“So this is what it’s like to feed three growing boys!” I told my husband, shuffling through the fridge wondering what to feed the kiddos. I had always known that the costs of raising twins would be higher than one child.
But it’s easy to forget until you realize you’re making huge batches of baby food that cover a mere two days and ordering boxes of diapers every month. What else have been some of the surprising costs of raising twins?
Surprising costs of raising twins
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Even though I figured raising twins would include double of most standard purchases like diapers and baby gear, I was surprised at some of the costs I didn’t anticipate.
Buying a larger vehicle (or house)
Depending on the car you have, you may need to get a new one to fit the twins. In my case, our eldest son plus two babies meant we couldn’t rely on our sedan-sized cars to fit the five of us.
Our minivan has no interest, but we still pay a monthly bill. One we weren’t paying with our already-paid off cars.
We didn’t need to move out of our spacious two-bedroom (all three kids share one room). But I’ve heard from other twin moms that having twins sometimes means buying or renting a bigger home.
Extended bed rest and maternity leave
The costs of raising twins come not just in what we spend but in what we lose. Take your income, for instance. Working until the babies are born may not be the most comfortable arrangement. At 32 weeks pregnant, you’ll be as big as if you were carrying a singleton at 40 weeks. You will get big. And walking around work won’t be ideal.
You may not even have a choice. Your doctor could place you on early bed rest. And you might have an extended maternity leave because of a C-section or health issues. My income went down when I was on short-term disability.
Save several weeks’ or months’ worth of expenses to cover potentially reduced income. And reserve vacation days to pad your income during extended leave.
Doctor’s appointments and hospital bills
With all my pregnancy complications, my doctor wanted to monitor me closely. As in, three-times-a-week closely. Even with insurance, I still had to fork over co-payments and parking fees for the office visits.
And here’s the thing about twins that’s so easy to overlook: there are two of them. Silly, I know. But after the twins were born, I realized only later I’d get billed for two patients. Never mind that their procedures were nearly identical and done on the same days.
Besides regular hospital stays, consider potential NICU stays and their bills. With more than half of twins born earlier than full-term, an NICU stay is common for twins and preemies.
Even though I had saved many of my older son’s gear, two babies at the same time might need twin-specific gear. Take, for instance, the stroller.
We already had two strollers, but neither worked for two babies. Since we already had a Chicco Keyfit for my eldest, we bought the same kind in a double version.
Or the nursing pillow: I saved my Boppy but found tandem feeding the twins difficult. So I bought a twin-sized nursing pillow instead. The My Brest Friend twin nursing pillow was my best friend. I swear by that thing!
We were able to use many of my older son’s gear for at least one of the babies (his crib and car seat, for instance). But we still had to buy another set for the other guy.
While you may be able to get away with your older child’s hand-me-downs, be prepared to purchase twin-specific gear.
I breastfed my eldest son exclusively (and even pumped enough while I was away at work). But I haven’t been able to produce enough milk for both twins and now supplement with formula. With that comes yet even more expenses keeping those formula tins stocked.
If you decide to formula-feed or supplement breastfeeding with formula, you may find yourself with additional costs for formula.
Common costs with raising twins
Not all expenses were surprises, but I still want to mention a few of the more common costs to keep in mind. Besides these surprise expenses, below are some of the more not-so-surprising costs to consider:
- Child care and preschool. By far the biggest expenses in our budget is our kids’ child care and school. We’ve managed to afford a wonderful nanny and an awesome school for our eldest. But we’ve had to tighten our budget a bit.
- College savings. My husband and I squirrel away a few bucks for our kids’ college savings. With double the kids (plus our first), we’re not able to save as much as we used to.
- Food. Now that the twins are eating baby food and solids, we’ve restocked our fridge and pantry and cook every day. I expect our grocery bill will increase. The upside? Once the twins are one-year old the extra cost of milk will more than make up for the cost of formula.
- Diapers: Twins typically go through two boxes of diapers a month, regardless of size (smaller size diapers tend to have more diapers to accommodate frequent changes compared to larger size diapers).
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Interested in reading more about twins? Check out these posts:
- Your Most Frequently Asked Questions about Twins
- How to Handle Twins after a Singleton
- How to Sleep Train Your Twins—The Ultimate Guide
What were some of the surprising costs of raising twins? Share them in the comments below.
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