Let’s talk about outfits for twin babies. This is the fun stuff!
When it comes to multiples, there are a couple of important nuances that our friends of singleton babes just don’t have to contend with:
- You’ll need double the amount of clothes.
- You’ll want baby clothes that are easy to get on/take off — because you’ll be changing diapers a lot… x2!
- When you’re having twins, there’s a greater likelihood that they’ll be born premature (before 38 weeks). In that case, you may want to have a few preemie outfits on hand just in case (you can always buy more later if need be). More on that in a bit…
If you’re lucky enough to be the beneficiary of a friend or family member passing along boxes and boxes of baby clothes to you, you’re a lucky dog! If not, you’ll have to fend for yourself…
In addition, when pulling together the babies’ wardrobes, a good rule-of-thumb is to think about the seasons the babies will encounter during their first six months of life, and seek hand-me-downs/new clothes accordingly. Note that depending on where you live, you’ll want some long-sleeve pieces year-round for chillier mornings and nights.
Preemie Clothes — To Buy or Not?
As discussed, since multiples are often born early, it’s a good idea to have a few preemie-sized outfits on hand. You can always wait to wash them (or wash only a couple), and if you don’t wind up using them, you can return or donate them. This is where a local twin club comes in handy. Many clubs keep a closet of preemie clothes to pass on to their members.
Many premature twins spend some time in the NICU before heading home. If you want — and note that this is definitely not a must — you can purchase specialized NICU-friendly clothing with access openings that allow the NICU staff to easily provide the necessary medical care (IVs, etc.) to your babies without having to undress them.
Tips for Dressing Twins
As mentioned, when you’re the proud parent of twins, your time is limited, as is your ability to tend to two crying/wet/dirty/spit up-soaked babies simultaneously. Make your life easier by purchasing baby clothes that are easy to get on and off (especially helpful for middle of the night diaper changes!).
From personal experience, the best items to have on hand are:
- Kimonos — These make it super easy to get your babies dressed. Because they snap on the side, you don’t have to pull anything over babies’ heads (something that is seriously traumatic for newborn babies and new parents alike).
- Gowns — When my twins were newborns they slept in gowns every night; they made middle-of-the-night diaper changes so quick and easy.
- Happiest Baby Sleepea Swaddle — This swaddle has a two-way zipper so you can unzip from the bottom to change diapers without ever having to wake babies. Genius.
- Footies with Zippers — Any pajama footie outfit with a zipper that goes all the way down the leg makes for fast, easy diaper changes x2!
- Footies and Coveralls with Magnetic Closures — Forget zippers… Magnetic Me makes these awesome and super-soft footies and coveralls with magnetic closures. No zippers, no buttons and no need for anything to go over the baby’s head… just open the outfits to change diapers, and close them back up once you’re done.
Outfits for Twin Babies: Matchy-Matchy? Coordinating? Different?
Everyone (twin parents, singleton parents, grandparents, the lady at the grocery store, etc.) seems to have an opinion about whether multiples should match or not.
No matter which side of the line you are on, what it really comes down to is practicality. Do what is easiest for you.
Some people think that dressing their duo alike is easier because they only have to pick out one outfit each morning (and, depending on the drool and spit-up situations, each afternoon and evening… ). I’ve also found, at least for girl clothes, that it’s easier to find matching outfits as opposed to cute, coordinated ones. That said, a friend of mine passed down bins of her twin daughters’ coordinating outfits (sized newborn – 3T! Woohoo!), and they are absolutely adorable on my girls. It just takes a little more thought in the morning – which outfit coordinates with this one again?? – than I sometimes have enough mental energy for (especially pre-coffee).
One more thing to keep in mind: your twins may not wear the same size clothes. For some reason, this was shocking to me. Identical twins are more likely to be similarly-sized, but fraternal twins may have very different body types. Example: one of my twins is 5 lbs heavier than the other. That means they have worn different sizes since birth! This also makes buying outfits for twin babies a tad more difficult.
All said and done, it really doesn’t matter how you dress your kids as long as they are dressed ;). Which leads us to…
The Anatomy of your Babies’ Wardrobes
Starting with the most basic staple of baby clothing: the onesie The beauty of a onesie is that it snaps at the crotch, thereby preventing it from hiking up and exposing sweet, kissable baby bellies to the cold. You should have at least 5-7 onesies per each baby.
A variation of the aforementioned: The Footed Onesie
The footed onesie: remember it, write it down, take a picture of it. This is your best friend.
Forget about assembling outfits of onesies, pants, socks, shoes, and mitts. The footed onesie takes care of it all! For practical (and lazy) mommies, this is the way to go.
Which leads us to…
The footed onesie (above) is a great option to ensure those sweet little feet stay nice and warm. For newborns, you can also get “sleeping gowns”, as I mentioned before. The benefit of the sleeping gown is that middle-of-the-night diaper changes are easy and more seamless. You simply hike up the gown to get quick-and-easy diaper access.
No explanation needed here. If it’s not warm, you’ll need pants, jeans, or tights to accompany a non-footed onesie. Just one note about baby pants: they’re not the easiest things to get on and off. They require a bit of juggling, but you’ll get the hang of it.
Footwear for newborns and infants is strictly for warmth/style. Let’s face it – they aren’t exactly running around in the street.
The problem with baby socks and shoes is that they really, really do not stay on very well, with a few exceptions. The socks-that-stay-on-the-best award goes to My Best Ever First Socks by Hanna Andersson. Yes, they are $8 a pair, but well worth it. Trumpette makes the cutest little socks-that-look-like-shoes for both girls and boys. They stay on fairly well. Another highly rated sock, according to the mommies I polled, are those from Baby Gap.
When it’s cold outside, you’ll want a jacket and/or a heavier coat, especially if you spend a lot of time outside walking, going to the park, etc. When not in the car seat I love the one piece coveralls for the harsh Midwest winters. If you’re in a milder climate, a simple hoodie may do the trick.
Homecoming & The First Two Weeks
Your babies will be sporting their umbilical cord stumps for the first 10-20 days [mmm, looks like bacon]. This stump can be short or long depending on where it was clamped. If it’s longer, you may want to stick to newborn kimonos and such that don’t rub and irritate. Think of it like a really deep scab that you don’t want to come off too early.
In addition to folding down their diapers (so as to not rub against the stump), stock up on a few “kimono” tops, which wrap around and snap on the side. The side snapping also means you don’t have to pull something down over your babies’ heads, which can be a little intimidating in the beginning.
If the weather is warm and your babies have some cute chunky legs, make it easy on yourself and get some adorable baby leg warmers. These make for the easiest diaper changes EVARRR (not to mention they are freakin’ adorable, gah!). If it’s cold, go for some footie pants. Footie pants are the BEST, but hard to find for some reason.
It feels nice to keep a hat on your babies’ heads for the first couple of weeks. Most hats you will buy or receive as gifts are simply too BIG for newborns. The ones from the hospital work the best; steal as many as you can.
Also, get some scratch mittens to cover those sharp baby talons (did you see Edward Scissorhands?). ** Some say that newborns need to access their hands to soothe themselves (to suck their hand, thumb, etc.), so a better bet might just be to keep their nails trimmed instead!
Washing Baby Clothes
Yes, you can use REGULAR detergent to wash your babies’ clothes.
“Unless your babies have allergies or very sensitive skin, this shouldn’t be a problem for them, no matter how young they are,” says Mary Spraker, a pediatric dermatologist at Emory University in Atlanta.
Be sure to choose a liquid detergent, as it tends to rinse more thoroughly, especially if you have hard water. Powders are more likely to leave flakes on clothing that can irritate babies’ skin.
If their skin does seem irritated or they seem itchy, try a detergent that’s free of dyes and fragrances. If you still notice a reaction, try rinsing the clothing twice or use a baby detergent until they are at least a year old. Dr. Spraker says, “Allergies to fragrances in laundry cleaners are rare, but they do occur occasionally.”
“The Best of” Baby Clothing
Ahhnnnnd… last but not least, I asked 50 mommies to name their favorite brands/stores. Here are the results (by $$$):
$ ~ Economy
$$ ~ Medium Priced
1. Baby Gap – My favorite all-around brand, but hey, I’m a boring white chick, so no surprise there. Runs tall and skinny.
2. Primary — Quality “basics” in all colors at a reasonable price.
3. Carters – True to Size
$$$ ~ High Dollar
1. Janie and Jack – Sooo precious. Modern twist on classic fashion. They have great sales. Runs tall.
2. Tea Collection – Soft and comfy fabrics. Runs small
3. Baby Boden – Sweet prints. Runs true to size
If you’re having sticker shock (because yes – two of everything), look up a local baby consignment store in your area. Better yet hit up your local twin mom club’s resale. Most clubs have them twice a year, and you can find a list of all the sales on the state organization website, or start at the national site. The outfits for twin babies are usually in great condition (some are even brand new with tags still on!) for a fraction of the price. You can even sell them back when they no longer fit. It’s a win-win!
Happy baby clothes shopping (x2)!