Preparing for twins: essential tips and must-haves

Preparing for twins: essential tips and must-haves

Discover essential tips and must-haves for preparing for twins, from setting up a nursery to creating a schedule and routine.
Can twins sleep in the same crib? Reading Preparing for twins: essential tips and must-haves 6 minutes Next What to expect when you’re expecting twins

When you learn that you’re expecting twins, it can be easy to go into nesting overdrive. Double the babies means double the supplies, right? And what about managing double the sleep schedules, the feedings, and the bonding time? 

It’s completely natural to wonder how in the heck to prepare for twins. And yet, at the same time, take a breath—preparing for twins doesn’t mean you have to tie yourself in knots. To ease the path ahead, here are some must-haves for when you’re expecting multiples, from nursery setups to showing yourself compassion and self-care.

Setting up a nursery for twins

Does the arrival of twins necessitate twice as much furniture, clothing, and supplies? Not necessarily. Though logic would suggest that you need two of everything, there are some key items you can buy one of and share. And other times, two are best. When it comes to twins sharing cribs, for example, it's safer for them to have their own separate sleep spaces. Read on for when to double down and when one wins the day.

One and done

Your twins can share these items:

  • Nursery dressers and rocking chairs
  • Changing tables
  • A stroller (opt for one designed for twins)
  • Playpens
  • First aid supplies

Two is a must

You’ll need to double up on these must-have twin items: 

  • Car seats
  • Diapers
  • A baby monitor system (some can be bought in bundles, like the Nanit Pro Camera Multi-Pack)
  • Bottles
  • Bibs
  • Wipes
  • Teething toys
  • Pacifiers 

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    Get creative with nursery design

    Prepping the babies’ room is a fun project for new parents. But the addition of a second newborn can make for a whole new space-saving challenge. Here are some ideas on how to prepare a nursery for twins:

    • Choose timeless pieces. You’ll want furniture that can adjust to your babies as they grow. This might mean actual, adjustable pieces, like expandable or transitional cribs, or furniture that is large and neutral enough to grow with your child from babyhood to toddlerhood.  
    • Organization is your friend. When you’re caring for two babies in one space, organization is the key to a clutter-free environment. Consider investing in multi-purpose furniture, like cribs with built-in drawers or customizable closet storage to help keep your twins’ clothes separated. Drawer organizers and transparent, plastic containers or boxes with labels can help keep everything neat yet easy to find.
    • Upgrade your baby monitoring system. Nanit’s Pro Camera Multi-Pack is perfect for twins (or triplets), complete with multiple cameras that connect to one app. The Nanit app even offers a split-screen mode so you watch and collect individualized data for each twin. 

    Creating a schedule and a routine

    To make life with newborns easier for you and your partner, it can be helpful to synchronize your twins’ schedules. That means daily tasks like feeding and napping happen at the same time for both babies. 

    It won’t always line up perfectly, and that’s okay. Just because your babies are twins (even if they’re identical) doesn’t mean they’re the same. Despite their unique genetic characteristics, twins are unique individuals with unique needs. Twin A may be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed first thing in the morning while Twin B likes to sleep in. One may fuss more at afternoon nap time than the other. One may get hungrier more often. The better you understand your infants’ habits, the more you can make informed choices for them and yourself. Luckily, Nanit can help provide valuable insights into your babies' sleep patterns, allowing you to adjust their routines and environments accordingly.

    Preparing for twins mentally and emotionally

    Pregnancy is a roller coaster in its own right, so with multiples on the way, it might feel like a trip to the theme park. Stress is normal—just remember that you’re also allowed to take the time you need to care for yourself and your well-being. 

    Here are some ways to mentally and emotionally prepare for two little ones: 

    • Research how pregnancy differs with twins on the way. Once you’ve confirmed that you’re having twins, do the research and speak with your medical team about how twin pregnancies differ from single-baby ones. The more aware you are of different scenarios and what to expect with twins, the more you can tune into your own cues. 
    • Lean on your medical team. Your birthing team is there to provide you with the support you need. Make sure you go to all your appointments and ask any questions on your mind. 
    • Join a support group. Pregnancies with multiples are rather rare, which can make it feel more lonely at times. Connecting with other parents of twins can give you a feeling of community. 

    Taking care of twins can be a true joy; it just requires a little advance planning. You’re welcoming two lives into the world, after all. Take the time to get situated with the right amount of supplies and a bench of support on standby, then sit back and let the journey of twin parenthood begin. 

    Key takeaways

    • Know how much supplies to stock up on. When preparing for twins, you don’t have to buy two of everything. Instead, focus on doubling up on single-use items, like wipes and diapers, and items that will be in high demand, like bottles and teething rings. For other items like changing tables and rocking chairs, one will do.
    • Synchronized schedules are your best friend. Working toward a synchronized schedule for feedings and sleep will give you time to rest and care for yourself. Remember, the schedule should work for you and your babies. Adjust it as necessary as your twins grow and change.
    • Line up the emotional support. Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical health. Consider the kind of emotional care you’ll want and need during and after your twin pregnancy, whether that’s a team of good friends and family willing to jump in and help, or a birthing professional like a doula. 

    Sources: 

    Very Well Health. Shopping for Baby Products for Twins & Multiples. https://www.verywellfamily.com/to-buy-two-a-guide-to-shopping-for-twins-2446769

    The Spruce. 40 Baby Room Ideas for Decorating a Charming and Functional Nursery. https://www.thespruce.com/baby-room-ideas-5217584 

    What to Expect. Space-Saving Tips for Baby’s Nursery. https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/space-saving-tips-for-the-nursery.aspx 

    Very Well Family. How to Get Your Twins on a Schedule. https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-get-your-twins-on-a-schedule-2447433 

    Mayo Clinic. Pregnancy week by week. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/twin-pregnancy/art-20048161

    WebMD. What Is a Doula? https://www.webmd.com/baby/what-is-a-doula/ 

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    CONTRIBUTORS

    Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

    Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

    Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

    Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.