Congratulations! Not only are you expecting a baby – you are expecting more than one baby!!!
Putting together a nursery for twins or more can be so much fun.
Once you are over the shock, you can start to begin planning their room/s. However, before you can start you need to make two important decisions:
1. Where will they sleep when they first come home from hospital? Your room, their room or their own rooms?
2. Once you are past that initial newborn phase, where will they sleep? Will they share a room or will they have their own rooms?
These decisions will obviously depend on the size and layout of your house and personal preference.
Regardless of how you plan for your multiples to sleep, ensure you check the SIDS guidelines:
Once those initial, practical decisions have been made you can move on to the fun part! Planning and decorating for your babies.
As with most things multiple, being prepared and organised is the key. Bear in mind that your babies may arrive a bit early. Even if they don’t arrive early, you certainly won’t feel like moving furniture and building cots when you are heavily pregnant with multiples! In our case, we had planned to have the babies sleep in our room for the first few months, so we didn’t set up their nursery until several months after they arrived.
Here are some Twinfo Tips for setting up a nursery for multiples.
Lighting – You will probably be visiting you little babies a lot during the night!! So you need to be able to see what you are doing, without blinding them or yourself as you flick on the main light switch. You will need either a night light, or if you can, get your lights changed to include a dimmer switch. We were lucky that our house already had them installed, but a dim nightlight works just as well.
Cots – There is no need to rush out and immediately buy two/three/four brand new cots. There are lots of second hand cots available, just check Gumtree or go online and find a multiple birth buy, swap and sell page. Just a reminder, that if you do buy second hand, a new mattress is always a good idea and you must also check that it meets the Australian standards:
Alternatively, if you are planning on your babies sharing the same cot initially, you can purchase one cot now and the remaining ones later down the track.
With our twins, we initially had one cot in our bedroom, which they shared, and one cot in their nursery. This way we could separate them if one was unsettled or ill. Most cots these days convert to toddler beds down the track, which will save you money. The whole “buy one; get one (or two!) free” thing is a total myth. The only thing they will share is your womb! Having multiples is expensive, so try to be savvy where you can, and a cot that converts into a toddler bed is one of these ways you can save a bit of money.
Change tables – You are going to be changing a LOT of nappies. Get one that is a good height for you and also has good and easy accessible storage. We had two; one in their bedroom, but we rarely used that one, and one in the lounge room, which was our main one. We also had an old table with a cheap change mat on it in the bathroom, which really saved my back. One way here to cut costs, and to save on space, is to get a change pad for the top of the dresser. Once you no longer need the changing station you can simply remove the pad and you have a dresser. If you have a two story house you will almost certainly require two change tables. It’s just not practical to have to run upstairs each time you need to change a nappy.
Feeding chair – Asides from changing a lot of nappies, the other thing you will be doing a lot of is feeding, be it breastfeeding or bottle feeding. As a result, you need to ensure you have an adequate space to do so. Those plush glider rocking chairs that they sell at great expense in baby shops would be lovely if you had a singleton baby, but with multiples they just don’t work. If you have room, a cheap two seater sofa is ideal. There is room for you to sit in the middle and have a baby each side. Ours had a single sofa bed built in, which was very uncomfortable, but great for the odd occasions we needed to sleep with the babies if they were ill etc. Make sure you leave some space next to it to store your twin feeding pillow. Our twins are now 6 years old, and we still use it every night for night-time books.
Chests of drawers – again, this is will come down to budget and room size. You will certainly need one (or more), but if your babies are sharing a room, maybe to start with they could share a dresser and then you can get a second one later down the track. Also, while “matchy matchy” may look nice, it can be very costly. One idea is to look for plain white cots, as then it is fairly easy to match with a cheaper set of chest drawers from another shop. The baby shops certainly seem to charge the most!
Storage – think ahead a bit here. Do you plan to have toys in their room/s, or will you save their room/s just for sleeping. In our house the toys were all stored in the lounge room (we don’t have space for a play room) and we kept their rooms for sleeping. In regards to storage, you need to consider your preference for enclosed storage (looks much neater, but harder for them to access) or open storage (like baskets, racks or shelves).
Seat – Sometimes it’s useful to have a chair or stool that you can perch between two cots while simultaneously patting two babies at once.
Black out curtains or blinds – These are worth their weight in gold! And don’t panic, there are lots of options available if you are renting, such as suction cap blackout blinds and the humble tinfoil. If you are fortunate enough to live in sunny Queensland, you can blame the cows for the sun coming up at 4.30am. For those unlucky enough not to have daylight saving, may I suggest a double layer of defence against the sunlight. In our place we have blackout blinds, plus I have stuck tinfoil to the windows!
Bouncers/Rockers/Swings/Exersaucers etc – While technically none of these are “necessary”, they are certainly very helpful. There is no need to buy two of each though. And there is a huge market of second hand bouncers and swings. We chose to purchase several different second hand ones (ie one swing and one bouncer), rather than purchase new ones, as this way we could “rotate” them in it for play time if we were busy with another baby.
Remember – Just because you are having multiples doesn’t mean you need multiples of everything!! Things like separate car seats are a must, but you certainly don’t need two baby baths for example. You can always get extra items if you need.
Finally one of the most important pieces of planning your nursery is to remind you to ensure you secure all furniture to the wall. Even though they aren’t crawling and getting into mischief at the moment, they soon will be.
Enjoy this special time. Your babies will be here before you know it.
Twinfo provides a connection to resources, information, products and service providers who specialise in supporting multiple births at every stage of their life.