This is the VERY first question I tend to get asked by friends/acquaintances that are future twin parents. The registries can be overwhelming and thinking about getting 2 of everything is quite scary; especially when considering you will be elbow deep in diaper payments for at least 2 years. Because I got this question numerous times, I started to pull together a list that I hope you find helpful too.
Everyone approaches their registry a little differently and on a different timeline. Some people are forced into registering by the person that generously throws them a shower while others jump on it before they tell their friends they are expecting. I was definitely the latter.
As soon as that pregnancy test had 2 little lines (and the following 4 tests had the same result), I knew I was pregnant. I was bubbling with excitement. I told my husband, but still felt that I was going to explode if I didn’t share the news, so I used my online baby registry as a distraction. I didn’t want to find out the gender which meant I didn’t have to wait 16 more weeks to get started. I was going for a very neutral nursery/guest bedroom.
I researched the best baby mattresses and added a high end-organic mattress. I looked for the cutest most whimsical (overpriced) crib. I scoured Pottery Barn Baby and Land of Nod for every luxury item I dreamed of affording. Then came our 8-week ultrasound and everything changed. We were having TWO babies.
My train of thought immediately jumped to how in the world I was going to a) fit 2 of everything in the nursery and b) how I could afford 2 of everything! Once the shock settled in, I jumped right back on my registry and started editing it. The following list isn’t my actual registry, instead it is what I WISH I had the foresight to register for and a few additional options you could consider. This is a longer read but I hope you enjoy it and find it useful.
Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Here we go:
- ‘Happiest Baby on the Block’ DVD: This book is amazing and made me feel like I had a toolkit for when fussy babies came. However, if I would have realized it came in a DVD, I wouldn’t have read the book! Let’s face it, I was a tired and busy twin-mom-to-be. It would also have helped my husband get the information, since he wasn’t reading the stack of books I got him.
- ‘12 hours by 12 weeks’: I am the person that LOVES her sleep and don’t feel like I can function on too little. I had a timeline for when I had to be back at work and I knew I needed those babies to cooperate at night. I got the babywise book since I had heard great things from numerous friends, but all the schedules seemed so structured and difficult to follow, plus I didn’t feel like there was enough information/support for how to do it with two babies. Then when I read ‘12 hours by 12 weeks’ I finally thought that this was something I could do. The author sleep trains babies in New York and specializes in sleep training multiples. I figured if she could sleep train 4 at a time I could certainly handle 2. She really broke it down into a couple of ‘toolkits’ for day and night that even I could follow.
- Everything you need for a good bedtime routine:
- Swaddles: I liked the soft muslin swaddle blankets, but it was frustrating when someone else was trying to help and just couldn’t get them tight enough. Some of it might have been my new mom hormones making me think nobody could do it as well as I could, but some of it was probably true. Regardless, the Swaddle Me brand were our favorites. The Velcro kept the babies nice, tight and cozy for a good night’s rest. I recommend 6 smalls to start, but a few larger ones are nice too. (Note: all my links are to gender neutral options because that’s what we used, but swaddles and numerous other items have lots of other cute prints).
- Sound machine(s): I recommend the Dohm white noise sound machine and the more mobile Husshh sound machine for travel. They aren’t super fancy and don’t have different lullabies, but they worked perfectly to drown out the background noise and ensure good sleep. Having 2 is nice because you don’t risk leaving your primary noise machine anywhere. Just plug it in and leave it, then tuck the travel one in your diaper bag. It will work perfectly for nap time when you are out and about while the baby is sleeping in the infant car seat or even for overnight when you are travelling.
- WubbaNubs: Honestly, I didn’t register for these because I thought they were overpriced pacifiers. Boy was I WRONG! My friend gave me two for my baby shower and since they were so cute, we used them right away. (Right away, is a slight exaggeration. I waited until night 2 in the hospital as I was trying to keep the girls quiet so my husband could rest for a job interview). These are NOT just cute, they are functional! The weight of the wubbanub helped keep the pacifier in their mouth before they learned to suck hard enough to keep it in. As they got a little arm control, they were much easier for the girls to find themselves. Plus, if you are searching all over the house for a pacifier so you can leave and try not to be late again, pacifiers are much easier to find with a stuffed animal tied to the other end! Just don’t make the mistake of registering for 2. Register for at least 4. These things will need to be washed, and spares will prevent the panic attack that occurs moments before naptime when they spit up all over their beloved Wubba, Check out all the different options, but the elephant, puppy, monkey, and giraffe were our favorites.
- Lovies: the book ’12 hours by 12 weeks’ discusses sleeping with something you can give the baby for comfort and I think that soft silky lovies (AKA soothers) are the perfect option. Small, soothing, and soft!
- A few goodnight books: these were some of our favorites:
- Ask for Time/Help: I’m not sure how to put this on a registry, but this is great for anyone that wants to help. They don’t have to give a material gift. Trust me, if someone comes and cooks for you, to ensure you are nourished enough to feed two babies, you will never forget it. If they are sweet enough to help with laundry, dishes, tidying up the house, even better! It can be hard to accept help, but your body just went through a lot, please welcome all the helping hands that come your way. Even having someone take care of the babies for a couple of hours to get you some extra sleep or a small trip out of the house can be life changing.
- Diaper changing Station(s): Depending on your house you may only need one in the nursery. But consider convenience and where you spend your time. We have a 2-story house and our second diaper changing table was ordered on Amazon only 2 days into changing diapers on the floor downstairs. This is what you will need for a complete diaper station:
- Changing Table (or a dresser/table combo) – we personally had one of each. I liked the extra storage that the changing table offered downstairs, but also liked that I didn’t need both pieces of furniture in the nursery.
- A diaper caddy/organizer: There are various styles, but we chose the Sara Bear woven basket diaper caddy and liked it’s clean look and multiple pockets. They no longer sell the cream colored one we had, so if the yellow or stripes are too much, here is another option that looks pretty good.
- Diapers: the more you get for free the better. You will go through boxes/month for 2 years or more. Some families like a certain brand better for fit, smell or skin sensitivities. I love everything the honest company makes but since we were buying so many diapers, we went with pampers as a more affordable option. I didn’t like the smell of the regular pampers, but pampers baby dry or pampers cruisers were our favorites.
- Wipes: When we had diaper rashes, we used the pampers sensitive or pampers natural wipes, but honestly used lots of Kirkland wipes from Costco. I later started to research some of the additives in wipes and now opt for the more natural variety i had previously reserved for diaper rashes. Whatever wipe you choose, just be sure to stock up.
- Diaper Cream: I highly recommend applying something with each diaper change to help prevent diaper rash. We made one for daily use with coconut oil and lavender essential oil, but pulled out a medicated one with zinc oxide for when their bottoms got a little red. I really liked the Young Living Seedlings diaper cream for this which can be found on my Young Living Page. Feel free to reach out with any questions.
- Baby Bum Brush: I’ve had lots of people tell me this was crazy and unnecessary, but I disagree. I don’t like diaper cream under my nails. I also really liked how sanitary everything felt when using what I referred to as our ‘butt spatula’. Check it out, you just might fall in love.
- Changing pad Covers: I originally thought 2 was enough. I was wrong. I would recommend at least 3/changing table.
- Changing pad Liners: This is an extra layer of protection. They aren’t fitted, catch most of the messes, and are quicker to change.
- Diaper genie & charcoal filters: Again, some people don’t like diaper pails, but when you change as many diapers as you are about to, you end up cleaning this out pretty often anyway. I do highly recommend the charcoal filters for the top. I even added a couple drops of essential oil to them to help keep our rooms smelling fresh.
- Diaper genie refills: you will want to have a couple handy in the event you need a refill in the middle of a diaper change.
- Burp rags: Some kids require more burp rags than others. My nephew required more per day than my twins did in a week. I’d still recommend a decent stack of them to start with. These can be anything from cheap washcloths you find on sale to muslin Aden & Anais burpy bibs. You can even opt for DIY.
- Infant Car Seats: I highly recommend the removable infant-only car seats (we used Britax B-safe). Yes, it’s less costly to just purchase a big convertible one from the start (the one that goes from 3 pounds all the way to booster seat), but having to unbuckle twins every time you need to go in and out of the doctor’s office or grocery store would be a lot of work. Heck, it was a lot of work even with the infant car seats. Plus, remember your bladder likely won’t be as resilient as it used to be and there will be lots of rushed car exits. (Don’t forget extra car seat bases depending on your needs).
- A Good double stroller with adapters for your infant car seats of choice: There are lots of good options. Definitely watch craigslist or keep an eye on sales because they are expensive. We opted for the city select jogger because I wanted an in-line stroller as opposed to a side by side and I liked that they could face each other. It was a darn good stroller for us and I loved the huge storage compartment underneath. I also liked the carrying case (that kept it protected on a couple flights), the rain flies, and the food trays that were optional accessories City Select offered. There are lots of things you will want to consider when picking your stroller. Some of these include, weight, in-line vs side by side, air tires vs no-flat tires, how much space it requires when collapsed, and amount of storage. Good luck finding what’s best for you and your family. Thankfully there are lots of great options.
- TWO normal pack n plays: YES, you heard me! Do NOT get a twin pack n play. They are too big and bulky for most spaces, are much heavier, and take up more room in the car. You are money and space ahead to just get 2 normal ones. The twin one was fine when they were tiny, but 1 pack and play would have worked then as well. My twins always slept in the same room but they were horrible at sleeping together. They would take each other’s pacifiers, get in each other’s space, and they can fight with the best of them. The second pack n play we got was one like this, but they also make really lightweight portable pack-n-plays now.
- A baby carrier or 2: I ended up with a whole collection. As infants I LOVED my Moby wrap and could tandem carry them in it. When they got a little bigger, I loved the sling style Maya wrap because it was a lot less fabric to deal with. As they put on even more weight, I finally sprung for the Ergo 360 and it was by far my favorite for comfort and keeping the weight low on my hips. Generally, I would wear the Maya and give my husband or whoever else I talked into lugging around the second baby the more ergonomic Ergo.
- A nice camera: This is not absolutely necessary as most people have phones with pretty good cameras, but still highly recommended. You WILL be tired, but get a good camera and don’t forget to document because time flies when you have 2 babies. We had an older version of the Sony Cybershot, but my husband dumped it in the ocean on our last trip, so we are about to upgrade to the Sony RX100 VI. They take great pictures and are super portable.
- Humidifier: helps with all the runny noses you are about to bring into your life!
- NoseFrida and saline spray: Yes, this absolutely looks gross (and is gross) but just don’t think about it. These things are amazing and are the best product on the market! It creates a better seal and suction to more thoroughly clear the nasal passages. The bulbs just don’t work. Grab some extra filters while you’re at it. Oh, and I liked the saline spray better than the drops because I felt it worked better. My method was spray, suck, then re-spray. The kids will likely hate all of it, but they will feel better when it’s over.
- Nail clippers & rectal thermometer: It can be terrifying to cut an infant’s nails but you will get twice as much practice! I recommend at least 2 pairs (one for the diaper bag) and I also recommend doing it while they are nursing or sleeping because they will be more still. You will also need a thermometer or 2, because once again I highly recommend keeping one in your diaper bag.
- A big diaper bag with lots of pockets: most diaper bags just don’t cut it. You have to fit twice as many clothes, diapers, wipes, bottles, burp rags, etc. as everyone else! I went for a duffel bag from Petunia Pickle Bottom and I loved it. It was a black neutral color, zipped on top and had enough pockets to keep me organized. (See this article for more information on diaper bag organization).
- 2 Cribs/Mattresses: I recommend 2 cribs and crib mattresses because as you can see from my first 2 ‘must-haves’ sleeping soundly was at the top of my mom agenda. You can get by with 1, but I feel that most people end up with 2. You can even use your two pack n’ plays I recommended above in place of a crib. Choose a mattress that is firm and safe for infants. The price ranges vary widely, but I was happy with my mid-range Beautyrest infant/toddler 2-in-1 mattress that I could flip over and make a little softer at the age of one.
- At least 4 sets of crib sheets & mattress protectors: Whatever you decide to use for a crib above, be sure to get a couple extra spare sheets and mattress protectors, trust me you will use them!
- Baby camera monitors: I felt that I couldn’t see into the cribs well enough with one camera so we got the Motorola monitor that came with 2 cameras (the MBP36S). When linking this monitor to amazon for you, I noticed the reviews weren’t as great as expected. This was primarily due to the monitor not being compatible with older models. There are lots of options available with various price points, so feel free to choose what you think is best, but we really liked ours and are still using them 2.5 years in. In fact, we bought a third monitor that we could use when we traveled or to set up with other friends were over and sleeping in our guest room.
- ALL things Nursing/feeding:
- Nursing pillow: My favorite was the Twin Brest Friend pillow. I felt that it offered the most support especially when it came to tandem feeding newborns. I also received a Twin-Z pillow for my shower and liked it almost as much. I placed one pillow upstairs and one downstairs. A third option is to just use the standard singleton boppy nursing pillow and nurse one at a time. I felt that the boppy was nice for traveling because it was so much smaller to pack and I could be a little more modest nursing one at a time.
- Nursing cover: not necessary at all and they can be awkward especially if you are having trouble getting the babies to latch. But ,if you like the extra privacy in crowds, they have some nice breathable ones. You can even tie one of those muslin swaddle blankets around your neck and it works like a charm!
- Pump: Check with your insurance but they are NOT all the same. I really liked the Medela freestyle. (‘like’ is used very loosely here, there is NOTHING fun about pumping). If I had to do it again, I would probably check into the Willow. It boasts being whisper quiet and you don’t have cords/contraptions coming off your boobs while trying to multi-task and be semi-productive.
- Pump Accessories i.e. milk storage bottles and bags, cleaning brush, and anything special (such as membranes/tubing) needed for your pump
- Bottles: again, tons of different kinds out there. I wouldn’t get too many up front because some parents go through a lot of them in an effort to find a bottle that their baby will take. We liked the Dr Browns bottles.
- Bottle Warmer: This item isn’t 100% necessary, but it is so much faster and more consistent than running batch after batch of warm water to slowly warm your bottles of breast milk. I waited far too long to spring for a set of these, and wish I had done it sooner. However, I’ve heard of some moms that get their babies to drink cold breast milk, so maybe yours will too!
- Baby Brezza: This item also is not 100% necessary, but if you end up using formula, I would venture to say that it is! It’s like a Keurig for baby formula. It keeps the water at the perfect temperature and all you have to do is select how many ounces you want and you have a perfect bottle in seconds! We transitioned to formula at about 10 months and the girls came running when they heard it.
- Highchairs, bibs, fruit feeders, spoons, baby plates: You won’t need these right away, but put them on your registry because lord knows you will need them! I linked some good options for these (that we used), but there are lots of options when it comes to these options. Plus, most of our Bibs were actually DIY which I will write about in the future.
- We LOVED these activity centers for the girls because they were great for learning to reach, good for tummy time, and helped engage their legs to kick. We got 2 different ones just for different types of stimulation.
- Teething rings/chew toys
- Duplo blocks
- You will want a variety, but can quickly end up with unnecessary clutter. I encourage you to be careful with what you let come into your home and to pass toys down to other kids at least annually.
- A minivan: I wish I was joking! I was resistant to trade in Stella. Stella was my Mazda3 and I loved her so much, but I’m thankful for my ‘Mom missile’. Getting car seats in with sliding doors is so much easier and not having to bend over helped to save my back. Plus, with the fold down seats now-a-days they are so convenient and spacious. The salesperson tried to tell me they were cool. We all know that they are not cool, however I will admit that they are practical. Furthermore, they are more affordable and get better mileage than an SUV. This likely won’t go on your Amazon registry, but if you are in the market for a bigger car, I do recommend the dreaded minivan.
That completes my list of ‘Must-Have’ items. Read on for a much shorter list of other items you could absolutely consider but are not what I would consider necessities:
- Baby Swing/Rock n’ Play: I know, I know…so many people say these are a necessity. I had one of each and they were nice in those first 4 weeks especially, but I also think I created some bad habits that I had to break down the road, so just be careful. Now your sanity is of the utmost importance so if you need something to rock your baby to sleep, then absolutely do it, sleep training will come. But if your baby sleeps just fine in their crib or bassinet, I would avoid putting them in rockers too regularly.
- Baby Bath: I used one of these for a short period of time. I recommend looking for a used one on craigslist and just giving it a good wipe down. I transitioned them to laying down in the tub together as soon as I could in an effort to save time.
- Anna&Eve Swaddle strap: We called this our baby straight jacket and it worked to keep them swaddled once they learned how to break out of their swaddles. Some babies are rolling before they would benefit from this and other babies don’t try to get out of their swaddles at all. I recommend keeping this in mind if you find yourself wanting to keep your baby swaddled for a little bit longer.
- Transition Swaddles: My mom made some transition swaddles similar to the zipadee-zips, and I’m telling you these things were AMAZING! The kids could roll and sleep safely but when they startled, they would immediately soothe and stay asleep
- Essential Oils & Diffuser: I didn’t start out my mom journey being oily but once I discovered them, I never went back. I swear by Young Living Sleepyize blend and diffuse it nightly in the girls’ room. If you are interested in what essential oils can do for your family you can click HERE or feel free to send me a message HERE. I’d love to answer any questions and help you get started.
- Car seat covers: I felt these were necessary for where we lived in the pacific northwest but I have also heard of issues with babies not getting enough airflow, so look at your climate and the safety warnings and consider a cover that works for you.
- Wipe warmer: I got 2 of these for my shower and they were nice, but I did not feel they were absolutely necessary. The warm wipes felt nice for me and some kids apparently have a preference, but the main thing I liked about them was that I could buy a slightly cheaper wipe ‘refill’ pack instead of the ones with the flip tops. Some people swear by wipe warmers though. Totally up to you.
- Clothes: you can register for clothes, but my guess is people will get you these anyway, so register for what you need! I will write about choosing not to find out the gender in another article, but one perk is that people buy less clothes. In general, people don’t love shopping for gender neutral as much and will be more likely to opt for necessities on your registry.
- Blankets: Blankets and clothes seem to come out of the woodwork. I loved the special quilts and blankets we received as these are such thoughtful and generous gifts. Just keep in mind that you will probably get a sufficient number of blankets even if they aren’t on your registry.
That’s everything, thanks for sticking with me clear to the end.
I’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts on necessary registry items below