How Much do Twins Cost in the First Year?

Parenthood, Twins / Monday, April 16th, 2018

How many diapers do twins go through? If a mother doesn’t produce enough milk to feed two babies, how much formula will she need to buy? Do parents of twins really need two of everything? Shortly after we found out we were going to have twins, these are a few questions that went through our minds.

In this post, I talk about some items we loved having in our first year with twins. One app I talk about is Baby Connect, which we used to log data about our twins. We found that it helped us so much because we didn’t have to remember when the last diaper change was or when they last ate or had a bowel movement.

We logged everything! Because we kept records of this data, I can actually tell you how many diapers we used and how much formula the girls drank in their first year.

Quick side note: P and C were in the NICU for twelve days after their birth. I did not start recording data until we brought them home, so the numbers below do not include their time spent in the hospital.

First, let’s talk about diapers.

P went through 2,193 diapers and C went through 2,239 diapers in the first year, for a grand total of 4,432 diapers! Here are some screenshots of the data:

P's diaper log, showing May through December of 2017.
P’s diaper log, showing May through December of 2017.
C's diaper log, showing May through December of 2017.
C’s diaper log, showing May through December of 2017.











It’s tough to estimate how much money we spent on diapers because different brands and sizes are priced differently. We were also blessed to have most of our diapers purchased for us, so our out-of-pocket expense was minimal.

If I were to try to guess how many diapers were used in the hospital, it would go like this: every 3 hours, the babies would have “CARES.” During CARES, they would get their temperature checked, get a new diaper, and eat. If CARES occurred every 3 hours, that would’ve been 8 times per day. Because they were in the NICU for 12 days, they would’ve had CARES 96 times.

That’s 96 diapers, not including when they would have their diapers changed outside of CARES times or when we had to use multiple diapers per diaper change because you know, poop. If we add 96 diapers to the number above, we get 4,528 diapers! And that is still technically not all of them!

What about formula?

I pumped for four months after our girls were born, and I never made enough milk to feed both of them for a day. When P and C were in the NICU, the nurses supplemented my supply with donor milk, but once we brought the girls home, we had to switch to formula. The expense of donor milk was just too high, and we couldn’t afford it.

Formula isn’t exactly cheap, but it still beat donor milk when it came to price. We were also extremely blessed to have the majority of our formula purchased for us, so that was another expense that didn’t fall solely on our shoulders.

P drank 6,161.7oz and C drank 6,131.6oz, for a total of 12,293.3oz of NeoSure formula! Here you can see some of the data, showing only formula and no other fluids:

P's feeding log, showing May through December with only formula selected.
P’s feeding log, showing May through December with only formula selected.
C's feeding log, showing May through December with only formula selected.
C’s feeding log, showing May through December with only formula selected.











A can of powdered NeoSure will yield roughly 84oz, so that would amount to about 147 cans of formula. The average price of NeoSure is $20 per can, and the price doesn’t vary much by store.

That means the expense of formula for the first year was about $2,940. Whoa! I struggled with knowing I wasn’t producing enough milk to sustain my babies, and that number certainly doesn’t make me feel any better. But, fed is best, right?

Obviously there are other expenses that go along with having a baby or two, but diapers and formula accounted for the bulk of our expenses.

As far as needing two of everything, that is definitely not true! We chose to have one crib for both babies, so we really only needed two car seats. Some other items we chose to have two of include Bumbos, Boppy Pillows, and high chairs. The girls share basically everything else.

There you have it: twins aren’t cheap, but they’re so, so worth it! They’re double the smiles and twice the blessings!

Hello! I am a work-at-home mom to twin girls and a canine. I’m learning what life looks like when you surrender to God. Passionate about parenthood, marriage, and all things coffee!