Barren Advice is posted each Tuesday. If you have your own question for Barren Advice, click here to learn how to submit. Please weigh in with your own thoughts in the comment section and indicate which question you're addressing if there are multiple questions in the post.
We are starting to think about furniture and other gear for the twins and I was wondering if you have any sage advice for me? I think we are convinced they should each have their own crib and we are thinking of putting them in the same room, although we do have room to give them each their own room if we decide to. Is there anything you wish you had done differently or that you found worked great (with nurseries, baby gear, etc.)?
--Denise from Freezer Buns
Let me start by saying that less is more. Having fewer things in your house to navigate, utilize, and store later will make you happier in the long run. The goal of the baby industry is to get you to buy a lot of stuff. Your goal should be to ignore them until you need to listen.
My other piece of advice is to buy along the way. Don't commit to big ticket items until you need them and only then after you've tried them out. Take your baby/babies to the store and try the item there or go over to a friend's house before you plunk down $40 for a swing or bouncey seat. Remember that each child is different and one may love the swing while another hates it. Therefore, hold off on buying two of any non-essential item.
NOMOTC is the umbrella organization of local twins clubs. Make sure you get involved with your local branch for at least the first year simply for the sales they hold each fall and spring. While you'll want to purchase some items new, the sales are a great place to pick up gently-used items for low prices. I purchased our car seats new; I purchased the snap-and-go frame through a sale for a quarter of the price. This is a huge point since you use so many of these items for a short period of time.
If you're buying as you go, you only need a few items to kick off life with twins. Everything else can be purchased during a Target or food store run as needed. In fact, it can make guests feel helpful to be sent on an errand. Hospitals often give you some items to help you start life with your baby/babies too.
- Place to sleep and essential bedding (plus a super-sheet or the like): I don't want to say crib because I know many who started out using pack-n-plays or co-sleepers
- Two car seats
- A few night gowns, onesies, swaddling blankets, and wash cloths.
- One or two bottles if you're planning on bottle feeding (hold off on buying many until you see which nipple your child likes)
- A pack of diapers
- A bottle of dreft
- Snap-and-go frame or a carriage
- Play mat
- Baby carrier (bjorn, ergo, or the Maximom which is specifically for multiples)
- Bouncey seats--lots of them. We had many throughout the house because they're a safe place to put down a child.
- Baby tub
- Glider or rocking chair
- Diaper bag (though we used just a regular backpack most of the time)
- Monitor (depending on the size of your home)
- Boppy or breastfeeding pillow if you plan to breastfeed
- Breast pumps (they're non-returnable, you don't know how breastfeeding will go, and hospital grade pumps are a better use of your money until you establish a supply)
- Highchairs (you won't need them for a bit and take some time to think out whether you'd like a free standing chair or a booster that snaps onto a regular kitchen chair)
- Lots of toys
- A lot of clothing (especially because you won't know your child's size at each season)
- A lot of diapers (same reason)
- Exersaucers and that ilk
- Gates (unless you have pets)
- Gadgets (wipe holders, bottle warmers, and the like)
No really, the beauty of a blog advice column is that you get to weigh in with your two cents too. Let the questioner know if you support the advice, add to the response, or dispute it completely. I would love people to add to the lists above because I'm probably forgetting some important items.
Leave a comment in the reaction box below--only keep in mind that conflicting advice is embraced and rudeness is not. Want to ask your own question? Click here to see what you need to send in order to be included in a future Tuesday's installment of Barren Advice.