Having twins or multiples at home can be overwhelming. One of the hardest parts is simply multitasking – finding some way to entertain one twin while you nurse or feed or change the diaper of the other. This is a problem that’s magnified ten times when your little ones start crawling, and twenty times again when they start pulling up and walking.
We’re just going through that now, and it’s inspired today’s post: six ways to contain and entertain your twins.
These are ordered to match your twins’ development: newborn items first, and then gear that works for crawling or walking babies.
Before your little ones are mobile, the Boppy Nursing Pillow is an indispensable item. You can use it to support one or both twins while you nurse in the “double football hold”. Or, you can plop one baby in it while you take care of the other. Or, do as we did and have two Boppies, one for each twin. The C-shaped pillow provides ergonomic support, supporting the head and neck. By the way, their feet go toward the bottom, in the break in the circle.
2. Bumbo-type Baby Seat
You’ve probably heard of the Bumbo or similar floor-type baby seats – it’s a contoured plastic seat with a round base that support your baby in a sitting position. The interior is padded foam; the exterior hygienic, non-toxic, and easy to clean. Bumbo seats are great for feeding (especially solid food) and the perfect place to set your little one after he or she’s taken a bottle, to help prevent spit-ups.
No straps are required; the seat is contoured to hug a baby’s legs and bottom. The Bumbo’s round base makes it super-stable on the floor, and it has straps so that you can fasten it to a chair as well. Read this great review on Bumbo versus Bebepod.
We bought a Fisher-Price portable swing for travel and it’s probably one of the best baby products I’ve ever had. It’s compact, standing only about 2 feet tall. The variable speeds and music often lull babies to sleep, and there are little dangle toys to keep them entertained if that doesn’t happen.
One of the best things about this swing is that it’s compact, with a small footprint to save space in your home. Further, it folds up nearly flat, so it’s great to throw into the car for trips or visits to someone’s house.
4. Play Mat or Activity Gym
Activity gyms like the Treetop Friends Play Gym offer a soft, safe place for one or both of your twins to lay and play for a while. These are great for when your babies are just starting to move their arms and legs, but haven’t started rolling or scooting around on the floor. The mat defines a safe play area; it’s soft and padded and somewhat protected by the plastic arms overhead. Plus, the dangle toys engage and entertain your baby while laying there.
These are also relatively compact, so they’re another good travel item. In particular it’s nice to bring over to someone’s house – you know it’s clean and safe in case you want to put a baby down.
5. Pack ‘N Play or Play Yard
When your little ones can move on their own, or even before that, a pack-n-play is the classic place to “entertain while containing” them. You can keep a few toys or a soft blankie in there to make it inviting. The mesh screen lets your baby see and interact with you, while keeping them sequestered.
If your twins will tolerate it, nothing’s better than a play yard to keep them busy while you get a few things done around the house. For our boys’ first birthday (which was in a county park), we brought along their pack-n-play and filled it with 100 lightweight plastic balls, the kind you’d find in a ball pit, which we bought on Amazon. They loved playing in there; before long other babies were being dropped in to share the fun.
6. Shopping Cart / High Chair Cover
The last item is not so much for home as for when you go out in public – to the grocery store or a restaurant. It is, hands-down, the item we’re most often asked about by complete strangers when they see it: a shopping cart and high chair cover.
These soft fabric coverings have straps to fit snugly around the edge of a grocery store shopping cart or the standard wooden high chairs you find in most restaurants. They’re softer than the hard metal or wood, and they prevent your little ones from touching those potentially germ-covered surfaces. In a shopping cart, it makes a cozy little nest that also keeps most little things (toys or pacifiers) from falling through the bars.
A bonus way to contain and entertain your twins: the Radio Flyer Pathfinder wagon, which we love enough to give it its own article!