Overwhelmed with all the things you have to do to get ready for your twins? Get my preparing for twins checklist so you don’t overlook important tasks.
For one thing, we only find out later that we’re having twins. While I knew I was pregnant for a few weeks, I didn’t realize I was carrying two until my first doctor’s appointment confirmed it.
And second, a twin delivery usually comes sooner than a singleton one. I was given only until 38 weeks to deliver, and even then, still gave birth a few weeks earlier. Other moms deliver even earlier still due to the type of twins they have or complications that came up.
Finally, we’re mentally preparing for twins and life with raising two babies. What can already feel overwhelming—expecting a baby—is made even more so by the fact that we’re now dealing with two.
Our window of a twin pregnancy feels shorter on both ends and crammed with tons of things to do in the middle. Whatever time we have during pregnancy can feel crazy and chaotic. We’re barely wondering how to survive with twins while dealing with the actual steps to getting ready for them.
Preparing for twins checklist
Rather than scrambling to discover what I needed to do and when, I wrote it all down and ticked them off as I got them done. If anything new came up, I simply added it to the list to make sure I didn’t lose sight of it.
Keeping all this information in your head feels stressful. It can make what should be a straightforward timeline of tasks seem like an impossibility. Plus, you’re less likely to forget something you told yourself to do when you have it written down.
And perhaps most importantly, referring to a checklist like the one below helps you avoid overlooking something you need to do but hadn’t considered. Checklists are a fantastic gauge of whether you’re on track with preparing for twins.
I’ve learned a lot about time management and organization, especially as a mom to twins. I know through reading books about psychology and behavior that we’re more likely to follow through when we write those tasks down.
I also know we’re more confident and reassured when these tasks are out of our heads and written on paper.
Convinced? Take a look at my Preparing for Twins Checklist to make sure you’re on track with what you need to do:
Bonus: I made the following checklist as a printable PDF you can download—at no cost to you—and keep as a timeline! Join my newsletter and get it below for a convenient way to keep track of everything you need to do:
Enroll in childbirth, infant care, and CPR classes
Knowledge goes a long way. In these classes, you’ll learn tricks like which way to face your babies when changing diapers (a baby’s bottom should be on the same side as your dominant hand) and how to breathe through contractions.
Narrow down a few names
Whether you decide on a name months before or on the day you meet your twins, start looking into potential names. Consider the meaning behind the names as well as the initials the names make.
Select baby announcements
You won’t have your twins’ pictures yet, but look through templates or create your own announcements so you’ll have them nearly ready to go.
Purchase comfortable maternity clothes
As you progress through your pregnancy, you’ll need clothes to fit your expanding belly. You’ll also need maternity clothes for after the twins are born (after delivery, you’ll be the same size as you were at about six months pregnant).
Get familiar with your maternity leave policy
How to prepare for twins financially? Start with your work place. Once you’ve shared the news at work, look into your maternity leave options. Each state has its own rules, as does each workplace. Schedule a meeting with Human Resources or your boss to discuss your time off before and/or after delivery.
Select a pediatrician
Ask for referrals and check if they’re available on your insurance.
Then, call their offices and ask to spend a few minutes to speak with and learn more about them. Are you comfortable with their practice? What are their office hours? What are their policies for last-minute appointments and sicknesses?
Take a hospital tour
Know your way around the hospital. Find out where to go when the big day arrives, from where to park to which floor to check in. Learn their policies, from when and how many visitors are allowed to whether children can visit.
Pre-register for your hospital stay
Most hospitals encourage you to mail your registration before you arrive. You won’t have to fill out forms when everything is already in their system.
Prepare your other children for their new sibling
Share your pregnancy with your kids when your belly begins to show. Read books about welcoming a new baby. Let them know what to expect, such as lots of crying and their parents taking care of the twins. And encourage them to look for ways to help care for the babies.
Sign up for a baby registry
Start compiling a list of items you’ll need when the twins are born. Choose from more than one store to make it convenient for your friends and family to shop.
Research health insurance
Determine the costs of adding the babies to your health insurance. Also decide whose insurance you should add them to.
Look into childcare
Preparing for twins on a budget? One of the biggest costs is childcare once the twins are born.
Many parents won’t decide on childcare until after a baby is born, but begin researching options. Compare costs, convenience, and your own comfort level. Consider options like hiring a nanny, asking family to help, enrolling in a day care or in-home facility, or a nanny share.
Make a game plan for when labor starts
Labor can happen any time. Make a game plan of what to do when contractions start and you need to get to the hospital. Decide who will be with your kids while you’re away.
Install the car seats
Learn how to install your car seats correctly, as well as best practices on how to secure a baby in place.
Buy, assemble, and test-drive big-item gear
Get all your baby gear in order before the twins arrive. Learn how to use your stroller, from folding it to putting on the brakes. Figure out how the swing works, and assemble the bassinets and cribs.
Ask for help
The twins aren’t here yet, but discuss with friends and family if they can help when the big day arrives. See if they can stay a few days or weeks, or drop by on weekends with extra food and helping hands.
Wash the baby clothes
Your twins’ skin may be sensitive to clothes, either store-bought or hand-me-downs. Wash the baby clothes with a baby-friendly and skin-sensitive laundry detergent before putting it on. You’ll want to do this up until your twins reach the one-year-old mark.
Decorate and assemble the nursery
Begin putting the nursery together. Assemble the cribs and changing table. Install shelves and fill them with books. Place baby clothes in the dresser drawers or closet.
Pack your hospital bag
Anything can happen along the way, from labor to complications. Pack your hospital bag and keep it with you so you have everything you need ready to go.
Stock up on household supplies
Avoid last-minute trips to the store by stocking up on household supplies. Buy items like toilet paper, paper towels, toiletries, and other frequent purchases.
Cook and freeze food
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You likely won’t cook fresh meals every day when the twins are born. Start now and freeze food for later use. Or gather take-out menus and restaurant gift cards so you’ll have food at hand when you don’t have much time.
If you’ve ever felt intimidated by preparing freezer food, I don’t blame you. You might not know what recipes actually freeze well (because not all recipes do!), what containers to put them in, or how long they last. Or you’re scared the whole process will take too much time and space in your kitchen.
If so, you’ll definitely want to check out Erin Chase’s MyFreezEasy meal plans. She breaks down exactly the kinds of recipes that lend themselves well to freezing. She also gives you recipes that are inexpensive and don’t take up too much time to prepare.
The first few weeks and months with twins can also be a whole lot of doing… nothing. You’re breastfeeding or carrying or otherwise not able to do much or get around. Load up on entertainment like DVDs, books, music, and your favorite television shows to pass the time.
A twin pregnancy can be one of the biggest whirlwinds you’ll experience, especially as you get used to the idea of life with twins.
With this checklist in hand, now you know the practical steps you actually need to take, without worrying about whether you’ve overlooked a key task. Regardless of where you are in your twin pregnancy, you can check what else you need to do before the big arrival.
Get more tips on preparing for twins:
- What to Do when You’re in Labor with Twins
- How Caring for Newborn Twins is Different from Singletons
- 11 Interesting Facts about Twins You Probably Didn’t Know
- Raising Twins after a Singleton
- Surprising Costs of Raising Twins You Never Knew
Tell me in the comments: What is on your preparing for twins checklist?
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