Having twins is wonderful, amazing, crazy times, just awesome… When our first little man was 25 months old, our girl/boy twins were born, and we were blessed with three little people under three. There are so many things to say about that time in my life, but what I want to consider today is the physical stuff which comes with having twins.
For two years, our family of five lived in a 750 sq ft home. We were a family with three cot beds and not enough room to swing our neighbour’s cat (Richard – we never did this). So, when space as well as money is tight, it is a relevant question:
Does having twins mean you need to buy two of everything?
Here is my list:
- Cot/crib Yes, I did use two of these, but not for the first six months. My twins slept next to each other across a cot bed, and then top to tail at each end of the cot bed when they got a little bigger. I’ll try and put in a couple of photos.
- Baby wrap/carrier I did find it was useful to have two of these: when family visited, they carried one of the babies, and on the weekend my husband and I would both carry a baby, and still have our hands free for our older little man. But more of a nice-to-have rather than a necessity.
- Bouncy chair Again, I did love having two of these. It was somewhere the babies loved to sit and have a bit of entertainment while I was making lunch and so on. Some people swear by baby swings but we were tight on space, and so bouncy chairs was enough.
- Play gym Definitely only one of these: the twins (and older brother) loved to hangout here together.
- High chair Yes, I needed two of these. We were given two of the wonderful Ikea antelop chairs. The babies needed to have somewhere safe to sit while I got food/changed a nappy/made a cup of tea….etc. Not that they were left unattended…
- Carrycot attachment for stroller I only needed one of these; the twins shared when they were small babies, and after that they sat in the full size seats of the stroller. Or I carried one in a baby carrier, while two other children used the double stroller.
- Car seats Yep, you need two…
- Baby bath seat I didn’t buy any of these. In fact, I didn’t bath the twins at the same time for at least two years. One adult and two shivery wet babies = lots of crying.
As I think about it, having twins means you have to make safe places for the babies to hang out. You just have to pay a little more attention to it than with one baby. Because you may have to put a small baby down in a hurry, in order to deal with another equally small and vulnerable person.
When the babies become toddlers
Now, what about toddlerhood? Our twins are about to turn 3, so this is the phase we have been living recently. Having twin toddlers is a whole other ball game (probably one to fill lots of posts). But just on the question of stuff, do you need two:
- Ride-on toys Well, we don’t have two of everything, but we have a bike, a trike and a ride-on car in our garden – enough comparable vehicles for taking turns and having races.
- Scooters Actually we don’t have these at all. Call me cruel, but the idea of my toddler twins scooting away from me at high speed, possibly in different directions, turns my stomach. Plus we live in a land of canals.
- Specific toys Dolly, cuddly monkey, rescue helicopter etc… This is trickier. We don’t have two of everything, but I notice that toys tend to start being matched together. This is what I mean: if one has dolly, the other gets monkey. If one has a pull along dog, the other finds a pull along elephant.
- General toys Lego, boxes of train tracks, books etc….obviously the best kind of sharing toys.
But in answer to my original question, does having twins mean you need to buy two of everything? My instinctive answer to that is, no. After all, as life goes on there will not always be two of everything. Fast forward to when they are 17 and both want to borrow your car at the same time. What ya gonna do? Buy them both a car…? Nope. So I take it these are life lessons worth learning.
That being said, I do want to take a moment to acknowledge that being 2 years old is hard, and being a twin 2 year old is hard. There is always someone else there at each moment of your life, and although mostly that is fabulous, sometimes you want to be able to set down your favourite Lego plane in order to have a quick drink of water, and not be super anxious that someone is going to snaffle your favourite Lego plane the moment you lift your beaker to your mouth. You know what I mean?? So I guess what I’m saying is, sometimes you need to buy two.