E.B. asks from Eveleth, MN on February 01, 2010
What to Do to Help Sister's Twins?
We just found out over Christmas that my sister is expecting; in January she called to say they're expecting twins. They live in California, so I can't exactly bring them dinner very easily, and we're hoping to be pregnant soon also, so we might not even be able to fly easily to see them (we also have two older boys). That said, moms of twins, what truly helped you? She is a social worker and her husband has applied to grad school in architecture (which he's now assuming he won't do, even if he gets accepted; daycare is about 2000/kid/month, and her social worker salary doesn't cover that...and they need some kind of insurance to cover the kids, not to mention money to live on). They are very accustomed to going out to eat late at night, driving into the city to go out for drinks, sleeping in til noon, and deciding what to have for dinner and then popping down to Trader Joe's to go buy it. They travel frequently, and are planning a babymoon to Hawaii. They have about 40 steps up to their apartment, which has no laundry facilities: in other words, ONE baby was going to be a shock; two is really going to change their lives. Any suggestions for how I can help????
L.T. answers from Pittsburgh on February 01, 2010
To add to Jenny's suggestions...
purchase a month or so of diaper service for her if she is going to use cloth diapers
A.J. answers from Minneapolis on February 02, 2010
I received a gift card from my sister for one of those make ahead & freeze meals places (Let's Dish!) when I was pregnant. It was GREAT, because we were able to go when I was still able to move around (before bedrest) & make the meals. Then they were already in the freezer for when we wanted to make them once the babes were here. My mom paid for me to have a cleaning lady come once a month from when I went on bedrest until my twins were around 9 months old! That was really great!!!! Those were my two most useful/fave gifts. At one of my showers, the hostess had a "raffle"-type drawing. For every pack of diapers that guests brought, they got to put their name in for a prize. This way I received gifts from everyone, along with a BUNCH of diapers!!! I would also help her get in contact w/ a moms of multiples club in her area. The women in my club are amazing & I've grown very close with some of them. It has been extremely helpful to have their support & knowledge to guide me! Congrats to your sister! Although it is a LOT of work, I wouldn't have traded it for anything!
J.G. answers from Cleveland on February 01, 2010
Wow, they are going to have a shock & I hope they are ready for a big change in life. But as you know with your boys the change will be well worth it. Living so far away it's hard to be of a lot of help - as in taking care of her or the babies when she has them. But maybe you could send her a care package... with twins they are going to go through a lot of diapers send then some (Huggies does offer a special for mult babies - so she might want to go to their web site & check that out), if you know a fav resterant w/ carry-out maybe a gift card to there, also any of the everyday items - bottles, wipes, laundy soap, formula (if they aren't nursing), diaper creams, ect. Or if you are worried about the laundry - maybe you can find & hire a laundry service to pick-up, wash and deliver the laundry for a few weeks or a month (not sure how much they cost though). Or even a nanny service to come in for an evening for them to go out an enjoy the life they use to know - sometimes a break is what is needed for new parents.
Just so you know I don't have twins - I do how ever have 4 "little" ones (5,4 & 2 yr at home and a 15 yr old that lives with grandparents) & one due in July. Although somepeople think my 4 & 5 yr olds are twins... I just listed a few thing I could think of that I found useful when I had 2 in diapers or a few things that would have helped after coming home.
I wish you luck in getting pregnant yourself & to your sister and her hubby with the twins - but most of all congratz to everyone on the new family memebers.
M.F. answers from Austin on February 01, 2010
I have twins and I would recommend that she get Barbara Luke's book called something like When You're Expecting Twins. A twin pregnancy is not like a singleton pregnancy and she needs a lot of info about preventing preterm labor as much as possible. She could also look into a Mother's of Twins club in her area - usually a great source of support and info. If you want to help them financially, ask them what they would really like (twin stroller, car seats, etc.) or just give them money. Be encouraging and excited for her and be excited to be an aunt even though you have kids of your own.
K.H. answers from Washington DC on February 01, 2010
You can help them out with a gift basket of useful items , such as diapers , wipes , diaper cream , cotton wool , onesies...all the basics they will need. As for everything else , they are going to have to figure out for themselves , we were all first time parents once and used to sleeping in on w/ends , going out when we wanted etc. You can offer them useul information just don't come across as though you are telling them because you know better (even though you do as you have experience)
D.D. answers from New York on February 01, 2010
I'm a mom to twins and all I can say is those two babies are going to rock your sister's world. Total change of lifestyle for her and her hubby. There's really not a whole lot you can actually do to help because it's going to be a learning experience for them. Your sister and brother in law sound like intelligent people who will figure out that 40 steps to their apartment and no laundry isn't going to work out. They'll figure out the insurance stuff without your assistance. After all your sister is a social worker and should have access to resources (my youngest daughter is a social worker so I know they can make a couple calls to get answers).
I'd say to be ready with a sympathetic ear all the time. You are far away and can't be there physically so be there emotionally. Once you know where they are purchasing supplies send out a gift card to help them buy diapers. Pick out a nice outfit for each of the babies and be the best auntie you can be.
H. answers from Columbus on February 01, 2010
You have already gotten some good responses. You mentioned bringing them dinner. I have friends that are out of town and I used a company called the Flying Noodle (flyingnoodle.com), since I was also unable to bring them dinner when they had their babies. It is a gourmet gift company that delivers pasta. You can choose different combos with sauces and pasta or even a pasta of the month club, which I used for one of my friends. I figured that pasta will keep forever and is easy to prepare. Plus, my friends said it was tasty. They deliver quickly and the website is very easy to use.
J.M. answers from Sheboygan on February 02, 2010
Seeing as your sister is in California, you may be able to check into a diaper service. If she's going to cloth diaper, there are some really great services that will come on a schedule and pick up the dirties and bring you clean ones. The cost is determined by how often they come and how many diapers are needed - and believe me, she will need a lot of diapers! You could also send her a gift certificate for an online baby store such as www.diapers.com, which delivers right to your door so you don't have to leave the house to get diapers or wipes, and they're really reasonably priced. The best thing that I received was my Graco DuoGlide Double stroller - it's a tandem and a bit long, but after a couple of times using it, I had no problem with it. It can hold two snap-in car seats, and when the babies get older, both the front and back seats recline for babies to nap while going on walks or to the store. Things like that are a bit expensive ($175-$450 depending on brand), but can be ordered on-line and delivered right to their home.
Please let your sister know that having twins is hard, but at least she's doing it the first time around! I wish that I had twins right off the bat, instead of having one, then twins, and now another on the way! My sister also has twins (with three older children), and says the same thing! Your sister is lucky - she will adapt to it much easier than those of us who had a singleton first....mostly because she won't know any different! Congratulations to your sister, and good luck to you on TTC!