Maybe multiples run in your family so you weren’t that surprised at your first ultrasound. Or maybe you had no idea and those two (or more) bouncing babies on the screen were a total shock. No matter how it happened, congrats, you’re expecting multiples!
As doulas, we often support families on this journey – from a, possibly, more medicalized birth than they were planning, to surviving the NICU, all the way home. We know that double the love sometimes means double the amount of stuff. But it doesn’t always mean you need two of everything.
Before you really start seeing in double, find out what you need, what you can do without, and what items you should have but probably only need one of.
There is no escaping this one – you definitely need two cribs and/or bassinets. While there are many images online of sweetly sleeping multiples all tucked in together, we believe in following safe sleep practices and having an independent sleep surface for each baby. However, when it comes to gliders, change tables, and other furniture investments, you most likely only need one.
No, we don’t mean the flower headbands for newborn pictures, we mean all the extra stuff that parents need to contend with when they have a baby. Things like swings or bouncy chairs, diaper bags, baby bathtubs, and more.
The really great news is that you only need one of these things for your family. Most of the time, only one baby will be using an item at a time – such as one baby in the swing while the other eats. Once your babies have arrived, you can decide if you need double of these items, but most families do great with just one.
This is one of those categories that you will likely need double of everything. Car seats are a requirement for discharge from the hospital and will need to be available for a car seat test if your baby spends time in the NICU. The best advice we can give for car seats is to pick whichever fits your stroller. As you will already be managing a double stroller, the last thing you want is to need more extra pieces and adaptors.
Baby carriers are another great option, although they are just a little bit tougher to master when you have two babies. Many families are curious about twin carrier options, and in our experience, they are usually uncomfortable, or impractical, for the parent. However, it is still possible to comfortably wear two babies! We just recommend that you learn how to use wraps rather than buckle carriers, and remember that it is one baby per wrap.
Once your little ones are a bit older and ready for back carries, it gets even easier to wear both babies at once. Wearing one baby in a carrier and the other baby in a stroller is an excellent option for times when you want a smaller stroller for convenience.
4. Everything Else
When it comes to things like clothing, toys, bottles, and bedding, you may not need double the number but you will need more than for just one baby. Babies can go through a lot of wardrobe changes in a day, and you will need enough clothes to get through the day, although if you are not intending to dress them similarly, you won’t need to buy doubles of clothing.
Similarly, you (probably) won’t need doubles of every toy, but there may be some favourites that are better to have two of. If you are planning to cloth diaper, you will need a larger stash of diapers to see you through, especially if you do not want to do laundry every day!
Expecting multiples can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to shopping or setting up a registry. Remember that you do not have to listen to every piece of advice out there (including ours!) if something else works for your family. If you are ever in doubt whether you should buy double, you can always wait and see.
If you have more questions about preparing for birth and life with multiples, we would love to answer your questions. Sign up here!