Mon 15 Jun 2009
Saint Bev. That’s what my mother-in-law used to call my mom. She saved us. She gave of herself so unselfishly in those first few months. And she still does — at age 80, she still comes to be with us and help for a few hours a couple of days a week. She is amazing.
But not everyone can have a Saint Bev. In fact, many expectant parents of twins, triplets, or even higher order multiples don’t have a support system in place and don’t realize how much they’ll need one.
That’s where you come in. You don’t have to be a Saint Bev, but you can choose a twin baby shower gift that will contribute to a support system that can save the sanity of new twin parents. And you can still give something darling, soft, and cuddly that they’ll use everyday, too.
Whether you’re throwing the twin baby shower, attending, or are the guest of honor, bringing forward these ideas can make for a twin baby shower that sends the parents-to-be off with some concrete ways they’ll be receiving direct help for facing one of the most difficult seasons of their life.
The Diaper Party. Diaper parties have been around for twin showers for a while. At this shower, every attendee brings a case of newborn diapers. As a fun activity, one of the cases is opened, and attendees write inspiring and supportive messages to mom on the diapers using rainbow colored permanent markers. When mom changes a diaper, she gets an instant (virtual) hug. Make your own “diaper” cake to add to your shower’s theme. (Note: you don’t EAT a diaper cake… they’re made out of diapers!) Some of these are a real work of art!
Twin Help Signups. Create signup sheets for bringing meals, running errands (e.g. groceries), and for being a mother of multiple’s helper.
There are many great online tools available to make signing up to help easy. On Carecalendar.org, a coordinator inputs needs on a calendar, and guests can sign up for tasks and shifts that work for their schedule. If you create one, have a laptop at the shower so guests can signup on the spot. Still, old fashioned pen and paper work just fine.
Guests can signup to bring meals for several weeks after the babies are born. These signup slots should be no more frequent than every other day – as you don’t want the family inundated with leftovers.
Mother’s helper signups are particularly useful after the first couple of weeks. Often times, family and close friends come to help in the first few weeks, and something is needed to fill the gap when initial help drops off. Some don’t have family nearby, so you will want to plan the signups according to the need for this particular twin family. Usually, you can begin scheduling these helper shifts based on the twins’ due date. Since twins are usually early, the timing often works out just right. These can be scheduled out for several months with some guests wanting a regular weekly shift.
If you’re not able to participate in a group signup, make your own coupons to give to mom-to-be, detailing what help you can give (babysitting, errands, mother’s helper, household chores, etc.).
Families of Multiples are in real need of real help. Helpers need to keep in mind that this is not a time to just visit and hold a baby or change a diaper (or two!). It is helpful if the family has a list of tasks that can be performed. And most often, what mom really needs is a nap. Encourage her to do so, but don’t push too hard. She needs to know that you are willing to do what she most wants to get accomplished. If she doesn’t have a list, you can offer to do the dishes, run the vacuum, or even clean a bathroom.
|Do: Tell her you’re there to work||Don’t: Visit too long with mom|
|Do: Jump right in||Don’t: Hang around waiting to be asked to help. Mom might seem as though she just wants to visit, but might just feel uncomfortable in ending the conversation.|
|Do: Encourage mom to take a nap||Don’t: Push too hard for mom to nap. Encourage gently then let it go if she resists. She may take you up on the offer on subsequent visits after she feels more comfortable, so keep offering.|
|Do: Offer to do a specific household chore:
— clean the bathroom
— mop the floor
— take out the garbage
— empty/fill the dishwasher
— wash bottles
|Don’t: Expect mom to direct you to what needs to be done. The new mother may not feel comfortable asking you to do chores like cleaning her bathroom, when that’s really what she needs to have done.|
|Do: Ask mom if you can create a list of chores she most needs accomplished, so the next helper coming in will know what to do.||Don’t: Gossip to friends about the frazzled state of affairs at the twins house.|
Darling, soft, and cuddly, too. Dillyhearts product review. While giving help to mom is most frequently cited as the “best shower gift” by parents of multiples, we all like to give and receive something darling, soft and cuddly, too. My personal favorites are handmade by dillyhearts. “Personalized super-soft cuddle blankets are a popular twins gift”, says Vickie Erlandsen, mompreneur of Dillyhearts, delightful gifts for babies on the go. “I’ve found that most of my customers prefer to order fun color combos that compliment each other, but are not necessarily an identical match.”
With so many options available, it’s easy to create a one-of-a-kind twins gift set that is ideal for mom-to-be, and will be a huge hit at the baby shower.
Dillyhearts’ personalized minkee toddler pillows have also become a top-selling twins gift. “After participating in celebrity twins First Birthday Gift Baskets for Patrick Dempsey’s boys and Marcia Cross’ girls last year, requests for double-pillow orders started rolling in,” Vickie says. “They’ve become by far my best seller.
Although intended for ages 2 and up, toddler pillow sets also make a fabulous baby shower gift since they can be used by mom as comfy nursing pillows, and are adorable additions to nursery decor until the babies transition safely from crib to toddler bed.”
Other hot sellers for twins are themed bib duos and themed bib & burp sets. To give a twins gift with impact, get creative! What style is the mom-to-be?
— Is she a modern rock ‘n roll mama?
— A trendy mom with funky retro taste?
— An active mom with a passion for baseball?
Find out the little details and your selection will not only stand out among the sea of generic baby gifts, but will be extra-meaningful for the mom-to-be.
Check out all the fun and unique hand-made gifts at www.dillyhearts.com.