Having two babies at once—particularly if they are a couple's first children—can put a mighty dent in one's wallet. We're talking two car seats, two cribs, two sets of clothes. And it's estimated that parents go through 140 or more diapers a week with a set of newborn twins.
Couples expecting multiples have a lot of work to do before their little ones arrive, but unlike those expecting just one baby, these parents need to get to work preparing their homes and the layette earlier, experts say. "Parents expecting twins need to be a few weeks ahead of a singleton parents' schedule when it comes to getting ready for their babies' arrival," wrote Connie L. Agnew and her colleagues in Twins! Pregnancy, Birth and the First Year of Life. They suggest assessing your finances, arranging your priorities, and starting to buy or borrow items in the third trimester, because, on average, twins arrive early.
Given the costs incurred in stocking a twins' nursery, Elizabeth Noble, in her book Having Twins: A Parent's Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Early Childhood, urges parents expecting twins to be very practical, to buy no-nonsense clothes that are interchangeable, and to buy in bulk. "Many parents of twins find it simpler and less expensive to ship in bulk," Noble writes. "Products are cheaper by the case, and three- or four-month supplies of non-perishables can be bought, leaving less shopping time to be done weekly." She suggests parents keep in mind that if you have a lot of some basic items on hand, the less often you'll have to do laundry.
In the book Mothering Twins, where mothers of twins discuss their experiences, the parents concluded that before buying every item on the market, parents expecting twins should not only think about buying in bulk, but also look into getting equipment from "secondhand stores, garage sales, swap meets and friends who can lend you equipment." (Car seats should not be purchased used, however.)