Monday, May 21, 2012

Baby Gear: Simple and Affordable

Sometimes I think we forget that our culture is not the only one in the world. I've been blessed enough to be fairly well traveled but I get a reminder of this in the evenings when E & I sit down to watch the documentary Babies while we wait for Nate to come home from work.

The documentary follows 4 babies for the first year of their lives in Africa, Mongolia, Japan, & the USA. It's a good watch for those of us who worry about small silly things. (It's currently on Netflix Instant.)

Anyway my point is we live in a very materialistic culture. There are probably a million lists on the internet telling you all the things you need for your baby. Most of these things you really do not need. My baby must have list is simple. So simple that it may shock some of you.
Having babies doesn't mean having to break the bank or that your house must look like a daycare center.

Baby Equipment I would skip
   Two Cribs
Yep, I went there. We practice safe co-sleeping   (which you may want one crib or a co-sleeper for if you are having twins) and then we go to a Montessori floor bed when our babies are ready. You can do either or both. I highly recommend at least reading the article on Montessori floor beds...everyone I know that has done a floor bed has been amazed at all the benefits. You will be thanking me when your babies are toddlers and you do not have so much trouble getting them to stay in their beds.

Read more about twin specific co-sleeping at Confessions of a High Heel Wearing Hippie Mommy
more about Montessori floor beds for twins at Montessori On the Double

 Changing table
I find that it's much easier, and saves time, space, and money not to have a changing table. It's makes a lot more sense in my opinion to use a changing pad (or even a towel) on the floor. There is another $70-$200 for your spa/ housekeeper/ kid's college fund.

Two Swings and Two Bouncers
Save yourself some space ,money, and clutter. You do not need two of each for twins. It makes a lot more sense to do rotations. I didn't really use either of these things with my singleton daughter but it's hard to hold two babies as much as they need. As much as they need with twins is more than as much as they need with a singleton because they will not always sleep at the same time or for the same lengths of time. They are two separate people that have two separate sets of needs you know.

Bumbo Seats or BeBe Pods
 The only reason that these seats are helpful is if you need to start feeding your baby solids before they can sit up on their own. That is not usually recommended but it is something that we ended up doing with our twins. We chose to do this because they are petite (our singleton was too) and our pediatrician was slightly concerned about their weight. Otherwise you really don't need these and they are not recommended for extended periods of time.

Jumpers and Exersaucers
 There has been concern over both types of these toys with the negative developmental impact they can cause (neurologically and physically) . It is not recommended to use this kind of toy more than 10-15 minutes a day. So for my family we just skip these. They tend to take up a lot of space anyway.

You can read articles here and here for more info on this.

Baby Equipment I Can't Do Without

Miracle blanket
 We have used miracle blankets to swaddle all three of our children and loved them. I love them too because they helped our babies feel secure and sleep. Our miracle blanket helped with our singleton a lot and other singleton parents that I have recommended it to help their babies sleep longer at night. When D & F came home from the hospital I would wrap them during E's naptime and at night. They learned that when they were wrapped it was time to sleep. This is how I got everyone on the same schedule. Eventually I moved to just wrapped at night and then weaned them off it their blankets. It is an expensive blanket but I have not found any others that work remotely as well. The last ones I bought were at a consignment sale for $4 though so look around and get a good price. They are only used for a few months so you should be able to buy a few used quite easily.

.An Ergo Baby Carrier
If you spend any time with me at all you will hear me tell you how much I love my Ergo. I honestly could not imagine parenting twins without it. When the boys were smaller I would wear them in the front carry to put them to sleep while I accomplished household tasks. I even nursed F in the Ergo while I made my daughter's birthday cake last year. It wouldn't have gotten done if that hadn't been an option. It's great for when one or both of my twins are fussy and they both need me. The Ergo is also great for outings. If I ever leave it at home I regret it. It's incredibly more comfortable than any baby bjorn style carrier out (also known as crotch danglers in the baby wearing world) there and better for your baby (see the links in my teething post for more on that). And I can even carry my three year old in it still. It will last you forever! Ergo baby carriers are also pricey but look for them on craigslist, ebay, and consignment sales. If you have to buy new know this...they are worth every penny.

Not only is baby wearing an essential tool in twin parenting but there are many benefits.

A Nursing Pillow
I bought the My Breast Friend pillow that is made for twins because it was supposedly the best. I HATED IT! It was was like wearing a huge inner-tube and I had a hard time getting the babies close enough to me and positioned correctly in general. I also could not get into a comfortable position for me while wearing it. I really ended up using the Boppy I had much more and thought it was better. But in the begining a nursing pillow was a life saver and the MBF pillow was better than nothing.

Baby Equipment to Consider

A stroller is a great thing if you like to walk or jog a lot. Otherwise I recommend skipping the stroller and investing in a great baby carrier. I think I mentioned one above. 

We do love to take walks. I have a Joovy "Big Caboose stand on triple stroller."
I love that E can choose to sit or stand. It's a little difficult to steer at times but it's pretty perfect for our family situation.

Baby food grinder
This was something that I would have considered an essential before I learned about baby led weaning. It really makes feeding your baby home made purees super simple. If baby led weaning style of eating is not your thing then consider one of these.

Breast Pump
While I didn't use my pump hardly at all for my singleton I used the heck out of it for my twins especially when they were in the NICU.  It's a pricey piece of equipment if you aren't going to use it so you may want to pick out the one you want, set the money for it aside, and have someone else pick it up for you if you really need it.

Nursing cover
 I feel more comfortable nursing in public with a cover. For me it's an essential. Some people prefer not to have one. Do what makes you feel most comfortable and don't worry about anyone else.

Cloth Diapers
There are plenty of reasons to cloth diaper. Personally I am a part-time cloth diaperer because I don't like to add too much extra pressure. It's not that way for some moms but laundry is not my favorite thing and so it can be for me. If you want to get started cloth diapering (or read how I got all of our diapers for free) you can read this post on my old blog.

Cloth diapering is not out of the question for multiples at all. You can read twin and triplet specific cloth diapering posts at
What The Blog?

Baby gear can be helpful but I challenge you to think about how much of it is really necessary. People all around the world make do with much less than we do. What your baby needs most is you.

This week I'm linking up to For MOMs by MOMs: Baby Gear
so stop by and see what other Moms of Multiples suggest when it comes to baby gear.


  1. I knew you would have some great alternative suggestions! ;) Thanks for linking up!

  2. I'm with you on many points here. First, my twins are 19 months. They were my 2nd so I was a little less convinced that everything had to be new- or have 2 or everything. I didn't have 2 swings, 2 Bumbos, 2 exersaucers or a changing table. Too.Much.Stuff! I am down with a double stroller for sure. I do the 2 cribs thing, and we have 2 pnps for travel purposes. And a mini van. I can't tote around my 3 3 and under without it! Great post!

  3. I'm not a mom of twins but am ALL about minimalism and babies.My kid needed my boob, a cloth diaper, an outfit and a carrier haha.

    I feel like I'm constantly getting rid of toys and things people give me. Too many baby things cluttering up my small house!

  4. Great advice. I'm just now hearing about the Montessori way of sleeping, and it sounds like such a great idea. We did use the Bebe Pods because we just hadn't bit the bullet and bought high chairs yet. They were a life saver to me. I agree, a lot of the advertised baby gear is not necessary.

  5. miracle blankets were great for us, too!!! As for a changing table...we just went with a regular chest and put the changing pad on it. Ours are too wiggly to use it anymore now!

  6. I had never heard of the Montessori floor bed, but we simply put our crib mattress on the floor when our child was around 12 months or so...mostly because we had another baby on the way. I never did co-sleeping, mostly because I can barely sleep with my husband! ;-D

    Thanks for stopping by and visiting. Hope you get to link up on my Loving Our Children link-up tomorrow!