My first pregnancy (singleton) and second pregnancy (twins) were like night and day. From weight gain and how my belly looked to the delivery style and postpartum, it was all quite different. I thought it'd be fun and interesting to take a look back at the differences by comparing my singleton and twin pregnancy! You can watch it in a quick YouTube video or keep scrolling for the pix and details!
*disclaimer: this post includes some affiliate links - we'll receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking*
Note: in all photos below, singleton pregnancy is on left and twins on right :)
Early Weeks & Nausea
Early on, you wouldn't have known by looking at me. But for my twin pregnancy, my "morning sickness" aka all day sickness started much earlier and lasted longer too.
For my first baby, I wanted as natural as possible. I chose a group of midwives who only used the fetal doplar to hear the heart beat at each checkup. I had a sonogram at my initial visit (7 weeks), the standard anatomy ultra sound at 20 weeks, and another scan around 32 weeks because they wanted to confirm baby was breech (he later flipped, thank goodness). Then I used the birthing center to deliver which again was all natural. For my second pregnancy, again I went to a midwife, however as soon as she saw twins I was told I'd continue my regular checkups with them (rotating between the midwives and doctors at the practice, since I would have to have a doctor at the delivery) but also had to see an MFM (maternal fetal medicine) high risk specialist regularly. At those visits, they did a special ultrasound at EVERY visit, which I actually loved. There's such risk of one twin absorbing the other and all kinds of scary things, so it was reassuring to see them in there doing well! They always checked the blood flow in each umbilical cord, the size of babies, and also inserted a lovely probe to measure my cervix. This stopped later, maybe around 30 weeks? I can't remember, but it was a relief to not check that anymore! My MFM wanted me to delivery at 38 weeks but my OB wanted to let me go as far as 40 weeks, to make them both happy we made sure to schedule my MFM scans twice a week for the last few weeks. This meant walking 3 miles roundtrip pushing my son in his stroller. Ouchies! But kept us fit!!
Popped & Gender Reveal
I feel like from about 16 weeks is when my twin belly started to grow a bit bigger and faster than my singleton belly, though it would be many more weeks it REALLY popped. I found out the twins' sexes at around 18 weeks (girls! YAY!!) but for my first pregnancy, we didn't find out the sex! I wanted it to be my husband's big job at delivery to find out and announce it!
Viability & Weight Gain
24 weeks was a pretty big milestone for my twin pregnancy. It marked the point at which the babies could potentially survive if born early. Most doctors and twin pregnancy books also recommend the goal of gaining 24 pounds by wee 24 - this magic number has the best outcomes for twins! In the earlier weeks I didn't think it'd be possible, as I was just so nauseas most of the time. But at week 24, I was EXACTLY 24 pounds up - it was a miracle LOL! Of course, it feels absolutely rotten seeing the numbers go up so quickly on the scale, I had only gained 7 pounds at this point in my singleton pregnancy! But... you have to think about the babies' health - gaining too little or too much can put you all at risk!
Did you know you need at least 100 grams of protein a day when pregnant with twins? 175 is a better goal, that I always struggled to get even close to, despite throwing down protein bars and protein shakes every chance I could get! The cool thing is that your babies get first dibs at the nutrients you take in, and if they don't get what they need, they'll take it out of you like the cute little succubi they are ha! While I'll never know if it was a result of my not getting enough protein or other vitamins, I suspect that my losing my eyebrows (seen below right) was due to this. Thankfully eyebrow pencil worked wonders and they grew back in full shortly after giving birth!!
From about 30 weeks, my twin belly seriously looked full term, and it was from here on out that strangers would think they were so cute with their comments like "Whoa you're about to pop!!" to which I'd answer, "Nah, about 2 more months" hahahaha by 35 weeks I was obscenely large and in charge and they would joke "What are you having twins or something" thinking they're being funny or passively aggressively trying to make fun of me perhaps? But I loved answering blankly, "Yes." So fun! What was not fun were the aches and pains. The varicose veins down under and my round ligament pains in my hips made walking downright painful, yet I still made a point of walking at least a mile a day, and even pushing my son in his stroller 3-4 miles 1-2 times a week when I had my checkups at the maternal and fetal health specialist! It wasn't comfortable, but I think keeping fit really helped me stay fit and keep those babies cooking!!
I carried both pregnancies full term. My son was actually overdue at 40 weeks and 2 days (I gained 26 pounds and he was 8 pounds 1 ounce). I was so nervous because I was planning to deliver naturally at the birthing center, and you aren't allowed to deliver there if you go past 40 weeks 6 days! I made it just in time! Twins are considered full term earlier at 38 weeks which is when most doctors want to deliver them by (risks go up quickly after that). My team was confident to let me go as far as 40 weeks as long as I was getting twice a week ultrasounds and everything was going perfectly! So at 39 weeks and 6 days they finally induced me. I had gained 43 pounds and my girls were 6 pounds 11 ounces and 5 pounds 9 ounces. So I gained 17 pounds extra for the twins!
For my son, I labored at home for 43 hours (ohhhh the pain) and then spent the final 10 hours of labor at The Birthing Center at Roosevelt Hospital. It's a special unit of just a few beds separate from the regular OB floor. No drugs, just a midwife and a nurse! I thought this was perfect for me, not wanting meds pushed on me, but was just 1 floor away from doctors and surgeons should something scary happen. Thankfully it went perfectly - had him on Christmas Day 2012 and spent just 1 night in the same room where we labored and delivered him, in a regular queen bed (not an adjustable one). (See his full birth story here).
For my twins, we scheduled an induction at 39 weeks 6 days. They started an IV and put me on pitocin, broke my water, and let me labor a few hours (so painful, pitocin is NOT fun). When I got to 9cm I finally broke and got the epidural they had been pushing me to get - my doctor wanted me to have one in place just in case I needed an emergency c-section for the 2nd baby, that way they wouldn't have to knock me out. I got the epidural AND the drugs and it was so wonderful. Pushed them both out painlessly a couple of hours later in the OR - yes, all twins and multiples must be delivered in the operating room, even if vaginal! I believe it's related to the number of people who must attend the delivery, at least 6 (mom, partner, OB, anesthesiologist, a pediatrician or neonatologist for each baby, at least 1 nurse, likely a handful of med students, and more doctors and nursees depending on how many babies ). I was really nervous about what a horrible situation it would be, on a cold flat operating table with bright lights. But honestly, in the moment, I couldn't have cared less! (read the twins' full birth story here).
My son stayed in the room with us the entire time in the hospital - he got cleaned up and got his shots and everything right by my side. My girls were whisked away several times to be cleaned and once because they wouldn't stop crying and poor mama just wanted to sleep! It's funny how different I felt the first time and the second time. The first time, I probably would have fought any soul trying to take my baby away! The next time around, I was like, whatever, please take them for a bit, I need to sleeeeeep!!!
At the birth center, we had a private room, just part of how things were different from the regular OB ward and it was one of the reasons I chose to deliver there! The next time around, we also lucked out with a private room because moms of twins and multiples get a FREE private room!!! Because they need the space for 2+ bassinets! This meant my husband got to stay with me, although not too comfy on a fold out chair!
I was lucky that, while painful at first, breastfeeding was pretty easy for us. The first time around, I suffered through EXCRUTIATING latch, baby overfeeding (like 45 minute feeds), and usually tons of spit up. But he porked up and we just chugged along! I ended up breastfeeding him til he turned 2 years old!! For my twins, it started out alright but Emi didn't gain any weight over 2 weeks after her initial 10% weight loss (which is totally normal and fine for new borns to lose that much right after birth but they're expected to start gaining quickly). I saw a free lactation consultant at our pediatrician and she saved us!! She confirmed my milk production wasn't the problem, it was just Emi was so weak and not able to nurse efficiently. So basically I bought a scale, weight her before and after feeds, and pumped and bottle fed her at least once a day to make sure she was getting enough milk. At the end of 2 weeks of doing this, she had caught up to her sister's weight and was able to nurse well. From then on the girls were within an ounce of eachother for the next 2 years or so!! Now at 5, Emi is about 1 inch taller and 2 pounds heavier LOL! I breastfed them for 1.5 years - at home using My Brest Friend Twin Deluxe nursing pillow, and even out in public single or tandem under a cover!! Oh the stares we would get, never once got a mean comment, I think mostly people were stunned... or I like to think, impressed!
For my son, I used a Mei Tai Carrier and a Britax single stroller. For my twins, initially anyway, we used the StrollAir MyDuo stroller with the Englacha ride on seat (affiliate link) behind it. My son still did stroller naps so I could throw him into a seat and wear a baby if we needed to. When we had to take the subway into the city, I would usually put Kenzo in the stroller and wear the twins in our WeeGo twin carrier (under 4 months) and later the TwinGo carrier. Later we loved the StrollAir Solo to Tango and Evenflo Pivot stroller with the Buggy Board Maxi+ sit/stand ride on behind it. Reviews linked above and videos below!!
Postpartum Belly & Weightloss
I was lucky that my weight was back to pre-pregnancy within 6 months for both singleton and twins, without any effort of my own. I chalk it up to good DNA and breastfeeding. Did you know breastfeeding twins burns about 1000 extra calories a day!?? The tricky part was weaning them and not gaining a ton because I was used to eating as much as I could through pregnancy and 1.5 years of breastfeeding LOL! They did leave me with the dreaded stretched out wrinkly #twinskin though - come see that here!!
What your belly looks like after twins!!
A single stroller that converts to a double stroller in just seconds, with no spare parts to lose!? This is the key feature of the brand new budget-friendly Evenflo Pivot Xpand. Keep reading for my full review and to see why it's a great choice for anyone with 1 child, twins, and siblings. And oh yeah, don't miss my demo video at the bottom to see it in action!!
**Disclaimer: I was provided with this stroller free of charge for my honest review, and there are affiliate links included (you don't pay more but I'll receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking). But don't worry, I'm no sell out - all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely 100% unbiased! Feel free to comment below, on social, or on our YouTube video with any questions and I'll reply ASAP!
Out of the box, the Pivot Xpand had the quickest and easiest set up of any stroller I've experienced, and we've had more than 10! Honestly, I could have done it without the manual, though that was concise and easy to understand. I had it in single mode in less than 5 minutes, including opening the box! From there, it converts to double mode in all of 15 seconds and I'm not even exaggerating. It's incredible!! This feature is definitely the selling point of this stroller - everything you need to convert from single to double stroller is built into the frame! You simply slide the top seat connectors into a higher position. Pull out the lower seat's connectors, and snap those seats on. Done!
Evenflo Pivot Xpand Key Features:
Of course, no stroller is perfect. There are a few less than ideal aspects I have to mention, since I pride myself on honest reviews. This is a somewhat compact tandem (especially when comparing to the last tandem I reviewed), which is great for navigating tight corners, but it also means that the seats are too close in some configurations to allow for recline or adjustments of foot rests. It's not a huge deal, you'll just need to play around with what configuration will work best for your kids. My girls prefer facing eachother, and lucky for us, this configuration also works great for full recline and use of foot rests - hoorah! One other minor issue is that when the front seat is rear facing, you'll lose some use of your basket, especially if the foot rest is down. Again, not a major issue, but something to keep in mind. The belly bars are great, but I'd love to have snack bars available (Hint hint, Evenflo, if you're reading this, get on it)! I'm not sure if they have rain covers for this stroller or have any coming out, but 2 of the Manito Beta Rain Shields should do the trick (we haven't tested those, but we love the Manito Elegance Alpha Double Rain Shield on our Joovy and StrollAir side by side strollers)!
DON'T MISS MY VIDEO DEMO!!
See how it converts from single to double, how the handle & foot rests adjust, check out the seat recline levels, canopy, the self-standing collapse, and more!
So, what do you think!? Pretty amazing stroller, right!? You can buy it now on Evenflo's website and Amazon (affiliate link).
**updated in 2019:
They also now sell the GOLD Pivot Xpand version (in many colors), check it out here.
You can buy the 2nd seat of the regular Xpand here, and the 2nd seat for the gold Xpand here.
You can buy the rider board here.
I am what some may consider a stroller connoisseur. We've been through NINE strollers (2 more since I wrote "Signs You Might Be a Stroller Addict"), and I can say from experience, no stroller is perfect, but some come pretty darn close!
We've been HUGE fans of StrollAir's MyDuo side by side double stroller (see my review here), using it as our daily workhorse since our twins were born 2.5 years ago (check out my review here). So when StrollAir announced they were releasing a new tandem stroller that goes from (shorter) single to (longer) double, I just couldn't wait to get my hands on it!!
StrollAir's Solo to Tango Stroller just hit the market a few months ago, and could just be the only stroller you'll ever need - taking you from your first baby through your second, and of course it's a great choice for twins as well. The Solo, retailing for $499.99, is a single stroller with a 50-pound maximum reversible infant-ready seat. It comes with a winter muff, rain cover, mosquito net, 5-point harness, adjustable footrest, huge under basket with storage pockets, adjustable leatherette handlebar, and leatherette bumper bar. It also has a MASSIVE canopy, dare I say the largest in the market?, with magnetic mesh peeakboo window and an extra zippered panel that allows the canopy to cover your child practically head to toe. What's more? You can zip off the fabric sides of the seat to unveil breathable mesh when the seat is reclined, perfect for keeping your little one cool in the stroller in summer (see one of my kids demonstrating the mesh, below right)!
But here's where it gets REALLY COOL. For $199.99 you can buy the Tango, which is basically the kit to turn your single into a double tandem stroller. Included in that package you'll get a second seat (identical to the Solo seat in size, weight limit, and functions) as well as all of the accessories (winter muff, rain cover, mosquito net, leatherette bumper), and your extension pieces that will both lengthen the stroller and lift up the Solo seat to make space for the Tango seat to snap in. Both seats are infant-ready (please use an infant head and body support pillow), but you can also purchase 1 or 2 bassinets or 1-2 universal car seat adapters, as well as a shopping tote that can sit in the empty Tango seat spot, giving Solo to Tango an insane amount of configuration possibilities (a few of mine pictured below)!!
Be sure to watch my demo video below for a fun unboxing, setting the stroller up in Solo and switching to Tango mode, and my demonstrations of how various features work such as different switching the seat directions, adjusting the handlebar height, reclining seats, extending the canopy, hoisting it up over curbs (heavy, but doable), and collapsing it. The stroller comes with an instruction manual, and their rep has confirmed PDF instructions and video demo will be up on their website soon. It wasn't too hard to set up, no tools needed thankfully, but you definitely need to reference the instructions here and there, for safety and sanity's sake!
The feature I find most useful of StrollAir's Solo to Tango is the ability to go from shorter single stroller to longer tandem stroller. As a mom of twins plus one, we almost always need our double. But there are times we need to take just 1 child to the doctor (in a stroller), so we keep a backup single stroller in the closet (taking up very valuable city apartment space!!!). But now, with the Solo to Tango, we just need this one stroller!!! It takes less than 5 minutes (the same amount of time to dig out our spare single) to switch from Tango to Solo: you just unzip the basket, snap out the extension frame, switch the front wheels back to the original Solo front, zip the basket back, remove the seat extensions, and snap the seat back in. Done! No tools necessary! (You can see me switching from Solo to Tango mode in my YouTube demo).
As far as accessories go, you can upgrade to air-filled tires for a smoother ride, however I gotta say, I find their standard tires great (super smooth push) and there's never a concern of getting a flat out there on the nail and glass-filled sidewalks of NYC haha! StrollAir also sells a shopping tote, hop on board, parent console, and handle sleeves. The winter foot muffs are FABULOUS and come standard with the stroller, check them out pictured below. Together with the ginormous canopies, you're ready for the harshest winter (or to hide your precious cargo from the paparazzi LOL)!!
The Tango doesn't collapse super small (see photo above center), but it is quick and easy to collapse - you just have to make sure seats and wheels are facing forward, then lock the stroller, click the red button on the left side of the handlebar, squeeze the telescoping handlebar button and push the handlebar in all the way. You'll feel the stroller frame kind of release and then you can swing the whole thing in on itself by pushing the handlebar down. What's really great is that it's self standing!! If you need to fit it into a tighter space, you can get it to fold smaller by quickly removing the belly bars, wheels, and seats.
One question I get a lot from our followers is whether side by side or tandem double strollers are better, and I gotta tell you, that's a really really hard call. The two biggest pros of a side by side, in my opinion, are not having to stop walking in order to get snacks or bottles to both of your children (since they're both within your reach) and hoisting the stroller over curbs is also easier.
I was nervous that a tandem would feel easy to tip and hard to maneuver around corners, but I gotta say the StrollAir Tango is neither of these things. The large wheels and wide back wheel base are very helpful with these issues. Also due to the large wheels, it has no trouble rolling smoothly over the biggest divots, that our double umbrella stroller was constantly getting stuck on! If pushing on slanted sidewalk, you have to use a bit more muscle to keep it straight than a side by side, but it performed light years beyond the Joovy Big Caboose we used 2 years ago in terms of stability and ease of steering and turning corners.
In some tandem configurations you could face the problem of one child kicking the other one, but recently we've had the issue in our side by side of our girls fighting, pulling hair, etc, so there's really no way to avoid this - if your kids want to fight, they will find a way, no matter what kind of stroller they're in! That said, in the StrollAir Tango you can have your children facing opposite directions - so YAY, I have found a solution!!
I've also found this tandem easier to get through the grocery store aisles. When my girls are next to each other in a wide SBS, they both stretch out their arms and legs (my twin "octopus") and grab or knock stuff of the shelf. SO frustrating. We've never found a main doorway our SBS couldn't get through, but it couldn't get through our bedroom doorway or the grocery store checkout lanes, which the tandem can. it's amazing what just a few inches in width can mean (the back wheels are the widest part of the Tango, about 25.5" wide. Our side by side is 29" wide and many are up to 32" or so!!)!
Very long story short, I don't think there's an easy answer as to side by side or tandem being better, you need to take both types for a test drive to see which will suit you better. Either way, StrollAir has got an amazing stroller for you. If leaning toward a tandem, I can't recommend their Solo to Tango highly enough! And if going for a side by side, their new TwinWay (pretty much a vamped up MyDuo) is the way to go!! Side note, their ReVu also sounds amazing - it's an umbrella stroller with a reversible seat!!
Have any questions about this stroller, or any others we've owned? Have a single or double stroller you love, or features you wish one would offer? Leave a comment below!! And don't miss these other stroller reviews I've done:
Disclaimer: We were provided this stroller free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are unbiased - we are no sell outs!!
Whether you're a parent of twins or triplets, about to become one, or are simply fascinated by multiples, I am very excited to present to you an awesome video I created featuring the fun tell-alls of a handful of YouTube parents of multiples!
We've got parents of triplets, twins plus one, and twins twice over (yes, 2 sets of twins, it happens!!) weighing in on everything from how they reacted to finding out they were pregnant with multiples to what the hardest and craziest parts are of being a mom or dad of twins or triplets.
Here are the amazing YouTubers featured in the video:
Alright, now what are you waiting for!! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be in love!!! Watch the video below and don't forget to like, subscribe, comment, and watch the other videos in the play list!!
An infant compatible lightweight double stroller that has an easy and compact umbrella-style fold, great push, loads of storage, huge canopies, and can haul a ride on board? Sounds like an impossible order and yet Joovy has somehow made our wildest dreams come true with their TwinGroove Ultralight! I received one free for review, but as always, you can count on me for the truth and nothing but the truth. In a nutshell, we absolutely love it!!! Read on for my full review and what I have found to be the hits and misses in the design and functionality (and don't miss my demo video at the bottom!).
What I love about the Joovy TwinGroove Ultralight:
It has an extremely compact umbrella-style fold (measuring 15" x 30" x 13"). If you keep the wheels unlocked it's very easy to pull it along behind you or push ahead of you, and if you lock the wheels it's easy to store upright against a wall (no, it's not self-standing). The process of folding is multi-step but super quick once you get the hang of it: 1) lock all 3 front sets of wheels, 2) push seat backs forward all the way, 3) pull up 2 locking levers at back of stroller, 4) step down on the folding mechanism on the side, 5) push handles forward and down until stroller is locked shut. Once you've done it a few times it takes literally 15 seconds (much easier than trying to direct someone else how to fold it while you're getting 2 screaming kids into car seats LOL).
I love the full range of these independently reclining seats - from quite upright with a great view all the way down to nearly fully reclined and infant compatible! There's even a mesh foot enclosure that flips up and over the foot rest for newborns (of course, if using with newborns you would also want to buy and use a full infant body support pillow or at least a head support pillow - shown in use in below left photo). How you actually recline and straighten the seat is not my favorite feature, as far as I can figure it does take two hands, but it's fairly straight forward and simple (check my demo video to see it being done). There are also nice leg rests that go up and down easily. We haven't had any major grime to deal with yet, but yogurt and other snack mishaps have easily cleaned right up with a quick wipe down with a wet towel.
It has 2 decent sized storage baskets under the stroller that are only accessible from the rear and only when the seats are upright. The left and right underbaskets are separate and there's a 5 pound limit for each, so you can't fit anything HUGE or super heavy down there, but the mesh bags hang on top of the metal frame, so you can't stretch the basket out like I've had an issue with on other strollers. I decided to ditch my double diaper bag and instead pack smaller bags to go under the stroller - diapers, wipes, nursing cover and toys on the left, snacks and water bottles on the right. It's been working great!
You can also go without an add-on parent console since they have built it in for you! The back of each seat features a small zippered compartment where you can store wallet, chapstick, keys, etc as well as a small open mesh compartment good for a small water bottle or cell phone. The stroller comes with a plastic cup holder that hooks on the side, but I had a terrible time with it not staying in place (maybe I wasn't using it right?), so I gave up on it and took it off.
Finally, each seat has a little mesh pocket where you can keep stuff you want accessible to your child, such as a toy, bottle, or pacifier!
I wouldn't recommend hanging anything heavy in the back from the handles, I haven't tried and this stroller seems much sturdier than most umbrellas, but it could potentially flip the stroller backwards. If you need more storage, the SureShop bag by Hatch Things is awesome, it hangs and clips onto the side of strollers, you could even use one on each side, though it would make the stroller significantly wider when in use.
The Weight & Weight Limit:
With an in-use size of 32.25" x 30" x 42.75", the TwinGroove Ultralight weighs 26 pounds, not exactly light, but as far as double strollers go it makes good on its namesake "ultralight"! I'm 5'8" and the handles are at a very comfortable height for me, and were fine for my 5' sister-in-law, too. But here's where it rocks... each seat has a whopping 50 pound weight limit, with a total weight limit of 100 pounds!! Yessssss!!!
This part probably can't be endorsed by Joovy as I don't think they've done any testing or approved any after markets such as this, but I do want to mention that we've been using it on a daily basis for a month now to carry our 18 pound twins in the seats and pull our 38 pound 4 year old on his Englacha Junior X-Rider sit/stand board. I was nervous if it would be compatible with this, and if we would somehow break or warp the Joovy's frame, but it has been kicking butt! Another reason the Twingroove Ultralight does well pulling a ride on toddler board in my opinion is because the stroller handles are independent, so there's no across-handle to get in the way of the child when sitting or standing behind the stroller.
These are great full coverage independently operating canopies, with UV protection and (small) velcro closing plastic peekaboo windows.
I didn't realize this when we first got the stroller in January 2017, actually I didn't realize it until our first summer with it, but the 2 back flaps of the stroller (which house the cup holders and zippered pockets) can actually be flipped up over and kinda hook onto the canopies. If you do this when the seats are reclined, they get a wonderful cross breeze and it's such an amazing surprise bonus to this stroller in summer!!!
What I don't love about the Joovy TwinGroove Ultralight:
As soon as I started posting photos and professing my love for this new stroller on my social media, I got a couple of warnings from friends that it wouldn't do well in snow. I brushed them off until I tried to take it out a week ago when there were a couple of inches of fresh powder on the ground. And you know what? They were right... we didn't even make it off of our block. We were skidding around and there was no way I was going to make it up and over the mound of snow that had accumulated at the corner. Abort mission. Repeat: ABORT MISSION!!! As an umbrella stroller, the wheels are just too small and gripless to be able to do well in snow (a dusting if fine, as is relatively smooth compact snow, but that's about all it can handle). But other than that it's done well on many types of terrain, even horribly cracked sidewalks and pot-holed roads - thanks to the 3 sets of double wheels (if one set hits a hole the other 2 sets carry the stroller over without a fuss!
It also doesn't have a belly bar or snack tray as add-on options, but those are pretty standard losses in an umbrella stroller, I mean, they would take away from the compact fold! But, you can always get those velcro tethers for snack cups.
One of my favorite things about the stroller is the great view the kids have from the seat because they're not reclined deep within a pocketed seat. But, that's also a slight hazard I have found for my own very curious toddlers. It is a tight squeeze into our building's elevator and through the grocery store aisles, and there is nothing to keep their arms and legs inside the stroller. So, I have to be very vigilant, steer clear of breakables, and go slowly in and out of the elevator making sure limbs are clear.
So, who would I recommend this stroller for? Just about anyone with 2 or more kids!! It's great for twins (from infancy til they reach 50 pounds each), twins plus one or 2-3 singleton siblings (with ride-on board). It's great for travel, as a spare in the car, and even as your daily stroller! Other than the not-great-in-snow issue I mentioned above, the main thing that might make it not the best stroller for you is if you have one or two infant car seats that need to be hauled in the stroller since this does not have the ability to do so.
The Joovy TwinGroove Ultralight comes in black, grey, or turquoise (like our beaut) and can be purchased for $299.99 on their website, Amazon, and in many stores.
RAIN COVER OPTIONS:
When I originally wrote this review back in January 2017, I don't think they'd come out with a custom rain cover for the TwinGroove Ultralight yet, but I was happy with how the Manito Elegance Alpha Stroller Shield performed (see my full review on the Manito cover here). Basically, It creates a fabulously warm and cozy greenhouse in winter, protects them from the rain, has a front window that zips opens so you can hand kids snacks or give them fresh air or take kids in and out without having to remove the cover, and fits this stroller fabulously!! The only real negative, and it's a pretty big one, is that you cannot make use of the peekaboo windows when this is on, meaning you cannot see your kids. If your kids require snacks in the stroller like mine did, this can wind up being a bit risky.
In June 2017 we were sent the new TwinGroove Ultralight Rain Cover to test out and it's pretty great. My favorite point is that it's entirely see through meaning you can see your kids at all times if you keep the peekaboo top open or if you flip the back panel up over the canopy. Also, because it's made for this stroller, it's a perfect fit. And finally, it can be folded in a way (shown below) so that it sits on the stroller conveniently out of the way without you needing to fold it and put it away every time it stops raining or you run inside a shop. It velcros shut in several places meaning you can quickly unzip one side to hand your child something without having to expose them to the rain. My only negative is that while it has a velcro tie on each front corner, it wasn't enough for my escape artists (see below). Though it's tied into place they still managed to get out from under the cover. Whomp whomp. Anyway, it's still a great cover and I would say it's the best cover for this stroller as long as your kids aren't mischievous little monkeys like mine are... It retails for $49.99 on Joovy's website and Amazon.
Here's my demo video - check out the TwinGroove in action!!
If you found this post helpful, here are some others you may love by yours truly!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
I wrote a post a couple of months ago (see it here) after receiving our TwinGo Carrier. Our twins were too little to wear on the back yet, so my husband and I had been wearing it as single carriers and loving it that way. As previously mentioned, as a single baby carrier the TwinGo is very comfortable and my favorite part is the large storage pocket in the front. So, if you're running a quick errand, or if having to park the stroller and wear your baby into the play gym, let's say, you can throw your phone, wallet, and keys in the carrier and be on your way!
Now that our twins are 6 months old and sitting independently, I finally built up the courage to start tandem wearing them occasionally. The first time was for a quick 30 minute walk through the neighborhood with my toddler. Going out without our massive double stroller was exhilarating!! Having my hands free to play with my son or hold his hands was amazing. By the end of the walk, I have to admit my shoulders were aching and I was totally ready to get the girls out. But still, I was so excited to have the ability to throw them both on and go out without a stroller! And they were happy little campers all snuggled up tight with mama!
Wearing two babies definitely requires some building up of strength and endurance, there's no way around that. I try to wear my girls for at least 30 minutes twice a week so that I build my strength, can last longer, and can keep wearing them as they get bigger.
The TwinGo is hands down the best tandem carrier option out there and here's why:
The TwinGo isn't just for twins - it works well with a baby and toddler as well since each carrier is good up to 40 pounds! When tandem wearing, just wear the heavier child in back.
You can purchase a TwinGo on their website or Amazon for about $215, or try to find one secondhand in a local MoMs (Mothers of Multiples) group. Used ones usually go for about $100 but are hard to find because they're in such high demand (which is a good way to justify purchasing one new - you'll get about half of your investment back after you're done using it!)
So, what do you think?? Do you tandem wear your kids? Would you? How do you get around with your littles? Share in a comment below!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product and service free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
**updated in 2020: rock 'n plays and similar products have been recalled - DO NOT purchase these second hand, they can be dangerous**
In celebration of our twins' half birthday, I'd like to present you with the products I deem must-haves for baby twins - the things we simply couldn't have survived without! I'll also throw in a few which may not be *essential* but are fun to add to your baby registry or splurge on if you have the budget! Ready, set, GO!!!
Twins Prep Book & Classes
"What To Do When You're Having Two" will educate you on how to eat for three and get through your pregnancy, what to expect at the birth, how to tandem breastfeed or bottle feed, create schedules, interview pediatricians and nannies, you name it!! While you're at it, check out author Natalie Diaz' awesome website, Twiniversity, and in-person and on-line twins prep classes!
Tandem Nursing / Feeding Pillow
There are 2 awesome pillows out there for tandem feeding twins. Mothers tend to be divided over preferring one over the other, so I really can't say definitively that one is better. Personally, I preferred the My Brest Friend Twins Feeding Pillow but only because I found the height of the pillow higher and better for me. The Twin Z Pillow (see my review here) is the other beloved one, especially if you have a c-section or are bottle feeding. It also doubles as a baby lounger, and has built-in back support for mama.
Newborn Twins Baby Carrier
For newborn twins, some parents are able to figure out how to tandem wear using the Moby or a woven wrap. This mama? Not so much. For me, the WeeGo Twin Carrier was a lifesaver. Seriously. (Check out my "Life With Newborn Twins" video featuring the magic of this carrier!). The WeeGo is good from 3 pounds until they're about 6 months, however I found that once they hit 10 pounds each I couldn't use it anymore. I never got it to fit right and it hung from my shoulders quite painfully... still, when both newborns were screaming and they'd been fed and changed, this was often the only thing I could do to get them both quiet and asleep!!
Tandem Baby Carrier
For older twins, or even a toddler and baby, the TwinGo Carrier is amazing!!! You can wear them as 2 separate carriers (one for mom and one for dad, let's say), or remove one set of shoulder straps and hook them together so you can wear one child on the front and one on the back. They also have great pocket storage allowing you to forgo the diaper bag! Check out my full review here.
Stroller for Twins
Strollers all have various features which may or may not be what you are looking for. Many twin parents will go with a twin snap 'n go followed by a Baby Jogger City Select, or something like that, because they get the job done and are budget-friendly. But my family had some unique requirements. Being city dwellers with a toddler, newborn twins, and no car, I needed a stroller that had infant-compatible reversible seats, and preferred side-by-side over tandem alignment. The ONLY stroller out there that fit the bill was the StrollAir MyDuo. (If you're thinking Bugaboo Donkey works, no... it's not infant compatible - you have to use the bassinet until baby is 6 months or so). Overall, we LOVE LOVE LOVE our StrollAir!!! You can use with 2 seats (good for infant or toddler), 2 car seats (with universal adapters), 2 infant bassinets, or any combination of those! You can get standard never-flat tires or upgrade to the air-filled tires for a smoother ride (what we have). It's really an amazing stroller!! We also purchased the Englacha X-Rider sit/stand toddler board which has been a GREAT add-on, and later used the Lascal BuggyBoard Maxi+ with Saddle (which doesn't have as sturdy a seat but is easier to take the seat off while out and about to use as a stand board, or to pull the whole thing up and out of the way when not needed). The StrollAir MyDuo comes with 2 plastic rain covers, but we prefer the Manito (see my review here).
**2020 update note: StrollAir's newer version of the MyDuo is the TwinWay, and their tandem version of that is the Solo to Tango a great stroller that goes from single to double! Evenflo Pivot Xpand is another single - double converting stroller that we loved. Video reviews and demo's below!!
Eventually, unless you plan on one giant "family bed," you will need your twins in their own separate cribs. Some choose to go straight there from day one, others wait a month, six months, a year... It's up to you! You can start them off in co-sleepers or cradles, sharing a crib, or whatever, but one really unique option is the Babyhome So-Ro Twin Cradle (see my full review here). It rocks smoothly and has the babies' heads slightly elevated (good for reflux) and when they grow out of it at around 6 months it flips to the side and becomes a storage shelf (or a fun bartender's nook as some friends advised me!!)
I prefer BB Blocks (wooden numbered blocks) for weekly and monthly photos, but Milesone Cards have a twin-specific set with cards such as "We came home today" and "We smiled at each other for the first time today" which are really fun to use and keep (if you ever find the time to put together baby books for them)! They also include a set for each individual baby because let's face it, they will hit most milestones such as rolling over, sleeping through the night, and crawling at different times.
Crib Mattress, Cover & Sheet Savers:
Soothing & Pacifiers:
So there you go, my must-haves for twins! As far as diapers and toys and bathtime and all that, they need pretty much the same products as a regular singleton baby. I took the advice I received at my Twiniversity prep class which was to get one of each and get a 2nd after we're home and decide we NEED another. For example, we started out with two auto-rocking Rock 'n Plays (which they slept in for the first month - BUT THESE ARE NOW RECALLED - DO NOT GET ROCK N PLAYS even second hand!!!), and decided after a few weeks to go ahead and get a 2nd Baby Bjorn Bouncer and Fisher Price Swing. We still have only got one exersaucer, one play mat, one Bumbo seat, and one activity seat, and I just kind of rotate them through those! We also have one baby bath because I can only bathe one at a time, HA! You will most likely eventually need two cribs, two high chairs, and if you drive, two car seats.
My final piece of advice is to search for your local Mothers of Multiples group. You can save a TON by buying all of these products used and/or selling them used after you're finished with them!! This tip and many others are offered in my article "How to prepare for having twins" - check it out!
Did I miss any great twin-related products? Do you have some I should check out for older twins? Share in a comment below!!
Published originally on Mommy Nearest
To find out you are expecting twins or super twins (triplets or more) can be the shock of a lifetime, especially if you hadn’t received any sort of fertility treatment and have no multiples in your family, as in my case. I feel that the infamous five stages of grief can be flexibly applied to the kind of whirlwind emotional journey that I (and probably most) go through after receiving the news. For me, it went something like this:
Stage 1: Denial
The morning sickness and other signs of pregnancy may start earlier and be much more intense. You chalk it up to every pregnancy being different and just brush it off. But when your OB places that wand on your belly or up your hoo-ha for the first ultrasound and announces, “There are TWO babies!!” it’s pretty hard for your first reaction to be anything but denial. My exact words were something like, “WHAT!??! NO!!!! WHAT?!! ARE YOU SURE!?? HOW!? WHAT??,” followed by dozens of expletives. There must be a mistake, a malfunction of the machine where it’s seeing double images. In the words of David After Dentist, “Is this real life!?!???”
Related: How To Prepare for Having Twins
State 2: Anger
The next stage might be brief, but a bit of anger is likely to be lashed out. First, at the poor dear operating the sonogram. I believe I half-jokingly blurted out something along the lines of, “I kind of hate you right now!” The next stream of anger might be directed at your partner (“How could you do this to me with your super sperm!??!”) or even yourself.
Stage 3: Bargaining
Some thoughts that passed through my mind, ever so briefly...
If only we’d waited a bit longer to get pregnant, maybe it would have been a singleton or at least our first child would be a bit older and this would be easier to deal with!
Maybe we should give one away to a family member who can't have kids. Or… we could sell one?? (Note: we did joke about these two options but the were *never* actually on the table for us.)
Stage 4: Depression
I wouldn’t go so far as to say a confirmation of twins will lead to any sort of depression, but it definitely can bring on many negative thoughts and anxieties that are only increased by turning to Google, as we all do, of course! My initial reaction, while still laying on the examination table looking at the two sacks and beans on the sonogram screen, was pretty in line with “HOW can we DO this??” A toddler and two newborns, in our tiny Brooklyn co-op?? Physically, emotionally, and financially, it just didn't seem possible!! Our world had just turned upside down and it’s terrifying. Then, you get home and go straight to Google where you’re overwhelmed with terms like “Vanishing Twin Syndrome”, “Twin To Twin Transfusion Syndrome”, and all the statistics of your increased risk for preterm labor, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, etc. It can be overwhelming and frightening.
Stage 5: Acceptance (and JOY!!)
After about a week of insomnia, tossing and turning with worries over the logistics of having twins, I finally reached the stage of acceptance. And not just acceptance, actual joy and excitement! With the help of books such as When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads and What To Do When You're Having Two, and amazing Facebook groups such as Private Page of National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, it’s very easy to get both informed and empowered. Twins and super twins are so incredibly special and we were thrilled to be joining the very small club of families with multiples!! With none in either of our families, it felt like an honor to provide such a unique and exciting change in family dynamics for all of the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I kneww the road would not be an easy one: the pregnancy could be tough (thankfully it wasn't too bad!), taking care of a toddler and two newborn babies would be a challenge, and money would be a struggle (for the next 21 years or so!!). But it will all be worth it and it’s going to be an amazing ride!
How did you handle the news of a multiples pregnancy? Or how would you? Share in a comment below!
Need an instant mood booster? The following 2 videos of our 5 month old twins laughing is the cure for what ails you!!
I was doing dishes the other night and heard some thumping around and crazy baby giggles. I rushed into the living room, with my camera of course, to capture big brother entertaining the heck out of his sisters! How cute!!?!
Here's some fun I captured on our vacation in Mexico. Daddy doesn't get a lot of time with the kids at home, so it was really nice to see him bonding with them during our trip. It doesn't get much better than baby tickles, giggles, and cackles!!
Originally posted on Mommy Nearest (since edited) on 3/10/2015
As soon as I found out I was having twins, I became more or less obsessed with understanding everything I could about twins and twin pregnancy. Thanks to great books, Facebook support groups, and Google, here are some of the crazy, cool, and scary things I learned and am happy to pass on to you! Enjoy!!
1. Factors that increase your chance of conceiving twins
Besides IVF and fertility drugs, there are many other factors that increase your chances at having twins. Fraternal twins often run in families because of a gene causing hyperovulation (releasing more than one egg per cycle). Fraternal twins can "skip a generation" because boys don't ovulate, of course, but they'll pass the gene on to their daughters! A mother who is a fraternal twin herself has a four times higher chance of producing twins.
Other factors include advanced maternal age (moms over 30 have more chance for twins), height (taller women have more insulin-like growth factor <IGF>, which results in increased sensitivity of the ovaries), breastfeeding (moms who are breastfeeding when they get pregnant are 9 times more likely to conceive twins, due to elevated IGF levels, and even moms who have weaned but nursed for at least 20 months will have a higher chance of twins), and diet (women who consume dairy may be up to 5 times more likely to conceive twins than a vegan, arguably because cows are given synthetic growth hormones and produce IGF, which is released into their milk).
So, there you have it! You want twins? Do all of the above and you might just get them!! As for me, I had age, height, dairy, and extended breastfeeding (and had only weaned 2 months prior to conception) going for me and didn't even know it. Whoops!
2. The rate of identical twins is universal.
It's not effected by race, nationality, or genetics, and is about 1 in 285 births. Identical twins supposedly do not run in families (though some families with them in each generation will argue BS here), and they are much less common than fraternal twins. There are theories that there is a genetic factor in sperm that can increase the chances of the fertilized egg splitting, but nothing has been proven just yet.
3. Twins have been shown interacting in the womb at as early as 14 weeks.
4. Timing is everything!
Identical twins are the result of one egg splitting post-fertilization, but the timing of the split determines if the twins will each have their own sacs and placentas (split on day 1-3, called di/di twins - the lowest risk), share a placenta (split on day 4-8, called mo/di twins - higher risk), share an amniotic sac *and* placenta (split on day 8-13, called mo/mo twins - quite high risk), or be conjoined (split on day 13-15 - extremely high risk) - the latter of which is of course the most rare, only 1 in 200,000 births.
5. Twin To Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)
TTTS can occur when identical twins share a placenta, when one twin is getting more nutrients and blood volume than the other. It can happen at any point in the pregnancy and can result in the death of one or both twins, and is thus a huge concern for parents and caregivers. There are treatments available, so frequent exams and ultrasounds are necessary to keep an eye on the situation.
6. How do you know if twins are identical or fraternal?
For one, if they are boy/girl they are fraternal (well, actually there can be identical boy/girl twins but this is EXTREMELY rare). If they share a placenta or amniotic sac, they are identical (unless they had two placentas that fused together, which can happen but isn't too common). Other than that, you’ll have to wait until they're born to take a look at them. However, fraternal twins may *look* identical, and "identical" twins don't always look *exactly* the same, so the only way to be sure is to do the Zygosity genetic testing (which we did - read about it here), which is via a simple swab of the cheek. Knowing whether twins are identical or fraternal is not just to satisfy your curiosity, it can help you be prepared for certain health conditions identical twins would share, or warning your kids that they are likely to have twins of their own!
7. Same Same but Different…
Identical twins have nearly the same DNA (99.9% identical) and almost nearly identical brain wave patterns, but different fingerprints and teeth marks. They can also have subtle differences resulting from how they were squished in the womb, such as different head shape, or their size may be dramatically different due to nutritional differences resulting from TTTS.
8. Twins have a higher rate of left-handedness.
22% of twins are southpaws as opposed to 10% of singletons.
9. Did you eat your twin?
An estimated 1 in 8 pregnancies begins with twins with only 1 in 70 actually producing twins, thanks to “Vanishing Twin Syndrome”, where one of the babies doesn’t survive. This is usually quite early on and the embryo is reabsorbed by the mother’s body or by the surviving twin, causing no issues for the remainder of the pregnancy. So, it’s quite possible that you had twins for the first few weeks of your pregnancy and never even knew it! For others who already had twins diagnosed, only to find out later there’s just one remaining baby, it can be devastating news. Rightfully so, it’s something every mother carrying multiples worries about until they are all delivered safely.
10. "Full Term” is Relative.
50% of twins are born before 37 weeks gestation, which is considered “full-term” for twins, and most practitioners will induce by 38 weeks (the risk of still birth goes up significantly after this point for twins). The average birth weight for twins is just 5 pounds 5 ounces (as opposed to the robust 7 pound 7 ounce average singleton).
I feel so lucky our girls made it to 39 weeks 6 days before we were finally induced and had a beautiful safe vaginal delivery (read about it here). Our girls were 6 pounds 11 ounces and 5 pounds 9 ounces.
11. Twins can have different birthdays.
While extremely rare, it’s possible to birth one twin days, weeks, or even months before the other! The current record is twins born 87 days apart (the first twin was born 4 months premature).
12. Twinning highs and lows.
Nigeria has the highest rate of multiple births (4%), whereas China has the lowest (about 1.1%, though it should be noted that they waive the one-child-policy in the case of multiples, which are just counted as a single birth). The rate in the US is about 3% of births.
13. Baby A / Baby B
Baby A refers to the twin located lower in the womb with Baby B being higher. For higher order multiples, the lettering of babies continues for all in order of their closeness to the cervix.
14. Twins put you in the “high risk” category but don’t necessarily mean a Cesarian Section.
Many practitioners will agree to try for a vaginal birth if Baby A is head down and larger than Baby B. Once Baby A is born, Baby B should be able to be born in any position or a practitioner may try to manipulate them into a head down position. Most hospitals and doctors will require you to deliver in the OR, just in case you need an emergency c-section for the second baby (the dreaded "double whammy" birth and recovery).
15. The average time between delivery of the first and second twin is 17 minutes. (Mine were 6 minutes apart).
16. Many parents worry about telling their identical newborns apart.
If there’s no easy distinguishing factor (such as size, birthmarks, cowlicks, or moles), some take to painting a toenail in an identifying color, using infant-safe jewelry, or color coding wardrobes. Also, once the umbilical cords fall off, their belly buttons can be a giveaway.
17. Polar bears most commonly birth twins (and very rarely singletons or triplets).
18. About 25% of identical twins are “Mirror Image Twins”.
This means they are exact reflections of one another. For example, if one has a freckle under the left eye, the other’s freckle will be under the right eye, cowlicks will run in opposite directions, etc.
19. Polar Body / Half Identical Twins
These are the result of one egg that split, and then each half became fertilized by different sperm. They will share 75% of their DNA - which is more than regular siblings or fraternal twins but less than identical twins.
20. Healthier moms have twins?
A study in the Journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B that focused on mothers in the 1800’s suggests “Twins could be an evolutionary adaptation in which healthy moms take the chance to pass on double their genes at once.”
21. Twins can have different fathers!
It’s extremely rare, but let’s say the women releases more than one egg and goes on to have intercourse with two different men in her window of peak fertility… boom… fraternal twins with different dads!! And a whole lotta explaining to do! HA!
22. Twins can be different races!
Fraternal twins (i.e. two eggs that got fertilized separately) can look identical or completely different, even black and white. It’s basically a genetic roll of the dice which genes each baby will receive from mom and dad. Fraternal twins are no more alike than any siblings, they just happened to share a womb and birthday.
23. 40% of twins develop their own language.
Sounds cool (and is super cute, have you seen this viral video!?, but actually this can happen when any similarly aged babies are around each other a lot and developing language skills at the same rate. This made-up language usually disappears once the children learn the real language that allows them to communicate with others.
24. If two sets of identical twins married each other...
Their children would technically be cousins but the cousins would have the same genetic closeness as actual siblings. Mind. Blown!!!
25. Celebrities with twin siblings:
Scarlett Johansson has a twin brother, Kiefer Sutherland has a twin sister, Ashton Kutcher has a fraternal twin brother with cerebral palsy, Gisele Bundchen has a fraternal twin sister, Napoleon Dynamite (aka Jon Heder) has an identical twin brother, Isabella Rossallini has a fraternal twin sister, Alanis Morissette has a twin brother, Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen are fraternal twin sisters, Vin Diesel has a twin brother, and Tia and Tamera Mowry are identical twin sisters (though they didn’t find out til they took the test at 35 years old!).
26. Celebrity parents of twins:
Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt, Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon, Celine Dion & Rene Angelil, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony, Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick, Ricky Martin (via surrogate), Anna Paquin & Stephen Moyer, Rebecca Romijn & Jerry O'Connell, Julie Bowen, Holly Robinson & Rodney Peete, Marcia Cross (via IVF), Elsa Pataky & Chris Hemsworth, Lisa Marie Presley, Jon & Kate Gosselin, Mia Hamm & Nomar Garciaparra, Diana Krall & Elvis Costello, Zoe Saldana & Marco Perego, Neil Patrick Harris & David Burtka, and Sarah Shahi & Steve Howey.
27. There is a Twins Day celebration held in Twinsburg, Ohio.
Pretty awesome, huh? Did I miss anything crazy, cool, or scary about twins? Are you a twin, parent of twins, or hoping to be? Share in a comment below! And don't miss this post about how to prepare for having twins!!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)