You’ve come back from the hospital after a scan and received very surprising news - You’re going to be having twins! Having twins is a special and unique experience, a statistical anomaly and in some cultures, a good omen.
There’s tons of planning involved in having twins and that becomes more messy and complicated when it’s two of them at the same time. That is unless you do some future planning and prepare yourself for the best possible outcome for both your family and the twins!
We’re going to list some things you should buy for the babies and explain why you’ll probably need it and how it’ll make your life easier!
Must Have Items for Twin Parents
For anyone in a rush we've created this quick list of items we'd recommend. While not definitive and no doubt with some gaps, we hope this is a good starting point. Later on in the post we've tried to elaborate a bit more on why these items are important.
Sleeping / Room Setup:
- Bassinet - Your little one will need somewhere to sleep. There's some great options in different colour ways where you're bound to find something that suits your baby nursery.
- Bassinet cover - Don't skip on buying some bassinet covers for those nights where your little one has an accident and it sneaks through to their bassinet. By having a bassinet cover handy, you can quickly change the cover over and get your little one back to bed.
- Breathable blankets - When it comes to blankets for your baby, you need something that's breathable so if in the unfortunate event that the blanket made its way over your babies face, they are still able to breath.
- Extra storage - With all the things you'll buy for your baby (clothes, diapers, etc), you'll need somewhere to store it all and for this reason we recommend some extra storage.
- Baby camera - When you're either in bed or watching TV on the couch, it's helpful being able to see how your baby is by quickly checking the camera.
- Changing table - As we discuss later in this post, changing tables was great for both our backs and our little ones by having a comfortable place to change them.
- Changing table cover - You'll experience an accident from time to time on the changing table so it's handy having a cover which you can easily put on so the changing table is ready to go for the next diaper change.
- White noise generator - Whether you live in a noisy household or just looking for a calming sound for your little one, we recommend a white noise generator which plays either a static or music sound for keeping your baby feeling calm.
- Blackout shades - Similar to our previous point on white noise generators, you want to create a sleep environment that's calming for your baby. For this reason we recommend getting blackout shades which help reduce light entering your babies room to create darkness during the day.
- Night light - We really liked having night lights for two reasons. Firstly, they create a nice natural light in the room so your baby isn't in pure darkness. While secondly it's also helpful if you need to enter the room during the night and don't want to accidentally stumble into something.
- Pacifiers - Love them or hate them pacifiers are a great way to help calm your baby when they are unhappy and struggling to settle.
- Swaddles - There's so many different clothing options out there for babies so please don't take this as the one and only way but we found swaddles a great way in those early months.
- Breast feeding pillow for twins - We played around with different breast feeding pillows until we found the right one. The Twin-Z was our pick of the bunch as it was super comfortable on the back and securely held both our boys at the same time without any issues. Having a pillow designed for twin feeding is a must!
- Boppy pillow - We've written about how great we think boppy pillows are in the past but basically they're great from 1 day old all the way through to until your child is 1.5 years old. A must purchase in our books!
- Feeding chair - While not a must, we found owning a feeding chair great for helping better support your back while helping securely hold your babies as you breastfeed them. There's many great gliders and feeding chairs out there which we've written about in the past.
- Breast pump - When you're breast feeding twins you want a breast pump that can comfortably handle feeding from both breasts. Generally breast pumps come in electrical (mains and battery powered) or manual hand pumps. We recommend opting for a battery powered breast milk pump as they're highly portable like some of the breast pumps for twin parents we've reviewed in the past.
- Breast milk bottles - What good is a breast pump if you don't have bottles to place the milk in? We really rated the Philips Avent range which comes in both BPA free plastic or glass bottles.
- Baby milk bottle sanitiser - It's key you help keep your babies milk bottle clean after use. For this reason we recommend investing in a bottle sanitiser which are generally either electric or can be placed in the microwave.
- Baby milk bottle drying rack - You'll end up having a lot of bottles to dry when you're bottle feeding twins. For this reason we recommend a stylish drying rack which helps seperate your baby bottles away from the rest of your normal every day. Perhaps give our article on the best baby bottle drying racks a read!
- Baby formula mixer - Assuming you'll end up using a bit of formula for your baby, mixing it during the night can be a hassle and something that can be made far easier with a baby formula mixer. We've written about the best baby formula mixers in the past and think they're a great purchase for anyone looking to save time and have milk at the ready.
Keeping Clean (Diapers, Wipes, Etc):
- Diapers - Whether they're reusable diapers or once only use diapers, you're going to need a few diapers for your little ones.
- Diaper rash cream - We found diaper rash cream essential and would have had two very distressed boys without it. Would recommend!
- Diaper waste bags - While not a must and more an optional, diaper waste bags are particularly useful for when you're out and about and need to put a dirty diaper in a plastic bag without fear of it rolling around and touching other stuff in your bag.
- Wet wipes - Similar to diapers, wet wipes come in reusable and one use form. We've tried both and think both have their advantages. Either way, look for ones which are soft on the skin by being nice and moist to avoid creating a rash.
- Burp cloth - Burp cloth or just a regular cloth, these are super helpful for when you're out and about and need to quickly wipe your little one's face after a burp. While we also found them helpful if you place them on your shoulder when you're carrying your baby to avoid any burps going over your clothes.
- Baby bath tub - Baby bath tubs come in many different shapes and sizes but found owning a bath tub specifically designed for babies provided a lot of peace of mind that they were relatively safe vs using a full sized bath.
- Baby bath towels - You'll need some comfortable and small towels for your baby after they get out of the bath. Some towels come with some cute little designs too!
- Nail clippers - One of the fun parts of being a parent - cutting your babies finger nails! Fortunately their are nail clippers which help make the process slightly easier.
- Thermometer - We recommend investing in a good thermometer as you'll never know when you'll use it. We received a cheap one at our baby shower and it was unreliable and the accuracy was questionable. For this reason try not to skimp on price and get something that is accurate.
Getting Out and About:
- Diaper bag - Having a bag that's ready to go with all your babies essentials rather than trying to squeeze it into your regular bag can be a god send. We recommend getting a diaper bag as they'll mean you'll always be organised when heading out.
- Changing pad - When you're out and about, you'll want somewhere you can comfortably change your baby and not have to worry about the surface you are placing them on. We've written about the best portable changing pads in the past and really recommend them!
- Double stroller - Double strollers come in many different shapes and sizes but one thing we do know is that they are super essential and will make your life much easier when you're venturing out of the house.
- Twin carrier - When you're stuck at home on your own with twins it can be really hard to get out of the house. For this reason we recommend investing in a twin baby carrier which can make getting out on your own a breeze. We've also written about the best twin baby carriers in the past.
- Car seats - No surprises but you'll need two car seats for your twins. Fortunately car seats come at various price points. We recommend ensuring the safe meets safety standards when selecting a seat.
- Car seat mirrors - With your baby facing towards the seat in the early days, we recommend picking up a car seat mirror which means you'll be able to see what your babies are doing while you are driving.
What makes some of these items so useful? We've tried to elaborate a bit more below.
Feeding Pillow for Twins
This one is pretty straightforward: Getting two feeding pillows doesn’t really make much sense unless you have great balance and feel comfortable dangling two separate pillows on one arm while feeding with the other. Impractical, right? Which is why there are feeding pillows designed specifically for twins.
We recommend trying to get a twin breastfeeding pillow which is both stable and can be cleaned easily, since anything involving feeding and babies = mess. Amazon has a nice collection, otherwise, a local store will also do!
Pro Tip: Don’t have six babies, feeding pillow manufacturers and R&D will be at a loss.
Feeding Chair for Twins
Twin baby feeding chairs might seem like a nice to have - “I can just get away with a single feeding chair” and you’re absolutely right, you can buy a single feeding chair.
We've written about nursery gliders in the past but we think a twin feeding chair is well worth the money thanks to their ergonomic design where you can comfortably hold both babies without having to worry about them falling!
But why should you buy a feeding chair in the first place and your trusty couch is looking up for the job? It comes down to convenience and prevents headaches because as mentioned: feeding + babies = mess.
Breast Pump for Twins
We've covered breast pumps for feeding twins and what to look out for in the past. This one is more of a personal preference with some people naturally preferring to give breast feeding a go without any aids and relying on manually pumping. Each to their own and whatever works best for you.
There's a few reasons why we think owning a breast pump is a great idea. We don't want to get preachy on you here but basically having a breast pump is a great way to help keep a great supply of breast milk for your little ones. Sure, you can manually pump into bottles yourself using your hands but ain't nobody got time for that! This is where a breast pump is super useful as it basically mounts on the breast and does all the work for you.
At the end of the day, do whatever works best for you!
Breast Milk Bottles
What good is a breast milk pump if you don't have bottles to put the expressed milk in? Or perhaps you're using baby formula and need a bottle to feed your little one with. For this reason, we think breast milk bottles are a must have for any expecting parents.
Just make sure that the quality of the bottles are food grade (A stamp of 5 symbolizes long term use for food-related use) and that they can withstand sudden changes in temperatures on a regular basis. You’d be surprised at the number of plastic bottles that don’t last because of this reason! While we also recommend if buying plastic bottles to ensure they are BPA free to avoid any nasties making their way into your babies milk.
In terms of what milk bottles to use, we don't think you can go wrong with the Philips Avent range.
Baby Formula Mixer
Staying on the theme of all things baby breast milk, we have the baby formula mixer which initially we thought was a gimmick but they've grown on us. We've written about finding the best baby formula mixer in the past and would strongly recommend one especially when you have twins.
What makes a baby formula mixer so good you ask? If you're someone that's using baby formula, you'll be making it all the time especially if you have twins. Baby formula mixers try help with the process by warming the formula to the correct temperature while also having the milk kept warm for those late night feeds when you don't want to be stuffing around in the middle of the night making it up.
When you have a baby, they'll often make sounds during the night and your first instinct is to go in and check on them. But you run the risk of only waking them up more once they see your face.
For this reason we recommend buying baby cameras which generally fix on the end of your babies cot and allow you to see and hear them. Most cameras come with a video monitor or you can watch the feed via your smartphone. Perfect if you're sitting on the couch or laying in bed.
Good news - There are baby cameras that are suited for people with multiples. We'd recommend the Arlo Baby Camera.
One of the hardest things about having twins is that there will be times you're on your own with them and can feel stuck. There's two of them and one of you!
This is where buying a twin carrier is a great idea. You'll have the luxury of being able to securely strap both babies to you which makes getting out of the house far less stressful.
One of the essential baby nursery purchases is buying something for your twins to sleep in. We recommend bassinets but this will ultimately depend on the age of your twins where perhaps a cot is more suitable for people reading this post with older twins.
We suggest buying a couple of bassinet covers, just in case your babies soil it during the night and you need to quickly get it back to normal so they can jump back into bed.
Bassinet covers are also great as it adds a bit of customizability to your bassinet where you can sort of play around with looks and designs that you wouldn’t be able to earlier! Just make sure that you get a breathable cover. Typically, they’re made from cotton with a high thread count (anything above 250-300 is good) and you’re good to go!
There’s always a bunch of clothes that a baby needs that you’ll have to store, the inevitable diapers and wet wipes which most people buy in bulk, so you’ll need storage. And honestly, even the most basic baby wardrobe is going to have at least 10-20 outfits, so buying a drawer isn’t an extravagance but more of a necessity that’ll make things a lot easier and much more organized.
There are some pretty nifty ones among a large collection on Amazon that’ll help you figure out which one will suit your needs (this is mostly on the basis of the wardrobe size, drawers are straightforward). Don’t hesitate and get it!
Diapers, Diaper Rash Cream and Wet Wipes
Ahh, the inevitable trio of baby care.
Diapers, diaper rash cream and wet wipes. The essential three without which you can kiss your peace of mind goodbye, especially with twins on board. It was only this week that we ran out of wet wipes with everyone panic buying. It was desperate times and we had to revert to a cloth and a bucket of warm water. It quickly made me realise how useful wet wipes are!
There’s honestly no need to “sell” these three because they’re indispensable, but there are some pointers one must keep in mind before buying any of the three.
For one, rashes for a baby is extremely common due to sensitive skin, so if you’re buying any of these items for the first time, don’t buy in bulk until you've had a chance to try them and know what works best for your baby. If you do get caught out and your baby develops a rash with the cream, we recommend the Aquaphor Baby Healing Cream but there's countless other brands on the market that you can't go wrong with too.
Secondly, make sure that the diaper is a good fit, you’ll notice it’s not when the twins are squirming around and crying and that’s when you rush to a nearby store to get some diapers. Absorption capacity is important too!
Thirdly, try and get some diapers that are good for the planet, especially since it’s easy to run through several hundreds of them in a few weeks (or even days in case of newborns, and double for twins!). This may even mean going reusable diapers vs one use diapers but each to their own. Do what's best for you. Amazon sells a range of reusable diapers with some looking great!
Double strollers or twin strollers are a little expensive, but you really will need one if you plan to go anywhere with the pair, whether it’s a stroll down the park or in the mall to go and buy some diapers. We've written about about why we think they're great and some of the best ones on the market in our finding the best twin stroller post.
One thing to look out for are the clunky, heavy and difficult to steer strollers that are a pain to deal with. Make sure to purchase a sturdy yet lightweight stroller that is easy to maneuver around, especially in tight spots while also big enough for the babies to be comfortable in, especially if they are the fidgety type who need to move and squirm around a little!
Some of the parents reading this must be wondering why this article mentions a changing table for home use (or even portable use) when you can just take any flat surface and change a baby’s diaper on it effortlessly. We were sceptical about getting a changing table before we had kids but we're so glad we did!
Well, previous parents reading this probably have a smirk on their face because a changing table can make or break (in some cases literally) your physical health.
Changing diapers is something that happens regularly early on (especially when you have twins!) and constantly bending and arching your back is not good for it. Getting a changing table at an appropriate height makes things a lot easier, but this could also be avoided if you have a flat surface where you don’t have to bend to change the diaper.
White Noise Generator
Whether you live in a noisy household or want something calm sounding to help your little ones fall asleep, white noise generators are a must and something we don't regret buying.
As the name suggest, white noise generators generate a static sound with most also capable of generating everyday sounds like waterfalls or rain falling. It's thought that these sounds help your baby fall asleep quicker while blocking out nearby noises.
Just make sure that your baby doesn't get too dependent on it as that can have far-reaching consequences where your baby may become dependent on falling asleep to a sound. This can be frustrating if you're travelling and forget your white noise generator!
That’s pretty much it, a comprehensive list of items one should buy and consider when having twins. Quite a few of these items work for single babies too, so this article can definitely help some single baby mothers as well. Try and vet out some of the products you find and make sure that you’re observing your kids closely for how they react to some of these items!
All the best with your twin journey!
My name’s Alex and I’m a husband, dad to beautiful identical twin boys, cyclist, photographer and connoisseur of great coffee!
Help I’m Having Twins has been created for me to share what I found useful as a new parent and dad to twins.