It has been a crazy few months with my twin girls, who are a little more than 7 months old now.
A lot of it has been like I’d expected: long nights, little sleep, a house that’s overrun with toys and laundry.
But, there’s been some delightful surprises, too: like how fun it is to have TWO babies who are so different and yet going through the same developmental leaps at the same time and how full our family finally feels. Like it’s complete.
And, really, the hardest part of having twins is just logistics. Where do you put this one when that one needs something? How can you be there to play Elsa and Anna when your five-year-old REALLY wants to play? What baby gear truly works and what are you just going to give away in a few weeks? How will you get any quiet time to yourself and actually recover from giving birth twice?
While not all of these logistics are solved with products, I’ve found that having the right gear honestly does help. And of all the stuff we tried (and, believe me, we tried a bunch and were sent most of the below to review — some we loved so much we became an affiliate!), the below items are the ones we found helped keep our sanity (mostly) intact.
Keababies Original Diaper Bag Backpack
Every good parent needs a good diaper bag, and this backpack hits all the marks for not just being good, but great. There are tons of pockets for storage (including an insulated area for bottles in the front), multiple access points (including at the bottom back of the bag which is genius), spots on the sides for wipes and anything else requiring quick access, and it’s large enough to easily carry enough stuff for two babies. It even includes a to-go changing mat. And, as a backpack, it allows you to be hands-free, which is essential. Great for mom or dad to wear anywhere and everywhere.
Cushy Nest Cloud Premium Infant Bather
You know how most baby bathers are made of hard plastic? Well, this one is not. Made of a really soft and plush fabric that you can throw in the washing machine and hang to dry, my littles really enjoyed this at bath time. The frame also folds up easily, so it’s great for travel or easy to store.
Babies and kids love books of all kinds, but these books pair words and images with sound buttons that play songs for extra fun. We got this holiday-themed book, and not only did the twins enjoy listening and looking at the pages, but also my five-year-old loved helping them push the buttons and singing along (which was adorable). There are a lot of types of books available — mostly with nursery rhymes and other common songs — but we wanna try this yoga one next!
These reusable and washable bags are, truly, great for almost anything (snacks, toiletries, make-up, art supplies), but we’ve found them SUPER awesome in our diaper bag backpack (see above). We’ve got one bag filled with diapers, another with extra clothes (because, blow-outs), and another with teethers. Then, when we’re rummaging through our bag for those items, boom! Super easy to find. Bye-bye, plastic bags.
Squishy Mats Play Mat
If you have hardwood floors like we do, you might find that once you bring your newborn home, you don’t have a whole lot of safe and soft places to let them play or do tummy time on. Which is why we all LOVE our Squishy Mats! We have a large play mat out in our living room pretty much 24/7, and the babies are on it all the time. All. The. Time. We also have a Skinny Mini mat as a pad on our diaper changing station. Both are awesome because not only are they super soft and made with an impact-absorbing memory foam center (the babies love being on them), but they also have a non-skid backing that helps the pads to stay put. You can fold them up and take them with you wherever you go, and — this might be the best part — you can actually throw them in the washer and dryer for easy cleaning!
Dapple Baby Shampoo & Body Wash
I care a lot about what goes on my family’s skin and my skin. And I ESPECIALLY take note of what’s going on my newborns’ skin. Which is why we ended up using a lot of Dapple Baby products. With no dyes, artificial fragrances, and fillers, all of their products are non-toxic, tear-free, hypoallergenic, paraben-free, and pediatrician-, and dermatologist-tested. They’re also 100 percent plant-based, and even made with a prebiotic botanical extract blend that may help support a healthy skin microbiome. The Shampoo & Body Wash lathers well and smells great — and it’s fantastic to have one bottle that works on both baby’s body and baby’s hair (with an easy to use pump). We’re also big fans of the Bottle Wash — really helps to get that milk film off!
The first time you have sex after having a baby can be … uncomfortable. Part of that is because of — obviously — childbirth and healing, but much of it is also hormonal. It’s super common to be dry and for things to feel rough and scratchy. Which, you know, isn’t exactly the most comfortable or the sexiest of feelings. Which is why using something like Coconu is a good idea. These coconut oil and coconut water-based personal lubricants are non-GMO, 100 percent natural, cruelty-free, and the coconut oil-based one is even certified organic. I prefer the water-based version to the coconut-oil based one, although you can use the oil-based one as a massage oil, too.
NOONI’S Nursing Sleep Bra
Especially in the early days of nursing, finding the right thing to sleep in can be tough. After all, your boobs are literally changing size and shape based on feedings, you need something you can easily get your boobs in and out of in low light, you want some support but not too much support, and you’re leaking like a faucet from time to time. Not to mention that when you do leak, your nipples can stick to fabric which really does NOT feel good. It’s a lot, huh?
I tried NOONI’S patent-pending leak-resistant sleep bra first because I was sick of using a gazillion bra pads that seemed to rub me raw and still leaked. And, once I got into a better feeding routine and schedule (and my boobs stopped with the crazy letting down), I kept using this bra because of how comfortable it is. It really doesn’t leak and yet it’s so comfortable and soft on the inside — without feeling so tight or restrictive that I feel like I’m in danger of getting clogged ducts. No more raw nipples, no leaks, and it’s easy to nurse with — you can pull it up or down or even off the shoulder. I’ve washed mine a million times and it’s still soft — that said, I’d recommend getting two of them so you always have a clean one at the ready. After all, you haven’t lived until you’ve been spit up on at 3 a.m.!
Cora Bladder Liners
You probably already stocked up on big pads for those first few weeks home, but what about for when your bleeding slows … and for times when your bladder might leak due to jumping, laughing, sneezing, oh my? I found the Core Bladder Liners to be perfect — they’re soft, 100 percent organic, move with you, don’t leak, and absorb quickly. Not to mention that if you do a monthly subscription, the company gives health education and pads to girls in need in developing countries.
American Fitness Couture High Waist Compression ¾ Length Pocket Leggings
Because moms can NEVER have enough pockets, I’ve been rocking these leggings at least once a week since a few weeks after birth. They feel soft yet supportive on, have a high stretchy waist, and are moisture-wicking, anti-microbial, and ethically produced. The side pockets stretch out a little with use, but you can easily fit your phone in one side and keys plus a binky in the other. As great for deadlifts as they are for drop-offs! And, as an FBG reader, you can save 10 percent on all collections (except sale items) with code “FBG10” at checkout.
Vuori Summits Woven Jogger
I reviewed these joggers awhile back, and they’re turned out to be one of those items that have served me well month after month as the kids have gotten older and I’ve gotten more into my workout groove. With just the right amount of stretch and fabric that is soft but still performance-oriented, they feel great on and can be as casual or as fitness-y as I want them to be. Plus, the color is sooo cute!
Chewbox Fruit Edition Silicone Baby Teethers
Teething is always a fun time. –said no parent ever. But these soft BPA-free teething toys that look like your fave fruits? Oh, they are awesome. And, you get six of them in a box — perfect for twins! We literally have one of these teethers in each of their car seats and in our diaper bag because they love them so much. They’re easy for babies to hold and obviously feel great on little teeth coming in!
Baby Banana Magical Unicorn Brush
And, because it’s never too early to work on good oral care habits, we’re also big fans of these 100-percent food-grade silicone Magical Unicorn and Mystical Dragon toothbrushes. Besides being just darn cute, they’re easy for the babies to hold on. And while the twins aren’t brushing with water and toothpaste just yet (they only have two teeth now), the soft silicone bristles massage their gums — and they can continue using these until two years old.
While there are a million and one ways to play music these days, this Lullabuddy portable music player and speaker has become a favorite in our house for a number of reasons. First, it’s easy to use. Second, it’s small and can be taken anywhere. And, third and the most compelling reason we love it: it comes pre-loaded with two hours of Mae Robertson’s award-winning lullabies and love songs. Her soothing, melodious voice not only makes the babies chill … it makes mama chill, too!
You know that crazy time when baby is starting to roll over so you can’t safely swaddle any more? But, yet, baby still wants the closeness of the swaddle and won’t sleep without it? Yeah, it’s a trying time. And the Zipadee-Zip is seriously the answer. We have Zipadee-Zips in almost every size from when Gwen was little (and now she wears a Flying Squirrel!), and we were sent another one to try recently for the twins (you can never have too many). Made for babies and infants from three months to three years of age, the starfish design on these sleep sacks gives babies the comforting, enclosed feeling of the swaddle but without limiting his or her full range of motion. They can still push up, roll over, and wiggle safely. While they don’t guarantee a full night’s sleep for parents, in our experience, they certainly do help a lot. Plus, babies look adorable in them.
What products helped you the most in those early months? Now that the babies are sitting up on their own and eating more solid foods, a whole new world has opened up! –Jenn