When you have a baby most people need to make the most of what they can afford. This is particularly true for parents of twins or higher order multiples. Raising multiples on a budget can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible.
One thing I wish I’d bought second hand is my breast pump. I had a notion that somehow it was unhygienic, but getting a second hand pump is totally worth it. If you have twins, definitely get yourself a double electric pump. You don’t have time to sit through a manual or single pump! If you are getting a new one, apparently hospitals sell them for less for mothers of multiples, so try them before buying retail.
Cribs are important and should have several features, including meeting all the most recent health and safety standards. Drop sides and locking wheels are important features to look for as well. Wait for ‘Baby Days’ at a department store. You may find a model that is being discontinued and is heavily discounted. A changing table with shelving for storage is very important. Again, finding one that is being discontinued is a good idea. Go shopping with your parents! If they are seniors they will be eligible for ‘Senior’s Day’ and you will be able to save an additional 10-15%!
I was pleased with my bottle sterilizer. I imagine that in terms of real and actual cost, using a bottle sterilizer is much more affordable; it uses less water, time and power than your dishwasher.
You may consider using cloth diapers. You are brave and smart! If you have enough to last a few days between washes, you will probably save several hundred dollars between the birth and toilet training of your little ones.
Join your local multiples group for the annual swap meets. You may be able to buy all of the clothes you will need and meet other parents with older twins who are looking to sell used equipment such as high chairs and other large items. Just make sure that they are recent models and meet all of the most recent health and safety standards. Also check recall lists to be on the safe side, particularly if it is a playpen you are looking at. If you know FOR SURE that a car seat that you are considering HAS NOT BEEN IN AN ACCIDENT* and the parents have their insurance history to prove it, there has not been a recall on that particular model, and it is less than seven years old, swap meets may be a good place to pick up a used car seat. However, most expects agree that new car seats are the way to go. (*If the car seat has been in an accident your insurance carrier will not insure it.)
Even if you have twice the babies, only buy one toy – unless you can get two for one deals. Developmentally babies outgrow these items quickly and it’s a good start in learning how to share. Try having ‘stations’. Maybe you have one bouncy chair, one jolly jumper, one bumbo, etc. and you can rotate your twins. You don’t need two of each of these types of items. Besides which, who has the room?
It’s a little intimidating at first, but unless you have received coupons or samples, it’s a good idea to start making your own baby food. Invest in a small electric chopper and you can gauge the consistency and texture yourself and vary it as your babies experience new foods. You’ll love the chopper so much it’s an excellent investment for the future.
Kid zone type places may have free entrance for babies under one, a policy which gives mums with two singletons reason to come so they only have to pay for one child. If you have twins under one, you may be able to play there for free!
Lastly, always ask if there is a discount for multiples. It’s more than fair to seek discounts and freebies whenever possible.
Do you have tips for raising multiples on a budget?