When you get home from the hospital, you aren’t going to have the wherewithal to leave the house — everything you need better be on Amazon or fetchable by a fellow with a comprehensive grocery list. But if you really need it, then you will need it in the dead of night or at 7 am on a Sunday when everything is closed, after a night without any sleep because of the constant fussing or screaming. So this is the list of things you will be glad you have squirreled away in your nursery closet when you’re desperate in the middle of the night.
Preparing for Twins Checklist
1. Frozen Meals
2. MAM Pacifiers For Newborns
Maybe, like me, you didn’t want to use pacifiers because you’re worried about nipple confusion, issues with cuing for breastfeeding, oral language development, and overdependence. I only happened to have one because it came in a congratulations gift bag from Target when one opens a registry.
Listen, I hear all of those concerns. But you aren’t going to be able to breastfeed if you’re dealing with a baby that won’t sleep (if you don’t sleep, good luck with your milk supply). Get rid of the pacifier when they can use sign language to communicate if you’re worried about language development, but don’t give up on this amazing tool — you CAN’T pick up the babies every time they cry. There are two of them. If you put them on a schedule, you don’t have to worry as much about the breastfeeding cues because you’ll know based on the time if they’re really hungry. (Also, when they’re hungry, a pacifier cuts it for all of one minute, so chill. It won’t prevent you from knowing the baby is hungry.)
We’re putting together a post on To Pacify Or Not To Pacify, but real talk, the only issue with pacifiers that you should be worried about is the Pacifier Dance when they wake up every time they spit it out.
3. A Variety Of Swaddle Blankets
Your babies will not like the one that got the best review on Amazon, they’ll like the one they like, so get a bunch. I found that my babies could break out of the SwaddleMe blankets in all of ten minutes from day one, but the fleece Halo blankets kept them contained until they grew out of them. The fleece Halos are also nice because they are so solid you can prop the baby up in a boppy after they eat and the halo acts like an exoskeleton so their heads don’t flop too much.
We also had a lot of success with the Miracle Blanket, which my sister-in-law and brother say is the only cure for colic (and they’d know). We liked it because it provides structure for propping, it’s tight, you can really feel the baby through the swaddle, and they are like baby safes. They’re more intense to put on than the Halo, which just velcros.
Once we got the trick of it, Aden & Anais blankets also worked for one of our babies. Get two of at least three kinds of blankets and prepare to order enough to be able to wash the spit up off them every other day.
4. Medela 0-4 Month Bottles & Nipples, At Least 10 Of Each
Maybe you plan to breastfeed and you abhor the idea of formula and bottles — I did. But if you need them because the babies won’t stop crying every thirty minutes to be fed, you will need them in the middle of the night or when you’re home alone and not interested in driving. There’s a post coming on the whole bottle issue, but here’s the quick and dirty argument for why you should at least own some and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about using bottles with twins:
If their latch is bad, they aren’t getting enough to fill themselves up. If you give them a bottle (of pumped milk if you can or want!) they’ll learn what a full belly feels like and seek that while breastfeeding.
You have two babies. Two. If one of them has a bad latch, they might be damaging your supply, so you will need to be pumping at least off that boob.
Weight loss is real, dehydration is real, and the argument that, “Everyone can breastfeed twins, it’s been happening for millenia”, falls apart when you consider how many babies, especially twins, used to die because they failed to thrive.
Paced feeding and certain nipples mimic breastfeeding.
Feeding babies is the best way to bond with them when they’re tiny because it’s all they’re awake to do.
Bottle feeding breast milk or formula allows your partner to bond with the babies, too.
You need to sleep and so do they. If they have poor latches you may need to bottle feed formula or pumped milk after breastfeeding just to make sure they have enough that they’ll actually sleep long enough to allow you to sleep. If you want to produce milk, you need to sleep. Period.
If they have bad latches you are at risk for mastitis and plugged ducts. MASTITIS IS HORRIBLE. Always pump to empty the breast after you feed the babies if you want to avoid it, in which case you will likely want to bottle feed this to the babies after.
5. A Formula You’re Okay With
Listen, I hope you feed them however you most want to feed them. I’m the last person on earth to pressure you either way, you don’t need that crap from anybody. If you don’t want to breastfeed for one of the million reasons breastfeeding is hard, that’s great! You’re probably already doing this research. If you desperately want to breastfeed exclusively and are avoiding any thought of formula because that would be admitting the possibility of failure, well, you may have to give them formula at some point because you haven’t slept in a day and you aren’t producing enough milk.
Don’t compound the problem by having to give them a formula you haven’t researched and don’t like. I like Plum and Earth’s Best because they have the fewest preservatives and the most organic ingredients. Dadspecting thinks that Plum smells like toe juice, but I don’t mind it and my babies love it.
6. A Bunch Of Protein Bars You Like
Put them where you feed the babies, however you feed the babies, because you’ll be worse at dealing with them if you’re hungry.
7. A Positioner You Can Reach From Where You Bottle Feed, Pump, or Breastfeed
Preferably one that vibrates and/or bounces. Babies need 10-15 minutes of upright time after they eat, and when you have two, you want that to happen independently. Make sure the positioner is washable or that you have a cover over it. Make sure the incline is enough that you can bottle feed them partially upright with them sitting in it, because you may have to give them bottles at the same time.
8. My Brest Friend Pillow
This is like a baby shelf that wraps around your middle. It’s amazing for breastfeeding.
9. Two Boppy Pillows
These make great positioners for a swaddled newborn.
10. A Stockpile Of Pampers Swaddlers Diapers, In Size Newborn & 1
You can try all the eco-friendly, biodegradable diapers you want, or you can save your onesies from permanent yellow poop stains and just use pampers swaddlers. tried the following diapers so you don’t have to:
- Huggies: it explodes out the sides, legs, and tabs
- Honest Co: it explodes out the top
- Bambo: it explodes out the legs (also WOW they are expensive)
- gDiapers: HA. Exploding newborn poop fills that plastic liner so fast…
- Seventh Generation: it explodes out the top
- Target: it explodes out the top and sides
11. Diaper & Feeding Logs
12. Honest Co Healing Balm & Weleda Calendula Cream
13. Seventh Generation or Huggies Wipes
These are the best, by far, at retaining moisture, being durable, and not irritating their sensitive skin.
14. Waterproof Changing Pads
Get a lot of them. Babies pee and poop on the table when they are stimulated by the wipes.
15. Something That Lights Up & Changes Color
Hang this above the diaper changing station, the babies will love it!
16. A Co-Sleeper
Make sure yours is ACTUALLY ADJUSTED to the height of the bed. You should be able to sling your arm out of bed and cover the babies’ tummies so they know you’re there without you pulling them into the bed with you.
17. A Small Baby Bathtub With A Sling
You will need cool washcloths to keep the babies awake when they are breastfeeding, warm ones to wipe their faces, and more to wipe the milk off of you.
19. Multiple Nursing Bras
The ones that pull off to the side with a racer back hold pump flanges on really well.
20. A Hospital Grade Pump
We were able to get our doctor to write a prescription for this since our daughters had really bad latches. It was great our insurance covered it, but if yours doesn’t, a hospital grade pump can be rented for around $50/month.
21. Sleep Sacks
They are easier to get their tiny twitchy legs in and out of than the footie pjs and the pants.