Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Stuff the Bair Cubs Like (and Us Too).

I'd had a few people ask me through this blog what things I couldn't live without. I completely understand being a first time parent with TWINS on the way and not having anyone close to ask what you really need. Do you need TWO of everything? The answer is NO, thank goodness! We'd go broke. Then what in the world should you register for? I was emailing Dana (I think that's her name by the email she gave me) back from a comment she made and the electric went out TWICE. I had part of the email saved but I thought I'd make it a little more fun. I went around the house and took pictures of the things we use and like. Not all of these things are "twin things" but well.....I'll explain as I go. All I know is that I was TOTALLY confused with all the "stuff" they have out there and registering was hard and everyone says something different because every baby is different. Here's my take as a first time mom with twins. I'll add some things I've learned to help with twins along the way.

This is our set up downstairs. What is nice is to have two "active things" (Jumper, Exersaucer) and two "relaxing things" (Bouncer and Swing). Then you're covered. 4 "stations" if you will.
  1. Jumper
  2. Exersaucer (given to us),
  3. Bouncer ( was part of a Graco Swing that broke and we barely used it, babies like the toys and tray though)
  4. Walker (given to us, sits by the kitchen, I know walkers are a no-no...but there aren't any "down" steps they can get to and it's something we can put them in in the kitchen area without lugging something out there.) Side Note: Luke recently has liked to run over the dog dish with the walker and push it across the floor...we joke that it's his bulldozer.
  5. Play Yard/Changing Table Taylor naps in her play yard while Luke naps upstairs...this way they don't wake each other. The babies slept together in this when they came home until they were too heavy.
  6. Swing (Not in picture, Luke used to need it for his naps, but now he's a big boy and he naps in his crib upstairs.)

This is our set up upstairs. Above is our bathroom and this is how I can take a shower. I used to put them in boppies on a towel outside the shower when they first came home but now they have to be strapped in. :)
  1. Bouncer (FisherPrice Rainforest, it comes with an attachment with toys, key thing to look for in a bouncer....VIBRATE button!!!)
  2. Swing (FisherPrice Rainforest, Love this swing because it's lightweight so I can carry it and move it into the bedroom if I need to, it also folds up for storage and travel. I used to carry it up and down the stairs every day until we got another one).
  3. Play Yard/Changing Table (The babies both slept beside our bed in this when they came home and until they got too heavy for it. It was nice because the changing table was right there and they were easy for me to see and reach without getting out of bed. Every second of resting counts during that time:)
  4. Cribs (At first we had the babies in the pack and play, then one crib divided by a rolled towel and then they became more mobile and Luke got too long so we separated them into two different cribs.)
This is a tummy toy that they love. It's Playskool, it can be laid down for tummy time or up like this and they grab up at the toys...they love the music.
This is a product shot because we took it apart but we got LOTS of use out of this Rainforest Gym. It was nice because they could both play under it together. We still use the mat part i the above picture as a blanket.

These are our two pack and play's. The one on the left is Evenflo and the one of the right is Graco. There are pluses and minuses to both. I love the changing table on the's much sturdier and the babies don't try to crawl out of it as much. However the basinette wasn't as good as the Graco. They Graco held more weight before it started dipping in the middle. This matters with two babies....they end up smooshed together. Honestly though...if you look at the weight limitations and add two babies weights together...they can't be in it long anyhow. The twin ones don't make much sense either because it's still going to "cave" in the middle and that's where they will end up sliding to.

Bibs, Diapers and Burp Cloths (cloth diapers). We laughed when we saw how many bibs we got for our shower. It was crazy! But ya know what? We've used them all and bought more. Can't get enough of them. We had diapers for 3 months until we had to buy any. We had wipes even longer. It's great to not have to worry about buying that stuff for awhile. I'd thought I might try cloth diapers...well I did...for burp cloths. They work great seriously.

Beech Nut food. Do you know that there is more in a jar of Beech Nut then Gerber? Beech Nut is 4 oz and Gerber is 3.5 oz. and Beech Nut is less expensive. Matters when you have two mouths to feed. Plus you can get boxes at BJ's. I still get Gerber because our grocery stores don't all carry Beech Nut and I like to feed the babies new things that aren't in the boxes.

Gerber bottles. You DON'T need expensive bottles. Do you know the NICU uses the cheap bottles. Our nurses and friends who've had babies in the NICU say it's what they use. It's all marketing "they" say... I know not every one will agree but they work for us. Gerber bottles are 3 for $2.99 at Ollies. With twins, you go through a lot of bottles! I'd originally bought the small ones and then upgraded to the bigger ones. You could buy the big ones right off the bat. The Gerber bottles come with different colored caps. (blue, green and purple) Good for twins or triplets. :)

  • Color coordinate the caps for your kids. I got rid of the purple rings because my husband is color blind and can't tell the purple from the blue. So we use blue for Luke and green for Taylor. They have different formula and this way we never mix them up. We don't have to even think about it, we know whos is whos.
  • Another tip. Always prepare the bottles on the same side. I always prepare Taylor's bottle on the right and Luke's on the left. This way if I walk away for any reason before I get the cap on, I know whos is whos. When I mix cereal I do the same thing. Taylor is mixed on the right and Luke on the left. Colored bowls and spoons also help but there are always times when the certain colors aren't clean...and say your husband uses purple for Luke thinking it's blue and green for Taylor to match her cap and we get them mixed up because I think purple is a girl color and green a boy color.
Dishwasher basket for bottle nipples. Seriously who wants to wash bottles by hand? The Gerber bottles do great on the top rack with the nipples in a basket like this. I have two of these munchkin baskets and I love them. They are sturdy and they don't reek of plastic like some of the other brands. The nipples come out clean and you can put toys, pacifiers, etc in the bottom part.

Couldn't live without these. I have three of these from the hospital and they are awesome. NONE of the aspirators I've seen in stores or have used work like these. Taylor and Luke both had "choking" on formula issues after they ate and these are great to suck out their mouths. They are also great to clear out their nose. Nothing else works the same and I hate holding one nostril shut...they HATE that...these work without having to do that. I just throw them in the dishwasher, let them dry out and use them again.

These are the colored bowls and spoons I was talking about. The colors are great for twins. Just get on the same page with your husband.

When the babies came home they always wore these wrap around shirts. They were great for layering and I loved that they had the mittens so they wouldn't scratch themselves. They also come in Newborn sizes and Premie sizes. It's nice to have something that actually comes close to fitting them when they are so little.

Another thing that we love are Swaddling Blankets. Our friend made us two blankets for swaddling and they are perfect. We use them to play on the floor now. Make sure the receiving blankets are square if you're going to swaddle and the bigger the better. The ones we have are great and they are about 3 feet square. We washed them over and over because when the babies came home they had to be double swaddled to keep them warm. It was May but when you have twins and they come early often they need lots of layers. They had two hats each too! :)

Taylor loves her bunny to sleep and nap with...these are nice to give them something to play with in the car and cuddle.

Bibs again...these are my favorite. They velcro at the side and have waterproof liners in them. I get them at Target. I think the brand is "First Year".

We love these sleepers. 100% polyester and soft! The zippers are so much easier than snaps and the button at the top I've heard is key once they learn to unzip.

Hooded Towels...Love them. I wish they were bigger now though.

Cloth diapers for burp cloths. I also use them every time they eat. I put one in between them and the tray so when they spit all over the place I'm not cleaning the tray every time. It's also good for wiping their hands when they get it in the food or their mouth or on you...ya know...every where.

I get these onsies at Target too...I love this brand "Just One Year".
They are thicker than gerber and soft.

Closet organizer.

A graphic design client of mine made these burp cloths for me and I love them. She should sell them. They are soft and thick. I use these for special occasions when I'm not using the cloth diapers. lol Thanks Danielle!

We have two diaper genies. One upstairs and one down. We have the cheap model. Make sure you choose the one that has the cheapest refills.

I got this bathtub at Target. The other we got leaked. This one works well...we still squeeze them in it and it's easy to rinse out and dry afterward.

Boppy pillows. These are great to keep them in place when they are little. I'd roll a blanket under the inside of it to support their backs but it kept them in place when I took a shower. I have pictures if you look back on the blog. I also used these at night in the crib when they were spitting up and choking a lot and when they napped. I know that's not SIDS friendly but it worked for that short period of time until they out grew that phase. Plus I could see their faces from my bed. :) These are also great again...they learned to sit up in them and they are good to learn to crawl over and grab toys over.

Water Temperature Tester. I still use this...I love hot water so it's hard for me to tell what's hot to them. These are easy!

Lots of wash...lots of detergent.

One of my husband's clients got us these canvas totes with their names on them. They are great for toys, diapers, books, etc.

We love that our high chairs don't stick out like a sore thumb in our dining room. The thing I really like about them is that the trays are covered by a plastic tray which is removable and washable! They are dishwasher safe but I can't fit them in ours. Notice the chairs are facing so that they can't see each other. That's for dinner when both mom and dad feed them. They can't concentrate when they see the other one. lol It's funny but not.

Both babies have a music aquarium on their crib. They love the music, sound and lights. They are great to soothe them to sleep. One was given to us and the other was from consignment.

This is one of the biggies for me. Video moniors. I had a really hard time moving the babies into their own room. This was a lifesaver for me. It really helped with knowing when you need to tend to a cry. We have two video cameras, one for each crib and one monitor that has two channels to switch back and forth from crib to crib. It doesn't do the greatest left on on battery power but when it's plugged in it's perfect. When I use the batteries, I just turn it on and off to check them and it works great.

You can buy additional video cameras and use your monitor with two channels. Well worth the money.

This is kinda silly but I love these slippers. They came with a pooh pajama set. Taylor had a pair too but there are holes in hers because she wore them out. They are the only way I can keep Taylor's socks on. She's wearing her brother's now but she's growing out of them. I have to find some sort of replacement.

This crib toy is nice. It can be tied to the crib. Luke uses it now. Before I used it downstairs on the floor for them to play with. It kept them from knocking their head on our chest and at one time kept the babies separated...until they figured out they could lift it and move it. They have fun playing with it and Luke loves mirrors.

Crinkle toys...they Love things that crinkle. They have crinkle books that are their favorite. We have was left at grandmas and the other one is MIA right now. But they fight over those books...if you remember the pictures of the babies in the white'll see the book.

These were used toys given to us and the babies love them. They are great for the car and it keeps their attention in church.

Strollers We have a side by side Jeep stroller and a Graco Duoglider. Both we got from consignment. We don't really use them a whole lot so I'm glad we didn't get them new. The Duogliders are nice to be able to put their car seat carriers right in. That works the best when they are small. The Jeep side by side is lighter and folds better.

Carseats We have Graco carrier seats. One was consignment and the other was new. If you get one at consignment just make sure you check the serial number to make sure it's okay. Nick had to run and get another one at the consignment when the hospital said the one we had was recalled. Luke grew out of his carrier quickly! His carrier seat only went up to 22lbs. But his could carry under 5lbs which is why Luke went home in a pink seat so Taylor could have his. Hers goes up to 25lbs. If you don't have a seat that can transport under 5lbs, they can send you home with a bed one if they can pass the car seat test. At least that's how it was at our hospital.

Did I forget anything? Probably...if you have any questions ask.

1 comment:

Joan said...

Nice Post. Great for Twin parents but this would even be awesome for fist time Mom's as well. I see tons of things in this post that we also have =)

I do have a question. My 1 year old, his name is Luke too, Where did you get the navy fabric bin with his name on it? That is just what I have been looking for! i have some red ones like that but have been trying to see how I can get his name on it.

-Joan. Sacramento, CA