11. Toys are good bribes.
As your babies get to be 4-6 months, it's good to bribe them with toys on the changing table and in the car. Changing table toys keep little hands away from the task at hand and keep them happy. Also, be sure to give them plastic, easily cleanable toys. The last thing you want is a fabric toy to land in that dirty diaper.
12. Stock up on those hospital blue pad things that your doctor and hospital uses for changing and weighing babies.
They're disposable and great for putting on who-knows-what's-been-there travel changing tables.
13. Brush your teeth in front of them.
Early on, I was so busy I didn't have a chance to brush my teeth. Or so I thought. If you brush your teeth in front of them (at least with an electric tooth brush), they're fascinated and stop everything just to watch you.
14. Don't buy a thermometer.
Yep, that's right. When I was leaving the ER for the SECOND time with James, the nurse gave me a regular electronic thermometer and said to put it in his armpit to take his temperature. I was originally told that when you take it this way (referred to as "axially") you need to add a degree, and when you take it rectally you need to subtract a degree, but according to this chart it's more accurate to add .5 to 1.0 degrees. It takes awhile to get an axial reading but it's a lot easier than taking a rectal temperature in the middle of the night.
15. Join a playgroup, go for strolls, and get out!
Kaiser's Newborn Club used to try to encourage me to go to Mom and Me classes when the babies were first born, and all I could think was, "Are you kidding me? I don't have time!" But now I realize it was more about getting the mom out of the house and around other moms. I wish I'd connected with other moms earlier. Although we have playdates with individual babies or sets of twins, I'm envious of people who see the same group of people every week for a playdate.
My babies at a playdate where they waited like vultures under their friend Ronan's high chair waiting for him to fling down chunks of tofu. (Thanks Stacy for the picture!) (14 months)
I also thought going for strolls was too big an ordeal - especially with twins - so I avoided that for the first two months. And then I went out with my mom one day and it was like a revelation - the babies were quiet during the stroll and JUST looked around or slept. Walks are a nice mental break.
Time to whip out our legs in different directions at the same time!
And lastly, when it's safe to take your baby out in public, definitely go out to restaurants. I thought it would be a disaster to go during the first six months, but who knew that they fall asleep in their strollers and give you a nice peaceful meal? This stage doesn't last long so take advantage of it. Because the doctor recommended my twins not be in public places for three months, my mom and I used to go to The Old Spaghetti Factory and sit in a spare room all to ourselves, and it was delightful.
Brendan and Lila join us in the Chevys bar even though it means they have to be in the presence of babies. (2 1/2 months)
James and Julia at Armadillo Willy's. For some reason this is Julia's favorite place to poop. She's gone three out of four visits (and that fourth visit we discovered she'd pooped when we got home so she probably was attempting some sort of fecal grand slam). (10 1/2 months)