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So you’re having twins!

Welcome to the club- it’s a wild ride. It’s time to make a baby registry, and I’ve got thoughts. I bet you already know you need a stroller for two. You do? See, you’re killing this gig already. Good job. You know you’re going to need lots of diapers as well? Great! Looks like you’ve got the basics handled. Let’s get beyond the basics then.

I’ve had two single babies. I had all of the baby stuff a reasonable person could need and thought I knew what was necessary, and what was fluff.

And then five full years later, I had twins. 

I learned quickly that there are things that would have been nice to have with my first two kids but NEEDED with my twins.

Here are some of the unmentioned things that I totally could not have lived without (and barely lived even though I had them):

– A real, honest to goodness recliner for the nursery

I know, you probably already have a glider if you had singleton babies before the twins. Or maybe you’re someone who is going to abide by all of the baby books and never rock the baby. Haha. Yeah, me too.

So anyway, get a full-sized rocking recliner. You’re going to spend a lot of days and nights holding two squealing infants and wondering how you’re going to make it through another day on 2.5 total hours of very broken sleep, so you may as well be as comfortable as possible while doing it. I cannot tell you how grateful I have been to have a place to sleep holding a congested baby upright as they wheezed in my ear while I played the mind game of “Is it a cold or is it COVID”. The footrest is a must. Don’t cheap out on this crucial piece of furniture.

Oh, and get the stain guard applied. Trust me.

– A good, solid pack and play with a nice mattress insert

Listen, maybe your twins won’t hate the sound of their counterpart screaming at the top of their lungs in the same room and will miraculously sleep through it at 2:30 am. Or maybe they will be bothered by the blood curdling screams coming from the crib next to them, and you will want somewhere else to put that little darling as they learn to sleep through the night. Heads up, mine both just figured it out after 25 months. One of them still sleeps in my closet in a pack and play to make it happen though, and I will now be always looking for five bedroom homes if it means that I can sleep from 11 pm to 6 am uninterrupted.

Even if you don’t plan to travel, having that pack and play to set up an alternate sleep location somewhere else in my home for the non-cooperative twin has been a game changer.

– A large, movable, heavy-duty fence enclosure

With my first two, I could get away with so much less baby proofing; not the case with twins. Having the ability to start with a small gated space during that glorious phase when they only move themselves a couple of inches by rolling and later expand that play area as the babies needed allowed us to still use most areas of our home and not just the playroom. And sometimes, SOMETIMES, you just need to keep them from playing with and/or pestering the heck out of each other. I’m not too proud to say that I’ve put a dividing fence down the middle of a play space to keep them from stealing the same toy back and forth through violence when I couldn’t be immediately available to referee. Without that ability, I wouldn’t have been able to get my bigger kids breakfast or do something more luxurious like use the toilet alone. Good fences make good neighbors, even if they are genetically identical neighbors.

twin boys in blue onesies with rainbows on them standing in the sunlight
Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

– A cleaning service

Find someone within your budget to come deep clean your bathrooms and kitchen every couple of weeks. The baby/toddler years with twins are exhausting, even more so if you have older children who are just as entitled to having a parent. At some point in time, you can go back to scrubbing your own bathroom tile if that is what you want to do. But I am a full supporter of getting help where you can. It’s hard to delegate something like, “Make all of my dinners” or “Shop just as I would.” But I found it much easier to say, “Please take this cleaning task off of my plate that you do an even better job of than I do.”

– A Camelbak if you are breastfeeding

You’re going to need a lot of water. Maybe more than you ever thought you could drink in a day. My husband put a hook underneath the edge of the end table where I could hang my water pack, and I would sit and nurse both babies while chugging down the needed water from the straw. You might not have a free hand to hold a water bottle anymore, but using the bite straw made it possible for me to hydrate while the babies ate.

– A physical therapist

Yes, this takes getting a referral, sitting on hold for long periods of time, and waiting to leave a message for my provider. This generally goes against my lazy mom principles, but it is worth every second you will spend getting it.

I used a pelvic floor PT shortly after birth to help regain muscle tone in my pelvic floor. It made my days a little less exciting (will I make it to the bathroom quickly enough after I sneeze, or will I be paying my home cleaner extra this visit?), but it was so helpful. Once I mastered that skill, I moved on to a referral for a PT that helped ease the excruciating neck and shoulder pain that occurs from constantly toting around two babies.

Someone always needs to be held; that’s just life right now. But once a week, I see a doctor of physical therapy who massages my neck for thirty full minutes and helps me regain mobility. I do exercises at home, too, but those thirty minutes I spend in the office are irreplaceable. If you’re on Tricare, this is fully covered if you get the referral. You can even make the request via the web portal, but you have to set that up )which I have yet to do). 

All of the things on my list are things designed to make life the smallest bit easier for you during what will definitely be a hard time. Things will start to be less demanding one day, I’m counting on it. But until then, be good to yourself.

This mom of multiples thing is not for the faint of heart. You’ve got this.

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Katie has been an Air Force spouse for over 12 years, leaving her home town of Colorado Springs to explore exotic locations like Dayton, Ohio, then on to Ramstein, Germany, and then back to Dayton because her husband is a glutton for punishment and decided to get his PhD from the Air Force Institute of Technology. She's mom to four kids including one year old twins who are currently deconstructing everything she thought she knew about life, brick by brick. Her current life doesn't have room for hobbies, but she thinks she used to like meeting friends for dinner, running holiday 5K races, and going to the beach. You can find her at pearls.points.and.parenting on IG talking about mom life, trying to get back into a shape other than round, and laughing at memes.


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