Our Favorite Toys for Toddlers, 18-24 month edition

When I went to the big twins club re-sale in 2013, I had a very specific list of items that I knew our 5 month old babies would need in the short term. When I saw the huge area of big toys, I froze. I tried to think about the next 5-6 months and what the babies would do or learn or want or play with. And I had utterly no idea what, say, a 9 month old could use.

So I figure that as I go along, I’ll keep track of the toys we use in age-ranges of our babies, in hope that someday, another parent will find it useful! This isn’t an official review or sponsored post, it’s just what our babies have liked and used a lot. Amazon links are affiliate.

(Previous gear lists: Pregnancy, New Babies part 1, New Babies part 2, New Babies part 3 Toys for 3-6 months, Toys for 6-12 months, Toys for 12-18 months)

Also, FYI: Baby Cheapskate does an annual roundup of “Toys that get played with” for all age ranges, based on reader polls/surveys. Here’s the 2013 list for 13-24 months. You should follow them on Facebook--they find and post tons of deals on baby gear every day!

Things they’re still loving from last time: Water Table; Learning Towers, baby broom

Tricycles!

The Radio Flyer Fold 2 Go Trike is perfect for younger toddlers, because it’s a little smaller. I think our boys started riding them before they were 18 months, actually. (Read the post about it)

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Haba Blocks: We got some of these from a friend, and the dudes love them! The duplos still got good use too. The wooden Haba blocks don’t stick together, but that means that they can build tall towers and then knock them over. And what’s more fun than that? 🙂

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Play Kitchen: We received one when they were about a year old, and kept putting off putting it together until they were a little older. We finally did it when they were 23 months, and oh my goodness, THEY LOVE IT. I’d meant to move it upstairs to their room, but they play with it just about every day here in the living room. They LOVE it. And they probably would have loved it just as much a few months earlier! It is so much fun to watch them play pretend, and it’s so freaking adorable I can’t even stand it.
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Spoons, empty containers, dried pasta or beans: Part playing pretend, part sorting and pouring, and part percussion practice. We have a bunch of empty oatmeal canisters that they can play with, and we give them real spoons and Pyrex bowls, and they “stir stir stir” and scoop and stir. If they have some they can pour and scoop and move between one place and another–water, dried beans, dried pasta–they will play with it for a loooong time, very happily.

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Push toys: When we go out on walks, they still love their push toys! We have the musical one musical one (we call it the “jingly walker”), the wooden one (“clacker”), and until recently we had this Fisher-Price Mower. (It finally broke and they got a newer, more realistic looking one for Christmas.)

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The umbrella strollers work very well too!
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Basketball hoop and other athletic stuff: The basketball hoop is a lot of fun, but even when that’s not out, they’ve enjoyed played with the mini basketball and a couple other balls we have. They figured out kicking and dribbling balls, so the soccer ball was a good addition. I also had two cheap frisbee-type things, which they love to play with and throw.

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Buckets/containers:

Good for headwear, beach trips, and generally collecting things. Gathering and unpacking is a big thing for them.

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Baby Guitar/Ukulele: Our nanny (who is in a band) sometimes brings her ukelele and sings to them, and lets them play with it. They will happily sit on their baby couch together, strumming and swaying back and forth. They never ever want to stop playing, and anytime it’s been here, they ask, “More le-le?” over and over again.
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Mama’s wallet:

This is my secret weapon toy. If I need them to chill out/I’m out of ideas/they’re stir-crazy, they get to play with Mama’s wallet! They methodically take all the cards out and then play with putting them back in and handing them back and forth to each other. I don’t get it, but I’ll take it!

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Rocks:

Every toddler’s favorite!

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I’d love to hear what your young toddlers love to play with–leave a note in the comments!

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Our Favorite Toys for Babies, 12-18 month edition

When I went to the big twins club re-sale in 2013, I had a very specific list of items that I knew our 5 month old babies would need in the short term. When I saw the huge area of big toys, I froze. I tried to think about the next 5-6 months and what the babies would do or learn or want or play with. And I had utterly no idea what, say, a 9 month old could use.

So I figure that as I go along, I’ll keep track of the toys we use in age-ranges of our babies, in hope that someday, another parent will find it useful! This isn’t an official review or sponsored post, it’s just what our babies have liked and used a lot. Amazon links are affiliate.

(Previous gear lists: Pregnancy, New Babies part 1, New Babies part 2, New Babies part 3 Toys for 3-6 months, Toys for 6-12 months)

Also, FYI: Baby Cheapskate does an annual roundup of “Toys that get played with” for all age ranges, based on reader polls/surveys. Here’s the 2013 list for 13-24 months. You should follow them on Facebook--they find and post tons of deals on baby gear every day!

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Activity Table (until 15 months or so) and Exersaucer: Yes, they just kept playing with these! I was really surprised. I suppose because they make noise, and have things that can be moved/pressed/manipulated.

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Books: Obviously. Lift-the-flap books have been especially fun.

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Broom and Mop: It was only after they started playing with the full-size broom and swiffer in the kitchen that we realized we should get them some kid-sized ones. They still prefer the big ones, but will happily play with the little ones most of the time. Of course they fight over who gets the broom.

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Balls: They love watching people play soccer and basketball, and they love trying to throw and catch. Or just holding them.

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Mega Bloks: Our twins received a set for Christmas, when they were 13 months old. I figured they wouldn’t be able to use them or interested in using them until they were at least 18 months old. But I was totally wrong–they started playing with them right away and quickly seemed to understand what to do! And they’ve only gotten better since, so it’s great they started kind of early. It’s got to be great for motor skills and spatial reasoning!

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Toy Shopping Cart, wagon, horsey, stroller: These are HUGE hits in our house. Our twins would probably be psyched if they could push the shopping cart around for most of a whole day. When we go outside for a walk they fight over which ones they get, and they always want something to push.

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Charley Harper Flash Cards, Clif Bars, anything with smaller parts inside a box: Take them out of the box, put them back in the box, throw them around. Good times!

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Water Table: Apparently we got this for them in April and they loved it immediately. They played all spring and summer.

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Train table (at the bookstore): I think we discovered this by accident, but what an amazing accident. They are OBSESSED. Sometimes I wish we had a big basement play area so we could have one of our own, but then I think it’s nice that it’s out of the house, so that it’s a rarer experience and therefore more special.

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Learning Towers/Kitchen Helpers: I would see people posting about these on Facebook, that they were super awesome for little kids. I also noticed that they are WAY EXPENSIVE. Especially the idea of two of them.Then someone in a group posted that her husband was making DIY versions. I waffled for a bit and then decided we should go for it, and get two. It was totally worth it and I’m so glad we did. There are posts all over the internet about how to make the DIY versions (here’s one), so ask around for someone who might be handy. Even paying them to do it will be worth it. (And PS, since I’m finishing this so late, I can tell you that we’re still using these after they turned two!)

IKEA Table and Chairs

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Not exactly a toy, but they do really like their little table and chairs, just the right size for them!

What do your littles this age love to play with? Share in the comments!

Things I Love Thursday: Window Crayons!

On some Thursdays, I’ll share something random that I’m really liking, enjoying, or appreciating. Just a little post to share a little snippet of life right now. I’d love to know if you also like these things, and what you’re randomly into these days!

I read about these on Elise’s instagram or blog and figured our dudes would enjoy it:

Crayola Window Crayons

Crayons for your windows! That is so clever!

We have a big window in our living room, and the babies love looking out of it. We have our DIY Learning Towers so they can stand there by themselves (those dudes get heavy if we’re just standing there holding them!). So I figured–let’s have them stand in the towers and color on the window.

WINNER!!!!!

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They loved it! In fact, they asked to do it again the following day (by pointing at the bin we’d put the crayons in, and saying/signing please). We’re going to try not to do it super often so the novelty doesn’t wear off too quickly.

It’s fairly easy to clean up. I wiped down all the crayon marks easily with a wet cloth (former burp cloth, cloth diaper!), and then used windex to get rid of the big streaks. The crayon marks on the wooden windowsill/trim wiped right off, too.

Some tips: keep this a no-clothes activity. The crayon marks get everywhere. (They seem to wash out just fine, but might as well skip that step!) Also, you may want to invest in two sets at first. They already wore down the tips from this first set quite a bit.

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This is such a great indoor activity, especially heading into the fall and winter! They’re only so-so about coloring with crayons and paper at a table, but they were super gung-ho about coloring on a window! And this is definitely something they’ll be able to use for a long time, since their fine motor skills and drawing skills are only going to keep improving for the next few years.

I’d love to hear from you! Do you have these yet? If you have older kids, do you think they’d like these too?

 

*Amazon links are affiliate

Our Favorite Toys for Babies, 3-6 month edition

When I went to the big re-sale a couple months ago, I had a very specific list of items that I knew the babies would need in the short term. When I saw the huge area of big toys, I froze. I tried to think about the next 5-6 months and what the babies would do or learn or want or play with. And I had utterly no idea what, say, a 9 month old could use.

So I figure that as I go along, I’ll keep track of the toys we use in age-ranges of our babies, in hope that someday, another mama will find it useful! This isn’t an official review or sponsored post, it’s just what our babies have liked.

(Previous gear lists: Pregnancy, New Babies part 1, New Babies part 2, New Babies part 3)

If you’ve seen any other lists like this, or have things to add, please let me know in the comments!

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Sophie the Giraffe–goes without saying. They like them, but they don’t actually love them. For awhile, they would get frustrated because they had trouble holding it and getting part of it in their mouth. As they’ve gotten bigger and more dextrous, they like it better.

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Winkel–I saw this on a few lists/blogs awhile ago and got one. They’ve loved it for months–at first to look at, and then to very slowly practice their gripping and holding, and then to try to eat.

Activity Ball (on the bottom right)–A bigger, louder version of the Winkel. Picked it up at a re-sale and sure enough, the babies really like it.

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Squishy books–a friend sent us three of these, and seriously, they are still some of their favorite toys. At this point they don’t care about the touchable stuff on the pages, they just love that a) the front page crinkles, and b) they can tug and pull to their hearts’ content.

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Baby Einstein Take-along Tunes–the orthotist had this in her office to entertain babies, and it was an instant love for Emmett. We got one the following week and both babies adore it.

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Bumbo–it’s not very fun or interesting, but it’s somewhere for the babies to sit with support.

Baby Super Seat–like a Bumbo BUT BETTER. Supported sitting without fat little legs getting stuck, AND an attachable activity tray. The babies’ favorite activity is playing with (ie, banging and eating) the little cups! Slowly they’ve learned to manipulate and play with/gum the other objects.

We’ve been using the Bumbo and Super Seat as seats while we feed them. Very mobile and convenient.

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Piano mat — We had a regular activity mat with the hanging toys, but then I heard about this one. I waffled on it for awhile, but I am so glad we got it. It’s really fun for the babies. It’s an activity mat but it also has a kickable piano at the bottom! Plus, as you see, the piano can change position so that babies can sit at it. In theory, then, it should last far longer than the standard activity mat.

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O Ball  It’s a bendable ball full of holes. Easy for baby to grab and try to eat. Tons of fun.

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Jumperoo–Love it. They are so adorable when they bounce! Also, as they’ve gotten bigger and better with their motor control, they’ve discovered more of the toys and functions.

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Exersaucer–Love it too. And just like the jumperoo, they’ve figured out more fun stuff that this does and noises that it makes.

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Taggies ball–Tinkly bell sound plus big and squishy plus lots of tags to grab/eat. What’s not to love?

Tell me what your babies love to play with!

Book Review and Giveaway!

I bought several pregnancy books (including What to Expect When You’re Expecting) so I could keep up with my babies in utero. To prepare for outside babies, I got several more books, each with a specific focus (twins; sleep; medical stuff; soothing techniques; developmental leaps). I wondered if there was some kind of all-encompassing book that would tell me everything in one place. However, I didn’t even attempt to find out if there were such a book, because it just seemed too overwhelming. And once they were born, I certainly didn’t have time or energy to pore over crowded shelves at a bookstore.

So when I was contacted recently by What To Expect and asked if I would be willing to do a review and/or giveaway of their book series, I was pretty psyched to learn that there IS an all-encompassing book! What to Expect the First Year talks about everything new parents want to and need to know about their new and growing babies.

The bulk of What to Expect the First Year is organized by month (the first month, the second month, etc), so it’s easy to pick up and find the information relevant to your current baby needs. Included in the month chapters are mini information sections about things you need to know and things that you might be concerned about. Within the Fifth Month chapter, for example, there’s a section on feeding. [That organization is actually my least favorite thing about these books (I noticed it in the pregnancy one too)–a lot of information is kind of scattered all around the book. I suppose I just need to remember to scan the Table of Contents in case there’s something of use in a different section than wherever I’m reading.]

The book is very even-keeled and non-judgmental, which is much appreciated. It rationally and objectively discusses both sides of hotbutton issues like formula vs breastfeeding, cloth vs disposable diapering, circumcision, and immunizations. It’s clear that this book is not a parenting philosophy book, it’s a book about helping you do your best with your baby. It’s also prone to silly extended metaphors.

There are some sections at the beginning that talk about foundations like baby gear, doctors, feeding, and babycare basics. If you’ve ever read *anything* about babies, you’ve likely already read plenty about some of those topics–but again, I definitely appreciate having everything in one place.

There are also several appendices: One is a collection of baby food recipes, which, as a non-cook, I definitely appreciate. Another is a list of childhood illnesses. It’s all too easy to wonder and worry and obsess and worry about baby health, so I will probably be skipping that section, personally. However, there’s also a collection of easy-to-understand ‘home remedies’ as well as a medicine dosage chart. Knock on wood, my babies haven’t been sick yet, but when it happens (and it surely will, over and over again), I will be glad to have a resource to refer to.

So far, I’ve read a few full chapters and skimmed other bits and pieces. The parts I read had information that I had probably already seen in various other places, but again, I like having everything all in one place and in print (as opposed to online, where it’s so easy to go down a rabbithole of links). And every source has slightly different information, so it’s still good to read ‘again.’

So overall, I think a book like What to Expect the First Year is a great addition to the new parent’s bookshelf, as a starting reference guide at the least. I’m sure I’ll be picking it up each month to scan for development expectations, milestones, and assorted tips.

Now on to the giveaway–my very first one! Exciting!

The books available are:

What to Expect Before You’re Expecting

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting

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What to Expect the First Year

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To enter, leave a comment with the title you’d like to win (make sure you include your email when you ‘sign’ your comment, so I can contact you).  Open to residents of US and Canada.

The deadline is Friday, June 14, 2013 at 1159pm Pacific time. Two winners will be chosen at random.  I will update this post with the names of the winners by Sunday, June 16, 2013.

Winners are Rabi and Glogirl! Congratulations and thank you all for playing!!

For more, visit the What to Expect website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

I received the books for review, but was not compensated. All opinions are my own.

Gear for Babies and Twins, Part 3: For the House

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. 🙂

Previously:

Pregnancy Must Haves

Part 1: For You

Part 2: For the Babies

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.

In General

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.

Bedroom/Living Room

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

White Noise Machine and Projector:

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.

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Kitchen

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.)

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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!

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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.

Gear for Babies and Twins, Part 2: For Them

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. 🙂

My list got really long, so I broke it into three parts. I’ll update this post with links to the others once they’re up.

Previously:

Pregnancy Must Haves

Part 1: For You

On to Part 2: For the Babies. We have kept things pretty basic, I think, more focused on survival and real needs instead of fancy extras.

(When you’re ready: Part 3: For the House)

Burp cloths:
Gerber Folding Diapers are by far the best burp cloths. Very absorbent, big, and cheap. Get A LOT of them. Can’t have too many. So get more than you think you’ll need; you’ll use them. (And be careful, there are different types/names but the packages look the same. Flatfold is a big giant square. Then there’s birdseye, and there’s a third name too. You want the thicker prefold ones–I still don’t know which is which.)

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Bibs:

You need a lot of them. No, even more than that. Really, A LOT. Two babies + 6-8 feedings per day + spit up tendencies = the need for a large bib (and burp cloth!) supply and frequent laundry. aden + anais muslin bibs are by far the best bibs we have. Also very absorbent and big, but not cheap. They have three snaps on the neck, so they’ll adjust in size as the babies do, meaning they’ll probably last all year, so they’re worth the price. Get as many as you can afford. We have two sets and just got another set. I just recently learned about their extra large burpy bibs too. I can’t believe I hadn’t seen or heard about them before!

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Diapers:

We liked Pampers Swaddlers the best (and they wore them in the hospital). We’re now using the Costco diapers and they’re working well. The box of 210 diapers lasts us about two weeks now. When they were much littler and pooing all the time, we went through boxes of 200+ in a week or so.

Carrier/sling/wrap:

I know babywearing is a hallmark of attachment parenting, but I think it’s sensible for everyone, regardless of your philosophy. Having two babies means it’s even more important to be able to hold one baby hands-free. So many ways it’s helpful: carry the one who’s being cranky; alternate holding them so they’re off their heads (flat head has got to be more prevalent with twins, who can’t both be carried at the same time all day); put one in to go to sleep; carry one and put the other in the shopping cart; two of you can carry them on walks without dealing with stroller hassle. We used carriers when we took our four-week-olds to the neighborhood holiday party–it meant we could eat and we also didn’t have to worry about other people trying to touch the babies!

If you’re new parents like us, it can’t hurt to try lots of different carriers to figure out which one you and your babies like best and that works best for you. I’ve mentioned large-scale consignment stores and multiple clubs before–carriers are a perfect thing to look for there. We have two Ergos with infant inserts (both of those came from craigslist), a Baby Bjorn (multiples club sale), a Moby wrap (craigslist), and three slings (multiples club sale and classifieds).

The sling we have is no longer being made new, so there’s no website or anything. You might be able to find one on ebay or craigslist though. It’s called Kangaroo Korner, and it’s a pouch. Super easy to put on (tying a Moby is a pain!), super quick to get the baby in, and both babies LOVE it. This is our magic bullet for crying babies. It does hurt my back, though I think it’s worth it!  Plus they’re so cute with just their head sticking out. Sweet babies.

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The Baby Bjorn is a good one too, once you know how to buckle the thing on (our nanny had to show me! but it’s super simple and fast once you know how it works). Babies stay awake in there much easier than in the sling, so we use that one during the day now to carry a baby for awhile. Plus, a baby can face forward in this one, which I’ve tried once or twice, and I have a feeling both our babies are going to be really into that very soon.

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There are lots more options for carriers and wraps, so read up and visit a store where you can try them on. There are also babywearing groups you can join to learn about the different options and that will loan you a wrap or carrier to try out. Bear in mind that all babies are different, and some are very particular about what they do and don’t like. Our babies seem to be pretty easy going and like everything so far.

Nosefrida

Babies get a lot of crap in their noses. It is SO SATISFYING to get stuff out of their tiny noses, but obviously it’s pretty difficult. I read about this snotsucker device on a blog awhile ago and ordered it to help get the gunk out easier. Sure enough, it works and it’s still very satisfying.

Calendula oil

The babies’ legs started getting super dry a few weeks ago. Our nanny mentioned calendula oil as a good skin moisturizer. I got some of the oil but next time I would probably get some calendula-infused lotion, which might be easier to dispense and would make me less oily when applying it. It hasn’t cured the scaliness (I’m wondering if it’s the baby soap that’s drying them out), but it has definitely helped.

Clothes

Some bodysuits. Zip-up footies and snap footies (zips are easier, but the snaps mean faster diaper changes). Swaddling blankets like SwaddleMe, the Miracle Blanket, and HALO SleepSacks.

In Conclusion

If you are going to have twins, keep the ‘stuff’ to a minimum. Babies themselves don’t need much!

 

Continued!

Part 1: For You

Part 3: For the House

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