Trying to figure out what to buy when you’re on a budget, don’t live in a mansion, and have to buy two of everything, takes some background work. We didn’t want to waste money on stuff that we’d barely use and just clutter up the place, but also had to work with the space we have, cars we have, and lifestyle we have, in order to make sensible decisions about what to buy for the twins.
Below is a list of items that we found particularly useful during the newborn stage.
Day/travel cot with nappy changer
This Hauck baby centre travel cot was one of the first things we bought in preparation for the girls’ arrival, and it was brilliant – 100% money well spent. I battled with deciding on what to put the girls in during the day while at home – not just for napping, but also for when I needed to feed, cuddle or change the other baby, still keeping them close-by, and away from the dog’s tongue! I’d read mixed feedback about Moses baskets, and decided against them as they might out-grow them quickly and would still be on the floor, and would take up as much room as a shared day cot. We used the cot constantly when the twins were newborn, and with the added bonus of being a travel cot, could take it with us when visiting family and friends. We used the cot’s nappy changer more than any other nappy changing station/mat in the first year, and found it great to plonk them in the cot when we’re packing the car to go out, or generally to keep them contained.
We did lots of research about feeding bottles. Although a bit pricey, I liked the sound of the anti-colic MAM bottles as they had good reviews from other mums and were self-sterilising so no need for additional equipment and really quick to sterilise. On the flip side, I had heard that they leak, but we’ve got 14 of them and the only time we had leaks is on night feeds -fumbling around half asleep and failed to put them back together properly.
As with anything, it’s hard to know just how good a product is until you’ve tried everything else in comparison, but they were great for us.
Mountain Buggy Duet with Maxi Cosi adapters for car seats
Our Mountain Buggy Duet has been brilliant, overall. There hasn’t been a doorway that we’ve failed to get through – even the really awkward ones, and it’s very easy to push and maneuver. We decided not to get the carrycots because I didn’t want to be lifting the girls in and out, waking them up. Most of my use of the buggy in the early months involved a car journey, so this suited us better and prevented any unnecessary expense. Looking back, I don’t think we’d have got much use out of them.
We used our Maxi Cosi Cabriofix car seats with the no.31 Mountain Buggy adapter clip until they were seven month’s old, which worked perfectly well for us. See my blog post specifically about the Mountain Buggy to find out more.
Ewan the Dream sheep
I can still hear the harpsichord now! This cuddly toy sheep helped lull us all to sleep most nights. Ewan mimics the sound of a mother’s heart beat in the womb and plays white noise. Genius.
It was lovely to keep them close and snug in ring slings. They helped the girls’ colic by keeping them upright and moving around the house, which was more comfortable for them and helped bring their wind up. They were great for walks and going shopping, as we’d have our hands free and didn’t have to worry about buggy-friendly terrain.
What we didn’t buy
We went around in circles about whether to get baby baths. We have a small bathroom and I knew it wouldn’t be too long before they could sit up on a mat, and I didn’t know where to put them when they weren’t in use. This is a decision we didn’t regret and we don’t think we would have got much use out of them had we bought them. Again, there are other factors in making this sort of decision based on how much space you have, whether you’re bathing alone, and how strong your back is.
One item I think I could have done with, was a twin feeding pillow. Tandem feeding/burping without one was tricky, especially when I was breast feeding, and I ended up doing them one at a time which basically meant non-stop feeding for a few months.