Everyone will have their opinions on works best for them and as they should. These items are what helped me throughout my crazy journey in the early days. As said before, I did not have much help so there were certain products that helped maintain my sanity.
Let me start with the basics. Of course there are things that every person needs diapers, clothes, and bed. I don’t really have any major life changing recommendations when it comes to that. I have my preferences but as far as diapers go my favorite have been Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Baby Dry. I think you will just have to find out what works for you. Many people have moved to cloth diapers and with twins I just don’t know how that would work out. But to each their own. There are so many different opinions on how you should put your babies to sleep that I will let people come to what works best for them. I can tell you that from the day that the babies came home from the hospital they slept in their cribs. The hospital had me so terrified of SIDS and I am a first time mother so the only thing I had to go off of was their recommendations. So, I put them in their respective empty cribs. The only thing I used were simple fitted crib sheets. My bubs were swaddled from day one until they were around 4.5 months. At first I simply used the hospital blankets (they worked great). They outgrew those fairly fast so I started to use the aden + anais Classic Muslin Swaddling Blankets. I love the muslin, breathable material as well as how they stretched out. It makes swaddling very easy. After awhile I would wake up to the babies breaking out of their swaddles. At the point the little houdinis were just too strong for the swaddle blankets I moved to the HALO SleepSack Micro-Fleece Wearable Blanket. I love the sleepsacks . They are a safe basically wearable blanket and I appreciate the option of them growing with the baby. When I first bought them they were still being swaddled, so they zipped into the blanket part but by putting their arms at their side I used the velcro flaps to swaddle them and they hardly ever broke out. I am convinced when they did break out it was user error rather than the sack’s fault. My one bub, Noah, is still in his Halo sleepsack except now he is not swaddled. His arms are out and the velcro flaps fit snuggly around his torso. He took to the transition very well. However, my other bub, Gabriel, did not enjoy being unswaddled and he barely slept at all. So, to transition out of the swaddle we used the Zipadee-Zip Swaddle Transition Blanket. It is a transition sleep sack. The baby looks like a little flying squirrel. The reason we stopped using the swaddle was because our pediatrician “yelled” at us. They had not and still have not rolled from back to front but in fear they would she urged us to stop swaddling. I recalled seeing this product on Shark Tank and the price was almost a deterrent, but Gabriel just wasn’t sleeping without the comfort of his swaddle. So, I thought the cost of sleeping was priceless. The first couple nights he was still waking up (he was sleeping through the night before the transition). I e-mailed the company to see if they had any advice and they e-mailed me back within in an hour. Within two more nights he was adjusted and sleeping through the night again. I cannot rave enough about their product but even more so their superior customer service.
Enough about sleeping products (but you can obviously see where my priorities lie—good sleep!!). One of my biggest concerns when I brought the boys home was their feeding needs. Noah was a good feeder at the hospital, but Gabriel had spent a couple of days in the NICU and one of the reasons was not eating well. We had already purchased the Munchkin LATCH BPA-Free Newborn Baby Bottle System prior to bringing the babies home. The sales associate at the store that I had my registry raved about them. She stated she was a lactation consultant prior to working there so I trusted her judgment. I really liked the bottles and their ease of cleaning and they were supposed to match the movement of a real breast. A couple of weeks into feeding the bubs and they started to refuse the bottle for whatever reason. After a recommendation from a nurse friend and much to my dismay of buying a whole new bottle system, we switched to the trusted Dr. Brown’s Original Bottle Specialty Feeding Starter Kit. The Dr. Brown’s bottles seemed to have cut down on a lot of gas and the boys haven’t had any issues with feeding. They are fairly easy to clean, maybe not as easy as the Latch but I don’t really have any complaints. I still use the Munchkin High Speed Bottle Warmer but I am sure the Dr. Brown’s version of the same works better. As with any bottle brand Dr. Brown’s offers different nipple sizes as the baby grows but I am still on a size 1 as the babies started throwing up when I changed their flow. I will stand them taking longer to finish a bottle if it means they keep it down.
I think the most defining moment of my stay-at-home mom life was when I figured out how to feed the babies at the same time. It was so stressful in the beginning feeding each baby individually as I had not a moment to myself. I was changing babies, feeding them and by then it was time to pump all over again. I literally almost lost my mind. One day they were crying so hysterically I put them on their Boppy Nursing Pillow one on each side of me while I sat on the floor. I think this is my absolute MUST HAVE. It was an absolute life-changer. When you think about it they were eating six times during the day. For those I was responsible of feeding them at least 4 or 5 feedings by myself while my husband was at work. That freed up about 2 hours of my day feeding them at the same time. THAT IS HUGE!!! It fit them safely and lifted their heads up where need be and it was comfortable for me.
One of my biggest challenges from the get-go was the fact that I could not comfort both babies at the same time and they were very fussy. One of my biggest allies were a set of swings we had. It was a nice place to put one fussy baby while catering to the other one. When my bubs were born they were only five pounds. As a first time mom I really thought I would break one. Maybe I would feel different with my next baby, but I was scared and have just now mastered holding two bubs at the same time. I did not care that my living room looked like a daycare with these two Graco Simple Sway Baby Swings. You know the old adage happy wife, happy life well in my house its happy babies, happy mommy! We also had one of those fancy 4moms, mamaRoo. Gabriel really, really enjoyed it. I loved the different settings especially the one that mimicked a car ride and the option for it to play music from you phone or device.
Keeping you baby busy must-haves. In the early days babies pretty much just sleep, eat and poo. But I still liked to put them on a baby mat to get used to looking at toys although they much more enjoy the mats today. I have two mats one for each baby although they usually like playing on them together, but there are days where they just do not want to be by each other. My two favorite mats are theFisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym. The babies love the lights at the top and the music and rain forest sounds it plays. The nice thing about these mats is that you can always buy extra toys and switch them out to keep them interesting. When the babies were two months I brought out the Fisher-Price Kick and Play Piano Gym. It amazed me when I laid Gabriel down to play while I folded clothes and the next thing I knew he was just kicking away. It also flips around to make a tummy time toy.
I think ultimately the most important item you can pick out in terms of safety and your own preference is a good car seat. I opted for purchasing a who twin travel system. Meaning a double stroller with the car seats and bases to match. I picked the Graco Click System with a stroller that goes front to back (not a double wide). I have a hard enough time navigating this stroller I cannot even imagine the havoc I would create with a double wide. It’s easy to use and was purchased from Wal-Mart.com. I searched for quite a while for a system that I liked and surprisingly Babies R’ Us didn’t have that many options although they do offer a twins discount.
This post is a work in progress as my boys are continuing to grow I will continue to find the must haves and will update as needed! Hope this can help someone who was as lost and clueless as I was!