I was shocked when I found out I was pregnant with not one but TWO babies. I had started to prepare for having one baby, but I had no idea what to do for twins! Once you get over the shock of the news, where do you begin?
First stop is to pick up a book or twin educator to reference, the internet is a wonderful thing but sometimes there is too much information (conflicting information at that) so a book will give you the guidance needed while cooking those babies. Twins 101 is an easy read (because who has the time?) with 50 tips from a Doctor and fellow twin Mom covering the main twin topics from pregnancy through birth. There are now a wonderful array of twin education classes online from expecting twins through to breastfeeding twins — all that you can join from the comfort of your home.
Next up in your prep for babies is the registry. With twins additional questions are raised and items needed. With no guidance I just went crazy and registered for everything then did a lot of returning. Learn from my mistakes people and check out our registry guide, complete with a handy dandy cheat sheet. Honest reviews of everything you need for your twinies. Don’t waste a shower gift on unnecessary items (wipe warmer), save that for the big ticket items you will need like strollers and those you need double of – cribs.
Strollers and Carseats
Strollers and car seats are definite must haves. There are so many options and combinations it can be overwhelming. Lucky for you, we are friends . When choosing car seats be sure to keep in mind the weight minimum; many (not all) twins are preemies with low birth weight, you do not want that car seat to be the barrier between coming home, believe me. Our pick is the Chicco Key Fit; it is compatible with nearly every stroller (this is HUGE), great for preemies, affordable, easy to install, and most importantly a highly rated infant seat (Top infant seat in 2014 by Consumer Reports).
After you finally chose the right car seat, you enter the stroller thunderdome. For the better part of the first year (especially during the first 6 months and winter) you will use a stroller frame. Your car seats simply click in to the lightweight stroller frame; this is a game changer for c-section MOMs. The Joovy Twin Roo+ is our pick, this stroller frame has a small footprint; making it easy to maneuver and able to fit in the smallest of trunks. The car seats sit side by side giving you easy access to both bebes.
Now for regular stroller, do you want a side by side or tandem? Full size, umbrella, or jogging? Do you want car seat compatibility? Because there are so many options you might want to wait (or just wait to open the box) until you better understand your strollin’ needs. Personally, I love the Uppababy G-Link, a durable double umbrella stroller with a compact fold is great for taking to the store, museum, and on trips.
A double umbrella stroller is a perfect solution for any city mouse mamas or travelers, lightweight and easy to carry up and down (and up and down) the stairs. If you have the trunk space or plan on keeping the stroller in your garage for strolls around the block then a full size stroller or a jogging stroller (if instead of strolling, you jog or run) is for you. When going with a full size stroller you still have that choice of tandem or side by side. Again, there is no right answer, depending on your lifestyle & location everyone has a different preference. Finally, in the stroller maze, if you already have a singleton (or 2) that still needs a seat in the stroller we break down the best strollers for 3+ babes (and are in awe of you)!
Phew. Car seats and strollers are a bit much. Congrats checking that off your list (all from your comfy couch or bed –thank you internet). Onto the remainder of your registry and twin prep!
Sleep & Activity
Another big component of the ol’ registry is where you are going to place your children to sleep. For newborns there are a few in room options (double bassinets, pack n’ plays, co-sleeper) but eventually you will need two cribs.
With twins bouncers and/or swings are more important than ever. These baby “holders” lend a hand when you have to pee, change one baby, feed the babies, or just need an extra set of hands (because — you have two infants). Register for two of these but only open one until you know if your babies like them. Staring at two $200 unused swings is no fun for anyone. My favorite is the Tiny Love Rocker. This multitasker is perfect for MOMs. Reclining fully it is a perfect spot (one per baby) for your little ones to sleep in those early months. Adjust the recline to sit up or have a slight recline for feeding or playtime. A moveable mobile ensures the baby won’t get overstimulated. This rocker has a vibration setting for the seat and can be rocked with your foot (or hand).
Another fave of twin parents are the Bjorn Balance Bouncers, lightweight and transportable these make the perfect solution to moving the babies around the house with you or they fold up flat to pop in the trunk of your car when visiting friends/relatives.
Those are the biggies. Now you can make all the fun decisions like what nursery decor you want and if you will dress the twinnies the same, coordinating, or completely different. Make sure to check out my Top 5 essentials for twins. Also make sure you join your local multiples group and look to professional twin educators like Twin Love Concierge who can help you feel excited and not overwhelmed. Us twin mamas need to stick to together and help make raising two little ones a little bit easier!
About the Author
Annette recently left her corporate gig to hang out at home with her 17 month identical twin girls, her husband, crazy dog, and loner cat. She now shares all the lessons she learned the hard way on Lucie’s List Multiples; giving twin parents the guide she always wanted. Join her (and most likely a well deserved drink) on Facebook & Instagram.