Twin Gear - Bouncer

Fisher-Price Precious Planet Playtime BouncerI thought the babies would enjoy napping in this Fisher Price bouncer. My co-caregivers are of the opinion that the babies are not comfortable in it so it's tucked away in storage. I'm loath to return it however because we have enjoyed hours of sleep on it so I fully expect that when the girls are better able to support their necks, they'll enjoy spending time in this. It's worth the try. I'll keep you updated

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Twin Gear - Swing

Fisher Price Cradle n Swing, My Little LambThese are our swings and our daytime sleeping hours are spent here. The kiddos sleep well in this but are still too young to look up at the sheep rotating around the mirror. I'm also not sure the music does anything for them, but regardless, this mamma isn't sneezing at 3-5 hours of nap time achievable in the FP my little lamb swing.
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Twin Gear - Boppy Pillow

Boppy Nursing Pillow with Slipcover, Lots of DotsHere is the uber-famous boppy pillow. Having this "rescue" me when I have to juggle the two babies alone, I see why the boppy has a huge fan club. I don't see how, but the babies are quite comfortable lounging on it. I own just one, which I use as a nanny to the baby I can't carry at the time. Every home with newborn twins needs one of this IMHO.
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Things For Twins - Playing Mat

A playing mat is one of the first things you would want to buy for your twins once they are a few months old. This is where they'll spend some of their waking time. I bought the Tiny Love Gymini play mat for my twins and it proved to be a good decision. It's definitely a good size for two young babies to lie on at the same time.

Additionally, it's a great spot for tummy time as the two babies can lie there at the same time till they're around 5 months or rolling over independently. The babies also find the mirror and hanging animals quite fascinating. Swiping at the animals helps them develop their motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

This mat is not readily available in stores like Walmart and Target. I recommend buying this mat from Amazon.com like I did because they have a very generous one year return policy.

Tiny Love Gymini Playing Mat for Twins

You may also be interested in my post on the best diaper bag for twins, the best playpen for twins and how to buy twin gear cheaply.

Click on this link to buy the Tiny Love Gymini Mat from Amazon.comClick to buy from Amazon.com

Twin Gear - Car Seat

We are using the Chicco Keyfit30. I chose this because unlike the Gracos, the lower weight limit is 4lbs. This was important to me as I had no idea what my babies' birthweight will be. I've installed other infant seats in the past and certifiably, this is the easiest to install and use. mytwintopia recommends this.

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Newborn disposable diaper review - UPDATE

After revisiting my post reviewing the newborn size disposable diapers I used on the twins, I felt I needed to pay some attention to the not-so-popular brands as well. As the size one diapers were still way too big on the girls, I purchased one jumbo bag each of Luvs and Up and Up (the Target brand) for my use.

Here's an updated review including the two brands
  • Pampers swaddlers sensitive: I used these first. I liked the nice green line in the center that tells you when the diaper is wet because for those first few days, baby pee is sometimes too small to see by looking into the diaper. I did find the cut to be a bit awkward for the babies fresh out of the hospital. I had to fold the top of it wouldn't cover their cord
  • Huggies sensitive: I loved the cut of this. It's pricey but I think it was my favorite despite the fact that I couldn't find any color-change pee indicator so I had to change when it looked like we needed it
  • Pampers swaddlers: The softness of this was heavenly but I did have a blowout.
  • Huggies little snugglers: My least favorite. The color-change-for-pee line is not that sharp for me plus this is the diaper that makes me believe all environmentalists that diapers are full of chemicals. Occasionally I take off the diaper and I see some crystals on babies' tush. Definitely chemical-full and not my favorite.
  • Luvs: Out of the box, the first thought that crossed my  mind on touching it was scratchy. It did what it was supposed to do  and was as memorable as a glass of water on a cold day
  • Up and up (Target brand): Out of the bag, this was light and thin which I thought would give a trim fit on the baby. Well in this case, thin=non-absorbent. For the first time, my babies cried and were cranky from being wet. I used it for less than two days before designating the unused half of the bag to the back of the closet. This diaper did not work for us at all.
Total newborn diapers used, 360.

2 babies, 1 stroller and groceries in a Mazda5

With the two 3rd row seats down, yes it can be done. Stroller is the Baby Jogger City Mini Double Stroller. Loved it during the test drive but haven't used it yet. I see a detailed and hopefully effusive review of this stroller in my future.

The stroller can be purchased from Amazon.com and ships for free. Click here to buy.


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Mirror, mirror in my heart

Something amazing is happening with the girls. On the one hand,it seems they are totally unaware of each other. They don't physically acknowledge themselves and look away in disinterest when we try to get them to look at each other. I would have concluded that they are unaware of each other's existence except that they now mirror each other. How?

They've adopted each other's personality traits and mannerisms. Also, asleep and awake, they mirror each other's cries and grunts and snorts. Its really amazing to watch. They cry as if on cue. The puzzle when they both start crying at the same  time is for me to pinpoint who's really upset and who's just mirroring. That determines who gets picked up first. If I guess wrong, well... let's just say the neighbours won't be getting any much sleep. Just another amazing twin phenomenum that highlights God's greatness in the things we can't explain

Twins stats - 1 month old

Happy birthday to us;
we're one month today;
happy birthday happy birthday
happy birthday to us

(can you tell mama's a little giddy with excitement. Will be putting some mileage on the camera today)

SpIce aka Twin A
Weight             9lbs 1oz
Dress size        0- 3 months
Diaper size       Size 1
Formula           Transitioning from Similac liquid to Enfamil newborn powder


Sugah aka Twin B

Weight             8lbs 13oz
Dress size        0- 3 months
Diaper size       Size 1
Formula           Transitioning from Similac liquid to Enfamil newborn powder

Schedule
Feeding is on demand.Starting to schedule nighttime sleep for 8-9pm

Top Gear - My fave 5 
Playtex disposable bottles system
Breast pump
Swing
Awesome husband
Helping hands from friends and family

Heading home with your newborn - Book Review

Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality I've read a few doctor-authored books on parenting in the last months of my pregnancy and I must say that sometimes the experience is as pleasurable as pulling teeth.

What I liked: This book turned out to be more of a sweet treat than a teeth pull. It was an absolute pleasure to read. Reading is my oldest hobby and I know a well-written book when I read one. From chapter layout, to font-size, to dynamism of the content, this book was written for any intending parent to read and be informed without strain, guilt or boredom. The authors and editorial team get an A+ from me (I've also been on the editorial board of a student publication for two years so I know the effort required to deliver an easy to read publication).
Let's talk about content. The book has two authors who just happen to be female parents with a medical degree and experience in pediatrics. The background of Dr Jana and Dr Shu must have played a big role in the content because it comes across as a combination of what an experienced parent and a pediatrician will tell you - and due to that, it covers some of the minor details that mothers worry about but sometimes feel foolish bringing up with their pediatrician. Example of this is chapter 18 (my fave) which talks about the baby's health from head to toe. What's the white stuff in my baby's mouth? Answered. My baby is breathing funny, is this normal? Answered. What did I do wrong to startle my baby and make her cry? Answered

What I didn't like: In case it's not obvious from what I've written so far, I loved this book and enjoyed reading it. Only thing I may add is, based on the trust that the authors inspired in me, I wouldn't object to a few honest product recommendations. Also, some hints on handling twins and higher order multiples would be a nice addition.

In summary, this book has my strongest recommendation. Read before baby comes, as there'll be no time after. If you want to go a step further, both doctors have websites, blogs and free newsletters and in me, they've found a new fan.

Switching formula

I've been very cautious in my choice and use of formula to ensure that fussiness due to gas  was kept at a minimum. One of the things I did was to use liquid ready-to-feed formula for the first one month as I really wasn't sure how early the twins would come or what they would weigh and wanted a sterile formula for the initial month.

Fast forward to today and I am two days into switching them from Similac ready to feed to Similac powder. That's not working out so well. The powder is incredibly gassy and makes the girls fussy and uncomfortable. So gassy that I conducted an experiment today.

I mixed 2 ounces each of Similac and 3nfamil in separate bottles, shook real hard and waited for the gas to settle. It was a no-contest. Enfamil won hands down. Now our formula switch will be from the Similac ready to feed liquid to Enfamil powder. I'll be alternating the two during feedings to make the adjustment easier on their tummies.

Lesson learnt: Don't stock up on formula before you know what your babies will need (even if you are a mega planner like me, RESIST!)

Officially 0-3 months

As of today, I have two big bags of newborn clothes that will not be worn by my babies again. Yes we are now in 0-3 month sizes. WOW! See how they grow. I wonder what I'm going to do with the clothes. The Gerbers are definitely going to charity, but I'm loath to give out the others and storing them doesn't seem to make a whole lotta sense right now. Who woulda thought I would be this nostalgic over little clothes that were made with less than a yard of material. Sigh!

Have a blessed weekend y'all

Baby Bargains book

I went to a Mothers-of-Multiples sale in June and I saw this book on the shelf for a dollar. I got it since I was about to leave the sale empty-handed and I figured out a one dollar savings based on the advise inside will justify its cost.
Baby Bargains: Secrets to Saving 20% to 50% on Baby Furniture, Equipment, Clothes, Toys, Maternity Wear and Much, Much More!



What I liked - I like the way the each chapter has a summary section at the end so that I could just go to that page and check out the list of recommendations. I like the fact that the authors do not accept any commercial sponsorships so the reviews are presumably unbiased. AND, most importantly, they name names. I hate it when I read "How To" or guide books and they give you a list of things to look out for in a purchase and then don't tell you what brands fit that mould. For instance, they say buy hard pine and not pine veneers but won't tell you who makes what. Do I look like the kind of person who will walk into the furniture store and be able to describe what I see in words more in-depth than dark or light or chocolate-like? This book spares me that ordeal. The authors list specific brands for a lot of the essential baby goods. This definitely made my shopping a lot easier. There's also a website with a very active parent forum.

What I did not like - This may have nothing to do with the book and everything to do with me being slightly anal about details, but once I got a list of branded recommendations, I almost drove myself crazy looking for the exact brands. It took quite an effort to retrain my mind so that I could deviate from their specific recommendations for say crib sheets for instance. Another thing is even with the savings they tout, some of their recommendations are still not the most cost-effective for someone in my  budget situation. This was true for my crib purchase for instance. They recommended a good brand that was in the $500 range but they also had an equally good brand in the $200 range. Which one do you think mama cheapskate bought?

All in all, I loved this book. Having a baby is a big event and the plethora of information out there can be overwhelming. This book really helped to sort through the myriad of options from cotton vs polyester sheets to dovetailed vs stapled dresser drawers. Don't know what I'm talking about, get the book, it's a five star for me.

My 4 favorite twin pregnancy sites

The internet and Dr Google can sometimes be a twin mamma's best friend. Here's a link to the websites that I like for twinnie stuff and advice.


Raising Twins- Advice, support, help and information for parents who are expecting twins, or who already have them and love them!


BabyCenter's Got Twins forum - I check this forum daily to get advice and experiences of parents with twins of all ages. Indispensable advice if I may add

Twinsonline - This is a UK-based twin website and forum. Its good for the diversity of seeing how things are done on the other side of the pond


How do you do it? - A group of twin mom bloggers tell it like it is.

Newborn Disposable Diaper Review

3 weeks and 300 newborn size diapers later, I figured I might be qualified to write this post. I bought a range of disposable diapers on sale to build my stash and here's what I think of each brand I used.
  • Pampers swaddlers sensitive: I used these first. I liked the nice green line in the center that tells you when the diaper is wet because for those first few days, baby pee is sometimes too small to see by looking into the diaper. I did find the cut to be a bit awkward for the babies fresh out of the hospital. I had to fold the top of it wouldn't cover their cord
  • Huggies sensitive: I loved the cut of this. It's pricey but I think it was my favorite despite the fact that I couldn't find any color-change pee indicator so I had to change when it looked like we needed it
  • Pampers swaddlers: The softness of this was heavenly but I did have a blowout.
  • Huggies little snugglers: My least favorite. The color-change-for-pee line is not that sharp for me plus this is the diaper that makes me believe all environmentalists that diapers are full of chemicals. Occasionally I take off the diaper and I see some crystals on babies' tush. Definitely chemical-full and not my favorite.

Dealing with Congestion

My little independent lady is dealing with what my paranoid first-time-mama mind considers severe congestion. I've been sticking the blue bulb into her nose regularly to get out as many boogies as possible, but over the last 24 hours, I noticed she dropped a few of her feeds from 3oz to 1oz. Since she's too young for any real medication, here's what we're doing as per doc's recommendations.
  • Tilt mattress to approx 30degrees by placing a never-been-read sales manual under it
  • Purchase and use a battery powered nasal aspirator
  • Use saline drops and aspirator before feedings
  • Use humidifier with just water.
Watching and praying for my baby's quick recovery

Zombie moments

I guess every twin parent goes through zombie moments in the first six weeks. These are moments spent on autopilot due to sleep deprivation. I had two of those moments today. First I attempted to put formula in the baby bottle without a liner in. Result? Two ounces of milk splashed all over the kitchen. Fast forward two hours later, I threw two feeding bottles in the trash along with junk mails and catalogs and then spent another thirty minutes looking for said bottles . Guess I'm sleep deprived afterall.

Feeding chaos

I'm thankful I have support people helping me out. This frees me up for daytime nights so I can pull the night shift. The only problem is I've lost track of the twin's feedings. Its's time to revive the daily care log for feeding and poop. I got one from the hospital that I will modify for myself.

Twin Stats - Week 2

Government aka Twin A
Weight             7lbs 3oz
Dress size        Carters Newborn. Outgrown Gerber newborn
Diaper size       Newborn
Formula           Similac advanced liquid

Independence aka Twin B
Weight             7lbs 2oz
Dress size        Carters Newborn. Outgrown Gerber newborn
Diaper size       Newborn
Formula           Similac advanced liquid


Miss Independent

I can't waste today writing about poop and inconsequential stuff because the most exciting thing just happened.... my baby, Independence is holding her bottle all by herself. No I'm not exaggerating and no its not a fluke. We noticed she could hold her pacifier in her mouth last week but the bottle holding tops that. This mama can't stop preening like I had something to do with it.

Granny knows best

So we continued with poop patrol on Sugar today. My poor baby was so uncomfortable; armed with a bunch of solutions from Dr Google, I approached her cautiously like one would an injured kitten.

Started with the gripe water strategically placed in her cheek. She spat every drop right out. Next, I got a cotton bud generously smothered in vaseline and attempted to stimulate her rectal muscles. No luck and there's a possibility mama was too squeamish about this. Finally tried my grandma's old reliable style - Put baby face-down over my thighs and use a washcloth to trickle warmish-hot water through her butt crack. Worked in 2010 just like it worked for grandma in 1940. My darling slept so much better after that. SpIce is next in line if she don't give mama a dirty diaper in the next 12 hours

10 days old

  • Feeding - 3 ounces every 3 hours plus the few drops of breastmilk I can fit in intermittently. Currently using this Baby Formula
  • Bathing - Twice a day sponge bath. Morning with soap, evening without.
  • Peeing - Very well
  • Pooping - Very well till yesterday. Was on poop patrol for almost 36 hours with both babies before I got a big one.

First Doctor's Visit and Stats

We made our first trip out of the house today for our first doctor's visit. 

Everything was great. Spice weighs 6lbs10 and Sugar weighs 6lbs9. Spice has gained a good 13oz and now outweighs Sugar by an ounce. 

That explains where all those bottles of formula went. Looks like its time to order that stroller too

Spice aka Twin A
Weight             6lbs 10oz
Dress size        Newborn.
Diaper size       Newborn
Formula           Similac Advance Ready to Feed Nursettes

Sugar aka Twin B
Weight             6lbs 9oz
Dress size        Newborn
Diaper size       Newborn
Formula           Similac Advance Ready to Feed Nursettes

Schedule
Food and sleep are on demand. Babies rule the roost

Feeding
I'm using the more expensive liquid formula because they are also less gassy and sterile. I'll switch to powder at the one month mark.

5 most useful items for this stage

  1. Breast pump
  2. Swing
  3. Sitz bath 
  4. Awesome husband
  5. Helping hands from friends and family




The Help

The troops (family) have arrived to help. I appreciate it so much. I can actually sleep without worrying about babies except... for the first time in my life I have insomnia. I'm sleeping in 30 minute stretches. No fun.

Home Alone

Me and the hubs bundled our two preciouses in their carseats and left the hospital with the confidence attributable only to the clueless. The 35 minutes we spent in the hospital driveway trying to figure out the belts on the car seat is the perfect testament of how much we know and how prepared we were. Spent the night waking up to every grunt, every sigh, every spit bubble. I am officially a parent. Welcome to motherhood

After the high

I hurt in places no one should hurt in. Asking doctor for some stronger pain juice. I love me babies. Spent a few hours with them. Their personalities are already showing. We call princess 1 "D'Government" because it is obvious in her mind that she makes the rules. Princess 2 is "D'Boss" because that's what the nursery nurse called her.

Day 1 - Mother's Day

Today, I had my twins at 39 weeks on the dot. Started induction at 8AM, became mama to my princess 1 at 6:59PM. My princess 2 arrived at 7:21PM. 5lbs13 and 6lbs2. Isn't God awesome? I'm deliriously happy. God bless the man/woman that invented epidural.

Government aka Twin A
Weight             5lbs 13oz

Independence aka Twin B
Weight             6lbs 2oz
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