Absolute Must Haves and Advice When Expecting a Baby

I live in a small home that doesn’t have a lot of space, so it was a little challenging when we found out we were having a baby because having a baby comes with a lot of things. We also don’t make a lot of money and having a baby is certainly pricey. We had to be wise in the decisions we made on what to buy.

Luckily, I am a simplifier at heart and don’t need a lot to be satisfied. I only buy things that are necessities and I love getting rid of things that are not.  The thought of all the things we were going to need was extremely overwhelming for me though, I had to get creative to make sure we had the room we needed to make our living situation comfortable.

We live on a tight budget, so I shopped around a ton to get the best deals for what we needed. I am not the type of person who needs the latest fads and I am ok with buying SOME things used, so this helped our situation a lot.


 

TOP ADVICE AND MUST HAVES

1. Diapers and Wipes- You will go through so many diapers and wipes. This will be one of your bigger expenses.

  • Target brand diapers are by far the cheapest I have found. We don’t have a Target where I live, so I order mine online, purchase them with my Red Card and get free shipping and 5% off! Costco brand diapers are pretty good too, but we don’t have a Costco where I live either.
  • Start pulling money aside NOW and put it somewhere you won’t touch it. This will help you have a good supply of money for diapers. So many people advised me to buy diapers whenever we had a chance, but I found this to be difficult because we ran out of space to store them and you never know how long they’ll be in certain sizes, so saving money for diapers is genius!

2. Clothes- If you have older children and don’t already have a good supply of clothes from them or haven’t been given a lot of clothes by other people, then this is a big expense!  If this is your first child then you’ll most likely get a lot of clothes from your baby shower, people just can’t resist buying baby clothes, which is wonderful for you because they are definitely needed.

  • I am not one who cares to have my children dress in expensive top brand clothes. I am not trying to make this come across negatively, if you buy top brand clothes, it’s not a bad thing; I just can’t afford it.
  • I purchase a lot of my children’s clothes from Ross, Target, and Wal-Mart. You can also find good deals at second hand stores.
  • You’ll need a lot of onesies.

3. Rock n’ Play Sleeper- These are amazing! They fold up so thin to easily take places and to store. These can help a lot with acid reflux and babies that spit up a lot.

  • The one I bought go HERE (*THESE HAVE BEEN RECALLED AND ARE NO LONGER ON THE MARKET. WHICH IS A TOTAL BUMMER, BECAUSE THEY WERE AMAZING.*)

4. Crib- I don’t find it necessary to purchase a really expensive crib, but this is just my opinion and completely your choice. Crib shopping can be stressful, there are so many out there, it’s hard to choose from them all. It certainly is fun though and makes things become “real” real fast.

5. Bassinet- I definitely don’t think it’s necessary to buy an expensive one of these since they won’t be sleeping in it for very long. You may not even need one of these at all depending on if you want your baby to sleep in the same room as you and how much space you have.

  • Some people feel best with their baby sleeping in the same room as them for a while. I did with all of my babies. It makes things so much easier too. I had a bassinet for my first two and with my twins they just slept in their Rock n’ Plays.
  • Some people just put the baby’s crib right in their room with them; or use a Pack n’ Play. There are so many things out there you can buy. So, this is completely up to you.

6. Bouncer- These certainly do come in handy, but I don’t feel it’s very safe to put your baby in it for a couple months depending on the kind you get. The one I had I didn’t feel supported my baby’s head and neck very good and could easily block their airway, but it’s a definite must have when they are a little bigger.

7. Swing- You may feel you won’t need one of these if you have a Rock n’ Play, but now that they are recalled you’ll want a swing.

  • I had a 4Moms MamaRoo, but it broke after seven months of using it. I loved how small and compact it was, it didn’t take up a lot of room, but I don’t think I’d ever buy another one since it wasn’t very durable and pretty pricey.

8. Johnny Jump Up- Your baby won’t be able to use this for a while, but it’s a must have and so much fun for baby and for you.

9. Jumperoo- I loved my Jumperoo and so did all of my babies, but if you have the Johnny Jump Up you may not need one of these and can just safe your money.  

  • Go HERE for an idea of what one is

10. Exersaucer- I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Exesaucer and neither were my babies, but I think I put them in it too late.

  • The second your baby can start standing on your legs pretty good and holding their head up well is the time to probably put them in the Exersaucer. I did it too late I think.

11. Baby Floor Play Mat- these are really good for your baby and can be used as early as you want. They are surprisingly quite expensive so if you can find a used one that would be awesome.

12. High Chair- My kitchen is pretty small and high chairs can take up a lot of room. This depends on your kitchen space and what kind you want to buy.

  • Cosco high chairs are smaller and fold up so thin. I bought Cosco brand for my twins since I had to have two high chairs. I love them. We take them with us everywhere because they are easily portable. They are low in cost too. The only thing I don’t like is the fabric seat and belt buckles aren’t machine washable, there’s no way to detach it from the chair. Sooo dumb!
  • HERE is a link to the kind I bought. I bought this one for my daughter and a blue one for my son.

13. Burp Rags (only if your babies are pukers)- All my babies were pukers!

  • I just buy cloth diapers for my burp rags, they are amazing at absorbing all the spit up and don’t cost too much.

14. Bibs (only if your babies are pukers)- as I mentioned above. If your babies spit up a lot, bibs will save your life! It’ll keep you from change their outfits multiple times a day.

  • HERE is a link to the kind of bibs I bought that worked great for little babies.

15. Crib Sheet Saver- If you have spit up babies, these saved me from doing tons of laundry and changing sheets all day.

  • You can find the sheet savers HERE

16. Video Monitor- You need a video monitor to be able to see and hear your baby, but also for your enjoyment as your baby gets older it’s so fun to be able to see what they do in their cribs when you’re not around.

  • The brand I bought was Vtech. I have really liked this brand.

17. Snuza Hero Baby Movement Monitor- I have a love, hate relationship with these things. These are a little like the Owlet pulse monitor, but way cheaper.

  • They monitor the movement of your baby’s belly when they’re sleeping, and it alarms you if it doesn’t detect movement after 20 seconds.
  • There were more false alarms more than anything and it got really annoying, but I am a worrier and SIDS is my biggest fear! With my twins being preemies, I was an even bigger mess than with my other children, so I was grateful for these and it put my mind at ease when I went to sleep at night.
  • HERE is a link to purchase this

18. Infant Baby Bath– I just bought a basic, plastic baby bath and have had no problems.

19. Car Seat– I did a ton of research and our budget was certainly tight. I wanted a good car seat, but one that didn’t break the bank.

  • I bought Graco Snugride Click Connect 35. These hold babies from 4-35lbs and 32” long.
  • These are also the lightest car seats I could find. The car seat alone is only 7 lbs. I wanted a light car seat because those things are hard to lug around.
  • My only complaint about these car seats is the canopy. It got in the way of the handle a lot and didn’t give good enough coverage for me, but nothing a cute canopy cover wouldn’t fix.
  • HERE is a link to the one I bought

20. Stroller- This was a killer for me to figure out because I needed one that wouldn’t take up the entire trunk of my car.

  • There are so many out there it’s insane. This is totally your choice and you buy whatever you feel you need, but here is a suggestion. The Baby Trend Snap n’ Go Stroller is amazing because it is super light weight and easy to fold. It folds up thin too. You just put your car seat on it and go.
  • If you could buy it used it would be a better deal because it’s not a stroller that can grow with you. Once your baby is out of the infant car seat you’d have to buy another stroller, but there are a lot of cheap strollers out there that will do the job just fine when you need it to.
  • Think about what you need and want and go from there. You may have other children and may need a double or even triple stroller depending on your situation.

21. Muslim Swaddle Blankets- I absolutely love these blankets, but they have some pretty pricey ones out there. There are so others that are the exact same material, but cheaper. I went the cheaper route and bought a lot from Wal-Mart and Amazon.

22. Sleep Sacks- I am a big believer in never putting anything loose in my baby’s crib when they are old enough to roll over and move around. Once they start moving around I stop swaddling them and transition them over to sleep sacks to keep them warm and safe. I love them. They have lots of different kinds out there and they have some that can grow with your child as they get older. These can be pretty pricey, but I feel are totally worth it.

23. Double Breast Pump– No matter what, unless you plan to use formula right from the start you will want and need a good breast pump.

  • I used Medela and it was so nice! A good pump makes a world of difference.
  • Make sure you have an extra set of flanges, so you don’t have to do as many dishes.
  • For the one I have go HERE

24. Bottles– With my first two baby’s I used glass bottles and loved them. With my twins I used Dr. Brown’s bottles and loved those.

25. Bottle Warmer- If you are strictly pumping then a bottle warmer is an absolute life saver!

  • I couldn’t nurse because my babies had to have their milk fortified with formula for more calories and nursing just wasn’t happening for me. I strictly pumped and a bottle warmer helped so much!
  • If you are doing formula there is no need for this because you can make the bottle with warm water already.
  • I had the Dr. Brown’s bottle warmer, but I am sure any kind would work just fine.
  • The one I had go HERE

26. Bobby (Nursing Pillow)- These are amazing for nursing and also to just lay your baby on. They are pretty pricey though, but a must have.

  • Go HERE for a good bamboo one 

27. Baby Carrier- Everyone I know raves about the Moby Wrap, but I never used one before. I have heard amazing things about it though.

  • I personally loved this carrier. Infantino Cuddle Up Ergonomic Hoodie Carrier
  • Go HERE to purchase. It’s so easy to use and can hold up to 40 pounds. I love the hoodie on it to help support baby’s head when it falls asleep.  

28. Pack n’ Play- These are portable cribs that fold up fairly small. These are amazing and a must have. You can take it anywhere to have your baby play in or sleep in.

  • They have a lot out there and the price range is huge. I don’t find it necessary to purchase an expensive one with all these crazy gadgets unless it’s something that’s necessary for you.
  • HERE is a good one that’s not too pricey and basic

29. Cool Mist Humidifier- Whatever you do make sure you buy a cool mist humidifier because they work so much better than the warm mist.

  • I love this one and it’s not too pricey, go HERE 

30. Nose Frida- The bulb you get from the hospital that sucks all the guck out of your baby’s mouth after it’s born is wonderful for sucking out all your baby’s boogies, but the Nose Frida is pretty amazing as well! I promise you won’t get any of your baby’s boogers in your mouth.

  • Go HERE to purchase and learn more about it.

31. Baby Wipes Warmer- I always thought that these were a waste of money with my other children until I got one as a gift and oh my word it makes the world of difference when changing your little baby’s bottoms. They don’t scream and cry the entire time they are being changed. They’re miracles.

32. Baby Mitts- I personally say don’t waste your money on these and just use socks, they stay on better and you should already have some anyway. Most baby outfits come with the covers built right on the long sleeve onesie’s anyway.

33. Baby Basics

  • Nail Clippers- remember you can’t clip baby’s nails for quite a while until after the skin behind it stops growing with the nail.
  • Baby brush and comb
  • Diaper Rash cream- honestly, I think Vaseline works better than anything else.
  • Vaseline
  • Baby Vicks
  • Thermometer- I think the kind you put in their ear or move across their forehead are the best, they are pricey though, but last a long time and work well, so it’s worth it.
  • Children’s Tylenol and Ibuprofen. DO NOT EVER buy Infant Tylenol and Ibuprofen, they cost more for way less. Your pediatrician will give you doses that correlate with Children’s Tylenol and Ibuprofen.
  • Saline solution- this stuff is amazing to help get dry boogies out of your baby’s nose.
  • Binkies- I’d wait on buying these until your baby is born because you never know what they will like. See how they do with the hospital one first and go from there or buy the kind you want them to like and don’t let the hospital give them any other kind except for that one.

This list is not in any particular order. It’s simply just a list.

Well, there you have it! I can’t think of anything else that are absolute must haves! I know this is super intense and overwhelming.  There are a lot of these things you really can do without and will be just fine. If you don’t have the money or room for it all that’s ok. Some of these things you may not even want and that’s ok too. There may be a lot your baby might not even like and you won’t know that until it’s here.

A lot of these things you won’t need until your baby gets older, which is nice because it will give you time to gradually buy things and will help with space because you’ll be rotating things out for when your baby is older. Like your swing and bouncer will eventually be replaced with the Exersaucer and Jumperoo. It’ll all work out, I promise.

Just see what’s best for you and your family. It’s all a big experiment. Good luck!  Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

 

Having a baby is overwhelming and to have to think of all the things you'll need is daunting. Here is a list of all the must haves when expecting a baby. tessatomom.com

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Advice and Must Haves When Expecting Twins

I live in a small home that doesn’t have a lot of space. When I found out I was pregnant with twins one of my fears (among many others) was not having enough room in our cute little house now that my family was growing from four to six very quickly.

I am a simplifier at heart. I only buy things that are necessities and I love getting rid of things that are not. So, the thought of all the things we were going to need was extremely overwhelming for me.

Everyone thinks that because you’re having two babies that you’re going to need two of EVERYTHING! This is not always the case. A lot of things, yes you will need two of, but there are ways to make things easier, take up less space, and be more affordable.

We don’t make a lot of money, which was another one of my fears, if we would be able to afford twins. I don’t feel you can ever really afford having children, there are always unexpected expenses that arise, but somehow it all works out and you make it through. I am pretty sure it’s because Heavenly Father is blessing and watching over us for bringing these children into the world.

We live on a tight budget, so I shopped around a ton to get the best deals for what we needed. I am not the type of person who needs the latest fads and I am ok with buying SOME things used, so this made things a little easier and cheaper for us.


 

TOP MUST HAVES

1. Diapers and Wipes- You will go through so many diapers and wipes with twins! It’s pretty nuts! I thought this would be our biggest expense, but it actually hasn’t been, clothes has been.

– Target brand diapers are by far the cheapest I have found. We don’t have a Target where I live, so I order mine online, purchase them with my Red Card and get free shipping and 5% off! Costco brand diapers are pretty good too, but we don’t have a Costco where I live either.

– Start pulling money aside NOW and put it somewhere you won’t touch it. This will help you have a good supply of money for diapers. So many people advised me with every baby to keep buying diapers whenever we had a chance, but I found this to be difficult because we ran out of space to store them and you never know how long they’ll be in certain sizes, so saving money for diapers is genius! 

2. Clothes- If you don’t already have a good supply of clothes from your older children, if you have older children and the same genders, or if you haven’t been given a lot of clothes by other people, then this is a big expense! If you have twins that are the same gender this will help a lot because they can share everything. I have different genders and I didn’t have a lot of extra clothes from my other children, so clothes have been costly for us.

– I am not one who cares to have my children dress in expensive top brand clothes. I am not trying to make this come across negatively, if you buy top brand clothes, it’s not a bad thing; I just can’t afford it.

– I purchase a lot of my children’s clothes from Ross, Target, and Wal-Mart. You can also find good deals at second hand stores.

– You’ll need a lot of onesies! I had 12-16 total at all times until they were over 12 months old. Now, I don’t use them as much.

3. Rock n’ Play Sleeper- These saved my life! I had two of them, and you’ll want two of them! They are amazing and fold up so thin to easily take places and to store. My babies both had reflux and spit up so much that they slept in these things for 7 months.

– The ones I bought go HERE (*THESE HAVE BEEN RECALLED AND ARE NO LONGER ON THE MARKET. WHICH IS SUCH A BUMMER, BECAUSE THEY WERE AMAZING.*) 

4. Cribs- You’ll definitely need two cribs.

– If you plan on having them sleep in the same crib or in something else next to your bedside for a while, then you can purchase one crib now and purchase another later on to help split up the cost.

– I already had one crib from my other children and only needed to purchase one more. I just bought a cheap, 150.00 one from Wal-Mart.

5. Bouncer- I don’t see any reason to have two of these. I think one is just fine. Just alternate your babies around from one thing to another or take the time to bond with one baby while the other is in the bouncer. My twins couldn’t use these until they were older anyway because it would cut off their air supply because of the way it positioned their head and neck.

6. Swing- I don’t see any reason to have two of these, especially if you have the Rock n’ Plays. You may not even need a swing at all if you have the Rock n’ Plays.

– I had a 4Moms MamaRoo, but it broke after seven months of using it. I loved how small and compact it was, it didn’t take up a lot of room, but I don’t think I’d ever buy another one since it wasn’t very durable and costly.

7. Johnny Jump Up- One of these is plenty.

8. Jumperoo- One of these is plenty as well, you may not even need one if you have and like the Johnny Jump Up.

9. Exersaucer- We only had one of these, but my babies didn’t seem to care for it much, so I think it was a waste of money. They preferred the Jumperoo more.

10. High Chairs- You will definitely need two high chairs. This was a hard one for me because my kitchen is so small I had nowhere to put two high chairs.

– Cosco high chairs are smaller and fold up so thin. These are the kinds I bought. I love them. We take them with us everywhere because they are portable. They are low in cost too. The only thing I don’t like is the fabric seat and belt buckles aren’t machine washable, there’s no way to detach it from the chair. Sooo dumb!

–  For the kind I bought go HERE. I bought this one for my daughter and a blue one for my son.

11. Burp Rags (only if your babies are pukers)- My babies were pukers! They were worse than my other children. I think a lot had to do with being preemies and they had an intolerance to milk protein. Whatever the reason. They puked a lot! I had 40 burp rags and went through all of them in one day! I would go through 24-32 bibs a day as well.

– I just buy cloth diapers for my burp rags, they are amazing at absorbing all the spit up and you get a lot for a good price!

12. Bibs (only if your babies are pukers)- as I mentioned above. If your babies spit up a lot, bibs will save your life! It’ll keep you from needing to change their outfits multiple times a day. As i said above. I went through 24-32 bibs a day.

– For the bibs I bought that worked great for little babies go HERE.

13. Crib Sheet Saver- If you have spit up babies, these saved me from doing tons of laundry and changing sheets all day.I had four total and honestly, I probably could have used one more set, but I was constantly doing laundry anyway, so it wasn’t too bad.

– You can find the sheet savers HERE

14. Video Monitor- You need a video monitor to be able to see and hear your babies, but also when your twins get older and start to interact with each other. It’s so fun to spy on them when they’re in their rooms. I bought the V-tech band and have loved it.

15. Snuza Hero Baby Movement Monitor- I have a love, hate relationship with these things. These are a little like the Owlet pulse monitor, but way cheaper.

– They monitor the movement of your baby’s belly when they’re sleeping, and it alarms you if it doesn’t detect movement after 20 seconds.

– There were more false alarms than anything and it got really annoying, but I am a worrier and SIDS is my biggest fear! With my twins being preemies, I was an even bigger mess than with my other children, so I was grateful for these and it put my mind at ease when I went to sleep at night.

– To purchase this go HERE

16. Infant Baby Bath– You only need one of these. I didn’t have a fancy special one, just a basic baby bath.

17. Car Seats– Obviously you’ll need two of these. I did a ton of research and our budget was certainly tight. I wanted good car seats, but ones that didn’t break the bank.

– I bought Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 car seats. These hold babies from 4-35 lbs. It was hard finding a car seat that was in my price range and would hold a 4 lb baby. Since my babies were going to be 4 lbs when they were released from the NICU I certainly needed ones that would hold 4 lbs.

– These are also the lightest car seats I could find. The car seat alone is only 7 lbs. I wanted light car seats if I was going to be lugging two babies around in them.

– My only complaint about these car seats is the canopy. It got in the way of the handle a lot and didn’t give good enough coverage for me, but nothing a cute canopy cover wouldn’t fix.

– For the ones I bought go HERE

18. Double Stroller- This was a killer for me to figure out because I needed one that wouldn’t take up the entire trunk of my van.

– I got the Baby Trend Snap n’ Go Double stroller. I loved this stroller! It is lightweight and folds up really thin. You just place your car seat on it and go. You don’t even have to have the same brand of car seat for it to fit on.

– I also got mine used online for half the price, which was wonderful!

– The only downfall is you can only use this stroller while your babies are in their infant car seats. If you don’t already have another double stroller for when they’re older than you’ll have to purchase another one, so it could end up not being the best financial route for you. I already had another double stroller, so it was perfect for me.

– Baby Trend Snap n’ Go Stroller go HERE

19. Laundry Detergent- You will need a lot of laundry detergent because you won’t believe how much laundry you’ll be doing. I did at least 3 loads every day! This is because my babies were pukers though.

20. Table for Two- These are seats attached to each other to put your babies in and you can feed them their bottles easily, feed them their baby food, or just let them chill in it.

– I personally didn’t have one of these because I didn’t know about it soon enough and I didn’t have the space anyway. Boy would it have been so nice to have though.

– They are a bit pricey and to be honest I probably wouldn’t have bought it because it’s too costly for me, but it is really cool and could be super handy.

– For the link go HERE

21. Double Breast Pump– no matter what, unless you plan to use straight formula right away you will want and need a good breast pump.

– Twins demand a lot more milk than one baby and you’ll need your pump to help keep up your milk supply.

– I used Medela and it was so nice! A good pump makes a world of difference.

– Make sure you have an extra set of flanges, so you don’t have to do as many dishes.

– For the link go HERE

22. Bottles– Lots of bottles!

– I used Dr. Brown’s bottles. These are the only nipples my babies could take in the NICU because the flow was slow enough for them to not choke and the nipple size was good.

– I had 9-12 bottles in both 4 oz and 8 oz sizes.

23. Bottle Warmer- If you are strictly pumping then a bottle warmer is an absolute life saver!

– I couldn’t nurse because my babies had to have their milk fortified with formula for more calories and nursing just wasn’t happening for me. I strictly pumped and a bottle warmer helped so much!

– If you are doing formula there is no need for this because you can make the bottle with warm water already.

– I had the Dr. Brown’s bottle warmer, but I am sure any kind would work just fine.

– For the one I had go HERE

24. Dual Nursing Pillow- My Brest Friend Twin Nursing Pillow or this other one I heard of is even better, The Twins Z Pillow.

– As I said nursing didn’t work out for me, but I had the My Brest Friend Twin Nursing Pillow and when I tried nursing it really made things easier.

– For the link for the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow go HERE 

– The Twins Z Pillow though looks better, safer, and more comfortable. It does cost a lot more than the My Brest Friend pillow though.The link for The Twins Z Pillow go HERE

25. Twin Carrier- I highly suggest either having two separate carriers or a carrier that’s meant for twins. The Weego Twin Baby Carrier is a carrier I think is pretty cool.

– We only had two separate carriers, but I wish I would have come across this sooner because it’s pretty neat and would have been really nice to have when I didn’t have someone else to carry one of the twins. We just didn’t have the finances for it.

– There are a lot of different ones out there, but this one is better for younger babies. There are others out there that would be better for older babies.

– Go HERE for the link for The Weego

26. Pack n’ Plays- I think having two Pack n’ Plays is HUGE!

– We take these anytime we are going to visit family and the babies need naps. They come in handy and are used often. I think they’re a must.

– I already had one, so I only needed to purchase one more. I wanted to keep it cheap, so I purchased a basic one without any crazy gismos and gadgets.

– For a good one that’s not too pricey go HERE

27. Baby Wipes Warmer- With my other kids I always thought this was a silly thing to waste your money on, but then I got one as a gift and oh my word it makes the world of difference when changing your little baby’s bottoms. They don’t scream and cry the entire time they are being changed. They’re miracles.

28. Baby Mitts- I personally say don’t waste your money on these and just use socks, they stay on better and you should already have some anyway. Most baby outfits come with the covers built right on the long sleeve onesie anyway.

29. Nose Frida- The bulb you get from the hospital that sucks all the guck out of your baby’s mouth after it’s born is wonderful for sucking out all your baby’s boogies, but the Nose Frida is pretty amazing as well! These look disgusting, but I promise you will never get any of your baby’s boogers in your mouth.

– Go HERE to purchase and learn more about it.

30. Cool Mist Humidifier- Whatever you do make sure you buy a cool mist humidifier because they work so much better.

– I love this one and it’s not too pricey, go HERE

31. Muslim Swaddle Blankets- I absolutely love these blankets, but they have some pretty pricey ones out there. There are so many out there that are the exact same material, but cheaper. I went the cheaper route and bought a lot from Wal-Mart and Amazon.

32. Sleep Sacks- I am a big believer in never putting anything loose in my baby’s crib when they are old enough to roll over and move around. Once they start moving around I stop swaddling them and transition them over to sleep sacks to keep them warm and safe. I love them. They have lots of different kinds out there and they have some that can grow with your child as they get older. These can be pretty pricey, but I feel are totally worth it.

– Go HERE for infant ones.

– Go HERE for older ones. 

33. Baby Basics

– Nail Clippers- remember you can’t clip baby’s nails for quite a while until after the skin behind it stops growing with the nail.

– Baby brush and comb

– Diaper Rash cream- honestly, I think Vaseline works better than anything else.

– Vaseline

– Baby Vicks

– Thermometer- I think the kind you put in their ear or move across their forehead are the best, they are pricey though, but last a long time and work well, so it’s worth it.

– Children’s Tylenol and Ibuprofen. DO NOT EVER buy Infant Tylenol and Ibuprofen, they cost more for way less. Your pediatrician will give you doses that correlate with Children’s Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

– Saline solution- this stuff is amazing to help get dry boogies out of your baby’s nose.

– Binkies- I’d wait on buying these until your baby is born because you never know what they will like. See how they do with the hospital one first and go from there or buy the kind you want them to like and don’t let the hospital give them any other kind except for that one.

 

Well, there you have it! I can’t think of anything else that are absolute must haves! This list is not in any particular order. It’s simply just a list.

A lot of these things you won’t need until your babies get older, which is nice because it will give you time to gradually buy things.

I know this is all probably very overwhelming to you. Some of the things you may not want or need at all. Just see what’s best for you and your family. It’s all a big experiment. One thing you’ll learn quickly is that one of your babies may like one thing and the other may not.

Good Luck!

If you have any other suggestions or questions please comment, I’d love to hear from you.

 

You really don't need TWO of EVERYTHING! This is the best list of must haves and advice if you're expecting twins. This is all coming from a mom with twins. tessatomom.com

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The Shock of Finding out You’re Pregnant with Twins

I was 8 weeks pregnant when I found I was pregnant with twins. Not a lot of people are lucky enough to find out that early on. Some people don’t find out until their first ultrasound at 20 weeks. So, I feel very fortunate to have known so early on.

I had a miscarriage prior (for my miscarriage story go HERE), so my OBGYN wanted to do an ultrasound, that’s how we knew so soon. We were talking about getting to the hospital early enough this time around to be able to get an epidural, because my last baby she delivered within twenty minutes of me arriving at the hospital.

My little three-year-old daughter was sitting quietly on a chair in the corner of the room playing a game on my phone.

As my doctor was putting information into the computer I remember feeling so nervous. I was so worried that something would be wrong, or there wouldn’t be a heartbeat. I was already so hesitant going into this pregnancy because of miscarrying with my last one.

As she placed the ultrasound wand on my belly she said, “Ok let’s look at this baby” a few moments passed, “actually, two babies! You’re having TWINS!”

I looked at her with my BIG shock eyes and said, “SHUT UP!” Yep! I told my doctor to shut up! OOPS!

She started laughing and said, “Yep! Two babies!”

My daughter started laughing and said, “Not two babies. One baby.”

It is a moment I will never forget! I sat and looked at the ultrasound, to see two teeny, tiny babies on the screen…there were no words…TWINS! I couldn’t believe it!

She said, “Well, you don’t have to worry about not getting here in time for an epidural because most twin pregnancies are induced. We have a lot to talk about now, because twins change everything.”

This was so unexpected and such BIG news to wrap my head around.

My appointment lasted way longer than it should have. It ended up being 1 ½ hours. I had to talk to my doctor about a lot of things, then schedule all these appointments, I had to get my blood drawn, and speak with the billing department. My head was spinning. All of this was happening so fast and my husband doesn’t even know yet.

I had to figure out a way to tell him. I had 1 ½ hours to teach my three-year-old to tell him when she sees him, “mommy’s having two babies.” She was finally getting it down and it was absolutely adorable.

My husband works right across the street from the hospital. We stopped by and he came out to the car to talk to us. I asked my daughter if she had anything she wanted to tell daddy. She said, “Look at my pretty, painted nails.”

Well, that backfired. I kept trying to help remind her what she had to tell him, but she couldn’t remember. I showed him the ultrasound picture instead, thinking he’d realize there were two babies, but he sat and stared at it awhile and said, “I’m not ultrasound smart. What am I looking for?”

I said, “Mommy’s having two babies!”

Then my daughter chimed in, “Mommy’s having two babies, daddy!” She was a little late. Haha!

My husband kept saying, NO, over and over again. Then he sat and stared for a bit! It was pretty great!

I wish I could say the SHOCK of finding out you’re having TWINS wears off, but it really doesn’t. There is a type of denial that hangs over your head until you hold them both in your arms, that’s when the reality really sinks in.

There are moments even now, 18 months later I find myself not believing there’s two of them, it’s incredible! I am beyond grateful to be so trusted to raise two at the same time.

Ok, sorry for rambling on about my experience!


HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP THIS ALL SINK IN

1. BREATHE! JUST BREATHE!

2. DON’T PANIC! Don’t start panicking about all the things you’re going to need, you have to do, how much it’ll cost…etc…LIVE IN THE MOMENT! Don’t skip so far ahead, you have time, so slow down.

3. Talk about your feelings. ALL OF THEM POSITVE OR NEGATIVE. It’s ok to feel negative feelings about this. It’s a scary and overwhelming thing to imagine. Two babies, two toddlers, two children, two teens! That’s a lot to take in. So, express what you’re thinking and feeling.

4. If you found out early on like me then make a list of things you need to take care of (example: health insurance. For a good list to follow after finding out you’re pregnant go HERE.)

5. This is the most important one of them all! PLEASE KNOW THAT YOU CAN DO THIS! Yes, twins are scary, and it can be hard, but it’s doable. You’re going to get so much input from so many people and to be honest most of it isn’t uplifting, it’s discouraging. DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM! YOU CAN DO THIS!

6. Just a heads up! This journey you’re about to embark upon is going to be an up and down emotional rollercoaster ride. Every pregnancy is unpredictable, but a pregnancy with multiples is so much more unpredictable. You need a good support system and doctors you COMPLETELY TRUST!

7. Have faith! Have faith in God, yourself, your doctors, and your babies.

You’re going to do GREAT! YOU were blessed with two miracles instead of one, so embrace this challenge and LOVE it!

 

The moment you find our you're having twins, there are no words to express the shock you experience. Here are some ideas on how to overcome it. tessatomom.com
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What is Your Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy

As you start getting further into your second trimester (for a post on what to expect your second trimester go HERE.) you’ll start to see the numbers on your scale rising. Your baby grows a ton during the second trimester and so do you!

You should be starting to feel better and your appetite is probably starting to take off, hopefully! This is a WONDERFUL thing, so don’t let yourself or anyone else for that matter let you think otherwise!

Weight gain is hard for anyone and this isn’t gradual, it’s fast weight gain and that can sometimes make you feel pretty crappy. It’s hard to not let yourself get sucked into the emotional trap of weight gain during pregnancy, but you have to keep reminding yourself this weight gain isn’t due to you doing this to yourself, it’s because you’re making a tiny human and a lot of it is out of your control.

Of course, if you go crazy on milk shakes, French fries, twinkies and who knows what else, then YES, your weight gain will be significant. If you’re eating the way you did before and trying to be even more aware of eating healthier for you and your baby now, then you can help control your weight gain a little bit better.

Your appetite isn’t the same as it was before you got pregnant. You’re going to be a lot hungrier and you do need to eat more because your body is burning a lot of calories making this tiny human. The saying, “You’re eating for two” isn’t really accurate in this situation though.

HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU GAIN

  • If you were an average weight for your height before getting pregnant than you should only gain 25-35 pounds.
  • If you were under-weight for your height before getting pregnant than you should gain 28-40 pounds.
  • If you were overweight for your height before getting pregnant than you should gain 15-25 pounds.

If you want to calculate your weight gain go HERE

WHAT ARE YOU ACTUALLY GAINING

  • 7 ½ pounds is about how much the baby will weigh by the end of your pregnancy
  • 1 ½ pounds is how much the placenta weighs
  • 4 pounds is your increase in fluid volume
  • 2 pounds is how much your uterus weighs
  • 2 pounds is the weight of breast tissue
  • 4 pounds is your increase in blood volume
  • 7 pounds is from fat, protein, and other nutrients that is stored
  • 2 pounds is from the amniotic fluid
  • That’s a total of 30 pounds

HOW MANY CALORIES SHOULD YOU BE EATING

  • Normal-weight pregnant women should intake about 1,800 calories per day during the first trimester
  • About 2,200 calories per day during the second trimester
  • About 2,400 calories per day during the third trimester

These are just numbers and this varies per person. I truly believe that some women no matter what they do they can’t help but gain a lot during pregnancy or vice versa. I know plenty of women who eat horrible during their pregnancies and don’t gain a lot of weight.

Every-body is different. Every-body reacts differently to pregnancy. I have a lot of friends who eat so healthy and exercise during their pregnancies and were a normal weight for their height before getting pregnant and they always gain 65-80 pounds during pregnancy.

I also have a lot of friends who eat healthy with a mix of not eating healthy who only gain 10-20 pounds during pregnancy.

I am a mix of this. My first pregnancy I only gained 18 pounds. My second I gained 28 pounds. My twins I only gained 12 pounds. 12 pounds people and that was with twins!

EVERYONE is different, every PREGNANCY is DIFFERENT! Try not to compare yourself to others or your other pregnancies. I know it’s hard, but it’ll only discourage you more. Just do your best to eat healthy and don’t worry about the numbers on the scale.

One thing I absolutely loved about my doctor was she never said one word to me during my pregnancies about my weight gain. NOT ONE WORD! I really appreciated that.

Now, for other people not so much! People would make comments either way whether they were saying I wasn’t gaining enough or I needed to be careful and not gain too much and that was just them looking at me and not seeing the numbers on the scale.

I got so many comments when I was pregnant with my twins about how big I was going to get and then as I was getting bigger how big I was. It was not fun to hear, and it really did bother me.

I didn’t like it when other people who were due around the same time as me would compare their belly to mine, especially when I was pregnant with my twins, because I was pregnant with two and they were only pregnant with one.

It went both ways for me when people would compare, they were either saying, “you’re so tiny, I’m a whale next to you,” or, “wow you’ve really popped, you look so uncomfortable, I’m sorry.” That was them putting it nicely.

Either way whether they were saying I was small or big it made me feel bad and uncomfortable, what do you say to comments like that?

We need to try and be respectful and aware of how people would feel when things like this are said.

Another thing that is really important to remember is doctors don’t always know best. I have had multiple friends have medical issues because their doctors were concerned about them gaining too much or too little.

For example, one of my friends was gaining weight fairly quickly during her pregnancy and her doctor advised her to go on a diet and to exercise regularly because she was concerned, there were no medical issues occurring during this time she was simply just concerned about her weight gain.

My friend did as the doctor advised and started watching what she was eating and exercising. She ended up having major complications during her pregnancy and was on bed rest for a long time and ended up having a preterm baby. She was just pushing it too hard and too stressed about the numbers on the scale.

I truly believe that YOU KNOW your body better and have better intuition than your doctor does.

Of course, if there are medical issues arising, like high blood pressure etc. then yes, do your best to take your doctors advice, but if you are already trying your best to do all you can to eat healthy, exercise, and your weight is climbing, then trust that this is just how your body carries your precious baby.

With all that said it can go for not gaining enough weight as well.

I had a nurse practitioner see me once for one of my appointments with my twins and she was concerned about me not gaining enough and advised me to eat more fatty foods, like ice cream, whole milk, and donuts. No serious complications arose because of this, but I did take her advise and started eating some of those things a little more often than I usually would, and I just felt crappier because of it. My heartburn got worse, I felt more fatigued, and just felt yucky and I still didn’t gain from it.

Keep the mindset that your body changes a lot during pregnancy and there’s nothing you can do about it. You gain weight, you get stretch marks, your hips expand, your breasts get bigger and stretched out. You’re body will not be the exact same way it was prior to having your babies. You honestly may feel like a stranger in your own body at times; but think of the positive; think of the beautiful blessing that you will receive from all this. It’s a magnificent transformation into becoming a mother.

So, love the new you!  Be grateful to have a body that is capable of bringing a tiny person into this world, it truly is amazing!

 

Weight gain during pregnancy can be difficult whether you're gaining to little or too much. The pressure is on either way. Here is a fantastic post on what your personal weight gain should be. tessatomom.com
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Turning the Corner into Your Second Trimester

YAY! The second trimester is honestly magical. It’s crazy how when you turn the corner into your second trimester how much better you start to feel. It’s truly incredible!

You start to gain more energy. Your morning sickness starts to subside (if you’re lucky!) A lot of the symptoms from your first trimester really do start to dwindle.

Every pregnancy is different though. With my first I experienced morning sickness on and off throughout all three of my trimesters. With my second pregnancy I only experienced morning sickness my first trimester. With my twins pregnancy I experienced morning sickness on and off during all three trimesters as well.

So, they all vary. I really hope you’re blessed and only experience all the horribleness your first trimester. Pregnancy is miserable when you feel crumby throughout the whole thing.

It’s nice to be able to perk up a bit throughout your pregnancy and not feel so lousy. To actually be able to enjoy your growing belly a little bit is the BIGGEST gift!

Your appetite will start to desire food again and you’ll start to get some crazy cravings! Write down what your weird cravings are so you can remember them, it’s fun to look back and see how pregnancy changed your appetite.

This is when you need to start focusing on your diet, make sure you’re eating nutritious, high protein, and healthy foods. Drink lots of water.

 

WHAT YOU “MAY” EXPERIENCE DURING YOUR SECOND TRIMESTER

  • Heartburn– if you were already experiencing this your first trimester then I’m so sorry, it just gets worse from here to the end. If you haven’t gotten on something at this point I highly suggest you do. It really helps so much. There is no need for you to be miserable with heartburn when there are medications out there to help, ask your physician.
  • Weight gain– depending on your first trimester and how you were feeling and what you were capable of eating. This trimester is when you’ll most likely really start to gain weight. (For another post on healthy weight gain during pregnancy go HERE)
  • Breast tenderness and enlargement
  • Nasty taste in your mouth, bad breath– if you’re experiencing this I wish there was something I could tell you to do to cure this, but I was unfortunate to never find anything that would help besides delivering my babies. I experienced this with all of my pregnancies and honestly about a week after I had them it went away. SORRY!
  • Increase in vaginal discharge and possible color and odor changes– YEAH I’M NOT EVEN GO TO GO THERE!
  • Possible yeast infections and UTI’s– THESE STINK SO BAD!!!!!! I can’t even tell you how many of these I’ve gotten throughout my pregnancies, my body doesn’t like extra added hormones and these are what I would get because of them. NO FUN!
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Constipation– THIS STINKS SO BAD TOO!!!!!!! I wish I could say I have a cure for this too. I’ve done EVERYTHING in the book to help me with this during my pregnancies……NOTHING! Nothing helps me with this so good luck! My only advice is pop stool softeners constantly!
  • Frequent Peeing
  • Sciatica– this is when your sciatic nerve is being irritated/pinched which causes horrible pain in your lower back that shoots down your leg/legs. There is nothing that can really help this, and it’s very painful, it just gets worse the father along and bigger you get too. Try to rest and take it easy.


I have a FUNNY, NOT SO FUNNY story to tell you about my sciatic nerve pain with my first pregnancy. I was 6 months pregnant. My husband and I were walking into Wal-Mart, we were holding hands and being all cute. We thought it would be fun to skip into the store. So, we started skipping.

Well, my sciatic nerve pain decided to hit me full force and it literally made my legs give out from under me and I am not even kidding I fell right on my face in the parking lot.

My shoe went flying off all dramatically. I laid on the ground for a good 20 seconds trying to comprehend what the heck just happened. I was so embarrassed because quite a few people witnessed this. I was nervous because I fell right on my stomach and I was terrified I hurt my baby.

Then of course my pregnant self started sobbing uncontrollably. It was one of those ugly, laugh cries that you do when you’re uncomfortable and don’t really know how to show your emotions properly.

YEP! That’s my embarrassing FUNNY, NOT SO FUNNY story for ya! Now, luckily no harm was done to my baby boy, thank heavens!

Moral of the story, don’t skip if you experience sciatica while pregnant. 🙂

Now, back to the list of things to expect this trimester.

At the beginning of this trimester your stomach will definitely start to poke out if it hasn’t already. This is the “chubby stage” of pregnancy and this is when you want to buy a shirt that says, “I’m Pregnant!” because this is the stage where people wonder if you’re just gaining weight or expecting and they’re not sure whether to say something or not. Don’t worry though, by the end of this trimester your baby bump will definitely be present!

This is when your chances of miscarrying decrease by a lot and if you haven’t already announced your exciting news, now is the time to shout it to the world! There are so many fun ways you can announce it, Pinterest has a lot of ideas!

Now that you’re into your second trimester you need to start sleeping on your LEFT side. No more back or tummy sleeping.  If you’re exercising no more lying flat on your back to do certain exercises as well. The reasoning for this is because when you lay on your back you can pinch a nerve that blocks blood flow to your baby and can cause brain development deformities.

Prop yourself up with pillows to help you from rolling over onto your back or belly while you sleep. If you wake up and find yourself on your back or belly, DON’T PANIC just roll back over to your LEFT side. Your left side is favored because that’s the side that gets the best blood and nutrient flow to your placenta.

Do whatever you can to enjoy this trimester, because this really is the trimester you’ll feel your best, even if you still experience all the crappy that comes along with it. You’ve got this!

 

The second trimester is by far the best out of of the three. You start to feel so much better. Here is some information on what to expect during this trimester. tessatomom.com
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