The first few months with twins is always crazy. We made it extra crazy by throwing in a hospital stay with my toddler and a move. I really don’t recommend that. There are a few baby items that have been essential to helping us survive the first few months with twins. My twins are babies number 5 and 6 so I already knew what I was doing. The way I care for twins has been different than the way I have cared for my other babies in so many ways though and I’ve had to make some adjustments.
A few of the things that helped us survive the first few months were not things but they were definitely important.
1. Have help. We were lucky enough to have my mom come to help for 3 months at the end of my pregnancy and the first few months of the twins’ lives. That was a lifesaver. If you have any one offer to help you, take them up on it. It’s very hard to do everything on your own, especially while you are recovering.
2. Simplify Meals. We had several people bring us in meals and that was an enormous help. I’ve had to seriously relax my standards when it comes to meal time for the moment. It’s a phase, and I remind myself of that often, but right now we are doing what we need to. We use a lot of paper plates, do easy dinners and keep our freezer well stocked with frozen food. My kids are no strangers to the microwave these days and I’m okay with that. I try and cook at least once a week (and I cook extra so we can eat it for a few days). There’s time to cook more when the twins are older.
3. Go easy on yourself. This has really been a hard one for me. After being on bed rest for so long I’m ready to jump back into things but I can’t. I’m sleep deprived, out of shape, and constantly juggling babies. Some things just have to slide for now. We moved a few weeks ago and I gave up unpacking boxes. Not just slowed down. Completely gave up. We unpacked what we need. I’ll get to the rest when I get to it. When the babies don’t sleep well we have pajama days. Sometimes I shower without washing my hair just so I get a shower in. With twins, you do what you can and that’s good enough.
As far as baby gear goes, I definitely have some favorites that make my life easier. I shared these in the video below but I’ll give you a quick run-through here.
- A great double stroller. Your stroller is now your best friend. It’s nearly impossible to leave the house without one, especially if you have other kids. A lot of twin moms recommend the Snap n Go car seat carriers for the first few months. I seriously considered getting one but I wanted a stroller that was super smooth to push and one that I wouldn’t have to stop using in a few months.
I had my Britax B-Ready from my daughter and have loved it for years so I added the lower infant car seat adaptor so it could hold both my infant car seats. It’s super easy to push and it’s so compact that people often can’t tell that I have two babies in it. My twins are now big enough that I occasionally use the full size seats in the stroller but for quick trips in and out it is so easy to just pull the frame out of my trunk and pop in the infant car seats. I also have a BOB Revolution Duallie and a Valco Baby Tri-Mode (that I’m using with the Joey seat as a triple stroller) for longer trips out and I love both of them. As the babies get bigger I know there will be times they’ll both want to be able to see everything (like the zoo) and a side-by-side will work better in those situations.
- A baby wrap. I have a bunch of baby wraps from my daughter and I’ve been putting them to good use with the twins. My favorite is my Boba wrap because I like the stretch but that’s a personal preference. I mention the Moby in the video because that’s what I had in my house at the time. The Boba lives in my car. When the twins were brand new I was able to wrap them up together but I’ll admit I never really mastered that. If you are more patent that I am (and more coordinated) I’m told you really can wrap twins up together. I’m too sleep deprived to do it so I carry one baby at a time. Around the house, I’ll often carry whichever baby is fussier. It helps me get some one-on-one time since twins don’t get cuddled nearly as often as my singleton babies did simply because there are two of them. I also love the Baby K’tan for it’s simplicity. It’s so quick and easy to get a baby in and out, which is nice when you have to swap babies or nurse. I don’t feel like baby is quite as snug in there though so I don’t use that if I’m doing a lot of moving around like cleaning the house while baby wearing (and yes, that is possible).
- Hand sanitizer. Buy some. A lot of twins are born early so they are more susceptible to illness but even full term newborns can get very sick very quickly if they catch something. My twins were summer babies but there are still so many things going around right now and some of them are super scary. My kids are in a charter school that meets once a week and they all know they have to sanitize their hands before they even walk in the door. I like the Babyganics foaming hand sanitizer because the ingredients aren’t as scary but do whatever you have to do to keep the germs away.
- Pacifiers. Because you only have so many hands. My other babies never really took pacifiers and I didn’t really push it. This time I have. I’m working on mastering tandem nursing but I’m not quite there yet and sometimes there are times when both babies just want to cry. A pacifier buys me a few minutes to get one baby happy before I get to the second one. Mine like the Soothie brand but all babies have their own favorites.
- Fisher Price Rock n Play. I’ve heard great things about these for a while but never used them with my other kids. This time they’ve been a life saver, although I feel guilty at how much time my twins spend in them. I need more hands. One baby has reflux and wasn’t gaining weight as quickly as the other baby until we started having her sleep in the Rock n Play at night. I’ve found a neat trick where you overlap the bottoms of the stand and you can rock two of these at once too which is super handy when I’m trying to work on the computer or at night. At the ABC Kids Expo earlier this month I saw that they are coming out with a self-rocking version of this, which would have been awesome the last few months.