Twin Parent Checklist

*articles may contain affiliate links* We’ve put together a Twin Parent Checklist – our take on the “essentials” for twin parents as you navigate through the first years as twin parents. If you’re a twin parent, check it out and tell us what you’d add!

twin-parent-checklist

Twin Parent Checklist

Despite the look of the girls in the photo, they have totally rocked their first years (almost THREE) of life, challenging everything we thought we knew about parenting based on our older two. We’re no experts but have come up with a list that can be helpful if you’re navigating this twin parenthood thing for the first (or second) time.

Things You’ll Want Two of:

  • Cribs (we love mini cribs)
  • Playpens (get one with a double bassinet)
  • High Chairs
  • Toddler Beds
  • Car Seats (and an extra set of bases for infant seats)
  • Bumbo Chair
  • Ring Sling Baby Carrier
  • Coats
  • Car Seat Covers (if you live in a cold area)

 

Things You’ll Need One of:

 

Go Big (get multiples):

  • Crib Sheets
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Training Pants
  • Footed Pajamas
  • Swaddle Blankets and/or Sleep Sacks
  • Onesies

Check out a more detailed post about some of these items or a list of things for the PARENTS of newborns!

Get the downloadable version here –> Twin Parent Checklist

Baby Colic – Relief for Baby’s Fussiness

I received a free sample of Gerber® Good Start® Soothe infant formula and Gerber® Soothe probiotic colic drops from Gerber® as well as information on baby colic. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s the middle of the night and you can’t get baby calmed down. She’s been crying for hours and you need to get sleep yourself. This has been going on several times a week, for what you’re pretty sure is a month. Sounds like this may be a case of baby colic and you need some tips for colic relief.

Looking back at the patterns of my kids, I’m not sure if any of them officially had colic, but I do know we tried basically everything to calm down Isla’s tears. For awhile there, she was basically the baby I’ve described above, but instead of at night early in the morning when I’d just hit a good sleep pattern. That’s why I’m excited to have the opportunity to team up with Gerber® and Linqia to share some colic relief tips with you in case you’re going through the same thing I was almost a year ago (can you believe it?!?).

Throwback: One of Isla's tear sessions
Throwback: One of Isla’s tear sessions

Bringing a baby into this world is an awesome experience, but when they’re tear filled and you just can’t find the right “formula for happiness”, it can be stressful for a new mom and dad. Colicky babies (who cry excessively or seem to have a lot of fussiness) can be helped with at-home remedies, bringing back the joyful moments of parenthood.

Baby Colic Symptoms

First, it helps to understand the symptoms of colic. Gerber® has some infographics on baby colic and fussiness that really helped me understand it better. Legs drawn to chest, clenched fist, and crying for hours several times a week are some of the basic signs.

What causes baby colic?

According to Gerber:

Research indicates that the type of bacteria in the infant’s digestive system may determine whether a child is colicky. This suggests a role for probiotics to help support a balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract of colicky infants. In particular, the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri has been clinically shown in multiple studies to reducing crying time in colicky infants.

How can you relieve baby colic?

There are a few at-home remedies that I’ve tried and that were shared with me in this partnership – a formula for happiness!

  1. White noise. For both Arianna and Isla, hearing that things were still going on in the house was calming. White noise can be used to help soothe fussiness.
  2. Swaddling baby. We were big fans of the swaddles as they kept baby feeling like they were back in the womb, all cradled and warm.
  3. Rocking baby gently. This can help to relieve the pressure baby is feeling and (bonus) lower your stress level.
  4. Provide baby with comforting probiotics. They are a way to help improve the amount of good bacteria in baby’s digestive system. There are two products in the Gerber® Soothe™ line that you can use. If baby is formula fed, consider Gerber® Good Start® Soothe formula. If baby is breastfed, consider Gerber Soothe® probiotic colic drops. These products are routine and not intended to treat or cure any disease.

baby colic drops

The baby colic tips in this post should be reviewed with your pediatrician. You can also reach experts such as registered dietitians, certified lactation consultants, and certified baby sleep consultants through Gerber® at 1-800-203-4565

baby colic formula

Has your baby ever had colic? Share your #formulaforhappiness with us in the comments. If you are up and browsing the internet for colic relief, visit the new Gerber® Soothe web page to learn more about colic, excessive crying, and fussiness. You can find Gerber® Soothe™ products in a store near you.

Gift Ideas for Newborn Twins

This list of Gift Ideas for Newborn Twins is my attempt at sharing things that my family has found beneficial in the first year of the girls’ lives. By no means am I an expert, and there are probably a ton of other awesome things twins parents could use – if so, I’d love to hear about them, too! (This post contains affiliate links.)

gift ideas for newborn twins

After having two other kids, we thought we knew what to expect when preparing to welcome the twins home. In some ways, we were right…in other ways, we were way wrong! Luckily, I stumbled across a few great blog posts, Facebook sites, and was even gifted some of these things. After I’ve been asked a few times what beyond my thoughts on what you should add to a baby registry and what to give parents of newborns (TO HELP OUT!), I figured I’d collect my favorite twin products, too. Seriously, double the love does mean mom and dad are shelling out double the money, so some of these are going to be a bit costly – group gifts work, too! We can help a little along the way, right?

Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Twins Bassinet

double bassinet playpen

Hands down, this was my favorite gift that the group gave me at my sprinkle. We use it in the living room for quick naps and diaper changes. The shades made it awesome to pull the girls out on the porch to enjoy some sun, too. When they got too heavy for the bassinets (at about 9.5 months / 14 pounds or so), we took the bassinets down and let them loose in the playard. There’s ample space for two girls and a gazillion toys. This item is available from Graco and on Amazon.

Twin Baby Carrier

twin baby carrier
(And hello, Anne Geddes!)

I loved my Weego Twin Baby Carrier, but once the girls started gaining weight, it was nearly impossible to hold them for long. My back just wouldn’t take it. More often than not, you’d find us with two ring slings. One for each parent, or one parent wearing both (Greg was so much better at that). If I were to invest again, I’d like go for something like the Twingaroo because there’s so much it can do. I haven’t worn one, but from what I hear, it’s awesome. (You can wear both on the front when they are wee, like above; but take it apart and wear one on the front and one on the back. You know. For times when you don’t feel like using ALL your super powers and relying on ring slings to do the trick. Straps and buckles sometimes are a LIFESAVER for twin parents.)

Baby Trend Snap n’ Go Stroller System

baby trend snap n' go

We’re still using this until we move to the convertible car seats (maybe stash away a Target or Amazon card now for this big purchase – we need four, so we’ve been saving any we get for this!). Literally, snap the carseats in and off you go. We bought ours second hand and the bottom netting is falling apart bad, but this stroller has been everywhere so we can’t complain. Check it out here: Baby Trend Universal Double Snap-N-Go Stroller Frame

The Twin Z Pillow

twin z pillow

Whether or not mama is nursing, the TWIN Z Pillow will come in handy. Our girls LOVE to sit in it, but I love how helpful it is while nursing and Greg uses it for bottle feeds. Win, win.

Extra diapers

There are never enough size 2 and size 3 diapers given at baby showers. And pregnant mom has no desire to waddle into the store are return newborns to get a box of 3’s. Nope. Neither does the mom of 10 month olds. If the babies will be in cloth, grab some detergent (like our current favorite, Eco Sprout Laundry Detergent) for them. Heck, bonus points for giving some free and clear detergent for all of the babies’ new clothes everyone else is sure to give! (Clothes are AWESOME, but there are some staples we need, too!) 😉

Other Goodies

Small things that make a big difference include:

  • Bottles and a drying rack
  • Socks – we can never find four at a time
  • Swaddles (I can’t speak enough about muslin blankets like these ones from aden + anais)
  • Burp cloths
  • Dishwasher detergent and/or dish soap (consider ordering from our Norwex Rep!)
  • Grocery gift cards (then they can get diapers, formula, baby food pouches – them things are expensive but SO easy for feeding! – as they are needed later on down the road)
  • Babysitting service for a date night at 3 months, 6 months and just before the year (or more if you can really handle multiples!)

Ok, twin moms! What did I miss? What do you think about my list of gift ideas for newborn twins? Please share and tell me below. If I have tried it, I’ll add to this list. If I haven’t, I’d love to test new things out.

What To Do With Baby?

I Have Newborns. Now What?

whattodowithbaby

You’ve waited nine long months (ten, really) to welcome your ‘lil bundle of joy. They are finally here and you’ve gotten used to the fact that you are feeding around the clock, changing diapers every hour, and not getting any sleep. There are a few lucky minutes in the day when you both are not sleeping and you’ve sang every song you can think of. What do you do now?

Here are a few ideas based on my experiences as a new mom.

 

  1. Take a walk. Show baby your neighborhood. This will be good for you and them. Talk about the things you see – colors, trees, animals, neighbors. You might feel like you are talking to yourself, but you are actually helping baby learn and grow.

 

  1. Allow baby to have some tummy time. This will work their muscles and give your arm muscles a little break.

 

  1. Skype or FaceTime with relatives who live in another state. Let them get to be part of baby’s life, even if from a distance.

 

  1. Read books, or go to a library story time. The love of learning starts at an early age. Bonus? You might just meet other parents who are running around like zombies.

 

  1. Put on a puppet show. If you have some stuffed animals, use them to tell your baby a story.

 

  1. Baby massage. Get some lotion and give baby a mini massage. Talk to baby about the parts of their body and what they will use them for as they grow.

 

  1. Nap outside. Grab a blanket and a big umbrella and let baby take their nap outside. (No sunscreen on little ones, so be careful how much sun exposure they get.) You’ll both benefit from the fresh air.

 

  1. Have a dance party. Introduce baby to some of your favorite classic songs. Slow dance or let her try the Macarena in your arms.

 

  1. Talk to baby. Tell baby all about their world. How did they come into your life (because every family story is unique, tell baby what makes their entry special)? Tell them about their siblings or aunts and uncles. Talk them through you making their favorite recipe. Tell them about the things you’ll be doing when you go back to work (or what your partner does when they go to work).

 

  1. Simply snuggle. Just relax and enjoy this time with baby. People mean it when they say “they won’t be like this for long”. This is your time to just be still and quiet. Get to know the newest love of your life and enjoy it.

 

What would you add to this list?  

Why I Love Being a New Mom

*articles may contain affiliate links*

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It’s hard to believe that four short weeks ago, I was still a mom of two, working my last day before having the twins. I was 38 weeks and a day pregnant, dreaming of all the fun things that being a new mom was going to bring my way. In this last four weeks, I’ve been able to take the time to reflect on why I love being a new mom for the third time.

One would assume that I love being a new mom because of snuggles, baby smiles, and the smell of baby hair. Don’t get me wrong. Watching my girls grow (just as I did with my older two) has been an absolute blessing in its own right. The girls are amazing, but being a new mom has done something spectacular for me, for my own spirit. With this, my final pregnancy, I vowed to enjoy it and embrace it. That’s exactly what I did, allowing for me to come up with three reasons why I love being a new mom (that have little to do with the babies).

Why I Love Being a New Mom

new mom

One: Being a new mom means I can reconnect with my body. Being pregnant with twins, I gained 60 pounds (which was admittedly very tough after losing 130 in the past three years). After having the twins, I’ve lost almost 50 of that; however, it’s not about the weight loss and “bouncing back” into my size 10 jeans. It’s about listening to what my body needs and reconnecting the messages from my brain to my bones and muscles for healing.

 

Goodbye, baby belly!!!

It’s been hard for someone like me who was previously very dedicated to personal wellness to not just bounce back, though. Reconnecting has meant I need to listen when my body needs medicine (I am not a superwoman), rest (you try to just lay down on the couch with four kids), and eat plenty of healthy food to heal your body and fuel the growth of newborn twins. It meant having to set alarms to be sure I took pain medicine because I’d forget or think I didn’t need it. It meant I had to understand that I wasn’t going to be walking Arianna to the bus, let alone running half marathons, anytime soon. It meant I had to stock up on protein filled snacks and ask someone to help me ensure my fridge was full of fruits and vegetables instead of turning to my pantry of processed snacks.

Yes, it continues to be a hard journey, but reconnecting with my body and listening to what it really needs has been one of the things I’ve loved most. I can now look at my body and say with pride that it’s birthed four children and kept me living and breathing. I have learned to listen before I end up hurt and not able to give to my kids. I love this about being a new mom because it in a way allows me the right to be somewhat selfish yet at the same time giving. A win-win.

Two: Being a new mom means I can reconnect with my friends. In the past few months, I’ve been in a way forced to slow down and enjoy my personal life a little bit more. This has meant more time visiting with friends, engaging in social media, and accepting help when I am afraid to admit it.

Jess, the twins, and Me

The glory of maternity leave is that I have some time to just be a friend. There is time to scroll through Facebook timelines and see what my friends are going through. I’ve been able to find opportunities to pray for my friends or celebrate them in ways I didn’t give the time to before I slowed my life down (sorry, friends). There is time to share photos of the kids on Instagram and talk about breastfeeding struggles and successes on Twitter / in Facebook groups. I’ve been able to connect with other moms through the MomCo App (an application designed to help busy moms network with moms, businesses, and events in their area) with forums and check out play dates we might be able to start going to once I can drive again (more info on this app is at the end of this post!). I’ve been able to blog and share more, get my feelings out.

My village, both virtual and in real life, has really been here for me throughout this journey of being a new mom. They’ve known when to reach out, when to hold back, and when to stop by the house and visit. It’s been glorious, and for this reconnection, I am grateful.

Three: Being a new mom means I can reconnect with my family. It’s been made abundantly clear that something about our previous work-life “balance” needs to change. Our ‘lil family requires more kiddo attention, to all four of the ‘lil Burghers as well as the parents. Greg was able to take off a few weeks around the birth and it showed me how much our family unit was suffering from the way things were before the girls. In the time since, we’ve all reconnected and been able to find each other on new levels.

This time of being a new mom has given me a new perspective on the big kids. Evan grew two feet in the three days I was at the hospital and Arianna learned how to use the microwave to cook (not so cleanly) breakfasts and lunches. They’ve expressed needs like more hugs, more sleep, and more time outside that we’ve been able to give them because we are here with them. This reconnection with them is the opposite of what I thought would happen as a new mom, but I am grateful.

This time has also allowed me to bond with the twins (obviously) and Greg in new ways. Being an older new mom than I was six-and-a-half years ago gives me a new perspective on our relationship as parents and a couple. We communicate better than ever before, even in the midst of no sleep, and I’ve realized my husband’s love for me through the way he is with the kids. For this connection, I am grateful.

Our Family

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Hopefully these things I’ve learned while being on new mom / maternity leave will stick with me not just in my return to the corporate world but also as the girls and big kids grow. Hopefully I’ll remember what’s important and good in life versus getting caught up in the “have to do’s” and spend more time in the “want to do’s”. With this being my last time as a new mom, I’m scared that I’ll forget, so I am hoping my village(s) will help me remember.

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Want to know more about the MomCo App? I think it’s really cool because it makes finding other moms that have similar aged kids super easy. You can plan or attend playdates or simply talk to other moms through the forums. There is a section where you can find local businesses that cater to us moms and there are even exclusive deals on there. It’s like a one stop shop app for us mamas.

You can get the MomCo App on your mobile devices through the following links:
iPhone: http://bit.ly/1CLzAUx
Android: http://bit.ly/1GpWVRn

 

momco app