Twins: What Do I Need Two Of?

twins

I have a friend who I am writing this post for, who is pregnant with twins! I am so thrilled for her and her family, and she doesn’t know what she is in for… double the joy, double the love, double everything!

So I haven’t written in a while! I have missed it. I went through an extremely stressful period, but thankfully we are out of it and slowly settling, in a NEW home! I have traded my stress for new stress it feels like, but I’m working hard to take it down so I can write on a regular basis like I wanted to. I hope you can forgive me for my lack of dedication.

Alright! So lets move on to this awesome new post! My friend asked what my must-haves were for twins and I realized that I did not have a check-list type post specifically for twins. What?! If you haven’t seen my amazing Baby Checklist, you should check it out. I outline in a really cute and handy printable a thorough new-baby checklist and to-do list. In this post, for my twin mamas, I’m going to let you know what you need double of, and what you may want to buy two of. Also, I’m going to include some things made specifically for twins and some tips for shopping for twins!

You already know you’ll need two car seats and two cribs, but what about everything else? Keep in mind that all babies are different, so when you buy two of these things, a great thing to do is to not open everything before they arrive. Only open one of each thing and see how each twin likes them. If you find that one of your babies only wants to use the bouncer, or doesn’t like her bassinet, then take the unopened swing back so you can save some money. Twins are expensive!

You may need doubles of:

1. Rock ‘N Play sleeper by Fisher-Price or a bassinet of your choice.

2. A simple Bounce Seat. Perfect for letting your babies kick and bounce while you get things done around the house.

3. Baby Carriers/Wraps if you’re going to be going out, these are a lifesaver! Some babies HATE being in car seats and they want to be close, so let Dad pack one of the twins around while you carry the other!

4. High Chairs or chair attachments seats like this one, made by Fisher Price!

5. Baby Swings.

6. Boppy Pillows– one for you and one for another family member or friend to use while they hold the other twin. Also great if you’re breastfeeding!

You only need one:

1. Bathtub

2. Twin Stroller- I highly recommend Baby Trend Double Snap-N-Go for their car seats! Its amazing and cost effective! Later on, I recommendBaby Trend Sit N Stand Double stroller for your toddler-sized twinnies! I had great success with both of these items and I didn’t have to spend a fortune.

3. Tummy Time Mat or play gym!

4. Pack N Play (optional)

 

The next few things I’m going to show you are items made just for twins!

1. Something you might want to look into for breastfeeding twins is a My Brest Friend Twin breastfeeding pillow. There is also a breastfeeding pillow called the Twin Z pillow that is really cool!

2. Take a look at Table For Two, an adorable seat to make feeding easier!

3. The Twingaroo is a baby carrier made for twins!

 

As far as everything else you might need for baby in general, please don’t forget to look at my ultimate checklist of baby items! Click Here!

Am I missing anything? Let me know! Thanks for reading!

How I Stop My Colds In Their Tracks!

colds, natural, healthy, options, medicine, stop, healthy

colds, natural, healthy, options, medicine, stop, healthy

My life is extremely busy. From one moment to the next, I have about 300,000 things on my to-do list. The one thing that can pull my day to a screeching halt is… a cold. All of my life, every time I ever got a cold, it would make me so miserable I couldn’t do anything. For weeks.

It would go through phases. I would get the achy, dry throat. Stopped up nose. Head fog. Watery eyes. Sneezing. Body aches. Headaches. Chills. Then it would last for days and days. Then I would get the gunky throat and the gross cough. Then after that I would get sometimes a constant, barky, dry cough. Sometimes it’d get so bad I’d lose my voice for days.
Sounds more like the flu, doesn’t it?
But its really my personal normal symptoms for the common cold for me. I often get sinusitis too. I finally got fed up with it after I had my daughter, McKennah. I figured there HAS to be a way to help this. My body never responds to over-the-counter drugs, besides ibuprofen. And only when I have a bacterial infection, does it respond to antibiotics.
I have been pregnant for the better half of the last 5 years. My four children mean the absolute world to me. It’s just so hard to be the best mom I need to be when I have a cold. I hits me like a train and suddenly I just can’t do anything. I don’t want to cook, clean, go out anywhere. All I want to do is sit in my tub and drink coffee.
But then I found a few things that would change my life forever.
cold,elderberry,sinus,saline
With a little bit of determination, research, and willingness to try something new, I have found the answer to my month-long cold problem.
  1. Elderberry. Before having kids, I had never even heard of elderberry. It has a lot of health benefits and it has been used for hundreds of years as a part of traditional medicine. They have large amounts of vitamins and antioxidants, and its health benefits range from digestive health, cardiovascular protection, immune system health, and bone health and inflammation. It helps alleviate respiratory conditions such as cold and cough, which is why I use it while I’m sick and even when I’m not to help avoid sickness. It’s only when I’m not taking do I catch nasty germs.
I have grabbed this awesome infographic from Organicfacts.net:
elderberriesinfo
You can view its entire article here.
It is an AWESOME preventative for colds. Take it every day if you have a job where you’re around of lot of people, or take for a few days before you go somewhere where there might be people who are sick.
Another great thing about Elderberry, its SAFE for pregnancy and breastfeeding which is one of my biggest concerns when looking for cold relief as a mom. As long as it is not taken in huge amounts, its very safe, as with many OTC drugs. It is also safe for kids to take, and they even make children’s elderberry supplements. I have a bottle of little elderberry gummies right now! Elderberry is also sweet and easy to take.
elderberries-fb
I know for a fact that elderberry works. The first time I started taking it was when I was Day 3 in a horrible cold. It was about 3 days later, I felt good as new. Seriously. Coupled with Elderberry and my #2, Apple Cider Vinegar, my horrible colds are now a thing of the past.

If you want to check out what I personally use, you can view it here on Amazon:Nature’s Way Sambucus Black Elderberry Original Syrup, 8 Ounce

And also here is the children’s gummies that I buy too:Zarbee’s Mighty Bee Gummy – Elderberry – 42 ct

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar: I love ACV. It naturally alkalinizes the body, and most illnesses can’t thrive in alkaline environments. Make sure that if you use it, buy the raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized versions that include “The Mother of Vinegar” which occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules. It is rich potassium, it helps soothe dry throats, and it also helps support a healthy immune system.

Personally, I have had it help stop my colds in their tracks. There are so many wonderful benefits of taking Apple Cider Vinegar. I only buy Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. You can find it everywhere now! I used to have to go to health food stores or order it online. Look at it further by clicking here:Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Did you know that Apple Cider Vinegar has been highly regarded throughout history? In 400 B.C. the great Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, used it for its amazing health qualities! You can also give it to your kids as well, and use it during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s also healthy for your pets, including horses! 

 

If you want to take ACV, I personally mix it in a cup of tea, 3 times a day. I only use 1-2 tablespoons! If you’ve never had ACV, the taste my knock you down a bit, but you’ll get used to it. Especially when you start seeing how amazing you feel. 🙂
  1. Saline Nasal Spray- I never liked the thought of spraying anything into my nose. I broke down and eventually bought some because my poor nose was raw from trying to get all that congestion loose. I actually tried Nasonex when I was little and I remember it gave me the worst nosebleeds while I was in school. I never used a spray again. But now if I ever have a stuffy nose, saline nasal spray is one of the top things on my list. I can’t use anything with a drug in it because I’m nursing the twins. Saline spray is perfectly safe to use as many times as you need to while you’re sick.
  2. You spray in one nostril, and gently breathe in a little through your nose, even if you can’t breathe through it. It’ll help the spray get to the toughest spots in your nose. A couple of times in each nostril usually does the trick for me. And the best thing to do is to be very patient and gentle with yourself! If you’re blowing your nose really hard, its only going to make the inflammation worse.

Those are my major essentials for knocking colds down. Other things that help me battle them are:

  • chicken soup
  • coconut water
  • tea
  • foods with fresh garlic or ginger
  • cinnamon
  •  lots of dark leafy things, spinach, kale, etc
  • plenty of rest and sleep

What are your experiences with Apple Cider Vinegar or Elderberry? Do you have a go-to cold relief protocol? Let me know in the comments below!

Breastfeeding twins: What you need, and some tips to help.

breastfeeding,twins,newborn

breastfeedingtwins

^Our twins Jackson and Levi.

Breastfeeding twins sounds like a near-impossible feat. So much to worry about. So time consuming. What if I don’t make enough milk for two babies? Can I do that?! Can I really nourish two babies.. Adequately? Will they be healthy? What if they don’t gain enough weight? How will I get any sleep? Is it even possible to hold two babies nursing at the same time?!

These are some of the thoughts I had when I was pregnant with my twin boys. Even as a breastfeeding veteran, I was terrified. I felt very intimidated by the thought of two babies needing me every three hours around the clock for their first few months of life.. Even though I have a combined four years of breastfeeding under my belt, I still felt like it was a crazy thing for me to expect myself to be able to do. I can only imagine what moms think of their abilities to do this who have no breastfeeding experience at all.

Im here to say this:

You can nurse your twins. Effortlessly.

It takes patience, determination, and willingness to alter your schedule and your tasks around your babies’ needs.

I’m going to give you the best advice I have, from my experiences nursing my sons. I hope it helps:)

During pregnancy To-Do’s:
1. Plan maternity leave if you are working. The more time home with your babies, the better.
2. Get a high quality breast pump. A lot of insurances are covering the cost of a breast pump, I highly recommend looking into this!
3. Learn and read everything you need to know about using the pump, and reading about when to pump and breast milk storage.
4. Get your basic nursing essentials from my list Breastfeeding Essentials!
5. Buy two Fisher Price Rock ‘n Plays. The closer your babies are to you at night, the better. There are so many good things about this little bassinet when it comes to breastfeeding. It’s portable, it’s safe, it’s comfortable, and it’s small. You can find one on Amazon by clicking here:Here

6. Do your HOMEWORK.

The one thing that I urge moms to do is read. Educate yourself about breastfeeding. The more information and knowledge you have before your start, the better your confidence will be about nursing to your goals.

Expect yourself to run into road bumps. Everyone does. Research all of these things and PLEASE only go to trusted sources for breastfeeding info.

My top nursing go-to website is Kellymom.com.
You should also seek support from your local La Leche League Group, you can find information here at LLLI.org.

These are some basic road bumps that I have had to deal with:

-correcting poor latch
-engorgement
-clogged ducts
-milk blebs
-mastitis
-nursing a sick baby(stopped up nose)
-nursing strike
*Another thing, don’t believe breastfeeding advice from just anyone. There are a lot of things people think are supposed to help with nursing but really only hurt your efforts. There are myths out there that may make your struggles so hard that you cannot continue. Your great aunts sisters niece might mean well, but only take their advice with a grain of salt. Do your homework. Do your research before you take any advice.*

When your babies are born:

– begin breastfeeding right away, as soon as you can. If it is possible, ask that absolutely no formula is given to either of your babies. If you can’t physically nurse your babies (if they need to be in the NICU, begin pumping when you can.)
-get in touch with the breastfeeding consultant while you are in the hospital and make sure all of your questions are answered and you feel confident about nursing your babies.
I was adamant about nursing both of my twins at the same time while I was in the hospital. I wanted to know I could do it. I don’t really know why I wanted to, but the encouragement from the staff at the hospital really helped me. They were really surprised that I was actually attempting it and doing it! And I wondered to myself, do most twin moms not try? I surely hope it is not the lack of confidence that keeps twin parents (or any parents, rather) from breastfeeding their babies. I realize that the amount of support that a new mom gets when she starts breastfeeding truly can make or break her. I just can’t assume most moms will toughen up and have that determination all by themselves. It was a miracle that I did, because I had no support when we had our first baby. But I can see that it doesn’t happen for everyone. If this post helps just one mom, I would feel like I have done my job for my entire blog, you know? I want all breastfeeding moms to know that they CAN do this and that they CAN get through the road bumps. You can.

Not necessarily tandem nursing, that’s optional. But the truth is, you’re going to have to do it at some point. Those babes are going to be crying at the same time, you’re going to realize that you have two boobs! (Lol.) and really, it isn’t that bad. Tandem nursing is an art. And you don’t need anything but a comfortable place to sit.

More on that later.

When you come home from the hospital, get a journal and keep it next to you and write down every poo diaper, every pee, When they nurse and how long they nurse. Their doctor is going to want to know all of that anyway, but it helps your confidence level. Knowing they are giving you plenty of wet diapers means they’re getting enough to eat. And when you write it down, you don’t have to rack your sleepy brain to try to remember the blur of the last week to see if he’s had a drop in pee diapers, when you feel discouraged that he’s not getting enough milk. (Sorry for the forever-long sentence just then.)

Another HUGE thing I want to tell moms:
Fall in love with water.
Water is going to be the key to success. You need to have great, clean, good tasting water. The Sam’s Choice bottled water at Walmart is just fine and it tastes great. I’m extremely picky about my water, so trust me on that one! Nursing my 8 month old twins, I go through three 32-pack bottled water packs in two weeks.
You need to keep a bottle close to you at all times. Breastfeeding makes you thirsty (obviously) but don’t wait until you get thirsty to drink. Keep one with you while you’re nursing and when you sleep. Another saying that is easy to remember, Drink when they drink!

Stay on your prenatal vitamins. Don’t stop them just because you aren’t pregnant anymore. You’re still nourishing their every need. <3

Keep snacks with you close by, and don’t get hungry. Don’t worry about dieting because one great thing about nursing is that those pregnancy pounds will disappear! I was still hanging onto 40lbs when the twins were born, and now I’m down to 15lbs. So keep your diet full of good, healthy foods and stay full, because you’re still eating for three. 🙂

Night-time Nursing:

One big thing I’ve learned nursing twins is if you want to get any sleep, nurse your babies at the same time throughout the night. For example, if Baby A wakes up at 2:30am, nurse and lay him back down, but wake Baby B up to nurse as well. That way, you don’t nurse Baby A and go back to sleep just for Baby B to wake up hungry in a half hour later when you just barely got to sleep again. That way both babies are fed and hopefully sleep another 2-3 hours before someone wakes up again. Eventually they’ll get on the same pattern and it’ll help you tremendously when you’re trying to sync up their schedules.

Now, some may not agree with me on this and that’s alright, but here’s another tip: let Dad do most of the work through the night. Let him do the diaper changes. Let him get up to get them. You need your rest. I know how hard it is not to do those things yourself but breastfeeding takes HALF of a mothers energy. Half. You need every ounce of sleep you can get. If you’re doing the massive task of feeding two babies with your body, he can change a diaper half asleep. He will be alright. You stay asleep when the babes go to fussing at night, let him get them a fresh diaper and then you can wake and nurse. Let him put them back to bed.

Speaking of rest, learn to nurse while laying down. It’s probably not feasible when they’re newborns but as they get a little older and they grow a little, side lying is best at night for nursing because you can fall right back to sleep very easily. You don’t have to get up and get a nursing pillow and situate yourself and then situate baby. It takes a lot of energy to do that half asleep and can make you dread night feedings.

Prepare for hunger. When my first daughter was born my husband actually made me a sandwich before we went to bed. It is kind of funny now that I think about it but it really helped. I would wake up starving and I would gobble down whatever I could get. Pb&J sandwiches would fill me up until morning. 🙂 You will get hungry throughout the night and if you can, eat up!

Whew I’m exhausted.
I will do a Part 2 post soon! Thanks for reading. 🙂

Blogger Babes Link Party

25 Things To Say to Your Children To Encourage Them

 

I made this post in infographic form, so it’ll be easily “pinnable”! I have tried to make at least one photo in each of my posts easily recognized when you’re searching through your pins on Pinterest. If you are on Pinterest and want to follow me, you can find me here: Pinterest.com/Kennahsmama

One thing I must do as a mother is let my children know that they can do anything they set their minds to. I strive every day to make them feel like their voices are heard, like their thoughts and ideas mean something to me, and that they are an important part of the family. I have gathered some of my favorite things to say to my kids on a daily basis. I want to share the things that help my daughters know that I want to hear what they have to say. I want to encourage them to speak their mind, while being kind and courteous.

 

25thingsencouragement

I love to encourage my children to do their best, all the time. Do you have something you want to share? Comment!

Thanks for reading, and feel free to Pin!