Early Decisions to Make
One room or two? Matching clothes or not? Side-by-side or front-back stroller? Breastfeeding or bottles? Disposables or cloth diapers?
Before prepping your home for the arrival of twins, parents expecting multiples have a slew of questions they need to answer that those expecting a single baby typically don't have to grapple with. You need to make a few lifestyle decisions before embarking on the daunting task of stocking up for double the bundles of joy.
One or Two Rooms
If you plan to put the twins in separate bedrooms, you need to figure on buying two cribs, two sets of sheets, bumpers, mobiles, and all the other decorations that go in a nursery. You'll also have to determine if you want to keep separate stashes of diapers, wipes, and ointment in each room, and if you want to buy a single changing table or two.
Regardless of whether or not you know the genders of your babies, you'll likely get a lot of coordinated or matching clothes before they're born. In buying some of the basic clothing, you need to decide whether you want matching clothes or simply clothes that are interchangeable. The website eHow, in a section on raising twins on a budget, suggested that parents buy different outfits as opposed to matching ones. "This gives the twins' wardrobe twice the variety."
Breastfeeding or Bottle-Feeding
If you plan to breastfeed your twins, it's likely you'll want to invest in one of the many breastfeeding cushions designed to support twins who are nursing at the same time. Having a nursing pillow is very helpful so you can nurse once, not twice. Popular pillows include the EZ 2-Nurse Pillow, the Anna Double Nursing Pillow, and the Nurse Mate Pillow.
If you're not nursing, you have to purchase double the amount of bottles you'd normally purchase or plan on washing a lot of bottles. You can contact manufacturers of formula and bottle suppliers to see if they offer discounts for twins or freebies for parents of multiples.
Having a stroller that suits your lifestyle is essential to any parents of twins who want to have a life outside the house. But before buying a twins' stroller, you need to decide which style you want and where you'll be taking the kids, as some strollers are suited for more rugged walks, while more umbrella type strollers are better for malls and sidewalks. If you're on a budget and don't plan to drop a few hundred dollars on a double stroller, you can opt to buy single umbrella strollers and attach them together with specially suited equipment.
"One of your biggest challenges will be getting out and about with your very young twins," according to Twins! "Most parents of twins get many hours of use from their strollers, so you want to buy the right one."
The National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs recommends that parents choose sturdy, strong strollers with large wheels. "Sacrifice economy if necessary to gain safety, comfort, and durability features," the club suggests. "Parents of multiples tend to use strollers longer." Strollers range in price from roughly $200 to $580 for a triplet stroller. But on the other end of the price scale, a double umbrella stroller from Kolocraft was listed as $59.95. The More Than One online catalog also has a set of straps designed to connect two of the lesser expensive umbrella strollers into for $20.