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Health & Pregnancy

Setting Up Your Twins' Nursery

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Cribs? Check. Changing table? Check. Rocker? Check.

Now where do you put it all?

Setting up your babies' first room is one of the most exciting tasks of preparing for parenthood. Before long this room will be home to not one, but two babies! But it can also be daunting and exhausting. What goes where? What looks best? What's safest? Can both babies share one room?

You may feel like you have to have everything perfect for when the babies come home, but remember: They will probably sleep in your room for the first couple of months. Studies show that room sharing is the safest way for newborns to sleep and since multiples have a disproportionately higher risk of SIDS, this safety precaution takes on even more importance.

So if things aren't exactly where you want them on the day you go into labor, don't panic. You may find that your nursery set-up changes as your babies' schedule and needs change.

Some things about designing your nursery are entirely personal, like choosing colors and a theme and finding the perfect wall art. But when setting up a nursery, safety always comes before design choices.

Where to Put the Cribs

When you have to place two cribs instead of just one, setting up the layout gets even more complicated. The American Academy of Pediatrics says it's okay for newborn twins to crib-share, but as they get bigger and squirmier, they'll need separate sleep spaces.

But there's one rule that's absolute: Never put either near a window. Babies and toddlers can get caught in drapes or window blind cords and fall through window screens. It's also a good idea just for sleep purposes -- putting the crib near an East-facing window could mean a lot of early morning wake-up calls!

The cribs should also be placed well away from all electrical cords.

Don't hang anything near either crib with strings or ribbons. These are a choking hazard. Crib mobiles are fun for little ones but should be hung out of reach and should be taken down as soon as your babies start to push up on hands and knees. For the same reason, if you have decorative shelves with tantalizing, non-baby-proof keepsakes on the walls, don't put the crib within reach.

So where should you put the cribs? Close to the door to the room, if possible. That makes it easier to get to when you're stumbling in at 2 a.m., or in case of an emergency.

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