Great Gift Ideas for Parents (or Parents-to-Be) of Multiples

Are you going to a baby shower for someone expecting twins? Or do you need a great gift idea for your cousin who just had multiples? It’s hard to know what to purchase when there are two (or more) babies involved! Here are some ideas:

 

Swaddling blankets. Twins are often premature, which increases the chances for colic and fussiness. Studies show that infants who are swaddled sleep better, which leads to happier parents! Specially made swaddling blankets have Velcro or other fasteners that keep the blanket from becoming unwrapped. Some even come apart at the bottom to allow easy middle-of-the-night diaper changes without unwrapping the whole blanket. In the January/February 2007 issue of TWINS magazine, I’ve written an article about the benefits of swaddling blankets, in which various products are compared.

 

A subscription to TWINS magazine. While you’re reading the article above, fill out a subscription card for the parents of multiples. Or subscribe through their Web site at www.twinsmagazine.com. They have some great articles and tips about raising multiples.

 

Baby Einstein videos. Yes, experts advise us to limit the amount of time our children watch television, but when twins are both screaming at once, parents become desperate for a way to calm them down! These videos have been a life-saver for many parents when used in moderation.

 

Diapers and/or formula. These are the two biggest expenses for parents of multiples. But make sure you check with them first to see what brand they are using. They’re not all the same.

 

Help! Offer to babysit the twins for a while, or even just take them for a stroller ride while the parents try to get some chores done or take a little nap. Bring meals over for the family or offer to wash their cars! Any sort of help is appreciated by parents of twins, and don’t let them turn you down because they don’t want to be an inconvenience. Insist on helping!

 

Books about raising twins. Parenting multiples is just not the same as parenting singletons. Parents of twins need books that are tailored to their unique parenting needs. Of course, I’d like to recommend my books: Twice the Love: Stories of Inspiration for Families with Twins, Multiples and Singletons and It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence. There are also some other great books on the market.

 

Podee Baby Feeding System: I haven’t used this product personally, but I’ve had other parents tell me it is a great product. This self-feeding bottle system allows parents to feed both babies at the same time while holding only one.

 

A good breast pump. Pumping breast milk is almost a necessity for the mother who’s breastfeeding twins. Without it, she’d be nursing around the clock! Make sure it’s a dual pump so she can do both sides at once. And high quality is a must—it’s going to get lots of use!

Child-proofing products. Once twins are up and running, they’re extremely mischievous! Get parents a set of products to child-proof the house, such as plug covers, drawer and door locks, etc. Trust me, they will get used!

 

Clothing. Surprisingly, I got very few items of clothing at my twins baby shower. Everyone focused on the supplies we needed, which was great, but clothes were badly needed, too! Little sleepers, onesies and outfits will always get used. Avoid the fancy, frilly dresses and suits, as twins usually outgrow them before there is much opportunity to use them.

 

Double stroller. This is an absolute must! There are many types available, so check with the parents regarding their preference. Personally, I liked the stroller where the seats were placed one behind the other. This made it easier to get down narrow store aisles! Other parents may prefer the side-by-side or a jogging model.

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About Susan Heim

Susan M. Heim is an author and editor, specializing in multiples, parenting, women’s and Christian issues. Her books include "Boosting Your Baby's Brain Power"; "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More"; "It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence"; "Twice the Love: Stories of Inspiration for Families with Twins, Multiples and Singletons"; and, "Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year." Upcoming books include "Chicken Soup for the Soul: All in the Family," "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Women," and "Moms of Multiples' Devotions to Go." Susan's articles and essays have appeared in many books, magazines and Web sites. She is a member of the National Association of Women Writers and the Southeastern Writers Association, and has a degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University. Susan lives with her husband and four sons (two teenagers and twin grade-schoolers) in Florida.