I wish I could say I was the epitome of organization when my twins were born. I was not. I had no idea just how much stuff is involved in caring for infant twins. My daughter had to spend her first ten days in the NICU. Her twin brother got to come home right away. As we drove home, looking back at our son every three minutes to ensure he was still breathing, my husband wanted to talk logistics. Where are we going to put all the diapers? What about the two bouncers, swing, and portable crib taking up the living room? How are we ever going to leave the house with the gear needed for two infants? Our heads were spinning.
For the first few days, we just focused on survival and visiting our daughter in the NICU to help her get strong enough to come home. As the time for her to come home neared we decided to take a step back and plan how to conquer the piles of diapers and baby gear over the next few weeks. Here’s the plan we came up with and the tips we learned along the way.
7 Awesome Organization Tips for Infant Twins
What to do with Diapers for Days
You just ordered a shipment of diapers via Amazon Prime or your friends and family showered you with diapers for days. You’re all set to cover those tiny tushies. Now, where will you put fifteen boxes of diapers? Unless you have an unusually large nursery (which will feel much smaller with your twins in it), you need a few storage solutions. The chaos of the first few months with twins is hectic enough.
To make it easier, you’ll want to set up changing stations in every room of your house. A changing station can be as simple as 5-10 diapers, diaper cream, a changing mat or towel, and wipes set up in a basket or bag for easy access. Changing stations are much more efficient than carrying a baby (or two) back and forth to the nursery for changes, especially those inevitable 3 am blowouts. You may also want to include a few clean onesies at each station, just in case. When my twins were infants I had a changing station in the master bedroom, in the living room, and in their nursery. If you have more than one level in your home, you’ll need at least one station on each level. The best way to store extra diapers is right under your twin’s cribs. If you use Pampers Swaddlers you can simply open the big box and take out the individual bags then slide them under their cribs. This frees up space without compromising style. No one will notice.
On the Go
Taking infant twins anywhere takes extra time and patience. Make it as easy as possible. This will ensure you’ll actually venture out of your house. As tempting as it is to stay home instead of making the effort to get out, try to get out with your twins as
much as you can. It will brighten everyone’s mood and help you get the break you all need. It’s also great for your twin’s development.
While you’re out you’ll need a well-stocked diaper bag. Forget the cute, designer shoulder bags. Save it for a future baby if you’re planning to have more kids or gift to a new singleton parent. A backpack is the best way to carry twin gear on the go. The first time I took our twins out I loaded up their diaper bag with all the things. I had pacifiers they didn’t even use, way too many diapers, three kinds of diaper rash cream…you name it, I probably had it. A few extra diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, and a change of clothes for each baby are really all you need. I used to also pack the entire carton of formula. I know, bless my newborn mama heart. It added weight and bulk to an already heavy bag. It was also unnecessary. I learned to carry just enough formula for the day in a small plastic container. I chose not to carry pumped bottles while on the go. Keeping them cool enough was too complicated for me. You can decide the best option for your twins.
You may also want to make and keep a changing kit in the car your twins will most often ride in. Include basic necessities such as diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes. I also like to include a changing mat or towel. You never know when the lack of sleep will cause brain fog, leaving you in the middle of Target with no diaper bag and two blowouts. A car changing kit will come in handy in these situations, which will happen.
Clothes for Two
When I found out I was having twins, their closet was one of the first things I decided to organize. I picked up all the organizers I could find and spent time decking out their closet. It all looked pristine. I congratulated myself on a job well done organizing a closet for two babies. Then all the stuff came. Diapers upon diapers. Wipes. Clothes. Baby blankets. Baby shoes. Don’t get me wrong. I was thankful for the generosity of our friends and family. I just wasn’t sure how it would all fit in one closet. I learned less really is more. I took stock of what kinds of organizers would actually prove useful and repurposed the ones just taking up space. The extra storage bins I bought became toy and book holders for our living room.
My favorite item to help organize our twin’s closet is a hanging shoe organizer. It’s an affordable, highly functional option. I bought two for each side of their closet. They hold shoes, extra sheets, socks, hair accessories, hats, and all the smaller items I couldn’t fit in drawers. I bought a hanging drawer organizer for the inside of their closet to make up for the lack of shelf space. I used it to hold extra diapers, blankets, clothes, and stuffed animals they were not yet ready for.
Toys & Books
There are so many great ways to store all the books you will get as a new twin parent. One of my favorites is the IKEA picture ledge (Mosslanda). I installed two in our twins’ nursery. Each shelf holds around six to ten books depending on the size of the book. As your twins get older you can also use picture ledges to display their artwork. Square storage units, like the Kallax (also from IKEA), are a great way to store books with enough room for toy storage, too. Although infant twins typically only have a few toys, you’ll want to be prepared for their first holiday celebrations and first birthday. Your twins will receive toys they will not be able to play with yet or toys with small parts they can play with as soon as they turn ten. Large, fabric storage bins are great for all those “later” toys.
Bottles & More Bottles
If you feel buried in bottles right now, you are not alone. Getting through this stage was like a right of twin parent passage for me. There were days I thought I would never stop making and cleaning bottles. In the beginning, I had no idea just how many bottles my twins would need for the day or the best way to store them. My twins used the Dr. Brown’s bottles with all the various parts to wash. I found out there’s a dishwasher basket for the parts way too late in the game. This basket is a necessity. You do not want to spend the precious few minutes of free time you actually have hand washing bottles. I bought two baskets to ensure we always had clean bottle parts handy. I also highly recommend purchasing a small drawer organizer to hold extra clean bottle parts. It makes life so much easier than keeping them scattered across the countertop. You may also want to buy a larger drawer organizer to store bottles and formula.
Bath Time for Two
You need a game plan for bathing two infants, especially if you have to do it solo. This includes a place for everything you’ll need for bath time. I loved using the Summer Infant Splish ‘n Splash Infant to Toddler tub. It includes storage space for soap, shampoo, and a washcloth. I often used muslin swaddling blankets as washcloths so that I could keep my babies warm during their bath. I also like that the Splish ‘n Slash transitioned into a toddler bath as they grew. No need to buy another bath when they begin sitting up, which means more storage space.
I recommend keeping a storage unit with drawers in your twins’ bathroom if you have room. This will allow easy access to washcloths, soap, bath toys, and anything else you need close by. To make bath time a little smoother, set out a set of clothes, clean diaper, and lotion in the area you will change your twins after their bath. As soon as they become mobile you will not have time to scramble for the supplies you need while they attempt to scale the walls.
Twin Bedding Basics
Oh, how naive I was when I bought bedding for our newborns. Twins have these horrendous things called blowouts. They will happen to you. I knew this. I was fully aware that diapers leak. I just had no idea how insane blowouts could be. I’m talking horror film level. Poop splattered in places I didn’t even know it could reach as if their little bottoms suddenly became fire hoses of poop. Yet somehow I decided two sets of sheets for each twin was plenty. Wrong. Please buy at least two mattress protectors and at least three to four sets of sheets for each twin. I like to keep extra sheets and mattress protectors in the hanging shoe organizers in my twin’s closet. I simply roll the fitted sheets and mattress protectors to get them to fit. You can also layer mattress protectors and sheets on their beds to make clean up easier when a blow out strikes.
Creating a system of organization with infant twins to care for can be a daunting task. Begin small. Start with one area you know you have to organize for your own sanity and the well being of your babies. Go from there. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel. You’ll get to enjoy more snuggles and a little less chaos. Give yourself grace if you can’t arrange everything exactly the way you would like.
Melissa Titus taught Kindergarten and 2nd grade in the public school system for ten years. She is taking a break from the education field to begin her new adventure as a SAHM to her boy/girl twins born n July 2016. When she’s not spending time with her husband or taking care of her twins, she loves to write, bake using her great grandmother’s recipes, support others still in the midst of infertility, and explore the great outdoors while attempting to photograph it. You can follow her on Instagram,Twitter, and Pinterest.