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It’s funny how things change.  When my son was born, I couldn’t have been more of a rookie.  Shopping for baby stuff was like being given an AmEx card with no limit and an all access pass to Babies R Us.  I wanted everything, I needed everything, I mean, the baby needed everything.  Bouncy seats, pack-n-plays, swings, highchairs?  We’ll take two…one for upstairs one for downstairs… Strollers?  We’ll take like 7…one for every occassion.  Bottles, wipe warmers, diaper bags, binkies in every size, brand, color, and binky holders to go with them.  Onsies?  He might need like 1000…just in case he spits up or poops.  When you walked into our house post-birth of baby, you would have thought we had multiple children living there. This child was well entertained.  He had every contraption known to man kind and several costume changes a day.

Two years later, my daughter was born.  You heard me, right?  Daughter.  Not only was she my daughter, but she also just happened to be the only girl born on my side of the family to a growing generation of boys-only.  Naturally, we aquired even more stuff.  The same stuff my son had, but this time in pink.  Lucky for me, I had lots of nephews, so I could pass on some of that stuff to keep our dignity in tact.

Four years passed before we even thought of having anymore babies.  So we slowly started giving things away, holding on to a few items here and there.  When we found out we were having twins, two out of three doctors I had visited insisted they were boy/girl.  And, I wanted to believe that so badly because I wanted another girl.  My mom and I sifted through all of the baby things I had taken back and collected for the last few months.  I was starting to get a sense of “Oh My God this is a lot of shit.”  Pardon my French, but you know, that overwhelming feeling occurs quite a bit when you find out you are having twins, and really, there’s not too many words that can describe it.  We had to keep everything…pink and blue, girl and boy…well, I guess we didn’t have to keep everything, I could have chosen to say “F-it” and dress my baby girl in an androgynous manner, but I can’t help it, I like gender specific!  I’ll pay for their therapy later.  Anyhow, though I was pretty sad, OK, devastated, when we found out they were boy/boy, I was actually kind of grateful I could start getting rid of stuff!

Cool items that come in a pair

With that being said, I’m a closet hoarder when it comes to my baby’s things.  I love momentos and keepsakes.  I have lots of little boxes and big boxes of their diaper size, cap, onsie and blanket they wore in the hospital, along with their hospital bracelets, lock of hair, foot prints, shower favors, invites, Welcome to the World cards…you name it, I have it saved.  I was also really looking forward to dressing that baby girl up again…just like I did, and do, her big sister.  It was a tear jerking moment sitting on the floor with one of my BFFs deciding on what to hand down to her little girl.  I was glad to see someone get use out of it, but I cried the whole time.  That’s why she’s my friend…the whole time she sat there telling me she knows how hard it is to go through that instead of judging me to be a nut-bag.  Isn’t she great?!?!

After a bit of purging, it started to feel pretty good.  I was shedding things.  Moving on from one chapter to another.  It wasn’t easy, but it had to be done, and it was freeing once I did it.  That jump started a whole revolution for me.  From that point forward, I refused to take more than I needed.  I refused to have a house full of baby stations.  Sure, they would need a few things, but did they really need everything?  I mean, how many times can a kid bounce or exercise at such a young age?  And isn’t the goal to actually hold them??  My sister did convince me to take two swings, which I’m glad I did.  And, we do have two exesaucers, two jumparoos, two high chairs, and two baby seats.  Minus the jumparoos and the exersaucers, we kind of needed two of the other things.  And, so far, it’s worked out.  I get compliments all the time about how my house doesn’t look like a baby playground…I guess that’s what people are expecting walking into a Twinners house.  Although, they couldn’t say that now, especially with them crawling, there are gates and stand-up toys all over the place.  But, I did learn from having babies all over again.

Jammies, Socks and Burpies...all two by two!

So the common question, “Do you need two of everything?” remains…and my answer is, yes, but in moderation.

  • Think about what you will need.  It’s hard to predict their personalities before you have the babies, so if you can borrow items first, do it!  If not, check the return policy from where you bough the items, and try one at a time before tearing the boxes open and discovering the babies are not interested.  For example, Baby A hates the jumperoo.  Baby B loves it.  Baby A loves the exersaucer, Baby B couldn’t really care less if he’s in there or in the jumperoo.  Solution: Keep one of each.
  • If you have an upstairs and a downstairs, you might want to consider doubles of certain things like bouncy seats, or a pack-n-play.  Multiple changing stations are a must, so you definitely want doubles of things like diaper pails and baskets to hold wipes, creams, diapers, lotions, brushes, etc.
  • Things like highchairs, car seats and strollers are a no-brainer.   Of course, you’ll need one for each baby, but shop these with growth in mind to help you save in the long run.  Like buying highchairs with a recline for infants that change into toddler seats you can push up to the dinner table or counter later on.
  • Cool thing about multiples?  A lot of items come in packages of two!  The little feeder nets, some pacifiers, bibs, onsies, pajamas, socks, spoons, burpcloths…those kind of things, sure you can buy an extra package for back-up, but I have found that I only use what I need, and I don’t need a ton of excess lying around.  Even bottles that come in packs of 2 or 4, yeah, you’ll have to buy a few of those, but you’ll wash them and use them again.  I think we have a total of 14 bottles.  I always scour the baby department in Target, Wal-Mart, K-Mart…wherever I am, to see if any of the items packaged in 2 are on sale.
As they are getting older and starting to be more aware of what’s going on, I notice that I do have to buy two of the same toys…that is for my own sanity.  At 10 months old, they already fight over who has what.  And, retailers have become less sympathetic to parents with multiples because the IVF boom (much love to my IVF friends) has made multiples not as rare as they once were.  I always ask for a multiples discount*, usually to be scoffed at, but it’s worth a shot.  Seriously, I have to buy TWO of your designer highchair covers for $80 a pop and you have no room in your heart for even 10% off?!?!  (I didn’t buy them, BTW…I waited for the same exact ones to go on BabySteals and scored them for half off!  Booya and your no-multiples-discount-having-attitude!)  Nowadays, having to buy for two is a stretch…so it’s best to stretch that dollar as far as it will go, and stretch your imagination.  What I have discovered is that babies don’t really need that much.  (I know, mom, you told me so.)  And, I’m much happier without having all that extra crap around!  You can make it work on your budget, have room in your house to walk, and have happy babies.  You just have to change your perspective a little bit is all!
Check out my twins playing with  a clean diaper…see what I mean about needing two of the same toys?!?!

*There are still plenty of companies out there that participate in multiples discounts.  You usually have to call or write a request, and sometimes they will ask for birth certificates.  They may not be as generous as they once were. Babies R Us is actually pretty generous with their discounts, you just have to do some leg work on your part.