I’ve been meaning to write this post for so long. Now one of my lovely friends is about to pop out twins and I promised her some helpful advice, so I thought I’d share it here too. These are just my experiences of course, but they really helped me to stay sane(ish).
1. 2 x Bouncy Chairs
If you want anyone to bottle feed twin babies, these are totally vital. The allow you to sit each baby in a chair, you sit between them facing them and can feed them each with a bottle at the same time. I used these all day every day for the first 6 months, every single feed I did alone (which was a lot) was made manageable by having 2 of these chairs. There are loads of fancy versions, but I found that simple, with a washable cover was best. Loads of dangly toys is great for sitting babies in these chairs to be amused, but for your purposes you want their eyes on the prize – the milk.
Hauck Lounger Baby Bouncer (Capri)
2. 2 x Towelling bath supports
Mr TT is often away and although I wasn’t keen on bathing both babies together on my own, after lots of trial and error, I found that these seats made it possible. Two slippery little suckers in the bath are too much to handle for two people, let alone one. Whether you’re bathing them alone or together, these make it so much easier to bath the babies as they just lie in them safely (until they learn to roll over).
Baby Best Buys Towelling Baby Bath Support Plus Bath Book : Colour WHITE
3. Gina Ford – The Contented Little Baby Book
Right, please don’t switch off. I promise I’m not a horrid, mean regimental Mumma. When I found I was pregnant with twins, I asked all 3 of my twin Mumma friends what had helped them stay sane and the all said, it was down to Gina Ford. So I gave her a go and I was so pleased I did. Gina gets a lot of bad press (mostly from people who have read about her in the Daily Mail and not actually read her books). She really helped me. I’d definitely recommend reading it and then using the bits that you find useful. For me, having someone hold my hand with a feeding and sleep routine to aim for was really comforting. It didn’t always work, but we have babies who sleep really well and I do think it’s all thanks to having a good routine. I much preferred the main book to the twin version, it’s much more up to date and easily adaptable to twins.
The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting
4. Double Electric Breast Pump
If you’re thinking about trying to breastfeed, I’d definitely suggest investing in one of these to have it ready when the babies come. I did heaps of research and was so pleased to have this ready and waiting for me to start expressing the second (literally) we got home from the hospital. It meant that the 3 hour pumping cycle I’d been doing there could carry on without having to wait for my own industrial pump to arrive.
Ameda Lactaline Personal Dual Electric Breastpump
5. Super quick and easy frozen food
I think it depends what type of person you are (read – are you obsessed by food like me?) but I knew that we’d be too busy to cook and I’d be grumpy and feel pants living off of take-aways and cobbled together meals for months, not to mention the expense. So, I invested in an extra freezer and made masses of batches of frozen casseroles. I also stashed away some of these Charlie Bigham meals when they were on special offer at Ocado. They taste like real food instead of a ready meal – hurrah! We lived from that freezer for the first 6 months and it was ace. (Then the freezer came in useful for frozen weaning purees!)
6. Isofix bases for your car seats
These are expensive but were a total lifesaver for me. They are a big bulky lump that affixes to your car so that you can just pop the car seats in and out at the touch of a button. In practise this means that you can lift sleeping babies in and out of the car without disturbing them. Not to mention the total and utter faff of fiddling around with threading seatbelts into TWO car seats each time you get in and out of the car. They are a big expense but I sold mine afterwards on eBay and made half of the amount back. I really don’t think I’d have braved going out and about in the car half as often as I did without these.
Maxi-Cosi EasyFix Car Seat Base
No, no, I’m not saying ignore the babies. But when someone comes and offers stay with them while you have a rest, it’s almost impossible to nap in the same house. You’re on high alert listening for any noise or squeak. These were the only way I found I could have a sleep without twitching at every murmur when I was off duty. These silicone ones are amazing, much better than any others I’ve ever tried.
Boots Soft Silicone Earplugs
8. Basic, cheap, plain sleepsuits
Asda do brilliant sizes for small babies too. If you’re having boy/girl twins, stick to white baby grows for the first few months. It’s so much easier to co-ordinate washing them and dressing the babies with mostly unisex. Cheap and cheerful sleepsuits are still soft and comfy, but if they are badly stained, they can just be thrown away without too much of a worry.
9. Pram, buggy or stroller
Pram, buggy or stroller. Whatever you call it, find one you love, that lets you get out and about. Find one that you can get through a standard shop doorway and hopefully one that you can attach the car seats too so that you don’t have to disturb both babies everytime you want to go from the car to the buggy. I’d also suggest having a test drive of some before buying, they feel very different when you actually push them.
Mountain Buggy Duet Twin Double Baby Pushchair in Flint Grey
10. A double pumping ‘bra’
You’ll notice there’s no photo above of this one. If you click on the link, you’ll see why, I didn’t want to terrify anyone.. I know, it looks totally insane. But, if you’re hoping to attempt to express milk, either because the babies may not feed well or if you want someone to be able to help feeding them, you’ll spend a lot of time getting friendly with that pump. This ridiculous looking ‘bra’ really helped me, as all that time pumping was hands free, leaving me with a rare chance to read a magazine or doze off. Woohoo! It was totally worth my husband laughing at the way it looked. (A LOT.)
Simple Wishes Hands Free Double Pumping Bustier (XS/Small/Medium, Pink)
Hope that helps. All of these things made a big difference to me. Any questions or suggestions of your own? I’d love to hear in the comments or say ‘Oi twin Mumma!’ on Twitter @tamingtwins.