You’ve just learnt that you’re expecting, not one, but two (or more) babies — congratulations! Along with joy and excitement, you’re probably also experiencing a little nervousness about the idea of having multiple babies. It’s okay – it would be unnatural if you weren’t a little scared. The first question that comes to mind might be: How can I afford it? Well, while it’s true that multiple babies will cost you more money, it doesn’t mean you’ll be breaking the bank. With some careful planning and budgeting, shopping for multiples can be a lot easier (and cost-efficient) than you think. Here’s a guide to begin the process.
Make a checklist
You might be eager to head to the shops to buy two or three of everything, but rein in that shopping impulse! When shopping for multiples, it’s good to do thorough research first and make a checklist of what you think you’ll need. You won’t necessarily need one of everything for each baby — so this is the first thing to assess.
What you need to buy in multiples
- Cribs. Your babies will need a place to sleep in, so you’ll need a crib for each of them. If you want to be creative, you don’t have to buy identical cribs. Try a combination-like a crib, a bassinet rocker and a co-sleeper. You can rotate your babies in these three depending on their needs.
- Bottles. Breastfeeding multiples can be hard, so you may find yourself falling back on bottles. As babies go through feedings every two hours, it’s better to get a set of bottles for each baby. But luckily, you’ll only need one sanitizer.
- Diapers. There’s no getting around it. Diapers are expensive, but your babies need to stay dry. To lower your expense, you might want to consider cloth diapering as using washable diapers can cut down your costs by a lot, and there’s economy of scale with washing diapers for multiple babies at a time.
- Strollers. You’ll definitely need a stroller for multiples. Fortunately, many companies make strollers for twins and triplets. You could also consider a double stroller while carrying the third child in a sling.
- Clothes. You do need multiple sets of clothes, but you don’t necessarily need two or three sets of everything. If your babies are the same gender, they can share a wardrobe, or you can buy gender-neutral clothes. Your babies will outgrow their clothes quickly in the beginning, and if they can share clothes — all the more money saved! Just be prepared to do the laundry more often.
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What you don’t need to buy in multiples
- Playpens. These don’t work so well for multiple babies as they tend to be too confining. Consider one big fenced-up pen instead which lets you create a big play area inside adjustable borders.
- High chairs. When your baby learns to eat, you don’t necessarily have to feed them at the same time. If it’s important that you all eat at the same time, consider the chairs that clamp onto a table-top as that can save you valuable space.
- Toys. Yes, while twins or triplets may fight over a favourite toy, it’s important to teach them early how to share their possessions and take turns. You can save a lot of money by avoiding buying endless amounts of playthings. It’s a great way to teach them a great lesson in sharing and also to cut back costs!
Tips for saving money
When shopping for multiples, there’s a bigger necessity for thinking creatively to save money. Besides making a comprehensive checklist that will help you not go overboard in shopping, here are some other ways you can save money:
- Try not buy things brand new. If you’re comfortable with it, ask your family and friends if they have any baby gear they’d like to give away. Hand-me-downs are always a great way to save money and eco-friendly at the same time!
- Join support groups for those with multiple babies. These are great communities, and you’ll find that many parents will give away items for free. Not just that, they are invaluable sources of advice as they’ve been through what you’re about to experience.
- Also, shop only when there’s a sale. Train yourself to look on eBay and Craigslist regularly in your area as good deals pop up everyday and the really good items get snapped up fast.
- Don’t forget to use the circulars and Internet to find coupons. Many people are so used to just assuming they’re getting the best deal if it’s on sale that they tend to forget manufacturers and stores practically hand out money in coupons. Once you start looking, you’ll find more than you ever thought you could.
Do you have twins, triplets or more? What are some great tips that helped you save money when you were shopping for multiples? Share them with us in the comments!
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