As my sweet little ones near the 6-month mark, I’m often asked…what can’t you live without these days? It made me think that it might be worthwhile to share with other new Moms my “favorite things” for use with R & Q from the past six months. Some of these things I “couldn’t live without” as a Mom of twins. Others are simply “nice to have” or “sentimental favorites.” I hope this list is helpful for twin and singleton Mom’s alike!
The clear winner for me is the BABYBJORN BabySitter Balance bouncy chair. I couldn’t live without our two chairs for R & Q. As a twin Mom, this chair gains even more importance because this is how we double feed R & Q their bottles. A good friend of mine told me this was her favorite for her daughter and she couldn’t have been more right. The price tag (around $150 each) is steep but it has paid for itself in spades. My recommendation…buy one per baby per floor of living space. I only own two but wish I had four. We carry ours up and down the stairs and in and out of R & Q’s nursery multiple times a day. So, there’s a little more about this (what appears to be boring) chair. Let’s start with the design. It is super comfortable for your baby. Our babies have two other (less expensive, but more traditional) bouncy chairs that have a toy bar and vibrate,and they honestly can’t stand them. 5-10 minutes and they want out. They love their Bjorn bouncers, though. They have had countless hours of sleep and awake time in these chairs, and they have many more to come. Still, why pay $150 for a bouncy chair that doesn’t “bounce” on it’s own? The chair has three adjustable heights (easy to move between heights) and it’s easy to slide your baby in and out of the chair. The reversible cloth cover is soft and detaches easily. It folds flat for easy transport in the car. I’ve washed the covers lots of times (R especially is prone to baby blowouts while hanging in his chair) and they come clean easily, air dry quickly, and still look brand new. There are no snaps or clips… your baby just slides in and out. When R & Q were little we would swaddle them and slide them in. As they have gotten bigger they obviously sit with their legs dangling. Either way, our babies are as cozy as could be in them. It’s easy to bounce a baby in the chair with your arm or foot and as your baby gets older they will bounce themselves when playing. I think the chair now even comes in a variety of fun colors.
In the “feeding” category,a few things come to mind. I’ve exclusively pumped (or EP’ed) for the twins. After nursing my oldest son, I knew that the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump worked great for me and kept my supply up even on multiple day business trips. In addition to having a good pump, a hands free pumping bra like this one, the Simple Wish Hands Free BreastPump Bra, is so important! But I won’t sugar coat it, pumping is honestly miserable, in my opinion. However, with twins it was the way to go for us. Between a supportive husband, my hands free pumping bra, TV on demand (Greys and Homeland!), the Bjorn bouncy chairs (to “hold” R & Q when I couldn’t), and my Mac Air (to edit photos of course), I made it for 5 months. I could write a whole blog post on this topic, though, so I’ll move on.
We use Dr. Brown Bottles (the pink and blue ones exclusively sold at Babies-R-Us) and,although, there are so many little pieces, we love them. Our little ones have(luckily) had no major issues with reflux, but who knows if the Dr. Brown bottles had anything to do with it or not. Regardless, R & Q never rejected the nipples. We did learn not to screw on the bottle tops too tightly (the air doesn’t vent properly if you tighten too much and you get an artificial clog). We also have two of the Dr. Brown Bottle Warmers and two Dr. Brown Formula Mixing Pitchers. The pitchers were great for pouring breast milk into after pumping and now that R & Q are using formula, they are great for pre-mixing formula. This way, we just pour the amount of breast milk or formula we need when it’s feeding time. It is also a huge time saver to pre-mix the formula (especially when there are two hungry, crying babies to juggle!).
One little unexpected gem for us is our nursery Mini Fridge. We have a two-story house and R & Q’s nursery is upstairs. My Mom had a genius moment during one of her visits when R & Q were only weeks old,and ran out to Costco only to come home with our mini fridge. We have thanked her countless times over for creating our “feeding zone” in the nursery. Next to the changing table is R & Q’s mini fridge with the two bottle warmers stacked on top. Next to that is a little table on which we stack bottles (with a tub for dirty bottles below it). Even if our house refrigerator was on the same floor as the nursery, I’d suggest this setup. The amount of time saved running around to collect all the necessary feeding items alone makes the mini fridge a bargain!
Bath time is one of my favorite things to do with R & Q. It’s sometimes tough wrestling two slippery little ones, especially when you are flying solo, but they are so adorable and sweet at bath time that I can’t help but look forward to the tub. I love the Mustela 2-in-1 Hair & Body Shampoo. It suds up well and rinses off easy. It doesn’t sting eyes and is soap free and scent free. After bath time, I love to lube the munchkins up with Honest Baby Oil. Funny enough we have found that good old Vaseline is also a necessity for R & Q since they have such sensitive skin. In the morning after a good lube up when we unwrap them from PJ’s their skin is exceptionally soft and smooth!
While thinking about R & Q’s soft skin, I can’t help but remember back to the day we brought R & Q home from the hospital. For two months I had been teasing my husband about this Wipe Warmer that he insisted we get. I told him L made due just fine with “chilly” wipes and that it was unnecessary spoiling for the twins. We, of course, bought one though and my husband had it all set up (warm wipes and all!) in the nursery. We were sitting in the nursery with our newborns in our arms and I saw that wipe warmer… tears streamed down my cheeks (remember, I had just birthed two babies two days earlier) and I told my husband that I couldn’t imagine cold wipes on their little booties. Now I still hate to wipe those little booties with cold wipes when we aren’t in the nursery! My husband thinks it’s sweet that I’ve fully admitted he was right.
One other favorite of mine has been sometimes switching out our standard Pampers for Honest Natural Diapers. We were given some as a gift and I love putting R & Q in them to take “naked photos”. We call them their “fancy” and “special” diapers. I love all of the adorable patterns. Not to mention, they are green because they are naturally biodegradable. They fit the kiddos great and we don’t have any issues with leaking.
When I think of snuggling R & Q, a few favorites come to mind. First, the Aden & Anais Muslin Swaddle Wrap blankets. I don’t think I can put into words how I feel about these amazing swaddle blankets. They are made of 100% cotton muslin and they are a must-have for any new mom. They are breathable, yet warm. The more you wash them, the softer they get. I’ve even worn one of R & Q’s as a scarf on a day I especially missed the babies after I went back to work! These are the perfect blankets to mummify your little one in! They are big enough, and stretch just the right amount. Even once your little one leaves the newborn stage and gains some strength, you can still snuggle them into that swaddle.
Since the day R & Q came home from the hospital, they have each had 3 Wub-A-Nubs. They love them, and we love them. They are Avent Soothie Pacifiers with little “animal friends” permanently attached. They were great when they were little because the weight of the little friend kept them from falling out and made it easy to tuck into a swaddle when necessary. Now that they are nearly 6 months, they find their wub-a-nub and can put it in their mouths themselves often. R & Q are really pretty good about not needing a binky – I seem to remember L needing one all the time – but we simply couldn’t do without these. Ours are so well loved that they have nicknames. We now have a 4th set for their car seats. Our sweet nanny probably thinks I’m crazy because I, at some point during their newborn days, developed a complex in keeping them in various places in the house. They have “frog” and “elephahntay” (elephant) in their cribs, “caterpillar” and “giraffe” as their upstairs play friends and “pound puppies” downstairs. Now that you have some insight into my crazy psyche, I’ll continue…
As R & Q started escaping my extra strong swaddle around month 4, I became a bit worried how they would keep sleeping through the night without that swaddle. Test naps without swaddles had been disasters. In reading some posts by other Moms on BabyCenter I decided to order us a blue and a pink Merlin Magic Sleepsuit for Q & R. It was the smartest thing we could have done. In about a weeks time, we had transitioned them into what we call the “snowsuits” and they were still sleeping through the night (well, mostly for sweet Q who sometimes needs a Wub-a-nub “pop”). They love them so much that when it’s naptime they might be crying or trying to stay awake,but we tuck in arms and feet and often before zipping their “snowsuits”, they are asleep.
Last but not least, in the snuggle category, are the Aden & Anais Issies. They are super soft security blankets. We have a few of them now. One for during feedings to keep their little hands busy, one for crib, one for carseat, and yes…one for Mom and Dad! I’m pretty sure that these will be one of their primary “lovies”. My favorite pattern is the “Monster Mash” one for R. I also love Q’s “Lulu Fairies” pattern.
This list of my favorites wouldn’t be complete without featuring an Apple product. We use an iTouch (technically, our old iPhone) and an iHome in the nursery all the time. The White Noise App is our favorite (thank goodness for “rain” sounds and in extreme circumstances, the “hairdryer” sound). It’s obviously handy for quick photos and listening to music (I love Sirius and Pandora). Two of my favorite baby apps are BabyConnect and Kidlee… but more about those in future posts!
When I think about R & Q’s toys, a few things come to mind. A simple Activity Gym like this one has been so perfect for us. Ours is actually a hand-me-down from a sweet neighbor and it’s a little oversized. With two babies playing on it they needed an activity gym with some solid square footage! They have spent countless hours playing on it. Ours isn’t at all fancy… we just hang toys from it, and they go to town playing on it. Q especially loves it. As R is getting older, he still enjoys hanging out on it, but seems to prefer to be sitting up in a Bumbo Floor Seat. R especially loves his Sophie the Giraffe and Q loves some good old basic Stacking Cups. We have two Manhattan Toy Winkel “wiry balls” and just recently had to purchase a second Baby Einstein Bendy Ball because they both adore them. In fact, I credit the Baby Einstein Bendy Ball with motivating R & Q to roll over from their backs to tummies a few weeks ago. A little tip… we have found using some basic Linking Rings and hooking their “balls” to their BJORN bouncer works great (no need for a toy bar!).
I’m sure I’ll also do a full blog post on how much I love our BB Blocks, as the babies reach one year old, but I have to also mention them now. We purchased them a few weeks before R & Q’s birth and started taking pictures with them a few days before they were born (well, me and my bump with the blocks saying 0 weeks). Now I’ve managed to take photos of R & Q individually and together each week, and on each monthfor 25 weeks. Recently, I had a moment of panic when I realized I needed to purchase the BB Block Expansion Set so I had enough number combinations to make it to 52 weeks! The blocks have options for weeks months and years in all number combinations. I plan on continuing this tradition for years to come. It’s such a fun way to see them grow. My Blocking Time album here shows all the photos we have taken so far. It’s a great gift for any mom. It’s never too late to start either. M and L will be taking pictures with the blocks at each birthday now!
We splurged on the Pottery Barn Silver Leaf Handprint and Footprint Frame and the Pottery Barn Silver Leave First Year Frame. We had both personalized. They were pricy (x2), but well worth it. They look A-MAZ-ING on the wall in their nursery. I know they will be treasured for years to come.
I bet you are wondering how a Mom of four gets all this stuff that I’ve mentioned? We really couldn’t be living without our Amazon Prime Membership? By the time I actually get out of the house after work with four kids to Target, Wal-Mart, Babies-R-Us, or Buy Buy Baby, our nice UPS man is handing me a familiar looking brown package with a smile on the box.
And that’s about it for now. I’m sure I can list 20 other things but I wanted to focus this on the things that have been the most meaningful for me over these last 6 months. I’d love to hear what some of your favorites are!
*** Disclaimer: I have purchased and used all of these products on my own. None of these brands have paid or endorsed me with money or product.