Twin Gear Essentials
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Having twins? You might be overwhelmed by all the things you need to get, and are wondering what is essential and what is not. I hope this list will save you money by learning from some of the mistakes that I made.
Time goes incredibly quickly with twins and the gear that is “essential” one day can get outgrown quickly. I wish I knew that before my kids were born so I could spend money more wisely. Here my top picks for essential items, as well as a few “nice to haves” that we loved. At the bottom of the article, I also share information on what products my husband and I bought that we wish we didn’t.
Click and Go Car Seat Stroller
With the Joovy Twin Roo Plus, you can click the kids’ infant car seats right on, and the kids will face the same direction. This model wasn’t available when I had my kids, so the kids face opposite directions. There were times where this was really challenging (such as when we were sitting in a tight doctor’s office). The stroller is super convenient and is compatible with a lot of popular car seats, but I’ll be honest, this is one item that is not going to last a ton of time. (Still worth it, though).
You’ll need two car seats of course. One thing I didn’t realize until later is that some kids outgrow their infant car seat early due to their height. My kids were tall and reached the height limit at around 10 months, when we had to move into toddler convertible car seat. This is not typical, but something to be aware of in case you think your kids may be very tall. I don’t regret buying the car seats new, since used ones can have hidden damage, and I also don’t regret getting infant car seats instead of convertible ones, but it would have been nice to know that for some tall kiddos, this item may not last a long time. We chose the Chicco Key Fit 30 since it’s the number top car seat in America, and since its compatible with the click and go stroller we got. But, there are many other good car seat options. I recommend getting car seats early; ideally purchased and installed a few months before your twins’ due date just in case they come early.
If you are pumping or if you are using formula, you will need baby bottles. My personal recommendation is to use Dr. Brown’s natural flow bottles. Why? They are shown to reduce colic and gas. I had no idea before my kids were born how painful gas can be for babies. If you are torn between bottle types, you could also just get a small set of one bottle type and then ask the hospital or a feeding Occupational Therapist (O.T.) what bottle she would recommend. I was intimidated by all the parts of Dr. Brown’s bottles and I didn’t think they were the cutest, so I bought a huge set of bottles that I thought were cooler. It was a mistake. The feeding O.T. at the hospital where my kids were born did not recommend the bottle set I had bought since the nipples were too big and since the bottles did not have a good vent system. She suggested Dr. Browns. We made the switch and were happy with the move. (Incidentally you can get either glass or plastic Dr. Brown’s bottles FYI, and if you do decide to go with Dr. Brown’s be sure to get an extra set of travel caps since the bottles do not travel well otherwise).
Durable Stroller With A Hand Brake
You’re going to need a great stroller, and there is a reasonable chance you may need more than one, for different purposes. Whatever you do, I recommend asking moms in your area for tips on what they like. Why do I recommend asking people locally? Because there may be topographical or weather conditions that make one stroller more ideal than another in your area. For example, where I live there are some hills and we needed a stroller with a really great bicycle-type hand brake. For this reason, I went with the Bob Revolution Pro Duallie for my main stroller. Yes, it is pricey, but for us, we simply couldn't manage the hills without the brake. Plus, it is a jogging stroller and can handle all types of terrain, even hiking paths. Other places may have different considerations, so I’d ask local moms for their tips. Buy it here.
As your babies get mobile, you’ll need a way to keep them safely contained, for example, while you are making dinner and they are playing nearby. We like the North States 3-in-1 Superyard. We started with a Summer Infant Pop ‘n Play Playard, which can be folded up and transported easily (for going to the park or Grandma’s for example). It didn’t last too long for us, however, as our twins were trying to climb out of it shortly after they learned how to walk. We then got a North States 3-in-1 Superyard, which is taller, at 30” high. It can also be expanded with add-on units and configured to a number of unique situations. If you plan to travel or be on the go a lot, you may want to get both the Pop ‘n Play and the North States Superyard, but if you think you’ll just use it at home, you may want to just go with the North States Superyard since it will last longer.
Buy it here.
Getting two Boba wraps was one of the best purchases we made. My husband and I could go on walks together with our twins (each of us carrying one) and we all loved it. It took a few trial runs to get it right but after we got the swing of it, it was easy as can be. These wraps are not too expensive (about $35 each). We bought other carriers, but we always went back to these awesome Boba wraps when our babies were little. Buy it here.
Multi-position Structured Baby Carrier
The LILLEbaby is quickly gaining popularity for its versatility and the fact that it’s also ergonomic. We tried a different carrier that didn’t allow our kids to face out, and there came a time when they didn’t want to face in any more. When that happened, we couldn’t use the carrier well. The LILLEBaby doesn’t have that problem since it can convert to 6 positions: Front-Fetal, Front-Infant, Front Facing Out, Front-Toddler, Hip and Back. It can also hold one child weighing up to 45 pounds. Buy it here.
4-Sided Changing Pad
The Summer InfantChanging Pad is relatively inexpensive ($19) but this goes up there as one of our best purchases. The sides are higher than most changing pads which gave us a little extra peace of mind as our kids become more wiggly. If you go this route, be aware that changing pads covers don’t work so well on this pad since it’s so deep and contoured, but it’s easy to clean it. Buy it here.
Changing tables don’t last very long for some kids, so you may want to think about how much you’re willing to spend on this item. Our kids became too wiggly to safely change them on the table by about 10 months old. At this point, we had to start changing them on an oversized pad on the floor. We know other people whose kids could be changed on the table all the way up to the weight limit of the furniture, and others who outgrew the tables faster than our kids did. Just a heads-up as you think about the cost of a changing table, how important the style is to you and how long you think it will last. The table shown above is the Badger Basket Modern Changing Table, which is currently less than $100 on Amazon.com.
Buy it here.
Diaper Pail With Safety Lock
You’ll need a diaper pail for all the dirty diapers that come with having twins. :) We like the Ubbi diaper pail since it has a “childproof safety lock” and since it doesn’t need any special bags. As our kids became mobile, the lock became helpful as they became obsessed with trying to run quickly to the pail to open it. It is a heavy pail however, so be aware of tipping. (We wedged ours into a place where the kids can’t pull it down.) Buy it here.
Buy it here.
Baby Play Mat
We used the SoftTiles foam tiles in one room, and the Baby Care Play Mat in another room. It is basically like a super-thick oversized yoga mat. We placed it under our Superyard, and it has been so helpful and so much more comfortable than a hard floor. Buy it here.
Here’s the one big tip I have for you in terms of diaper bags: I recommend getting two. Why? You can keep one in your car ready to go with all the gear you need, and then carry a smaller one with you that has just the stuff you need for the next couple hours. I originally tried to carry everything under the moon with me, but one day I brought my huge diaper bag with me to a pediatrician appointment, and the pediatrician, who thought that the bag was so huge that she insisted on weighing it. It weighed almost 30 pounds! My car was parked only 100 feet away, and that day I realized that I would be better off keeping a larger bag in the car and then a lighter bag with me. This has worked out so much better. For the larger bag, try Okkatots or Dad Gear's backpack. For the smaller bag, pick something that you love and that is easy to carry. Buy one here.
Fisher-Price Precious Planet 2-in-1 Projection Mobile
The first time my twins saw their projection mobiles, they looked like they had just seen fireworks for the first time. They absolutely loved their mobiles and seeing them have so much joy gave use so much joy. This particular model projects a little movie on the canopy. See the Amazon reviews for a video that somebody made showing how cool it is. Buy it here.
Tiny Love Take-Along Arch, My Nature Pals Stroll
Our kids would squeal with delight when we took out the Tiny Love Take-Along Arch. We only bought one, since it didn’t seem necessary to buy two, but if I could have I probably would have gotten two. We attached it to the Baby Bjorn bouncer. Oh what fun it was. Buy it here.
J.L. Childress Diaper Station To Go
This is an extra large changing pad which we use to change our kids on the go, either in the car or outside on the ground I prefer this over changing kids in bathrooms, when the weather is ok and when both of us are with the kids. (e.g. one of us is with Baby A while the other one changes Baby B). Buy it here.
Leachco Podster Sling-Style Infant Seat Lounger
The Leachco Podster was really handy for us and our twins. The seat can be adjusted depending on the babies weight. It was great to be able to put one in the Podster to lounge while holding the other or changing a diaper, and vice versa. The Podster doesn’t last a super long time, as babied outgrow them quickly, and it’s not for sleeping, but we still liked ours and recommend it. Buy it here.
This balm isn’t for babies, but rather for the moms, dads and other adults who care for twin babies. The balm was amazing at helping me soothe dry hands that came from washing my hands all the time. Buy it here.
Clothing and Essentials
You’ll also need essentials like clothing, diapers, wipes, sleeping outfits, high chairs, a noise machine, a baby monitor, cribs or bassinets, first aid items and a slew of other “must haves”. You may also be interested in a lot of things that look cool and that you feel like you should have them.
My main tip here is to be mindful of what you need to buy before your babies arrive versus what may not be essential and can wait until later. I bought so much stuff that I didn’t need, but I had no way of knowing it until my babies were born. If I could do it again, I’d buy less clothing than I did since the kids outgrew their clothes so quickly, and I’d hold off on a lot of non-essentials until I knew more about what we needed. I thought before the kids arrived that I needed to get everything for the first year, but that’s just not true. I couldn’t realistically know what my kids would need when they were five months old, for example, when they were not even born. And with Amazon Prime and other quick online shopping items, it is easy to get things quickly later.