We just hit the 7 week mark here with Twins in the Tiny House and although we have yet to get on any kind of schedule I do think we have found a rhythm.
On most nights Jared and I can scrape together 4-6 hours of sleep over the course of the night. During the days we continue our change, feed, and rock to sleep cycle with the girls but sprinkle in some tummy time and story reading as they seem to be a bit more alert. Jared may have even seen Landry’s first signs of a social smile yesterday!
The girls usually nap best in the mornings for a few chunks which is when Jared and I can get a few things done that need getting done- taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, washing bottles and breast pump pieces, oh and feeding ourselves!
At two weeks old, I honestly wasn’t even sure if I would have time to brush my teeth or shower again. So the fact that we are finding time to take care of some extra tid bits like watching The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu- I am totally obsessed and fascinated with this crazy dystopian society- or finding time to write a blog post, is extraordinary.
The ‘extra time’ we have found got me thinking about what products we have that are making life a bit easier and giving us a few precious extra minutes of time back. In fact, the items that have made a huge difference are ones I didn’t think we would need before the twins arrived. And as we evaluated space before their birth we only allowed ourselves to purchase what we thought were necessities. But somehow we were able to find the space for these time savers. So, in no particular order, here are the top five items that I have made room for in the Tiny House because they make such a difference in easing infant care:
- Kinde Bottle Warmer– I planned to nurse initially for the first six months, but like many mothers I found that my plans for nursing weren’t exactly compatible with my babies. Because the girls were born three weeks early and lost a lot of weight in the hospital we have had to supplement nursing with pumped breast milk via bottle. During the first week in the tiny house we were using a cup of warm water to heat up our refrigerated breast milk. This took too long, especially when you have crying babies, and still really didn’t get the milk that warm. Luckily, Jared’s sister had a Kiinde Kozii bottle warmer to hand down to us and it has been miraculous. Even though we received it as hand-me-down I think it is totally worth the $50 price tag on amazon.
- Boon drying rack– We actually received this as a gift from Jared’s parents before the girls were born but I was concerned about it taking a place with our very limited counter space. As I mentioned in the last post we have 4 bottles for both girls that we cycle between and I have 2 sets of Medela breast pump parts and a lot of Medela breast milk storage bottles. So we are in a constant cycle of washing and drying. The drying rack is crucial in that process. I can let things sit on the rack while we feed the babies and not worry about it sitting in old dirty water. Plus it looks kind of fun and the green matches our tiny house decorum.
- Wipes dispenser– Buying a wipes dispenser never crossed my mind because diaper wipe packages are dispensers unto themselves. But the ability to use one hand to get wipes is essential and this dispenser allows you to push open and close as well as store multiple packs of wipes. It also looks neater than having wipes packages sitting around which is helpful for keeping a small space not look too over crowded.
- Fisher Price Egg– We initially bought two Fisher Price ‘Rock and Plays’ for the girls only to find out they didn’t really dig them that much. I heard from a lot of people that every baby is different and different items are effective. In hindsight, I don’t know why we bought two of anything. Recommendation for twins- only buy one and test it first. Recommendation for twins in a tiny house- you honestly only need one of everything. Two feels superfluous and we never even used the second Rock and Play. So when Jared’s sister offered to let us borrow their Fisher Price vibrating ‘egg thing’ (I don’t know what this is actually called and can’t find the exact one online so just check out the picture collage at the beginning of the post for reference) we decided to try it out. It is pretty successful- except when the vibration automatically turns off after 30 minutes and sleeping baby wakes up- so we made room for it in the loft and almost always have a least one twin sleeping in it. Plus it really doesn’t take up a ton of room and can easily fit in the loft or under our fold out tables on the main floor.
- A Microwave- Ok, so I know most people have one and it feels like a given, but for the first year we lived in the tiny house we chose not to have one. We ended up buying one for the convenience of reheating food, but it has also been invaluable with the twins because it allows us to steam clean bottles, pacifiers, and pump parts with theses handy Medela steam clean bags. We also had a lot of friends and family bring us meals in the first six weeks (a real life saver- we used foodtidings.com to organize) and basically had warm food/leftovers because we had a microwave. Oh and for reheating that coffee you have tried to drink 3 times, but were interrupted but a very rude, crying baby- the microwave is great for that too!
We are learning so much about how to keep two babies and ourselves alive and functioning and we appreciate things that make that a little easier. But we are still trying to limit the ‘things’ in the house so we don’t get overcrowded or spend a fortune. For every moment in the last 6 weeks that I have thought “it would be so much easier to be in a bigger space and have more bottles (or any other baby product for that matter) so I don’t have to wash another one now,” I have immediately followed that thought with “If we were in a bigger space with a mortgage and spending tons of money on all those extra baby products, then we both wouldn’t get to be here right now with our daughters.” And even though we both won’t get to stay home with them forever, the ability to do it now has made me infinitely thankful for the flexibility that tiny living has given us.