Sitting on the sofa with Mr P, cup of (decaf) tea in one hand, Jaffa Cake in the other, I wailed, ‘But it’s just so much to sort out!’
I was around 17 weeks pregnant and we’d decided to sit down one evening to go through what we needed to organise and buy ahead of the twins arriving. Which was great in theory, but in reality it meant that all of those things that I’d been carefully sweeping under the fluffy carpet of my brain suddenly had nowhere to hide. Tears streamed down my face – I felt totally overwhelmed and the sheer enormity of everything that had to be done and organised seemed unmanageable.
‘We have to research double buggies: do we want an in-line buggy or a side-by-side? Will a side-by-side buggy fit through our front door? We have to work out whether we can fit two infant car seats and a high-backed booster into our car, we need to research infant car seats, we might need to buy a new car! Do we need one Moses basket or will they sleep in the same one?’ I was speaking at around 300mph. ‘Do we need two of everything?!’ I asked him. (The answer to that, by the way is no! There are some things you might want two of – we had two Moses baskets, two slings, two bouncer chairs – but other things like playmats and toys, we bought one of.)
‘Well, first,’ Mr P said gently, ‘just breathe. Stop and breathe.’
He made me another cup of tea and we made a plan. I’d research buggies. He’d research car seats. I’d look around at cots. He’d start clearing out and redecorating the room that would become the twins’ bedroom. We wrote a list of everything we’d need to buy, and I noted down what we had one of already. Just getting it all down on paper, in black and white, and making a plan made it seem less daunting.
In my head, I’d been focused on EVERYTHING that needed to be done. But in reality I didn’t have to do everything by myself and I didn’t have to do everything right now. Once we divided up tasks and worked out what could be done now and what could wait the task seemed much more manageable.
It can be so overwhelming when you think about all the preparation and planning you need to put in place before the arrival of your twins. Even if you’ve already done it once before (like we had!) the logistics of having two small babies on their way can throw your once-confident mind into a panic.
If you haven’t already heard of Twins Trust (formerly known as TAMBA), then now is the time to look them up. They’re an invaluable source of support and advice for twin mums and dads, with online and in-person courses on everything from preparing for parenthood, breastfeeding, sleep and more (look them up at twinstrust.org).
Here’s Louise Bowman from Twins Trust sharing her tips on planning for twins . . .
How to navigate planning for twins, stress-free!
You don’t have to buy everything now
The important things are car seats and the buggy, clothes, blankets and cots/Moses baskets so that the babies have somewhere to sleep. Also, you might want to start stocking up on nappies and wipes because you will go through a lot. Other things can wait!
Get personal recommendations from other twin parents
One of the best ways to research which kit to buy is speaking to other parents of twins. Go onto your local twins club Facebook page and ask for recommendations. Or visit your local twins club in person. I actually stopped someone in a shopping centre when I was pregnant to ask about her buggy! Speaking to parents who have been through it helps when you’re making a decision.
Think about what you need to suit your life
With the buggy, are you out walking a lot? Do you want tandem or side by side? Are you getting on the bus a lot? Do you need something that will fit a buggy board? Will it fit into the boot of your car? What’s right for one set of twin parents might not be perfect for you.
When we had our twins most of our equipment was secondhand. You have to buy new mattresses for all cots and Moses baskets and car seats also have to be bought new, unless you know for certain they have not been involved in an accident. We had my daughter’s old car seat and then borrowed another from a trusted friend. So it’s possible to get everything you need without spending a fortune. eBay and twin club sales are great places to look for a bargain.
You don’t need to buy two of everything
With things like the Jumperoo, we bought one and we’d have one twin in it, while the other was on the play mat and then we’d swap them around.
Book yourself onto a course!
Doing the Twins Trust Practical Preparing for Parenthood seminar or webinar is a great idea. They’re available across the whole country, run by parents of twins and they’re only two hours long. They’re brilliant for preparing you for having two babies – looking at feeding, sleep, equipment needed and everything in between.