Not only has it been awhile since I’ve posted a new recipe, it’s been even longer since I’ve been in the kitchen. My excuse: we added 2 more people who can’t feed themselves…twin boys! On May 15th, 2015 we welcomed our identical twin boys, Riley and Landon. There’s much to say about them, but the purpose of this post is to share some of our most essential products in each category for enjoying the first 3 months with newborns.
When I was pregnant, my mom and I loved researching baby products together. We talked to friends with babies, read everything we could find online, and I asked around at our twins club. It was an enormous amount of fun to research products together, and even more fun to use them. Now that we’ve had a chance to use all of the products we enthusiastically researched, I want to pass our favorites along.
After much discussion, I present you with our product survival guide for the first 3 months of living with babies. You don’t have to have twins to use these items…just buy one of each. We have so many friends that are expecting babies this year, and this post is primarily for them.
Full disclosure: these links are Amazon Affiliate links. You know that I work in eCommerce so I have to have some fun with it!
Rock ‘n Play – Our babies hate their cribs. We keep these next to our bed and they love them! Make sure you get the kind that plugs into the wall, because you don’t want to be up all night rocking it.
SwaddleMe – They sleep so much better in “baby jail.” We started off swaddling them in receiving blankets, but they quickly got strong enough to bust out of the strongest of handmade swaddles. They’re still no match for the velcro on the SwaddleMe, and sleep through the night in them.
Washing bottles – We use 2 of these baskets per day. If you use Dr. Brown’s bottles, they will save you a lot of time.
Drying rack– You will be washing a lot of odd shaped things. I like this for drying those things, because it’s easy to keep clean. The popular grass ones just look like they collect water/bacteria and are hard to clean.
Cloth diapers – We don’t do cloth diapers, but the prefolds are extremely useful for all kinds of other things. We use them as burp cloths, put them under the babies on different surfaces, etc. This is one of my absolute must haves. We have 50 of these and go through them fast.
Bibs – aka outfit savers
Pump – Our insurance covered a pump, and this was the one that every single one of my friends recommended. Thanks, Obama.
Pumping bra – I have no idea how anyone can pump without this. And yes, it looks ridiculous.
Feeding station – We love this for feeding them at the same time. It can also be used for tummy time.
Diaper pail – You can’t smell a thing with this diaper pail.
Changing pad – I don’t know why they even sell the ones that are covered in fabric. If you saw the terrible things that happened on this changing table, you would never want to see it covered in fabric. The Keekaroo is worth every penny. We wipe this thing down several times a day.
Diapers – The NICU used Pampers so that’s what we started using. We found that they leaked a little so we switched to Luvs. We also used a box of the Kirkland Costco diapers which worked well. Honestly, they all leak a little, and I’m not sure you can go too far wrong with any of them. One piece of advice we got was to buy small packs until you hit the ones you like. Don’t stock up ahead in case you don’t like them. Also look into Amazon Mom to save some $$. We go through about 500 diapers a month.
Diaper Covers – The diaper covers are just as important as the diapers. Let’s just say that these have saved us a lot of laundry.
Some days we go through 2 outfits, and other days we go through 8…per baby. We do baby laundry every other day. So, I find that it’s good to be on the safe side and have about 15-20 outfits in each size. The sizing is really inconsistent, so you just have to see what fits. I alway err on the side of buying stuff that’s too big since they grow out of things so quickly. And, it’s no problem for them to wear stuff that’s a little too big until it fits perfectly. Most of their stuff is from Carter’s and Buy Buy Baby. Anything nice we have was a gift.
As for styles, we prefer footies with zippers. Snaps are hard to snap on a wiggly baby, especially at 4am. However, things with snaps are ubiquitous and are tolerable. Babies hate over the head onesies and those are the hardest to get on. Anything that is two pieces is to be avoided. Ain’t no one got time for baby pants or socks.
…but if you do use socks – Kay found these while we were shopping at Buy Buy Baby. A man with twins stopped us while we were looking at these and said they were a must have. We picked up two pairs, and I have to agree they’re a must have for keeping socks on.
Hanging at the house
Leachco podster – For some reason this isn’t as popular as the Boppy pillow but it’s way better. We have both, but the podster is hands down our favorite. It’s deeper and more sturdy than the Boppy. Whichever baby gets stuck in the Boppy always looks like they’re slipping out of it.
Mamaroo – They’re kind of expensive, but we do love them. During the witching hour (around sunset when babies are really fussy), we usually have two babies bouncing around in these.
Kicking piano – This is Mark’s favorite baby toy, so they bought us one on their most recent visit. It is awesome! The boys don’t realize that their kicking makes the music, but they love it. And we love it, because it keeps them entertained longer than any other toy or playmat.
Leaving the house
Stroller – While this is a double stroller, it’s also great as a single (so I’m told). If a second baby is in the future, it could spare you from having to buy a double stroller down the road. With twins, it was the obvious choice for us. You can put car seats (with adapters), bassinets, big kid seats, etc. in it. We plan to have this as our one and only stroller for a long time.
Car seat and base – The Chicco Keyfit 30 is great. We see almost everyone in our twins club, and our friends with singletons, have come to the same conclusion.
Rear view mirror – Totally worth it just to know they’re still breathing.
Ergo baby carrier – There are all kinds of carriers. Wraps are great, but with two babies we don’t have time to spare in our operation. The ergo does everything we need a carrier to do…like carry a baby.
Playing (you don’t *need* any of these things, but they’re fun)
Playmat & activity gym – These are good, because they like to reach for the objects that hang down. Our babies spend lots of time during the day on this playmat. It’s also where tummy time takes place, even though they hate it. It’s easy to wash when they spit up on the mat.
Art cards – Their eyes bug out at these. You would think ‘why would I buy fancy art cards for a baby?!’ but they’re a big hit in our house. While holding up the animal cards for them, we can come up with all sorts of topics of conversation. Half the fun for me is listening to the funny things that Peter talks about while showing them the cards.
Lamaze sensory toys – We hang different variations of these on their car seats, playmats, and playpen. They’re bright, colorful, have crinkle in them, and are fun for the babies to stare at. Most importantly, it keeps them busy since they try batting at them constantly.
Winkel rattle and teether – These were a gift…a fantastic gift! The babies reach for them on tummy time, chew on them, and swing them all around.
Bath tub – The sling really helps since they can’t hold their heads up. Don’t ask us how often we bathe them though, because you will be appalled at the answer. Hint: not often.
Shampoo + Body Wash – I have really sensitive skin, so I always buy fragrance free. I tend to think it’s a good idea to buy free and clear products until you figure out what their allergies/sensitivities might be. The boys don’t seem to be nearly as sensitive as me, but we’ll keep using this shampoo + body wash because it does the trick and is kind on their eyes in the tub.
Mobile – They LOVE to stare at these. I kind of do too.
Thermometer – We use this all the time.
Pacifier – We kept using the kind that the NICU used. We have about 30 of these boppy’s because we need them within reach everywhere in the house. However, some babies don’t like pacifiers so just get a couple to start with. Fun fact: when these hit the floor, we call them droppy’s. 5 second rule applies.
Pacifier clips – We only use these outside of the house. We clip it to the side of the car seat so that we don’t lose them when we’re traveling.
Baby Daybook app – This app has been essential for us. The basic version is totally free and allows you to keep track of feeding, diapering, baths, meds, etc. With 2 babies, it is a necessity because it allows Peter and I to communicate without having to wake each other up. Our babies don’t have a schedule. They have a rhythm. Knowing where they are in the rhythm without having to call/text/email/wake up Peter is very helpful. If I’m out running errands, I can just check to app and know exactly where everyone is within the rhythm. In other words, I can see how much time I have before I need to be home to feed them.
Minivan – Toyota Sienna – It’s not economical, but we do love this! It was a twin necessity.
Stores like Marshalls and HomeGoods have lots of baby stuff really cheap. We look there first if we have time. Amazon Prime, Amazon Mom, and Subscribe & Save are fantastic for discounts. If you don’t already use Ebates, sign up! You get cash back on almost all online purchases…not just baby things. We get checks from them for hundreds of dollars every quarter. Seriously, sign up!
Products in use
Leaving the hospital with both babies…They’re so small you can barely see them in their car seats, but they’re safe in their Chicco Keyfit 30’s.