One of the biggest questions in the minds of families expecting twins is whether they need two of everything for twins. Read the article to learn more.
Twins. Twice the joy – and twice the expense? Do you really need two of everything for twins? What can you get by with having one of, and what do you need to double up on?
The Main Event: The Crib
“For the first few months, most twins enjoy sharing a crib,” says Susie Long, mother of two sets of twin boys, Fred and Max and Josh and Larry, and assistant professor of psychology. “After about three months they need their own bed. Otherwise they will disturb each other’s sleep.”
“There is nothing wrong with having twins share a crib for the first few months,” says Dr. Thomas R., a pediatrician at Detroit, Mich. “There is no danger of having the two together; the same rules apply for any newborn crib. No loose clothing or blankets or other items that might cause suffocation. The biggest issue will arise when one is sleeping through the night and the other isn’t. Girls will start sleeping through the night between 6 and 8 weeks, while boys often take 12 weeks before doing so. Twins of the same sex will generally have the same sleep pattern. However, if you have one boy and one girl, the little boy may disturb his sister’s sleep after the first few weeks.”
Marti Barnes’s twins, Rose and Emily, share a room but each have their own crib. “Emily started sleeping through the night right off the bat, but Rose took a bit longer, so we had to separate them to keep Rose from waking Emily up,” says the proud Stamford, Conn., father. “We already had most of the items we needed from when our son was born, so we only had to buy an extra crib, Diaper Genie, etc.”
If you want to learn about parenting to twins : Two At Once – Becoming a Parent of Twins
“Since most families with multiples need to watch their budgets a little more, and may be crowded for space, save your money for the essentials like sleepers, diapers, wipes, bottles, formula and such,” says Long. “You really need two car seats, highchairs and a double stroller. But one bathtub, one changing table and one swing will usually be enough.”
As far as feeding goes, “I’d like to encourage all moms to nurse – it has been great and makes life much easier,” says Kelley Fox, mother of twins, Jerry and Justin, and a public relations executive in Minneapolis, Minn. “Buy a nursing pillow like the EZ to nurse. Both could be on it at the same time and it keeps naptime and bedtime much easier.”
But Fox did need two of some items. “We definitely needed two slings,” she says. “It worked very well to carry them in slings all the time. Or we could put one baby in a sling and carry the other if only one adult was home. We only needed one swing and one bouncy seat, but because our home has two levels, we had a changing table on each floor, along with a Diaper Genie. Two double strollers, at least. One to keep in the car and one to have at home for walks. Spend the money there, for strollers get lots of use. Make sure to get something light because two toddlers and a stroller are heavy!”
What about dressing twins alike? “Sometimes we dress them alike, but only if the outfits are gifts,” says Long. “Otherwise it’s fun to dress them similarly, same theme, but different color. Mainly – you must be practical, and you are lucky if they are both wearing something that fits and is clean!”
“We generally don’t buy two of everything for twins because we like the idea that each of our girls has her own wants and needs and favorite toys,” says Barnes. “We usually don’t dress them alike either – maybe in complimenting outfits on special occasions.” But the Fox family takes a different approach. “We do dress them alike often,” says Fox. “They seem to like wearing the same or similar items.
To learn about breastfeeding twins : Breastfeeding Twins – Educating Yourself
Double Up on Safety
Childproofing is one area in which you can have double trouble with twins, so plan ahead! “You will need gates and lots of childproofing items like socket covers, cabinet locks, etc.,” says Fox. “The twins really do work together to get into everything. They are very smart, using two brains to get into trouble. We also bought four car seats so we always have spares in case one of the kids throws up or messes in the car.”
Our articles are prepared to give advice. Always consult your doctor first for any problems and exact information.
The names of the people mentioned in the article have been changed for security reasons and to protect privacy.