I have three kids under the age of 5, including identical twins.
Having had one baby before I got pregnant with twins, I thought I knew which products I needed.
Experience proved me wrong, and these are my favorite things for parenting twins.
I was very unprepared for having twins.
When I went in for my first ultrasound after finding out I was pregnant again, the technician was silent as she moved the wand around my uterus. Certain that she had bad news for us, I held my breath as she opened her mouth.
"Well, it looks like twins to me," she said. My husband immediately burst out in laughter. I, on the other hand, went numb.
While we were actively trying to get pregnant again after a traumatizing miscarriage, the idea of two newborns overwhelmed me. The first words that came out of my mouth after my husband kissed me in joy were "we are going to need so much of everything."
My twins are now 2 years old and have taught me many lessons. One of them is that parenting twins does not need to be scary. Yes, they can be a lot sometimes, especially now that they are trying to show independence. The other is that while you need two of the basics, you don't need two of everything. What you actually need are products that solve problems only parents of multiples understand.
Here are my favorite twin products:
A car seat with wheels
I had seen the Doona car seat around New York when my first child was little, and I was jealous at how easily city parents were able to go from pushing the stroller car seat to taking an Uber. I, on the other hand, had a car seat clicked to a stroller that was heavy and impossible to fold or even lift after a C-section.
Knowing that I was having a C-section again and that I couldn't carry anything heavier than one baby after surgery, I decided to invest in a Doona for the twins. The logic of just getting one was that I had my husband to help me carry the other car seat. Looking back, I should've gotten two because I ended up loving the car seat.
The Doona is basically a car seat on wheels. The wheels fold in and click in place when you use it as a stroller, and click back out with one button when you want to push it as a stroller. The wheels are small but durable and I found it easy to push.
I pushed one baby while my husband carried the other out of the hospital, and once I had recovered from surgery I was able to take both babies to the pediatrician by myself.
The Doona comes with a high price tag at $550, but could potentially eliminate the need for a stroller and an infant car seat.
A pillow for two babies to hang
The Twin Z Pillow was one of those products that I read on every single product list geared to twin parents. I was convinced I didn't need it because I had other pillow-like contraptions for my babies to hang out next to me supervised.
I learned that I was wrong pretty quickly and ordered the Twin Z Pillow in the middle of the night while feeding my babies. It was worth every cent.
We used the pillow to breastfeed, positioning one baby on each wedge. My husband used it for middle-of-the-night feeds, propping each baby in it while I pumped. They spent many hours on it, lounging next to us while we entertained our toddler.
We used it when they were learning to sit up, so they wouldn't topple over. And I have to admit, more than once I fell asleep snuggling it to. I later discovered many people use it as a pregnancy pillow.
If I could go back in time, I would spend $99.99 before the twins were born to have this from day one.
A safe sleep bassinet for both babies
While we planned to put our twins in the Snoo smart bassinet at night — and loved it — during the day I chose to have a double bassinet next to our couch where I knew I'd be spending most of the days immediately after birth recovering from major abdominal surgery.
Our apartment at the time had narrow stairs, and I didn't feel safe going up and down multiple times a day with newborns. So we set up the Halo Bassinest in our living room and had the babies take all their naps there.
What I love about this bassinet is that it's made with safe sleep in mind. Each baby has a separate area of the bassinet, which is divided by a piece of mesh fabric. The sides of the bassinet are also breathable and made of mesh.
While the legs might look as if they'll take up a lot of floor space, they are actually designed to go under a bed or couch so your babies can be close by, especially in the middle of the night for easy feeds.
It retails for $469.99, but you only need to buy one of them.
A double stroller that is narrow like a single stroller
Initially, I was set on converting the stroller we already had into a double stroller by buying an extra seat. My twins had other plans in mind, as they didn't like riding one over the other and preferred being next to each other in our outings.
That's when I discovered the Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 stroller, which is a compact double stroller that easily fits through doorways. The stroller is simple, without snack trays or other attachments, but it became my favorite stroller quickly because of how easy and compact it folds.
This Baby Jogger stroller has allowed me to go on outings by myself with the twins, and they have taken plenty of on-the-go naps in it.
A hands-free breast pump
Due to a multitude of issues, I ended up exclusively pumping with all my kids. With one baby I was able to sit down for 45 minutes and pump without interruptions, but with twins and a toddler that was impossible to achieve.
I tried the Willow pump and loved being able to pump anywhere. Not needing to be plugged to a socket was a major plus, especially since it allowed me to play with my toddler or hold a grumpy baby.
However, I was overproducing milk and reaching the Willow's max capacity of four ounces quickly. That meant a lot of maneuvering and putting away milk on my part, so I mostly used the pump while at home.
The pump is discrete. I pumped during work meetings via Zoom without anyone noticing what was going on with my breasts.
While the pump I have is more expensive than regular pumps at $499.99, there is now a new Willow pump that costs $329.99.
A baby carrier
I discovered baby-wearing with my first child, and it changed my life. I was able to do things with him napping on my chest. We navigated multiple airports and countries together.
While there are baby carriers for twins, I never felt confident having one baby on my chest and another on my back. Instead, my husband and I invested in Tula baby carriers that could grow with our twins, allowing us to wear them from birth to toddlerhood without having to spend more money.
At $179, the Tula Explore allows you to carry babies facing towards you, facing forward, and on your back. An added bonus is that their prints are beautiful. I often get asked where I bought my cherry and flower-print one.
Clothes without snaps
One of the biggest lessons I learned as a first-time mom is that clothes with snaps are terrible. I hated having to put together snaps in the middle of the night after having fed and changed a tiny newborn.
With the twins, I invested in clothes without snaps. I found that magnets and zippers were best, and discovered two brands with soft fabrics and cute prints.
The Magnetic Me onesies, which close with tiny magnets sewn inside the fabric for safety, always prompted nurses at the pediatrician's office to ask where we had gotten them, so they could recommend the brand to other families.
The Posh Peanut onesie is an internet sensation and sells out fast, but I like how soft the fabric is and how sturdy the zippers are.
A wagon that can carry everyone
Wagons are stroller alternatives that tend to be better on all terrain. Since we live in Maine and do a lot of walking on snow, ice, and sand, we got a Veer wagon for adventures where we couldn't bring our stroller.
The twins love the wagon because they get to see more things than when riding in a stroller. It's ideal for when we go to the wildlife park for example, because they get a 360-degree view of what's happening around them.
The Veer wagon is fully customizable, which is another plus compared to strollers and other wagons. We have cozy blankets, a snack tray, and a rain cover to keep everyone happy while riding.
A table for all activities
While the Lalo table is not made for twins, it should be on every twin's parents' shopping list. Our table gets used every day, multiple times a day, for all kinds of activities.
My twins have been able to climb up and sit independently on the chairs from a young age.
The Lalo chairs are safe for kids and hard to topple over. I have yet to see my kids do it.
All my children have had meals, painted masterpieces, built puzzles, and chatted with one other from across the table. It's also easy to clean — I wipe it down with baby wipes — and it's not an eye sore like many colorful and plastic kid items.
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