Discovering I was pregnant with twins was truly the biggest surprise of my life! After the initial shock wore off, I began working through the logistics. I had lots of questions, like…
“How will this work…Where will they sleep? Can we all fit into our vehicle?” (We already had 4 kids…so we didn’t have a lot of extra space!)
“What do I need for twins? Do I really need two of everything?”
Preparing for Twins | Finding Answers
Thankfully—some of the answers came easily. We decided to put the babies in a sitting room connected to our master bedroom. After adding some French doors to the space, we created a make-shift, “5th bedroom.” And we were very fortunate that our Honda Pilot (which seats eight) enabled us to have 3 car seats (our fourth child was just 2 years-old when the twins were born). If you find yourself needing a bigger vehicle to accommodate your growing family, I can’t recommend a Honda Pilot high enough—love, love ours!!
Even though we had many baby supplies still on hand from our 2 year-old, it was obvious—twins would require a few extra items! But what do you really need when preparing for twins? I didn’t want to waste money buying lots of items that weren’t necessary. After having four other children, I knew babies don’t require quite as much gear as some want you to believe! (Just Say No to the Diaper Genie!!)
So, I did a lot of research and made purchases—some of them truly helpful during our challenging first year with newborn (extremely premature) twins! Here are my Top 11 items you really need when preparing for twins.
Subscribe and Save from Amazon in the very first thing I recommend to anyone expecting twins! It has been a huge time, money, and sanity saver for us! We used to go to Costco to stock up on paper-goods, like toilet paper and paper towels. Shortly after the twins were born, we began comparing Amazon’s prices to Costco’s—and Amazon, hands down, beat Costco’s best prices on our items.
Subscribing to 5 or more items for monthly delivery qualifies you for up to an additional 15% discount. And Amazon Prime members enjoy 20% off baby diapers and baby food when those items are included as part of 5 or more monthly subscription items. (Not necessary for utilizing Subscribe and Save, Amazon Prime costs $99 per year—which is totally worth it! I could go on and on about this! We use it all year…for toys, books, Amazon Prime Video, and our Subscribe and Save Items! With 6 kids, twins, and homeschooling—I can’t imagine doing life without my Amazon Prime!) We stopped renewing our Costco membership ($60) and felt our money was better spent on our Prime Membership.
Most of these purchases are large, bulky items that practically take up your whole cart in the store. And most of these are necessities–things you can’t be running out of! With twins, it is going to be harder to get in and out of the store…and you will be going through a lot of diapers, wipes, and formula! Give yourself peace of mind—have these items delivered to your doorstep each month. You will save time, money, and sanity! Do whatever you can to make life a little easier during your twins’ first year!
Initially, my goal was to breastfeed and pump for the twins—but because of their extreme prematurity and my difficulty in producing enough milk, our girls ended up on special formula for premature babies. I bought these bottles after reading so many rave reviews about Dr. Brown’s bottles and at the recommendation of our NICU. (Our girls were born at 26 weeks—so we spent a lot of time in the NICU!)
I was very pleased with these—and highly recommend Dr. Brown’s Bottles. We started with 4 oz bottles —and our girls used them for many months before needing the larger size. I will warn you—the first time I tried putting the bottle together, I was confused! But you will get the hang of them quickly and be able to put them together in your sleep (maybe literally)…
A couple of notes about bottles…You may be tempted to buy TONS of bottles. Here’s the thing—if you have tons of bottles, you will be washing tons of bottles. I remember wanting to cry looking at my giant stack of dirty baby bottles. Eventually, I simplified and went to having about six-eight bottles total (which truly, is MORE than enough). In the NICU, they only kept one bottle for each baby. The nurses washed the one bottle after each feeding—GENIOUS. One bottle is so much less overwhelming to wash than a whole entire sink of bottles. So learn from the NICU nurses—just wash as you go and keep it simple—you don’t need a ton of bottles!!
3) Boon Bottle Drying Rack and Accessories
I just love the Boon Bottle Drying Rack…it brought some cuteness and cheer to my counter (and to a not-so-fun job)! Plus it was so useful! The flower drying accessory worked perfectly for drying out nursing pump pieces, bottle parts, and other small odds and ends. With twins—you will want the larger drying rack (grass)!
4) 3 Sets of Crib Sheets—6 Total
Obviously, you already know you will need two cribs and crib sheets! My question was—how many sheets? I think 3 sets for each baby is the right amount. You always need to have one spare set handy—and with twins, you may find yourself a bit behind on the laundry. Three sets for each crib will be plenty!
I gave up having any other kind of crib bedding with my twins—no bumpers, no pretty blankets/quilts. Our babies were so small—it was just too much of a safety risk. Plus—bumpers are just one more thing to mess with when changing sheets. Instead, I chose really cute sheets and enjoyed switching up the colors and style, without having to worry about matching the bumpers or quilts.
5) Play Mat Gym
I love play mats/activity gyms for babies! My goal for the twins was to find one large enough for two babies.
The mat we purchased is no longer available—but I found an option that looks even bigger and better than what we used! The Tiny Love Dynamic Gymini is much larger than other baby play mat options—perfect for twins! I wish this had been available for my girls!
Having a safe place to put your babies is a complete MUST HAVE (because you may actually have to use the bathroom)!
This is an important piece of gear that makes managing the logistics of taking two babies out and about much easier. We had A LOT of doctor’s appointments that first year—I’m not sure what I would have done without my stroller!
We purchased the Joovy Twin Roo—which has since been updated to the Joovy Twin Roo +. The updated model appears to be compatible with a wider variety of car seats, and both babies can be facing the same direction. I’m a Joovy fan because of the unique way the car seats are placed in the stroller—side by side, offering easy access and monitoring. Be aware; this is a large stroller—and may not fit into every vehicle. Additionally, you will need to buy a car seat adapter set for the improved Joovy Twin Roo+–the adapters are based on your car seat type.
8) Car Seats
Again— like purchasing two cribs, you already know you need these! But we spent a lot of time researching various models, and I wanted to let you know how pleased we were with our Chicco Keyfit 30 car seats.
In addition to providing excellent safety, we wanted a slender model that would fit side-by-side in our Honda Pilot—the Chicco Keyfit 30s worked perfectly and were easy to install. And because our babies were so small—we appreciated that the Chicco was able to safely accommodate a 4 lb baby.
Treat yourself to this body pillow now! My sister handed down to me her pregnancy body pillow—and I absolutely loved it. The pillow truly made sleeping much more comfortable—my twin pregnancy was so much harder on my body than my singletons…The body pillow was a huge help to me! And after your babies arrive, the pillow is perfect for propping them up! I used it to help feed both girls their bottles and while the twins were learning to sit. Definitely a multi-purpose item that will benefit you beyond your pregnancy!
10) Bouncy Chair
We did have two bouncy chairs—which was convenient, but probably not necessary. You definitely want to have at least one—they are helpful for managing the logistics of two babies. We were fortunate to already have a baby swing and rocking cradle—neither of my twins really cared for them.
I caution you before buying double of anything—your babies may not like it, so wait and be sure before you buy a second one. In a way, it was nice to have one of several items—we could offer the babies a variety of stimuli or soothing activities. Having one swing, cradle, bouncy chair, (and eventually activity saucer) gave them lots of variety without taking up excessive space in our home. I chose a simple bouncy chair—and often removed the activity bar (my babies grew tired of it quickly); plus it made it easier to get the babies in and out of the chair.
These are so adorable! You can find them with just about any animal you love—we ended up with 4 different ones: elephant, giraffe, lamb, and monkey. The WubbaNub’s use the same pacifiers used in our NICU—Philips Avent Soothies.
We had never used pacifiers much with our other kids—but found them essential with our twins. The WubbaNubs will help you keep everyone’s pacifiers straight—and the sweet animals add just enough weight that the pacifiers aren’t constantly falling on the floor.
A Couple More Thoughts on What You Don’t Need
I’ve already mentioned you don’t need tons of bottles or two of every kind of baby item. I also have a strong aversion to Diaper Genies—they smell so bad when opened, and the refills are expensive. We just use a trash can (actually a trash bag hooked to a nail by the door) in our garage for all dirty diapers.
Additionally, I had a really bad experience using a bottle warmer with the twins—it was so hard to clean, and I felt like it was actually making the girls’ bottles smell bad/unsanitary. If you need to warm up a cold baby bottle, just boil or heat water in a large Pyrex measuring cup. Then place the bottle with cold milk into the Pyrex filled with warm water for a minute or so… (Always gently shake and test the temperature of the milk or formula before giving to your baby!)
I would stay away from wipe warmers too—I’ve found that the last few wipes begin getting a little brown and are wasted. My babies never really minded room temperature wipes…Plus—I never end up changing my babies on a changing table (which is probably where you would keep a wipe warmer).
I haven’t bothered about having a changing table since my first child (he had a lovely nursery…). Instead, I use a quilt or baby blankets on the floor to change my babies’ diapers. I keep a basket filled with diapers and wipes handy (under a side table in my hearth room). This set-up has just been easier and more convenient for me. Additionally, with the twins, I could just lay them both down on the floor together to change diapers and get dressed. Plus—I never had to worry about someone rolling off the changing table!
Congratulations and Best Wishes!
I am so excited for you—twins are such an amazing blessing! The first year is a bit of a blurr—but things will get so much easier! I hope my list of needed items helps you prepare for your sweet babies! Welcome to the twin mommy club—there is much love and solidarity among our sisterhood!
Please let me know if you have any questions—I’d be happy to help and support you in any way I can!
Finally, please know I’m praying for you—your pregnancy and your babies!
P.S. You can read all about my twin story:
- Ignorance is Bliss (Part One)
- It Gets Real (Part Two)
- Ready or Not, Here Come the Babies (Part Three)