Every time someone sees me at a grocery store with my kids, it’s like Moses parting the Red Sea: people clear the way for me and bow down. Mostly, because they presume it is incredibly difficult to manage three kids under three, two of whom are breastfeeding and are in diapers. A lot of times I get asked: “Do you ever leave the house?,” or even better: “How do you survive?” Any response on my part gets a “Wow” for an answer.
The thing is, I am not surviving. I am enjoying my life and loving every hectic moment of it. This post is for those with a new baby, or twins, or those of you who are having a hard time doing things with a newborn and a toddler. If you have the desire to leave the house, you already did half of the job! The rest is simple restructuring.
The key to successfully going out with twins (or multiple small-aged kids) is organization and management. You need to think of every possible scenario ahead of time. Take two changes of clothing for each baby. Leave one set in the car and have the second set in your diaper bag. Pack some snacks and some water for your toddler. Have the diaper bag fully stocked and keep it somewhere by the door, so that you don’t have to go look for wipes, while one of the babies is screaming from being bored. Always have a baby carrier with you. Ergo is my favorite kind. If you are going for a walk with the babies in a double stroller, and one of them gets unhappy, you can put this one in the baby carrier. Being close to Mom’s body tends to instantaneously soothe babies. And you can breastfeed discreetly.
If you are going to the store, change and feed the babies in the car before you go in. Put one baby in the baby carrier, put another baby in an infant car seat on top of the shopping cart, so that the car seat is crossing the cart. If, like me, you have a two year old, take him out of the car last, so that he doesn’t run away while you are busy with the twins. Stick him on the seat part of the shopping cart. Voila! Your groceries can go under the baby in a car seat. Shopping this way does not minimize the space in the shopping cart, so you can buy all the groceries you need.
If your babies are older, one should go on the Ergo on your back (many baby carriers do not offer the back carrying option, but Ergo does,) the second baby should sit on the seat of the shopping cart and the toddler should be free to walk next to you. This one requires some training on the toddler’s part, but nevertheless is possible to accomplish. If your toddler would not walk next to you, keep him/her in the cart. Just buy another Ergo or a Moby Wrap and prepare for your workout with a baby on the front and a baby on the back. Prepare for some fun comments at the store!
And remember, when you are back at the car, put the toddler in first, then the babies, then the groceries. This order is better for safety reasons.
Do you have any tips on how to take your baby twins to the store?