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All Things Babies-

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Offline  All Things Babies-
#1

Posted: August 25, 2020, 5:24 AM Post
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Location: Milwaukee, WI
My wife and I are having twins come December. It is our first two children and we are very excited. I thought we might have some posters who have been through this all before and might have some advice on good places to shop for deals, things to be aware of, etc... Much appreciated!

"I'm not as good as I was but in big moments I'm still the guy. I want that opportunity." -Ryan Braun


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Offline  Re: All Things Babies-
#2

Posted: August 25, 2020, 6:00 AM Post
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Just stick to the things you actually need and away from well-marketed gadgets that end up used once and then sit in a cabinet. Swaddles were essential for my kids and helped them sleep a lot easier when very young and I strongly preferred the ones with velcro straps. Pack n Play was used often, a good jump-a-roo. Especially with two, spring for a quality stroller that actually can steer so you aren't turning corners with a humvee. I did a lot of baby-carrying but I think that's more a preference thing.

You need far fewer toys and cutesy crap than you're led to believe. They'll usually play with the Amazon box that stuffs come in more. Cluttered toys get annoying fast. You'll figure the rest out and be fine. If you're having a shower, the more practical stuff you can put on there and get others to buy, the better. But people seem to have this undying need to buy less useful, cute junk in my experience.

Two things no one told me about: They look oddly purple when they come out but it's normal. And be prepared for some possible billing shenanigans where they bill some things as the babies and some things as mom, thus everything isn't covered by a single person's deductible, but probably depends on insurance.

I cloth diapered my kids. That's a line in the sand for a lot of folks, I know, but it does save thousands of dollars. Would require some organization with a pair at once though. Good luck.


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Online  Re: All Things Babies-
#3

Posted: August 25, 2020, 6:11 AM Post
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Trust me on this one (my wife and I have 5 kids). https://www.target.com/p/sophie-la-gira ... lsrc=aw.ds

Second on maintaining the lack of clutter. We also have done cloth diapering, and on top of saving a ton of money on diapers over the years, we've also managed to not fill a landfill.

The important thing to remember is that you will mess things up. But if you are attentive, you'll be just fine.

Formerly Joey Meyer Bombs


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Offline  Re: All Things Babies-
#4

Posted: August 25, 2020, 7:16 AM Post
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Haha, Sophie is awesome. I’d also recommend making sure you have a nice stash of higher quality anti-bubble/air bottles. I think I had Dr. Brown bottles. They are such a pain to clean, but wow they reduce spit up so much. Especially at a young age they worked great. They sell drying trays that look like grass and then flowers for the small parts. Seems kind of quirky, but I thought it was pretty useful...especially when washing by hand. That is usually the best way since the dishwasher doesn’t clean half the time or throws bottle parts around like a tornado.

Be smart about buying clothes. I get it, the wife wants the cute onesie at Target every trip (or so it feels). That being said I always thought I needed way more clothes than I actually ended up using. I could open a store with all the unused clothing items through the first four years. Especially for the first year or two they grow fast, like really fast! Just do more laundry if you have to and literally save hundreds on clothes that only would have lasted months. The clothes for my child have almost exclusively been funded by Christmas, birthday, and grandparents.

Target is a great store for baby stuff. Quality, good prices, and lots of cool things to have. Target has deals a lot of times and you can get gift cards for simply buying the essentials like diapers/wipes. Wal Mart is honestly pretty good too. Great place to stock up on simple cheap clothes. At some point buying a $10 onesie that is going to get pooped, puked, and grown out of in 3 months is just wasteful. You can usually get a nice bundle of 3-5 for like $10. Some things just don’t need to be fancy, look at Wal Mart to save money.


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Offline  Re: All Things Babies-
#5

Posted: August 25, 2020, 7:40 AM Post
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Location: Milwaukee, WI
Thank you for the awesome feedback on this. I should mention that they’re twin boys. I just want to be prepared in the most practical way possible.

"I'm not as good as I was but in big moments I'm still the guy. I want that opportunity." -Ryan Braun


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Online  Re: All Things Babies-
#6

Posted: August 25, 2020, 7:48 AM Post
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Brew4U said:
Thank you for the awesome feedback on this. I should mention that they’re twin boys. I just want to be prepared in the most practical way possible.


No matter how much you prepare, you'll never actually be prepared. Just gotta roll with it. At least through the baby phase. We are finally out of the baby phase (have ages 3, 5, 7, 9, 11), and made plenty of mistakes along the way. That's how you learn. I'm not going to lie and tell you that you'll love every minute of it, because you won't ... but at the same time, enjoy the ride.


Last edited by Ron Robinson's Beard on August 25, 2020, 8:16 AM, edited 1 time in total.

Formerly Joey Meyer Bombs


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Offline  Re: All Things Babies-
#7

Posted: August 25, 2020, 8:06 AM Post
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If you are going the disposable diaper route and are having a shower, register for a few different brands. We didn’t have this problem, but my niece had a reaction to certain ones, and this would decrease the chances of a whole stockpile being useless. Also, depending on your situation, maybe don’t immediately rush out to buy everything. A significant amount of the stuff we got for our daughter came free from friends and family whose children outgrew it and just wanted it out of the house.


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Offline  Re: All Things Babies-
#8

Posted: August 25, 2020, 8:20 AM Post
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My dog likes the Sophie more than my daughter I think!

My wife and I bought a SNOO and it was pretty amazing. Very expensive, but my daughter has been sleeping through the night since we put her in her crib and she learned to self soothe there as well.

Stay away from the rock n play as there were some infant deaths and they got pulled from the market. Many people will rave about them(our daughter used it and it worked well), but it is apparently not safe.

I second the Dr. Brown bottles to limit the air bubbles. Youd be shocked how much it helps reduce the spit ups.

I reccomend Amazon Prime as it's nice if you realize you need something but dont have it. It also has the deals on it and diapers and wipes pop up. I would not buy formula from Amazon if you go that route as some people have claimed people have messed with it...or something.


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Offline  Re: All Things Babies-
#9

Posted: August 25, 2020, 8:25 AM Post
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Ron Robinson's Beard said:
Brew4U said:
Thank you for the awesome feedback on this. I should mention that they’re twin boys. I just want to be prepared in the most practical way possible.


No matter how much you prepare, you'll never actually be prepared. Just gotta roll with it. At least through the baby phase. We are finally out of the baby phase (have ages 3, 5, 7, 9, 11), and made plenty of mistakes along the way. That's how you learn. I'm not going to lie and tell you that you'll love every minute of it, because you won't ... but at the same time, enjoy the ride.

And that ride is going to get pretty rough for Ron, the darkness is falling soon for you and there's no escape. Teenage Years [devil] [laughing] [laughing] [laughing] [laughing] [laughing]


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Offline  Re: All Things Babies-
#10

Posted: August 25, 2020, 9:16 AM Post
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I'll second a good stroller is amazing on so many levels. We have one that has multiple attachments and the bassinet was a life saver for getting my son to sleep. Do not go cheap here. We also have a BOB double stroller with jogging wheels. Also amazing, and you'll have twins so it will be nice

Velcro swaddles are also amazing. Pair it with a white noise machine.

Do not get caught up in the hype of having to have new, cute or name brand clothes and shoes. Kids don't need shoes until walking well enough and going outside. search out mom/parent groups on Facebook which are incredibly useful for getting cheap or free items and even setting up play dates. Facebook marketplace for clothes and toys. Will save you a ton of money and quality is usually excellent. We love hand-me-downs.

We did disposable diapers and love Costco for that. Great price and quality.

When getting or requesting clothes, be cognizant of sizing and season. Kids grow up ridiculously quick early on.


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Online  Re: All Things Babies-
#11

Posted: August 25, 2020, 10:08 AM Post
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Father of 6 kids - currently 20, 18, 16, 14, 13, and 9

We did disposable diapers, but I'd certainly look at cloth diapers now. They've made a lot of improvements. But if you go disposable, forget Pampers and Huggies unless you don't like money. Walmart generic is garbage - but Costco (Kirkland) and Sam's (Member's Mark) are both very good. Walmart potty training pants are the best value.

Breast is best, but do what your wife needs to do. Breast or bottle, get a Snuggli. Its a C-shaped pillow that fits around your abdomen and puts the baby in a good feeding position. Helps to feed them no matter what the source, plus you can prop the baby up (back or front) on the floor with them laying on the pillow.

Clothes - Once Upon a Child -Forget any other store. High quality (and some lower) used kids clothes up to age 12 or 14. They also have new stuff. Saved us millions. They also have a good selection of used strollers, pack-n-plays, etc... They occasionally have had "dollar" sales and we left with a ton of clothes for a mere pittance.

Strollers - look at the wheels! Little wheels bad! The bigger the better. In Europe, strollers have huge wheels and have great mobility. The US seems to be obsessed with small wheels for whatever reason and they stink at going anywhere that isn't hard and flat.

Here's hoping you are naming the boys Pauly and Robin! [smile]


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Offline  Re: All Things Babies-
#12

Posted: August 25, 2020, 10:33 AM Post
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Congrats on the twins. Have 9 yo b/g twins and one think you need to do is keep them on the same feeding schedule especially early on when its every few hours. Otherwise all you and your wife will be doing is feeding a baby. And get used to random people asking if they are twins and then telling you some random person they know that had twins.

Also good advice on strollers from others but also look into the Baby Trend Snap N Go Universal Double Stroller. It doesn't have the seats of a traditional stroller but the car seat carriers fit into it easily. It is less bulky then a traditional double stroller and we definitely used it more than the double stroller we had. And it fits into a car, I don't think the regular double stroller fit into my wife Honda Civic.


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Offline  Re: All Things Babies-
#13

Posted: August 25, 2020, 12:16 PM Post
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Good call on the stroller. Our stroller had the attachment that also hooked into the car and that was quite nice.

We are expecting our 2nd in October...I forget all there is to having a child. Yeesh.


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Online  Re: All Things Babies-
#14

Posted: August 25, 2020, 12:27 PM Post
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The second is much, MUCH easier. You have most if not all the stuff and now the wisdom to know what is needed and what is not. [smile] Three becomes tricky again, because you are outnumbered...


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Offline  Re: All Things Babies-
#15

Posted: August 25, 2020, 1:32 PM Post
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You're getting a lot of good advice on the gear, toys, etc. From a financial perspective:

1) Make sure you have a "proper" amount of life insurance for yourself and/or your wife.

2) Set-up 529 plans as soon as possible, start contributing what you can.

3) Get them on the Packers season ticket waiting list.


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Offline  Re: All Things Babies-
#16

Posted: August 25, 2020, 2:13 PM Post
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The 529 is always a wise choice. Usually your states 529 is the best bet (usually state tax is deductible on contributions), but you can use another states 529 in some cases. 529 account has some other benefits down the road when they are going into college. I think on FAFSA you won’t get negatively impacted if you have a giant 529 account to use for school. You can get pretty aggressive in the investments (mine follows the SP 500) and even $100 a month can be huge 18 years from now.

I started one when my son was 2...so that gives it a lot of time to grow. Whenever I tell someone about a 529 I always recommend to start saving for their current AND future planned children. you don’t have to wait till the 2nd/3rd and so on to start saving in a 529 for them. You just put it all under the first child’s name until the others are born, then you can just make a simple money transfer between accounts down the road. I have one child, but I save for two that don’t exist yet too. Hopefully they thank me some day when I tell them I started their college fund when they were -5 years old.


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Online  Re: All Things Babies-
#17

Posted: August 25, 2020, 2:44 PM Post
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+1 on 529 accounts! I started a bit late for my kids (oldest was ~8?). They currently have more money from interest/dividends than what I've actually put in.

Be aware that there are two "styles" of 529 too. One remains in your name and you can give it to any kid (as MrTPlush mentioned). The other puts it in the child's name and they "own" it at 18 - though you can still manage their account. It is easier to transfer money from child to child in the first type. But the second type "hides" money in another child's name from the FAFSA report for any single child (i.e. the account in Child A's name doesn't get reported as savings for Child B's FAFSA since it is not in your or child B's name). Theoretically, you can still transfer from child to child as necessary, but if the child is 18, they need to sign off on it. I haven't tried this yet.

I accidentally chose the second account. I can't say it helped much on my FAFSA, but every little bit... Just to be clear, I'm not advocating either way. I did it by accident, so I've not spent a ton of time comparing the two. Just trying to communicate the differences so you can read up on it before setting up the account. It can't be changed afterwards.


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Offline  Re: All Things Babies-
#18

Posted: August 25, 2020, 10:00 PM Post
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FVBrewerFan said:
You're getting a lot of good advice on the gear, toys, etc. From a financial perspective:

1) Make sure you have a "proper" amount of life insurance for yourself and/or your wife.

2) Set-up 529 plans as soon as possible, start contributing what you can.

3) Get them on the Packers season ticket waiting list.


More great points.

Btw. I'm 35 and I'm within 10k of Packers season tickets because my dad put me on when I was born.(I'm not a Packer fan though)


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Online  Re: All Things Babies-
#19

Posted: August 26, 2020, 8:46 AM Post
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Woo! Congrats on the twins! We’re expecting our first (a girl) in February so I also appreciate all of the advice here.

I’m wondering how you all handled childcare...my wife is fortunate to get 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, I work mostly from home but I haven’t figured out how much I should work during the time after that. I don’t want to pay for 5 days/week of childcare but it sounds like it is very difficult to get any work done if there is an infant at home. Grandparents live in different states so they are not an option.


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Online  Re: All Things Babies-
#20

Posted: August 26, 2020, 9:41 AM Post
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owbc said:
Woo! Congrats on the twins! We’re expecting our first (a girl) in February so I also appreciate all of the advice here.

I’m wondering how you all handled childcare...my wife is fortunate to get 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, I work mostly from home but I haven’t figured out how much I should work during the time after that. I don’t want to pay for 5 days/week of childcare but it sounds like it is very difficult to get any work done if there is an infant at home. Grandparents live in different states so they are not an option.


You are correct. Attempting to work from home with an infant would be very difficult, if not impossible. Most infants do sleep a lot, so there is some reprieve there, but when they are awake, they require pretty constant supervision. I'm not sure what your career is, but most supervisors would frown on one of their employees working from home full time, while taking care of an infant.

That pretty much leaves you with two choices; 1) Fork out the high cost of infant child care for a full week, or 2) Either you or your wife quit your job or take a sabbatical to provide child care. It may make more financial sense to pay the child care cost right now, but typically once you have multiple children, the ends start not justifying the means.

Formerly Joey Meyer Bombs


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