Double Trouble: Tips for Managing Multiples

Having twins?  Triplets?  Done panicking yet?  How many times have dollar signs passed through your mind?  While receiving the news that you are getting two for one can be a special moment; it can also cause nervous breakdowns.  There are many misconceptions and unhelpful advice floating around, and while my advice is definitely not fact, I have had 10 years of experience.  I am still asked, ‘how do you do it?’  I thought that would be one of the questions that would dwindle over time.  I sincerely hope that sharing the tips, tricks, and mistakes I’ve experienced; eases your nerves, saves you money, and relieves the stress.  There may even be some anecdotal stories in the mix.

You DO NOT need double of everything.  There are several things you need multiple of, such as car seats, cribs…what I call big-ticket items.  Some you may want to hold off on purchasing.  For example, Bean and Keegs slept in the same crib for the first 4 months of their lives.  They needed to sleep right next to each other, if they didn’t they wouldn’t sleep.  At first, we only purchased one swing, but then ended up with two.  We also purchased two bouncy seats and two high chairs.  Eventually, we also had two pack’n’plays as well.  Some stores will give a discount for the big-ticket items if you are purchasing multiple of the exact same thing at the same time.  Buy Buy Baby and Burlington Coat Factory give a 10% discount.  While it has been more than a few years since I’ve utilized this discount, at the time you did not need to show proof of multiples, but before you head to those stores you may want to call and verify if that is still the case.  As far as clothing, diapers, formula etc. you will need more than you would if you were having a singlet, but you don’t necessarily need double.  When Bean and Keegs were born, Mr. Man was barely a 1st Lieutenant in the Air Force.  We were kid poor right off the bat.  While it would’ve been nice to have double the bottles, double the clothing, we didn’t need it.  I just got used to doing at least one load of laundry a day and running the dishwasher multiple times a day.  Always look for coupons or deals.  Sam’s Club is almost always having a deal on diapers and wipes where you purchase two at the same time you can get $10 off.  Just last week Target was giving $15 gift cards for every $75 spent on specific baby products.  Don’t be afraid to use government help if you qualify.  WIC is a wonderful program for moms and children.  They will provide formula, and while I am not sure if this is still true, when I had Bean and Keegs they were giving moms with multiples electric breast pumps for free if they were breastfeeding exclusively.

Research, research, and research!  When I say research I DO NOT mean watch TLC shows of multiple births that will scare the crap out of you.  I also DO NOT mean that you should read every how-to parent multiple books out there.  What I mean when I say research is to find support groups.  There are plenty of Facebook multiples groups, and most cities have multiples support groups.  Let’s be honest, everyone has an opinion, everyone knows twins, is related to twins etc…but going to the source, parents of multiples, were my greatest resource.  They not only gave me tips and tricks, but hand-me-downs and mental and emotional support were in mass supply.  When I was in the throws of double the crying, double the spit-up, double the lack of sleep; those moms helped keep me sane.  Parenting is always easier when it is shared.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help…especially if you already have other children.  My dad, in all his wisdom, likes to say that children are physically exhausting when they are young and emotionally exhausted by the time they are teenagers.  While my twins are not quite teenagers, I have to say that dad is 100% correct.  And…if you are anything like me when you are extremely physically exhausted you become emotionally exhausted quickly.  When someone asks you what they can do for you, or how they can help, or what you need do not be afraid to tell them you want a coupon book of babysitting or house cleaning or laundry folding after the babies are born.  While physical gifts were greatly appreciated, those individuals who gave service or brought over the random meal, they were much more appreciated.  Somehow, those individuals that showed up at random times to help me fold laundry or watch the twins so I could nap, they came when I needed them the most, without asking.  In my book, you can always find ways to diaper, feed, and cloth your babies; but having someone to help shoulder the responsibility so you can have a break…that’s invaluable.

Lastly, take it one day at a time.  Parenting multiples are no different than parenting singlets.  They are individuals, they have their own likes, dislikes, personalities, and shortcomings.  Yes, you will be changing two sets of diapers, feeding two sets of mouths, comforting two sets of tears, and loving two sets of beautiful smiles; in my experience you do that with any child you have…you just get to do it for two (or more) littles at the same time.  I will say, enjoy your time.  It will pass quickly.  It is quite fun to watch them grow together, show their similarities and differences, communicate with each other.  Although, be careful not to compare them to each other.  I still struggle with this at times.  I have to constantly remind myself that they are two individuals with completely different personalities.  Just because one does/likes one thing, doesn’t mean it will work for the other.

Below I have linked several items I either loved having as a mom of twins or wish I had.  Baby gear has come a LONG way in the last decade and I have found several items that would’ve been amazing to have when Bean and Keegs were babies.


I know, a baby hammock for a shopping cart that is $56 for just one is nuts!  That being said, I purchased one recently for Goob and it is the best thing I’ve purchased for a baby in a long time.  This is something I wish I would’ve had when Bean and Keegs were babies.  The reason why I love this particular one is that you can lay your baby in the hammock or it is durable enough that you can place your baby carrier car seat inside the hammock with the baby inside.  This hammock is also slim enough that you can place two side-by-side in a cart and have plenty of room underneath the hammocks to have products you want to purchase underneath.  Also, I have personally used this hammock in carts at Walmart, Target, Albertsons, Sam’s Club, Costco, and IKEA.

The extra seat for a shopping cart is something I wish I would’ve had when Bean and Keegs were small.  While I won’t be purchasing this for Goob, because he can just sit in the cart in the normal spot, this is an amazing product.  I cannot tell you how many times I would circle store parking lots waiting to find a cart that had double seats in the cart return.  I ended up shopping at Costco and Sam’s Club mostly because all of their carts have double seats.  Also, I can’t tell you how annoying it is as a twin mom to be shopping, resorting to a cart that only has one seat and you walk past another parent who is using one of those shopping carts that has two seats for their “one” child because they want to let their child experience riding in a shopping cart that looks like a rocket.  I restrained myself one too many times to count from verbal vomit and yelling at some parent who had done exactly that with the double seated cart.

I have this Boppy for Goob right now, and I totally wish I would’ve had this with Bean and Keegs.  I can’t tell you how often I use this and have used this with Goob.  Honestly, if I had this Boppy with Bean and Keegs I don’t think I would’ve purchased baby bouncers.  This pillow, as well as baby bouncers, are perfect for the parents who end up using bottles to feed their multiples.  Whether you are formula feeding, or pumping then bottle feeding, when two babies are crying because they are hungry it is very difficult to feed them with bottles in hands and them in your arms at the same time.  Placing each baby in this Boppy or a bouncy seat is super helpful to bottle feed them at the same time.

Just like the issue with the shopping carts, I also found that not every place had high chairs, or didn’t have enough.  I was fed up with not being able to seat my twins.  So the portable high chairs were HUGE…in fact I’ve used them with all of my children.  They are just so easy to transport, they’ve been used at restaurants, visiting grandparents, even at home.  I have one currently attached to my island countertop and one to my dinner table for Goob.  They are also very easy to take apart, clean, and then put back together.

I tried to nurse the twins, but they were both lazy nursers…and even if I did end up nursing I would’ve had to stop and pump anyway because they had GERD and severe spit up problems.  I mean Keegs had moments of spit up that rivaled the exorcist.  In the end, I pumped for 6 months until I didn’t have any milk anymore.  We supplemented pumped milk, added rice cereal to weigh it down with the hopes of it being able to stay in their bellies long enough to digest before it came back up.  So this pump was wonderful…it was dang expensive, but it has lasted me 10 years and through all 4 kiddos.  I will say, even if I was successful in nursing, I think I would’ve ended up doing some feedings with bottles.  I can’t tell you what a relief it was to be able to sit on the couch next to Mr. Man, both of us feeding a baby.  It actually really bonded us.  The best part was when I ended up with a horrible respiratory infection when the boys were around 6mo, Mr. Man was able to feed them, take care of them exclusively while I was quarantined to the bedroom.

The best piece of advice I can give to parents who are expecting multiples…whether they are your first, last, or somewhere inbetween…just like any other pregnancy, child, you have to roll with the punches.  Raising children is far from an exact science, as soon as you figure things out, teeth start coming in, someone gets sick, etc.  Live in the moment; I wish I would’ve listened to my mom when she told me that.  It wasn’t until Goob was born 5 months ago that I realized…he’s my last little…why didn’t I hold all of the boys a little longer at bedtime, why didn’t I kiss them more often, why didn’t I laugh and play with them more?  Instead, until Goob, I was more concerned with schedules, if I was making enough milk, or if I was spoiling them too much by holding them too long.

Do you have any tips or tricks for moms who are expecting multiples?  Hope y’all are having an amazing week.

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