Surprising Costs of Raising Twins

How much do twins cost compared to singletons? Don’t forget these overlooked and surprising costs of raising twins to better prepare.

Surprising Costs of Raising Twins“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 kids.

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 and wipes every month.

I figured raising twins would include double of most standard purchases and essentials, but I was still surprised at some of the unexpected costs.

Surprising costs of raising twins

Maybe you’ve reviewed your yearly budget and are shocked at how much you’ve spent in the last year of having twins. You thought you’d stop spending in one area (“Yay, no more formula!”) only to find yourself spending on other expenses (“How many snacks can two toddlers eat?!”).

Perhaps you’re a soon-to-be twin mom, wondering how much your finances might change as you prepare for their arrival. Or you’ve found ways to keep expenses minimal, applying frugal practices even more.

From my personal experience and surveying other twin moms, I realized that there were a few surprising costs to raising twins. I share them with you below so that you can better prepare or balance your budget now that you’re a mom of twins:

twin mom

1. Twin-specific baby gear

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Even though I had saved many of my older son’s gear, two babies at the same time sometimes need twin-specific gear.

Take, for instance, the stroller. We already had two strollers, but neither worked for pushing two babies at the same time. Despite already having two strollers, we needed to get a double stroller for the twins.

Or the nursing pillow. A standard one won’t cut it for tandem feeding two babies, 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!)

You may be able to use many of your older child’s hand-me-downs for one of the twins (for instance, a crib or a car seat). But you might still need to get another for the other twin. And let’s not forget toys—more often than not, you’ll likely buy two of many of them.

Free printables: Want to know exactly what to get for your twins? Join my newsletter and grab your copy of the Twin Registry Must-Haves! Keep track of what you have and the baby items you still need to get. Get it below—at no cost to you:

Twin Registry Checklist

2. Buying a larger vehicle (or house)

When I was pregnant but didn’t know I was having twins yet, my husband and I were already planning on replacing his aging car with a similarly-sized one. We already had a three-year-old, so adding one more car seat wouldn’t be a problem for that future sedan.

He kept postponing that purchase, and thank goodness he did. Because when we finally did learn that we were having twins, we realized that we wouldn’t be able to fit all three car seats in the back seat. Instead of a sedan, we ended up buying a larger van to accommodate all three car seats.

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 sedan-sized cars to fit the five of us.

A new vehicle might mean a new (or higher) monthly payment and more expensive insurance. What you can save on with a new vehicle are maintenance expenses, which tend to be lower with newer cars than driving an older one.

Besides a car, you may need to consider getting a bigger home to accommodate the twins. Whether an upgrade from a one-bedroom to a two or buying a new home in a good school district, your home could be a large expense that comes with twins.

Learn 12 sneaky ways to beat the cost of twins.

Cost of Twins

3. 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. Working until the babies are born may not be the most comfortable or possible arrangement with twins. At 32 weeks pregnant, you might be as big as if you were carrying a singleton at 40 weeks.

And sometimes, you may not even have a choice. Your doctor could place you on early bed rest, or you might have complications that take you out of work earlier than with a singleton. Perhaps you have an extended maternity leave because of a C-section or health issues.

With my singleton, I gave birth to him the next day I stopped working. But with the twins and the complications I had, I needed to go on bed rest at 31 weeks (and not work completely at 32).

To prepare, save several weeks’ or even months’ worth of expenses to cover reduced income. You can also reserve vacation days to pad your income during extended leave.

Read 8 tips to save for maternity leave.

Save for Maternity Leave

4. Doctor’s appointments and hospital bills

With potential complications—and a twin pregnancy being high-risk—your doctor will likely watch you closely. Even with insurance, you might still need to fork over co-payments and parking fees for 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 that 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, a NICU stay is common for twins and preemies.

One way to offset the costs is to use a flexible spending account if your work offers one. This allows you to spend pre-tax dollars on medical expenses.

Another tip? Start saving now. As I say in my book, Expecting Twins:

“Find out how much your insurance plan covers your hospital stay. You won’t be able to predict the exact amount, but get a range of what to expect. You can begin saving now or at least setting aside the amount you need to pay it off.”

5. Food and formula

If you happen to formula-feed—whether completely or as a supplement—you’re bound to add more expenses keeping those tins stocked. After a complication with thrush, I wasn’t able to produce enough milk for both twins and had to supplement with formula.

Whether baby food and solids or table food and snacks, food expenses add up with twins. Groceries and even restaurant outings might be an extra cost for twins compared to singletons.

I expect that my twins will only eat even more as they grow into voracious tweens and teens and the inevitable growth spurts. The upside? Once your twins are a year old, the extra cost of milk and solids can more than make up for the cost of formula.

6. Diapers

There’s no other way around it: twins usually mean more diapers, regardless of size.

One way to combat the cost is to use cloth diapers. The most cost-effective is using cloth diapers completely on your own—in other words, washing soiled diapers. But many cloth diapers also have subscription services that can cut down on the financial burdens.

7. Clothes

One of the perks of having all boys is the ease of hand-me-down clothing. Nearly everything my eldest wears gets passed down to the twins, starting with his newborn clothes.

Even then, plan on purchasing a handful more clothes, considering that there are two of them and only one set of hand-me-downs. Plus, some of the hand-me-downs may not be seasonally appropriate for the twins. Your eldest could’ve been three-years-old in the summer, while your twins need winter gear come that age.

Even without an older sibling, clothes for twins can add up. Consider “special” clothes that can take a huge chunk of the budget. For instance, rain boots, raincoats, and umbrellas for each might be needed for wet weather.

Find out how many clothes to buy before they’re born.

How Many Clothes to Buy Before Baby Is Born

8. Childcare and school

By far the biggest expense for many families is child care and schooling. Not all families can nor want to keep one parent home with the twins, adding a considerable expense to the budget.

From nannies to daycare, twin parents have larger childcare costs than others with a singleton. We managed to afford a wonderful nanny and preschool, but we’ve had to tighten our budget and find creative ways to afford these expenses.

How to offset the expenses? Consider hiring a nanny with a rate lower than the cost of sending two babies to daycare. Recruit family like grandparents, even if for a day or two. See if the school offers sibling discounts, and adjust your work schedule so you don’t have to enroll them in after school care.

9. Extra-curricular activities and camps

Once your twins get older, you might consider enrolling them in extra-curricular activities. Even preschools offer after-school programs like gymnastics and dance. Elementary schools offer even more, from robotics to chess.

And when school isn’t in session, many parents of twins face double the costs of summer camp. Even with sibling discounts, these expenses can take a huge chunk of your budget. If you plan to enroll your twins in summer camps, start saving at the beginning of the school year to offset a large bill come spring.

Learn about raising children on a tight budget.

10. College savings

While not a necessity, college savings is an option many parents of multiples use to help their kids come college-selection time. I squirrel away a few dollars for our kids’ college savings. But with double the kids (plus our eldest), I’m not able to save as much as if I only had another singleton.

One way parents of multiples can pad their college savings is to think consistency over quantity. Putting away $50 every month from the start can usually yield more than saving a larger amount much later.

Get tips on raising college bound kids.


Even if you were expecting more expenses from having one baby, the shock of hearing you’re having twins can feel stressful. “How will we afford this?!” was often a thought that would pop into my mind as I prepared for my twins.

Thankfully, we somehow figured out a way. And a lot of that has to do with knowing what to expect with twins so we could better prepare.

A few expenses to consider include twin-specific gear, or even double the gear you normally wouldn’t get with a singleton. A bigger car or house is sometimes necessary, especially if current circumstances can’t fit the new additions.

Twin pregnancies and births can mean extended bed rest and early maternity leave, as well as double the hospital and medical bills. Staples like food, formula, and diapers can add up with two babies to feed, as well as clothes to outfit both of them.

The cost of childcare for many families is often the biggest expense for twins—in my case, our nanny cost more than taxes! Preschool, though less expensive than nannies or daycare, can be an immense financial cost for two.

Then, once your twins are older, extra-curricular activities and summer camps can add to the budget, as can saving for their college fees.

Financial costs are often a huge source of stress for twin parents. But thankfully, as we always do, we find a way to make it work—even if it means cooking batches of baby food that barely cover a mere two days.

Preparing for Twins Checklist

Get more tips:

Don’t forget: Join my newsletter and grab your Twin Registry Must-Haves below—at no cost to you:

Twin Registry Checklist


  1. Still in my second trimester but I’m trying to plan financially and what that might look like. How much should we plan and save before and after? I am a twin so luckily I have my mother to be a bunch of help! But other than that I don’t know other twin moms at the moment.

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Congrats on the news about twins! And it definitely helps that your mom can share her experience with being a twin mom.

      Like you, I didn’t know any twin moms at all, so I didn’t have anyone to relate to or turn to for questions. Money was also definitely an issue I worried about. Thankfully, it always works out somehow, even if we don’t always see it at the moment. The biggest financial cost I’d say would be childcare, if that’s an option you’re considering. Other than that, the regular expenses like double the diapers and cribs aren’t as shocking.

      Best of luck, and congrats again Sam!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.