During a pregnancy with twins or more, there are many moments of anxiety and anticipation. One of the most exciting ways that you'll prepare for your babies' arrival is by setting up a nursery. Whether it is a simple space or an elaborate addition to your home, they'll sense the love that went into preparing a special space to welcome them. Here are some factors to consider when decorating a nursery for twins or multiples.
Timing is Key
Because many twins and multiples arrive earlier than the standard 40 week gestational period for singletons, don't put off your preparations until the last minute. You also don't want to wait until you're so far along that simple chores become uncomfortable. Start thinking about your plans and taking action in the second trimester.
Wombmates to Roommates?
In a poll on this site, parents overwhelming reported that their twins shared a room. In the early days, it is likely to be more convenient for the family to have a single nursery to house both twins, even if the babies are different genders. There is only one room to visit during middle-of-the-night crying spells, and one location for all their diapers, clothing and baby equipment.
To Buy Two?
If you're having twins, it's a natural instinct to stock up on two of everything. But that's not necessarily the most efficient plan, especially in the early days. Two newborns can even share a single crib if space is tight. Don't worry too much about the babies disturbing each other. After spending many months together in the womb, they are pretty accustomed to each other! Many parents find that the twins actually sleep better together, that they are comforted by each other's presence. (Note: Eventually, you will probably want to invest in a second crib. As the babies get older and grow larger, they'll move around more and need an individual place to sleep.)
Other common nursery furniture is a diaper changing table or station, and storage furniture like a dresser. Most likely, you'll only change one baby at a time, so a single changing station is sufficient in the nursery. If you want to invest in more than one, consider positioning additional stations elsewhere in the house so that diaper supplies are always handy.
Likewise, a single dresser or storage unit will generally suffice for the first few months. Infant clothes are small and don't take up much space. While baby furniture is adorable, a long term investment in more grown-up pieces will better accommodate clothing for two or more children, and won't need to be replaced when they outgrow it.
Make it Safe
Although it will be many months before your babies will freely roam their nursery and encounter any hazards, it's never too soon to start babyproofing the space. Better safe than sorry! At every stage of setting up a nursery for your twins, consider their safety and welfare. Here are some twinproofing tips.
Designing for Your Duo
Function is important in a nursery for twins, but so is form! Let's talk about the fun stuff... how to make it "two" cute. When choosing a nursery theme for twins, there are several approaches. You can highlight their special status as multiples, or choose a neutral decor that celebrates their individuality. Twin themes might include: Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat, Noah's Ark (the animals -- and the babies -- came two by two), Alice in Wonderland (Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum).
If you don't want to do the "twin thing" find a decorating style that fits your family's personality. Choose a favorite story character from a book. My twin daughters' nursery decor was based on Beatrix Potters' illustrations. Or perhaps an animal theme would be suitable, such as pandas, lion cubs or giraffes. An underwater theme with colorful fish would be appropriate for both boys or girls (or one of each.)
For a more elegant decor, make a color palette the focus of your decorating style. Bright colors are visually stimulating for babies while pastels are soothing and peaceful. Incorporate your own sense of style: do you prefer tailored classics, sleek contemporaries or romantic florals? Later in life, your children will have a distinct preference, so now's your chance to get creative with your own taste.