Double the giggles and double the fun – and double just about everything else when you’re having more than one! The thrill of 20 fingers, 20 toes and two tiny heart beats can often be accompanied by twin-induced panic  — how am I going to feed two babies, how will I get two babies down for a nap, how will I ever leave the house again — and the million dollar question — how will I afford two babies?! But stay calm; our introductory guide to twins, packed with tried-and-true tips and must-have tools, will help you avoid double the trouble.

Feeding Two BabiesPhoto: Keri Smith Scheid

Feeding Two Babies

If you’re a mom-twin-to-be (and especially if you’re a first time mom!), it’s natural to get nervous about keeping two hungry babies fed and happy. Feeding two babies simultaneously is not as daunting as it sounds. Many twin moms find a combo of breastfeeding and formula feeding works well, but sticking to one or the other is totally doable and okay, too.

You’ll find tips, tricks and a how-to video on how to get started tandem breastfeeding here. If you’re going to utilize a bottle, this series of how-to videos will walk you through the process from preparation to burping! Breastfeeding mamas and bottle feeders alike agree that the podee bottle is a must-have tool allowing less-experienced helpers (like an older sibling or a grandparent) handle feeding one baby while burping the other.

Nap Time (Times Two!)Photo: Jessica Sokol

Nap Time (Times Two)

Experts agree that babies do best when they have a predictable daily schedule. Many moms find synchronizing these schedules – from nap to sleep to play — makes caring for two more manageable. When it comes to twins, you can ditch the mantra, never wake a sleeping baby. The key to keeping your home in harmony is starting the day at the same time; when one baby wakes, wake the other.

For a how-to primer, turn to the go-to guide on scheduling; Happy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins. If you can’t get your twins on the same schedule (maybe one needs considerably more sleep then the other), don’t fret; stagger their schedules (and enjoy that extra one-on-one time). Whether you’re going to stick with a schedule, or stagger your babies’ sleep times, be sure to invest in a sound machine (or a white noise app) so that your wee ones don’t disturb one another.

Get Out of the House (Stat!)Photo: Amanda Wienckowski Moore

Get Out of the House (Stat!)

There are a lot of moving parts to mobilizing twin infants. The first time you manage to leave your home — on your own — with two in tow you will feel like nothing less than a superhero (we promise!). This checklist of diaper bag must-have’s is a great place to start when preparing for your first outing. If you’re headed to a grocery or big box store, you’ll find that most shopping carts only accommodate one baby; a compact carrier, like the Bitybean, fits easily in your purse and diaper bag — not only can you manage errands on your own, you’ll be able to participate in mommy-and-me classes, too. The weight of two can be tiring at times, so be sure to check out our guide to double strollers.

Budgeting for Babies Photo: Mothers of Multiples

Budgeting for Babies

Two cribs. Two car seats. Double the diapers. Having twins can get expensive fast. But you can keep the cost under control with a few frugal tips. For a huge savings, consider shopping for used baby essentials like bouncers, swings and more. Multiples of America hosts semi-annual consignment sales across the country. Also, be sure to join your local parents of multiples club. Not only will you make some fellow twin mom friendships, but also you’ll find many twin mamas selling off their just-used gear or outgrown clothes and diapers.

What is your biggest question about have multiples? Tell us below so other moms can offer advice.

–Meghan Meyers