The first year with twins can seem extremely hard work. Everyone used to say to me “how on earth do you get out with twins and a toddler?”. My answer was simple, “it is easier to get out, than it is to stay in all the time!”. I think I would have gone insane if I hadn’t got out as much as I did. I found I had to be very organised, but once I got into a routine of what I needed to take out with me, it was a lot easier.
Equipment needed for getting out and about
Side by side buggies – these can be very wide, some are wider than others, but each twin can see out, which is a big advantage. Also, it is easier to feed babies in a side by side buggy when out, than it is in a tandem (if you need to). Some are heavy, others are lighter, if weight is an issue, check manufacturers info. Some buggies have two handles, some have one. I personally found I couldn’t have a 2 handled buggy, as I couldn’t push it with only one hand, I needed to be able to hold my toddlers hand too. When choosing a double buggy, try to have a play with them before you buy, check out reviews and if you know anyone with a double buggy, ask to try it out.
Tandem double buggies – There are a variety of tandem buggies. Some are very long, some are more one on top of the other. Some allow car seats to be attached which makes it easy to transfer babies from car to buggy without waking them. Often the baby in the rear of the buggy can’t see out. I personally found a tandem buggy for the first year was fantastic, but as soon as they started getting bigger it got very difficult getting them in and out, so changed to a side by side.
Buggyboards – If you have an older child as well as the twins, you have to find another way of making things easier for the toddler. Buggyboards can be fantastic if they are old enough not to keep jumping off. Check with the manufacturer of your buggy to see what is recommended and fits.
Buggypod – My son was a bit too young for a buggyboard when the twins were born, so I opted for a buggypod. It is like a fold out seat that attaches to the side of the buggy when needed. This was great, but we only used it a few times until he was big enough for the buggyboard.
Tripple buggies – If you have a toddler with baby twins, another option may be a triple buggy, I know a few people who have a double side by side buggy that also has a seat on the front for the toddler. They have found them a great buggy, though very big and heavy.
Slings and backpacks
There are many different types of slings on the market. They are great for carrying your baby close to you, especially if you are somewhere it is difficult to take a buggy, eg the beach or a forest walk etc. However, with twins you would need to be with someone else willing to carry a baby. You can get a twin baby sling, which I have not tried myself, I can’t imagine how heavy it would be?
There are also many backpack baby/toddler carriers available, but again you need 2 people and as the babies get older, they get heavier! We had a backpack carrier and borrowed another one-off a friend for our holiday which we found very useful, but that was the only time we really used them.
Toys and entertainment
As babies get older, they need more entertaining and it is not always sufficient or convenient to just give them a cuddle or sing a song. I used to take plenty of books, toys to chew on, and toys for them to fiddle with, out with me wherever I went. Buggy books were great and if you can find a toy that will go through the straps of their buggy that would also be great, as they will drop toys constantly and you will be forever losing them. I also found a steering wheel that attached to the buggy was fantastic (we still use them in the car now). Also, children’s CDs in the car are good, nursery rhymes and other songs can keep them quiet (or singing loudly!), but at least keeps them from crying.
Feeding twins out and about
- Use cartons of milk – when out I used to take cartons of milk and sterile bottles, so I didn’t have to find hot water to warm them up and I didn’t have to worry about mixing powder etc. Cartons are more expensive, so I only used them at times when it would make life less stressful.
- Milk dispenser – When just going out to a friend’s house etc, I used to take a milk dispenser with the correct amount of formula milk pre measured, for each baby and bottles of sterile water, so I just had to mix the powder and the water and warm them up.
- Feeding twins at the same time – I often used to feed 1 twin in their car seat or buggy or on a rug on the floor with a cushion, whilst feeding the other with my other hand, on my lap, leaning against my chest.
- Cover up – if breast-feeding when out, you may like to take a cover to put over you if needing to feed in public.
Feeding twins solids
- Jars – I often took jars of food when feeding my twins out, as it is so much easier than worrying about keeping food at the right temperature and then warming it up correctly etc
- Bibs – remember to take bibs and cloths, it is still a messy business even when you are out.
- Wipes – remember to take lots of wipes!
- Booster seats – I used to take travel booster seats out, as they strap to any chair and keep your babies from moving around in the chair as well as raising them up.
These are just my ideas and tips for making life easier getting out and about. I am sure you will find your own way of organising things and doing things that is right for you, but I do believe the key to making things easier is to be ORGANISED. When you get home after going out, replace any nappies, wipes etc you have used straight away, so that when you need to go out again, your bag is all ready for you.