Finding out that you’re having twins can be surreal – you’re excited, scared and confused all at once. Twin babies mean double of everything – from diapers to car seats! No wonder it can put quite a dent in your wallet.
If you’re expecting twins, most experts will tell you that planning is essential. You’ve to accelerate the schedule of preparing your home, the nursery and buying things much earlier than you’d planned. Why? Because twins tend to arrive earlier in general. Make sure to have everything ready by your third trimester, as much as possible anyway.
Apart from being prepared mentally and emotionally, here are a few practical things to consider when expecting twins:
One Room or Two?
The first thing you’ll need to decide if you’ll put the babies in separate rooms or not. There are pros and cons to each side. Separate rooms mean that there’s a smaller chance of one baby waking the other. You can decorate them individually, which is a boon if you’re expecting a boy and a girl. Each nursery room will become their own bedroom as the kids grow older.
But two nurseries are expensive. Two rooms mean two of everything – from the more obvious things like cribs and chairs to essentials like a changing table, diaper stashes, and medicine kits. Do you really want to run from room to room at 2 am trying to feed both babies?
Do you want a double crib, two cribs or dividers to partition a regular one? Double cribs can be very expensive and many couples on a budget put twins in the same crib to start out with. You can separate them when they start moving around and need more space. But if you have room and the budget, two cribs in the same nursery right from the start could very well be the better option.
Couples expecting twins should check out convertible cribs like the Leander collection from Tulip. These cribs combine elegant design with functionality – each piece can turn from a crib into a daybed, a transition bed, and a junior bed! That means your children won’t need new furniture until their early tweens (8-9 years). The best part is that the crib comes with everything included, so no need to rush out and buy separate parts later on.
There are many options for strollers when it comes to multiple kids. Do you want them to be side-by-side or front and back? Some may not fit in your car or the bus. Other designs may be more difficult to maneuver around. Keep your lifestyle in mind and try them out in the store before you buy anything.
Remember that you’re likely to use the strollers for a long time, so don’t compromise on safety and comfort. Another option for strollers is to get regular single ones and attach them with special equipment when you need to. This also means you can take each baby out separately for some one-on-one time!
Diapers and Clothes
Many parents find they’re not prepared – diaper-wise – when it comes to twins. No matter how much you think you need, you’ll find yourself going through more! Look into a diaper service (some offer discounts for multiple children) or buy diapers by the case. Bulk purchases are a great way to reduce costs, eliminate weekly shopping trips, and to always have extra on hand.
Whether you know the gender of your babies or not, you need to be prepared with clothes. Thankfully, most clothes for newborns are gender neutral (except maybe for the colors). Rather than buying matching or coordinated sets, opt for interchangeable ones. You double their wardrobe without spending too much this way.
Finally, watch out for garage sales, swap meets, and other events where you can get gently used baby equipment (swings, changing tables, monitors etc). You’ll find that babies can outgrow outfits, shoes, and toys after using them once or twice, so you can pick up almost brand new items at sales and swap meets. Don’t waste money on new clothes and toys if you’re on a budget. Used baby furniture from friends and family is the best, especially since you have a good idea of their condition and how they were used.