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To Buy Two?

Shopping for Baby Products for Twins/Multiples

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Shortly after the monumental discovery that we were expecting twins, my husband commented, "I guess this means we're going to need more stuff!" We'd already started shopping for items for one baby, and I was ready to hit the stores to double up on everything else!

But we learned from experience that we didn't really have to have two of everything. The baby products market is immense, as marketers realize that they can sell pretty much anything to people with babies or pets.

If you're awaiting the arrival of twins or more, you may be wondering what to buy and what to pass by. Do you really need two of everything?

Things To Share

In general, twins' antisharing attitudes don't develop for several months after birth, so parents can get away with much more communal property while they're still infants. Take advantage of that time by buying only one and letting them share. One big ticket item that can be shared for several months is a crib. Another is a bassinete. They'll actually enjoy the coziness of sharing the space while they're infants; enjoy that while it lasts!

In addition to sleeping arrangements, much of the other furniture and storage organizers that you'd buy for babies can be shared, such as dressers and bureaus. If you have the floor space or the budget, and want to purchase more than one, they will probably utilize it down the road, but in the meantime, one unit will meet both their needs. They can also share play yards, play pens, gates and other such items.

Things They Use One At A Time

There are some baby items that are only used one at a time, so there's no reason to double up. One example is a diaper changing table. Even if you have lots of helpers, you're not likely to change both babies simultaneously. One changing table will suffice. Another item is a baby bathtub for infants. They're not big enough to accommodate two babies, so each baby can take a turn in it.

While in most cases I advocate buying two of any type of toy, there are some baby toys that can be used one at a time. Play gyms and play mats for infants are one example. Don't invest in more that one, but rather let them take turns with two different items.

  • Changing Table
  • Some toys
  • Diaper Pail
  • Baby Bathtub
  • Baby Care items (thermometer, nail clippers, bulb syringe, brush, lotions and soaps)

Things to Try Before You Buy Two

Some baby items that may be useful in duplicate, but you may want to try getting by singly at first. Start with one, and see how your babies take to it before making the investment in another one. Exercausers, walkers, jumpers and activity centers are a waste of money if your babies don't fully enjoy them.

  • Exercauser
  • Walker
  • Jumpers
  • Swing
  • Mobile
  • Sling, Snugli carrier or backpack carrier

Things to Have Two Of

Most parents agree that there are some things that definitely need to be doubled. Bouncy seats are very handy as an extra set of hands, for feeding, playing and even sleeping. Plan to have at least one per baby. Double high chairs make mealtime more manageable.

If you're planning to bathe your older babies or toddlers simultaneously, you'll definitely need more than one bath seat. You'll make life much easier by stocking up on all the little items that they'll both want when they see the other has one: sippy cups, pacifiers, snuggly toys, teethers and rattles.

Finally, there is one item that you absolutely must have two of: car seats. You won't get far -- not even home from the hospital -- unless each and every baby is properly restrained. It's one thing that they should never share.

  • Car Seats
  • Bouncy Seats
  • High Chairs
  • Bath Seats
  • "In Demand" Toys

What do other parents say? Visit the To Buy Two? Photo Poll and get more feedback about baby equipment for twins and multiples.

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