuff for these babies. And now we’re moving into the toys/play equipment age, so at some point down the road I’m sure I’ll do a roundup of that.
Please share your household/miscellaneous must-haves!
Note: These are Amazon affiliate links. I have only featured products we’ve actually used and loved.