I have a few minutes to myself and have been meaning to blog about a million things, but moms of twins know- you don't always have time to collect your thoughts! So my blogs from now on may not be very organized- but hey, I am a mom of a 5 yr old and 10month old twins!
Here are some of the things I did to get by with the twins from when they were first born until now....
-Set up pack-n-play in my living room because they sleep and wake so much, it was easier than going up and down and up and down the stairs!
-pre-filled bottles with however many ounces they were drinking and then had a little basket with bottles, a can of formula, spoon to mix each bottle, and a notepad to write down when each baby ate last- TRUST ME, YOU WON'T REMEMBER! :)
-For a while in the beginning I would wash a bunch of bottles by hand because they were going through SO MANY because they ate so many times a day.. so I would wash some by hand so I would have a few ready and then when I had enough dishes for the dishwasher I would just throw them in there- using the Munchkin baskets for washing bottles.. I also kept a medium size plastic container in the sink and thats where I put only the bottles and their parts, just so they don't get all mixed up with regular dishes or so that none of the parts accidentally go down the drain/garbage disposal!! Once they are older and drinking less, its easier because you have many bottles so you don't have to spend time hand washing them... also, once they are eating, you are going through more dishes and have plenty of dishes to wash anyways, especially if you have another child and have run out of paper plates!
-Changing table was also in my living room, with diapers, wipes, onesies, sleepers and blankets- oh, and had a small type square cloth container (like they sell at Target) with burp cloths and bibs- You will need TONS of these when they are little, or else you will be going through even more onesies and outfits then you do already!
-once they were more consistent, I started filling one of those travel containers for powdered formula ahead of time, just to cut down on some time when they are screaming and need a bottle STAT! (thanks to my mom for first starting this!)
-I slept (or tried to) whenever the babies slept, even if it is a few winks, 20 min, whatever, try and do it
-Feed one baby, and then the other.. people always said- feed them at the same time- now as a new mom of twins, this confused me.. I thought- do I REALLY feed them at the SAME EXACT TIME? At first I would feed and hold one so that he would get the cuddle time, then I would wake up the other one- because he would soon wake up anyways! And it was just easier I thought because I would just fall back asleep and the one who didn't eat would then wake up,,.so I saved myself the trouble and just fed him after...
-Once I got more experienced- or just tired of listening to a hungry baby cry while I fed his brother.. I did start feeding them at the EXACT SAME TIME. At first I tried it with one in the travel swing and the other in a bouncy seat.... not very comfy for me... the best way I found to do this was I put a boppy pillow on one side of me, and had the baby lay on it, most times I propped the head of the boppy with another pillow or something under it so the baby was more propped up.. and then I had a boppy on my lap with a baby and I fed them at the same time.. taking turns burping in between..of course they didn't like that always! Once they were getting bigger, it was off the lap and both boppies were on either side of me, I would prop my feet up on something and have pillows under each of my arms because they would get tired and I fed them at the same time... This was a LIFE SAVER! Because they start to get on the same schedule, it was just easier to feed them this way, especially if I was by myself. If there is someone else there that wants to feed them or is not busy, by all means, MAKE THEM feed the baby.. but for me, most times I was by myself, and this got pretty easy. Once they start holding their own bottles-- WOW, life changes dramatically!!! :) I also bought these mini (and I mean TINY) boppy type pillows that look just like round donuts that hold the bottles... at times these worked and sometimes you had to finagle something to keep them propped, but they were good in a pinch and in the car... UNTIL--- THE PODEE BOTTLE!
-Once the babies are good at sucking, you should try the PODEE BOTTLE! It is GREAT! I got one with my first son and thought it was strange and never used it. But with TWINS, it is great!!! Especially when my older son wanted me to play with him and the babies had to eat, I gave them each a podee bottle and plopped them in their bouncy seats and they watched us play wii or whatever it was we were doing! If you don't know what a podee bottle is, it's a regular bottle that has a straw-like tube in the bottle, then a cap type thing on the top of the bottle with another really long straw tube that has a nipple attached to the top and the babies suck on it like a pacifier! It is a MIRACLE! I took these with me to the mall and had the boys in my snap-n-go carriage and they would drink away while I shopped or sat and rested!
-At first I used the cheap gerber bottles because I was stressing about all the BPA free stuff.. so I got the cheap plastic bottles.. but after many washes, I found that the nipples leaked around the ring and it was going everywhere! And when I was half asleep feeding the babies it would take me a while to realize that the baby wasn't really just drinking it fast, it was leaking all over him! I then switched to the VENTAIRE bottles by Playtex, they do have many pieces but I pretty much like them.. after a few months of hanging and drying all the parts and then assembling all the bottles- and running out of space... I thought of this..I got three mini plastic containers, one I put the rings in, another stored the nipples and the last stored the bottom cap and the disks... My life is easier now! I leave the little Munchkin style basket that I wash them in on the counter so they dry and hang the bottles on the drying rack, and then when they are dry (or sometimes I let them dry in their container), I assemble most of the bottom caps with the disk and I just sort them all into their little plastic tubs and I assemble a few bottles... now its so much easier than putting them ALL together when I take them out of the dishwasher because they are wet
-In the beginning, the babies don't do much..you hold them, they sit in a bouncy seat, they sit in a swing, the sleep in a pack-n-play or a crib, or a seat, or a swing... you can try and put them on one of those play mats when they are a little older, maybe around 2-3 months, they will only last a couple minutes at first, but they will grow to love it! I had a soothing bouncy seat and then I had a playful bouncy seat.. after a while I invested in 2 travel swings because they started to like the swing once they were a little older.. they didn't always sleep in the pack-n-play, they slept in any of the things I just mentioned- because its not really like sleeping through the night, they are just taking lots of mini-naps! I would just rotate the boys into different things because I felt like they would get bored! I was the one who was bored (well, you know what I mean)
-Baby Einstein- Baby Beethoven dvd-- THIS IS ANOTHER LIFE SAVER!!!!! It is the best.. my babies loved it, it says to start it around 3 months, I think I didn't get it until they were 4 months- they got it for Christmas. I tried it with my first son and thought he didn't like it, but he was my first and what did I know, he was probably really cranky when I put it in or who knows and then I never tried it again. My twins LOVE THIS DVD! My dad says it puts them in a trance and its like brainwashing- well, whatever it is, this will be your savior for about a half hour- or hit repeat like I often do! It calms them down and sometimes they fall asleep to it too! I have one or two others but they love Baby Beethoven! When they were 9 months I put in a teletubbies dvd and they LOVE this too.. they actually LAUGH OUTLOUD! One of my sons actually used to laugh at the same part in Baby Beethoven each time when the lion puppet would come out.. too cute
-The SNAP-N-GO carriage... is great for when they are in their infant carriers, all you do is open up the snap-n-go double stroller (not a side by side, it is a front to back one) and you just click the infant seat in place. It isn't the easiest to manuever but when you really want to get out of the house, it is perfect.
- The MOMMY HOOK- I wish I had it when I was using the snap-n-go. I got mine at Babies R Us or Toys R us and I have seen them at Bed Bath and Beyond.. it is just a huge hook- like ones they have for fastening harnesses or whatever, I don't know the real name, and you hook it onto your handlebar of your carriage and you can hook all your bags to it, because you won't be able to have a shopping cart when you have your stroller- babies won't fit and its a pain, so I use my mommy hook and some other hooks I got at babies r us and I hook my Re-usable shopping bags onto them and when I shop I put my stuff in there and then I just bring the bag up to the register and empty it out and they scan it and put it back in! :) Wish I had more of these!
-Baby Jogger Classic- City Series Double Stroller-- THE BEST CARRIAGE and WORTH THE MONEY! I didn't want to have to have one for shopping and the car and one for walking and jogging if I get daring! I wanted one, this one FITS THROUGH STORE DOORS! That is a must, or else you will have to buy another carriage. I got mine for $399 free shipping from albee baby website, shop around for deals. The seats recline so easily and it has THE BEST SUNSHADES ever, they REALLY block the sun at multi-positions, the underneath storage is small thats why I have my mommy hook and put my bags on it. I do admit that now that they are getting bigger, I MAY invest in 2 cheap umbrella strollers and get the little connecters that you can just fasten them together with, that will save me so much money and will be easy to use for a quick trip somewhere. It does get tiring lugging two babies in and out of the car and in and out of a carriage.. I usually don't go to more than 2 stores in a trip! Oh, tip for putting the jogging stroller into the car, I roll it RIGHT up to the back of the car where I am going to put it, it has the easiest folding trick ever, two straps on the seats that say FOLD and you pull up on them and lift the carriage at the same time and then I just put it right into the car, semi-heavy but so easy if you have it right next to your car, don't make yourself go walking over to where you need to put it!
-Bouncy seats... once my boys outgrew the regular bouncy seats and swings.. I switched to the infant to toddler rocker- which most could just start out with but I was using what I already had and then bought these from my mother of twins group (look into joining one of these groups, it is the best!)
Anyways, the Infant to Toddler rocker by Fisher Price, they can stay in it much longer - has a higher weight limit..because with two, I find the need to have them sitting at certain times, like when I want them to settle down with a bottle or something! They are great, can be a seat, vibrate, comes with a toy bar (which mine don't use anymore) It doesn't recline too much but it has worked for me! (or them!)
-Booster seat/high chairs- I have the Fisher Price Space Saver seats, I also bought from my mother of twins group. These are GREAT. Much better than the older boosters that attach to the dining room chair. I found my boys were leaning to one side in the other ones and they just weren't comfortable- These recline for when the babies are younger and you can put them in and give them a bottle, it has a tray you can use if you would like. They are just perfect and I wish I had them earlier because this is another way of feeding two babies at once (bottles). The seat is contoured to fit them better and has a seat cushion and everything.
Ok, that's all for now! I will add more at another time, but that is all my brain can handle! Feel free to add questions and I can answer them into the blog with my tip!