Twins: What Do I Need Two Of?

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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!

Breastfeeding Essentials!

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This is my top 10 essentials for a nursing mama. I have made this picture great for pinning on your Pinterest board! Enjoy.

As a nursing mom, I’ve had 5 years of nursing experience (total! so far). I nursed my daughters for two years each, and I’m working on 9 months with my twin sons! I’ve learned full well what works, what doesn’t and what is a total waste of money when it comes to nursing. Nursing is very inexpensive, and you don’t need a whole bunch of expensive stuff to start. All you truly need is support. If you feel like you don’t have any, let me be that support for you. You can talk to me by going to my “Contact Me” page, or just leave a comment!

1. If I had to pick one thing to get for nursing it would be a Boppy pillow hands-down. Newborns are tiny and nursing a newborn can be difficult especially if they’re under 7lbs (three of my babies were under 7!). Boppy provides the best support and it’s very comfortable to use. I’ve used several other brands and none of them compare!

2. I rarely use it now, but for nursing a newborn the second most important thing for me to have is lanolin nipple cream. The most effective brand for me is Medela. It’s a creamier consistency than other brands and if you have sore, cracked or other nipple problems, you’re going to want something easy and comfortable to apply.

3. Prenatals . It’s pretty self explanatory, but I highly recommend staying on your prenatals if you’re breastfeeding.

4. I put a BIG fluffy recliner in the picture above for a reason: If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you’re going to be sitting down a lot. And you’re going to be sitting a LONG time. Your baby will nurse for about 15-20 minutes on each side, every three hours around the clock in the early days. If you buy the wooden glider with the 2 inch thick pad, your rear end is going to hate you. Mine did! I spent HOURS upon hours in the glider when my first daughter was born and I vowed to get a big rocking recliner when we had our next baby. You Will NOT Regret It.

5. A hospital grade pump. I didn’t even buy a manual pump when we had our first baby. I wasn’t planning on breastfeeding. It wasn’t until we had her that I fell in love with nursing. I ended up buying a manual pump when I was dealing with my first clogged duct, and it didn’t help at all. I bought a hospital grade pump after our second baby was born, and it worked wonders. I’m an exclusive nursing mama, which means that I don’t do any pumping or any formula feeding, so for the moms that plan on feeding with bottles, skip right on over the manual pumps and buy a hospital grade pump before your baby is born and learn everything about it! It is not difficult to use at all, but I recommend getting really familiar with milk storage guidelines and sanitation practices.

6. This needs to be in big letters but I won’t yell too loud: WATER. Aside from my Boppy pillow, water is my best friend. Keep a bottle with you wherever you are. Drink when baby drinks, and get plenty! Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.

7. A nursing bra. Nursing bras are my saving grace but for the early days I just recommend going to a maternity store and buying nursing pajamas or a nursing gown. That way you don’t have to wear a bra, and a top while you’re dealing with that first-two-weeks-engorgement-period. You need to be as comfortable as possible to enjoy breastfeeding and be really successful. Splurge on yourself and buy some super soft nursing pajamas before your baby is born, and use them in the hospital. I did with my twins and I was ever-so-thankful.

8. Healthy, healthy, healthy snacks. My favorite thing to eat in the hospital were these little veggie trays they had after I had the boys. They had chicken salad, carrots, crackers, and cheese and it was delicious and filling. I recommend having a family member go out while you’re in the hospital and fill your fridge up with yummy snacks like this for you to eat. You’re going to be pretty hungry (or not-I was shocked at my lack of appetite after I had my daughter) so make sure you go home to a pantry stocked full of healthy snacks for you to munch on throughout the day and night.

9. Nursing pads these are another huge necessity for me. Buy them and pack them in your hospital bag, because when your milk comes in, its going to be a huge mess(lol!). That was another thing that I didn’t prepare for when we had our first baby. I used tons and tons of these and the brand that I loved was Lasinoh, but Medela is good too. I don’t recommend buying reusable nursing pads.

10. Nursing camis. These are awesome during all phases of your breastfeeding journey, I love them and I still use them now that my twins are 8 months old. I hope that I can make some nursing cami’s for my business, Snickerdoodle, soon. 🙂

Added: one thing that I forgot to mention was Medela Nipple Shields. I bought them when we had the twins, and they really helped my son Jackson who struggled with a bad latch! It was amazing! I highly recommend them for babies born early. 

 

Having twins? Read my Breastfeeding Twins post!

My other checklist posts are: All-Things Baby! and Pregnancy Necessities!

Thanks for reading! These are my necessities, if you have more, please share! Thanks y’all.

My Ultimate Pregnancy Necessity List!

As a mom of four, I would like to think I’m pretty familiar with baby stuff. I think I could guide a new mom from start to finish, all things she might possibly need.. from Pregnancy, newborn, toddler, and preschool stuff! Everything. My kiddos are all 2 years apart, minus the 4th, he’s 3 minutes apart from his older brother. 😉

When I tell you all of these items, whether they are name brand or not, I want you to know that I am in no way affiliated with any company, and I am not being paid to promote any particular product. These are just things that I must have during pregnancy!

First Item on my list is this:

vitaminsHealthy Mama(tm) “Be Well Rounded” Multivitamin And DHA softgel Prenatal Vitamins -I used these with my twins and they seriously made a difference in my pregnancy health and my energy, even. I could always tell if I forgot to take them because I would be tired and slow. Start taking your vitamins immediately! Preferably before you get pregnant! Use them while you’re nursing, even after you wean. They are awesome.

Tummy Sleeve, Belly Band, Bellaband, Who cares just get one of these! 

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This particular sleeve is from Motherhood maternity. I bought mine from Target, but they all work the same. I used one through each of my pregnancies, my twin pregnancy for a less amount of time (obviously), but they are useable for weeks! That means you can stay in your favorite jeans instead of maternity pants as you grow.

Next item is something I always prepare for, I always have some stashed away, I make sure I never run out. (I am out at the moment. KIDS.)

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Okay, I know candy shouldn’t be the third thing down on my necessities but it is. Sugar isn’t healthy, we all know that. But this is something that you have to keep in mind: Sugar can be part of a healthy diet if enjoyed in moderation. And if you have self control. Which I don’t. But you’re not me! Fight the urge! Jolly Ranchers (or anything you think might help) is my go-to nausea medicine. There has been some conflicting claims about anti-nausea drugs out there, and you know when I found out about the twins, I was planning to go running straight to the doc to get some of those. However, I decided against it. I don’t think it’s good to use drugs during pregnancy or nursing. There simply hasn’t been enough research on the effects on babies from any drug, deemed safe or unsafe. I got hit with the nausea train at exactly 6 weeks with my twins, it came full force and it was absolutely intolerable. This is my number one remedy, though. Strong flavored hard candy. They make “Preggie Pops” (Google it.) and they were okay, but not great. Ginger ale, SEA BANDS works wonders, they’re acupressure bands that  go on your wrists. I used them with three of my pregnancies, and they really make a difference. All of these things you can keep going and it’ll get you past the worst of the nausea/morning sickness phase of pregnancy. However, though, if you’re vomiting constantly, can’t keep anything down, please visit your doctor! There are instances when anti-nausea medicines are necessary.

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Pregnancy Journal! Also, a camera. Get your hubby, parter, do a selfie in the mirror, anything, take pictures. You’re going to want pictures, even if you don’t think so at first. I only took one picture of myself when I was pregnant with my first baby, and as soon as we got home from the hospital with her, I cried because I didn’t have anything to remember it by. I only had the very few pictures that others took of me. I didn’t have memories of the big milestones, like the day we found out she was a girl, or the day my belly “popped”! I didn’t have much at all. Nor did I record anything, All I remember is having a lot of headaches. I wish I would’ve written them down. My advice is, from the very beginning, get your positive pregnancy test and tape it to the inside of your book, I highly recommend the “What to Expect” Pregnancy Journal and Organizer. It’s very detailed and gives you plenty to write about. My last two books were cute and frilly but there wasn’t much to do, there were only weekly pages and places to put a picture, which is fine, but this particular book asks you loads of questions that you might not think to write down, it gives you day-to-day space to write, and it gives you advice and ideas to do during your pregnancy along the way, perfectly tailored to the week you’re in. It’s wonderful, and I have all my books and they are precious to me, because every time I open them I can remember. Take pictures every week! I know it’ll seem silly, but take one as soon as you find out, it’ll be amazing to have a “before” picture to compare your belly to as you grow. You can imagine the difference I had with my twins!

Pregnancy Bucket List. Make yourself a list of things you’d like to do throughout your pregnancy. Things like, write a letter to your baby each month of your pregnancy with her, go on a “babymoon”, or just a date with your significant other, sew up some dresses or socks, make a personalized blanket for baby, take a bubble bath, get your nails done, anything you want to do before baby comes. I was pregnant through three Christmases. My first one I had to have this shirt:

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I absolutely loved it and I enjoyed each Christmas when I was pregnant with this shirt! I still have it but I doubt I’ll ever get a chance to wear it again 😉 Here is a picture of me in it with my first baby, alongside of my best friend, we were both due in February, 9 days apart from each other. That is another story I can’t wait to tell you! (if she will let me 😉 )

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  Make a Baby Poll! Get your friends and family involved, and find out who thinks boy and who thinks girl! Look up what your results are with all the fun gender theories, like the Chinese gender chart, the wedding ring test, grab your early ultrasounds (if you have one) and guess based on the Ramzi theory or the “nub” theory. It’s all for fun and makes it even more exciting in anticipation upon finding out if it’s a boy or a girl, whether you wait till your baby is born or if you find out via ultrasound. A great idea is a “gender reveal party”! I love the idea of them, but I never had one. I couldn’t wait to let someone take the results and hide them from me. lol, I wish I had the patience to do something like that. If you’ve never heard of it, what couples usually do is they have the ultrasound tech find out the gender via ultrasound without revealing it to you, put it in a sealed envelope so the parents won’t see it, and the couple gives it to someone to either bake a cake, fill a box full of balloons, or any cute reveal idea that you can think of. It’s really neat to have all of your friends and family gathered around to find out the gender of your baby together. It beats bringing the whole family to the doctor with you! LOL! Plus, its a party and where theres a party, there’s cake. Right? Win/Win!

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This is what we used to announce the gender of our twins. We made these ornaments and put them into gift bags for Josh’s parents to open them on Christmas Eve with the family. It wasn’t a gender reveal party, but it was just as fun watching everyone’s reaction! 🙂

Now you start growing. Does your mom have stretch marks? They’re hereditary, so, chances are you’re going to get them too. However, you can reduce the amount you get, and you can reduce how bad they may get if you prepare early on using this:

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Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Stretch Oil. I highly recommend this over ANY other belly lotion, cream, oil, anything. This is the best. I used two different lotions with my pregnancies with my daughters, one containing cocoa butter, the other containing collagen to promote elasticity. Both times I got terrible stretch marks and one of those lotions’ smell was so strong I hated putting it on cause I would smell it all day. This, however, smells awesome. It’s an oil and it goes on and melts into your skin instantly. I used this with my twin pregnancy. It warded off stretch marks till the very end, so that means A LOT when it comes to claiming whether it works or not. I quit using it in the end for some reason, so I got new stretch marks. I think the only reason why I quit is because I was running out, and I didn’t want to order more because I thought I’d have the twins soon. I should’ve ordered more. It’s really amazing. Not to mention, the makers of Earth Mama Angel Baby strive to keep their products as natural and as toxin-free as possible. I have a lot of their products, I love getting anything made by them because you can trust that what you use is going to comfort you or your baby, without worrying about harmful chemicals.

There are probably more things I will add to this list. I’m going to make separate lists for newborn essentials and for breastfeeding must-haves as well. These things are what was most important for me during pregnancy. Above all, try to enjoy the moment. Because it only lasts a second and don’t rush because its gone so fast. I hope you enjoyed reading! Thank you all!

My 10 Favorite Pregnancy Keepsake Ideas

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9 months seems like ages when you’re pregnant, but as soon as your little bundle of joy arrives, you’ll soon start to miss that baby bump! I have listed some of my favorite ways to capture the best moments of pregnancy so when it’s all over, you have a special keepsake to remember the joy of your pregnancy.

  1. Make a Pregnancy Announcement Photo (or video family’s reactions!) –The sky is the limit with the amount of creativity that you can put into this. I’m sure you’ve seen some of the viral photos or YouTube videos of a dad-to-be finding out his significant other is pregnant. Not only is it a wonderful moment to share with others, its something you can capture and keep close to you for years to come.Women-s-pregnancy-announcement--Bun-in-the-oven--f
  2. Keep a Pregnancy Journal- This is something that I have done with each of my pregnancies. It’s hard finding the perfect journal, because I like to document things that I know I would forget about. Like when I started feeling hiccups or when I finally felt relief from nausea! I loved writing down what I was up to daily or weekly during my pregnancy because now when I want to go back to it, I feel even closer to those memories. It’s definitely a treasure of mine.
  3. Take Weekly (or monthly!) Belly Pictures-I cannot stress this enough! I didn’t take but like two or three photos of my ever-growing bump when I was pregnant with my first baby. I only have one or two pictures of myself and they’re not my favorite picture of me! I was really upset that I hadn’t captured my first pregnancy in this way… I wish I had. But I understand, most new moms are extremely self conscious about how they look, pregnant, for the first time. All I know is, you’re gonna wish you had taken some pictures. 🙂
  4. Have Maternity Pictures Taken-Let a professional photographer take over during the last few weeks of your pregnancy, and you may not even feel up to it, but I encourage you to get out there and strike a pose!
  5. Have a Gender Reveal Party- This is an awesome idea, and just one more way to share the joy of your baby’s impending arrival with family and friends. There are SO many awesome ideas out there, from cakes to balloons to siblings surprising mom and dad.. Josh and I didn’t have a gender reveal party, but for the twins, we bought blue Christmas ornaments for his parents’ tree and put them in gift bags, and let them open the gifts in front of family on Christmas Eve. It was really special. I wish we had done some kind of gender reveal for the girls!SF28gCBPpfYBXBgnmHzUboQk3pz269jR_lg
  6. Write Letters to Your Baby- I often wrote things to my babies when it was getting hard to see the bright side of things. It helped a lot and sometimes it turned my whole day around. It doesn’t have to be a sappy love letter, just tell your baby how you feel, what’s been going on. Maybe your feet are swollen and its getting hard to do things around the house, or maybe you put your cell phone in the fridge by accident. When it comes down to it, you’ll realize you’d go through just about anything to see that your baby is happy and healthy at the end of the day. The things weighing down on you may not seem so bad. <3
  7. Celebrate Every Milestone- Whether it is going out to eat or just doing a little happy dance at home, celebrate every milestone. The biggest milestones for me were hearing the heartbeat for the first time. Getting to 10 weeks. Finding out the gender. Getting to 20 weeks. Getting to 24 weeks (viability!). It doesn’t have to be big, but put a smile on and enjoy the day! (also something to celebrate in your pregnancy journal!)snoopy_dancing_by_jessie4508
  8. Go on a “Babymoon”- I’ve never done this before but I think it’s a great idea. Take a vacation, or just some time off of work to relax and unwind before baby comes. It’s perfect for spending special time with your significant other, celebrating the (good!) way your lives will soon change.
  9. Frame Ultrasound Pictures- What can you do with those precious black and white sonogram pictures? Don’t pack them away. They present a beautiful moment in your childs life. The moment when mom and dad got to see them for the first time. And when you’re running down the hallway chasing after that now-three-year-old, that little photo will catch your eye and make you realize how fast time flies. Cherish every moment!
  10. Be a Part of a Birth Club!- I can guarantee you theres a mom-to-be out there going through the exact same thing you are dealing with. Why not vent and support one another during the ups and downs of pregnancy? You’ll find that there are thousands of other moms pregnant and due the same time you are! Being in a birth club, or any type of pregnancy support club, makes getting through the hiccups of pregnancy so much easier than dealing with it alone. Be sure to never put the recommendations or opinions of others online in place of your doctors advice and orders, never give anyone the name or location of your doctor and never share any personal information, including appointments. It can be a very fun, exciting thing to be a part of! But be safe online.

 

 

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