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The First Six Months
We're asking Asda mums to tell us about their experiences of pregnancy and what products and support gets them through. Claire, 28, was just getting used to life with one baby when she and husband Ian were blessed with news of not one but two new arrivals. Unfazed, the couple began preparing their nest for two identical twin girls...
Claire and one-year-old Mya
Manual breast pump - I have a Philips Avent, cheap, easy and quick to use - essential. I also have an electric breast pump which is great, but as they're expensive I'd say it's a nice to have as the manual one is fine. I have a couple of breastfeeding pillows - I needed a specialist one for the twins which cost an arm and a leg but I can't feed them together without it so it's essential. Bottles - even though I breastfeed I use Tommee Tippee bottles for milk that I express in case I need to go out or want a drink. I needed load of mulin squares and bibs with Mya as she was sick a lot. The twins aren't too sick so far.
I bought loads of stuff supposed to help with sleeping as Mya just didn'tdo sleep, but most of it was useless. I did find a teddy with womb sounds which was pretty useful. I also used sleepng bags once Mya had settled down at night (in the earlier days she needed to be swaddled) and intend to do so with the twins as they can't wriggle out of them and keep a good temperature. Mya hated all her cot mobiles and toys! The biggest surprise is that the twins actually have worse sleep patterns than Mya. They just don't sleep at the same time after the sun goes down. It's truly remarkable. Also, their differences are surprising, considering they are genetically identical. They have different coloured hair and different shaped faces, so I could tell them apart straight away.
I bought lots of dummies in the hope that they would encourage Mya to nap but she hated them until she was weaned at six months. I have bought even more to try to get the twins to sleep and they too hate dummies.
I love Johnsons Lavender bedtime bubble bath - I don't know whether it does encourage her to sleep but it smells nice. I always use Johnsons shampoos and soaps but I use a special baby butter if they need moisturisers.
We have Maxi Cosi baby seats for the little ones and a rear facing infant seat by Britax for Mya. Mya had a Maxi Cosi pram (a baby travel system) but now we have a huge contraption from New Zealand. We also got a gift that we found invaluable, it was a Tiny Love travel mobile to hang from the car seat handle - it really settled her when she was being horrid in the car.
Mya developed as a textbook baby, doing everything exactly when she was supposed to so I didn't really have to work at it. She had lots of toys and rattles but she finds most of them pretty boring, though she does like her books. My friend let me borrow a Fisher Price bouncer when Mya was four months and she absolutely loved it - it was the first time I got five minutes to myself since she was born - she just used to bounce in it for ages. When she was just learning to walk my mum got her a little trolley that she could push around like a zimmer frame that was really helpful. Before she could crawl I also borrowed a stationary play station that I could plonk her in for 10 minutes while I made tea or cleaned up.
Playtime and friends
Her first friends came from a Mums and Babies yoga group I went to. Now they mainly hit each other with toys and then cry a lot. I have a Bright Starts playgym for them while they are small, which didn't keep Mya occupied for long (she pays more attention to it now I have it set up for the twins) but I think parents need to buy things in the hope that it will give them five minutes peace here and there.
I recently got an airwrap - which is a mesh that fits around the cot to stop their arms and legs getting stuck through the bars. It's also invaluable for stopping their dummies rolling out of the cot. Listening to other mums whinge about having to go to their babies several times a night to retrieve lost dummies, I would have thought airwraps would sell far more if they were advertised for this use. Calpol - life saver simple as that. Metanium nappy rash cream is brilliant. I also like the Karvol menthol plug-in that I use for her when she has a cold.
Best thing you’ve bought?
The twins' monitor is pretty good. I haven't had time to work out all of its great functions but compared to the rubbish one we have for Mya (which buzzes whenever anything else is plugged into the adjacent socket) it really is good. The fact its parent unit is rechargeable makes a big difference. It did cost about twice as much though. I also think that Asda vests are brilliant! They are good quality and super cheap so every time Mya goes into a new size I buy in lots of new vests, long and short sleeved. I also got a playpen which we have used to keep the twins away from Mya and we couldn't manage without it. Also, for swimming I got Mya a neopreen swim nappy and wetsuit to keep her warm in the pool - we couldn't have taken her swimming early on without these. Oh, and I got Mya some sunglasses from an Australian company that she wouldn't leave on for more than two minutes, but those two minutes were pure comedy.
Worst thing you've bought?
Well, I could go on forever here. But if I had to pick one it would be an expensive and branded swing - it cost £80 and Mya hated it. (Can you see a pattern developing?)
Find our how Claire´s prepared for labour - and how she coped on the day: Read Claire´s Story