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A few readers have recently asked me if we like our high chairs or car seats, and since the babies are just over a year old, I figured it was time that I shared my Ultimate Twin Baby Essentials List with ALL of my recommendations on the best products for twins with what we actually used (and didn’t end up using) with the babies as well as a free printable Twin Baby Essentials Checklist PDF (coming soon) as well as lots of informations, tips, and tricks for raising twins.
Also, I thought it would be good for transparency to share a bit of info on our family. I know I sometimes compare myself to other twin moms and feel bad about myself and then learn that they have a full-time nanny or a mommy’s helper or they’re 10 years younger than me and seem to have all the energy in the world! My husband and I are in our last 30s/early 40s. We hired a night nanny/doula for 2-nights a week for the first 7 weeks with the babies. She gave me a lot of information/knowledge as well as a couple of nights of nearly uninterrupted sleep (aside from pumping) each week. My mom and my in-laws all live close-by, so in the beginning, my mom and my in-laws switched off days and came over to help with the babies while I took a nap. Now, they come over 1-2 times a week to help out and visit with the babies. I have a housekeeper who comes every other week and does the deep cleaning on the house, but we still do all the laundry and dishes. And my husband works full-time (usually overtime hours 6 days a week), but luckily he works from home 90% of the time, so he’s here to help if I have an emergency, plus he gets to see the babies a lot more than he would than if he worked in an office. I’m a full-time stay-at-home mom, a part-time blogger, and we’re still working on renovating our house which feels like another part time job. I’ve cut back on work a lot this year in order to focus on me, my family, finishing the house, and work that I’m passionate about again. And at 17-months, I hired a part-time nanny who comes 1-2 days a week and watches the twins while I get shit done around the house.
UPDATE: Ok, wow, I just finished and I realized that I really wrote A LOT. It’s a loooooong post. I’m sorry if you were looking for a quick list, but if you’re here because you’re looking for items that make life easier with twins and all the information on why the item is great, then you’re in the right place! Also, if you’re only having one baby, this list will work for you too, just cut the quantity in half if a quantity of more than one item is listed. And, if I somehow missed something, if you have a question, or if a link doesn’t work, please feel free to email me or leave a comment!
You also might also be wondering “Where is the Best Place to Register for Twins?” or “When to Start a Baby Registry for Twins?” The short answer is Amazon, Target, Walmart, and BuyBuyBaby about 2-3 weeks before you send out your baby shower invitations, but the long answer is a bit more complicated and as soon as I’m done with this post, I’ll share all of my tips and tricks on the best places to register and when to start your baby registry over on my Best Baby Registry Tips for Twins blog post (coming soon).
You can see our Twins’ Colorful Nursery here. It’s not styled for the photos like some blogs do (try to find a diaper pail in any styled nursery photos, I dare you), but instead it’s set up exactly how I use it (with the exception of the pillows/stuffed animals in the cribs which obviously I took out once the babies started sleeping in their cribs because we follow safe sleep guidelines). A year later, very few things have changed in there except for the following: some baby proofing, I’ll be putting standing legs on the rocking chair, and there’s now a few more baskets to corral all the toys.
- 2 Cribs // With two cribs, I just went with the IKEA Gulliver cribs. Simple, easy, and affordable at only $99 each.
- 2 Crib Mattresses // Same as above, went with these middle-of-the-line IKEA mattresses.
- 6-8 Crib Sheets // I LOVE these sheets from Anthro, and then these are my extras. I put three sets of sheets on at a time. There’s the base waterproof mattress protector that zips around the crib mattress and fully encases the mattress, then I top it with an additional fitted mattress protector, then a sheet, then a fitted mattress protector, then a sheet, another fitted mattress protector, and then the last sheet. If there is an accident (vomit or diaper leak – we’ve had both), I simply take off the soiled sheet and the fitted mattress protector below it and the bed is all ready for the baby. I don’t have to “change the sheets” unless I’m down to my bottom one. Also, it makes it so much easier to change the sheets each week – I simply take off the top two layers (the sheet and the fitted mattress protector) and it’s ready to go until I’m down to my last one, then I start all over again. I have 8 sheets total because I like to always keep a clean backup, but you could do this with 6 if you’re really good with timing your laundry and not letting it sit in the washing machine, but good luck because that all changes once you have twins.
- 6 Fitted Mattress Protectors // See above.
- 2 Fully Encased Mattress Protectors // See above. This is the base fully encased mattress protector that zips around the crib mattress and I hardly ever take it off.
- 2 Crib Skirts // Simple, white, hides the dust, the extra diapers, or the baby gear that I stored under the cribs. When it was time to lower the crib mattress down, I simply cut the crib skirts with pinking sheers because I didn’t have time to hem them.
- 1 Hamper // I love this cute little washing machine hamper! I have two – one in the upstairs nursery and one as part of the downstairs diaper changing station.
- 1 Chair // I can’t recommend a rocking chair for twins. Once they’re mobile, it becomes a smooshed finger or foot hazard. I didn’t breast feed my babies in the rocking chair – the nearby couch or my bed was more comfortable, and I hardly ever rock them in the chair. I’ll actually be switching out the rocking legs for standing legs as soon as I find a free hour. If you want a “rocking chair,” then take my advice and get a glider.
- Storage // Shelving Unit, Soft Boxes, Baby Hangers (two different colors if B/G twins), Book Shelves, etc.
Breastfeeding / Formula
If there is one area that I did not prep enough for, it’s with breastfeeding and formula. I have a lengthy discussion about it here on my Realities of Feeding Twins blog post. I prepped for the babies with all of the physical items, but I don’t feel like I learned enough about breastfeeding before they arrived and I wish I had done more research and honestly I wish we had hired our own lactation consultant to meet us while we were still in the hospital. (Our hospital had lactation consultants, but she went home for the evening before meeting with me and we had to ask several times to see her before she showed up the next day.) Basically, the short story is that I only produced enough breastmilk for one baby (even though we obviously split it for the two), so we supplemented with formula and while yes, breastfeeding is the best way to feed to your baby, if you have twins, don’t be afraid to supplement with formula. Despite issues with thrush, I pumped and we fed the babies breastmilk for 5 months and we supplemented with formula.
- 1 Table for Two // This is one of my top recommended products that makes life easier with twins. I cannot recommend this enough. My husband said it was the ultimate best “twins” purchase. It totally allows one person to feed both twins at the same time and not kill your back. It also allows the partner, grandparents, night nanny, etc. to feed both babies at the same time and not kill their backs, and allows the mom to some much needed sleep! If you’re 25 years old, you might not need this, but if you’re 36 and 41 years old and your parents are all 71+, then this Table for Two is a back saver! If you can find one used, be sure to inspect it before buying. We really used ours and it was disgusting at the end (we used it for just over 1 year). It’s really hard to clean the cover – you’re not supposed to take it off and it looks like a beast to get back on. The twins have blown out diapers while sitting in it and once the babies could hold their own bottles, they leaked milk/formula all over it. Plus, once they start crawling/walking, they rub their grubby dirty feet on the arm rests (they think those are their foot rests) and get that part of the seat super dingy dirty. So, while we tried to keep it clean, it was really stained at the very end. Had I known how gross and dirty it was going to get, I probably would have devised a homemade blanket with holes for the seat belts to throw over it in an attempt to keep it cleaner. But all in all, it was great and I HIGHLY recommend it.
- 1 Nursing Pillow // If you’re planning on breastfeeding, I recommend this nursing pillow – it supports both babies and your back and has a pocket so you can store nipple guards, burp clothes, your phone, water bottle, etc.
- 2 Boppys // If you don’t purchase a Table for Two, at least purchase two Boppys or a Twin Z Pillow. The Boppys were great so that the grandparents were able to more comfortably hold and feed a baby so I could take a nap. Also, I used the Boppys for some tummy time, or I would take one with me to the park so I could prop one in the Boppy to feed them while I held the other.
- 1 Pump // I was able to rent the below Medela Symphony medical-grade pump from the hospital and it worked great! I didn’t link to it so you would purchase it (it is WAY too expensive for that), but so you can see what it comes with and you can ask your doctor or insurance provider about renting one.
- Extra Pump Parts and Breast Shields // The pump from the hospital came with the pump, tubes, 1 set of bottles, etc., but I had to purchase some larger breast shields with some valves and membranes because I had some issues with nipple thrush (yeast infection of the nipples) and we had to clean the pump parts every single time I pumped (which was every 3-4 hours).
- 1 Nipple Shield // I sometimes had to use a Nipple Shield when breastfeeding to get them started. I didn’t even know about these things until I met with a lactation consultant.
- 1-2 Hands-Free Pumping Bra // This frees up your hands so you can do other things, like feed your babies in the Table for Two, browse Instagram, work, etc. I recommend getting two because you’ll need to wash it and I like to hang dry my bras. I also needed to wash mine quite a bit due to my issues with nipple thrush.
- Milk Storage Bags // I didn’t use these because I didn’t produce enough milk. I pumped milk and my babies drank it the next time they ate. You’ll get some sample milk storage bags inside the free baby gift boxes when you sign up for the different baby registries and I recommend saving those until you decide if you need more – then you can always run out to Target or get an Amazon Prime order for the next day if you need to order some.
- Microwave Sterilizer Bags // These things are time savers. Like I said above, we had to sterilize the pump parts every time I pumped due to issues with nipple thrush, so there was a lot of sterilizing because I was pumping every 3-4 hours. Just don’t forget to add the water to the bag when you use them or else you could shrink your pump parts.
- Breast Pads // These ones are SUPER soft. Thanks to nipple thrush, my doctor recommended that I change my breast pads out every time I pumped to keep the area dry.
- Nipple Cream // You’ll receive some Lanisoh nipple cream samples in the different baby registry free gift boxes, but I preferred this nipple cream.
- Bottles // We’ve tried various bottles, but the best ones have been the Dr. Brown’s bottles, especially since we dealt with a LOT of reflux with Wren in the first few months. We started with 4 of the 4 oz bottles, made sure we (including the babies) liked them, then ordered more through Amazon Prime. I’ve seen blogs that don’t recommend Dr. Brown’s bottles for twins simply because they have a lot of parts that need to be cleaned and if you don’t have a dishwasher, I might agree with that, but twins often come early and have reflux issues and these are the best bottles for that.
- Preemie Nipples // The Level 1 nipples that come with the bottles are too fast for newborns, and our night nanny recommended we get Preemie Nipples.
- Level 2 Nipples // At some point you’ll need to upgrade to a faster flow Level 2 (and maybe a Level 3 or 4) Nipple for the bottles. Wren has stayed at a Level 2 and Hank drinks with a Level 3 and they both finish at about the same time. I can’t remember exactly when they upgraded to the larger flow sizes, but if your baby is fussy when eating and refusing the bottle, it may be time to try a faster flow size.
- 1-2 Drying Racks (the large size, and possibly one for each floor) // My husband thought this was a waste of money when I first purchased one. Then we had the babies and he was doing dishes and saw the light. Then we bought a second one to store the bottles on the second floor where we fed the babies the majority of the time.
- 2 Dishwasher Baskets // Same as above. My husband did not understand that the bottles had tons of little parts and it’s easier to put everything into these baskets to wash them. We started with one and then quickly bought a second. At one year, we’re still using them for all the sippy cups parts.
- 16-20 Bibs // I had some cute ones from Copper & Pearl, MatiMati Baby, and Hemming Birds and then I used these underneath those other bibs when the babies were extra messy and drippy and I didn’t want to change clothes.
- 20 Burp Cloths //All of those same companies above (Copper & Pearl, MatiMati, and Hemming Birds) all offer burp clothes, and I recommend getting a few cute ones for your diaper bag, but at home, we used these thick cloth diapers as burp clothes because they’re inexpensive and heavy duty!
- Formula // In the hospital and once home but when we had to go out (usually to a doctor appointment) we used these Enfamil Nursettes. In the beginning when we were mixing formula at home, we used Enfamil Gentlease, then switched to Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity on the recommendation of our Night Nanny (she might have preferred HIPP or Holle formula, but that stuff is REALLY expensive), and then once we weren’t having reflux issues anymore, we switched to Earth’s Best Organic Dairy because it didn’t have as much sugar.
- Probiotic Colic Drops // Our night nanny also recommended these drops to help with the reflux issues and I can’t tell you for sure that they helped with reflux, but I can tell you that they kept the babies’ poop regular!
We started the babies on solids when they were 6 months old. We did our own version of Baby Led Weaning and I’ll be writing a blog post soon and will link to it here as soon as it is up.
- 2 High Chairs // I know these high chairs are on the more expensive side, but I LOVE them. They’re easy to clean because they don’t have a lot of crevices in which food can hide. Plus, they just look good. There’s so much baby gear around the house and I figure these kiddos will be using these chairs for several years, so I wanted a high chair that looked good in my house. The straps are a bit difficult to master, so during the first few weeks of solid foods I did NOT strap them into the chairs so that I would be able to quickly take them out if one of them started choking, but now at 6 months of practice, I’m good to go and they get strapped in every time. Side note: Nothing will suction onto the trays, so don’t buy those EZ Peazy mats or Avanchy bamboo suction plates/bowls unless you’re going to use the chair just pulled up to your table. We also have a couple of the $23 IKEA highchairs to take to grandparents houses (or a restaurant if I knew they didn’t have high chairs, enough high chairs, etc.). You can totally use the IKEA chairs as your main high chairs, but just know you might want to create a modified/hacked foot rest for them.
- 2-6 Bibs // I love these silicon pouch bibs. They’re easy to clean and they catch so much of the food that the babies drop while they’re learning how to eat. At 1-year old, they understand “What’s in your pouch?” and will eat the food from there. It saves me a lot of floor cleaning since we don’t have a dog. I have 4 of these bibs and I make do because my husband works from home and he washes the high chair trays and bibs during his breaks, but if I was home alone with the babies, I would want 3 sets just so I wouldn’t have to do dishes all day long.
- 4 Straw Cups // We went through a few different straw cups until I found these cups and they are awesome! No, they aren’t leak proof, but the leak proof cups are all very difficult to suck anything up through the straws and so Hank wasn’t getting it. As soon as I switched to these cups, Hank figured out how to drink out of a straw and I was able to wean them off bottles within a week. I’ve purchased four cups total so I have two more milk and two for water.
- 2 Open Cups // We haven’t mastered these cups yet, so the verdict is still out on whether I recommend them yet or not, but I have high hopes!
- 6 Spoons // They’re soft tipped, smaller sized baby spoons. What else can I say?
- 12-16 Washcloths // I use washcloths to clean the babies hands, faces, and high chairs after each meal. In the beginning I used their white baby washcloths and quickly learned that was a mistake because they just stain, so now I have a bunch of these black IKEA washcloths.
- Feeding Littles Course // I can’t recommend the Feeding Littles Infant or Toddler Courses enough. If you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to introducing solids to your baby, these courses will give you some confidence! From introducing solids, bottle weaning, or picky eating toddlers, these ladies cover it all! I don’t agree with all of their methods or recommendations (I like my bibs and straw cups and I’m not about to use bowls of water to clean both babies off after every meal), but overall, I agree with their message and I learned a lot!
And here are a few of my favorite kitchen items that I’ve found myself using again and again every single day or every single meal:
- Cutting boards // I love these cutting boards. I had one before we had the babies, but when we began solid foods with them, I quickly found that I turned into a short order cook and that I’m constantly chopping fruits, veggies, and meats into bite size pieces all day. So, I purchased two more of these cutting boards to cut down on my daily dishwashing because these are dishwasher safe! They’re also knife friendly (won’t dull your knives), have slip proof corners, and are made in the US using trees harvested under the guidelines of the North America Sustainable Forestry Standards.
- Grater // I had a metal box grater which I was using to grate apples and cheese for the babies, but it’s a bitch to clean and I’ve cut my hands on it several times, so my MIL bought me this grater and it has been great (pun intended!). I grate cheddar cheese on top of their broccoli and I grate raw apples (which are a choking hazard otherwise) and pretty much use it 1-2 times a day.
- Food Scale // Did you know that the serving size of meat for a 1-year old is 1 ounce? I didn’t know that and I’m terrible at guesstimating how much meat makes up 1 ounce, so I started using my food scale (that I already had when I was weighing my food for weight loss) and this way I’m never guessing if everyone is getting enough per serving.
Our house has two stories, so we set up two diaper changing stations in the house – one in their nursery and the other in the main hallway which is now just outside their Safe Baby Play Space (Baby Jail). It’s an added expense, but it was worth it to us personally because I was recovering from a C-section and couldn’t get down on the ground to change diapers, our parents are 71 and 84 years old, and in the first few months we pretty much just lived in the living room with the babies set up in the Rock N Plays or the Table for Two and one of us sleeping on the couch at night. If you want to read more about how I set up the diaper stations, you can read more on My Twin Diaper Changing Stations post.
- 1 Changing Table per floor in house // I use two vintage dressers, because we already had them, they’ll grow with the twins and I can keep using them as dressers in their rooms in the futures. But, if I had to buy one, I would NOT purchase the IKEA Gulliver one to match the cribs because it has open shelves. I would definitely get one with drawers because as soon as those babies are mobile, they will be flinging everything off those shelves. I know a lot of moms keep clothes in these drawers, but I actually keep medical supplies in the top drawers and more diapers, wipes, trash bags, etc. in the below drawers because I keep all their clothes in their closet.
- 1 Changing Pad per floor in house // I honestly wasn’t going to buy these changing pads because of their price, but a friend with a newborn quickly schooled me (and also gifted me one at our baby shower). This diaper changing pad has saved me from many, many loads of laundry. It’s got a soft-to-the-touch, but water impermeable cover that is slightly sloped so pee flows towards the feet, so if there’s pee or poo on it, you just wipe it and their feet clean, you don’t have to strip it off and wash it like you would need to with those cloth covered changing pads. I used to say that if you have a boy, you’ll want one of these style pads, but honestly, Wren has probably peed on the diaper changing pad almost as many times as Hank. Also, since I bought mine, a few other brands have created these impermeable, but soft pads such as this similar changing pad that also has a scale built into it, and a similar pad at nearly half that price in bright colors, and a similar pad at nearly half that price in neutral gray, although I don’t own them, so I can’t personally recommend them, but I’m sure they’re great! I know these pads are expensive, but if you think about it, buying one pad plus four cloth covers will cost about half the price … but then you still have to deal with stains and laundry.
- 1 Diaper Pail per floor in house // I love my Ubbi diaper pails! They are basically like Diaper Genies, but you can use ANY bag you want – you don’t have to use special Diaper Genie bags! Plus, unlike the Diaper Genies, my diaper pails are made of metal so they won’t retain the poo smells that plastic often does over time, so eventually when we’re done diapering, we can give these diaper pails a good scrub down and use them as trash cans or kitty litter trash cans.
- 1 Diaper Cart per floor in the house // The IKEA 3-tired utility carts are great, but it looks like they’re only available in crap colors right now. So, until they get some better colors back in stock, this Rattan Cart is calling my name! It’s so cute! I actually might have to get that one for my office! Oh, or this Gold Cart! Ah! I just found this one from Target! Go with this one!
- 2 Cases of Newborn Diapers // We’ve used Pampers, Huggies, Honest Company, Parasol, and Target’s generic brand, and my favorite brand is Huggies thanks to the elastic backs on them. The elastic waist band works best for me because Hank and Wren are sometimes two very different sizes. From about 9 months, Hank has often been a size bigger than Wren in diapers and clothes, and I HATE having to stock two different sized diapers because it’s too complicated (you have to point out the diapers to your partner, grandparents, caregivers, etc. and it’s not worth the time for me). I’ll stock two different sizes for a little bit, but as soon as I run out of the smaller size, I just start putting Wren in the larger size. Continued below.
- 2 Cases of Size 1 Diapers // I recommend trying several of the diaper brands until you find one you like. We had a Diaper Raffle at our baby shower where guests brought any size package of any brand of diapers, so we really got a good stock of diapers in the beginning and tried several brands.
- 2 Cases of Wipes // We LOVE Water Wipes. Ok, well, I love Water Wipes, my husband wishes I would switch to a cheaper brand, but I’ve used a few other brands and I don’t like them as much because they aren’t as wet and I like how wet the Water Wipes are for cleaning poop off of tiny butts.
- 1 Diaper Cream per floor in house // We’ve used Desitin, and Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, but we mostly use Bag Balm for diaper rash.
- 1 Lotion per floor in house // We LOVE Baby Dove!
- 1 Hamper per floor in house // I love this cute little washing machine hamper! I have two – one in the upstairs nursery and one as part of the downstairs diaper changing station.
- Circumcision Care: Vaseline and 2″x2″ Gauze Squares // Use Vaseline LIBERALLY on the penis to keep skin from sticking to itself, on the gauze or bandages to keep the penis from sticking to the gauze/bandages, and then later on directly on the diaper to keep the penis from sticking to the diaper. The circumcision can sometimes be done a day or two after birth at the hospital, but Hank’s doctor recommended we wait a couple weeks as he was still too small, but I had everything purchased and prepped just in case the procedure was done after birth so we would be ready when we brought them home from the hospital.
Ugh. Do you know how many toys these babies have? Limit this shit as much as you can! That said, they need something to stimulate their little brains, so below are a few of my recommendations! Also, we set up a Baby Jail (a Safe Baby Play Space) and it has saved my sanity and allows me to prep their meals or lets them do some independent play while I sit on the couch for 20 minutes and take a much needed break!
- 1 Kick N Play Piano Gym // This little musical play mat saved my sanity on more than one occasion. Sure, the songs are irritating, but it would keep the babies entertained for 15-20 minutes so I could do something else. It was also great for tummy time and I’ve put most of it away now, but we still have the little keyboard in rotation.
- 1 Activity Center // You only need one of these and then trade them out between this and the above piano gym if they seem to get bored. Both babies loved this and at 13 months, I’ve converted it into a regular table and will set it up with little chairs in a few months.
- 1 Activity Table // They both loved this – I did have to take the legs back off it at some point because I had it in their Safe Baby Play Space where I don’t have to watch them, but Hank was flipping it over all the time and it seemed a bit dangerous to have it in there.
- Stacking Cups // If you’re looking for basic baby toys, these are inexpensive and they LOVE them! They play with these cups so often, plus they can double as bath toys!
- 2 Teethers // We don’t do Sophie the giraffe. I’m not saying they get moldy on the inside, but if they do, I don’t need to deal with that x 2. So we got these giraffe teethers instead.
- Baby Zebra Accordion // I bought this cute little thing for me because it’s a zebra and an accordion! But, thankfully, Wren loves it, too!
- 2 Oballs // These are great for babies. I don’t normally get two of things, but these are inexpensive and Wren really like to run around holding two of the same thing and these are really easy for babies to hold.
- Lots of Links // This is another inexpensive toy that provides a lot of entertainment. Wren’s playing with them in the photo below.
- Wonder Wheel // Same as above. Inexpensive, but entertaining.
- Books // Here are a few of their favorite books: Making Faces, Little Chef Soft Activity Book, Peek A Who, Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?
- Slumber Buddies Dozing Hippo // This was recommended to me by a friend (I think she had the lamb or the elephant version), and I used this at bedtime during their last bottles to get them to calm down and drink. Now, I use this one in their Safe Baby Play Space during the late afternoon/evening witching hour and turn off the lights and play with the illuminated stars.
- Cat Piano // This little piano is indestructible! Hank throws it around and has even spit up on it and it just keeps playing. Sure, it’s annoying, the original songs about cats are a bit creepy (a song about a cat who eats all the other bird and rodent pets), but the kids have fun dancing to the music and playing with it.
We don’t give the babies baths every night as part of their bedtime routine like singleton parents probably do. That shit would wear me out! Instead, we do every 2-3 days depending on if it’s summer or winter or if they had a messy meal. In the beginning, we bathed them in a little baby tub because I wasn’t going to clean the dishes in the kitchen sink every time I wanted to give them a bath and our bathroom sinks are all too small. And now I have them both in the bathtub in these little seats. I have a post about the Twins’ Bath Time Routine at 7 months here. I could bathe them both by myself then because they weren’t mobile, but as soon as they started crawling around, if I was by myself, I had to do one at a time. And only now at 14 months am I starting to feel confident about being able to bathe them by myself – now I feel like I can take one out and dry them off and let them safely walk around and they won’t get hurt while I get the other one out.
- 1 Tub // We used this baby tub. I liked it. We used it for about 7 months. It is what it is.
- 4 Hooded Towels // I LOVE these towels. They look so cute in the little animals hoods!
- 8-10 Washcloths // I picked up a couple packs of these IKEA washcloths while I was there getting the cribs and I love them. Inexpensive, soft.
- Body Wash // We use Baby Dove – I like the Sensitive formula, but the Rich formula is great, too!
- Bath Toys // Play Bubbles, Farm Bath Book, In the Water Bath Book, Tug Boat or Submarine (they’re made out of recycled milk containers!)
- Lotion // Again, we use Baby Dove. I like the Sensitive formula because Wren’s skin is a bit sensitive, but the Rich formula is great, too!
- 1 Faucet Cover // At first I thought this might be overkill, but I’m just not willing to deal with tears or bumped heads while in the bathtub.
- 2 Bath Seats // This is one of my top recommended products that makes life easier with twins. Do not buy these new! Try to find them on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace first for about $10-15. They clean right up!
The question I probably get the most besides “are they twins?” is “do they sleep at the same time?” Yes! If they didn’t, I would lose my mind! I’ll be writing a blog post about how we sleep trained the babies (no cry it out method needed) as well as our current bedtime routine shortly and I’ll link to it here as soon as it’s live.
- 2 Rock N Plays // This is one of my top recommended products that makes life easier with twins.
- Swaddles // 6 Miracle Blanket Swaddles, 2 Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuits, 2 Halo Sleep Sacks
- 2 White Noise Machines // We live in LA. It’s noisy here. I like how these white noise machines have real fans inside them, so it’s not electronic white noise.
- 4 Pacifiers // They started with these, Wren used a couple of these, and now they both LOVE their WubbaNubs.
- 1 Baby Monitor with Add-On Camera, Extra Power Adapter // I really like our baby monitor! My only complaint is that the thermometer is off – maybe they both need to be recalibrated, but based on what I’ve read online, everyone’s runs 3-4 degrees colder than it really is. I used to stress out over the temperature of the babies’ room after we brought them home because it’s one of the colder rooms in the house, but I got a digital thermometer and stuck it in their room to ease my mind. So we have actually have three cameras hooked up to the monitor – Hank’s crib, Wren’s crib, and one for the Safe Baby Play Space (Baby Jail). And I purchased an extra power charger so I have one upstairs by the bed and one downstairs for during the day because at 14 months, the battery goes pretty quickly on it.
- Blackout Window Roller Shades // I’m still working on these and will link up once I have them installed.
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins // I don’t recommend reading many baby books except for this one. Learning about the science of sleep and the importance of getting two babies to sleep on the same schedule will allow you to sleep which is pretty much how you win this game. If you’re only having one baby, then I recommend the Baby Wise book, my husband read that one and we compared notes and they were very similar.
My pro tip: less fancy clothes, lot of easy to put on pajamas! The amount and sizes of clothes depend on what time of year your baby or babies are due – mine arrived in January, so I had a couple months of warmer winter clothes and then here in LA, we quickly transition to a blazing hot spring and hotter than hell summer.
- Short Sleeve Onesies // I LOVE everything from Primary. The twins live in Primary pajamas 80% of the time. And you can get 20% off your first order at Primary.com with code AFF20PCT. But I also recommend these basic onesies.
- Love Sleeve Onesies // Same as above, but I also recommend these basic long sleeved onesies.
- 4-6 Pants // like these French Fry Pants that are SO cute! I’m actually gonna order these for the babies again in a larger size for next fall. I also get these pants from June & January.
- Footie PJs // Again, Primary. I buy these in 4-5 colors that coordinate with the babies’ colorful nursery and then I buy the next size up in about 3 months. Luckily we’re in the 12-18 month size right now, so I won’t have to buy new ones until May.
- Baby Socks // And then once they get a big bigger, get the ones with the non-skid bottoms like these.
- Mittens // If the babies needed to wear mittens (because of sharp nails that are hard as fuck to clip), then they usually just worse a onesie with folder mitten sleeves, but I was glad I had these mittens when Wren cut her hand and I needed to keep a bandage on her.
- Shoes // They didn’t wear shoes too much in the beginning, but at 11 months old, I got them these baby moccasins – they’re from Bird Rock, and they cost half the price as the Freshly Picked mocs that everyone is obsessed with. And they look exactly the same.
On the Go Baby Gear
Personally, getting out of the house with the babies is the hardest thing for me. There is so much prep work and by the time I’m dressed, the babies are diapered and dressed, everything is packed, etc., I’m SWEATING! I hate it. Sometimes, I don’t think it’s even worth it to go on a walk. But we all need to get out of the house, so I do it anyway. I talk about this a lot more in my Getting Out of the House with Twins blog post. Anyhow, here’s all my recommendations on travel baby gear.
- 1 Frame Stroller // This is one of my top products that makes life easier with twins. If you have to have a C-section, then picking up the below full size stroller to put it in your car or carry it up your front stairs is a no-no, you need a light weight stroller. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to just unhook the infant carriers from the car, put them into this stroller, strap them in, and go! I wish it was still this simple.
- 1 Full Size Stroller // After doing all the research, I was stuck between the City Select stroller with the extra or the Contours double stroller and after going on a field trip with my mom and mother-in-law to go test drive them at a BuyBuyBaby, we all decided that this City Select Stroller with the extra seat was the better pick.
- 2 Infant Car Seats and Bases // I really liked our infant car seats and bases. Easy to use! I do recommend hiring a car seat technician to come out and check the installation before you have the babies. This was something I did not do and wish I had done.
- 2 Car Seat Covers // I used these, but you can find others on Amazon which are less expensive. I highly recommend getting some and using them when you go to the hospital for check-ups or anywhere during flu season. It keeps all the looky-loos’ germs off the babies.
- 2 Car Sun Shades // Don’t be like me and get the ones with suction cups that roll down, get these. When we hired a car seat technician to double check that our convertible car seats were installed correctly, he advised against that kind because they can break or become projectiles in a car crash.
- 2 Car Seat Mirrors // Ok, take everything I said about the sun shades and ignore it because he said the same thing about my car seat mirrors and remarked that some people get into accidents because they’re too busy looking at the baby (or babies) and I’m not giving these up when I’m driving around with them by myself. Fuck, otherwise I’d probably pull over every other mile to make sure they’re okay.
- 1 Solly Baby Wrap // I didn’t use my Solly Baby Wrap very much because of really bad Diastasis Recti, but I was grateful I had it when I did use it – usually when Wren was extra clingy after vaccinations or after we discovered she has a bad intolerance to eggs.
- 1-2 Baby Carriers // This is one of my top products that makes life easier with twins. I highly recommend an Ergo Baby Carrier. We have two and my husband LOVES carrying a baby around. I wish we had purchased two and learned how to use them sooner – it would have gotten us out of the house a lot more in the very beginning – especially when they are so little and weigh so much less!
Here’s a photo of how I take the babies to/from the car if it’s a short walk (and I mean short because Hank is HEAVY) and I don’t need the stroller.
- 1 Diaper Bag // I haven’t really found a diaper bag that I love and can recommend just yet. I just recommend a backpack version because at some point, you won’t have a free hand to hold a bag.
- 2 Convertible Car Seats // Once the twins get big enough, you’ll have to switch to using convertible car seats and a full size stroller simply because you won’t be able to carry two heavy babies in their infant carriers anymore unless you have arms of steel. You can read all about Getting Out of the House with Twins here.
- Picnic Blanket // I recommend a plastic-backed/waterproof picnic basket if you’re looking to get out of the house with the babies. There aren’t a lot of places to go with two babies that don’t involve food or spending money, so I recommend the park.
- Leashes // We have two sets of leashes (one to keep in the house for walks, we go on a lot of walks) and one set to keep in the car. I haven’t really used them yet, so I can’t recommend them, but one of my college roommates has twins and her girls were on leashes and she said it was a necessity.
Medical & Baby Proofing
I’ll be writing a baby proofing post at some point, but I wish I had done some of this baby proofing before the babies had arrived. Everyone says, “Oh, just baby proof as you go!” Yeah … working twin moms have enough shit to deal with. If you can have outlet covers, cords managed, and cabinet locks installed before the babies arrive it will give you some time to be able to take a damn nap when they’re 6 months old!
- 1 Infant Care Kit // There’s a bunch of good stuff in this. I just used the comb from it last night at 14 months … but not on Wren, nope, that little girl is still bald!
- 1 Thermometer // It’s a thermometer. I like it. Read the directions because you have to like drag it across your forehead for 5 seconds to get an accurate reading.
- Humidifier // I actually used this humidifier every night while I was pregnant. These babies dried out my nose and throat! It’s a great humidifier – you just have to empty it out everyday and disinfect it once a week otherwise you’re just blowing a mist of gross stuff into the air.
- Infant Tylenol // Get some of this and make sure you have it on hand before their first vaccinations! Wren got really fussy about 2 hours after their first shots.
- Circumcision Care // Vaseline and 2″x2″ Gauze Squares // Use Vaseline LIBERALLY on the penis to keep skin from sticking to itself, on the gauze or bandages to keep the penis from sticking to the gauze/bandages, and then later on directly on the diaper to keep the penis from sticking to the diaper. The circumcision can sometimes be done a day or two after birth at the hospital, but Hank’s doctor recommended we wait a couple weeks as he was still too small, but I had everything purchased and prepped just in case the procedure was done after birth so we would be ready when we brought them home from the hospital.
- 1 Nail Clippers // If you don’t get the Infant Care Kit that has one, purchase a separate pair.
- 2 Head Support Pillows // Both babies had plagiocephaly and their doctor recommended using some head support pillows like these when they were awake in the Rock N Plays, on the diaper changing table, in a stroller, etc. A lot of twins seem to have plagiocephaly, so if you’d like to learn more about it, you can read about Wren’s Plagiocephaly and her Helmet Journey here. I wish I had known more about it before having the babies.
- Stair Gates // For at both the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Retractable Baby Gate on their room // We couldn’t use the above Stair Gate on their room because of the swinging arc of the gate and the walkway, so I got this retractable baby gate to put on their room and it’s AWESOME!
- Outlet Covers // I like these. I can NEVER get those stupid little plastic plug covers out, so I went with these and installed them all over the house. Make sure you order your correct type of outlet – I got the wrong type at first and had to return and reorder.
- Corner Protectors // Sometimes I think these are to protect my giant baseboard corners and my furniture more than to protect my babies’ skulls.
- Cord Management Kits // I used 4 of these kits on their baby monitors (Cameras are supposed to be more than 3 feet away because of the cords. Yeah, their room isn’t big enough to put two cameras more than 3 feet away from their cribs, so I did this instead.), a salt lamp in our upstairs den with an awkward plug-in area, the upstairs TV cord, and the playroom baby monitor cords.
- Cord Management Box // I hate surge protectors and the tangle of cords coming out of them. It might be my biggest pet peeve. These things are fucking expensive, but they help a bit, and they keep tiny fingers off all the plugs.
- Magnetic Cabinet Locks // These are a pain to install and they don’t work on all cabinets, so do your research.
- Door Pinch Guards // Yeah, with two babies, sometimes one likes to shut the door on the other one. Luckily, no tiny fingers have been shut into doors, but I got these as soon as Hank started trying. They also keep Lucy from getting locked in a closet.
- Cord Cleats // Did you know Mike Tyson’s 4-year old daughter tragically hung herself from a cord hanging from a treadmill (probably the cord attached to the starter key). It’s sad. Personally, I was shocked that she was 4-years old. I thought that 4-year old would be able to get themselves out of that kind of situation. I don’t want my kids playing around with the blind cords and accidentally getting choked or hanging themselves on them, so I had these brass cord cleats installed on every window with pull-up blinds. I figure they’re going to be on there for YEARS, so I went with the brass ones for a few bucks more than the cheap plastic ones. This is also why I’m pretty adamant about using the above cord management kits and boxes.
Too much info for you? Here’s a free printable Twin Baby Essentials Checklist PDF. Click here to download. (Coming soon).
Ok, now here’s the short list of what we purchased and either didn’t use or didn’t like:
- Rocking Chair // I don’t recommend a rocking chair for twins. The potential for a squished finger or toe is too high.
- Twin Playpen Thing with a Divided Nursery Top // I had this set up in our room for the babies to sleep in, but in reality, they just slept in the Rock N Plays down in the living room. Also, babies make a LOT of noise while they sleep, so if you’re looking to get some sleep while your partner is watching the babies, then don’t plan on having them sleep in the same room as your bed. A Dock-A-Tot would have been more helpful because the handful of times that I used this was to be able to put the baby somewhere safe while I was in my room.
- Baby Brezza // I read some reviews by twin moms raving about this thing, so I bought it during a Black Friday sale just in case and after reading some several reviews where it wasn’t mixing the formula correctly (basically watering it down where the baby wasn’t getting the needed calories), I decided to return it.
- Dr. Brown’s Formula Mixer // Yeah, this thing just doesn’t work as well as putting the water and formula in a tupperware bottle and shaking it.
- Puj Tub // Seems great. I just don’t have empty, safe, or large enough sinks.
- Comotomo Bottles // These were recommended by someone on Instagram – that the babies are able to hold them easier so they’ll hold the bottles and feed themselves sooner. Not for us. They just didn’t like them. I wish they had, it would have been less bottle parts to clean.
- Pacifier Medicine Droppers // I tried using these twice and more infant Tylenol ended up on Wren than in her mouth.
- Closet Clothes Dividers // I thought these would organize me a bit more, but honestly, I was just drowning in baby clothes and they grow out of the clothes so damn quickly. It was a waste of $8.
- Frida Baby Bundle including the NoseFrieda and Windi // I hate the NoseFrieda. There. I said it. And not because a booger might go into your mouth (it won’t, it has too far to travel), but because it tastes like gross plastic air whenever I suck on it.
What did I miss? Ha! Did you read this entire list? If you did, please leave me a comment below! Let me know when you’re due and what you’re having!