TOP FIVE PRODUCTS FOR NEW TWIN PARENTS
There are so many products to choose from when it comes to having a baby – what is actually necessary for having twins? Here’s the top five products for new twin parents that I could not have survived the fourth trimester without.
When we found out we were having twins I immediately started compiling a list of what we would need. It wasn’t long before I was feeling confused with all the options and the weight of the choices in products, brands and price points started to feel heavy.
Finding out we were having twins wasn’t easy! The idea of having two new humans at once and having to feed them, clothe them, take care of them and help them grow was overwhelming and scary at first. I thought about how expensive having twins could be and knew I’d want to be sure what I was spending my money on was worth every penny.
Aside from the obvious items, like cribs and carseats, I wasn’t sure what I definitely needed two of and I felt like many of the blogs I read didn’t give me enough detail about their suggestions and why they chose them.
Now that we’ve gone through and left behind our days of juggling little twin babies I’ve pulled together the top five products for new twin parents that will make the fourth trimester with two babies way easier to survive!
1. TWIN SIZED BREASTFEEDING PILLOW
Even if you aren’t planning to breastfeed twins I still suggest getting a twin sized breastfeeding pillow. While they were very useful for breastfeeding, we also used ours for:
- Bottle feeding
- Long, hands-free naps
- Helping family members hold both twins at once
- Letting them sit together during floor time
They can be expensive but the upside is they’re durable – which means they’re easy to find secondhand for a fraction of the cost. I snagged ours for free in a parenting group!
We used the My Breast Friend Twin Feeding Pillow. It’s a big, thick foam pillow that comes with a removable cover for easy washing. the pillow has a detachable back piece that expands and the pillow itself has a ridge along the edge to help prevent babies from rolling away.
The pillow cover also has a big front pocket. It’s perfect for storing things like nipple shields and milk catchers in-between uses, holding a drink and snack while you’re cluster feeding, storing your phone and a spare charger for the long nights and more!
We used our pillow from birth until sometime around 15 months. I brought it to the NICU after the twins were born to make feedings and skin to skin much easier. Not only for having the twins on – it’s wide enough that it also makes a nice little table to hold a tablet to watch Netflix, a laptop to work or a book to read while you’re stuck in a chair!
Another popular pillow options, that I have no experience with, is the Twin Z Pillow. It’s a bit of a different design with a middle piece that can flip up or down. Making it a great pillow with back support as well as a pillow that great for them to sit in! Personally I find this pillow a little too big and bulky for our space and that’s one of the reasons I chose against it, but it is definitely a great choice in general.
2. TWIN BABY CARRIER
If this is your first time having kids babywearing can seem overwhelming – baby wearing twins feels impossible. Luckily baby wearing twins, while it has a bit of a learning curve, is actually a lifesaver.
There are a lot of options when it comes to baby wearing, so I’m going to focus this on the two I used that are specifically made for parents of multiples: the Weego carrier and the TwinGo carrier.
The Weego Twin Carrier is perfect for birth until they outgrow it. It’s approved for use as of 4lbs, has sturdy and structured “pockets” to keep babies safe and has great support for the wearer. It’s got a double front pouch which means both babies are in your sight at all times.
The big difference for me in using the Weego vs a wrap was the ease of use. When I took one baby out, it didn’t change the structure or balance of the carrier. The second baby stayed secure in place and could stay there if needed. This was useful for things like doctors appointments and diaper changes at the mall.
We used the Weego from about two months old until about six months old and I really wish we had gotten it sooner! It made every activity outside of the house easier, it made getting stuff around the house done more bearable and some days I wish they were still small enough to pop into it.
After we outgrew our Weego Carrier we switched to a tandem carrier called the TwinGo Carrier. The TwinGo carrier is basically two SSC carriers in one. It’s got two panels that you can wear at the same time or separate and have a twin worn by two separate people.
The TwinGo Carrier is approved for use as a single carrier as of 7lbs with an infant insert and 12lbs without one. You can back carry or tandem carry (one baby in front, one baby in back) once babe is 4+ months old and has strong head/neck control. Which is actually huge – most carriers are only approved for a back carry at 6+ months and sitting unassisted!
While the back carry can seem really daunting if you’ve never tried it before it becomes a natural habit before you know it.
I compare it to riding a bike – once you’ve got it, you’ve got it.
Why a tandem carrier instead of two single carriers being worn together? I’ve done both – I’ve done a tandem carry with two Tula carriers on a few occasions. Ultimately it’s doable, but it’s a lot bulkier than a tandem carrier. With the TwinGo you can remove the thick part of the straps and it attaches to the other panel’s straps. The waistband also attach and become one singular waistband!
Some other twin carrier brands that exist, but I have no experience with, include the Minimonkey Twin Carrier and Naked Panda Duo carrier.
3. A SIDE BY SIDE DOUBLE STROLLER
I know the general response to a side by side stroller is that it’s too big and won’t fit anywhere. Truth is it actually does fit most places and it’s way easier to manage than a tandem stroller.
I did a lot of research on double stroller options before I finalized our choice. I scoured blog posts and Facebook groups, looking at what others loved and hated. The consensus was clear amongst twin parents: a side by side stroller was a must, and those who had started with a tandem stroller made the switch to a side by side fast.
For a few reasons:
- The twins hated not being able to see each other and interact together.
- The weight distribution is better on a side by side.
- Getting it onto a bus, onto a sidewalk bump and up/down stairs is much easier.
- Does better in all-weather situations.
- Generally more durable and long-lasting.
The top choices that always come up are: the Bugaboo Donkey, the Stroll-Air Twinway, the Baby Jogger City Mini GT, Valco Baby, Bumbleride Indie Twin and the Mountain Buggy Duet.
We personally use the Bugaboo Donkey. We were already a Bugaboo family so I was partial to it. It’s a beast of a stroller, which is a good thing, and it’s worth every penny you’ll spend on it. Which is unfortunately a good chunk of pennies!
Since it’s a durable stroller you can feel safe purchasing one secondhand from a reputable seller.
Some perks I love about it are:
- Single mode + side basket option. Remove a seat, shrink the frame and pop the basket on. I used this feature a lot when the babies were tiny and I didn’t want the full stroller – either because I was wearing the twins and had the toddler in the stroller, I was only taking one twin with me or I wore one twin while I pushed the second twin. This also makes it a great stroller choice if you plan on growing your family further!
- Adjustable handlebar. Perfect for parents who are different heights, or for when other family members take a turn pushing. I also very much enjoyed being able to shrink the handlebar down when I was in the doctors office or on the bus to take up less space.
- Separate seats that are individually adjustable. Since each seat is it’s own frame, you have a lot of options in making it what you need it to be. They can both face the same direction or be opposites. You can choose if you’d like them face parent or facing forward. Lower one babe down to sleep while the other stays up. Options, options, options!
I could go on for an entire article just on this stroller alone, so I’ll stop here. The only tandem stroller we used was the carseat frame stroller. I will add here that there are concerns about health when it comes to using the carseats on strollers, so if you do go this route be sure to look into it. I definitely hated pushing this frame around, but when it’s the middle of winter its a better choice than trying to get two little babies back into their bucket seats in a cramped van! If possible, I suggest using a bassinet setting on your stroller, baby wearing or getting a carseat holder made for your specific stroller.
4. A PAIR OF BOUNCER/ROCKER SEATS
Bouncer chair? Rocker chair? Swing? There are SO many types out there that it can be hard to know which is best. No matter which one you choose this is one of those products that you definitely want to get two of. Having one for each baby will mean hands-free naps, small glimpses of freedom and somewhere safe to put them down.
We actually had two different brands of seats, mainly due to only buying them secondhand: a Mamaroo and a Fisher Price bouncer.
I had heard endlessly great things about the Mamaroo chairs. There was even one in one of the NICU pods! The price tag attached to it made buying two of them out of the question, so after we were settled into the NICU I started keeping an eye on Facebook Marketplace and Buy and Sell pages for a good secondhand one.
I expected to absolutely adore this seat but I actually have a love/hate relationship with it. I did buy it secondhand as I do with almost anything and I picked it up when I was exhausted, frazzled and just wanted to grab it and go. Unfortunately this led me to buying a damaged seat! Which is definitely on me and I don’t blame Mamaroo for that.
However, for a seat that typically runs for over $300 I was disappointed at the quality. The frames for the fabric are fairly weak and it’s no surprise to me that it was damaged (and, continued to become more damaged with daily use). It’s also a common problem that the toy arm breaks – and it’s not an easy repair! We gave up trying to repair the toy arm after not finding a solution that was sustainable.
The upside to the Mamaroo, and why it still makes it onto the list, are the settings. The seat we had had options for speed, movement type and sound effects. It’s got a built in sound machine that is loud enough to work for naps in the living room and the variety in settings makes it easy to find one that works for each child. The bonus was having a Mamaroo app that worked as a remote, so I could adjust the settings without having to walk over to the seat. Looking at the various seats that had the same function, it also had one of the smallest footprints in the house space wise.
Overall, I’d say it’s only worth the price tag if you’re planning on having multiple fourth trimesters and are ready to be gentle in it’s usage. I’d consider it an item to highly consider finding secondhand, borrowing from a friend or putting on the list for your well-off relative to buy.
The other seat we owned was a very simple Fisher Price Comfort Curve bouncer. We lucked out and got ours for free in a Facebook group but it’s generally a very affordable chair.
It has a soft fabric thats removable for easy washing and the toy bar is detachable. It does come with a vibrate setting however ours was broken so I can’t speak to how good it is. With a weight limit of 20lbs it can be used for at least a year I’d think!
There are many brands and price ranges to choose from in these types of seats, so I wouldn’t worry too much about buying the most expensive one. Just the one that fits into your space and is a fabric you enjoy staring at! If I had to do it over again, some of the chairs I’d consider purchasing are:
- Summer Infant 2-in-1 Bouncer & Rocker Duo
- The Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker
- Babybjorn Bouncer
When I started this I debated if I’d rather choose a new bouncer seat or switch it out for one of the swings. For us, I’d choose the bouncer seats again. While I know the swings are well loved in many families I can’t see us giving up enough space to fit two of them! Many of the bouncer seats will also have a longer life, with weight ratings as seats up into the toddler years and most swings won’t last past 6 months to maybe a year, depending on your kids size.
5. A JOEYBAND
Have you heard of a Joeyband before? Maybe you’ve heard of Sleepbelt? They’re the same company with two similar products: a stretchy band with a velcro closure meant to aid in safe skin-to-skin cuddles. Outside of skin-to-skin I’ve also used it for breastfeeding, cuddles sitting up on the couch, hands-free nap times and helping them sit in regular chairs – just to name a few.
It’s no secret that being held, cuddled and loved is a babies priority. It’s also no secret that being exhausted is a huge part of a parent’s fourth trimester. Wearing a Joeyband means you can feel safe and confident while holding your baby (or babies!).
For me, the Joeyband was the main reason I managed so much skin to skin time. I brought it with me to the NICU and it allowed me hours of cuddles while I had my hands free to scroll social media, work on writing and at the time house hunt. You can read all about my experience using the Joeyband in the NICU h e r e!
The Joeyband is a hospital approved device, even if your hospital doesn’t currently use them. You can bring it into the delivery room or operating room to use for immediate skin to skin after birth (even after a c-section!), you can bring it to the NICU and you can use it in your recovery room too.
Skin to skin is an important aspect of the fourth trimester that frequently gets left out of the conversation. Babies who experience skin-to-skin time (which is cuddles without a shirt and onesie on) helps keep babies calm, leads to less crying and relieves stress, can help with babies weight gain and milk production for breastfeeding and more. For babies who are in the NICU, skin-to-skin is important as it can aid in stabilizing baby’s temperature, breathing rate, heart rate, and blood sugar!
Important to note that the Joeyband is not an approved method of baby wearing while walking around nor is it meant for co-sleeping, only for use while sitting or laying down while awake.
There we have it! The top five products for new twin parents that I wouldn’t have survived the fourth trimester without.
Still feeling a little overwhelmed? It’s okay, I totally feel you and was in the same position as you. Once those little humans arrive and you start to live with them it all starts to fall into place.
Be sure to check out some of my other blogs below for more twin parenting and NICU tips!
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