Getting out of the house with one new baby can be daunting. What will you need for this tiny human? Will he cry? Will she get hungry? What do I do? I get how that can be a bit scary. Now instead of going out with one baby think about going out with two. Yeah, a bit more stressful. I love having help with me when I am out with the kids, but it isn’t feasible to have help every time. Every twin parent needs to be able to do it on her own. Getting out of the house with twins can seem impossible, but it doesn’t have to be. It is something you are going to have to get used to. Here is how to get out alone with twins.
If you read nothing else in this post, read this. Just go. As soon as it is medically safe for you and your babies to get out of the house, do it. Yes, by yourself. Here’s the thing. While going out with two newborns sounds tough, it is never going to get easier. Each stage has challenges. Older babies might not need to eat as frequently, but they are more awake and likely to express their displeasure at being out. Toddlers, well, we all know what toddlers tantrums can look like. Preschoolers have their own, opinions I’ll say. Moral of the story- you can have disaster outings at any age.
Newborns might cry at any moment, they might get hungry at inopportune times, and they might have blowouts. You might be a mess and leaking fluids everywhere. But if you keep putting off going out until it seems ‘easier’ you might end up with a pair of two-year-olds you have never taken out on your own. (It happens.) Putting it off can make the task seem harder than it needs to be. So bite the bullet and go for it.
Set Yourself Up For a Win
Make the first few outings easy on yourself. You don’t have to do a major grocery trip or fit all your errands into one day. Make the first few times you go out by yourself with your twins as simple as possible. Run to Target to just wander. Take a walk around the block. Run through a drive through and come home. Do everything you can to make this outing a success. You want to get some wins under your belt to build confidence.
Time It Right
It is hard to say goodbye to some spontaneity when you have kids, but, well, you are going to have to. The key to a successful outing, especially in the early days, is planning. I think the best time to go out is right after a feeding. You don’t have to worry about packing bottles or needing to nurse while out that way. Yes, you can do these things. But it is easier if you don’t have to. Planning ahead takes away that worry. Feed your babies, change the diapers, and you will be ready to go!
I used a stroller when I took my girls out. Whether you use a stroller or plan on babywearing, make sure you practice before you go. You don’t want to be in some parking lot and realize that you don’t know how to open your stroller or get your babies into your wearing device. Be sure you can fold up your stroller again too. (They can be tricky at first!) Get help if you need it, then practice until you can do it on your own. Remember, the key of these early outings is to build confidence. Practice will make these things easier.
Stock Your Car
I don’t like carrying around more than I have to. That’s a challenge with three little ones as I always end up carrying something for someone. So I try to limit what I need to have on my person by keeping my car stocked with my needs. Diapers, wipes, backup outfits, pacifiers- I keep it in my car. When I use something I restock as soon as I get home. The easiest way to do this is to just keep the diaper bag in the car. Then if you are going somewhere you need to have it you are ready to go. But really, most brief outings don’t require all that stuff. Know you have it, but don’t carry it around. (Bonus tip: Keep a towel in your car. It can be helpful as a mat to change babies on, you can roll up baby clothes after a blowout, and it works as a backup burp cloth.)
Be Ready For Attention
I’m sure you have already noticed, twins get a lot of attention when you are out. There will be times when that attention and intrusive questions can be frustrating. But at the beginning, try to enjoy it. Overall people are just drawn to twins. They aren’t trying to be rude or interrupt you. Accept the compliments of how cute your babies are and what a great job you are doing. Because you are doing a great job.
Time It Out
At some point, you are going to need to be places with your twins on time. I admit lateness is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. And I don’t like when people always use their children as a reason for being late. Sometimes yes, they are the reason. We have all had the double blowout right before we need to leave. But I think about 90% of the time it is possible to be on time. To do this I actually pulled up the timer on my phone and timed how long it took to get my twins ready to leave the house, from diaper change to buckled into the car. I timed how long it took me to get them from the car seats into the stroller. It is a bit Type A to do this, but these tasks can take longer than you think. By knowing how long it takes me to actually get everyone to the car and then out of the car at our destination I can accurately predict what time to start getting everyone ready and be on time just about every time.
What’s The Worst That Can Happen?
I’m not being facetious here. Ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen on this outing? Is it that your babies cry? Someone poops everywhere? You forget why you went to the store in the first place? Once you determine that worst that will happen you can plan for it. For most things, the worst case scenario usually means you have to go home. Well, so what? So you have to put down your shopping basket and walk away. So you have to cut an outing short and head home. Is that really that terrible? Yes, it can be embarrassing. But trust me, you would not be the first parent to have to just stop and leave somewhere because of your child. It isn’t the end of the world and someday it will be an amusing story.
I get it. I looked at my newborn twins and two-year-old son and wondered if we would ever leave the house again. But I knew if this was going to be our lives, I had to make it happen. That means going for it. Trust me, the only way to make it easier is to do it. And you can do it. Use these tips and before you know it getting out of the house with your twins, while it might not be a breeze, but it will feel normal.
Here are some more twin posts to help you out!