Twin Must Have List! Feature Article By Jessica Kiss-VanMarter!
Twin Must Have List! Feature Article By Jessica Kiss-VanMarter!
Must haves for Twins!
SwaddleMe swaddles by Summer Infant $11-$20
These make sleeping much better! I tried not swaddling the girls when I brought them home, but I soon realized this wasn’t working. These are so simple and you can change diapers without having to completely unswaddle the baby. These made it so the girls stayed asleep between feeds! Get at least 3 per baby so you aren’t constantly washing them.
BundleMe Lite/BundleMe by JJ Cole $25-$40
You always see moms toting around newborns in car seats covered in heavy blankets. I always worried that the baby may suffocate and the poor mama would never know. Ever see babies in a stroller on a chilly day? They look like Maggie Simpson in a Christmas episode of The Simpsons, so bundled in layers you wonder if there is actually a baby in their or a giant q-tip.
The BundleMe Lite and BundleMe solve this issue. The Lite version is great year round in more moderate climates. The original is warm enough for places with nasty winters. I found we used these constantly with the twins, even in California and Arizona where we are from.
They basically wrap into the car seat SAFELY and do not interfere with the locking mechanism. Then a top layer zips on and off with enough room in between the top layer and baby for a blankie to sit securely. No need to over bundle twins, because honestly with two you don’t have the time!
Bottle Nanny- $17
My girls never latched well, so I mostly pumped milk and gave them bottles. This was getting old around 3 months because if I was alone, it would mean a 20 min pump, 10 min feed for Bella and then 15 minute feed for Kayla. I had a hard time feeding both at one time with a bottle. I could, but it was rough… this was my saving grace. It doesn’t work with wide bottles, but with the standard ones it is amazing.
You simply clip it to the side of a bouncy seat, car seat, or stroller and put the bottle in it. Then the baby can sip hands free! I was able to monitor both babies feeding and even fold some clothes at the same time while I watched them. I still fed one at a time whenever I could, but these gave me a much needed break from time to time.
At around 4 ½ mo I needed to start back on some meds and could no longer give them breast milk, so this made formula feeds that much easier. By 5 mo, my girls had learned how to hold the bottles themselves because they would hold onto them while the bottle nanny held the weight of the bottle for them. I still use these with the stroller from time to time. It prevents big spills.
Tiny Love Stroller Arch by Tiny Love- $18
This is by far the best thing I have found for keeping twinies happy when we were and still are on the move. It is basically an arch that easily secures on to, well, EVERYTHING! We found that the girls loved looking at it around 2 months of age and now, at 8 ½ mo, we still love playing with it. We have used it on the newborn car seats, the bouncy chairs, the pack n play, the baby swing, and even their convertible car seats!
What is great about it is that once it is secure, you can add on stroller toys to it- we love the Lamaze ones in our house. This prevents being board from repetition. Now that we are in big girl, rear facing car seats, it is the only thing to hold up any toy anyway, making it that much more helpful.
Bright Start Ingenuity Automatic Bouncer- $46
Whoever invented this is must be a twin parent. Bouncy chairs are the best for any baby, but one that bounces and vibrates and plays music at the touch of a button is definitely a bonus when you have two that want to be rocked. Plus they are great for feeding. Get 2! Nuff said!
The swings eat batteries, so I finally replaced ours with one that plugs in. Kayla has bad reflux so she often sleeps in it… well she only slept in it for about 3 months! Chances are good that with twins at least one will need it. I would start with one swing and then get a second if need be. Really, it doesn’t need to do anything but go back and forth. The fancy ones are over-rated.
Sling of some type
I love my baby sling. I hate my baby bjorn… Some swear by Ergo Baby, some hate them. Try them out in a store before you get either. Bring a baby doll with some weight to it so you get the idea of what is comfortable for you. SUPER important for days you are home with both kids and need to venture out or get something done when one or both are having a bad day.
Anglecare Baby Monitor with Video AC1100- $300
It is worth the extra money for the angel care SIDS monitor with video. We had the girls in a pack n play for the first 12 weeks until they got on a better schedule. Premature babies and even twins in general are at a higher risk of dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, so these monitors are LITERALLY a lifesaver. Yes, you get false alarms, but as the baby gets a bit bigger and you adjust the monitor’s sensitivity, it gets less frequent.
I would rather be awoken to a million false alarms (in reality it was maybe 1 a week at most) than miss the one time my child stops breathing. Each child needs one and must be in his or her own crib to make it work right, but it is worth it. Put it at the top of the shower list!
Ambient Noise for sleep
I use an old ipod loaded with white noise tracks for sleep. LOVE IT. We now mix it with rock-a-bye music that is real music made into baby background noise. LOVE it too! This has been sleep altering for my little ones. It really helps prevent waking from startle due to the other baby or the dog or a peacock (we live in a weird place) or whatever making a ruckus.
Bumbleride Indie Twin- $700
If you can afford only one luxury item, this is it. A good stroller is the most important thing with twins. This is it. I went through 5 strollers before this one. It is narrow enough to fit through doorways, sturdy enough that I can jog/walk off road with it, light enough for me to lift on my own, and the seats lay completely flat for great naps!
As is, infants can ride in it because it does go all the way flat. Now you can get 2 car seat adapters, but check with bumbleride before you purchase for compatibility.
It comes in a million colors and if you have more kids later, you can just get the fabric changed without having to buy an entirely new stroller. As of the fall, they will also have prams for it! Worried your kids will fight? Not a problem, just lean them back a bit and they cant get to each other. Worried they wont get to interact? Sit them up more and they can! I cannot say enough about this stroller. It is life changing for me.
Thank you Jessica for being Twinpossible’s featured article writer. You can view Jessica’s Facebook page HERE: Be sure and follow her and leave her some wonderful comments!! Want to be a featured guest blogger here on Twinpossible? Write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org