When I was pregnant with the twins, I remember crying on the phone with my friend who had 5 year old twins at the time. The only question that I had for her at the time, with tears in my eyes I asked: "How do you go to the grocery store with two babies?" Her response, "you can't, but you'll want to go by yourself. Going to the grocery store will be like a trip to the spa when you become a mom." I cried even harder after that... I was just a bit overwhelmed to say the least.
I'm happy to announce that I do get out with the twins. It's taken some practice, but I've figured out how to go to the store with two babies and it can be quite pleasant, it just takes twice as long.
Here are a few tips that I have learned to do, to make sure we all have fun at the store:
1. Feed them before you get to the store. Don't ever take a hungry child to anything. Feed yourself too... you'll feel better. Maybe even bring a coffee with you or go get one.
2. I've always been pretty flexible with their napping schedule during the day. (night time routine is always the same, but that's another post) If they fall asleep in the car, no worries, just let them sleep. Or I take the long way to the store.... or I go through the Starbucks drive thru. Since they're still in their infant car seats it's pretty easy to just keep them asleep while they are transferred from the car seat base to the stroller or cart. I'm sure I'll have to work around their naps when they're a bit older.
3. Bring in your diaper bag with snacks, sippies, or bottles. (I'll have to do a post on this, and how to organize your bag... I'm very disciplined in this to make sure I have everything for both babies)
4. When you arrive, drive around the parking lot and get a good spot near a cart return, that way you don't have to walk away from your car after you put your babies in.
5. Buy carabiners! Clip them to your stroller handle and use them as your extra hands... You can clip all of your grocery bags on these while you walk out to the car ... or you can use them to clip your bag onto, instead of shoving it into the bottom of the stroller. These two little devices have been a life saver!
6. You have a few options when going into the store, depending on your situation and the current state of your babies. • Get a cart from the cart return, place one baby in the front of the cart, and where the other. • Get the stroller out and push the stroller, while you drag the cart behind you. (this is what I did on Saturday) • If it's a trip where you only need a few things, you can just push the stroller around the store, and clip on one of those store baskets to your carabiners. This is super convenient.
7. Always have you baby carrier or moby somewhere... ready to carry around a fussy baby.
8. I'm constantly talking, singing, and interacting with the twins too. When I put things in the cart, I ask their opinion on the item, etc... just to keep them entertained and happy.
Of course, going to the store, or anywhere for that matter, is a luxury these days. I honestly do love going to the store with the babies though. When we went this past Saturday, before we got the groceries, both babies had blow outs and I had to change them and their outfits. Lily wanted to be held, and then she didn't. I changed groceries from the cart, to the stroller, back to the cart. Just remember, to take your time and relax. You can go to the store, and come home in one piece with your littles... even if it does take you a good three hours.
Today, we used the target cart that carries 2 babies in the front part for the first time, and they loved it...