As a new or soon-to-be-new parent, you want your babies to have everything they need. But you're also probably on a budget and can't buy everything. So how do you figure out which items are essential and which ones are just nice to have? Below is a list of items that were crucial when my twin girls were young, along with a few things that weren't so important.
- Double changing table. We got a Bellini High Changer that extends so you can change two babies at a time. That way, my husband, Noel, and I could each change one baby and be done faster.
- Rocking chair. This was indispensable. Look for a chair that you can lock in place in case you don't want the rocking motion all the time. (Some people opt for a glider instead of a rocking chair; it's just a matter of preference.)
- Video monitor. We used ours until we put the girls in separate rooms at age 4. I thought it was crucial.
- Bottle drying rack. We got a compact one that could hold up to a dozen bottles and tops. This was handy because with two babies, we had to wash tons of bottles. I liked the drying rack method because I was concerned about the chemicals that could leach from plastic bottles when washed in the dishwasher.
- Diaper and wipe holder. Having a diaper and wipe holder means the world doesn't have to know that you are changing diapers.
- Pacifiers and pacifier clips. You will probably end up with several types of pacifiers until you find the kinds the babies like, but one pacifier clip for each baby should be enough.
- Burp cloths. We got tons of these, and we still never had enough. There was a stage when we probably used a dozen a day.
- Hooded towels. I don't recommend thin ones because they don't dry very well. We had hooded towels from Pottery Barn that were thick and soft and very absorbent.
- Socks and hats. We used these all the time. We even used the little tiny socks as mittens. The girls' hands were so little that we couldn't find mittens small enough.
- Onesies. These will become your best friends during warmer months.
- One-piece snap-up pajamas. These will become your best friends during colder months.
- Boppy pillows. I would recommend getting one for each baby.
- Diaper pail. This one seems obvious!
- Infant toys. Go for the ones that have a ring on the end so you can attach them to a stroller, crib, or car seat.
- Tons of receiving blankets. You will definitely need some of these, but we had so many that we never got to use them all. During the first 3 to 4 months, they were great for swaddling. After that, we didn't need as many and used them only occasionally for covering the babies in the car or stroller.
- Tons of washcloths. You probably only need five or six, tops. By the time you've gone through your supply, you'll have done the wash and have clean ones again.
- Rockers and swings. I don't advise buying these early on. (They aren't recommended for really tiny babies anyway.) We had one rocker that the girls weren't into much at all, and we never felt the need for a swing. If possible, give them a try at the store or borrow a friend's before you commit.
- Wipe warmer. The idea is great, but it can cause problems at time. For instance, when you are away from home and away from the warmer, it will be a shock for the babies. We didn't get one, and we did just fine.
Want more Mari? Follow her many musings, and check back often as the list will grow!