Have you gone to a store to create your baby registry and had them hand you an entire booklet of items to register for? The checklist alone is at least four pages! I have, and it was overwhelming. Certainly you do not need all that stuff. I am a minimalist, so I wanted to avoid as many frivolous baby purchases as possible. Thinking back to surviving the first year with twins and then spending the first four months of Heidi’s life travelling in a van (#vanlife), here are my top 10 baby registry must-haves, the frivolous baby stuff that is worth the spend, aside from the essentials (crib, stroller, car seat, high chair, clothes, bottles, and diapers).
- Boppy Lounger: Hands down this was our favorite baby item. It is my go-to for baby shower gifts now. Our girls didn’t use swings, bouncers, etc. but they lived in the Boppy Loungers the first three months. Our daytime routine through the newborn stage was eat, interact/play and then sleep. Any sleeping during the daytime happened in the Boppy Loungers (it’s kind of like a less fancy version of a Dock-A-Tot). Tandem bottle feeding happened in the Boppy Loungers. Tummy time sometimes occurred in the Boppy Loungers. Staring at the activity gym sometimes occurred in the Boppy Loungers. You get it, if we needed a place to set the girls, into the Boppy Loungers they went. When Heidi was a newborn and living her best van life, the Boppy Lounger was her safe space in the van. Just make sure you also register for a couple of washable covers for it unless you want to head to the laundromat for washing the whole thing.
2. Brest Friend Nursing Pillow: My number one must-have for breastfeeding is the Brest Friend Nursing Pillow. They make a twin-sized one too! This pillow is nursing dream! I was able to fully appreciate how comfortable and supportive this nursing pillow is early on because I could feel a significant difference (lack of pain) from when I had nursed at the hospital without it. Bring your nursing pillow with you to the hospital! It is especially helpful for nursing twins when you have to juggle getting both tiny newborns into just the right position to latch. I don’t use it anymore because the girls are big enough to just nurse doing crazy acrobatic poses, but I lived in this pillow the first several months.
3. Owlet Baby Monitor: We had our girls in their own cribs in their own rooms from the first night home from the hospital (you can read more about we gt all three of our girls to sleep through the night by twelve pounds here). Leaving a newborn in another room to sleep without hovering can seem a little intimidating, but we knew it was the right move for our family. We used owlet monitors to give us that peace of mind we needed. We actually started off with Snuza monitors but upgraded to Owlets, and I highly recommend the investment in Owlets over Snuzas. The Owlets offered a couple of features that the Snuzas didn’t, which we liked, including the visible indicator of the monitor glow and the lack of false alarms. We ended up using the Owlets all the way up until 18 months.
4. Wabi Sterilizer and Dryer: A lot of research and recommendations went into purchasing this specific sterilizer and dryer over other alternatives for its speed and thoroughness in drying. It has become the most used household appliance. It’s an essential part of our bottle washing routine, and I would not waste a cent on grass/tree bottle drying racks that clutter your counters. Every night my husband would wash all of the bottles (there were lots because of pumping and bottle feeding twins) and run them all in one load through the Wabi and within less than 45 minutes they would all be sterilized and dry and back in the cabinets.
5. Wubbanub Pacifiers: Pacifiers are an amazing resource for your newborn. At first we stockpiled Phillip’s Avent Soothies, but once the girls hit 6 weeks we got them each their own Wubbanub pacifier, and the rest is history. Wubbanubs are just like the Phillip’s Avent Soothies but with a little stuffed animal attached. These pacifiers became the girls monikers that first year. Brooklyn had Mooey the Cow, and Blakely had Ellie the Elephant. We even dressed them as Mooey and Ellie for Halloween. Heidi got Bambi the Deer who is equally iconic in the family now. Wubbanubs just take the regular pacifier up a notch. They are also easier to keep track of and for your baby to handle. We never had to replace them, but I would recommend registering for a backup just in case.
The girls with their BFFs; Ellie and Mooey.
6. Structured Carrier: I highly recommend babywearing (especially with twins because with two babies a free hand is hard to come by). For me wraps were too much of a hassle and slings didn’t provide long-term back support (especially for my hikes). I liked the ease of use of the structured carriers. We have used the Ergo and the Lille Baby and loved them both. They never failed us for calming a distraught newborn. We still use them with our toddlers for hiking and trips.
Surviving that witching hour.
7. Summer Infant Pop & Go Chair: This is our most complimented baby (and toddler) item. Anytime we go over to a friend’s house, family’s house, party, BBQ, camping or just hanging out outside, we bring these with us. They are just like a camping chairs except for short enough for babies and they have a slide on tray for eating. And they come in so handy.
Enjoying breakfast at the beach!
8. Swaddles: We found swaddling essential in the newborn stage. Swaddling can also be very frustrating trying to swaddle your newborn. The SwaddleMe swaddles solved all of our swaddling struggles. It’s like a little cocoon with velcro to achieve the perfect swaddle. The smalls were the perfect size for our girls from newborn up to four months. We were also gifted some Ollie Swaddles for Heidi and loved those as well, and I ended up using them more with Heidi than the SwaddleMes. And then we transitioned them to Zippadee Zip Sleep Sacks (which was a surprisingly smooth transition) until they were old enough to use a regular blanket because we keep it really cold in our house at night.
9. Angel Care Baby Bath Support: I love this simple bath lounger for the newborn stage! Brad and I have tried baths without support and baby sized tubs, but they were all difficult to navigate (still can’t figure out how to wash a baby’s bottom with those options). The Angel Care Baby Bath Support is easy to use and keep clean and provides the perfect support all the way up until Heidi could sit up on her own.
10. Munckin High Speed Bottle Warmers: I pumped a lot (like a lot a lot) in the first year to keep up with feeding twins while working. That meant we had a lot of chilled breastmilk in the fridge. This warmer was the perfect quick way to get breastmilk from chilled to ready to drink. If you are having twins, I highly recommend getting two so you can warm bottles up at the same time.
Bonus – Bugaboo Bliss Bottle Holders: We loved our Bugaboo Bliss bottle holders for hands free bottle feeding when Mama was alone tandem feeding or when things were hectic.
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