Registry Basics for Twins
Even if you aren’t surrounded by friends and co-workers who will be showering you with gifts, a registry is a good idea because it’s a central place for your list of needed items.
I always err on the side of registering for more with the caveat that you can always return stuff. Most stores allow you to make returns within the first year on anything from your registry, but gift receipts will become your best friend. Hang onto them!
Infant Car Seats
It’s true that some people skip over the infant seat and go directly to a bigger, heavier convertible seat; for twins, we highly recommend you stick to an infant car seat. Infant car seats are nice and portable making it easier to get around with multiples (especially in the winter). Convertible seats are notorious for being too big for newborns, even on the smallest setting; this problem is even worse for preemies.
Not every car seat accommodates preemies, so we created a preferred list. Not that you are bound to have preemies, but quite often … that’s how they come: pre-37 weeks, sharing a womb and all of that.
Check out our full guide for Best Car Seats for Twins and Preemies.
If you do wind up with preemies, or low birth-weight babies, you want to make sure the car seat is not what prevents them from coming home from the hospital. The AAP recommends a car seat challenge (ICSC) for all babies born before 37 weeks and I’ve never known a NICU that doesn’t enforce it. This test ensures the baby is strong enough to hold his/her head up for a long drive home (approx. 90 min).
Car Seat Accessories
You gotta accessorize, but make sure none of them interfere with the car seat doing its job: keeping the babies safe.
I recommend you get a set of stroller toys for each baby.
The Lamaze clip & go Freddie Firefly is great for the car seat, stroller, or as an extra toy for on the go.
If you drive a lot, get a couple of headrest mirrors. These are super helpful when it comes to answering all of the “who is” (crying, spitting up, etc.) questions you will have while on the road.
Your babies will be rear-facing for the first two years (at least), so it will be worth the money. Note that these can become a projectile in a crash, so make sure they are installed VERY securely!
If your car doesn’t have built-in sunshades, it’s worthwhile to buy some. I like the cling-on shades by Enovoe (insert Star Trek joke here). They come in a two-pack and won’t fall off every time you close the door. *Be sure these do not obstruct your field of vision.
That’s it for the automotive category. Next up in our twin baby registry guide…
Double Frame Stroller
This will be your best friend for the next year; it’s imperative that you double check that your car seat is compatible and/or that you are buying the right adapters!
If you want a fail-safe combo, I’d get two Chicco KeyFit car seats and the Joovy Twin Roo+. The thing about the Chicco KeyFit is that nearly every stroller in the world is compatible with this car seat, from cheap to expensive, and those made in America, Europe and China. Plus, again, it’s great for preemies.
Check out our full review on Car Seat Frame Strollers.
Full-Size Twin Stroller
The decision on what kind of stroller you’ll need – tandem, side-by-side (SBS), umbrella, all-terrain or jogger – will depend on several factors, such as, where you live (city/suburbs, house/apartment), where you plan on taking the stroller, and where you store it (in the car vs. in the garage).
Please start by reading Double Strollers 101 for the general lowdown, then (once you have a better idea of your needs), move onto our Best Full-Sized Strollers for Twins [or triplets/quads].
You can also wait on this purchase until later on in the first year; you’ll be fine as long as you have your “frame stroller.”
Double Umbrella Stroller
If you’re a city dweller (or lack trunk space), you may also want to seriously look into getting a double umbrella stroller, especially if you think someone will buy it for you [wry smile].
This is must-have for many, depending on your lifestyle (and one that I overlooked, initially).
One of our favorites is the UPPAbaby G-Link, which is a high-quality, heavy duty, double umbrella that will serve you well for years to come. It’s also perfect for travel.
Get the lowdown on all our favorite double strollers in every category (umbrella, travel, side-by-side, tandem, jogger, convertible, etc.) here!
Sometimes, you need both hands to get things done. This is why a carrier (or two) is one of my top 5 favorite things as a twin parent.
Check out our full review on Twin Carriers.
Baby holding devices: double down on these, but only open one to make sure the babies like them.
We had two swings, but used them mainly as baby holders or for distraction purposes while we prepped bottles.
Note that two baby swings will take up an awful lot of floor space, so it may be better to get one and then mix and match with another of the aforementioned items.
Bouncers are also useful “containers” — you can feed them in these, set one in while you bathe the other, etc. It’s important to get something lightweight and easy to move from room to room (although I definitely recommend getting one baby “holder” per floor.)
Check out all of our bouncer and swing recommendations here. If you’re looking for something that’s dual-action, check out our hybrid recommendations here.
The bouncers mentioned above are all in the economy category. If you’re looking for something more modern and sleek, check out our “Favorite Fancy Bouncers.” Mind you, they are all more expensive.
Bathing: one baby at a time, so you will only need one bath tub.
Stock your closet with at least three sets of hooded towels – that should be enough to get you through the week, or at least to the next wash cycle.
Stock up on washcloths, as “wipe downs” will become part of your routine on the “off” days.
No need to get multiple soaps, shampoos or other toiletries; start out with one of each, and see how fast you go through them. Over time you can switch to large sizes if necessary.
Read more about bathing twins.
Newborn Twins Sleeping Arrangements
Like most expectant parents of multiples, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about where, how and when your twins will sleep (or if you’ll ever get them to sleep at the same time — I promise you this: you will…eventually!). After all, sleep is precious (for all of us!) and we want our babes to be able to snooze safely and soundly.
To learn about the pros and cons of co-bedding, co-sleeping, bed-sharing, as well as a round-up of some of our favorite bassinets, playards and cribs for twins, go here.
Swaddle or else…
Your babies are used to tight quarters, sharing space with their wombmate(s)..get it..ha!
So, swaddle up! You will use these every day, so I would make sure to get enough to last you until your next wash. Here are some suggestions, all which come in preemie sizes:
SwaddleMe Pod ~ $26 (2-pack)
Preemies need a small swaddle to get started. The SwaddleMe Pod is made of stretchable spandex cotton, so it’s comfortable and will move with your babies. The SwaddleMe Pod is so quick and easy to use — just zip it on and open from the bottom or top (it has a two-way zipper) for easy diaper changes.
Halo Sleep Sack ~ $24 (for 1)
Used by many hospitals nationwide, this sleepsack swaddle is a tried-and-true favorite. It can be used three different ways: arms in, hands to face, and arms out. It comes in cotton and fleece, and is generously-sized to prevent hip-dysplasia (an issue with too-tight swaddles).
Check out all of our favorite recommendations here.
After four months, when your babies can flip over on their own, it’s time to transition from swaddles to wearable blankets; these are a must-have.
We loved the Aden + Anais sleeping bag for warm weather, and on cold winter nights, we often used fleece sleep bags, like these ones. For mild weather, the HALO cotton sleep sack is the perfect weight. In addition, I’ve also heard amazing things about Copper Pearl’s wearable blankets, and the gentle weight at the center of Nested Bean’s wearable blanket seemed to help my girls sleep more soundly at night.
You may be thinking, “nightlights? I will just get the regular plug-in ones.” Your babies are laughing at you right now. One day, the girls discovered the night light. They tried to eat it and pull on it to stand up. Yeah, you will have to get rid of those and then be bumbling around in the dark half-asleep.
Instead, get some motion sensor lights that you can stick on the wall without having to worry. Or get a night “lamp”—a cordless, rechargeable lamp you or your kiddos can walk with.
Check out our lamp night light recommendations here.
Sheets ‘N Things
We have three sets of sheets for each babe and I have never needed more. My most favorite sheets of all are Quick Zip Crib Sheets. Seriously — don’t look elsewhere. Just buy these! The top sheet zips onto the base, so when you need to change it you just unzip, throw it in the wash, and zip on a new sheet (I change the base only on an as-needed basis – Ha!). These will save you so much time and come in especially handy for those awesome middle-of-the-night diaper blow-outs and excessive pee situations.
Read more about what you’ll need (i.e. mattress, mattress cover, crib sheets and blankets) here.
Eavesdropping 101 — Best Baby Monitors for Twins
Wondering what the best baby monitors for twins are? We’ve got you covered. Read on to learn all about different types of monitors and which might work best for your needs.
If you plan on getting an audio-only monitor, you will only need one to listen in on the babes. If you’re going the video monitor route, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. Depending on your nursery set-up, you can get one camera that can pan and tilt to see everyone — or, you can get multiple cameras (one parent unit with add-on cameras). The parent unit can either scan between the different cameras, or show smaller pictures of each camera on a split-screen.
Read more on our top picks for twin baby monitors.
White Noise/Sound Machines
White noise machines are my best friend. Dr. Karp of Happiest Baby on the Block recommends them to re-create the noises from the womb, as an added bonus they help drown out loud neighbors, cars, sirens… other siblings (ahem). For white noise only, the crowd favorite is the Marpac Dohm. This “sound conditioner” has an actual fan inside, which creates the soothing sound of rushing air.
Hatch Baby came out with a combo sound machine, nightlight, and OK-to-wake indicator in one: the Hatch Baby Rest ($69). *The 2019 upgrade, the Hatch Baby Rest+ ($89), also includes a digital clock display and an audio monitor.
The economy pick is the HoMedics Sound Machine, it has six different sounds (including thunderstorm—desensitization at its best), is nice and loud, and reasonably priced. We ended up getting some for ourselves and gave them as Christmas gifts. We might be obsessed.
You can also get this cute little travel version as well—the only issue is that it isn’t as loud as a full-sized version.
Another cute choice is the Cloud b Tranquil Turtle Sleep Machine (~$35, pictured below), which has natural sounds, lullabies, a rotating projector, and an on/off timer. Toddlers and preschoolers love this thing too.
No twin baby registry guide is complete without diapers. In the first year, twins go through more than 4,500 diapers, and triplets use over 6,800.
It is A LOT.
Your best bet is to create a “diapering station” on each floor of your house (or each baby area) so you always have the necessities nearby. In the beginning, it’s eat, sleep, and poop on repeat; with sleep deprivation and mom-brain, it’s hard to keep track of who did what and when.
This is important data for doctor’s appointments and peace of mind, especially in the beginning. If one baby needs to be changed, change them both/all – you will go crazy trying to remember otherwise.
You can go low-tech with a notepad or a printed chart – or go high-tech with an app to track feedings & dirty/wet diapers. Here are a few apps that will accommodate two or more babies:
- Baby Connect (iOS, Android, & Windows – $4.99),
- Baby Tracker (iOS – free),
- Baby Daybook (Android – free)
Read all about diapers, types, options and the products you’ll need here.
You are going to need lots of bottles, especially if you are exclusively pumping or formula feeding. Even if you are nursing, you’ll want to have bottles handy.
The big takeaway for twins is: don’t get a bottle that has a million parts (Dr. Browns, for example).
Bottle Feeding Twins
There are some really inventive products on the market geared towards multiples to make feeding them much easier. I did a combo of nursing, pumping and supplementing with formula, and so it was really helpful to have convenient venues to simultaneously feed my babies’ their bottles (for me and any other caregivers), as well as a simple and quick way to mix and pour formula.
Read about some of my favorite products to make feeding twins at the same time easier!
Other than that, the guidance for feeding supplies is pretty much the same as it is for singletons, which can be found here.
Twin Nursing Pillows
Breastfeeding twins seems daunting, but it can be done!
It was hard at first (it’s hard even for a singleton), but after the initial learning curve, it became much easier.
We highly recommend a nursing pillow for new nursing moms—especially for MOMs. Getting two tiny, wiggly babies in the correct position and holding them in place is no small feat. Newborns can conceivably spend four hours a day on the boob (a piece), so it’s important to get comfy.
Read more about our favorite nursing pillows for twins.
Pumping for Twins
If your babies are premature – especially if they have health problems and are unable/too small to latch – you are strongly encouraged to pump and feed them your milk (or feed directly from the breast, if they are physically able to do so). If your babies are healthy and full-term, you should be able to feed them directly from the breast if you choose to do so.
Most health insurance companies will cover the purchase of a personal pump or the rental fees of hospital pump. The thing about the hospital pump is that it’s very strong, which is great for establishing your supply, especially with twins.
I rented the hospital pump for the first month, then got the personal pump from my insurance company (fo’ free!) – that was the best combo for me, personally.
Twin moms need the baddest ass pumps you can buy! Here are our favorite hospital-grade and at-home breast pump recommendations.
If you prefer going a la carte, start shopping for a large tote (make sure it’s easy to clean in case of spillage) and a nice cooler bag (remember you will have more milk, so get a big one!).
While you’re shopping, grab yourself a pair of connectors with valves and membranes (never hurts to have a second set on hand if your pump came with them). To read more about the bits and pieces you’ll need, go here.
Instead of using the Medela “horns,” I highly recommend the Pumpin Pal Super Shields. Yes, these will change your life! There are several sizes, so you will always have a good fit if/when you become engorged, and for when your boobs get smaller again (yes, they shrink back down).
The best part of Pumping Pals is you can lean back to pump (rather than having to sit bolt-upright). I don’t even want to talk about how much milk I lost falling asleep while pumping (and you WILL cry over spilled milk).
You’ll want a hands-free pumping bra for all this pumping. The go-to pumping bra is Simple Wishes, which prevents you from spilling that precious milk when you fall asleep while pumping at 3 AM! (or PM, for that matter).
Since MOMs tend to pump more than most, we also recommend The Dairy Fairy line of nursing/pumping bras, which are a little more luxurious.
Once your babies start getting bigger and eating more, I recommend getting bigger bottles if you are filling up the smaller ones. Medela 8oz Bottles work great.
Instead of washing your parts each time you pump, you can rinse and keep in the fridge (don’t be too gross – give them a thorough cleaning every day or two). You can keep them in the cooler, a plastic bag or a wet bag.
See here for in-depth advice on pumping at work.
If you are pumping heavily, I also recommend the Kiinde breast milk storage and feeding solution.Talk about cleaning few parts!
To wash my pump parts and the bottles, I used Seventh Generation Liquid Dish Soap, Free and Clear. I also use it on all the baby dishes so I don’t have to worry about them eating harsh soap (we’ll save that for when they say fuuddge).
If you have a long drive to work or if you drive often, get a car adapter for your breast pump (if your pump doesn’t come with one). I’ve pumped as a passenger, I’ve pumped while parked, and I’ve pumped while…you guessed it…driving. I got a lot of questionable looks when people found out I pumped in the car, but as a pumping mom, you gotta do what you got to do. Obviously for safety’s sake, you can only do this hands-free (risqué, I know).
For nursing twins, you want a bra that unlatches on each side. “Sleep bras” aren’t very practical for tandem feeding since you can only pull one side down at a time.
Top nursing bra picks include Bravado! (wire-free) and Anita for an underwire option. Many lactation consultants will tell you to stay away from underwire while nursing because it can cause blocked ducts, but larger breasted women find this completely impractical (translation: do what you gotta do).
Check out our Complete Nursing Bra guide.
Grab a nursing nightgown with clasps or just wear your favorite pajama pants with your nursing tank. You’ll be a happier mom if you make yourself comfortable while nursing.
Check out our Complete Nursing Wear guide.
Nursing Tanks are essential. Get several of these and live in them while you are on maternity leave. I love H&M’s tanks; the price is right and they hold up. I lived in these my first year and they surprisingly held up very well.
When you feel like wearing a real bra, I like tanks that clip on your nursing bra, like Undercover Mama or you can use your own camis and slip the arm hole through your nursing bra. Perfect for work, pumping, and covering that belly when you are feeding one at a time in public.
Check out all of our nursing wear recommendations here.
If you are pumping at work, transfer your milk into bags right away and keep reusing the bottles for collection. This way takes up much less space (which is at a premium with double the milk).
Read more about milk storage here.
Rockers/Gliders for Twins
A rocker or glider is a staple in most nurseries, and thus a super important item on our twin baby registry guide. Standard rockers and gliders are not going to fit you (or your partner) and both babies. Instead, go for a Double Wide Rocker.
Read more about our top picks for rockers and gliders for twins.
For twins, you will need double the clothes. Because it’s double the dollars, I recommend you get hand-me-downs or hit up consignment sales whenever possible.
The fun decision you get to make is whether you want to dress your twins identically, in coordinating outfits, or uniquely (or do a bit of it all! Why not? Go crazy, MOMs…this is the fun stuff!).
People love buying babies clothes – and as mentioned, you have multiple babies to dress! – so clothing items definitely make our twin baby registry guide.
Check out our full twin clothing guide.
Play Gear for Multiples
For playtime, the big tip for multiples is to get gear that can be shared by both twins, and preferably items that are multi-taskers. You won’t need these right away, but you can still put them on your registry and store away until your kiddos are about 5 months or so.
Read all about Toys for Twins (for 5 Months +).
There are only a handful of diaper bags made for multiples (or two or more young babies). You can use a regular sized diaper bag, of course — you’ll just have to learn the art of stuffing a lot of “stuff” into a not-big-enough bag! HA!
Get a full rundown on our favorite diaper bags for twins.
I started my girls on paci’s almost right away. I decided that one would get pink, and the other purple…and that’s how it’s remained. Yes, of course they can share—they share everything else, why not germs too?!—but you will need double of these.
For outings, I recommend some paci clips, which minimize any dropping of pacifiers…or teethers…or toys – believe me babies loooove to do that.
The favorite paci is the Soothie by Philips AVENT. The hospital usually gives you a few of these, but they are only good until 3 months.
There is a thicker version for the 3 months and up crowd; make the switch because they pose a choking hazard if you don’t upgrade (my NICU nurse friend scared the sh*t out of me with this news; why the heck doesn’t the hospital tell you that when they give you them? Come on man!) Most pacifiers come in 0-3, 3-6, and 6+ sizes.
See all of our recommendations here. You may be advised to hold off on pacifiers until nursing/latching is well established, but many insist it doesn’t matter.
Baby’s Medicine Chest
Be sure to read all about baby meds here.
If your multiples were born prematurely, your pedi might have recommended vitamins. Save all the cute baby clothes from stains (galore!) with a medicine dispenser pacifier (already in a two pack – it’s like they know). Man I wish I invented these….
Fridababy also makes a cool version of this.
Infant Health Monitoring Device
For those with preemies, we recommend the Hatch Grow Smart Changing Pad and Scale ($149). It helps you track your baby’s daily activity (growth, feedings, weight gain, sleep, diaper changes), and developmental milestones using the Hatch Baby Activity Tracker app.
Read more on this kind of stuff here.
You won’t need a high chair until about 6 months, so unless you want to put it on the registry, you can wait on them.
Many M/DOM’s opt for a space saver high chair, which goes on top of a normal dining chair. If you have the space for a stand alone high chair, the overwhelming favorite is the IKEA Antilop because it’s easy peasy to clean and best of all, only $29 (but still safe & sturdy).
We reviewed the top high chair options here.
For higher order multiples, there are the table high chairs: a separate table with a seat for each kiddo. They are a little pricey, but when you compare buying 3 or 4 $80 high chairs (and all that space they would take up), it isn’t that much of a stretch. Check it out in use (by adorable giggly identical Quads here.)
That’s the end (yay!) of the Twin Baby Registry Guide! Don’t worry, it sounds like a lot (well, it is), but it will all be okay.
Seriously, now, are you subscribed to Crib Notes? Click here to join. tha. club. (Be sure to click the “twins” box to receive our twin-specific content).
See also our Multiples Registry Cheatsheet for a spreadsheet version of the items mentioned here.