Welcome back for part 2 of my top picks for newborn twin essentials! I can’t believe that nearly 2-1/2 years ago I welcomed two tiny humans into my life. Sir R and Miss B have been giving me a run for my money ever since. Literally. Twins need lots of stuff!
But newborns don’t need everything you think they need. That’s why I’ve compiled my must-have list of the essentials you should have ready before bringing home babies. In Part 1, I covered sleeping, eating, and pooping. Today, I’ll cover the rest.
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Ok, this heading is totally misleading. Newborns don’t play. They don’t really do anything, other than lay there and look totally adorable… and eat, and sleep, and poop. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be thinking about how to keep them “entertained.”
A Baby Seat
When they are awake, you probably won’t be able to devote every moment to holding them. I mean, someone has to cook dinner and fold the 5th load of laundry today. I found that having a mini-seat really helped. I would just snap a baby into the seat, and set the seat on the kitchen counter while I was cooking or doing dishes, or set the seat on the dining table while I folded laundry. That way baby could still see me and hear my voice, and I was able to get things done.
My mom said she used to do this with our car seats. I didn’t feel comfortable placing the bucket car seat on a counter or table top. It just didn’t seem stable. So, I got this seat that coordinated with our swings.
The seat vibrates and plays music, so it’s similar to the swings. However, it is definitely way more portable. We could toss the seat in the car for an afternoon at grandma’s house. I could also easily move the seat around the house, depending on what I was doing that day.
Tummy time is supposed to happen from day one, but it’s really not something to stress out over. You can lay a blanket just about anywhere and do tummy time. They make cute little blankets for the event, but with you luck, the special “tummy time blanket” will be in another part of the house anyway.
We did buy a play mat. I used if for tummy time, but also as just another place to put the baby. I was really worried about the babies getting bored, so I was always trying to change things up. I still don’t know why I was so keen to impress a couple of newborns. Don’t get me wrong. Brain development is important. But if you’re in tears, worried that your babies aren’t getting enough stimulation, you’re probably doing just fine. Step away from the baby and child development books, and take a breath.
Ok, about the play mat. It came in handy when the babies developed better eyesight and I thought they needed different things to look at. I really liked having the mat when I was sitting at the table. I could hold one baby, and have the other one on the mat. Then rotate them as necessary.
What about rattle and toys? First of all, if you have any friends or family you are guaranteed to get teething rings and rattles and grasping toys and stuffed animals as presents. People just cannot help themselves when there are adorable tiny humans to buy toys for. The one thing that I would recommend registering for are little rattles for hands and feet. Because yes, newborns actually do need help finding their hands and feet.
Tub, check. Towels, check. Baby wash, check. This is one area where you really do not need to overthink. Just get a simple tub, towels and wash cloths, good old Johnson’s baby wash. Some people are really into the all natural, organic baby products, and that is fine. Just remember that stuff is more expensive and you have to buy twice as much of it.
There is nothing more adorable than coordinating outfits for your newborn twins. Seriously, nothing at all. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have outfits for outings or special occasions, but on a day-to-day basis they are the biggest pain in the butt. Remember all of those diapers that you got at your diaper party? You will eventually use them. This means that every time you change a diaper you have a squirming newborn to undress and then dress again.
So whether you are having boys or girls, my recommendation is to let them wear gowns. This will save you so much time and energy during diaper changes. Some brands of gowns are longer than others, so if you and your partner are tall, I would keep this in mind. I think the Carter’s brand were my favorite for my tall babies.
I’m not going to dedicate a whole lot of energy to tell you what car seat to buy, because I really don’t think it matters. That’s because they all have to pass government regulations and minimum safety requirements. Newborns don’t need all of the bells and whistles. In my opinion, Graco gives you the most bang for your buck. Just make sure you register your product with the manufacturer so that if there is a recall, you’ll be made aware.
Oh, and get the bucket style seats. Not the convertible seat, even though it will last longer. There’s nothing more miserable then having to move a sleeping baby from a car seat, and they all fall asleep in the car. And the bucket seats will work perfectly with your stroller frame.
Double strollers are heavy and bulky, so save yourself the hassle and avoid using one for as long as possible. For the entire time that the twins were still in their bucket car seats, I only use a stroller frame. It is super lightweight to lift and out of the car and easy to open/close.
When the twins outgrew their bucket seats, we couldn’t use the stroller frame any longer. My personal choice for a double stroller is the Joovy Scooter X2. For just over $200, I don’t think you can get a better stroller.
It’s incredibly lightweight, the seats recline fully, and it has a ton of storage space in the bottom. It’s perfect for walks to the park, trips to the zoo, or even a regular Target run. Now, it’s not a jogging stroller. Power-walk friendly, yes. Running, definitely not.
I tend to do my running around the house. It usually involves a 2-year-old who got their hands on my credit cards/cell phone/car keys and can run faster than me. Seriously. How can I get outrun by a 2-year-old? Ok, in all seriousness, if you plan on jogging with your twins, good for you. You are a better parent than I am. The BOB is the obvious choice, but if you are looking for something more budget friendly, the InStep brand is a good option.
This is another one that I would put into the “doesn’t really matter” column. Yes, you need a bag. Yes, it helps if it has pockets and dividers. Yes, it helps if you have a place to keep things cold. No, you do not have to spend $100 on a diaper bag.
I bought a Skip Hop bag at Marshall’s or something. I did use it quite a bit in the first year, when I was OCD about getting organized with bottles, diapers, extra clothes, toys, blankets, and half of the nursery before leaving the house. 2.5 years later, I keep a few extra diapers/wipes in the car and toss sippy cups in my purse. There is clearly a happy medium in there somewhere, and you will find what works for you.
If you want to register for a diaper bag, I like this one. If you want to save some cash here, pull out an old backpack and give it a whirl. You can always buy a different bag later.
I really do love the whole “baby-wearing” movement. But, it just wasn’t for me. Chalk it up to chronic neck problems, I guess. I always thought baby-wearing was extremely uncomfortable and borderline painful.
I did use a baby carrier on outings. You will find, especially if you have a partner with you, that sometimes it’s just easier to use two baby carriers than lug around the double stroller. For that purpose, I used these really affordable carriers. Fair warning: they aren’t for use with newborns under 8 pounds, but worked great as the babies got just a bit older.
All of Those Other Big Items???
What about cribs, exersaucers, bumbos, high chairs, etc? Yes, you will eventually need these things, but not for a few months. That’s why I’m not going into them in great detail here. If you want to put them on your registry, that may not be a bad idea.
That leaves the big question: Do you get one or two? That really depends on a few factors:
- How big is your home, and how much of that space will be used by the babies? We had both upstairs and downstairs family rooms when the twins were babies, so I bought more of things so that I wasn’t hauling exersaucers up and down stairs all day.
- Are the babies going to be staying home or going to daycare? This may influence how many larger items you want to bring into your home.
By the time the twins were 9 months old, we had 2 exersaucers, 1 jumeperoo, 2 baby seats, 3 play mats, 1 pack and play, 2 swings, 2 Bumbo seats, a large play gate, foam play tiles, and a ton of toys. I would consider that to be max capacity.
When you think about it, you really don’t use high chairs for that long. We introduced solid food at 4 months, and by 1 year the twins were using booster seats at the table. This may seem like a great reason to go for a smaller highchair option that just straps to a regular chair. This is also an opportunity to get the most bang for your buck and make your high chair do some multitasking.
The twins loved the Fisher Price high chairs that converted to swings. It also saved space by having a 2-in-1 item.
Ok, now that I have given you a TON of information, how about a simple, printable checklist to help you with shopping or your registry? Click here for a printable PDF document – newborn twin registry checklist.