When you're expecting twins, registering for baby items can be a bit more complicated. Obviously, you don't just write "2" in the "item number" box for every single thing.
But how do you know what you will need more of and where one will do?
Items You'll Need Two Of
- Car seats. Obviously. Honestly, this isn't the best item for a registry, because you don't want to wait until your shower, not get them, and maybe have to rush (remember, twins often come early). If you do register, make sure you have the specific make and model listed. Be sure you have the car seats ready in plenty of time -- you can't leave the hospital without them!
- Stroller. Well, not two, but a double. They make double "snap-n-go" style strollers that are easy to lift and fold, where the car seats pop right in. These are lifesavers in the early months.
Start With One, Wait for Two
- Swing. Some babies like the swing and some don't. Let them take turns giving one a test ride. If they like it, then you can buy another or get a second via hand-me-down, consignment, or garage sale.
- Bouncy seat. Same principle applies here. You might want to register for one swing and one bouncy seat, then "test-drive" each with your babies and see which one they like better (or if they have different preferences).
- Pack-n-play or play pen. At first, you'll be fine with one of these. Your babies may never take to a play yard, or they may always be comfortable in a single until they're much bigger. Again, you can often get your duplicate version secondhand for much less.
You'll probably need only one baby monitor (unless you plan on putting the twins in separate nurseries), and one baby bathtub, and there are special nursing pillows designed for twins.
General Baby Registry Items
You'll want to register for a mix of items: some bigger and more expensive like strollers, mid-range items like bouncy seats and mobiles, and smaller things like bottle racks and brushes. Besides the items we've already talked about, other good registry staples include:
- The perfect diaper bag (you'll want a larger one)
- Baby slings or wrap carriers
- Bath accessories like squirt toys, washcloths, and towels.
- A white noise machine (there are some made to look like cute little animals such as sheep).
- Swaddle blankets (lots of these!)
- Portable, folding changing pads
- Formula dispenser for feeding on the go, and a dishwasher container for washing bottle parts and pacifiers
- Little items that people can scoop up like baby nail clippers, digital thermometer, baby wipes, burp cloths
Items You May Want to Wait On
- Bottles. You will almost certainly need at least a few bottles; formula-feeding moms need plenty, and most breastfeeding moms pump at least sometimes. But what kind of bottle? Babies' preferences can be very tricky! Rather than registering for the complete bottle set, wait until you see how your babies feed in the hospital and go from there. You can also get a few different bottles/nipples for your babies to try.
- Bottle warmer. Some babies demand warmed-up milk, others don't care. Breast fed babies tend to know the difference.
Items You May Not Need
- Wipe warmer. Ask a hundred new moms what baby product they never used, and probably 90 of them will say the wipe warmer. Babies don't need super-warm wipes. And warmers tend to dry the wipes out, which can be inconvenient.
- Sterilizer. Bottles get as sterile as they need to be after being washed in a hot dishwasher (unless you're told by your pediatrician that your baby has specific immune issues that require extra layers of protection).
If you are breastfeeding, don't register for a standard breast pump. Nursing can be very different with twins. If you plan to nurse your twins, talk to a lactation consultant about the ins and outs of twin nursing. You may want to rent or even buy a hospital-grade pump. Your lactation consultant can advise you what is best.
Items You'll Get Plenty Of
You probably don't need to register for these items, because you are virtually guaranteed to get a truckload of them no matter what you do:
- Blankets, especially receiving blankets
- Onesies and other clothes in newborn or size 0-3. If you're a first-time mom or if most of your friends don't have kids, they won't realize that babies stay in this size for a very brief time. If you register for clothes, suggest items in the 3-to-6- or 6-to-9-month range.
- Stuffed animals and cuddly toys
- Copies of Goodnight Moon and Guess How Much I Love You
Items You Might Not Think to Register For
If your mom or best friend is sending out shower invitations, she can include a note that says, "Besides being registered at Babies Are Cute, John and Jane have some other hopes for the babies…"
- The services of a baby nurse or postpartum doula. These professionals can be expensive, but many new parents find them a huge help -- especially with twins! Think about getting friends and family to pitch in on a week with a postpartum doula.
- A diaper service. Again, this can be a lifesaver with two!
- A cleaning service
- Babies' first college fund
- A postnatal massage
- Mommy and me classes