Need Advice on the Best Products

Updated on November 20, 2008
N.F. asks from Saint Peters, MO
23 answers

I'm pregnant with twins and I'm wondering if you can give me some advice on the best type of car seats and strollers to get? Are tandem strollers better than ones that are side by side? I would like to get the best for safety and the most value for the money (not necessarily the top of the line in price). Also, do you know of a store that sells a lot of "twin" items? I would love to have only one bassinet in our room that would fit two babies instead of having two bassinets. Any other advice for twins is greatly appreciated.

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So What Happened?

Thanks to all of you who responded - I got some great advice! I decided to register for the pack and play and went to babiesRUs' website and found one that someone did recommend for twins (the Graco Bancroft). It seemed like a lot of you liked the Graco Infant Car Seat, so I registered for the Eclipse model. I hope that works great. Then I opted for the Baby Jogger City Mini Double Stroller because of advice from my sister and all the responses on the website (BabiesRUs) gave it a high rating. Thanks for all your help; you've certainly made my decisions much easier!

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J.J.

answers from St. Louis on

I have 6 year old twin girls. I LOVED my Combi side-by-side stroller. At the time, it was the lightest, easiest to fold/unfold twin stroller around. It wasn't cheap, but you can order it online... I think I bought mine on ebay. While I was pregnant a mom of twins let me push her Graco front & back stroller around, it was very heavy and hard to manuever.

As for the bassinet, I used a pack&play that had the higher level bassinet and put both babies in it. I think I moved them to one of their cribs after about 2 weeks and used a baby monitor... which made it much easier to sleep. Babies make lots of little sounds when they sleep. As a first time mom, those little sounds kept me awake.

Congratulations and good luck :)

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S.H.

answers from Wichita on

I wouldnt get side by side stroller. In stores its nearly impossible to maneuver through clothes isles and such. I would get the kind that has a seat in front and in back so its not so bulky. Hope this helps!!

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D.S.

answers from Kansas City on

I love the Britex (sp?) ones. That is what I have for both my kids. THey are more money up front, but they weight limit is 65 lbs. so you'll never need another one. The other ones are 40 lbs, so then they will have to go to a booster seat. So you'll have to purchase two seats. Also, the only thing I don't like about the side by side strollers, is that they are harder to get down the isles of the stores because they are so wide. :-)

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S.H.

answers from Wichita on

Hi, N.!
I have twin girls, so I know what you are getting ready to go through. Baby Depot (Burlington Coat Factory) does twin discounts, and we got a lot of stuff there. I didn't use bassinetts, we went straight to cribs, and they both slept in the same crib until they were about 4 months old. The stroller I had when they were babies was the Graco duorider. It's a side by side (we had a front to back first---hated it! They are akward to push and weigh a ton.) That stroller took them up until they were 3 years old. I bought a side by side jogger a few months ago. I love that thing! It will take them until they are 5. As one twin mom to another, invest in bouncy seats, swings and boppy pilkkows before you invest in anything else. You just can't hold 2 babies at once, and if you ever want a shower, a meal or to rest you will need at least swings and boppy pillows.
Congrats on your twins! If you need any help, please feel free to contact me.
S.

M.B.

answers from St. Louis on

I was just looking at pack-n-plays for my baby on babies-r-us website. They make a pack in play for twins that has a twin bassinet on the top. I think it was a little expensive though. But I like websites like Target and babies r us that have mother's reviews on them. You can also google stuff and websites like nextag or amazon will show you where you can find an item at the cheapest price. I dont have twins but I do have a big ol honkin stroller and my guess would be a tandem stroller because I find it hard even with my single stoller to get between things, like racks while you are shopping. Good luck with those little babies! God Bless!

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A.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Hello, and congrats ! My identical twin boys are nine now, but I remember the baby days and all the paraphanalia that seemed to swallow our house ! I went thru alot of trial and error to find what worked best for me, so here goes:

Stroller: while they are little, get a "pram" type carriage that is completely enclosed. I had one by Graco that you could snap up the foot rest and it made a little bed where they could easily lie side by side. That way I only had to push one, and it was much easier than the double I tried. Once they can both sit up, switch to 2 umbrella type strollers that are lightweight and easy to fold. I say 2 instead of a double, because it makes it easier for you and hubby/grandparent to each push one. Then, if you are alone, they make connectors that hook the wheels together and basically convert the two into one pushable stroller. I believe we got them from a catalog called "One Step Ahead" that was a lifesaver of product ideas for us. Not to mention, all of the double strollers are quite heavy to lug in and out of the car!

Bassinets: You only need one. We couldn't have separated our boys had we wanted to, they instantly woke up if they couldn't smell each other. We did have two cribs, but they slept together in one until they were about 5 months old. We layed them crossways, instead of the normal lengthwise, in sleep positioner pillows.

Carseats/Carriers: Get the lightest weight you can find, with the most comfortable handles. Generally I would have one up on my forearm, so make sure you can comfortably do that. We ended up getting a minivan with built in carseats when they were older and facing front, that was a Godsend ! I took the carriers everywhere because you could put one in a shopping cart, and hook the other onto the seat part, then pull them while pushing a second part for groceries. Believe me....I became very efficient becuz they also had a 2 yr old sister !! She rode in the grocery cart.

PacknPlay or Playpen: Get a larger square one, not the smaller rectangle ones. They make them, but they are harder to find. ALWAYS have it set up somewhere in your home with toys inside, that way you can quickly deposit them in a safe spot if need be.

Gosh, I could go on forever, but I will leave you with just two more tips ! When they are newborns, dress one in solid colors and one in prints. That way you can easily tell who your are diapering/feeding in the nights ! Never turn the lights fully on, just use a nightlight, so they learn that nightime is not for playing ! Second, never let anyone carry both of your babies in their arms while walking. A nurse at the hospital told us this, and I never forgot it. It is human nature to put your arms out to catch yourself if you stumble, and one of the babies will fall. Ask them to sit down while holding the babies. I became skilled and carrying both in one arm while they were little, but I wouldn't have trusted anyone else too ! Oh, and sleep every chance you get !! : )

Blessings to your healthy babies ! I carried mine 38 weeks, and they were 6.11 and 6.12 ! So twins don't have to be tiny and frail !!

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D.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I have kids that are 20 months apart. I got a tandem stroller because I go shopping a lot and the side by side doesn't get through the aisle very well. I got the Contours Option Tandem stroller because it can do different positions. Since my son is 4 months old and my daughter is almost 2 years old, I can have his carseat by me and my daughter can seat in the front and see where we are going. When I don't need the carseat, I put the seat back in and can position them facing each other, facing away from each other or sitting right behind each other. I liked having these choices.

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K.P.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi! I understand the questions you have because I am a mother of 2 1/2 year old twins. The stroller I loved for the pumpkin seat stage is just a twin stroller frame that is long vs wide. It worked great to take the pumpkin seats out of the car and place them directly on the base, and it was rather inexpensive for what it was worth. I can't remember the brand. We then bought a used front and back stroller and a jogging stroller that was side by side. It really depends what you plan to do for the best stroller at this stage. We liked the front and back one for dr. appts., shopping, or anywhere the aisles may be small. The jogging stroller is great for outdoor walks, especially when there is gravel or rough terrain. We bought 2 Graco pumpkin seats for the early stages, and also the Eddie Bauer seats that fit 5#-100# (these are the ones we are using now, and really seem to like them). When our twins were first born they were under 6#, and the first few months we kept them side by side in a pack and play on inclined to sleep wedges. As they grew bigger we put them in separate pack and plays in our room until we placed them in their cribs at 6 months old. Hopefully some of the information is helpful. Although it is tiring at times, it is a wonderful experience raising twins. I have a boy and a girl. K. P.

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M.R.

answers from Kansas City on

I don't have twins, but I have two relatives who do. Several times a year there is a group of mothers of multiples who hold a consignment sale for all things multiples. This is in Omaha, but I'm sure if you searched the net, there is probably something similiar in KC. Good Luck, and God Bless!

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D.Z.

answers from St. Louis on

YOu can check out babiesrus an see I am sure they have identical items. As they are specifically a baby store. D.

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P.W.

answers from St. Louis on

Mothers of Twins Club (M.O.T.C.) in St. Louis area has meeings and twice a year giant sales open to the public. They have single, twin, and triplet good used kids equipment, clothing, toys, bedding, etc. Pretty sure there are members only sales also. They are in the phone book. Check to see if there is one where you live.

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S.B.

answers from Kansas City on

depending on how long you plan on keeping them in a bassinet, a regular one might be fine for your twins. My husband's mother gave us the basinett she used for him and his twin and it was just regular size but they both fit. Keep in mind that twins are generally small, also. And good luck!

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M.R.

answers from St. Louis on

Congrats on your double blessing. I recommend the Twinstuff site--it helped me the most out of anything. I second the Britax suggestion. More $ up front, but you won't have to buy twice. Regarding the stroller, we have a tandem and a side by side stroller. I Never use the tandem because the side by side is more agile. Yes, it's wider, but it turns on a dime, and I can fold it in half and open it up with one hand if necessary...and it will be necessary. Even the airline people were impressed! We have a combi.

Best of luck with your twins. And if anyone says "double trouble", smile back and say "twice as nice".

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K.C.

answers from Wichita on

Hi! I don't know anything about twins, but I do know that they will most likely be smaller than the average 7 lb. baby. Car seats with a 5 point harness are safer for all babies, especially small ones.

God Bless!

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S.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I only have one child, but for my money, our Maclaren stroller is tops! I know they make them for twins. Super light weight and no bulk. We travel a lot by air and it has been a great stoller for us. My husband & I always snicker (to ourselves) when we see people with these giant stroller systems. I know Maclarens are a little pricier, but take the advice of a 50+ mom with a toddler, cry once and never regret! Congrats to you.

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S.J.

answers from St. Louis on

I have 20 month old twin boys, and there are only some things you need 2 of. As far as carseats and stroller, i got a double Graco stroller that came with one carseat and then bought the other one that was the exact same. I got the Graco Snugride with the Graco Duo Glider stroller at Babies r us. I LOVE it and it is very easy to use and fold up. The side by sides are difficult to fit through doorways and isles in stores.
On April 19th, the Mother of Twins have there Spring Sale at Lindbergh High School. They hold the Twin sale twice a year--one in the spring and one in the fall. If you are a Mother of twins member you can get in before it is open to the public. You can join anytime---www.stlmotc.org.
You will need two bouncers, two high chairs--which i got the ones that attach to the kitchen chairs for a space saver, two carseats, two cribs. I used one bassinet and one pack n play.
If you have any other questions you can email me anytime....
S.

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S.D.

answers from Topeka on

My sis had twins now they are 1 she had bought the tandem Graco stroller only to use the Graco carseats to put into them once they out grew the carseats she went with a side by side.It is lighter in weight and way easier to manage.Good Luck with Twins I have my 3rd child on the way and my youngest girl is only going to be 2 yrs old when she arrives in March.On the bassinet issue I have never heard of a twin bassinet size usually have to buy 2 of them and 2 cribs 2 bouncy seats 2 swings because you know they will be used.As for the packinplay she did good with only 1 they never really slept in them always in their cribs but used to watch them while she had to do things around the house

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T.B.

answers from Topeka on

N.,
My twin boys are now six, so it has been a while since I have had to do the double thing. As for as what is the best, I think it is a matter of preference. I preferred the tandem stroller to the side-by-side one as it was more "aerodynamic." The side-by-side ones are too wide. Though, I loved my jogging stroller after we invested in it when the boys were 18 months. As for a bassinet, I recommend the pack-and-play, they did not have the twin one when my boys were born, but all the same, they slept in the single one together until they were about three months. If you are wanting economical, you are getting a two-for-one deal. I have found Graco to be my favorite brand of everything (I love Baby Einstein too, but they are expensive). The Evenflo car seats can only be used with a base (the base runs about $40), in other words, it cannot just be buckled into a car. Hope that helps. Good luck with your bundles of joy! ~T.

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S.P.

answers from Kansas City on

Just wanted to put in a little advice--my best friend has twins and said that Babies R Us gives her a twin discount (which can be used on top of their coupons) if you purchase 2 of one item (i.e. highchairs, carseats, even smaller items). I think it may only be 15% or so, but every bit helps. They also have a program now that gives you back on your purchase and gives you your 10 box of diapers free. Buy used, Craigslist, consignment items as much as possible for smaller items, bumbos, bouncy chairs, as they use these so little. I have used Graco carseats and love them. I also really like my Graco DuoGlider double-stroller. You could even put 2 babies in a pack-and-plan in your room if they won't both fit in a bassinet. I know my pack-and-play has a higher level for when they are little. My friend put her babies in the same crib for the first 3 months (instead of a bassinett in her room) and that worked for them, as they soothed each other at times. Congrats and wish you the very best of luck!!

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J.A.

answers from Kansas City on

I am the proud mommy to 20 month old twin boys. The side by side strollers are the best as I know my sons at this age, one being in front, would get his hair pulled! Graco makes a twin bassinet that turns into a pack 'n play which holds the weight of two babies! Feel free to email me if you have any other questions. Twins are sooooo much work the first year, but boy does it pay off then you're getting two kiss and two hugs and two smiles every day. Congrats!

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K.O.

answers from Wichita on

Congratulations! My twin boys are now almost nine years old; however, I still remember with fondness my pregnancy and the early days with my newborns. Tandem strollers are heavy; however I loved mine. I would recommend one bassinet or pack n play for the early months and then having them co-sleep in a crib until they disturb each other. My boys are best friends and still share a bedroom (and sometimes a bed) and a classroom at school! They enjoy the same activities and have a special bond that is so endearing! Hopefully, your twins will get along well too! (Mine are fraternal). I would recommend two exersaucers, two bouncy seats, two high chairs, two car seats, one swing, one johnny jump up, one tandem stroller, one nursing pillow, two cribs, and a variety of pacifiers, bottles, and baby rattles/toys. No need to get identical anything unless you want to do so. we had identical high chairs and car seats, but a lot of the other items were donated by good friends so they were not exactly the same. This was great because each exersaucer had different toys so it was like having two different toys. You will likely receive many identical items at baby showers, etc. Encourage a variety, but if your twins like the same things as they grow up, allow them to have the same items. I encouraged people to give my twins the same items in different colors, etc. so they knew whose toys were whose. I am lucky because my twins share everything! We can often get one item now and they will take turns with it. Good luck and if you have any questions, please e-mail me at [email protected]____.com Congratulations!

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R.D.

answers from Wichita on

Congratulations to you! I am the proud mother of 16 month twin boys. I actually bought my side by side stroller at a garage sale from a mother of twins. She said that she had both, and preferred the side by side because it turned easier. It is a bit bulky at times, and we aren't able to go down some isles, but for the most part it works great.

We decided to purchase Baby Trend infant seats at BabiesRUs. The salesman said that while Baby Trend is a newer company, they are doing a lot of things that older, more expensive products are doing, and he felt they were a great value for the money. We were very happy with them, and especially loved the triangular shaped handle.

I would recommend BabiesRUs if you are unable to find what you need on sale elsewhere. They have a multiples discount (can't remembember if it is 10% or 15% off the second "big" item), and every little bit counts.

I would also look into a Mothers of Twins Club in your area. They are a great source of info and support (and maybe even second-hand, gently used items).

Best wishes to you!

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M.B.

answers from Springfield on

I have 15 mo old twin boys and my MIL found a Graco side by side stroller at a garage sale. When they were little it worked well and it folds down really flat but when they were grabbing stuff I wish I would have have a front to back double stroller. Instead I went to Step2.com and got a choo-choo wagon. I also have a daughter (almost 3) and bought an extra car for her. I love it. I know a mother of triplets that has one and uses it all the time. You can't use it until they can sit up but it is well worth it. The price is way more reasonable than a double or triple stroller. for all 3 cars it was $150.00 plus I waited until they had free shipping.
I would not spend a lot of $ on items. Go for safety but try second hand stores and garage sales for stuff like swings. They outgrow them very fast. Spend the $ for the carseats, stollers, and pack n plays.
Good Luck!

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