Thursday, January 12, 2012

Twin Advice: Great Gear

San Diego Bebe Twins Nursing Pillow (San Diego Bebe ECO Twin Deluxe Nursing Pillow - Lime). I didn't buy this when I was pregnant with my first set of twins because I was totally freaked out (horrified, actually) by the pictures of mothers tandem nursing. Then I ended up rush ordering it when the girls were 6 weeks old and I needed to figure out a way to feed them at the same time when I was at home by myself. This was the answer. It positions the babies correctly and provides enough support that you can nurse basically hands-free, plus it provides a stable enough "shelf" that you can put one baby down on it and be able to let go and put the other baby on if you are by yourself.

Kiddopautomus Swaddle Blankets (Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe Microfleece, Small, Ivory). These are basically an idiot proof swaddling system which allows you to get a very tight swaddle and then keeps it tight with velcro. When we started using them with our first set of twins, it added 2 hours to the amount of time they slept at night. Life changing!

Bouncy seats (Fisher-Price Rainforest Bouncer). I love bouncy seats! I got 4 when I was pregnant the first time around between hand-me-downs and shower gifts. I was planning on returning 2 of them, but one of my friends with twins convinced me not to. I thought she was crazy at the time, but I used every one of them, and occasionally, when moving them from room to room, found myself wishing for a couple more. There are hundreds of these to match every taste, but I highly recommend getting one of the bouncers with a baby-activated mode in which the baby's movements activate lights and sounds. It is really fun to watch the babies figure out cause and effect, and it keeps them much better entertained.

Bumbo Seats (Bumbo Baby Seat, Blue). This is a molded plastic seat that allows babies to sit upright before they are strong/coordinated enough to do it on their own. My kids all really enjoying being able to sit up and look around, and it is a great place to keep the babies happy and safely contained once they start outgrowing the bouncy seats. You can also put them face to face and the babies can start playing together.

Dispensing Spoon by Boon (Plum Organics Dispensing Boon Spoon, 2-Count Packages (Pack of 4)) This is genius! I wish I had thought of it. It is a spoon head with a small hole in it that screws on the pouches of baby food. When you squeeze the pouch, the spoon fills up. This allows you to go from baby to baby without having to dip back into the bowl, speeding up the feeding process. That few seconds may not sound like much, but is key when you have 2 ravenous babies screaming for their next bite. They also make clean-up a breeze (no bowl or jar to clean) and are super convenient for on-the-go feeding.  

Baby Bjorn (BABYBJĂ–RN Baby Carrier Original - Black, Classic). We had two of these front carriers and used them all the time.  The babies loved being in them, especially facing forward, and it gives you back both hands to use to grocery shop, hold the hand of a sibling, prepare bottles, clean, etc.

First Years Newborn to Toddler Reclining Feeding Seat (The First Years Newborn to Toddler Reclining Feeding Seat).   I used these instead of high chairs. They take up a lot less room, are much easier to clean, and are much less expensive than high chairs. Plus, they are portable, so you can use them when you travel. 

Double stroller. You will definitely want at least one of these. Which one is best will depend a lot on where you live and how you will be using the stroller, so my advice is to test drive a few of these, keeping in mind where/how you will be using the stroller most. I personally preferred the side-by-side variety. I found these much more maneuverable than the front/back set up, and, when the babies got bigger, it allowed both of them to have an equally good view and prevented the twin in the back from torturing the twin in the front by taking off hats, pulling hair, etc. Even though the side-by-sides are wider, with the slimmer versions of these, I have not had any issues fitting through doorways or the narrow sidewalks near my house. My favorites are the Maclaren Twin Techno (Maclaren Twin Techno Stroller, Black On Black Frame) and the Baby Jogger City Mini Double (Baby Jogger 2011 City Mini Double Stroller, Black/Black). Both of these also recline fully, so they can be used even with infants.

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