So I'm a day late, but this is a post I've been wanting to do for awhile, so I'm playing along. The Question of the Week at Multiples and More is -What are the top 5 items that every parent of multiples needs?-
Here are my recommendations:
Boppies---This has probably been the #1 most-used item in our house. At six months, my girls still use the Boppy every day. They have been used for breastfeeding, lounging, naps, bottle-feeding, and now, for cushion while learning to sit. I use one each night when I'm feeding both babies together before bed. I recommend getting two or more Boppies...definitely one for each baby, and maybe an extra!
Swaddle Blankets--These were a MUST for nighttime use during the first four months. We got a lesson in swaddling at the hospital, but after a couple of weeks we bought the Halo version, and never looked back! The velcro makes it so much easier to get a nice, tight swaddle. Bonus: if your baby outgrows the swaddle too quickly, you can remove that part and still use the sleepsack. (Which reminds me...I need to get some fleece sleepsacks for winter! Little toes get cold.) Definitely get at least two per child, because they WILL eventually spit up or pee through one, especially in the first couple of months.
A Good Stroller--I love my Combi Twin Sport stroller, but a lot of people really like the Graco Double Snap n' Go at first. When they were tiny, we did use our Eddie Bauer stroller that the carseats snap into, but it was a beast to load and unload. I really did not feel comfortable going anywhere by myself with that stroller...at 50 lbs. and a tight fit in my trunk, I was not able to get it in and out easily. The Combi is a mililon times better! The seats recline all the way, so I was able to use it pretty early (I think we got it around 4 months). It weighs less than 15 lbs., fits in the trunk with room to spare, and fits through standard doorways without a problem (one of my concerns about a side-by-side stroller). Whatever kind of stroller you choose, make sure it's something you're comfortable with. After a long day, just a walk around the block can work wonders for you AND for your babies!
Microwave Sterilizer--Especially if you use bottles, a microwave sterilizer is one of the most handy items to have around in the first several weeks. I don't know if everyone else was as obsessive as we were, but for the first few weeks, we sterilized everything. After each washing, we sterilized all the bottles and nipples, which I now only do every couple of weeks for a "deep cleaning." We do, however, still use it on basically a weekly basis for sterilizing pacifiers, new toys, etc. (Do be careful though, I did melt a set of rings a couple of weeks ago!) The Avent was super easy to use...just pop everything in, add a little water, and microwave for 4 minutes.
Lastly, the single piece of advice that has come in MOST handy for me in adjusting to life with multiples...
Schedule! Even more important (for us, anyway), the SAME schedule. Your multiples will likely come home from the hospital on a 3-hour feeding schedule, and I recommend sticking to it. Feed the babies at the same time whenever possible. I never let ours go more than an hour apart. My babies don't necessarily nap at the same time (still don't), but they eat and go down at night at the same time. Speaking of nighttime, until you know one baby is capable of sleeping through the night, wake the other when one wakes to eat. I know it sounds crazy to wake a sleeping baby, but trust me...the other baby will most likely be up 5 minutes after your head hits the pillow. For us, the schedule was absolutely a life saver. We know what to expect, the babies know what to expect, and if we need to do something different, they are fine with it, as long as we stick to the same basic routine.
A few other things worth mentioning: burp cloths (we used a TON in the first few months when they couldn't suck fast enough to keep up with their bottles), bouncy seats (essential for getting a shower some days!), and a womb bear or other comforting sound (we found our babies love the rainforest crib attachment by Fisher Price). Also, add a babysitter (family or otherwise) to your list, because a night out once a month or so is AMAZING...even if you can't wait to get home and kiss your babies.
So that's my list! I hope someone finds something on it helpful. In other news, my next post will be my 100th. It seems like it should be something special, but I don't have any ideas right now! If I don't post for the rest of the week, it may be because I'm frozen under the pressure. : )