Twin Baby Registry Guide — Your Go-To for What You Need
There are the [singleton] basics that everyone knows you need, but when you have multiples you wonder, “do I double the amount of everything — or can we share?” And down the rabbit hole ye go…so we put together this quick and easy twin baby registry guide to help you determine what you need double of — and what you don’t.
Use this in conjunction with our Twins Registry Cheat Sheet (spreadsheet format), and you’ll be way ahead of the game 😉 Note that this is just a summary — some of these items (car seats, strollers, etc.) are accompanied by a more detailed guide.
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!
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.
- Car Seats
- Twin Carriers
- Bath Time Gear
- Sleeping Stuff
- Nursing Stuff
- Diaper Bags
- High Chairs
- Baby Meds
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 there is a preferred list. Not that you are bound to have preemies, but more often than not… that’s how they come: pre-37 weeks, sharing a womb and all of that 😉
Here is the short list of Lucie’s List-approved preemie infant car seats. *Read up on the full article here:
- Cosco Light ‘n Comfy — Economy Pick
- Safety 1st onBoard 35 & onBoard 35 Air
- Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite
- Britax B-Safe 35 & B-Safe 35 Ultra
- Chicco KeyFit 30 — Editor’s Choice #1
- UPPAbaby Mesa
- Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 — Editor’s Choice #2
- Nuna PIPA
- Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35
- Cybex Aton Q — Luxe Pick
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. I like these Go-Go Bugs from Sassy because you can wrap them around the baby’s wrist for fun outside the car seat (nom nom nom) and you won’t worry about losing them.
The Lamaze clip & go Freddie Firefly is great for the car seat, stroller, or as an extra toy for on the go.
Mamas & Papas makes these cool “spirals” that can go on a car seat handle (or any bar, for that matter). They have a few different ones on Amazon. Again, these are nice-to-haves.
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…
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 failsafe 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 here.
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 the double stroller intro here 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.”
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.
Pro tip: Make any two umbrella strollers a double with stroller connectors – great if you want the versatility. Munchkin recently discontinued their version, if you can get your hands on them on the secondary market, they work great. There are some compatibility complaints with the Prince Lionheart connectors, but they’re still great in a pinch. They make the stroller wider (vs. a normal double), but give you versatility of a double or single umbrella stroller (…or triple).
For the first few months, you’ll start with in a wrap-style carrier. My favorite is the Boba Wrap, because it is very s-t-r-e-t-c-h-y and perfect for tandem wrapping. I recommend that you check out YouTube for great how-to videos.
Other options to wrapping in the first few months are the Baby K’tan or Nesting Days carriers. The K’tan has a double loop design, which is perfect for twins. Nesting Days gives good support postpartum (especially for those who’ve had a c-section, which is the majority of MOMs) because of the way it is worn around your tummy.
A great soft structured option (for newborns only), is the Weego carrier. This carrier is made specifically for wearing both in front.
Once you are past the newborn stage, there are a few other ways to get snuggles while keeping your hands free. Wearing two ring slings together is perfect for when the kiddos are awake, but keep in mind that they are not suitable for vigorous activity.
Soft Structured Carriers
The Twingaroo is perfect for tandem-wearing twins. It’s easy to get on and off by yourself, and feels very secure. My girls love it! With this carrier, you can also just wear one baby at a time using the conversion kit.
Our last (and favorite!): for the grand poobah of twin-babywearing, I recommend the Twin Go [below] because it’s super sturdy, well-made and designed to be worn for long stretches at a time. This carrier is a little complex at first, but the instruction booklet is easy to follow.
*Check out our full Twin Carrier article here.
Bouncers & Swings
Baby holding devices: double down on these, but only open one to make sure the babies like them.
We ended up using two of each, mostly due to logistics. Sure, you can put one baby in the swing while changing the other, but what are you going to do when you need to switch?… logistics nightmare.
My parents also used the bouncers to feed the girls. We loved the Fisher-Price, Geo Meadow; it had a nice design, was portable, and inexpensive (since we needed two and all). It has an activity bar that is easy to move on and off, plus it’s lightweight and easy to move from room to room (although I definitely recommend getting one baby “holder” per floor.)
Finally, a bouncer that does triple duty is the Tiny Love 3 in 1. You can use it as a bassinet (for napping), a bouncer, and a semi-reclined seat. We had these on the first floor for dinner duty, sleeping purposes, and you know, bathroom breaks. 😉 Please note, however, that even in the “napping” position, this bouncer does not lay completely flat – it lays at a 169 degree angle. This is helpful for napping babies after feedings (you know, so they don’t spit up their entire meal).
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.
A related item, and something that is a twin baby registry guide must-have, is a baby swing. Most Moms of Multiples will tell you to get two.
We had two swings, but used them mainly as baby holders or for distraction purposes while we prepped bottles. I was terrified of having the girls rely on the motion to sleep, but many (many, many) moms and dads swear by baby swings.
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.
*Read about all our swing recommendations here.
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. You will be doing a lot of laundry anyway, and since daily baths are unnecessary and impractical (they take twice as long, at least), you don’t need a ton of towels.
Stock up on washcloths, as “wipe downs” will become part of your routine on the “off” days. Baby Magic is perfect for non-bath days and doesn’t require rinsing.
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 all about bath time and the essentials here.
Newborn Sleeping Arrangements
When you bring your bundles home from the hospital, you will most likely want them in your room for the first few months.
The question everyone wants to know is: can the twins share a sleeping spot (known as “co-bedding”)? We tried to get a definitive answer on this, but like many parenting matters, the answer is not very black and white.
First, some definitions:
- Co-Bedding: when siblings or multiples share the same sleeping area, such as a crib or a co-sleeper
- Co-Sleeping: When one or more parent shares the bedroom with their babies, either in the same bed or with babies right next to or near the bed
- Bed-sharing: when one or more parent sleeps in the same bed as the babies
The two questions here are: 1. Can the babies share the same space (co-bedding)? The follow-up question is 2. Can the twins sleep in the bed with mom and/or dad (bed-sharing)? Note that the chief concern (accidental smothering and suffocation) is the same for both of these situations.
Regarding #1 (co-bedding), the conservative/mainstream school of thought in the western world is that it’s best to separate the twins “early on” since they’ll need their own sleeping space eventually. The attachment parenting contingent refutes this, saying twins can sleep together indefinitely and are happier for it.
The worry is that co-bedded twins pose a smothering risk to one another.
The group Rednose.com.au/ (Australia) claims that research has shown that the safest way to sleep twins in the home is in their own safe sleeping container (crib, portable crib, bassinet, or cradle) in the parent’s room for the first 6-12 months.
NHS Choices (UK), on the other hand, says, “you may put your twins to sleep in a single cot [crib] while they’re small enough, either because they slept together in [the] hospital or because space is tight. In fact, putting twins in the same cot [crib] can help them regulate their body temperatures and sleep cycles, and can soothe them and their twin.”
Dr. Sears, a well-known American attachment parenting expert, also okays the practice of co-bedding “in the early months.” Some may choose to do it longer – even indefinitely.
You see, the thing is that babies cannot really move around much (flip over, crawl, etc), especially while properly swaddled, until at least 4 months of age. It would seem sensible that co-bedding them until 4 months (or until you notice they are able to flip and move around) might be a practical middle ground. But again, use your own discretion and definitely speak to your pediatrician about your co-sleeping/co-bedding concerns.
*We cannot advise for or against co-bedding or bed-sharing, we are simply presenting both sides of the issue.
The bottom line is that there isn’t enough evidence to recommend for or against co-bedding. And for this reason, the AAP (who always takes a conservative approach) recommends against it. If you’re the worrying type, go ahead and separate them so you don’t lose any sleep over it.
Bed-sharing has its own risks; namely, blankets, pillows, duvets, soft mattresses and other items that are known contributors to SIDS and/or accidental suffocation. A nine month-old in Meg’s BabyCenter.com birth club died when he rolled into a crack between the mattress and the wall and suffocated – Meg says she’ll never forget it. Unfortunately, these stories are not too uncommon.
SIDS occurs when babies stop breathing due to entering a stage of very deep sleep and may be exacerbated when a bedding item (or a parent, for that matter) obstructs or partially obstructs their airflow.
Bed-sharing proponents point to bad data and the fact that countries like Japan, which have the highest rates of bed-sharing, also have some of the lowest rates of SIDS. The important thing to note is that your typical American bed looks very different than your typical Japanese bed, which is low to the floor with few sheets, and nothing large and fluffy. The Japanese also have lower rates of maternal smoking and alcohol consumption, both known risk factors for SIDS. As you can see, it’s really hard to say what is definitive causation and what is simply high correlation.
But anyway, I [really] digress.
Here are the tools of the trade for sleeping, napping, etc. For me, I slept better at night knowing the girls were safe in their bassinets. And if you do decide to bed-share with your twins, please make sure you do so safely.
Note: you’ll need the Playard AND Twin Nursery Center.
Joovy’s newborn sleeping solution, the Room2 Nursery Center, has two separate bassinets for babies up to 15 lbs each and a changing table that hangs from the side when not in use. Guys, having a place to change the babies at night while in your room, is a HUGE must-have! The Graco PNP (below) does not. We like this nursery center because it can later be a playard for older twins.
Graco Pack ‘n Play with Twin Bassinet ~ $239 MSRP / on sale at Amazon for ~ $175
In our bedroom, we had the Graco Twin Pack ‘n Play bassinet pulled up to the bed like a sidecar. It worked great for the first few months until the girls started sleeping in their cribs. And after your babes have moved out of your room, you can use it for travel for months (years?) to come.
Once they pass the 6-month mark, you can use it as an extra large pack ‘n play. Note that because it’s larger than normal, you can’t really wheel it from room to room (without taking it apart) because it’s wider than a door frame.
Some people have had issues with it sagging in the middle while in bassinet mode. We had no issues until we took it apart and put it together again (albeit not very diligently). It takes some effort to get it just right, but then you are set.
Romp & Roost Luxe Play Yard ~ $239 + Sheet & Divider ~ $39
Romp & Roost, a relatively new company, came out with this dividable play yard in June, 2018. This is a great solution for when you need two separate sleeping spaces in a small area. The divider is removable for when the twins get older, or for play time together.
This isn’t the ideal solution for newborns since they are so low to the ground (meaning you have to bend down more). Great for a second floor, grandparents’ houses, or to take on trips.
Baby Trend is breaking into the double bassinet game with a very cool looking Twins Playard Set. New on the market, the removable bassinets get me almost excited enough to want another set of twins….almost.
Both of these bassinets can be removed and used on their own, which makes it a very versatile piece of gear. I love the changing station and the organizer on the side. More functional, perhaps, than the Twins Pack ‘n Play.
Same one as discussed before.
At night, when hubby went back to work, we took shifts in the family room with these. During the day, they did triple duty: bouncer/rocker, feeder, bassinet. I love multi-taskers!! The bottom pad is removable and machine washable (great for all that spit up).
The weight limit is a whopping 40 lbs, but in bassinet mode, they’re only good for 0-6 months or so. If they fall asleep while sitting, you can easily (and without waking them) adjust the position to lie flat (i.e., the sleeping position).
It has a mobile/toy bar that can be moved aside or removed, so not to overstimulate. During playtime, there are several (9) different songs/melodies to play. It has a battery powered vibrator (not that kind of vibrator…dirty minds) or you can just rock it with your foot (read: not automatic).
All in all, this is our favorite versatile infant bassinet—and perfect for daytime naps, or even overnight. Yes, get two.
Graco Travel Lite ~ $89
Another option for your twinnies, or even for your higher order multiples, is to get one mini pack ‘n play per baby. The Graco Travel Lite is adjustable, and will grow with your babies from the newborn to toddler stages. It weighs less than 20 pounds and is smaller than a traditional PNP, making it portable and easy to fit just about anywhere. One per baby, please.
For bed-sharing, many parents opt for a “container” of sorts that goes in your bed to give baby his own safe sleeping space.
If two sleeper contraptions in the middle of your bed doesn’t sound practical to you (I don’t have a king bed either…), Dr. Sears, the attachment parenting guru, recommends a co-sleeper to allow for the extra space needed.
You could do the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Mini Ezee 2-in-1, one for each side of the bed. These are great options, but not particularly lightweight or portable.
Another option is the Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper. The easy swivel has c-section MOM’s in mind. This is a smaller sleeping area than the Arm’s Reach, so one per baby, please. With any of these, you can also mix and match. One “Bassinest” and one Graco Travel Lite mini crib, for example. Again, these have a short lifespan, so save some money and borrow this stuff if you can.
Also — ESPECIALLY FOR TWINS — Halo recently came out with a Bassinet Swivel Sleeper for Twins! Similar to their regular sleeper (pictured above), their version for twins is bigger, and includes a breathable mesh divider so babies can have their own space, yet still enjoy the same sense of togetherness as they did in the womb. The sleeper swivels a full 360 degrees so you can easily bring the twin who is fussing closer to you for feedings, soothing, etc.. The side walls lower and raise back up so you can pull your babies out, and put them back in again; they also lock into place for safety purposes. The entire sleeper can be raised or lowered as well.
*Note: Other risk factors for SIDS include parents who smoke, parents who drink or use drugs, and parents who sleep very deeply (or are chronically sleep deprived). Keep in mind that preemies have an increased risk of SIDS already (geesh). Never, never put your babies to sleep on their tummies; 70% of SIDS deaths occur this way.
*You can read all about sleeping here.
Up in tha Cribs
Lots of people ask if the babies can sleep together when they are so tiny. And sure, they fit, BUTTT once they squirm, roll, do the worm, etc., again, there is the risk of smothering each other—yikes. Not to mention waking each other up. Your call, but better to play it safe, IMO.
Again, the thought is that… eventually, your twins will need to be separated to sleep, so most pediatricians recommend separating them relatively early so you don’t have to worry about a difficult transition.
So…two cribs it is.
With double the cost staring at us, we went with the sleek and modern Ikea $99 Gulliver crib. Tried and true.
If you’re looking for a crib that comes in multiple colors, we like the Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib. For $119, it’s affordable so you can get multiple (ha)!
*Read more about recommended cribs 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:
1. Summer Infant SwaddlePod ~ $18 (2-pack)
Preemies need a small swaddle to get started. The Summer Infant SwaddlePod fits from 5-10 pounds. These are so quick and easy to use, just zip it on and open from the bottom for easy diaper changes.
2. Little Lotus Swaddle ~ $75 each/$130 for 2
Little Lotus swaddles and sleeping bags use phase-change technology to keep your baby at the perfect temperature. Yes, they are pricey, but if you are one of those parents who obsesses about whether baby is too hot (or too cold! — especially parents of preemies), I think you will fall in love with Little Lotus.
Little Lotus is super easy to get on and off. The shoulder snaps and zippers provide easy in & out access as well as a “do not disturb” diaper access zipper. The swaddles also have multiple shoulder snaps for neckline adjustment, a distinct wing design for the perfect swaddle, and high quality Velcro for quieter application.
3. Halo Sleep Sack ~$20
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.
*Check out the full wearable blanket smackdown here.
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 sheets for each babe and I have never needed more. Usually, I am only needing to change one crib (yes, you could change them both but in real life it usually is a hassle and you forget and you are tired).
*Read all about what you’ll need (incl. mattress, mattress cover, crib sheets and blankets) here.
If you plan on getting an audio-only monitor, you will only need one to listen in on the babes. Check out our list of faves here.
With twins, you might want to know which baby is crying in addition to why he/she is crying. In that case, you’ll want a video monitor.
If you are going the video monitor route, there are a few specific features to consider for twins.
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. Our top video picks are:
BabySense Video Baby Monitor With Two Cameras ~ $98 — Good Bargain Pick!
For parents of multiples who don’t want to spend a ton of money on a monitor, this may be a good pick for you. It comes with two cameras, so whether your twins are in different rooms or the same room — this monitor will work for your needs.
It has a long range–up to 900 feet (though some users say it cuts out frequently…more on that later) — as well as two-way communication, auto infrared right vision, room temperature monitoring, high/low temp alerts, eco-mode voice activation (the picture shuts off when no noise is detected from your babies’ room(s)) and allows up to four cameras to be paired with it.
While many reviewers love this monitor, there are definitely some legitimate complaints, the most common of these are quality issues (i.e., you get what you pay for): some say it loses connection easily (even though it claims to have a range of up to 900 feet — this is often because of walls and other obstructions). Another complaint is that eco-mode stops working and the monitor remains on all night long. On the plus side, their customer service is very responsive and helpful.
If you do go with this choice, you can also add the BabySense 7, an under-the-mattress movement monitor, for additional peace of mind and security.
This is a great monitor for twins, especially if they share a room. Unlike other monitors, this one has whole-room coverage, which means you can pan the lens 330 degrees to see corner to corner, as well as tilt 110 degrees to see floor to ceiling. With two babies in one room, it’s SUPER helpful to be able to pan back and forth to see both babies (hopefully sound asleep – HA) in their cribs.
If your twins are in separate rooms, this monitor will allow up to 4 additional cameras to be paired with it… at some point; however, the company has yet to come out with a second camera option yet. As for now, it is still “coming soon”.
Another nice feature is that the SpaceView monitor has a large 5” 720p display that shows a sharp picture with 10 times more detail than ordinary 240p display baby monitors. It also comes with a wide-angle lens, which expands the view to 110 degrees.
Something that may be a pro or con (depending on whether you like to be woken by alerts about your babes in the middle of the night…) is the “instant alert” feature — it alerts you right away when your baby is crying (or when SpaceView detects that the level of ambient noise is louder than what you have indicated to be “normal”).
Generally speaking, the Eufy Security SpaceView monitor is well-reviewed and liked with a few common user issues. First, there is no second (or more) camera available yet — and no ETA on when that camera will become available (if you’re planning to move your twinnies into separate rooms soon, this may not be the monitor for you). Second, a few reviewers report an irritating humming noise when it’s turned on, and that the temperature displayed isn’t correct or consistent. Despite all of this, the Eufy Security SpaceView is a great pick for twins who share a room — and the price is right.
This monitor is a top pick among many parents. In fact, it won Popular Mechanic’s Best Baby Monitor award in 2018. Infant Optics makes interchangeable lenses that can pan and tilt (normal, wide angle or zoom 2x). This unique feature of Infant Optics allows you to see the entire nursery with the wide angle lens (make sure you get a wide angle made after October 2015 so it has night vision).
Another option for your multiples is to get additional cameras, and again, the parent unit will scan between all the cameras or you can manually switch.
Here are some stats about this monitor:
- 3.5″ display
- Remote pan/tilt/zoom
- Invisible IR night vision
- Two-way talk
- Remote temperature display
- Expandable up to 4 cameras
This VTech monitor comes with one parent unit (the monitor) and two baby units (the cameras) — and up to four additional cameras can be paired with it.
I love the two-camera option for two big reasons:
1) if your babies are in separate rooms, you can use the same parent unit and set up a camera in each of their rooms. Voila! Now you can see both your babes by either flipping back and forth between each of their rooms, or watching each peanut simultaneously using the monitor’s split screen capability.
2) if your babies are sharing a room, you can simply set up each camera to point directly at each child’s crib for a perfect view of both of them. This is necessary because you can’t pan/tilt the cameras from the parent unit, which is my major complaint about this one.
Other solid qualities about this monitor include night vision, 2.8” inch high-res color LCD screen, two-way talk-back (I see you!!) through the intercom, plays your choice of up to five pre-set lullabies, can be mounted on the wall, and transmits a strong signal up to 1,000 feet.
It’s important to know that there are some quality complaints about this monitor, but overall, users generally seem to like it. Remember also that baby monitors are one of those products, like diaper pails, that are reviewed rather critically, meaning… very rarely do any of them have an average rating over 4.0. Reviews on this monitor are fairly mixed, ranging from amazing — great product at an awesome price; works well; love it! — to very poor — video functionality cuts out frequently; night vision fails; customer service is unhelpful.
But all in all, this is a reasonably priced and durable monitor, and the fact that it comes with two cameras (and supports up to four) makes it an awesome pick for parents of multiples (and multiple children in general).
Camera Only Options
For the tech savvy, another option is to buy a camera (only) that communicates directly with your favorite device (or PC). Check out our recommendations for camera only monitors.
If you’re doing the movement monitor thing, our top pick is the Angelcare Movement and Sound Video Monitor (~$129). If you want a movement AND video monitor, check out Angelcare Movement and Video Monitors: AC417 (~ $191) or AC517 (~ $154).
These all have sensor pads that go under the mattress, so you will need one movement monitor per baby. If no movement is detected within 20 seconds, the parent is alerted (hope you don’t mind false alarms!). The efficacy of these monitors has not been proven in any kind of trials, these are not medical devices, and not subject to the FDA’s approval process. Read all about movement monitors here.
The Babysense 7 movement monitor is the new-and-improved version of the very well-rated Babysense 5s. It’s an “under the mattress” monitor that’s very easy to set up and provides reliable service. The device sounds an alarm if it detects a stoppage or irregularity in breathing patterns, and the 7 is distinct from the 5s for its enhanced sensitivity. If you already own a sound or video monitor and are only looking for a movement monitor, definitely check it out. Again, we think the Angelcare is a better value because you don’t have to purchase an additional sound or video monitor.
Another type of movement monitor is an attachable device: these units are small, battery-powered, and clip directly onto the diaper or the baby. They are also much more likely to fall off or become displaced, which means you’re going to get a lot more false alarms. The benefit is that they’re great for travel or “sleeping around,” especially if your babies don’t sleep consistently in the same place. You’ll need one for each baby.
Snuza HeroSE ~ $109
You’ll need one for each baby. The Snuza clips onto your baby’s diaper and monitors abdominal movements. If movement stops, it vibrates to rouse your baby, and when this fails (three times) it will alarm you. Since it attaches to baby’s diaper, the Snuza can be used anywhere baby happens to be sleeping (as opposed to the Angelcare, which is permanently(ish) installed under a mattress); this makes it great for families who travel a lot or use different sleeping surfaces around the house. *However, since it can pick up on external movements, the Snuza is not designed for bed-sharing, or use during motion (i.e., in a stroller or car seat). Generally speaking, parents are very happy with the Snuza.
Owlet Baby Monitor ~ $299
Yet another step up (technology-wise) is the Owlet Baby Monitor. Owlet uses a soft sock (the Smart Sock) that goes on baby’s foot, which uses pulse oximetry to monitor your baby’s blood flow and oxygen saturation. Again, you’ll need one per baby.
Pulse oximetry uses a small light that shines through the skin to estimate the amount of blood flow; oxygen levels are estimated based on how much light is transmitted to the sensor. It sounds an alert to your wireless device (iPhone, etc.) if your child’s heart rate dips too low, rises too high, or if her oxygen level drops below a certain threshold.
The new kids on the block are the true “movement monitors” that offer your classic video/audio features plus other smart data and sleep tracking. The Cocoon Cam ($149) is a smart audio, visual, movement, and breathing monitor that syncs with your phone and sends you notifications when your baby wakes up, falls asleep, cries, etc. It’s not a great pick for traveling, but it might be a good option for parents who want a little more information while baby is sleeping. Read more: Our Cocoon Cam Full Review.
The other option, the Nanit ($279) is of a similar vein, minus the breathing monitor. The jury is still out on these smart movement monitors, folks, but we’re keeping tabs on them… Stay tuned for more.
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.
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.
HoMedics makes a travel version as well—the only issue is that it isn’t as loud as a full-sized version.
The “baby” specific version has a clip for the car seat (or whatever).
Another cute choice is the Cloud b Tranquil Turtle Sleep Machine (~$45, 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),
- Total Baby Pro (iOS – $4.99),
- Baby Daybook (Android – free),
- Similac (iOS & 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).
Products to Make Feeding Multiples Easier
There are some really inventive products on the market geared towards multiples to make feeding them much easier. I (Marissa) 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.
This pitcher is super easy to use (important, because believe me, the last thing you’ll want to deal with when you have newborn twins is reading instruction manuals!), and mixes up to four bottles at one time. We actually purchased two of these bad boys and pre-made our pitchers (and eventually our bottles) every night. This was so convenient, because when it came time for a feeding, all I had to do was either reach into the fridge to grab my pre-made bottles, or grab a pitcher and pour my bottles right before the feed. The other thing I loved about this pitcher is that it mixes really well with minimal clumps, and all parts can be thrown into the dishwasher. One thing to note, however, is that you can really only mix up to 32 oz of formula at a time; if you try to mix more than that, it will spill out the sides.
Table for Two ~ $279
This one’s a bit pricey, but it would make an amazing gift for someone (or a group of people) to purchase for you. This was my (Marissa’s) lifesaver during the entire first year of my twins’ lives.
Though it can’t really be used right away – although I did, and I just made my girls super snug in it by rolling up receiving blankets around their bodies and heads so they couldn’t move or slide down – it is super helpful in tandem-bottle feeding your babes.
Simply place the babies in their individual seats, buckle them in, and feed! There are nifty bottle holders (one on each side) to place bottles in when you are done, or taking a “burp break”. This also comes in tons of cute patterns and colors, and you can purchase extra seat inserts, a snack tray, a travel carrier, and more (for extra moolah, of course).
Once they were done with bottles, my girls loved to hang out in their seats and play! So beyond feeding, it just made for a good (and compact) place to set the babies down (you know – for your own bathroom runs, snack breaks…sanity…).
Bebe Bottle Sling ~ $36
Though I didn’t use this myself, one twin mama reader e-mailed us to say this was one of her can’t-live-without products. There are simply times (many, many times!) when you just wish your babies could hold their own bottles, so you could be hand-free for a few moments (you know, to attend to the other baby, another child, your own needs for a change…ha!). These bottle slings work with most infant carseats and bottles (make sure to check they do, in fact, work with yours before purchasing). But please note, it’s not safe to use these in a moving vehicle.
Other than that, the guidance for feeding supplies is pretty much the same as it is for singletons, which can be found here.
- Burp Cloths
- Breast Care Supplies
- Nursing Pads
- Nursing Covers
- Breast Pumps
- Nursing Wear
- Pumping Bras
- Milk Storage
I’m a big fan of breastfeeding twins. “God gave us two breasts and two babies, after all; the math works out quite elegantly.” It seems daunting, so I took it as a challenge.
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.
Twin Z Pillow ~ $99
I love my Twin Z Pillow!
If I had one item to bring to a desert island, it would be the Twin Z pillow. It’s truly amazing. During the first few weeks I literally just lounged in this pillow with the girls while they ate and slept. The middle section comes up and becomes a backrest, while the two sides wrap around you and clip in front. With all the different uses (nursing, bottle feeding, tummy time, sitting up and lounging), this pillow is my top pick. It’s also on my list of Top 5 Most Useful Items for Twins.
My Brest Friend has a twin breastfeeding pillow that gets rave reviews. It’s a little different than others in that it clips around your back, providing back support and a stable base for tandem (or single) nursing. The best part is the pocket on the side, so you never lose your ever-important iPhone and water during those first few frenetic days of nursing. I (Marissa) used this, and it was the best and easiest way for me to tandem-nurse – definitely a twin baby registry guide must-have!
Luna Lullaby ~ $54
This pillow is highly recommended for nursing twins because of the ‘L’ shape. It’s not tight around a sore postpartum or C-section belly and it’s longer than most. It’s also a comfy pillow to use during pregnancy or for reading at night. Yes, very versatile indeed.
Boppy ~ $40
I was able to use the Boppy to tandem feed, but it works only if you can fit the darn thing around your waist (the postpartum twin belly is something to behold…). This isn’t as hands-free as a tandem feeding pillow, but I would prop the baby’s heads up on the side and hold my arms around them. Again, not our favorite, but if you can borrow a Boppy from your friend (because everyone has one), it could be a nice extra for a second floor.
If you plan on going places with these babies, and you know you’ll be gone for more than three hours (livin’ on the wild side), you’ll need a way to nurse them. I did my fair share of feeding in the car when the girls were little.
Yes, I could feed them one at a time just about anywhere, but that stressed me out because they both always wanted to be eat nowwww (!!!). Inevitably, one baby will be crying and you will wonder how much longer the other baby will be eating – ACK! Trust me… it’s too much.
Instead, do ’em both at once with this handy dandy inflatable nursing pillow. Since it’s made for one baby, you can actually fit it in the front seat (while the car is off and in “park”, people) and (semi-) discreetly feed both babies at once.
Recap: Again, if you have a big house, or plan on feeding in different areas, it’s important to get one pillow for each area. Trust me, “running upstairs to get something” after a c-section is NOT advised.
Our favorite is the Twin Z, followed by the Luna Lullaby and Twin Brest Friend. Don’t be afraid to mix it up; I had the Luna for the family room, the Boppy for the nursery, and Twin Z for the main playroom. Get a little crazy 😉
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.
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.
*A lot has changed in the world of breast pumps over the last couple of years; check out all of our latest breast pump (hospital-grade and personal) recommendations here.
Spectra S1 Plus ($200) and S2 Plus ($159) are newer on the scene. Dethroning the Medela was no easy feat, and Spectra is continuing to convert many former loyal Medela devotees.The S2 is a double/single pump and the S1 is the same, but it comes with a built-in rechargeable battery. Other than color, this battery feature is the ONLY difference between the S1 and the S2; there is a car adapter for the S2 that is available for purchase separately. The S1 and S2 are designed as hospital-strength pumps, but for everyday, at-home use.
Medela Sonata ~$399 is marketed as the Cadillac of breast pumps, this pump is fancy and promising. Note that most insurance companies do not offer this pump on the menu of choices, but some do! You can also read our full review of the Sonata.
Of course the Medela Pump In Style Advanced (PISA) has always been a favorite and go-to for many moms.
A quick and easy option is to buy Medela’s “starter kit” shoulder bag (which insurance companies usually do not cover and overcharge for if you order with the free pump), it includes a cooler bag with ice pack and all parts you need. It gets the job done. The bag, oddly enough, is a tight fit with the pump and cooler in it—no room for any extras (granola bars…books…magazines).
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).
Enter the Freemie. When I had to pump in the car, I would cover the evidence with a loose, drapey top. To make it even easier, you can use Freemie collection cups with your regular pump, which lets you pump without getting half-naked.
The concept is genius: boob implants that collect breast milk. My experience is that they do the job, but don’t have the strongest suction.
One drawback: it’s a little harder keeping the cups in place, or make sure they’re in place because you can’t see as clearly as with regular breast shields. Let’s just say on one ride home, I gave myself a giant boob-hickey and had to pump again at home.
I also had trouble fitting the collection cups in my bra (even when unclasped), so they only worked if I was wearing a cami. Then again, I have a larger chest, so these will work better if you have a smaller or normal size chest.
Bottom line: With these caveats, the Freemie is great if you want to pump on the drive (or discreetly at work). The cups are compatible with most pumps.
A hospital pump is great to use during your stay, plus it is included in the price (no need to bring your personal one). Hospital grade pumps are stronger than other pumps, which is perfect for establishing your supply. If you can afford the rental fee for a month, you can use it to pump a little before every feeding or first thing in the morning, which is a great way to increase your supply (plus, stock up that liquid gold in the freezer!).
The hospital will give you your own personal collection kit to use with their pumps, so take all the freebies they’ll give you (don’t think about how you are actually paying, somehow). The only thing I would bring to the hospital is the Pumpin Pal Super Shields and the Simple Wishes hands-free pumping bra (you never know how long you will be at the hospital).
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). [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. [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.
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.
Outside of the nursery, a standard “oversized” rocking recliner works until you outgrow it.
If you plan on nursing in it, you’ll need to prop your feet up to get into a good position; for this, you can use a nursing stool or ottoman.
If nothing else, just get it for the photo ops (kidding, kind of..not really).
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 clothing guide here.
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.
Read all about playing and gear here.
Baby Positioner Seats
There is concern that these interfere with proper development. That said, if you have multiples, you might need to use them from time to time – and that’s okay! As with everything, moderation is key. Only use when the baby is developmentally ready (I had a friend put a 3-week-old in a Bumbo—nooooo!!) and don’t keep them in there for hours at a time.
For the multi-tasking win, the Summer Infant Superseat (above) has activity bars and transforms into a booster seat.
The Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up (below) is a space-saver with an easy fold option.
The cult favorite, the Bumbo, can be found on sale for similar prices as the others. It has a very limited time for use (even shorter for babies with those chunky thighs). It may not be the highest-rated seat, but many people swear by them. There is one version that becomes a booster chair, which is very versatile.
My girls loved the activity table. They would immediately stop crying once I started pushing the buttons, which means I loved it too!
You can take the legs off most activity tables in the early days to use for tummy time.
Later, you can prop it up with just two legs for fun while sitting.
Finally, with all four legs on, they can use to pull up, stand, and cruise! The best thing is that your multiples can SHARE this toy!
My top pick is the LeapFrog Learn & Groove.
*Push toys are for older infants, starting around 10 months or so (in other words, you can wait on these).
Push toys: more great multi-taskers! From tummy time, to sitting, to standing, to pushing, these toys will get tons of mileage.
You can make do with one if you are good at distraction, but to reduce stress and crying, consider getting one per babe.
There are two main players in the push toy game (sounds intense, I know).
This farm-themed pusher is battery powered. Singing songs and calling out shapes, it’s good times for all… that is until you turn off the volume and hope no one notices (toy noises will be the bane of your existence, trust me).
This simple, yet high-quality push toy features three chomping alligators, fish on the wheels, and spinning butterfly and ladybug beads. When your twins push it, the walker makes a cute (not terribly annoying…I promise!) clacking noise.
Note: We are not recommending baby “walkers” due to the AAP recommendation. They have caused injury and death (falling down the stairs being the biggie), with no benefit. The AAP recommends stationary activity centers instead. Oh, look at that, our next topic on our twin baby registry guide…exersaucers & jumpers (timing is everything, people).
Exersaucer & Jumpers
My girls loved these. I recommend getting one of each (Exersaucer & jumper) to mix things up—gotta keep playtime fresh. Again, don’t overuse these (it’s very tempting, trust me!). You can’t use these until about 5 months or so, so again, no rush…
This & That
There are only a handful of diaper bags made for multiples (or two or more young babies). One of our favorite brands, Skip Hop, makes a double version of the Duo, the Duo Double. It’s wide enough to clip onto the handle of your double stroller and has extra room for two or more of everything you need.
We’ve also used a Backpack Diaper Bag because when you have twins (and all the stuff that goes along with them!) it’s pretty awesome to have your hands free. These are also a good option for your other childcare providers (grandparents, nannies, etc.) and/or parents who walk everywhere; shoulder bags are just going to leave you hurting!
Okkatots makes an intense Diaper Bag Backpack. This bag is big enough to hold 16 diapers plus a zillion other things. What I love is how organized the bag is *swoon.* At $80, it is on the higher-end for diaper bags, but can grow with the babies well into their toddler years.
Ju-Ju-Be makes a twins (larger) version of the beloved “B.F.F.” bag. Their Be Prepared bag has 17 pockets, including insulated bottle pockets so you can (try to) stay organized. It even has “crumb drains,” which – now that I know exist – I want in everything.
It’s a pricier option at $200 (gotta pay for that crumb drain technology somehow, folks), but those who have it love it. You’ll get years of use out of it, and it also works as an overnighter.
*For our full list of recommended diaper bags, go here.
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.
For those with preemies, we recommend the Hatch Baby Grow ($129), the smart changing pad and baby scale. 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 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 $22 (but still safe & sturdy). We reviewed the top 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 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 Registry Cheatsheet for a spreadsheet version of the items mentioned here.
Back to: Twins