First and foremost: NOT EVERYTHING NEEDS TO MATCH!
You will spend a lot more money getting perfectly matching gear, when chances are, nobody cares if it matches.
THINGS YOU DONT REALLY NEED/DONT NEED INITIALLY:
When the twins were born, and when they came home from the hospital, I believe we only used one crib for the first 8mo. The other one just sat there, and became a dumping ground for laundry. Babies are small....they dont take up much space, and honestly, if you really cant afford anything else, your baby could even sleep in a laundry basket.
When both twins did sleep in the crib (our son had bad reflux, and usually slept in his carseat), they actually slept better being right next to each other. (Same when they were in the NICU, they shared a bed and dis much better)
And, should they start bothering each other, or moving too much, THEN you can set up another crib... Or just use the packn play!
-FANCY BEDDING SETS:
cute? Yes.... Necessary? No. But make sure you have AT LEAST 5 fitted sheets per crib. And make sure you have a WATERPROOF MATTRESS PROTECTOR. Babies get sick, and they either puke, or overload their diaper. When that happens, you remove the sheet, wipe down the mattress protector, and put on a new sheet. And hope you dont have to do that too many times.
-EXERSAUCERS, WALKERS, BOUNCERS, ETC:
Your baby isnt gonna be using these for the first few months. And if you do get them ahead of time, only get one of each. Some babies HATE these things, and last thing you want is to drop $200 on two of them, and both babies HATE them.
Find them on craigslist. They usually range between $15-$50.
Save that money, you'll need it sooner or later
While these might seem like a "NEED", with two babies, these can actually become a hazard.
There will be that one time you put one kid on it, the other kid does something behind you, and you get distracted. And next thing you know, your kid falls, or almost falls.
We opted for floor-changings. Or even changing them as they still lay in their crib.
If they are a messy one, just slip a blanket or towel under them.
We have NEVER needed a changing table, and most of my Twin Parent friends have concurred on that stance.
We are just *now* starting to use one with our 8mo.
Babies should be exclusively boob/bottle for first 4-6 mo anyway.
And with our twins, we found it to be waaaay less messy to feed them at floor level.
Bumbo seats have trays that attach to them, shoot, even strollers have trays.
But Bumbos or free-sitting are the most sanitary methods of feeding a baby, because it is easiest to clean up. High chairs have a lot of nooks and crannies that hide food, that spoils and germinates bacteria.
-REALLY FANCY TOYS:
With our twins, we tended to take them to the store (or a friends house) and if we found something that caught their eyes, or that they enjoyed, THEN we would purchase it. All babies have different personalities, and that means they like different things. My son is on the Autism Spectrum: he likes toys with different textures, and he DOES NOT like loud/noisy toys. My daughter likes puzzle toys, and animal toys.
This one is also something to remember for their first Christmas (or gift holiday)
Babies dont need a lot of things, so maybe consider savings bonds, college investments, and then a couple toys, and some clothes. Instead of filling your entire living room with toys.
SIDENOTE: buy quality toys. Babies and toddlers break things! And by buying them quality toys, it also means you dont have to buy as many....or listen to a screaming child when $5 Elmo's head falls off.
THINGS TO GET, AND HOW TO GET THEM:
DO NOT GO ALL OUT AT BABY GAP!
BABIES GROW FAST!
When getting baby clothes, Craigslist/garage sales, family and friends who recently had babies, and the Thrift store ARE YOUR FRIENDS!
Remember all those NB-6mo clothes are ONLY GOING TO LAST 6mo!
And chances are, you will not be going to many fancy places during that time.
Onesies and bodysuits will be your best friends. But they can cost $5-$30 at the store. EACH!
Your baby may go through 2-10 outfits in a day! If you averaged $10/outfit. Thats $20-$100 of clothes PER DAY! You can get great quality, gently-used/new baby clothes for between $.25-$5 an outfit at yard sales, Craigslist, and Thrift stores.
Im not saying "dont buy your kid new clothes", Im just saying that if you shop wisely, you can get a couple nice outfits for special occasions, and still be able to cloth your child for the next 5yrs.
Also: BUY ALL SIZES!
Nothing worse than only having NB-3mo clothing, and your 2mo old baby has a freaking growth spirt, and can now wear 6-9mo clothing!
Another Also: SHOP ON THE OFF SEASON!
Winter clothes are expensive. Buying winter suits/jackets in spring or summer can save you some big money. And if you arent sure what size your kid will be wearing, you can go a size up, and it shouldnt be too bad.
BATHING SUITS FOR BABIES:
Please dont put a bikini on your infant.... It just looks wrong.
If you are going to the Pool, Beach, Waterpark, or backyard sprinkler with your baby:
HAT, HAT, HAT, HAT, HAT! A Baby sunhat is a GREAT investment, and will help them stay cool, keep their head from getting burnt, and protect their eyes.
Also: Sunshirts! Cover up baby as much as possible, to keep them safe from the sun's rays. Babies have more trouble regulating their body temperature, and can dehydrate easily. So, sunburns could be lethal.
Just get a whole bunch of one color....you will be losing a lot of socks.
These are GREAT time keepers. Dont forget to use them. Take lots of photos of them, and try to write little blurbs about each big milestone. These will be priceless treasures when they get older. And its a teary reminder, for you, of how cute and wordless that hormonal teenager once was.
We have a Baby Book for each kid, and they each go in a box, where we keep all those important keepsakes for each kid (school certificates, first dental sticker, first tooth brush, take-home outfits, etc)
I lost my first daughter (She would have turned 12 this weekend), and having her Baby Box means more to me than I could have ever imagined.
-BOTTLES, PUMP, BABY FOOD SUPPLIES, FORMULA, ETC:
Whether you breast feed or bottle feed, have a couple bottles in the house, at least.
Our kids were all breastfed, but our son couldnt tolerate anything but breastmilk, and when they started growing, we ended up having to supplement my daughter's share with formula. On top of that, my wife pumped. It started out because the twins were in the NICU and had to be fed through tubes, but it ended up being a life saver:
Pumping means that dad or caregiver can help feed the babies.
Twins will wake up at different times, be hungry at different times, and need things at different times.
If you have to feed the babies every 2-3 hours, and it takes 15min-1hr to feed a baby, you will never sleep. My wife pumped, and was therefore able to get 4-6hrs straight of sleep, while me, MIL, or my mom (whoever was visiting at the time) could feed them during the night.
Its also a great bonding experience for fathers to be able to feed their baby, too.
And a few important tips:
It is important that your baby get plenty of SUPERVISED tummy time. It strengthens their core! My friend's 2mo girl can almost sit up, unassisted (for short spurts of time)
STOP STERILIZING EVERYTHING:
Yes, with preemies this can be important. But for the most part, if you are going to sterilize everything, do it once a week, or every two weeks.
We use glass bottles for our babies, so we boiled the bottles initially (theyd been in storage....same bottles my parents used on their kids), and that was that.
Babies will stick dirty things in their mouths, NO MATTER WHAT!
And eating dirt builds an immune system!
Im not going to argue this one with you, except to say that the "study" claiming vaccines cause Autism were proven false. If you are not convinced of that:
JUST REMEMBER: would you rather have your baby have Autism, or DIE from a completely preventable disease?
ALSO: MAKE SURE EEEEVVVVVVVVVEEEEERRRRRYYYYYOOOOONNNNNEEEE THAT COMES AROUND YOUR NEWBORNS/INFANTS HAS BEEN VACCINATED AGAINST PERTUSSIS, AKA WHOOPING COUGH. IT IS NO JOKE, AND CAN KILL YOUR BABY. IT IS ON THE RISE DUE TO NONVACCINATION.
BELOW ARE JUST SOME EXAMPLES OF EASY FINDS ON CRAIGSLIST.
NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER PURCHASE A SECOND HAND CAR SEAT.
SECOND HAND CARSEATS COULD BE FAULTY, OR COULD HAVE BEEN IN A COLLISION, WITHOUT YOU BEING ABLE TO TELL.
AND IF YOU ARE USING ONE YOU ALREADY OWN, MAKE SURE ITS NOT EXPIRED!