When I was pregnant with my twins almost every other twin or triplet parent that I encountered gave me similar, knowing look and the parting sentiment, "If you can survive the first year, you can manage anything." Now, as I have said in previous posts I believe that having twins and an older child is incredibly stressful while you are pregnant and also during the newborn phase. (edit, it's still crazy stressful post the one year mark, just fyi...things unfortunately did not magically get easier overnight) I also freely admit that we felt so defeated after only three months with three kids we left our dream home nestled in the snowy valley of Bozeman, Montana and packed up to move back to our hometown to be near family and friends for their help. I can not stress how much being near a good support system will be for your mental health and the kids too! As they say "everybody needs somebody sometime."
There are some convenience items that made our journey to the one year mark much easier, like our Graco baby swings. We purchased the swings that were also little portable rockers, but we never ever used the rockers, so I say save your money and just get one that sways. This was a life saver during the first six months. I work from home, so making calls with hysterical babies isn't an option, enter these little swings and viola! Happy, soothed and sleepy babies. We used these for nap time those first few months. We co-slept at night, (that's another story) so nap time was a struggle as they didn't seem to like being in their separate cribs.
Another product that is gaining a lot of traction lately due to the show Shark Tank is Boobie Bars, and the hype is well deserved; I credit these lactation bars big time for helping me keep my supply up. I used them for almost nine months that I breastfed my boys. Along with these bars I also rented and later purchased a Medela hospital grade breast pump, this was crucial for my breastfeeding success as my boys were in the NICU and I was not able to immediately start breastfeeding. I had no success with my first son, we made it about three weeks in our breastfeeding journey and that is probably being generous. This time around I was determined to have a better outcome. The Medela Symphony Breast Pump can be found on Ebay, as they run $2,000 new. I found one for $500 with a rolling stand and it worked out great for me. These hospital grade pumps are different than regular consumer pumps as they are designed in a closed system that is suitable for multiple users, so you purchase your own tubes and accessories. There are so many new pumps coming on the market that are much more cost effective, Spectra Baby makes one as does Naya Health - this is actually the pump I wanted to buy, but it wasn't out yet.
A twin baby carrier made the first few months easier too so I could handle taking all three of my kids out alone. The Weego Twin carrier was by far my favorite one. We have two single carriers, ErgoBaby 360, and two twin carriers, the Weego and the Twingaroo, but I found it crazy to try and get a baby on my back alone, so that one was used twice and then it was given away. The Weego Twin is the only dual front front baby carrier on the market. I was able to safely carry both in and out of the house when they weighed only six pounds. There are videos on my Instagram of this carrier in action (click the underlined words to go to Instagram and check it out!) when I needed to soothe two newborns at once.
As the boys got bigger we started playing outside more, and when they weren't quite crawling a walker made it possible for our whole family to get outside. We loved our Joovy Spoon Walkers, they worked on carpet, wood floors, cement tiles and even on cut grass. They have removable covers so snack time can be as messy as you like, plus they are pretty aesthetically pleasing. These worked for my boys up until one year when they figured out how to climb out of them. They scared my mother so badly one day when she was watching them, she walked out of the room for a second and right back in to find both boys standing on the trays and using the cabinets to climb out. She listed them on Facebook for sale and literally sold them on the spot. So they are awesome until the Houdini stage.
Last but certainly not least, Katz Coffee and a stainless steel Yeti mug (I have the sea foam green color) to keep my life juice hot all day long, and this has been paramount to my sanity. You will eat cold meals and always take care of yourself last, why not ensure that your coffee, tea or hot toddy is piping hot two hours later when you finally get two minutes to yourself. Get the resalable lid, because your kids will try at every turn to spill your coffee everywhere. Plus, after a long day of moming, working and everything else you do, I won't judge you if you put some rosé in that cup just to keep it ice cold. My favorite way to get this is Wine.com click this link to buy a delicious rosé that not only is on sale for $8.99, but has a screw top for easy access when you have a kid in one arm, you can thank me later.
P.S. This post contains links to other websites I am not affiliated with, I just love their products! Other links go to Amazon where you can check out and shop those products. Click the underlined words to go to the product websites.