As a father of twins you’ve likely been overwhelmed by the quantity of baby and kid gear you might need for your twins. Ever have thoughts like “What is all this stuff even for?” “Do I really need that?” The companies that make baby gear are very persuasive in their marketing. It feels like you must get a lot of stuff.
The truth is that you need many things for your twins but you don’t need everything for your twins. Dad, it’s your job to identify what is necessary from the pile of stuff that is just “nice to have.” Work with your spouse together as partners to decide what to buy, what to spend, and when to purchase what you’ll need.
You need to make sure you have the basics for your babies. These basics include feeding, sleeping, clothing, diapers, transportation, etc. Of course, you want all this without going broke or having to get a second job. You’re probably already feeling the pinch of providing for two more little people. Don’t let buying excessive baby gear force you to work so much you don’t actually see them. Read on for some guiding principles to help you in your purchasing decisions.
The Dad's Guide To Baby Gear For Twins
Don’t Always Get Double
The reality is that you don’t always need double the gear with twins. Always ask the question, “Can my twins share this?” You’ll be surprised how often the answer is yes. Your default behavior should be not to buy double. Sure, you’ll need two of many things. However, if you always question that assumption with every purchase, you’ll skip duplicates when they aren’t needed.
Keep in mind that sometimes you don’t need double if both parents are home caring for the twins. However, if you, dad, are at work all day, your wife might very well need two of a particular item to help care for the twins herself.
Is It Practical?
If the gear doesn’t serve a purpose, don’t get it. Decorative items. Cutesy stuff. Frilly? Forget about it. Always ask, “What does this do?” and “Do I really need this?” As a new dad, it might be hard to answer those questions. Ask your fellow fathers of multiples (Facebook groups, local multiples clubs, etc.) before you make a big purchase. If you buy it, you’ll have to find space for it. So save the headache and just don’t buy it in the first place if it won’t be put to good use.
Durable and Long Lasting
Don’t buy cheap crap that won’t last. Your goal is to have your twins outgrow something before it wears out. Unfortunately, no matter how good a handyman you are, many pieces of twin gear aren’t made to be repaired. Doh! So don’t count on fixing something up if it breaks. Buy twin gear like you would new tools. You want something that can take a beating and still keep on working.
Your twin gear falls into two groups: things your twins grow out of quickly and items that need to last a long time. In both cases, you want to get products that will hold up to the rigorous and destructive powers of your twinados. For things they outgrow, you can resell and recoup some of the cost. For items you’ll need for longer, a durable item will save you the money of having to buy a replacement. Good examples here are cribs, strollers, car seats, etc.
How do you know if something is durable? Trust your fellow dads, product reviews, or in-store hands-on evaluations.
How Manly Is It?
Since you’re involved in your twins’ lives you want gear that doesn’t make you look like Mom. Yes, we all love Mom. That is why we have twins in the first place, isn’t it? But we don’t need to look like her. Let’s face it, there are plenty of things that are unisex and don’t make you look like a princess. But for the record, if you have twin girls (like me), it is cool to look like a princess.
It Helps You
The entire purpose of twin gear is to make it easier to take care of your twins. Think of your twin gear as an extra pair of helping hands. When shopping for twin gear, buy things that will make your life easier in caring for two babies at the same time. Unless you’ve recruited helpers to come and stay with your family, your gear needs to provide that extra set of helping hands at home.
Don’t Break the Bank
Twin gear can get quite costly. Don’t blow through your budget on one double stroller. The less you spend, the less you have to make. You can make it work on your current salary but it will require some creativity.
Always Think Used
Head to a consignment store or shamelessly ask for hand-me-downs from friends and family with kids. Kids go through clothes and gear so quickly that you can typically find low-cost and gently used items fairly easily, assuming that these items fell into the “durable and long-lasting” category above in the first place. Check your local multiples club as many have annual consignment sales where you can score some great gear for cheap.
Cover the Basics
Before you go shopping, make a list of what you need. This will help keep you from being distracted by unnecessary items. Here’s a great list of things you should get for your twins. Make sure you’ve got the basics in place before you get that super fancy wipe warmer that you don’t really need.
Joe Rawlinson is the father of four children, two boys and identical twin girls. He is the author of two books for fathers of twins, “Dad's Guide to Twins: How to Survive the Twin Pregnancy and Prepare for Your Twins” and “Dad's Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins.” Joe also makes unique t-shirts for parents of twins at the Twin T-Shirt Company. You can find more tips and tricks for preparing for and raising your twins at dadsguidetotwins.com.