Here is a buying guide in honor of our close friends who just found out TODAY that they are having boy/girl twins!
Deciding what you need for twins can be a tricky thing. Its hard to know what you need two of and what items you can just get by with one of. After having twins myself and being a baby gear fanatic, here are my thoughts on the combination of gear that worked best for us. You could definitely get by with less, but you should be able to easily save LOTS by buying “used” and borrowing when you can.
(2) Infant car seats with bases – My choice is the Graco Snugride. Easy to find, good safety ratings, many color options in a variety of price points. This is one of the few things that I would recommend buying new.
(2) Cribs – Pick a finish you will be happy with for years. If you have more children, you will want to still love your crib.
(2) Mattresses – Yes, you have to buy them separately from the cribs and YES, they can be pricey. Get an inexpensive one, but not the cheapest one you can find. Many kids also sleep on these throughout the toddler years either as their crib converts to a toddler bed, or as the mattress in their new toddler bed, and you will want it to be comfortable for them and last.
(1) Changing table or changing table pad to go on top of a safe surface.
(1) Regular swing – I like the ones that look like little nests that can go back and forth or front to back. My pick is one of the Full Size Fisher-Price Cradle Swings.
(1) Small portable swing – These are great because they can be moved around the house easily and can even be used as a place for the baby to just sit safely even when the swing is not on. We loved ours and even took it when we went places (like a friends house for dinner). My choice is the Fisher-Price Take Along Swing in “Woodlands”.
(1…or 2) Bouncer – Great “chill” spots for babies to rest, nap, or watch their surroundings. My pick is the Fisher-Price Soothe n’ Play Bouncer in “Woodlands.”
(1) Activity mat – We loved ours and used it endlessly. Perfect for twins because they can lay under it together or have tummy time and face each other. My choice is the Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Ocean Adventure Gym or the less expensive Infantino Lil’ Lion’s Happy Hangout Activity Gym.
(1) Entertainer – These are those big fun things that kids sit in the middle of that have little toys and activities attached to the tray all around them. My choice is the Baby Einstein Discover and Play Activity Center or the less expensive Bright Starts Bounce-A-Bout Activity Center.
(1) Jumper – Some are free standing (my first choice) and some hang from a doorway (which work great if you have a doorway with a jamb somewhere near your central living space). First choice for free-standing jumper is the Fisher-Price Jumperoo in “Precious Planet.
-It’s great to have one entertainer and one free-standing jumper because they can play side by side and can switch back and forth between the two for some variety.
(1) Baby bath – These don’t need to be very expensive. I like the ones that have the little net that can be suspended in the bath for babies when they are little. My choice is The First Years Sure Comfort Newborn-Toddler Tub.
(2) Highchairs – Features I love: wheels, removable tray inserts that can be washed in the dish washer, easy-to-clean waterproof seats. My choice is the Fisher-Price Rainforest Deluxe Highchair.
(1) Boppy – I did not find these supportive enough for nursing, but loved them for cozy spots for the babies (especially when they were swaddled). Start with one, and if you love it, get a second.
(1) Stroller – A stroller that holds two baby carriers that I love is the Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem Plus. Our favorite stroller as our kids got bigger was the BOB Revolution Duallie. Can’t say enough about the BOB. If you prefer a light weight side by side, I would recommend a Maclaren.
(1) Diaper Bag – For twins I recommend a backpack bag (or one with a long shoulder strap that you can wear across your body) with plenty of room. Your arms will be full enough from the babies to use them to hold a bag.
If you plan to have the babies sleep in your room (which I highly recommend for your sanity) you will either need to have one of your cribs in there temporarily for them to share, or get some sort of place for them to sleep. I LOVED our Co-Sleeper. For twins you will need the original size (not the mini). Ours slept in the Co-Sleeper together in our room until they were 6 mo. and then moved into their nursery and shared a crib, and later moved to their own cribs after they were more wiggly.
If you plan to be staying somewhere overnight sometime within the first 2(ish) years you will greatly appreciate having 2 pack n plays. I would recommend a basic one. For most people who already have a bassinet, changing table etc., the other features aren’t necessary.
Other great things if you can afford them:
(1) A wrap or sling for wearing one of the babies when they are little (you can wear both babies in one Moby wrap when they are still tiny) and an Ergo (or 2) for when they get bigger if you find you enjoy wearing them. We have used our Ergos endlessly!
Some sort of a chair that rocks easily. Gliders are perfect for this and can often be found “used” for a great price.
A nursing pillow made for use with twins – These are wonderful if you plan to nurse because they have a lot more support and are made with enough surface area to feed two babies at once. My choice is the EZ-2-Nurse Twins pillow.
Baby Monitor-If you have a larger home or anticipate needing one of these. they can be nice to have.
This list is huge, but don’t get overwhelmed. As I said before, you can find many of these things used. Craigslist is a great resource for baby gear.
Make sure that anything you buy used or borrow is in good working order and has not been recalled.