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Pregnant with twins. What do I need to buy 2 of? Any twin specific buys?

(24 Posts)
Goandplay Mon 10-Sep-12 21:12:37

What do I need to buy and what will need to be doubled up on?

I am hoping to breast feed but midwife has already said be prepared to at least mix with formula so how many bottles etc would I need?

We are going with the Bugaboo Donkey but can't decide on what to do sleeping wise.

Thank you.

MrsIcarus Mon 10-Sep-12 21:20:53

Re feeding - you might be advised to mix feed by the hospital, but it is definitely possible to breastfeed twins. We dropped all top-up feeds within a week of leaving hospital (so by the time the twins were 2 weeks old). I'd recommend the Double Blessings feeding cushion (foam not inflatable). My twins are 8 months old and we still use the cushion to tandem feed at most feeds. Maybe buy a couple of bottles just in case, but I wouldn't buy loads until you actually need them.

toomuchpink Mon 10-Sep-12 21:56:07

I b'fed twins. You need the medela electric breast pump - this is the one my hospital recommended - and it really helped me survive. I expressed once at the same time every day and could leave enough milk for my husband to do one night feed (for both babies) either by syringe or once they were a bit older by bottle.

I would get a microwave steriliser, assuming you have a microwave, and I agree with MrsIcarus, just a couple of bottles in case and a b'feeding cushion of some description. I never mastered feeding the two at the same time really and it is particularly hard when they do not latch on well at the beginning. I had a normal feeding cushion from DD1 and it used it loads with the twins as well.

Sounds like a lot of outlay, I know.

Goandplay Tue 11-Sep-12 07:37:12

Thank you. So maybe the bottles that come with the breast pump will be enough to start with.

I have added the Avent electric pump to my baby plan because there was £40 off. Would that do the job?

I feel more positive that if they have bottles we can still work at being breast fed.

Not sure whether to go into their own cots straight away. When you have to separate them won't they miss each other?

MrsIcarus Tue 11-Sep-12 09:06:28

I think sleeping arrangements are sometimes influenced by what happens in hospital. Ours shared a cot in hospital, so at home they slept together in a crib until they were too big for that. Then we put them together in one cot, but used a cot divider to make the sleeping space smaller. Once they got too big for that we put them with their feet at opposite ends of the cot (no divider). We had to separate them when one started rolling into the other, but they didn't seem to mind. I do see them "chatting" across their nursery before they go to sleep though - I think mine would get upset if they couldn't see each other.

Friends whose twins were in SCBU didn't share a cot in hospital, so didn't share when they came home.

beyoglu Tue 11-Sep-12 10:17:59

I'd recommend getting a Weego - it's a twin carrier you can use from birth. I found it really helpful in about weeks 4-10 when they found it hard to sleep anywhere but on me... so I just wore it all day!

For sleeping at night we bought 2 cheap cots from Ikea - and when they were really little we had them sleep in their carricots at night, but with the carricot placed inside the cot so they would get used to where they were sleeping. We completely blacked out the window in their room by taping tinfoil to it - and as they've got older (4 months now) it's become the only place they will sleep, in the dark. Some people put their twins together in the same cot for company but ours never liked it. We swaddle ours using Miracle Swaddle blankets.

2 playmats is good - at first you can put them on one big one, but once they start rolling about it's better if they have own ones. 2 bouncy chairs - we got cheap ones and they were useless. I have a friend with twins who got more expensive ones and they've been really useful - you want ones that are really easy to bounce, and are padded and stuff. Then you can pop one baby in the bouncy chair and jiggle it with your foot while you're feeding the other, if need be - although once they hit about 3-4 months their window for taking a feed is so wide that you can usually just do one while the other is playing.

You might think about getting a swing as well, as it's a good hands-free way of getting a little baby to sleep, although it's quite expensive for the length of time you use it (our guys are 4 months old and we've already put the swing away).

If your house is on two floors get a changing station set up on both floors so you don't have to go too far away from the one who's not getting changed.

I think that's it for the early days - car seats also, and a bath - we got a little plastic insert for the bath, looks kind of like a baby sun lounger, means you can sit them in the bath without holding them which makes it a bit easier.

smokeybacon Tue 11-Sep-12 14:00:15

Y y to the bouncy chairs. We had chicco ones for our DTs . The one that can recline almost flat so excellent from newborn. One each! And also def get a changing table downstairs . It will save your back being able to change standing up with the amount if nappy changes and for us, meant we didn't have to leave anyone unattended downstairs to change a nappy.

We also bulk bought nappies wipes formula etc by Boots on line. Free delivery for orders over £40 and watch those advantage points rack up!

Good luck.

Goandplay Tue 11-Sep-12 15:37:55

Thank you. I got a couple of books out the library and each one talks about what help to hire and when... I will not be able to hire any help! This has started a mild panic deep inside that I feel will build over the rest of my pregnancy to hysteria!

I was thinking of getting the Ikea cots, so I might get one to begin with (we have an Ikea locally) and see how we go. Be good to avoid expense of a crib or moses basket if possible.

We bought a playmat that was on special offer, so when they are too big to share I could get a 2nd mat that's different for variety?

We also bought 2 chairs also on special offer, I'm glad now because I was saying the cheap bouncers would be fine but DP really liked these more expensive ones and bought them on impulse.

I am going to try reusables once they are a few weeks old (madness?) trying to keep costs down longer term. Nanny and Granddad are paying for those luckily.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond.

NellyJob Tue 11-Sep-12 15:49:02

get a big cot that they can share at first, then later you can buy another one.
Don't bother with moses baskets.
2 bouncy chairs definitely.
wait and see how it goes before you buy loads of stuff.

TwelveLeggedWalk Tue 11-Sep-12 15:59:09

Yes to lots of this stuff. The MEdela double pump is awesome, as is the Twins UK feeding pillow - think its called hte Harmony Duo (I, achem, actually have both of these to sell, should anyone coincidentally be interested).

For bottles we started off on the hospital ones which are like the Medela small diameter ones and progressed to Tommy Tippees. We ended up with 2 steam steriliseres but ours were on breast and bottle and split feeds for meds so it was an INSANE number of bottles, plus pumping stuff to sterilise.

Top top top tip is to buy a kettle with a temperature gauge, so you boil it then set it to stay at 70 degrees, it beeps when it's reached that temperature and stays there for ages so you can come back and make feeds even if you've been dragged away by the babies.

We bought a lovely stylish Baby Bjorn bouncer, which was expensive but actually worth while for propping up refluxy DS in post feeds, then were given a Fisher Price vibrating bouncer, which was also really good for helping them settle. There's something to be said for two different types.

Ours were in separate incubators in SCBU for a few weeks, then moved to share a hospital cot, so we put them in the double bedside cot at home co-sleeper and they fitted in that for ages, with naps in 2 moses baskets. Then they moved into a cotbed which was big enough for them to share for months, and only moved DS out when he started pulling up (and falling back down again!).

It is an eye-watering amount of stuff - don't forget to budget for two carseats as that is a major investment - plus of course buggy.

Goandplay Tue 11-Sep-12 16:33:43

Do you think the Angel Monitors are a good idea if they are in the same room as you?

We have a combed from my DS, so it maybe better to use that until we need to progress to separate sleeping? My house is not big enough for our new additions so they will be in our room until we are in a position to move so I can't decide on what to do. We have a cot and a cot bed in the loft but I think that might look odd when we need to use 2 but if I start with a cot bed and move to 2 small cots from Ikea when they get bigger I'll have bought 3 mattresses.

Decisions, decisions... WWYD?

TwelveLeggedWalk Tue 11-Sep-12 16:36:20

I couldn't work out how the Angel monitors would work with two -won't they be rolling on and off hte pad all the time, or two pads, so it wouldn't work?

We went for a video monitor which is ace as when we can hear random grumblings we can have a peek and see what's up without waking hte other one up!

Randomkath Tue 11-Sep-12 21:50:55

There is is so much paraphernalia out there, is easy to get caught up thinking your babies need it all and need the best! I had loads of things I never used. To avoid wasting money you could always put things in 'wish lists' then order on next day delivery if you need them.

Things I found essential:
Large play mat
Bouncy chairs
Feeding cushion (I the harmony duo)
You can never have too many muslins!

On breast feeding - If your babies are small you will probably be advised to give formula top ups for the first couple of weeks at least, because all babies loose a bit of weight in this time and they don't want them dropping too much. After this it is possible to exclusively breastfeed twins, but really really hard work, especially the first 6-8 weeks - be prepared for hours chained to the sofa with your boobs out. If you can get through this it's worth it in the long run as so much easier than bottles, but don't put too much pressure on yourself and just do what you need to do to survive and get some sleep. You won't know what sort or strategy re expressing/ mixed feeding will work for you and your babies until you get there. A couple of bottles a day worked for us (expressed if I had it or formula if not). One late evening so I could go to bed early and one in the middle of the night so we could get back to sleep quickly.

I wouldn't bother buying a breast pump now. See if your hospital will lend you, or if you can hire privately, a proper hospital grade one for the first few weeks then see how the bf is working out and whether you need one.

I don't know it you've joined tamba, but I would recommend it for the bf advice on the forums. Also, suss out your local bf support in advance so you can get help quickly. It was a fab bf counsellor that got me through the first few weeks of bf more than any bit of kit. Also get lots of support lined up from close friends and family (there is no discrete way to tandem feed!)

Sleeping arrangements - at first they sleep a lot during the day too so have somewhere for them to sleep in the living room. Either the pram carrycots or moses baskets. Mine shared a cot bed in our room until 6 months old. You can get a cot divider thing to stop them rolling into each other.

NellyJob Tue 11-Sep-12 21:56:47

mine shared a cot bed too for quite a few months.
as for feeding ,just do what works for you, I think mine got mixed feeding until about 4 months when the bottle took over.

Chigertick Tue 11-Sep-12 22:08:35

Sounds like you have the basics covered. I think that twins uk have a fairly comprehensive list of what you need for 2.
Also wanted to add - don't worry about not getting paid help. We have had no help at all. My family live abroad and my DHs parents have passed away. His siblings want to visit but never actually do anything apart from drink tea and we have survived! (18 months so far)
You could ask your HV about home start in your area where a volunteer can come and help regularly. Or I've heard of families contacting the childcare department of FE colleges and offering a placement for extra hands.
Good luck smile

Bluefrogs Wed 12-Sep-12 09:16:45

Congratulations on your pregnancy,here is what I found very useful for my two.
We bought two Moses baskets for the day as they slept downstairs and shared a cot bed at night,baskets were used until about 8months and they were fabulous,meant I could carry them easily.
Two bouncy chairs,as others have said for foot bouncing while feeding the other one.again these were absolute godsends,I used to bring then upstairs If I was in the shower.
We bought a used swinging chair-great to pacify a screaming hungry baby while preparing bottles etc!
Large playmat from ikea.
I only formula fed so have no advice re breast feeding but used ready made formula at night and when we went out as it was just easier.
We used washable nappies but from about 6weeks as they were too small to start with-plus I just couldn't be bothered with the extra washing etc right at the start.
Online shopping is your friend!
I kept anything I needed for changing upstairs and downstairs,so wipes,sudocrem,nappies,vests,sleepsuits Muslims etc.and as we have a downstairs toilet I kept maternity towels in both toilets and breast pads.
Mine wore sleepsuits mainly and I bought only neutral colours so I could grab any vest etc and it would be for either and it meant I could buy less as they shared clothes-we have bg twins but didn't find out so didn't buy specific clothes.
If you haven't got one already a tumble dryer!!it made my life so much easier I can't tell you!

feesh Thu 13-Sep-12 11:08:05

twelveleggedwalk which kettle did you get? Your description sounds like a great idea, but I can't find any which will keep the water at 70 degrees. I am looking on Amazon because I need to internet shop for it, rather than visit a high street shop (I live overseas).

peanutMD Thu 13-Sep-12 11:13:51

1x cot (for 6m or so)
1x playpen for day time sleeps if down stairs

1x double pushchair
2x car seats

2x bouncy chairs
1x large playgym (giant taf toys one was fab!)

1x feeding cushion

Mandy21 Thu 13-Sep-12 13:45:12

I think there are a couple of things that you need, but I would wait and see how things go before spending lots of money - we bought tons of stuff that we never actually used but were persuaded they were "must haves"!!

You'll need 2 car seats obviously

You'll also need a double buggy of some sort

Feeding - I don't agree that if your babies are small, you'll be advised to give formula top ups so you'll need bottles. You might want to have a couple of bottles just in case thats what you decide you want to do, my twins were tiny & in SCBU but formula was never recommended - just my experience but most SCBU staff are really pro breastfeeding so if you say thats what you want to do, they'll support you. I didn't use formula / bottles until they were over 6 months (definitely saved money!!).

Similarly, I wouldn't buy a pump to start with, most hospitals will lend you one and I think some NCTs have them too. I borrowed a Medela electric double pump from the hospital to start with and then hired one from a company online, and then after a couple of months used an Avent single hand held pump.

As everyone has said, just be open minded about it all, and go with the flow. I am an absolute believer in happy mum / happy babies so go with what works for all 3 of you. I did use a breastfeeding cushion though (just a Mothercare one - think it was £20).

Also used bouncy chairs - couldn't have done without 2 of those. Only had really cheap ones but they were fab.

Sleeping - we had moses baskets that they slept in downstairs during the day, took them upstairs at night and placed the moses baskets inside the cot bed. They used the moses baskets for about 5 months, then slept together in the cot bed (at either end) until they were 9 or 10 months I think and then we put them in separate cot beds.

Steriliser - bought an Avent steam one when we started using bottle but it was a faff so just used a large tupperware box (and lid) and Milton sterilising fluid.

Bought an Angel monitor - never used it the breathing sensor on it so would suggest that any normal monitor is OK.

Clothes - my twins didn't wear anything but babygrows for months, so don't buy lots of clothes. You'll get lots as gifts no doubt and they grow out of clothes so quickly.

It might be worth checking out the NCT website - they have Nearly New Sales and the quality of the things on sale is usually very good. We also have a local toddler group that has sales twice a year and similarly there are some good bargains to be had (cots / cotbeds etc where you can buy a new mattress etc).

Good luck - its so exciting!

LaVitaBellissima Thu 13-Sep-12 20:08:50

Agree with all of the above. When you get to 6 months and start weaning buy the idea antilop high hairs. They are brilliant, I can't understand why people spend so much money on high hairs - these are fab!

toomuchpink Mon 17-Sep-12 22:30:19

I like peanut's straight forward approach. I would add 2x changing mats. And actually 3x if you live in a house. Two next to bath for bath time. One downstairs, so you can change downstairs and stay with the other baby. If not a twin carrying pouch, then at least a single one - or two singles if you and your partner like to walk "off road" sometimes.

twin2makes4 Tue 18-Sep-12 05:12:39

Hi congratulations on the twins smile

I've got the donkey and absolutely love it grin I've found it really useful with the car seats and adaptor expecially when food shopping as only just started to put mine in the trolley seats

my bouncy chairs have been a godsend as sometimes they sleep in them, i had a travel cot downstairs to start of with which they slept together in, if you have room for the donkey to be set up maybe use the carrycots on there for daytime, i have one cot for night and they sleep swaddled next to each other but side ways.

Re reusable nappies I've got them but haven't started using them yet as the ones i brought are from 8lb??? My girls are nearly 10lb and they still seem big, i didn't bother with newborn as id stock piled size 1&2 nappies and still using them now and were 12 weeks in, my girls were born at 34+5 and weighed 4lb15 and 5lb12 and i used asda size 0 nappies for about 5 weeks!!!

I would say be prepared for bottle feeding and maybe have 1 carton of milk in as we didn't and panicked when we got home as they were born early we were having to bottle feed as they were too tired to suck for a full feed, i persevered for 3 weeks but it still hadnt taken off, i have other children and it just wasn't possible to be feeding and expressing for upto 2 hours when feeding 3 hourly, im not saying you won't be able to breastfeed just be prepared that you may also be bottle feeding, i was adamant i would do it this time so was gutted sad

Stock piling nappies and wipes is a must as you'll be going through loads to start off with smile

twin2makes4 Tue 18-Sep-12 05:15:50

Oh and i brought lots of clothes as was very excited they were girls and there are lots of summer outfits they have not worn or barely worn that have been wasted, mine weren't tiny weights but even the smallest newborn clothes were too big!!!

nebbo Tue 18-Sep-12 10:44:54


I am so glad to have found this thread. I am having a c section in 2 weeks for my twin girls. We are just trying to get the final bits that we need together and I could really do with some advice on baby monitors. I like the look of the video ones but we will have them in moses baskets with us to start although we could put them in one of the cot beds in the day for naps. Do I need an apnoea matress? The are really pricey and we would then need 2 surely? Should I get 2 monitors?

I have seen one video monitor that can monitor 2 babies with one handset but the reviews are rubbish.
What did others do? and any recomendations.

I am sure you also know this but I didn't until this week. Mothercare offer 10% off orders over £100 with a Tamba membership. I am rushing mine through now as we still don't have the car seats! (I didn't realise you had to order them! smile)

I am taking on the advice one here for more muslins and think the 12 that I bought may not be enough as friends with one baby have also said you can never have enough!

I'd appreciate your thoughts

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