Can't live without:
- SwaddleMe blankets - people kept telling us how awesome swaddling is, and we didn't really get it for the first few weeks, but now we're learning... the babies sleep SO much better when they're swaddled. I'd also love to try the HALO SleepSack Swaddle - we have a sleeveless one that Eleanor likes a lot, and I think the swaddle version would work well also.
- Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper - these things are awesome. We'll be moving them to their crib(s) (one or separate, not sure yet, depending on how they sleep together/separate) once they're sleeping through the night, but for now, they sleep in these, and they love them. The incline helps with not spitting up, and they're very cozy and portable. We can move them around the room, closer/further from the bed, downstairs if we need to move them while they're napping - it's great.
- Medela Freestyle Breast Pump - I really don't think I'd be able to have twins exclusively on breastmilk without a really good pump, and this is a really good pump. It comes with everything you need (it doesn't have a car adaptor, but I've found that charging it during the longest between-feedings time at night is more than sufficient for the whole next day), all in a generously sized and discreet black tote bag. The main criticism I read when I was researching which pump to get was that the motor wasn't powerful enough, but I've found it to be completely fine, and I don't even use any settings more powerful than the default. (No photo of us using this one, because... yeah.)
- Hands Free Pumping Bra - I would go crazy pumping if I didn't have this. The Freestyle comes with a hands-free setup, but it's a tad more complicated (but also more portable), so I just leave it in the bag to use when I'm out and about. This one is great for home.
- Diaper Caddy - I love this particular one, because it's attractive and plenty large enough to hold enough diaper stuff for twins. I typically restock diapers in the morning and at night, and keep a big box of wipes in the middle; disposable changing pads in one pocket (swiped from the hospital - fantastic for not having to wash the changing pad covers so often... just replace the disposables when they get dirty); and diaper cream, a thermometer, and a nasal aspirator in another pocket. Pretty much everything we need for anything non-feeding-related.
- Watering can. Totally not kidding on this one. Sure, you could buy a fancy battery-powered shower system that breaks down the second time you use it. Or you could startle the relaxed-from-the-warm-water baby with a cup poured over his or her head, which has to be refilled while the baby sits there freezing. Or? You could use an inexpensive watering can to hold plenty of warm water and provide a gentle, controllable shower to rinse them off in seconds. We love our watering can. It makes bath time SO MUCH EASIER.
(I figured a cute bathtime picture would be much more appreciated than a picture of a watering can. You know what a watering can looks like.)
- Contour Memory Foam Pillow - This was a chance discovery. I already had one that I use as a huggy pillow, and one night right after we brought them home from the hospital, one of us was looking for someplace safe to set a baby down on the bed, and used the pillow - just laid the baby in the "valley." It's actually perfect - it keeps them raised a bit off the bed, they can't roll off (at least not yet) because of the raised sides, it's nice and firm - no worries about the suffocation risk of putting them on soft pillows/blankets, and makes a nice spot for them to hang out on the bed with us. Love it.
- Maya Wrap Baby Sling - I actually made one of these (the key is to order the right size rings - I used SlingRings.com) using the sewing instructions from their website - it was very easy. I plan on making several in different fabrics - the babies love it, and I end up wearing them around the house, shopping, at church, wherever. (Bad picture to follow...) I also have a Moby Wrap - it's a little more complicated to put on, but really comfortable and we like it a lot.
Things we like/prefer:
- Burt's Bees Baby Bee Diaper Ointment - This diaper cream works really well, and smells REALLY good (like nice lavender, not fakey baby powder), but be sure to wash your hands really well after putting it on, and maybe use a diaper cover/bloomers, because we've had a couple of issues with nasty tasting pacifiers (them)/food (me) just from holding a baby after I put it on.
- Pampers Swaddlers - we do plan on using cloth diapers, but we didn't want to invest in newborn sizes since they won't be used as long, so we're using disposables until they both fit into the cloth diapers we have (because trying to do one in disposables and one in cloth would be a nightmare), and these fit really well. And, knock wood, we haven't had a big blowout yet.
- Dr. Brown's Bottles - This is sort of on the list by default, because we haven't tried anything else, and I think we're actually not using them entirely as intended (turns out, a piece I thought was just packaging and threw away when I opened them is supposed to be used), but they work fine and we haven't had any problems, and I like that they're BPA-free. They are kind of ridiculously complicated for bottles, though.
- Little Noses Stuffy Nose Kit - Almost forgot this one - the aspirator in this kit (I haven't found it on its own, but I'd like to have another one or two to keep around the house if I do) is so much better than the blue bulb ones. Seriously. I cannot even tell you. Just trust me.
I'm sure this list will expand as they get older, but for now, these are the things we've found really useful and necessary in these first couple of months.