Things to Buy for Baby Twins and Multiples

09 August 2011

This is a list for moms pregnant with twins as I share the things that were "good buys" for me - I have twins too. There's so much noise out there on what you need because afterall, the baby industry is a $2.9 billion industry and that money has to come from somewhere!

This is the list I give to any new mom asking me for advice on what a baby needs. Tune out the noise and get this as a minimum for the first couple of months. 3 months into this motherhood business, you'll have a pretty good idea of what will work for you and your baby and what won't.

Every baby needs for the first few months

1. Conveyance from the hospital: A car seat. Regardless of where you buy, take a trip to Babies R Us and test the different brands in your car to see which installs best
2. A place to sleep: Parents in temporary accomodations or planning to move before baby's first birthday, get a pack and play with a bassinet area. Get 2-3 quilted bassinet sheets and you're set. A mini-crib is another option but note that most babies will outgrow a mini-crib before their first birthday.
3. Clothes to wear aka layette: Clothes will be a very common gift once baby is born. For the interim, I'll suggest 5 kimono shirts (for before the umbilical stump falls off), 5 white onesies and 10 footed 100% cotton sleepers. Sleepers eliminate the need for socks. Hats? Get 2 from the hospital and use those. I bought a few hats but my babies were both born below 15-percentile for weight and above 90-percentile for head circumference and all the normal baby hats were too small for us. A couple of weather appropriate blankets, two towels, 5 washclothes. Maybe a carseat bunting if you live in the upper regions of the world
4. Food and feeding supplies
     Breast pump: Rent for the first two months until you're sure how the whole breastfeeding business is going to turn out. Hospital-grade breast pumps can be rented from a number of sources including the local hospitals, local maternity stores, some Babies R Us outlets and online outlets. After two months, you'll know if you need your own breastpump and what type. I initially bought a dual electric pump for almost $200 but I found that I could have gotten away with the $50 pump due to my particular situation. Also, some insurance plans cover breast pump rental so make a few phone calls and find out. AND since 2010, breast pump purchases are now a deductible medical expense on US taxes. Thank you Mrs O.
     Formula: If you're planning to breastfeed, you can get the freebie formula from the hospital and keep that as backup. The freebies come in a diaper bag so you can also hold off that purchase for a couple of months while you decide if you are a winnie the pooh bag mummy or a kalencom
     Bottles: Hospital freebies above come in nursette bottles with pre-sterilized nipples. Bottle purchases can wait until you see how your baby does with the nursette nipples. If you must buy, I've had good experience with Playtex nursers and Avent bottles. One note on bottles, make sure they can screw directly onto the breast pump. All the more common breast pumps can take the standard bottles like evenflo, Dr Brown, gerber etc. Avent bottles can only be used with the Avent breast pump BUT Avent has an adapter to allow the use of their breast pump with standard bottles.
     Bottle warmer? Skip this and keep warmed water in a thermos. Less fumbling to do for the night feedings
     Breastfeeding addons: Lanolin cream and breast pads. Hold off on the nursing bra until you know what the "girls" are going do. A boppy pillow has proven to be useful. 
5.   Stroller - Get a skeletal frame that is compatible with your infant car seat (the snap and go is a popular one). Depending on baby's size and growth rate, you can get 6-12 months usage out of this. Gives you time to decide what type stroller you need for the longer term.
6.   Swing or bouncer. I'd take a swing over a bouncer because my babies were not truly comfortable in their bouncers at newborn size.
7. Diapers and wipes. All the brands have their pros and cons. See my review of newborn brands here
8. Diaper pail. Skip the genie and get something that has a good seal and can use normal trash bags
9. Cleaning supplies.
    A bath tub compatible with your kitchen or bathroom.
   Changing pad or mat depending on how you want to be set up. If you decide to buy a diaper bag before time, most come with a changing mat
   Shampoos and lotions. For peace of mind, stick to the "greener" products or Aveeno.
   Dye-free, fragrance-free or baby-friendly detergent
10. Basic medications. Gas drops, vitamins if breastfeeding, diaper cream

I confess that I suffered from buyer's remorse on a few things I bought before having my twins and I really wish I had listened to the advice to keep it simple. This is a list that showcases what I would purchase pre-baby if I had to do it all over again. Totaled up, I can tell you that getting everything on this list will cost $70-$1000 and not a penny more. 

I also recommend buying from Amazon. Their Amazon Mom program gives you up to one year to return items. That is a far more generous policy than Babies R Us, Walmart, Target and a host of other stores.

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