Discovering that you’re having twins for the very first time can be quite a scary prospect for most expectant parents. For my husband and I though we knew as soon as we found out that we were pregnant that we would be having twins. This is because my we had a type of IVF known as ICSI.
We were lucky that we had a total of nine embryos that fertilised successfully. After discussing our options we decided that we would freeze seven of those embryos and have two transferred back into me. I know it may sound a little conceited when I say that when we saw those two pink lines appear on the pregnancy test that we knew it was twins, but we did.
Our embryologist had told us that our embryos were top quality and in his own words he even said he’d be very surprised if it wasn’t twins.
You may be wondering why I am telling you this. Well quite simply because my husband and I knew from very early on that we were having twins, it’s an advantage that most other expectant parents don’t get. Our first scan was around seven weeks pregnant at our fertility clinic and the nurse confirmed that yes, we were having twins!
We were very excited and overwhelmed at the thought of welcoming two babies into the world. I started planning early on what I wanted to buy and how I wanted their nursery to look. I would sit for hours browsing different websites to see what ‘essentials’ I would need to buy.
Turns out we didn’t need half the so-called essentials listed on various websites and forums and just because you’re having twins that doesn’t mean you need to buy double of everything!
In terms of clothes for newborn twins you really won’t need much. Forget cute little jeans and t-shirts, you’ll want to use to clothes that are quick and easy to put on. There’s a high chance that you’ll be changing your babies clothes more than once a day!
Here is a list of what clothes to get before your twins are born:
Yes, that really is it! The great news is you can get all of this for under £50 by shopping online or buying in your local supermarket.
When it comes to buying sleepsuits I recommend buying ones with buttons down the front as oppose to ones that have to be pulled over your baby’s head. If your baby is sick over their sleepsuit it’s easier and cleaner for you to simply undo a few buttons. If you have to pull their sleepsuit off over their heads chances are you’ll have a baby to clean up too!
You can also forget about scratch mitts as the chances of your baby keeping them on are quite slim!
Nappies, wipes and bottles what are the essentials?
Some people go over board and buy boxes and boxes of nappies, formula and wipes, but in truth you don’t need to do this.
Simply buy what you need to get you through the first week or two. You can always pop out for more as and when you need them or ask visitors to bring a few supplies with them.
When it comes to things like bottles you really don’t need to buy more than two bottles each for your twins, a total of four bottles.
Two each for when you need to use them and then two spare to pack in your changing bag or to sterilise. When one set of two is being sterilised you can use the other set of two.
Here are my essential supplies for newborn twins:
60 newborn nappies
2 packs of baby wipes
4 bottles and 4 teats plus a bottle brush
A steriliser (or a tupperware box and a bottle of Milton which costs around £2)
4 dummies if you’re planning on using them
2 tubs of formula if not breastfeeding
A baby bath
1 pack of Cotton wool
Nappy rash cream (just in case)
Car seats – we found ours online for £30 each. There’s no need to buy expensive, branded ones. They all do the same job!
2 moses baskets
6 cellular blankets
6 moses basket/cot sheets
You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned towels. Quite simply, you really don’t need to buy hooded towels or any form of special baby towel for that matter. A plain and simple, clean bath towel will do.
In addition to the essentials listed above you can buy a few toys to entertain your baby. Something visual to look at always a good bet. At this age black and white toys catch babies eyes better than colourful toys.
I haven’t mentioned baby monitors because they’re not necessarily essential items, but you may want to purchase one for your own peace of mind. I bought two movement monitors for our twins as they were premature and spent some time in special care, but you can pick up a simple sound monitor for around £20-£30 online.
Things you won’t need to buy!
A room thermometer- We bought one of these and I have no idea why! I’ve lived on planet earth long enough to decipher whether a room is cold, hot or somewhere in between!
Socks – buy sleepsuits that have feet – simple!
Shoes – your baby can’t walk yet!
Baby sleeping bags – these are good and we did use them for a while, but they’re not an essential item. A blanket with your child laying on their back in the feet to foot position is more than adequate.
Cot mobile – we found they kept our twins awake rather than helping them go to sleep
Bottle warmers – you can simply boil the kettle, pour the water into a jug and sit your bottles in the jug until warm enough
Nappy bin – Simply pop soiled nappies in your usual bin and empty as needed
Top and tail bowl
New parent tips
There will be plenty of time for people to come and visit you and your twins when you get home and settled into you’re a new life as parents.
One of the things I regret was allowing visitors to come to the hospital within an hour after giving birth. There’s just no need!
The precious first few days is for you to get know your twins, to bond with them and to learn all about looking after them.
Take it turns.
It can be hard with twins to take night feeds in turns, but it can be done. I guess looking back we were quite lucky that I had to wake our twins to feed them. I would wake up, make their bottles and then dream feed them both one at a time. It took me around an hour at most, but if you can I would recommend taking it in turns.
Whether one of you feeds them both for the first feed or for that night and then you alternate, it’s important that you both get some rest. Undoubtedly there will be times when you will both have to get up to do night feeds together, but whenever you can take turns!
Getting out and about
I haven’t mentioned baby carriers or slings above for a reason. The chances of you actually use them are very slim. In the summer it will be too hot for both you and your baby and in the winter it’s probably just too cold!
Before our twins were born I loved the idea of carrying our twins close in a sling or carrier. We bought two baby carriers with good intentions to get a lot of use out of them, but in truth we used them once!
When it does come to going out with your twins, chances are you’ll be stopped quite a lot by people wanting to have a peek at your twins. I still get stopped regularly now and our twins are almost two years old! Be prepared before you go out!
Having said this, I think it’s important for me to say don’t be afraid to ask people not to touch your twins. They’re your babies and not the general publics, regardless of what they think!
Try to get out a few times a week. Even if it’s just a walk for a short while. The fresh air is good for your babies and will help to make you feel better.
When you feel confident enough, why not try your local play group? I found the idea quite daunting at first, but more often than not there will always be someone there to offer an extra pair of hands and it really does help to get out and meet other mums.