March 19, 2013

My TOP 20

As I mentioned in my last post, my start to being a first-time momma of twins wasn't the easiest.  I'm certainly not an expert; however, here's a list of some products that have been extremely helpful to me:

My kiddos struggle with reflux, so these angled, snuggly bassinets were the way to go!  There are several different styles to choose from.  I kept 2 by my bed until we moved them into their room at 8 weeks.  We transitioned them to their cribs fairly easily at 12 weeks.  These were life-savers!  

#2 Nap Nanny
These were recalled due to deaths from improper use.  It's a shame really because my twins napped in these for the first 12 weeks.  Again, with reflux, they saved us.  Hopefully, you have a friend or family member that was able to snag one of these gems before they were all gone.  If so, borrow one!!!  Such a fabulous product when used correctly!

So, yeah...this is one of those things I thought I wouldn't need.  For twins, I recommend 2.  These swings help us survive the dreaded witching hour (which for us, is anywhere from 5-7pm).  Bennett loved his swing right away but Clara didn't like hers until about 8 weeks. 

This bouncer is the best!  Just read the reviews online.  My kids are just now starting to enjoy them but we've used the bouncer without the arch the whole time.  There are so many neat, moving parts and the glowing waterfall is mesmerizing.  There's also a less annoying nature setting that is calming for both babies and momma.  For twins, I had to have 2 bouncers; especially when I'm home alone and wish I had 4 arms.  I mostly use them to keep the kids upright for 15-20 minutes after feeds (again, reflux).

AMAZING.  We have 2.  The arch comes out and lays flat on the ground for tummy time and the piano sits upright for when the kids are sitting up on their own.  This was the first toy my kiddos BOTH loved and want to play with independently everyday (for at least 15 minutes at a time)!  Bennett couldn't stand lying on his back until he met his piano.  It was love at first sight.  He wasn't much of a kicker but now he kicks his little heart out!  He's very violent on this's hilarious.  Clara, on the other hand, is a very dainty piano player.  I LOVE seeing the differences in my kiddos!!

We started out with an adorable, traditional Skip Hop gym, but my kiddos never liked it.  There went $75 down the drain!  I tried and I tried (for weeks) but it just wasn't a big hit in our house.

My kiddos are coming up on 4 months and are still swaddled for naps and nighttime.  Bennett especially.  After about 1-1.5 hours of awake time, he starts whining to be swaddled.  It calms him almost instantly.  These swaddles are fast and easy.  I'd get 3 in each size for each kiddo you have.  

NOTE: Be careful what you wash them with.  The velcro sticks to everything. 

Ah yes, pacifiers.  Scott and I didn't want to use them because we didn't want our kiddos to depend on them to soothe themselves.  Ha!  About 2 days after the twins came home, all of that changed.  We love the Wubbanubs and so do Bennett and Clara.  They like to grab onto them and they're easy for us to keep track of.  The others are always getting lost.

We prefer the travel-size Sleep Sheep (or giraffe).  The sounds are calming and help my kiddos fall asleep and stay asleep longer. 

A double-camera monitor was essential for us.  This one is a bit pricey but we've loved it so far.  It's easy to set up and move around the house (if needed).  Many of my friends recommended Motorola after their Summer brand monitors broke.

I'm not going to lie, these bibs are a small fortune...about $10 each...but I LOVE them.  We probably own about 15 at this point.  They're large, super absorbent without being bulky and snap in the back.  They fit closely (but not too close) and help avoid multiple outfit changes throughout the day.  I keep them on my kiddos after every feeding until we swaddle them.

The picture tells all. literally suck the snot out of your baby's nose.  It will FREAK YOU OUT but it works WAAAAAY better than the bulb syringe.  The filter prevents anything from reaching your mouth...promise!  This helps get the hard to reach boogers, is awesome with a little saline for congestion and comes in handy when Clara's spit up comes out of her nose.  We carry this everywhere we go.

People told us not to buy cutesy anything for our kiddos for at least the first 3 months.  We listened, but still bought a few things.  BIG MISTAKE.  Do you know what else is a mistake?  Snaps.  Especially if you're changing 2 babies 8-10 times per day each (and it's even harder in the dark at night!!).  So, if seasonally appropriate, zip-up one-piece PJs are (in my opinion) the only way to go.  I recommend 5 to 7 newborn per child and 5 to 7 3-month per child.  That may sound like not enough but I ended up grabbing the favorites all the time and many complicated, 2 to 3 piece outfits were never even worn.

Breastfeeding was my intention all along but it just didn't work out for me and my babies.  I won't go into the details, let's just say that they would cry, I would cry and supply-wise/mentally I wasn't up for the challenge to continue.  They got mostly pumped breastmilk for 2 months until the demand got too high for me to physically keep up with.

For the first 2 months, we used Tommee Tippee and were pretty happy with the results.  Right at the 2 month mark, Bennett and Clara's reflux peaked and they were projectile vomiting every meal.  We went to the doctor and switched bottles, formula and meds.  We noticed a difference within a week or so and (though they have many parts) have been happy with Dr Brown's.

Our little preemies started on Similac NeoSure and then switched to Gerber Good Start Gentle.  We tried Clara on Similac Alimentum (hypoallergenic and a FORTUNE) but didn't see any changes in her discomfort or reflux issues.  When the projectile vomiting peaked, our doctor wanted us to try Gerber Good Start Soothe.  We don't know if it was the change in bottles, formula or medicine but we did see improvement, so we stuck with it.

My little buddy Bennett (that just happens to be in my arms right now) has eczema.  We're hoping he grows out of it but in the mean-time, these 2 products have helped us control it.  Once or twice a week, I use the hydrocortisone cream (it's the strong stuff) and I use the moisturizing cream daily.  It's a vicious cycle though...just when you think it's gone, it comes back with a vengeance.   We tried a few different products, but these seem to work best for Bennett.  

I swear, I shove a bzillion of these things in our diaper bag each week.  They're so much easier and less messy than squirt bottles.  We love them.

Yes, it's cheap and unattractive compared to many strollers on the market today but it's also light-weight and folds easily with a ton of cargo space below.  If you go this route, make sure you get the latest model so that your car seats fit properly.  Do you see how the seat closest to the handles is higher?  This is the much improved model.  My Chicco KeyFit 30 seats fit perfectly.  Soon my kiddos will be big enough for our "fancy" stroller...the Baby Jogger City Select.  I can't wait to try it out!  

NOTE: The Baby Jogger City Select does have adaptors that make it compatible with car seats but we liked the weight and ease of the Snap 'n' Go to start with.  The Snap 'n' Go is a more indoor-friendly stroller and isn't too great for bumpy terrain...including sidewalks.

I always thought I'd want a fancy $300+ bag but then I fell in love with the Skip Hop Duo and the Skip Hop Double Duo.  They're still cute and functional but easy to clean with bzillions of pockets.  Yes, please.  This is a great size for moms of twins or mommas with more than one kiddo.  It has a shoulder strap and stroller clips and opens wide.  And yes, I've become the mom without a purse that just shoves her wallet in the diaper bag.  Boom.

I was never...I repeat...never...going to prop a bottle.  Why not?  Because the nurse teaching my baby care class told me not to.  Well, here's the deal:  when you have 2 awake, hungry babies that cry to be fed and then cry after feedings because they want to be held and there's just one of you...something has got to give.  Just think...1 hour of crying x 7-8 feedings per day.  You do the math.  After weeks of screaming, I gave in and it's was one of the best decisions I've made.  They now eat in 20-25 minutes (in their bouncers) while I sit in front of them, monitor and alternate burping.  It's quite a juggling act but a genius juggling act.  When I'm not home alone, of course we hold them during feedings but when I am, these are fabulous.  Worth every penny.

#20 Apothic Red Wine
I feel that one of the injustices of pregnancy is that you can't have a drink when you need it the most.  Little did I know that I would need it more once the kiddos arrived.  I use "need" lightly.  Let's just say it's nice to have a glass or 2 once in a while...especially after the kids are down for the night.  I also use "down for the night" lightly.  For us, that means until 4 or 5am.  Hey, we're working on it! 

For all the mommas reading out there, your Top 20 is probably completely different!  These are just a few of the things that help keep me sane with 2 (nearly) 4-month olds in the house. 

Scott researches nearly everything before purchasing and over time, he's rubbed off on me.  Many of these items come highly recommended from other users (especially #20).  I hope you find this information helpful.  If you have any product(s) that you can't live without, please let me know!


  1. Loved this!! I will second the Fisher Price swing, NoseFrida, and wine :)

    We moved the swing out of Tripp's room about a month ago- I was so sad. But, we had been really pushing the weight limit on it for the sake of solace.

    Love seeing pics of your sweet kids. You are a super mom!

    1. Thanks for reading, Juli! And thank you for the sweet compliments!!!