Twin Hacks (For Singletons, too!)

Take a breath, I’ve got you covered! If I’ve used it, loved it, or thought it worked, I’m telling you about it! Whether you’re a parent of multiples or singletons, I hope you can benefit from some of these tips and products.  This will be an ongoing collection of reviews and suggestions for you to take or leave as you see fit.  Every family, and every baby is different, so do what works for you! 

What is saving my life this week with two teething toddlers…..

The Kidsme Food Feeder available at http://www.kidsmebaby.com/en/ and on Amazon.com. Pack these silicone pouches with chunks of fruit or ice cubes and watch your teether safely chomp to their gums delight.

The Kidsme Food Feeder available at http://www.kidsmebaby.com/en/ and on Amazon.com. Pack these silicone pouches with chunks of fruit or ice cubes and watch your teether safely chomp to their gums delight.

The BooginHead® SippiGrip and pacifier straps prevent my viking children from throwing everything on the floor when they've had their fill. http://www.booginhead.com

The BooginHead® SippiGrip and pacifier straps prevent my viking children from throwing everything on the floor when they’ve had their fill.
http://www.booginhead.com

Some suggestions to begin:

Whatever you can find portable or collapsible, get it. You can likely replace bulkier pieces with it, and if not you will definitely use it for traveling. ciao! baby® high chairs and the Kidco Gopod portable activity seat are two of my faves!

Hubs and Miss Hazel celebrating the ease of outdoor meals in the Ciao Baby portable high chair.

Hubs and Miss Hazel celebrating the ease of outdoor meals in the ciao! baby® portable high chair. Available at http://theportablehighchair.com and many baby product retailers.

  • Boppy pillows are multifunctional-get two, you’ll be happy you did. They are great for the babes to rest in, until they can bust out of them. Same goes for those reclining, vibrating baby seats.
  • Maximize your time. Prep your cereal while the babes do tummy time. Eat while you nurse-one day you’ll eat at a real table again, I swear.
  • Bathroom time is sacred. It’s the one time of day that I have time to myself. Hubs hangs with the girls in the mornings while i get ready for the day. Anything I absolutely want to get done without being interrupted must get done during this time. Poop, shower and workout! Yes, I work out during this time. Lay a towel on the floor and do some push-ups, calf raises while brushing the teeth, and squats in the shower.
  • Streamline the daily beauty regime. It’s easiest and worry free if you can find products that you AND the babies can use. I like Shea Moisture ointment for my face and body and for theirs, or the Honest brand’s Healing Balm. If they lick my face, it’s all good!
  • Aim for a schedule, but allow things to come together naturally too. My babies were early so i waited longer to put them on feeding and sleeping schedules. I had the luxury of time since I was home with them and was able to let them guide the daily routine. Boy is it great though now that they’re napping at the same time! If one naps and the other doesn’t though, give that baby some quality one on one time, or discover how much you can accomplish with just one baby on your hip!
  • Get the babies interacting with each other. It won’t always have to be the mommy show. Laying nose to nose or tummy time with toys is great bonding for the twins.
A meeting of the minds.

A meeting of the minds.

Just hanging out, Mom.

Just hanging out, Mom.

  • Take help if you can get it, and if you WANT it. Everyone has their own personal threshold for outside stimulation, input, interjection, and handling of their kids. Be selective, and if help is offered and you’d like it, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to accept it. Be specific in your requests. Also, recognize when you are better off handling things yourself. That being said, don’t be afraid to say no. You may not want your coworker or your cousin’s neighbor’ s girlfriend holding your newborn. Or maybe your mother in law stresses you out. You call the shots, period. People will get over it, or when you put their visit off, they can chalk it up to the chaos of the great unknown that is having twins. (We know it’s really not that bad though.)
  • Have someone make or bring you food if at all possible. I breastfed and probably ate as much as two large men. After all, I was eating for three. Breastfeeding burns a ton of calories, so having prepared food on hand prevented “hangry” moments from happening. It’s amazing how being well fed (and rested!) can improve your outlook on everything.
  • So, if someone is visiting and offers to watch the babies while you nap and you can somehow sleep, or if you can nap while the kiddos nap, then you are awesome and you should do it!
  • Be picky about important things and don’t stress about the rest. Sounds like common sense,right? You’d be surprised how many people spend hours deciding on nursery decor, but pick their local pediatrician, or hospital to deliver at without doing their research. I guess this one should say: get your priorities in order. They’ll be slightly different for everyone, but at the end of the day, I would imagine they’d all fall into three major categories for our kids-safety, health, and happiness. I never became so confident in my instincts and so unapologetic in my decisions as when I knew i was making choices that affected my family. It’s your family, you do what’s best for your family.

If you’re concerned with the personal hygiene of others, and asking them to wash their hands before touching your babies is awkward for you, come up with general announcements via email or social media to let people know what your expectations (ok,requirements!) are before visiting your babies. You can keep it light or use humor to soften the crazy. Also, I hung signs on my babies strollers that looked like rubber stop signs that read, “Please wash your hands before touching mine.” It was frank, but many people commented that they were a great idea, and they wished they’d had them for their children. WIN. http://handtohold.org is a great resource for NICU parents or those with fragile babies.  There are many printables and articles on this site to share with family and friends as a way of educating others about caring for and handling newborns.

These were included in a care package we received from a resource through NICU.  You can customize your own "gentle reminders" on sites like zazzle.com.  Or, if you want to be really subtle you can go here: http://www.stopsignxpress.com

These were included in a care package we received from a resource through NICU. You can customize your own “gentle reminders” on sites like zazzle.com. Or, if you want to be really subtle you can go here: http://www.stopsignxpress.com

  • Find a few reliable resources where you can easily look up product reviews, ask questions, or discuss issues. Bookmark them, follow them, and eventually, contribute to them! 😉
  • Invest in something that makes you feel comfortable and something that makes you feel beautiful. If you can achieve both in the same item, fabulous. For me, it was a great nursing bra (comfortable, and functional,) and a long summer dress (functional, comfortable, and beautiful!)
  • Lay out everything you possibly can ahead of time. Did I say this already? Well I’m emphasizing it! Don’t take for granted that unzipping the sleep sack at nap time will only take a second. It won’t, because you’ll have two babies in your arms and one will undoubtedly try to dive off the bed. Pre-fill their cereal bowls, assemble the fruit teether and for PETE’s SAKE REMOVE anything you don’t want to be put in baby’s mouth, or have poop on. If you do these things, you should be good.
  • Toys that stack and nest make your home look less like the mess it really is. Give in to the baby gate. I cried when hubs set it up for the girls, but it has been one of our most useful purchases. It makes a safe, controlled space for your babes to roam, and with a little bit of decorating, it can look like a giant baby entertainment center!
  • Utilize social media. A-hem. Just saying. It can be used for good if you know how to use it well! My girls were winter preemies, so there was no way in hell I was taking them out during cold and flu season or even having visitors. Social media kept me connected to my friends and family and allowed me to share photos and updates with everyone. I discovered several great sites and blogs for mothers of twins and parents in general. See links for the list! 🙂
image1

Cup holders? Nah, we’ll just thrown our sippy cups on the floor. 🙂

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