Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shopping with twins pre-walking.

My first set of twins just over a year old!

Getting around with twins, or with any child can be exhausting. I can't say to how different it is with one verses two babies, as I've only ever had two babies at one time. I do know that at the end of a shopping excursion or day out with family - I'm ready for a nap (which I never actually get). I've learned a few tip and tricks to help me not only survive getting out with my children, but to enjoy the experience too. This post is specifically for the pre-walking twins.

Shopping inside: Shopping indoors can be extremely difficult. Maneuvering the narrow aisles and doorways with strollers, diaper bags, and other sundry baby items takes it toll on actually enjoying a shopping trip. This is what works and where:

1. Use a front and back stroller. This allows you easier access through narrow doorways and stores without the wide aisles. I use the Baby Trend Snap and Go double stroller ensemble. It allows you to place your car seats into their stroller frame - and go. Double side-by-side strollers can be effective in larger department stores, but it is harder to steer and does not have a lot of storage for storing your purchases.

I normally will not use the space underneath the stroller for storing my goods to purchase. I most often will push the stroller with my left and and pull behind me a grocery cart in a backwards motion with my right hand. It is a lot of work, but sometimes it's the only way to get in and out with all the things you need. Diapers and wipes take up a lot of room and do not fit on any stroller I've ever used.

2. Car seats in cart. I have taken recently to putting the my boys into the cart. Sometimes one up front in the seat belted in and the other in the cart with the car seat (setting all the way inside the cart). Depending on what I need, I will use the sides and the underneath section to store my goods, or I will pull behind me another entire cart. Pushing a cart with one hand, vs. a stroller, has been easier to steer and maneuver.

3. Cart and baby carrier. While it is a good option, it can be a very back breaking option. But, if you really need to get out and about and get those errands done with colicky babies - it's a very good plan. I used the method several times when one of my babes was having a hard time sitting in his car seat. It was a bit difficult when I had to lean over and pick something off a lower shelf, but again, a good option when you really need to get things done.

4. Double cart seating. There are some magical stores that carry large enough carts to fit both babies up in the front section of the cart. They even make double cart seat covers to protect babies from germs. I was lucky with my first set of twins as there seemed to be quite a few stores with this option. Now with my 2nd set and living in a smaller area, carts are narrower and do not allow to strapping lads to fit up in the front section of the cart.

5. One baby belted in the cart and one seated in the goods section of the cart. This option only works if you are willing to deal with the baby not strapped into the cart. This baby has the ability to stand and while you feel this maybe a viable option - keep a vigilant watch. My little ones love to stand and while I push the cart. When I use this option, I stand on the side of the cart and it pull it this way, while holding onto the baby with more freedom. Eventually a toy, or snack gets more attention and he will sit - but I still keep a good watch out for him. You can also try a booster seat with a belt - I haven't tried this yet!

6. Seek help. Isn't it great to think that you can do it all - shop, make dinner, all while carting around both babies and your other children - if you have them - on your hip. Sometimes you are just too tired to shop with your kids and physically drained to push that grocery cart or get that big box of diapers. It's OK to ask for help. Take along a friend, older siblings, or family members and let them push the stroller, or better yet - let you go all by yourself!

Good luck!

How do you do it?

How do you handle multiple children varying ages?

Did this help?


Nicole said...

Cute photo of the girls. Never had twins but young boys and a baby can be a tough also. I remember trying to keep my youngest son from running wild while managing a cart and baby. Danica wasn't one who I could ever put down without a ton of tears. The only successful stroller trips were while I ran-no one could hear her cry & eventually the crying got old (while I was running anyway). Sadly I finally donated the mall/store stroller..unused.

Marie said...

The mental picture of you pushing a stroller with one hand and dragging a cart full of groceries with the other is leaving me boggled! What a wonder!

Do you know what has happened to me since having kids? My shopping is WAY more organized and efficient. No lazy wandering the aisles! Get in, get the stuff, get out!

Claudissima said...

wow that is a darling darling photo.....the good thing, is that one one hand the girls are in school, and on the other, is that you have little mommy's ready to help can do it.....