Twin Toddler Essentials! (What You Can’t Live Without Ages 1 & Up.) Part One
Twin Toddler Essentials! (What You Can’t Live Without Ages 1 & Up.)
The twins are 27 months, 2 weeks, and 4 days old
We’ve talked about necessities and non-necessities for newborn twins, but what about twin toddlers? They all start growing up on us sooner than later, right? Chances are that the majority of people reading this are on their 1st set of twins.
If you have had the crazy luck of having had a set prior to the one you are caring for now, you likely have figured it all out. But for the vast majority, it’s our first toddle down toddler lane with a duo. What are things I feel you just can’t do without? Just give this post a read.
1) Lots of baby wipes. Why?
Before they are completely potty trained you will find that twin toddlers often enjoy getting into the wipes big time. And you may find yourself losing a half a box here, a half a box there. Some are floating in the toilet bowl so always look before you flush. Stock up until potty training is complete. Bigger hineys make for nastier, larger messes. Another such reason to ‘go large.’
2) Diapers/ pull-ups until potty training is DONE
Until 2-3.5 years of age these are also a necessity. I would say there are fewer changes now than the newborn months, HOWEVER, if you have little streakers like I have at home, they may pull off a diaper right after a couple drops of pee land on it, and of course right after you have changed it, and refuse to wear it again.
We were doing quite well, but once we hit the ‘I wanna be naked’ phase, we are going through diapers like never before! Thankfully, soon we’ll be out of them. (Cha-Ching $$.)
3) Update your double stroller
If you were using one of those fancy strollers that are perfect for newborns, infants, and smaller tots, but either space has gotten tight, or you no longer need the bells and whistles, and would like to downgrade to a more practical, light-weight, ‘pack it up quick and go.’ You may opt out of a particular stroller around two or so, and pick up something more functional to see you through the duration.
Toddler double/twin strollers
4) Big boy/girl car seats
At some point during twin toddler-hood, some earlier than others, you will need to buy two big girl/boy seats for your children. These will be forward-facing. Read why you should keep your children rear-facing as long as you can. But the change is inevitable. Find a seat that has a 5 point harness, and locks into a stable base seat belted into your car still. (It’s hard to find that lock when kids get older and change into a booster, but not impossible.)
My 6 year old has this Sunshine Kids model. LOVE IT! Get one that will carry them safely for the longest time possible. Always check weight and height restrictions. Some will go further than others. Also check reviews from previous buyers as well.
Convertible car seats & bootsers
5) A seated wagon
I can’t tell you how amazing our Radio Flyer Wagon is. The twins don’t fight to get out like they do in the stroller, and enjoy the view. It’s durable and lasts from the time they are sitting up nice and stable, till even passed toddler-hood. We adore it! It makes Spring & Summer a breeze.
Radio Flyer Pathfinder Wagon Red
6) Snack keepers/ Gyro Bowls & snacks for on the go
Always have plenty of snacks on hand while out with twins, as one will want something that the other does not, and one will inevitably drop something or think it’s cool to see how far their cookie can fly. Also, it’s great having small snack cups to put their hands into for little snacks such as: goldfish, cheerios, animal crackers, and other small items.
Those Gyro Bowls are quite ‘cool’ also. They do keep snacks trapped inside and are worth the money. (They are VERY cheap in the link provided below. Check them out.)
Gyro Bowls & Other Snack Trappers
7) Sippy cups
If you think one or two for each is enough..you are wrong! One sippy will be in the wash while another is needed. One will magically get lost at the park or even vanish for a year in the car somewhere. I think 3-5 sippy cups each is best. (Call me crazy but you will see what I mean.)
Buy only one of each ‘style’ before committing and buying several more. One toddler may like the straw style the other may like the spout. Some they will take to more than others. One will most certainly become a favorite for each child. It really is like searching for the perfect new car.
8 ) Diaper bag holding up?
If you purchased a Ju-Ju-Be as per my recommendation it still is. If not, you may have suffered one or more problems with your diaper bag to date. Broken zippers, straps, stained exteriors and interiors. You may think you don’t need to get a new bag at this point, but you’d be wrong.
You may know more now about what you must pack, but even after potty training you’ll still be packing SOMETHING. Depending on what stage you are in you may be able to go smaller, but you do still need a dependable, ‘stand the test of time’ diaper bag. It helps make life with crazy toddler twins, easier.
Best of the best diaper bag
9) Toddler beds or bed rails
At some point during the toddler years, your toddlers will be climbing out of his or her crib or refusing to sleep there any longer. With my 6 year old we had an extra guest bed and we made it lower to the ground and added two bed rails on the front and on the side, and the other side of the bed was against the wall, so she never had an official toddler bed. This wasn’t until 3+ though. (Some tots love their cribs.)
Some cribs convert into toddler beds, as do ours.. so it’s good to get that function built into the crib when you are searching for twin cribs while still pregnant. The glorious times of keeping twins contained will inevitably come to an end for all twin parents. (Sorry.) If you are lucky your twins may enjoy sleeping with each other still which may help soothe them and keep them asleep. US? Not so fortunate.
Toddler beds & bed rails
10) DVD’S, DVR, Netflix, Roku, (ETC.) for home. Plus, DVD car players.
You may say to yourself, “Oh, I don’t want my twins to get into watching TV.” TRUST ME, there will be times for your sanity sake and for the sake of getting something accomplished, you will desire them to watch a show or two during the day. When they are forward-facing and you are on the road for any amount of time, those little dual DVD car players will become not a desire but a necessity. Very hard to drive amidst chaos x’s two.
We got this Roku box for at home. IT’S AWESOME! It’s like 7 or 8 bucks a month per set, and it has a zillion movies and television show episodes, all commercial-free and on demand without having to leave home for rentals. It’s been terrific for the entire family. The twins love watching the 3 Beethoven movies on there..over and over again.
My daughter gets all the I-Carly she wants, my son gets sport bloopers, and mom and dad always have a movie to watch without heading to a movie store or paying any late fees. Plus there is never anything good on when you want it, no matter how many channels you have and we have TONS of them! I can’t say enough good things about Netflix off the Roku box. It has Break TV and a lot of other stuff to.
If you don’t go that route, by now you should know what your twins love and don’t love. DVD’S can be expensive and VHS tapes are basically eliminated, so if it’s been awhile you may have to update your collection with new DVD’S that your twins will truly enjoy watching. They will have different preferences, so get a few for each of them, and most importantly ones that both can get into.
Television is more entertaining and more educational than ever before. Don’t feel like your a bad parent for allowing your twins to watch Dora and Yo Gabba Gabba while you do dishes and laundry. Just be sure they are in a safe area with nothing around to harm them, and do check up on them VERY often. I have two video monitors in my house. I can’t say enough great things about them.
Dvd players for your vehicle
11) More advanced baby-proofing items
I’ll talk about my top picks at another time, but such items are absolute necessities with toddler twins. You will be baby-proofing more than ever before the bigger they get and the more they can get into. Mine got over the baby gate well before two came so that became something we couldn’t even use any longer. You may or may not get luckier in that department.
Baby-proofing must haves include:
A) A refrigerator lock
B) Drawer locks
C) A toilet seat lock
(Or keep the door closed and locked when they can open doors.. AWLAYS.) You will have a plumbing bill or an accident if not.
D) Door knob locks
E) Cabinet locks
F) Safety gates
If your toddlers are still on the young or undaring side and not catapulting over them. (They need to build some taller ones, seriously!)
It’s annoying sometimes having to undo and redo all of these locks but it is necessity believe me.
12) Time for a change of toys?
Unless it’s their ‘lovey’ plush toys are a waste of space and money. You know, the ones that sit there and do absolutely nothing. Infant toys such as ones you put shapes into may become non-challenging and simply clutter up your living room. When you see interest fading, it’s time to do some toy Spring cleaning.
Examples of better toddler toys:
a) Age appropriate wooden puzzles
b) Little tricycles or small 12” bicycles for warm weather
(At LEAST 18 months. 2+ to really be able to ride something alone. Twins are usually smaller to. Keep that in mind when looking for a 1st vehicle.)
c) Blocks and Legos
They will continue to enjoy these for some time to come. You can never go wrong there.
d) Little, age-appropriate, kiddie learning lap tops and Leapster like products.
(2+. Before that they won’t do much with them. The older they get, the more they will get out of such products.)
e) Art items
(Put tiny talents to good use)
1. A drawing easel
(Nothing too fancy at this point.)
2. Washable markers and finger paints
3. Coloring books
4. Lots of crayons
(They will break them for funsies. Best to go with the big, thick ones.)
5. Art crafts as they get a bit older
(Ones that you can do along with them are always fun.)
Thousands of toys for toddlers
If you don’t have a swing set yet, now may be the time to start hunting for one. We are right now.
At 27 months they are crazy animals who LOVE the park.
(We need to be able to bring a little bit of the park home for them!)
I hope you enjoyed this edition of must-have essentials for twin toddlers. I’m sure a second edition will be coming in the months ahead.
Enjoy your double blessings!