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    What It Costs to Have and Raise Twins

    Having twins can be twice as nice if you’re prepared for the added expense. And just because you’re caring for two doesn’t mean your price tag has to double.

    Certain expenses you’ll only have once, like decorating the nursery or buying a bigger car. Some retailers offer discounts for twins, and if you’re trying to cut costs, your twins can share items like clothing, toys, a baby carrier, or playpen.

    In general, the cost of having and raising twins depends on where you live, your family income, and whether you have health insurance. Charges tend to be lower in the South and higher in the Northeast.

    Here’s an idea what to expect through the early stages of your twins’ lives.

    Having Twins: $15,000 or more

    One plus one is five? That’s right. The cost of having twins, $15,293 in 2012, can be five times greater than having a single child, $3,430.

    In a recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers linked the higher costs of having twins with more frequent office visits, longer hospital stays, the need for C-sections, and a greater risk of conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and anemia. Twin babies also are more likely to need intensive care after birth.

    Onetime Baby Expenses: $3,000 or more

    Most baby gear is made for single children. But don’t despair: You can still find a handful of baby essentials designed for two.

    Here’s a sample of gear for twins:

    Double stroller: A bit larger than the traditional baby ride, double strollers come in two models: side-by-side and single-file tandem. The side-by-sides range from $100 to $1,400, but generally cost $350 to $450. Tandems run a little less, at $250 to $300.

    To cut costs and the bulk of a sturdier stroller, consider a stroller frame with room for two infant car seats for $55 to $100.

    Twin bassinet: Wooden twin cribs can be pricey, so if you want to save, consider a cloth twin bassinet, which can cost about $175.

    Carrier for two: Like to keep ‘em close by? Strap your double load onto your torso with a twin baby carrier. You might pay about $140 for a side-by-side model and about $400 for one with a child in the front pouch and the other riding piggyback.

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