Are you expecting two? Check out this comprehensive list of must haves for twins! Includes everything you’ll need to care for two babies.
I finally wrapped my head around the fact that I was having twins. The emotions were still coming in waves, but I was ready and more than excited for their arrival.
Except… I didn’t know what I needed to have for twins.
I already had a three-year-old and planned to use many of his baby items for the twins. But as I quickly realized, what may have worked for a singleton doesn’t always apply when you’re expecting twins.
Do you really need two of everything? What special equipment or twin baby gear would you need to buy? Some seemed obvious, while others I only learned were essential (or not) down the line.
Must haves for twins
To spare you the trouble, I created a list of must haves for twins. I’m pretty frugal and minimalist, so if an item made it on this list, then you know it’s a necessity. Many have links to specific twin stuff I used and recommend.
Some of these must haves for twins you’ll need before the babies are born, others not until they’re older. I’ve marked the ones you don’t need now with an asterisk (*) so you can focus on the items you need sooner than later.
Want to know which items to add to your twin baby registry list (from exactly how many to which types)? Take a look at these must haves for twins:
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- 2 cribs: I suggest buying cribs that convert to toddler beds so you won’t have to buy separate toddler beds down the line. You’d just go from crib/toddler bed to twin bed instead of the crib to toddler bed to twin bed.
- 2 mattresses: Each crib will need its own mattress.
- 2 bassinets: Babies love to sleep in confined spaces—it reminds them of their time in the womb. Bassinets are a fantastic option if your twins don’t take to cribs or you don’t want to buy cribs right now.
- 6 fitted crib sheets: Organic cotton sheets are soft and better quality than most. Six can make sure you always have clean sheets to use after accidents.
- 4 swaddles: Swaddles keep your twins snug and help them sleep longer. Ready-to-go swaddles also don’t come undone compared to your standard baby blanket. This is a must for middle-of-the-night wake-ups when you’re too sleepy to do the full swaddle routine.
- 4 thick blankets: Use these to cover your babies in the car seat or to lay them on the floor for tummy time (or even nap time).
- 4 light blankets: Light blankets like aden + anais work great for light and loose swaddles. You can also use them for burp cloths, breastfeeding covers, or blankets to keep the sun out of your babies’ eyes when they’re in the stroller. They’re one of the most versatile purchases I’ve ever made.
- 4 pacifiers: Your twins might take to sucking on pacifiers to soothe and even help them fall asleep. Get different-colored ones so you can assign one color per twin.
- 4 sleep sacks: If your twins don’t sleep with a swaddle (or they’ve outgrown them), you may need sleep sacks to keep them warm. Regular blankets aren’t safe for babies to sleep with in the crib. Sleep sacks come in different textures for different seasons. (Take a look at these guidelines of what your baby should wear at night.)
- White noise machine: This can help your twins sleep longer because it drowns out the sounds that might startle them awake. This could be anything from the noise outside the house, to you walking around, and even each other’s cries. Marpac and HoMedics are a few to check out. An alternative to a white noise machine is a regular fan or heater or even downloaded music or apps on your iPhone.
- Baby monitors: If you want to check on your twins without opening the door, a baby monitor is the way to go. This is especially useful if your room is far from theirs. You can set the monitor next to your bedside table and conveniently check in on them from a distance.
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- 1 changing table with drawers to put clothes in: I’m a fan of changing tables that also serve as a place to store clothes. Even better if they have shelves for cubbies to hold diapers, wipes, and other essentials. You might get away with changing your babies on the floor or your bed, but it’s more convenient and easier on your back with a changing table.
- 1 changing pad mattress: With a changing table, you’ll need one changing pad. These usually come as waterproof pads with a safety belt to buckle your babies.
- 3 changing pad covers: You’ll probably need about three changing pad covers as well. These are like “fitted sheets” that go over the changing pad.
- 1 diaper pail and diaper pail bags: I suggest getting a diaper pail with odor control if you don’t plan to change the pail frequently. And for breastfed babies, you might get away with using a regular trash can, since their poop won’t smell yet. (At least until they begin eating solids a few months later.) Don’t forget the bags for the pail, too.
- 2 boxes of newborn diapers: Your twins will likely go through at least 2 standard diaper boxes a month. And since most twins are born on the small size, you may want to get the smallest size.
- 1 box of wipes: A must for many, many diaper changes and clean-ups!
- 1 infant bathtub: Bathing is a one-at-a-time task, so you don’t need two bathtubs. Get an infant bathtub with a mesh top that looks like a hammock. This can keep them from being submerged in water (because you can’t wet their umbilical cords until they fall off). Once their umbilical cords have fallen off, you simply remove the mesh top.
- 14-20 washcloths: Depending on how often you wash laundry and bathe your twins, you might need anywhere from 14-20 washcloths. Use these, along with a baby body wash, to gently wipe their bodies. Pay special attention to little cracks and folds you may forget, like underarms or under the knees.
- 4 hooded towels: Hooded towels cover your twins’ heads and keep the surface you lay them on dry.
- 1 toddler bathtub*: Eventually your babies will outgrow the infant bathtub and need a larger toddler one. Get something big enough for them to fit but small enough that you can still bathe them conveniently. As with the infant bathtub, you’ll likely only need one of these. You can get this much later when they’re about 9-10 months old and can sit comfortably on their own.
- Bathtub faucet cover*: A faucet cover is good to have once they’re bathing in an actual bathtub where might slip and slide. The cover prevents them from hitting the faucet and possibly hurting themselves.
- Bath toys*: Once your twins can sit up, keep bath time fun with simple toys. Some of my favorites include toys that squirt, foam alphabet letters, and waterproof books.
- Shampoo and body wash: Get one specifically for babies to avoid stinging their eyes.
- 12 bottles: Comotomo, Dr. Brown’s, and Boon are a few favorite baby bottles to check out for formula or expressed breastmilk.
- Bottlebrush: The Oxo brush stands up in a sturdy base so you don’t keep knocking it over like other brands.
- 2 drying racks: I love Boon drying racks, and now they come large. They’re versatile and can fit anything from bottle parts to utensils and bowls.
Pumping and breastfeeding
- Hospital-grade double electric pump: Get or rent a hospital-grade breast pump since these are more efficient than a regular one. However, a standard electric can work if you don’t plan to pump regularly. No matter what, get a double, not a single one, to cut your pumping time by half.
- 2 sets of pump parts: Two sets of parts ensure you’re always ready to go even if your current parts are unwashed or even broken. If you get a Medela pump, get several of the white membranes and bring those with you (or leave them at work). They’re fragile and tear easily.
- Hands-free pumping bra: This is one of those purchases where I thought, How did I ever last without one? It’s a game changer with pumping since you can free up your hands. Simple Wishes makes a fantastic hands-free pump bra.
- Lanolin cream: Applying lanolin cream to your nipples before and after nursing can help prevent and heal soreness.
- 16-20 burp cloths: Don’t get your typical small burp cloths. Instead, get the ones that look like cloth diapers. Start with 16-20, and get more if one or both of your twins spit up often.
- Twin nursing pillow: This allows for tandem nursing, or feeding both twins at the same time. This step alone can save you so much time! I used the My Brest Friend twin pillow, and other moms have also used the Twin Z pillow.
- Extra nursing pillow cover: Besides the cover that comes with your pillow, get another one in case your twins soil it.
- Insulated bottle tote: Keep your pumped milk fresh with an insulated bottle tote. Use this for pumping and for being out and about with your twins. Many diaper bags may already have an insulated pocket, but you might need another one if it only fits two.
- Breastmilk storage bags:* These are much easier to bring than bottles. They’re also a must if you plan to freeze and store breast milk.
- 2 high chairs: Each baby will need his or her high chair to eat. Check out Graco Blossom 4-in-1 or the Inglesina Gusto. You can also attach a portable “booster seat” if you want to use a current dining room chair as a high chair.
- 4 sets of baby food storage containers: I love the Oxo food containers. They stack for easy storage and are designed to freeze as well as store in the fridge.
- 16 bibs: Like burp cloths, you may have more or less depending on how often you wash. Bibs are good to have on hand not just for feeding, but for wiping drool all day.
- 4 plates and bowls: In a few months, your twins will likely start eating solids. These plates and bowls can make meal times more fun and smooth for everyone.
- 14 onesies
- 8 long-sleeve onesies
- 10 footed zip pajamas
- 14 pairs of socks
- 6 pairs of pants
- 6 pairs of shorts
- (Get all these in newborn size)
- 2 infant car seats: Probably the most important baby gear to get, especially if you’re delivering in a hospital and plan to drive the twins home.
- 2 baby carriers or wraps: Baby carriers and wraps allow you to strap your twins close to you. Wraps in particular keep them snug and are a great way for your twins to fall asleep in a comfortable position. They’re also convenient for going out and about if you plan to walk with another adult (one twin each) and avoid using the stroller.
- Double stroller: Double strollers come in two options: side-by-side or tandem. You’ll probably use your double stroller for everything (even getting your twins out of your car and into your home), so pick wisely! A few parents have asked what to buy when you’re having twins and you have an older child—do you get a double or triple stroller? Get a double stroller and have your older child walk or wear one twin in a carrier or wrap and place the other in the double stroller with your older child.
- Diaper bag: You don’t need two diaper bags for your twins. Instead, get one that’s roomy and functional (I got one that’s more like a backpack). You may want a diaper bag with compartments to separate diapers and wipes from food and pacifiers. Extra points if your diaper bag has insulation for bottles.
- 2 infant seats*: These seats can entertain your twins since many come with toys and lights they can play with. You can also use them for bottle feeding at the same time once your twins can sit upright well.
- And they’re portable—you can keep your twins nearby and take them with you around the house.
- Swing*: I sometimes wished I had two swings, but even one can do wonders. Swings can help your twins fall asleep, especially if they need to be rocked. And since we only have one pair of arms, a swing can mimic the feeling of being held.
- A pair of nail clippers: Red Cross infant clippers are fantastic nail clippers.
- Nose sucker: NoseFrida is awesome, or you can use the free ones the hospital gives away to start. This ensures that your twins can breathe easier if they get the sniffles.
- 1 tub of diaper cream: Triple Paste is the way to go. Keep a tub of diaper cream on your changing table to prevent and heal diaper rashes. You may want to keep a smaller tube in your diaper bag.
- Vitamin D drops: Planning to breastfeed the twins? Supplement with vitamin D drops, since breastmilk doesn’t include it.
- Comb: Your twins may or may not have a lot of hair at birth, but a comb comes in useful, especially if they develop cradle cap.
- Thermometer: Get a good-quality thermometer, one you can use as the twins grow.
This is a lot to take in, so don’t feel overwhelmed with all your options. At the end of the day, your twins will be fine whether they have one kind of stroller instead of the other.
Not sure if you should get something or not? Buy as you go. As I say in my book, Expecting Twins:
“Decide down the line whether you truly need an item or not. Some twin moms can get by with one swing while others swear by two. And while others needed gas drops from the start, you might find you don’t need them at all, or at least until much later.”
Don’t feel pressured to buy everything just now. Save your baby shower gift cards for after the twins’ arrival when, in the trenches of it all, you can better decide what you need.
With your twin baby registry checklist, now you know exactly what to get right away, how many you’ll need, and the twin baby items you can buy later.
Get more tips:
- How to Prepare for Twins (The 7 Areas You Need to Cover)
- Secrets to Surviving Twins in the Newborn Months
- Preparing for Twins: A Checklist of Everything You Need to Do
- What to Do When You’re in Labor with Twins
- When You Don’t Have a “Village”: How to Take Care of Twins Alone
Don’t forget: Join my newsletter and grab your copy of the Twin Registry Must-Haves: