I thought I’d continue my Essentials posts with the things we found to be essential while the twins were 3-6 months old. A lot of the stuff we found essential for birth to 3 months were also necessary during this time, but a few things have been added.
The Boppy from the birth to 3 months post was still used routinely to breastfeed one baby at a time. Also, the extra-large cloth diapers have been even more valuable for burping and cleaning up other messes.
Continued essentials from the birth to 3 months post include: Medela Pump in Style Advanced, milk storage bottles, labeling lids, good feeding bottles, bibs, bottle brush, sterilizer bags and large capacity microwave sterilizer, and Munchkin bottle warmers. We were able to successfully switch our one baby who would only take Tommee Tippee bottles/nipples back to our preferred AVENT bottles/nipples.
Additional bottle feeding items that were essential during 3-6 months were:
- Medium Flow #3 nipples – At just over five months old, were able to move to these faster-flowing nipples from the Slow Flow #2 nipples.
- Feeding chairs – We received two Fisher-Price Space Saver High Chairs after the girls’ arrival, and they have been absolutely wonderful when feeding both of them alone. And, they convert to regular high chairs so someday we’ll all be sitting at the table together…someday.
Solid Food Feeding
While beginning solid food can be started as early as four months old, we began feeding solid food only three days before the girls turned six months. Therefore, I will leave this category until the next Essentials post, because by then I should have a much better idea of what products worked for us and which didn’t.
Additional sleeping items that were essential during 3-6 months old were:
- Cribs – Although they began to take naps in their own cribs in the nursery starting at about 11 weeks old, they continued to sleep overnight in our bedroom from about 2.5 months until just over 4 months old in their own Graco Travel Lite Cribs, which we still plan to use for traveling. Transitioning them to sleeping overnight in their cribs in the nursery, instead of our room, was relatively easy and it provides Molly and I much more freedom to go to bed whenever we want…and to do whatever we want after the girls are asleep.
- Crib mattresses (extra firm) and tight-fitting crib sheets
- Baby monitor – Because of the good reviews, we bought the Angelcare Baby Sound Monitor. Couldn’t be happier with the choice!
- HALO Sleep Sack – Once they began to roll over in their Miracle Blankets, it became necessary to switch to something that left their arms free yet provided warmth and some kind of containment. These sleep sacks have worked great.
Awake Time / Play Time
Three months was pretty much the turning point in terms of interacting with their environment – it really started around then, and it has only skyrocketed since! We used the Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym and Bumbo seats from the birth to 3 months post every day. The Boppy is also great for practicing assisted sitting. The only additional thing I would say was absolutely essential for awake/play time was:
- Quilt(s) – To protect both the little ones from the carpet and the carpet from the spit-up, yet easily washable. We have a bunch of beautiful hand-made quits from Molly’s mom, but there are plenty of wonderful options on Etsy.
While none of the following toys are technically essential, play items that have been very popular with our girls include:
- Oball – This was one of the first toys either of the girls took a liking to. It seems so simple, but the shape and size is perfect for little hands to grasp. We have one Oball Original and one Oball Rattle and they love them both.
- Toy keys – Plain, simple, multi-colored, numbered, and fun to chew on.
- Taggies blanket – Great size for cuddling with and holding on to, the taggies around the edges are perfect for little fingers to practice isolating and for chewing on.
- Floor mirror – Molly’s sister gave us the Sassy Me in the Mirror and it is wonderful! It stands up on its own so they could see themselves during tummy time, then once they started reaching out for things, it has multiple different objects around the edges to play with. NOTE: The linked product apparently has MP3 capability, and ours does not; apparently they don’t make the one we have any more, which looks like the linked product, just without the MP3. Sassy now makes a much more simplified version of this mirror, but I would expect it wouldn’t be nearly as popular (with our girls) as the one we have now with all the fun things along the sides.
- Anything that crinkles – Eric Carle Butterfly and Little Yellow Chick “Little Crinkles” are wonderfully fascinating.
- Easy-to-hold items that squeak – We were given a couple of toys similar to the Rich Frog Baby Squeak Easies and they were all a big hit!
- Teethers – Although neither have any teeth yet, we have a smattering of various teething toys. Favorites include Razbaby RaZ-berry Teether and Nuby Silicone Teether with Bristles.
- Multi-textured stuffies – Specifically Lamaze Mortimer the Moose and Stretch the Giraffe, both very entertaining.
Although these should really be part of Awake Time/Play Time above, and none of them specifically are absolutely essential per-se, I thought it would be nice to include a list books (currently) most popular in our house:
- Miss Spider’s Tea Party: The Counting Book – Wow, it’s like we’re singing “The Wheels on the Bus” or something because it is an instant double-attention grabber. I only wish it counted higher than 12.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar – I think they like this book because the pages are easy to turn (if you aren’t familiar with this book, some of the pages inside are different lengths, which makes them easier for little flailing hands to grab).
- Dear Zoo – It’s probably the repetition of “I sent him back” that is so entertaining to both listen to and read.
- Bright Baby books – Animals, Colors, First Words – short, simple, and all colorful.
- Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type – Maybe it’s just that I like to read them this. But it does usually hold their attention, for whatever reason.
There aren’t many any additional essential items than what was listed in the birth to 3 months post, which included a bathing tub, child-safe cotton swabs, washcloths, soap, and bath thermometer. While definitely not essential, someone gave us the Munchkin Sea Squirts bathtub toys and boy are they fun! The only other essential discovery was:
- Calendula Cream – With two fair-skinned babies, California Baby Calendula Cream has been the only thing to relieve their eczema.
The car seats and stroller mentioned in the birth to 3 months post have still been majorly essential. Also:
- diaper bag – We currently have the Skip Hop Bento Diaper Tote Bag as our diaper bag because it is less purse-like and more bag-like than many other diaper bags. It has served us well over the past six months, but now that their clothes and diapers are getting bigger, the bag is seeming much smaller. But I will stuff this baby to the brim before I carry around anything bigger!
- dog tag silencer – If anything on this list is classified as essential, the Quiet Spot Tag Silencer is it, hands down. With the loss of the Startle Reflex around 3-4 months old, anytime our dog walked by or did a whole-body shake, his tags would clank together and startle the babies awake. This, along with a Miracle Blanket, will from now on be what I give expecting families with a dog.
The following items we found extremely useful, but wouldn’t necessarily say were essential. So don’t break the bank for these things, but if you want life to be a bit easier (and it always could be with twins!), then consider these as well:
- Aden + Anais Burpy Bibs – These provide full shoulder coverage, which is critical for babies who like to lean over their shoulders when they spit up (can you tell we have one of these?). They also fasten with one snap, instead of multiple snaps or worse – velcro. I wish we had discovered these earlier and had spent the money investing in these instead of bibs with horrible velcro that loses its velcro-ness over time yet still manage to ruin clothes in the washer.
- Baby Bjorn BabySitter Balance – A great place to put a baby after feeding to keep them upright. It also has multiple recline settings for use with both newborns and older babies. The crotch strap comes off to be used as a toddler seat so I anticipate that, despite the price, we will truly get years of use out of it.
- Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Bouncer Seat – Another great place to put a baby after feeding to keep them upright (though less upright than in the Baby Bjorn BabySitter Balance).
- Waterproof pads – We got a handful of Target brand waterproof bassinet pads to put under their heads, on top of the sheets. So so so much easier to change and wash these small items instead of having to constantly change the entire sheet.
- Jumperoo – We decided on the Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo because of its high ratings, least-offensive color scheme, and minimal electronic noise/lights features. Despite the HUGE footprint it has, it has certainly been a favorite item since they figured out how to jump in it.
Wow, that’s a lot of stuff. And these are just the things we found essential or most useful. Is there anything else you found absolutely essential for your 3-6 month old? Add to this list by commenting!