View Full Version : Twins due with an 18 months old...advice needed-help!

03-25-2010, 09:46 AM
Hello all!

So I am sending out an SOS for advice from anyone that has gone through having newborn twins while already having a toddler (mine will be about 18 months when the twins are born in July). I am starting to get overwhelmed while trying to get prepared…and I really don’t know what to expect! I stay at home with my daughter now…and she is pretty good, sleeps well, and is generally easy to handle…I am very lucky. These are the things I keep thinking about & was curious what your opinions/strategies were:

-Getting help…I keep hearing this is absolutely necessary. I’m worried because we don’t really have the money to hire someone (aside from maybe a cleaning service every other week, maybe). Our family is tough, too…everyone with works full time, or can’t drive, etc…

-Getting a minivan…I have a lease to get out of (that is pretty cheap)…but what van, what do I look for, how do I configure the kids to get in & out the best & still fit the probable huge stroller? (currently have current daughter in Britax Boulevard rear facing & will have two more infant seats)

-Getting a stroller…my daughter at 18 months won’t be old enough to really walk on her own, and I think she is too young for those toddler boards. I think I really need something to hold all three (my daughter has some medical issues so we go to the doctor a decent amount) since I will probably have to be out on my own with them for quick outings. I am honestly a pretty unbalanced person, and didn’t like the infant carriers that you wear on you. I am plus size with big boobs & found them uncomfortable and felt like if I leaned forward a tiny bit the baby would fall out. I got a double stroller as a hand me down (that only fits peg perego seats & I have one chicco keyfit 30 now), but I am not sure if it will be handy. I have looked into this one a bit, and found the Valco tri-mode & the ABC brand could work (but sooooo expensive!)…but neither of these will hold two infant carseats. The double snap & go sound great, but wouldn’t hold a Chicco Keyfit 30 carseat, so I would have to buy two more & still have no place for my 18 month old. Ugggh…

-Monitors…I have one for my toddler that I use & will use for a while…can I just get a second one for the twins, or will they interfere with one another? Is there a monitor out there that you can use in two rooms separately and/or at the same time with the same receiver?

-What to get two of? I know I will need two more cribs. I was going to get one tall dresser & one changing table/dresser (the twins will be sharing one room). We have a two story house, so with my first daughter, we used the Graco pack&play with the bassinet for downstairs. That goes only to 15lbs, so I worry about how long one will last. I was looking at the Arms Reach Cosleeper since it held up to 30lbs to use downstairs. This is with the thought of fitting two in one unit for the first few months. I do have a regular bassinet as well that could hold one while they are tiny. My husband wants to just use the existing pack&play bassinet & when they outweigh it, borrow a playpen from family and have one sleep in the bottom of the playpen…I just don’t like that for some reason. I am hoping to get them to sleep in their crib/s for naps as soon as possible, but it took my daughter a good 6 months. And we don’t have a ton of room, so I thought the Arms Reach Cosleeper could work…but then we have to buy it.

-I have one bouncer that was OK, so I think I need one more that is a bit more exciting to a baby…I think I can put then in the crib if I need a place to lay them upstairs (I shouldn’t be up there much).

-I have two jumperoos & one exersaucer, so I think I am OK on that.
I have one Graco open top swing. My daughter didn’t really like it, so I hesitate on getting two.

-I have one highchair that I will still need to use for my daughter (Chicco Polly that I am not fond of)…so I need to get two more. I like the Graco Blossom from what I’ve seen in the store…any thoughts? I definitely want ones that recline to bottle feed…and I think this could be another could place to put the twins when I can’t hold them.

-I have one “bumbo” knockoff…the Summer infant seat…I loved it with my daughter. Should I have two of those? Does it matter if they are the same or not?

-I have one Boppy pillow…and should get a second one to use to prop the babies up, right? I don’t think I am going to breastfeed since it didn’t work out well with my first daughter. Anyone like bottle proppers, and if so, what ones? I was thinking of still getting the larger twins feeding pillow to bottle feed them at the same time…what one is good? Again I am plus size, so large is good. I’ve seen the My Brest Friend Twins Plus pillow…anyone like that? I didn’t like how the regular one fit me, but thought maybe this one was bigger so it would be OK.

-Schedules…my daughter was very scheduled (started in the hospital since she was there for her first week) and that seemed to work for her. I would like to try to have the twins on the same schedule. Do you think that is possible to do with a toddler around and probably being on my own during the day?

Anything else that I haven’t thought of that is needed, please let me know. I was thinking of having a “diaper party” to get stocked up on diapers…anyone do something like that?

I want to apologize for this being a bit lengthy…but I figured one longer post would be better than a few smaller ones! I really appreciate all of your advice!!! I need to try to stop my mind from spinning=)

Thanks so much!!!

(Mom to Zoe, 12/2/08 & girl/girl twins due 7/27/10)

03-25-2010, 02:16 PM
Oh my goodness, you are going to have your hands full, and THEN some!!! I can barely keep up with mine and I only have the two!! Since I only have the twins, I can only comment on those part of your questions:

-you will totally need help. I know some people aren't fortunate enough that this is an option but really it is so hard without help. The only help we were able to afford was a housekeeper who comes every 2 weeks. It is a godsend. However, we are lucky to have family in town who would help with food, etc when the twins were first born. You can DO it yourself but it will be HARD. I would hire whatever help you can afford, and ACCEPT whatever help ANYONE will offer. Don't worry about WHAT the help will be (if someone offers), just say YES and assign tasks later as you need!

-Minivan will serve your needs well. We have a Honda Odyssey and love it. There are many ways to configure seats - for you probably easiest to put the twins in the captain's chairs and your toddler in the 3rd row. You might even be able to put all three in the second row, depending on the seats you choose. I would post this in the car seat forum and ask there.

-I'm not sure about strollers...but I will say that I do think our 18-month-olds would be just find riding on a toddler board. I would post this in the stroller forum - lots of experts there!!

-I know monitors exist where you can put 2 transmitters in 2 separate rooms. And there are times I wish I had one of those. Your existing monitor may or may not interfere with another monitor depending on the frequency in which it operates and whether there are plenty of choices for channels.

-We put both babies in a single PnP bassinet at first. Worked for 2 months before they hit the 15 lb weight limit. Then we separated them into 2 PnP (still in the bassinet) for another month, then moved them to their own cribs in their own room (which I wish we had done sooner!).

-We didn't bottle-feed so we never used our fancy reclining high chairs. However, friends who bottle-fed their babies were just fine using the bouncy chairs or Boppys to lie them down in.

-We only had one "bumbo" (knock-off). When we wanted to prop both of them up, we used one bumbo and then put the other one inside of 2 boppies stacked on top of each other:)

-If you aren't breastfeeding I'd skip the twins nursing pillows even for bottle-feeding. If I bottle-fed, I'd simply put one baby in a boppy on the couch next to me, and hold the other baby in my lap. When they are small just put a stool or something under your feet to raise your knees, put infant on your legs with baby's feet towards you and head up by your knees. Then you can hold a bottle for both.

-Our "schedule" was simply to keep both babies on the same schedule. If one woke up to eat, we'd wake the other and feed them both (even though it was sometimes hard to wake her). We tried to keep both awake at the same time, and put both to sleep at the same time. I think this kept us sane. We did try a couple times to feed only one when she woke, but it was then impossible to get any sleep at all because the other baby would wake 30 min later!

Good luck mama!!!

03-25-2010, 03:32 PM
My oldest was 3 when my twins were born, so quite a bit different than your situation. But I'll share what I've learned.

1. Get Help. I can not stress this point enough. I don't care how good of a mom you are, you will need help.

2. We have the Honda Oddy. We have the twins in the second row captain chairs (with them scooted so the aisle is by the passenger door) and my older son in the 3rd row. He buckles himself, but I can easily reach back and do it with this configuration.

3. Strollers--I would try for a double with a rumble seat, or learn to love a baby carrier. Honestly I just don't think you are going to be going many places with all three kids. I doubt you will go anywhere for fun--necessities only. Even for errands I think you will run out after your DH gets home. Maybe try a cheap snap and go and wait to buy until you have a better idea what you need?

4. PnP, bouncy etc. You will need places upstairs and down to set the babies down. I had 4 bouncy seats--2 up and 2 down. It is great to have a PnP or bassinet of some sort down stairs to be able to set them down without having to strap them in. We didn't use the bumbos much--I could never feel the babies were secure, so we didn't use them much.
We had the arms reach co sleeper and I did like it. But, my boys really woke each other up and such. It was not reasonable for use to keep them sleeping together. Mine started sleeping in their cribs pretty quickly.

5. We have the FP space saver high chairs that strap on to a regular chair. Love them. They recline and I guess that is good for bottle feeding. I nursed so I don't know about that at all. I wouldn't buy a nursing pillow for bottle feeding. Since you have one boppy, I'd see how that worked (in conjunction with a bouncy seat) and then see what you need.

6. I know schedules are important, but mine just weren't (aren't) the same. They have different needs and I just couldn't make them do the same things. It's rough, but just how it is.

03-25-2010, 10:21 PM
My DD#1 was 2 when our twins were born, plus DS was 4, so a bit different from you, but here are my thoughts;

Help - Yes, you will need it. You might be surprised at how many people will offer help. We got a lot of support from friends at our synagogue. We had a few teenage girls that regularly came by to help out when they had free time. Some had to do a required number of hours of community help as part of their school program so we didn't have to pay them. We just bought them a nice gift once we didn't need them anymore. Anyone that offers anything - just accept their help. I was in such a daze the first few months that I was happy to give anyone that walked in the house a baby to hold.

Minivan - We have the 7 seater Sienna. We have the twins in the 2nd row captain's chairs, pushed together on one side and the older two in the third row. I have no problem leaning in to buckle up DD#1.

Stroller - I would just get the DSNG to start with. You are not really going to be able to get out of the house much with all three at the beginning. You can try looking for a Valco on Craigslist. We already had a double but it doesn't have the toddler seat option. I thought for sure I'd end up buying the ABC or the Valco but by the time I was ready to start going out with all the kids, DD#1 was fine walking on her own. I would wait and see what your needs are once the twins are here.

Monitor - We just have 1 in the nursery. We didn't need one for DD#1.

Sleeping - We just used the PNP with a bassinet that we had from before. Our twins were born at 35.5 weeks and weighed 5.5lbs each. It took about 2 months until they were too heavy to sleep in the PNP together. I did find that I needed more places to put the babies down than I did with my other 2 kids. We bought a 2nd PNP because I wanted another one with a bassinet and none of our friends that were offering to lend us theirs had the bassinet. I knew I was having a c/s and felt it would be too hard to be bending down into the main part of the PNP. We kept 1 PNP on the main floor and 1 upstairs in the bedroom.

Bouncers - That is the 1 item I felt I could never have enough of. We had 6 (most were borrowed) - 2 on each floor of the house. We only had 1 of most other items. If we saw that both babies were spending a lot of time in something we tried to borrow a 2nd. I never felt the need to have matching stuff. In fact, having 2 different styles of the same thing just makes it more interesting for the babies. Less chance of them getting bored of watching the toys on 1.

Highchair - By the time the twins are ready for solids your older DD will be 2 years old. I'd just get her a booster and get a 2nd highchair for one of the babies. I wouldn't even think about it now unless someone wants to buy you one as a gift.

Feeding - I did a combination of BF and FF. I would not get the twin pillow for only FF. I never liked the way it worked for bottles. We used bouncy chairs for giving them bottles. Or, I would hold 1 baby in my arm and cradle the other in my leg. We used rolled up receiving blankets to prop the bottles when we needed to.

Schedules - It's possible to have them on the same schedule but I wouldn't sweat it if they aren't, especially at the beginning. If 1 baby woke up and was hungry I would just try to feed both but sometimes they weren't both hungry. From about 3 months onwards our girls have been on the same schedule but before that there wasn't much of a schedule around here.

Congratulations and good luck!!!!
Twins are a lot of work at the beginning but they are so much fun!!

03-30-2010, 01:03 PM
Thanks everyone for all your advice!!! It will really help in compiling the list of what we really need=)

03-30-2010, 04:28 PM
My best friend has 3 month old twins and a 4 year old DD. She got a Valco Twin Trimode at my urging. :D She loves it. She got it with the toddler seat and the hitch hiker so that her DD can choose where to ride and the twins sleep in the fully reclined seats. She found the whole package on Craigslist at a good price.

04-12-2010, 02:20 PM
As for monitors, the summer infant day/night video monitor has two channels so you can switch it between rooms, but you would need to buy an extra camera. If you want two separate monitors, you want to make sure they don't interfere with each other, so check that they are on different frequencies. If you need 3 monitors, you could get two of the monitors that can switch channels (such as the summer infant day/night monitor), and get a third monitor on a different frequency so it doesn't interfere.

If you won't have a lot of help, you might want to try to stock up on easy meals. Even getting out for shopping is tough for awhile. Do you have an extra freezer? It is really handy to make meals and freeze them so you can just take them out of the freezer and warm them up.