This post contains affiliate links. Some of the products featured in this post have been received at no cost in exchange for my honest review. All opinions remain my own.
This post was written in preparation for my twins’ arrival! Now that I’m more than a month into twin parenthood, I have added a bit of commentary in blue, plus updated images and a few more pictures!
Oh hi! It’s me again! The twins are now 15 months and I’m updating even more … in red.
While in the back of my mind (despite what I may have said on social media) I always figured I’d have a third child, let me assure you that not ever in my wildest dreams did I imagine my third pregnancy would be a TWIN pregnancy. I kept some gear from my daughter to use with the hypothetical, maybe-yes-maybe-no sibling, but my husband (the child of a pack rat) detests keeping too much stuff, so I knew I’d have to start from scratch for some items if baby three came to fruition (fertilization?).
With somewhere between two weeks and two months before my twin boys make their appearance, I’m almost done gearing up for their arrival. I get really stressed out by things not being ready, so if you’re not as “ready” as me and you’re due soon, don’t worry, you’ll be fine. This is just the way I function.
Most of the gear featured here will be reviewed once I’ve had a chance to test it out. Some of it is stuff I used with my middle child (does she still get to be “middle” if she is technically number 2 of 4?) and already reviewed.
Sleeping and Relaxing
This Canadian product helps parents maximize skin-to-skin time. Note that it is not a baby carrier. It is a snug, stretchy wrap that goes around your chest to snuggle baby to you while you are seated. I expect my babes to be quite small, and they also run the risk of being premature. I expect the SleepBelt will allow me to snuggle them in my hospital bed hands-free, and Papa can use it too!
Unfortunately I didn’t get to bring the twins back to my hospital room with me as they were immediately taken to the NICU. I would’ve liked to use the SleepBelt more for snuggles in the NICU, but besides getting sick and being absent for five terrible days, the nurses needed to monitor their ability to maintain their body temperatures so we didn’t do a ton of skin to skin while I was there. Once we got home, I used the SleepBelt a couple of times to hold one of the twins on me while reclined in bed or on the couch. The sad truth of the matter is that after two weeks in the NICU, my dream of spending a week in bed at home with my newborns sort of fell my the wayside. Caring for the twins and my two big kids has been so intense that I’ve also found myself somewhat “touched out.” Once the twins are fed and settled, I place them in their playpen or bouncy chairs so I can catch my breath. Of course, if they don’t want to settle but I have things to do, I have to find a compromise. My blog is my fifth baby, and thanks to our SleepBelt I can snuggle one baby while I tend to the other.
I have owned two cribs in my lifetime (unless you count my own crib … which technically belonged to my parents). My children have slept perhaps two full nights (combined) in those two cribs. With my son and my daughter, their cribs were more for storage (of outgrown clothes or of cats) than for sleeping. I’ve written a lot about co-sleeping, so it may not surprise you that I did not get cribs for the twins. Honestly, we do not even have the physical space in our house for two cribs, with only a master bedroom and a small kids’ bedroom upstairs. Double-decker cribs do exist, by the way, but they seem rather impractical.
The Joovy Room2 seems like the perfect solution for space-challenged twin parents, and it will be useful longer than the twin bassinets on the market (which are also pricier). The upper, “nursery” portion can hold two babies up to 15 lb each, and the detachable change pad can hold up to 25 lb. The divider down the centre of the nursery can be removed so babes can snuggle! Once they outgrow the upper portion, they have almost 10 square feet of play space using the Room2 as a playpen. And obviously, they can also continue sleeping in it.
The Room2 folds up for travel or storage and retails for about CAN$300 if you purchase both the play pen and the nursery portion.
We LOVE this play pen! The boys sleep in it every night and it’s absolutely perfect. I don’t use the divider right now, they sleep swaddled next to each other. Likely thanks to their time spent sleeping in their cots in the NICU, the twins actually sleep without me right next to them. I’ve never had a baby that didn’t sleep every night in my bed!
The twins moved into individual cribs at about 5 months old. I have a post from a fellow twin mom who is also a sleep consultant about twins sharing a crib!
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#ad One of the new products I will be testing with the twins is the @TranquiloMat. This mat is designed to vibrate and make noise that mimic the mother's womb. With two babies to soothe, I'm thinking it could be a game changer. You can get one at @TheDiaperDrawer, where the fabulous Jaclyn will get you kitted out with all the must-have new baby items! #TheDiaperDrawer #TranquiloMat #CubTwinReviews
It’s supposed to be a magical mat that soothes newborns to sleep by mimicking the sounds and movement of the womb. Given that I will have two babies to soothe, I am curious to see if the Tranquilo Mat helps me be in two places at once. Jaclyn at Diaper Drawer really wanted me to try it, as did its creators who contacted me late last year. I am definitely curious, and I bet you are too!
You can only rock one baby at a time—or at least that’s all I can manage. Once one is fed, usually the other is chomping at the bit for his turn, so it’s straight back into the playpen for the other. The Tranquilo Mat is the next best thing to being settled by mommy! What a genius invention. I place the mat horizontally so that both boys are on top of it, and I think it seems to really help them to settle. The first few nights I found the noise of the vibration kept me awake, but now I find it soothes me as much as it soothes them! (Also, nothing stops me from sleeping any more … I’m exhausted.) I recommend getting two sets of four rechargeable batteries to use in your mat, since if you use it a lot you’ll burn through batteries quickly.
I lent our Tranquilo Mat to my cousin’s baby girl and it was also a sweet sleep success for her!
Video Baby Monitor
Depending on the sleep space, you may need multiple cameras. I know some parents of multiples use cameras that mount on the wall and allow a full view of both cribs. We have our monitor on the dresser closest to the cribs and I can rotate it to see into either crib.
I do not want to return to life before Peapod Mats. I’ve never used them from birth, but man am I going to this time around! When I lie down to nurse, I leave a puddle on the bed. Sometimes babies have explosive poops or massive spit-ups in the middle of the night. We now own four Peapod mats, and I aim to up that to a total of six for maximum efficiency. These non-slip, waterproof mats are going to save me stripping the bed … which is one my least favourite things to do.
Now I own not four but SIX Peapod mats! I discovered the 3′ x 5′ size fits PERFECTLY in our Joovy Room2, so I bought two of them and now I never have to change the fitted sheet in the playpen. I have two of the larger mats on my bed so I also never have to change my own fitted sheet.
Bouncy chairs are kind of a must—I think of them as an integral part of my “where to park baby while I need my arms free” arsenal. I bought two bouncers off of Kijiji.
Neither of the chairs I chose on Kijiji has been suitable for my newbies! They don’t recline enough, so the babies can’t lie comfortably or safely in them. I have since acquired two Peg Perego Melodia chairs, and they are THE BEST. Sadly, they’re not made anymore, but I got one from The Monarch Mommy and the other off of Kijiji. If you can find these chairs second-hand, I highly recommend them! They recline flat so they’re safe for newborns to sleep, and I can even use them if I need to feed them both at the same time. When choosing the right chairs for your twins, choose ones that recline flat so you can use them in the early days! The bouncer I had for Miss Cub would work well!
We didn’t use swings with our singletons, and although we didn’t use it for that long, the second-hand Graco Glider we bought was an absolute lifesaver. I found having one swing was fine, as I’d put one baby in the swing while caring for the other one. I would’ve kept it around longer if we’d had the space for it, but once we stopped using it daily, it got the boot!
Our Skip Hop activity centre was a common hang out for the twins for quite a few months. In the beginning, they’d often drift off to sleep under the lights. Then it became a spot for them to kick and bat at the toys and practice tummy time.
Miracle Blanket Swaddle
I am a terrible swaddler, so I bought a few velcro-swaddles to use with the twins. It didn’t occur to me that they were all designed for babies 7 or 8 lb and up. My twins came home at under 5 lb each! In the NICU they were always tightly swaddled by their skillful nurses, how was I going to replicate this at home?! I did a lot of scrolling on my phone until I found swaddle blankets without a weight restriction, designed to be used on any newborn.
The Miracle Blanket doesn’t have velcro, which is great because A) it doesn’t make a loud ripping noise when you remove it in the middle of the night and B) it doesn’t get stuck on all the rest of your laundry. You stick baby in the built-in pocket and simply wrap them up. Easy peasy in the middle of the night. I own four!
Chicco KeyFit 30 Car Seats
In a recent post about how to choose and install baby’s first car seat, I confess to not using either of my children’s first car seats correctly. I wanted Chicco KeyFits for the twins because these seats are oft recommended by Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs). I installed one during my CPST training course and it was like … soooo … that’s it?! The seat is also known to fit small babies well, and since my twins are likely to be wee, this is a priority!
When we were in the NICU, I got to talking to the nurses about car seats. They told me that the Keyfit was one of their FAVOURITE seats for preemies. Now, granted nurses aren’t car seat techs, but they mentioned having to send parents out to buy different seats in many instances because of an unsafe fit for their preemie babies (see my post about infant seats for more info). Our Keyfits were ridiculously easy to install in our Odyssey and while we honestly barely leave the house yet with the twins, I’m very happy with our seats! While our van was at the mechanic, I had to use the seats in our other vehicle baseless. The baseless install was VERY easy!
Valco Baby Tri Mode X Duo
I am so psyched to take the boys out for their first spin in our new double stroller! Valco’s seats recline fully, so they can be used from birth. I’ve taken Miss Cub and her doll out for a spin and it’s a really smooth ride. It’s also easy to fold and super stylish. This stroller’s going to put on a lot of kilometres walking big brother to his bus stop and exploring our favourite trails in Canmore.
We love this stroller!! It has so many deluxe features, including a canopy that completely unfolds to shield the babes from the elements (such as a fierce Calgary wind on the way to the school bus stop). Because the seats recline fully, this stroller can be used from birth. While convenient to be able to click your infant seat onto your stroller (the Tri Mode Duo X accepts one infant seat only, with a separate adapter), for babies 3 months and younger, we want to limit their time spent in their infant seat so having them directly in the stroller is ideal. My new normal, once my husband is back at work and my visitor/helpers have all left, will be getting all the kids to and from Cub’s busstop, and I’ll be doing this with our Valco and its super cool toddler seat!
The Joovy Twinroo is a double car seat carrier that is not currently available in Canada. I ordered it on Amazon.com and had it shipped to a pick-up point near the Washington/BC border so my parents could pick it up for me. Then, my uncle shipped it to me in Calgary because his business does lots of cross-Canada shipping. I order the adapters for our Chicco seats directly from Joovy. I wish this stroller were available in Canada, even if just by special order through a Joovy retailer. There is nothing on the market that compares!
Our Twinroo was fabulous for getting the babies and our gear from the NICU to our car, and for me to get the babies and our gear into this year’s Great Cloth Diaper Change. Other than that, with Papa Wolf on paternity leave and able to give bottles, I’ve been running as many errands as possible on my own, so the Twinroo hasn’t had a ton of use yet.
If the Joovy Qool had been available while I was pregnant, I would’ve chosen it instead of the Twinroo for sure. Check out my review here!
Ring Sling or Stretchy Wrap
In the early days I wore the twins individually in a stretchy wrap or a ring sling, but it didn’t take long for them to be big enough for a buckle carrier, which I preferred for ease of use.
I will also be using soft-structured carriers with the twins when they’re bigger and we are more “on the move.” I have purchased (for research purposes, of course) a Tula Free-to-Grow and a Lenny Lamb Up. I dislike using infant inserts with buckle carriers; these two carriers narrow at the base to accommodate small babies without an insert. My Huggaloops will be a staple, and I would like to get a bit more use out of my woven wrap!
As soon as the boys hit the 7 lb-mark, it was time to test out my Tula Free-to-Grow. I am very partial to babywearing using a buckle carrier, but I hate using separate infant inserts. I was immediately impressed by how easily I got Cub Twin B into the Free-to-Grow, and how well he fit! Overall this is the carrier I am reaching for the most. I only just figured out how to adjust the Lenny Lamb Up to fit a newborn, and it wasn’t anywhere near as intuitive or easy as the Free-to-Grow.
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#ad Today we tried our @vija_design_us Twin Shirt (Skin to Skin Cami with Bandeau, VA078) for the first time for some skin-to-skin before bathtime! (And also so I could be hands-free to call our internet provider 😂) Um, this thing is amazing. Get yours at @hugandcuddles … lots of options for singletons available too! I’ll describe how to use it in the first comment.
If we hadn’t spent the first two weeks in the NICU, I would’ve gotten more use of our Vija Design Twin Shirt. We sadly only used it a couple of times, but it was so perfect for skin-to-skin with two babies and I wish I’d had the chance to use it from day one. (Being that they were constantly hooked up to cords for monitoring and that I had to take a 5-day absence from the NICU while I was sick, I wasn’t able to use it in the NICU.)
I used my sling and my Tula to tandem-wear once they were older:
I also used a Lenny Lamb Onbuhimo with our Lenny Up on the back:
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I’m starting to get the hang of #tandembabywearing! I find the two carriers that work the best together are my @lennylamb #onbuhimo and Lenny Lamb Up. Cub snapped this picture for me 😃 At his school today a lot of parents (used to seeing me pushing the double stroller) did a double take and wondered where the twins were 😂
I got a TwinGo-style tandem carrier that was handmade by a fellow mom of multiples, and it has made getting in and out of the van so much easier now that they boys are out of their bucket seats.
Jujube BFF Diaper Bag Not big enough! I’m hoping this backpack-style diaper bag—which I loved for Miss Cub will be enough for twins! Miss Cub doesn’t usually need a diaper change when we’re out, although when potty training time comes I’ll need to pack some supplies. I may need a bigger bag, folks.
I can’t fit everything I need for newborn twins in the BFF. If you’re using disposables and breastfeeding, you might get away with it … but cloth diapers and bottles for two? Not happening. Plus, I still need a bit of space to carry things for the toddler who is still in diapers. I have chosen an ordinary backpack from MEC as my new diaper bag, and so far, so good!
We are still rocking this backpack more than a year into our twin journey!
Stokke Flexi Bath
This tub is one of the holdovers from Miss Cub’s babyhood. Best baby tub ever! I wish I’d had it from the start. This tub folds down so it takes up no room in the bathroom. We used it with the infant support until she could sit on her own, and once she moved into the regular bathtub we used it outside in the summer for splashing. It also makes a great laundry tub! You can read my full review here.
No pictures yet, but after the first two baths in metal mixing bowls, we are now bathing the twins in the Stokke with the infant insert!
By about 6 months old I started bathing the twins together, straight in the bath tub. They weren’t yet sitting independently so they just lay in about an inch of water. It was effective and they loved it. Now that they’re mobile, bath time is a lot more fun … and splashier!
Öko Creations Hooded Bath Towels
The only baby bath towel you’ll ever need. It might be the right size for a baby, but I could easily dry myself with it. I had one for review for Miss Cub and bought a second one, so I’ll have one for each twin. The organic cotton is thick, absorbent and durable, and I don’t even bother buying any other towels since these are the only ones we need!
I brought these towels to the NICU for the boys’ first baths! (They bathe them in big metal bowls, it’s pretty cute.) Now for bath at home they’re also the only towels we use.
bblüv – Kilö – Digital Baby Scale
There was a public health clinic with a self-serve baby scale two blocks from my house when my son was a baby. When we didn’t have anything else to do we could stroll on up to make sure he was gaining weight properly. With my twins likely to be a much lower birthweight than their siblings, I love the idea of being able to monitor their growth from the comfort of home. Plus, knowing their weight will really help with my cloth diaper reviews!
I absolutely needed to know if the twins were putting on weight when they came home from the NICU. Having the scale provided so much peace of mind! I also observed that it was very accurate, giving us the same reading as the scale at our family doctor’s office.
Boob & Bottle Time
TwinZ Nursing Pillow
When I asked my followers for a twin breastfeeding pillow recommendation, support for the TwinZ was overwhelming! Now that it’s arrived, I’m already enjoying its support. (I am sitting in it as I type, in fact.) The back support is epic, and the fact that it comes with a waterproof cover is … genius.
Yup, the waterproof cover IS genius. One of the twins had an epic blowout while sleeping on our TwinZ, and the pillow is not permanently stained and stinky! The boys mainly take bottles of expressed milk, and sitting them in the TwinZ is the easiest way for me to give them both a bottle at the same time, especially overnight. I cover the pillow with a receiving blanket so I don’t have to wash the cover every time they spit up! (The anchor print you can see at the top right is the removable minky cover, the birds print above is the waterproof pillow underneath.)
My Brest Friend Twin Breastfeeding Pillow
The other pillow my followers recommended was the My Brest Friend. The design is quite different from the TwinZ, so I look forward to letting you know about the pros and cons of both. I love how this one has a spot for my water bottle … I get SO thirsty while nursing!
I brought My Brest Friend to the NICU so I could try tandem nursing! It was also a great way to comfortably bottle-feed. Strapping it around my waist meant I never dropped it, and you’re supposed to immediately wash anything that falls on the floor in the NICU, so this was really important!
I don’t know how much I’ll be pumping. I am signing up again to be a milk donor with Northern Star Mothers Milk Bank just in case I do pump and have extra. My son and daughter were not fans of pumped milk in a bottle, so we will see how the twins do. I would really like to make at least one milk donation, and the easiest and quietest and most convenient way to do that will be with my Medela Freestyle!
I never could’ve known just how much I’d be pumping. I sort of just assumed I’d be able to breastfeed the twins full-time. As I explained in this post, I’m actually glad we are bottle-feeding most of the time: other people can help me! However, it means I am pumping approximately every three hours. I typically pump while I am doing dishes, sterilizing bottles or folding laundry, so the portability of this pump is key. I use a hands-free pumping bra and put the pump in the pocket of my bathrobe or even in my fanny pack so I can do my chores! I even pump while standing at the kitchen counter with the twins lying on a nursing pillow so I can give them their bottles.
I am also using the Avent Comfort Double Electric pump, and you can read about that experience here!
With Miss Cub I used a Milkies Milk Saver to catch milk leaking out one side while she would nurse on the other. Granted I may always have someone attached to each boob … in case I don’t, this time I’m going to use my Haakaa Pump. I will also use it to relieve pressure on the off-chance I get to leave the house without my babies.
When nursing at the NICU, I was able to use the Haakaa to catch milk for our bottle feeds! Now I use it to relieve pressure overnight since I no longer get up to do a full pump with my electric pump. (It’s too exhausting.)
Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Bottles & Avent Anti-Colic Bottles
I didn’t really know how much I’d be bottle-feeding the twins. I didn’t even have bottles and bottle accessories on hand! While they were in the NICU I realized we would be needing bottles for my expressed milk, so I turned to a Facebook group for local parents of multiples. They all recommended Dr. Brown’s, as did the NICU nurses. They have worked great for us, and once we switched them to these bottles at the NICU, the nurses told me they had a bit less gas. These bottles have quite a few parts so admittedly, they’re a bit of a pain to clean.
When we got home from the NICU, I received a set of Avent’s Anti-Colic bottles for a blog review. They also have a special vent to help prevent gas, but compared to Dr. Brown’s have fewer pieces and are easier to clean.
I like both of these bottle brands and my boys take both without issue.
Baby Brezza Steri-Dry Steam Sterilizer
Oh man did I spend a lot of time sterilizing bottles and breast pump parts in those first few weeks home. My sterilizer has been a total game changer. My boys use up to 12 bottles per 24 hour-period, and having an appliance to speed up the sterilization and drying process has saved my sanity.
Cake Lotus Pumping & Nursing Bra
While we were in the NICU, I realized I was having to change in and out of my pumping bra. Since I breastfeed a bit and pump a lot, it makes sense to have one bra to do it all. Plus, I prefer to wear sports bras. I now own three Cake Lotus Pumping & Nursing bras! Game changer!
Other bottle-feeding-related items I’ve had to buy:
- Extra breastmilk storage bottles
- Bottle drying rack
- Brushes to clean Dr. Brown’s bottles & nipples (these ones work PERFECTLY)
Note that this is not an exhaustive list of the newborn cloth diapers in my stash. To see the reviews I did on Miss Cub, click here. I have a lot of diapers, it’s the nature of the job. Once I’ve gotten some experience under my belt using cloth diapers on twins, I’ll write a post about the essentials: how many diapers you need, which diapers work best for smaller birth-weight babies, etc.
Bummis Preemie Prefolds & Covers
Before I became a cloth-diaper blogger, I was a newbie mom who was committed to using cloth diapers. Cub’s first cloth diaper on the bum was a Bummis prefold and cover. He was a 90th percentile baby—he had outgrown newborn covers and prefolds by just three weeks. I expect my twins will not be quite so ginormous … in fact, I’m thinking our newborn Bummis covers and prefolds may be one of the only options that fit at all for the first few weeks!
Our Bummis covers and prefolds were the boys’ first cloth diapers, and we even used them a couple times in the NICU! Weighing just a bit over 4 lb, most of our newborn diapers were enormous on them, but not Bummis! Now over 8 lb I definitely have to add a booster to the preemie-size prefold for enough absorbency, but the covers still fit perfectly, even over larger fitteds.
Funky Fluff Newborn Diapers
I have heard great things from fans who have already had a chance to try Funky Fluff’s newborn diapers. I have a feeling we are going to love them. The absorbency should be ample (my main complaint with most newborn diapers we’ve tested is not enough absorbency), and the fit should be adorable.
The fit IS adorable and the performance is top-notch! At first I used just the large insert and doubled it over in the front. The fact is that I sometimes don’t get to change them as often a I’d like since there are two of them … so more absorbency is better. I use both inserts now to make sure I can get a good three hours out of them! I also like using the inserts in our Bummis covers for a perfect “AI2” solution. Even though they fit great at 5 lb, hugging their chicken legs without gaps, they also still have a lot of room to grow.
Les produits de MaYa
The only way to clean newborn bums is with Les produits de MaYa liniment. Trust me: once you try it, you’ll never want to use anything else. Heck, I use it on myself, too!
Aside from diaper changes, our liniment has served to treat the boys’ cradle cap and to remove the sticky goo from their NICU sensors! I also used it to clean around their belly buttons.
Two Change Stations
As with my daughter, I will set up two changing stations: one upstairs in our bedroom and one on the main floor in our powder room. I don’t recommend buying actual changing tables. I recommend using furniture you already have or furniture that will later serve other purposes. We use our IKEA Hemnes dresser in our bedroom and an IKEA Kallax unit in our bathroom, plus a change pad. I use Funky Fluff Hanging Pails to collect dirty diapers and wipes.
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What was your must-have newborn gear?