Thursday, August 30, 2012

7 Quick Takes: Volume 14: Newborn Twin Essentials

I thought it would be fun, in the spirit of my experiences this summer with Emily and Erin, to share a list of the things that helped us the most! I definitely looked for lists like this while I was pregnant, so hopefully this will help a twin mama-to-be or a new twin mama out there! We definitely loved more than just these seven, but these are the things that really helped us get through the most difficult weeks of this summer. Feel free to share what worked for you in the comments - I'd love to hear from you!

--- 1 ---

Lots of onesies and footie sleepers. These are essential. Babies are messy. Spitting up and diaper overflows are a given, and I definitely knew to expect those. What I didn't expect? That every time our girls drank a bottle or nursed, some of the milk would end up on their neck and the neck of their outfit. Bib or no bib, they are always damp after they eat. So we change their clothes pretty frequently. You'll do a lot of laundry as a new mom (at least someone will) but it's still helpful to have two to three days' worth of clothes for your twins as well as yourself (see below) just in case you get behind. And you will get behind, but that's okay.

--- 2 ---

Lots of shirts for Mom (and Dad!). I was really excited about not having to squeeze too-small maternity clothes over my giant belly anymore, but I hadn't thought much beyond that about what I'd wear post-baby. The first few weeks, while I adjusted to things like spit-up, diaper mishaps, and milk - everywhere - I felt like I was constantly changing my shirt. It obviously varies from person to person, but make sure you have a few different options on hand size-wise, even if it means you have something to return once things settle down a bit. I've decided my favorite tops are deep-v-neck cotton tees from Old Navy or Gap, worn with a cami underneath for modesty and nursing coverage. Shirt goes up, cami goes down when it's time to eat, and I'm all covered! I've also found them to be the most flattering to my post-baby body. I really need to find some more.

--- 3 ---

Boppy pillows. If you haven't seen these ingenious baby-snugglers, you really need to check them out! For the first couple of weeks I was home with Emily and Erin on my own, we really didn't leave the couch except for diaper changes. It was so nice to be able to prop the girls up and have them next to me, knowing they were comfortable and supported. Now that they are getting bigger, we aren't using the pillows quite as much for propping, but we've definitely gotten a lot of use out of them so far! They can also be used to nurse or bottle-feed more ergonomically, and we use them quite a bit for that.

--- 4 ---

LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of diapers. And a few more, while you're at it. And wipes. LOTS of wipes. I can only speak from the disposable diaper perspective, but if you have twins, you will find yourself changing a lot of diapers. Several hundred in the first few months, in fact. We were extremely blessed to have two very generous "diaper showers", where we received packages of diapers from everyone who attended the shower. We still haven't used them all, but we've gone through a lot! You'll want to make sure you have plenty of newborn size, of course, but unless your babies are pretty large at birth you'll probably use some preemie size as well. You can always return them if you don't need them, but both our 6- and 7-pound babies wore preemie for the first two weeks, as did my friend's 8-pounder. An added bonus of our diaper showers has been getting to try a bunch of different diaper brands and see which ones we like the best!

--- 5 ---

Grab and go food. No, I'm not talking McDonald's. I'm talking about cold cereal, PBJ fixings, cut-up veggies, granola bars, protein drinks and fruit. You will be awake off and on for 24 hours a day, and you will be hungry. Make sure there is plenty to eat on hand. Once you've gotten past the first couple of weeks at home, you'll get to eating more regular meals, and you will want to have freezer meals. Yep, this one's a two-fer. By freezer meals, I don't necessarily mean frozen dinners, although there are healthy ones of those. I'm talking about lasagna, various chicken dishes (stirfry, taco filling, etc.), chili, enchiladas, and really any other dinner that can be frozen. One thing we've used a lot of is frozen, pre-cooked brown rice. My mom and I cooked a huge batch of it and froze it in quart bags, which hold 3-4 servings. We just thaw as needed. It goes well with all of those chicken dishes. Some nights you will feel like cooking; others you won't. If you don't like to cook - I happen to enjoy it - you will need more of these meals.

This menu board is a really good nesting project, by the way, if you're reading this while pregnant. It really helps with planning to use all of those freezer meals!

--- 6 ---

A good breast pump. I was lucky enough to be given one of these by a friend who didn't want to have any more kids. I bought the parts that actually touch the milk and your skin new, but the pump itself is fine. I have gotten a ton of use out of it. Emily and Erin didn't nurse well until they were about 5-6 weeks old, so we primarily bottle-fed them pumped milk. Needless to say, the pump got quite a workout. Now that I will be working part-time, I will need to pump at work, so it will be getting another good workout. Even while I'm at home all day now, I'm still pumping twice a day, so the pump is definitely a heavy-use item. Mine is a Medela, and I really like it.

--- 7 ---

A good double stroller. In our case, we have two. One is a fold-up "Snap N'Go", which is a frame that infant car seats just drop into. The other is a really nice double jogging stroller, which also happens to accept the car seats via the cupholder trays. The difference is width. The "Snap N'Go" is an in=line stroller, where the car seats sit one in front of the other. The jogger is a side=by=side, which is much wider and doesn't always fit through a door. I much prefer pushing the jogging stroller, but the Snap N'Go definitely has its place. For example, the jogging stroller currently lives in our trunk due to its size and our apartment's lack of storage. I can take the girls down in the Snap N'Go to our car, load them up, fold the stroller flat, slide it into the front seat, and then have something to carry them and anything I've bought or acquired on our outing up to our apartment. It's really versatile. When we want to go out for a run or a walk, I definitely go for the jogger every time. It offers a lot more shock absorption, so the girls enjoy the outing a lot more. There are a ton of double stroller options, but do your homework. I spent one bout of bed rest researching strollers, and I'm very glad I did. We have exactly what we need for pretty much every situation.

What worked best for your twins? Or, if you don't have twins, what was your most-used baby item? Leave a comment and let me know!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Ergo/Beco baby carriers are essential for families with more than one kiddo. Comfy for baby and momma (or daddy). I wouldn't survive without mine. I don't have twins, but I have 4 kids 7 and under, and my carriers have saved me!

    1. Very true! We love our Ergos. We haven't used them too much this summer, probably because we haven't gotten out that much, but they were really nice when we took the girls to the coast for the day. I think once it's a little bit cooler here we will be able to use them more - right now, it gets so warm and they are so covered by the Ergos I worry they will pass out!

    2. Yeah, I had my youngest last summer and we used a gauze fabric wrap. I loved it, it kept baby comfy but cooler than the Beco or Ergo! But it was still pretty hot. We live in AZ and it's hard to babywear.

      You can also put a wrapped ice pack in the pocket to help keep baby cool!

  2. Those pictures are SO cute! I can't believe how big they're getting. And good tips :) although I won't need them for a while!

  3. Even though I don't have twins, I am having flashbacks to when my young daughters were newborns after reading your list! The Boppy pillow was a must have for sure! Even now with a 17 month-old I'm still going through tons of wipes! Have a great week!