I vividly remember the shock and surprise when my dear friend told me she was expecting, not just her fourth baby, but her fourth and fifth, all at once—it was twins!
She had sensed that two little lives were growing inside her already visible belly, even requesting an early ultrasound. Her provider waved her off, but mother’s intuition pressed her to get the ultrasound she knew she needed and she left that appointment with her babies’ first photo: two perfect sacs, two tiny heartbeats, two new family members arriving sometime in the fall.
In the months between sharing her news and welcoming her precious babies, we had many a conversation focused on all the baby necessities she would need to welcome two babies at once. We researched special twin items and weighed all the pros and cons. We unearthed the essentials and found many must-haves for that fateful first year. And today, they are all rounded up here, to help you too prepare for your dose of double darlings. If you’re pregnant with twins, this is everything you need to get on your registry ASAP, plus a few special tips especially for moms of multiples.
Must-Haves if You’re Pregnant with Twins
First things first, you’re going to need a double stroller when it comes time to get out and about. Three strollers rate as top picks among twin families: Uppababy Vista, Graco Ready 2 Grow, and the Bob Gear Duallie.
Each stroller has its unique benefits—the Uppababy Vista stacks seats while the Bob Gear Duallie offer a side-by-side ride. Price, colors, and custom options range. Your best bet for landing on the perfect fit for you is to take each on a test drive. Connect with a local twin family to see theirs in action or visit a store with floor models to get a hands-on feel before you commit to the Vista, Graco, or Duallie.
Your nursery will house two cribs, but in those early days, having an option to keep the babies close at night is essential. The HALO BassNest Twin Sleeper Bassinet is a definite must-have for twin families. It snuggles up to the parent’s bedside and adjusts up and down while swiveling for a custom fit (an especially helpful function for C-section parents). While offering two separate sleep spaces, the HALO BassiNest also gives twins the connection they’re so accustomed to.
Ask any twin mom what she does for countless hours each day and no doubt she’ll say that feeding takes up a lot of her time. The My Brest Friend Twin Nursing Pillow offers nursing moms physical support while breastfeeding and the opportunity to tandem feed, a true milestone in any twin mom’s early days.
Twin-Designed Babywearing Carriers
All infants love to be held, but twin babies especially love to be close to their parents and close to one another. But if you want both hands free, a baby carrier designed just for babywearing twins may be helpful. The TwinGo twin baby carrier can hold babies from 10 to 45 pounds and lets you hold one twin in the front and one on the back. Or, if your partner or a helpful friend is around, it can even be separated into two individual carries. Genius.
The days might be long, but the months and that first full year are oh so short. Document your twins’ growth with this precious twin milestone blanket. You’ll love looking back at photo documentation of how your twins grew from newborns into roly-poly one-year-olds.
Diaper Bag Backpack
With twins, you’ll need two hands free as often as possible. Hence, a diaper bag that doubles as a backpack can be especially useful. And since you’re going for twice the fun, why not go for a large style like the Skip Hop Diaper Bag Backpack while you’re at it? You’ll have double the diapers, double the changes of clothes, double the bottles, and double the stuff to haul around, so you’ll need a bag that can keep up to the task. Twin moms also recommended Freshly Picked’s Classic Diaper Bag (so many gorgeous colors!) and Honest’s Cross Country Diaper Bag, both backpack styles as well.
Diapers, Diapers, and More Diapers
It is estimated that twins will go through approximately 4,000 diapers in their first year of life. That’s a lot of diapers! So, you may want to consider watching for those diaper sales and stocking up on the best diapers even as you count down the days to your due date.
Then again, with two in diapers, you might want to go down the rabbit trail of researching cloth diapers. You’ll invest in an initial stash and do a fair amount of laundry, but overall you definitely have the opportunity to save money when it comes to diapering two tushes.
You can’t necessarily add a twin/multiples support group to your baby registry, but it is definitely a must have. Twin mom Rachel, who was already an experienced mom when she found out she had twins on the way, shared, “I felt like a newbie all over again even after having three kiddos. Just a whole new ballgame. The best support is relating to other twin moms who had NICU time, since that’s so common. Also going to a breastfeeding support group specific to multiples!” So, find your local tribe and connect with other parents in your shoes. Together, you’ll weather all the surprises twins send your way.
Tips for Having Twins
Expect All the Emotions
If you find out that you are pregnant with twins, expect to feel a wide range of emotions. Fear. Joy. Disbelief. Uncertainty. They are all completely normal and 100% warranted. Expecting one baby can bring about those same feelings, so the news of two no doubt doubles all the imagined worries and future fun.
If your set of twins are your first children, you won’t know any different than twin life, but if they are your second and third, third and fourth, or, like my dear friend, her fourth and fifth, it’s essential to let go of prior expectations and experiences.
You no doubt had a routine and a fair awareness about what it was like to welcome a singleton, but now, you have your hands full; literally—both of them. Approach this season of motherhood as a completely new one and don’t hold yourself up to unfair expectations as you embark on an entirely new journey.
Commit to a Schedule
Over and over twin moms proclaim the same advice: get those sweet babes on the same schedule! So much of the day—and night—are spent feeding and regulating sleep, so it’s ideal to synchronize meals and sleep time. It takes some time, and often a helping hand, but once your twins are on a schedule, daily life will get easier.
Much like singletons, a consistent schedule is found when you create a routine, including markers that signal to your baby what is coming next. For instance, your schedule could consist of mealtime and playtime, followed by a nap. At bedtime, you can add in some other triggers that will help everyone wind down. Try out bathing, feeding, a special song, diapering and pajamas, sleep sacks, a sound machine, and then lights out. Most of all, be willing to adapt, try new things, and seek advice. You will learn your babies’ cues and be able to guide them into a schedule that works well for you all.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of twins in early pregnancy?
Every twin mama is different, of course, but some report that their first trimester “twin” pregnancy symptoms begin earlier on and feel more intense than their singleton pregnancies. You may notice increased morning sickness, measure ahead, gain more weight, and feel your little ones’ wiggles early on too.
What is the reason for twin pregnancy?
There are two ways twins happen: one, when two separate eggs are fertilized (fraternal twins) or when one egg splits into two embryos (identical twins). The propensity for twins is also possible due to IVF; if a doctor and parents decide to transfer two embryos, the potential for twins is likely.
How soon do you show with twins?
The inevitable pregnancy pop is unique to each woman, but with twins, it is likely that you will begin to show sooner. If you feel the need to bust out maternity clothing earlier than you might have thought, go for it, mama—it’s important that you feel comfy during your pregnancy, no matter how “early” you show.
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Reviewed by Chaunie Brusie, RN, BSN…