Cost of Twins?

The world knows having a kid costs money.  A nursery, supplies, toys, diapers, formula (if needed) and more.  So having two kids, at once, is double expensive right?

This is my take on the real costs of having twins.

Twin Costs Post

1. Hospital costs.  Twins, not all but a large percentage, are born prematurely.  Depending on how early and their health at birth, they can be in the NICU for anywhere from a few days to many weeks.  The cost of having a baby, in a hospital, falls under the mother’s insurance and deductible as “one patient”.  If the babies are moved into the NICU, they become their own individual patients.  So you have the expenses of mom’s stay in the hospital and each baby’s stay.  Weston was in the NICU for 12 days and Corbin for 14 days.  Once the boys became individual patients, we also had to meet the family deductible instead of the individual.  This amounted to a little over $8,000, out of pocket. Not something we took into consideration when we budgeted for doctor’s bills.

2.   Nursery.  This is an obvious one.  Two cribs. Two mattresses. Double the blankets. Double the clothes.  Obviously you don’t have to have two sets of everything but you will need more than what a single baby would require.  Resale shops are a really really great idea.  As you’ve probably noticed, I love my boys to match or coordinate.  That doesn’t count out resale.  Buy shorts, jeans, and shoes gently used and then purchase the tops new and matching.  If that’s your thing.  I cannot get enough of it and I know they’re little personalities will come out eventually and they will want to dress themselves.  Until then, I own the wardrobe.

3. Car seats and strollers.  I didn’t mess around with car seats.  I wanted something with a high safety rating but it also needed to fit a small baby.  Yes, there is a difference.  We used the Chico Key Fit 30 ($189.00 x 2) about $380.  Super high safety clearance and was rated for an infant as small as 5 lbs.  Necessary to bring the Nuggets home.  If you didn’t know, the hospital performs a test to ensure that the baby can sit in a car seat for 90 minutes without any breathing issues.  They must pass this test before they are released.  Strollers are obviously a bit more expense because you need the double.  We’ve spent a stupid amount of money on strollers but you can probably avoid our mistakes.  And avoid American Airlines.

3. Diapers and formula.  Double. Duh.  In the early days, we went through a box of diapers every 5 days, which would amount to approximately $45 a week.  Formula, in the beginning would be harder for me to estimate because I was desperately trying to breastfeed/pump and then supplement. Around three months I dried up totally and they were on formula 100%. At that point, we used approximately three-four containers a week (Enfamil Sensitive) and that was about $90-$100.  Some friends enlightened us to try Target brand and the boys actually seemed to like it better.  Since it was a few dollar cheaper and was a bigger container, that reduced  $75.  Monthly cost of diapers = $180, formula = $300.

4. Toys.  Do you have to have two of everything?  Nope.  Does it make it easier and more convenient? Yep. Especially as they get older.  Certain toys they just like better.  And they both want it.  At the same time.  I did a post on twin must haves here.

5. Child care.  If you are so lucky to be able to stay home please enjoy every second of it.  At first it’s tough and you want to have adult interaction desperately but then they stop needing you every second of every day and it’s easier.  And then, all of a sudden, you want them to want you every second of every day.  We have a nanny that comes to the house and it’s actually less expensive than putting both boys in daycare.  Full time daycare will run you about $205-$300 per child, a week.  Monthly cost of about $2000.

Twins are no doubt more expensive than having one child but if you have two children (even at different times) costs are similar.  But it’s so worth it.

chicken nuggets 3w

 

XOXO – Lindsey

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The Beauty of Backpacks

I had just barely announced that I was pregnant and my mom was already buying stuff for me.

She called to ask what kind of diaper bag I’d like, “Do you want something designer-ish or more typical diaper bag?”

My mom knows me.

Designer-ish all day.

She bought me this giant Guess bag that is incredibly cute.  I carried it (the few times we went out of the house) and it fit every-thing. I got compliments. It was great. And stylish too.

When we were taking our vacation this past summer, I knew that the Guess bag wasn’t going to work.  First, I learned that The Hubs and I wouldn’t be able to sit together.  Read about that here. Therefore, we would need a bag per baby.  Second, and this is one that had bugged me all along, the bag didn’t stay on my shoulder well.  You know what I mean, when you have your purse on your shoulder and every time you have to bend or lean, it falls.  Well imagine a giant bag, filled with stuff and a baby in your arms and it keeps falling….it’s quite annoying.

Enter backpacks.  They’re not a new concept.

One bag, per baby.  The Hubs already had one and it would work perfectly.  I also had one.  From HIGH SCHOOL.  It was a mess and therefore it ended up in the trashcan.  I almost bought a cute, fashionable backpack. I mean, I am always up on the new trends.

Right.

Anyways, I wandered over to the regular kids school backpacks….and they were soooo much better!  Lots of pockets and easy access areas and therefore, I caved on my desire for fashion and went with a plain ol’ Adidas backpack.

And I’m never going back!

When you’re carrying the baby(ies) in those big bulky car seat carriers, having a bag securely on your back is The. Way. To. Go.  Obviously, The Hubs likes it because he wasn’t a fan of carrying around my Guess bag 🙂  All the little outside pockets have easy access to wipes and cleaning spray for toys and pacifiers (<– total life saver).

Side note: We don’t use two bags on a normal basis because we can fit what we need into one backpack on most outings.

The only type of bag I haven’t tried would be messenger style.  You know…slings across one shoulder to the other hip.  I could see perks for this back too.  No slipping off the shoulder, easy access pockets and you’d be able to get into the bag, while it is still on you.  Only downfall to the backpack.  I’m pretty sure The Hubs would be flabbergasted if I came home with another (4th) diaper bag.  So we will stick with the backpacks!

So think long and hard before you buy that designer diaper bag and I say, just go with the trusty Jan-sport!

XOXO

Lindsey

Twin Mommy Advice

Now that everyone and their mom have blogs, there is a lot of information out there. Whether it’s advice on what to eat while pregnant, what you need in the hospital bag, to how to train your newborn to sleep…believe me, I’ve read almost all of them 🙂 

With that said, there is a lot of conflicting info and you can pretty much find whatever answer you want. 
The Hubs takes this approach when he is sick and I’m pushing for him to see a doctor. He thinks Google can diagnose him accurately and it NEVER says he needs to actually see a doctor. Funny. 
Anyway, this post is my addition to the World Wide Web of info. I think I posted something similar in regards to breastfeeding.
Twin supplies!
My fav products to date:
1. Infant bouncer – these were probably our most used product. Our’s were monkeys and therefore called ” the monkey seats”. 

When our nanny first started, the boys we just under 4 months.  I showed her how I set these seats up, sit between them, and hold the bottles so the Nugs can eat. She said, “you feed them at the same time?!” I proceeded to inform her that she could try to feed them separately but the one without a bottle, would scream bloody murder.  The boys are 10 months and we still use them. At this point it’s just a great way to contain them for a few minutes to get a bit of formula in them. The blinky lights and toys were great for entertainment as well.
Without it even being said, I wish I was nursing and a stay at home mommy and didn’t need these seats but that is not the situation I’m in and therefore, the seats are still essential.
2. Super thick, high quality cloth diapers. For burp rags. No this mommy did not cloth diaper twins. If you have done that, you’re dedication is astounding. But since there is twice the milk and twice the baby barf, have quality burp rags. 
3. Bottles. Lots of them. That’s really the best advice. And to keep a sink full of hot soapy water soaking used bottles at all times. 
We used three different kinds. I had solely Medela bottles (again with the nursing) to begin with. The NICU advised we obtain a preemie nipple after Weston choked (and scared the shiv out of me) when we were still learning to eat. Believe it or not, only Dr. Brown’s offered a preemie. Then when it was time to bump up to more than 4 oz bottles I couldn’t justify spending the money on Medela (not pumping any longer) and the Dr. Brown had too many pieces. We ended up with Playtex with the natural latch. The boys did great with these and the silicon incert to assist with air bubbles worked wonders.
3.5. I know there is no such thing as 3.5 on a list but this one piggybacks on #3.  And it’s my list, so I can do whatever I want. I digress. The grass AND a bottle rack.

With all the bottles you have you need both. The spin rack is best for the actual bottle and nipples but the “lawn” rack is stellar for everything else. I’m pretty sure tat even after the bottles are gone. The lawn will still be on my counter for drying bowls, spoons, sippy cups, etc.

4. Activity centers (of any kind)

We bought one from Baby Einstein (above pic) and Evenflo (bottom pic). They both have their own positives but as soon as the Nuggets were stable enough to be in them, the looooved ’em. The Einstein was sensory overload with music and cranks and rattles galore! The Evenflo seemed to be the less favored until…they learned to use their weight to make it bounce! Now, it’s their favorite. As they’ve gotten older and more mobile, we use these as a safe way to contain them. For example, when one has completely blown poo out of his diaper and you need to leave the room (covered in said poo) there should to be a place for the other babe to chill safely.  I wouldn’t recommend leaving your child alone for any length of time but you understand what I mean. I hope.

5. Snap and go stroller frame. 
I got this sucker off Amazon for $80 and it was worth every penny. The car seats are heavy with babies in them and since one person cannot carry both (I don’t care how buff you think you are, it’s too awkward!!) I left the house approximately 3.4 times with both boys by myself and I couldn’t have done it without this. You don’t even have to take them out of the car seats. 
These few products are what I thought of (pretty much immediately) when I asked myself the question, “what could I have not survived without, with twins?” There are many other favorite baby products but not necessarily for twins. 

I sure love these two. 

Xoxo – Lindsey