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Updated 2/27/20

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As a twin mom, managing daily life JUST AT HOME can seem impossible. Getting out and doing anything out of the house can feel like a pipe dream. Between JUST carrying the two babies, all the stuff you need to lug around, and nap and feeding limitations, no one blames you for not wanting to get out. But once you get the hang of it, it’s not so bad. In fact, going out with your infant twins can even be FUN!

In the early days of twin-mom life, I was a slave to the clock, always on a three-hour feeding schedule. But, groceries had to be purchased, errands had to be run, and we wanted to be able to get out with family and friends on occasion, so I figured out how to make the logistics of twins out work for me.

First brewery visit- LOVED it!

For breastfeeding twin moms, feeding away from home can be pretty intimidating. As far as I can tell, tandem-feeding while away from home is basically impossible. Feeding them individually just TAKES SO LONG. For your first couple of short outings, I’d recommend taking it easy on yourself and go out in between feedings. Of course, you can’t really schedule when they will be hungry, but you do usually have a pretty good idea. Plan ahead and try to get things packed up BEFORE you feed them. As soon as you finish nursing, you’ll be good to go (except the inevitable spit-up clean up, or last-minute diaper change). This at least gets you out the door, and used to the idea outings with your twins. By the time my twins were a month or two old, I felt confident (ish) and wanting more, so we started venturing out a bit further.

First trip to Canada (which is really only 1 hour away)

The Gear

Double carriers?

I’m pretty well known in my family as an over-researcher. So, as expected, I researched the crap out of all the options for twin baby carriers. The double carriers SEEMED like a slam dunk, but as I dug into more, most are really only for small babies, and are not extremely well designed. Comfort is pretty lacking, and as babies get older and heavier, double carriers just won’t work anymore.

Single carriers, are much more comfortable, versatile, and can for infants babies and kids as old as 2 years (or older). PLUS, if you DO happen to have help, you can easily have a spouse or family member share the load and carry one of the babies. When you don’t have help, you can even stack two, one front and one back, and comfortably carry BOTH infants. OR, I put both infants in one carrier when they were very small (though I had to be paying close attention to them).

Two Ergobabies

Structured Carriers

Ergobaby 360, when used with the infant insert works for babies 7 lbs all the way up to 45 lbs, and allows you to front carry facing in or out, back carry, or side carry you infant. I also highly recommend the LILLEBaby for an even more comfortable experience while babywearing.

Having two baby carriers, rather than one meant I spent a little bit more upfront, but I was able to use the baby carriers for years instead of just a couple of months. They gave me the versatility and comfort I was looking for and we used them ALL THE TIME. I know many twin moms buy a double carrier, try it twice, NOT love it, and get rid of it.

Ring Slings

Another great option is ring slings. They are soft, breathable, and work great even for a tiny sleeping baby. However, you’ll want to be really carefully about their positioning and making sure their airway is not compressed. I could comfortably wear both babies for about 4 months. After that, I could continue to comfortably carry one baby (or uncomfortably carry both) for pretty much as long as they’d let me.

In my experience, ring slings didn’t feel as secure as structured carriers- especially when I was wearing two. They loosen up, and can sway a bit- I certainly wouldn’t be out jogging in them. But they are lightweight and easy to put on. Even if you don’t have help, you can just put both ring slings on- one on each side withOUT babies, then take a seat and carefully position your babies, one at a time. Then you are free to wash dishes, straighten up, eat a meal (maybe still standing up since babies LOVE that motion) with your hands-free! It’s a game-changer in those earlier days!

The best part about these ring slings is that they are affordable! After having twins, and watching every cost double, you’ll be stoked to see the price on these guys! Sure they ARE high-end ring slings, and I’m sure they are amazing, but we loved our budget buys! Plus, they were in perfect condition once we were ready to pass them along.

Double Strollers

When you have twins, a double stroller is DEFINITELY a requirement. But WHICH double stroller is a complicated issue. Here’s how I see it; car seat/stroller systems are sort of the master of all trades, master of none in the double stroller world. Generally, they are adequate for infants. But as your twins get older, they are less than. They are also not great on trails, or for travel. One important exception is the Baby Jogger City Select, which is a legit do-everything, AMAZING stroller with a price tag that matches. But if you don’t have the budget for the City Select, and are looking for a stroller that works as long as your kids need a stroller, we like the Graco Ready2Grow system.

However, for many of us, there really is not perfect stroller. The best stroller for an infant just ISN’T the best stroller for a toddler, so you are going to need more than one double stroller.

Difficult to see, but they are in their Joovy Twin Roo at the doctor’s office

The Joovy Twin Roo + frame is a perfect stroller for those who want to wait to buy their DREAM stroller. Or for those who want to buy exactly the stroller than want without worrying about clicking in a car seat for one (OR TWO, in this case) tiny infants. The Twin Roo+ is fairly inexpensive, small (for a double stroller) and use to use. It’s simple a frame to click your car seats into. It’s not fancy, but it gets you where you need to go while your twins are tiny. We LOVED It. Another plus- frame strollers like the Twin Roo are generally easy to find on the used market for an even LOWER price. I highly recommend a frame stroller for your twins.

As your twins get older, your double stroller needs change. But getting a wonderful double stroller that you absolutely love is always a great idea. If you are a family that loves getting out on trails, uneven pavenment, or anywhere a little less stroller friendly, the Bob Duallie is absolute heaven. They say ‘nothing pushes like a Bob’ and it’s absolutely true. It’s totally comfortable for parents and kids, flexible, and you’ll be able to use it forever, if you need to. Resale on it is amazing as well because these strollers are so popular, and for good reason.

Another stroller we LOVE for families who love to travel is the MacLaren Twin Triumph. It’s the lightest double stroller out there, and it has lots of great storage and features as well. It pops open in 2 seconds flat, and folds up quick and easy (and SMALL) as well. And it’s sturdy enough to survive gate checking it at the airport.

Logistics of Grocery shopping:

The first thing I really HAD to figure out how to manage with my twins was grocery shopping. After my husband went back to work and my mom flew back home, groceries, I still had to keep up with the grocery shopping. And I’ll admit- It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out how to manage the grocery store with two infants.

The cart…

So here it is: in my opinion, the best set up is to have one baby in his/her car seat at the bottom of the cart and one baby riding in the Ergobaby, or another baby carrier. Both of my twins loved riding in the baby carrier. So, I’d chose the less happy baby for the carrier. The happiest baby would generally be willing to ride in the car seat. I often loosened the car seat straps and gave him a little toy. Plus, the being in the cart meant WAY more sights to take in for entertainment.

Having a car seat in the cart definitely makes grocery shopping when you need a LOT of things more difficult. There were certainly times when I started piling up groceries on top of my infant. BUT it’s definitely easier to have a car seat IN the shopping car than trying to haul a stroller through the grocery store along WITH a cart.

The sights and sounds!

You’ll also want to keep in mind- for a tiny infant, a grocery shopping adventure is a HUGE stimulating activity. They are going to come home pretty tired and perhaps a little bit overstimulated and overwhelmed. You’ll definitely want to plan to have some quiet time after grocery shopping with your very small twins.

Truly the easiest time to get out with your twins, even if you are as HUGE as I was 🤣

Doctors Appointments, or Anywhere Stroller Friendly

So once you’ve picked out your twin stroller, it’s time to start using it! Even if you were a babywearing maniac with previous singleton babies, you are probably going to end up relying on your stroller a lot more than you expect. So pull that thing out, practice opening it and closing it because once it’s time, you’ll want to move FAST.

I started using out frame stroller on probably day THREE after my twins were born for their first doctor’s appointment. The frame strollers are super convenient and allow you to AVOID carrying two car seats. The little snap-in mechanism is quick and secure, so your babies will be safe and comfortable. And you can get in and out of the car RELATIVELY quickly. I loved that I could sit down and have access to them to comfort or adjust them as needed.

Going out to Dinner:

Taking babies out to a restaurant is SURPRISING easier than going with toddlers or preschoolers (maybe even older kids?). If you have infant twins, go out to dinner right away! You’ll regret it if you don’t do it when they are little.

So give it a try. Pack your babies in their car seats with pacifiers, and bottles, and one or two toys. Choose a restaurant that has a bit of elbow room. You’ll want to have plenty of space for a stroller, or just space for car seats nearby on the floor or in a chair. I’d also recommend one with at least a LITTLE bit of background noise. You’ll be able to relax if your baby isn’t the only one in a restaurant making noise.

Napping while out to dinner

For an infant, everything is a huge sensory activity, so going to a restaurant is enough to entertain them without a whole lot from you. For my babies, I could often rock their car seats and get them to go to sleep. Or just hang out with us and take in the views. Because infants sleep so much, and often go to sleep so early, we had tons of luck with just taking them early evening and letting them sleep the entire time. You’ll get to know your babies’ routine, but bringing a sleeping infant is basically a date night- ha! Once or twice, one or both kids weren’t happy in the car seat and needed to get out. The structured carriers were great to get them out but still leave your hands free to eat.

When you are deep in the twin infant phase, constantly covered in baby puke/poop/milk, and getting hardly any time just for your self, it is such a luxury to get to go out and eat a nice meal and eating it while it’s still warm. Even if you wind up wearing a baby while doing it, it’s still a totally refreshing and not-as-hard-as-you-expect experience.

Bigger Outings:

Perhaps we were a little bit crazy, but once my twins were two months old, we started doing longer, sometimes all-day outings. At 4 months, we began traveling overnight, and out of state.

Young infants typically can nap anywhere and are able to fall asleep whenever they get tired enough. As they get a bit older, that changes and napping can become a LOT more difficult. So getting out when they are young is major win for a lot of reasons. Sometimes nap schedule will get a bit off when you are out all day. But, if you can relax and let it go, your babies will totally adjust and get the rest they need.

Heading out on overnights with your twin babies is a whole other topic, and you can read more about it here.

Breastfeeding on the go

At some point, you’ll feel ready to breastfeed away from home. And trust me- you totally can, even for twins!

When it comes figuring out how to feed babies for a day out, I made every mistake a twin mom can. I tried all kinds of ways- I even packed pumped breast milk with a cooler and bottles PLUS a breast pump since I wasn’t nursing. It was a totally disaster- a ton of gear to worry about and it definitely did not make things more convenient.

Don’t do this! Bringing too much gear is just a headache.

But eventually, I figured it out; the absolute easiest way to nurse them was to nurse in the structured carrier, one at a time. You’ll want to get started a couple of minutes before you expect them to be hungry since you can’t nurse them at the same time. You’d hate for one baby to be screaming with hunger before you’ve finished nursing the other baby.

Breastfeeding an infant in an Ergo, or another structured carrier, is a little bit tricky at first. It took me a few tries to really get the hang of it. I’d recommend watching this helpful video. Then you’ll want to give it a try at home, or somewhere you won’t be rushed or distracted. You’ll need to really loosen the straps and drop baby down low and it definitely feels a bit odd at first.

Babywearing is awesome for newborns and infants

Also, if you are shy about nursing in public, you’ll want to bring a cover the first time you try it. It’s totally possible to stay covered while nursing in an ErgoBaby, but it takes a little bit of practice. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll just need a couple of minutes to change babies then you are good to keep moving. It’s a GAME CHANGER

Tummy time away from home

Another big learning was that, when you are not at home, it’s really difficult to find a place where you’ll feel comfortable letting your babies get out of their carrier/car seat/stroller and just wiggle around. And for my babies, not getting that free movement time meant cranky babies. Babies just need that time to just move freely, at least every few hours.

So plan ahead. You’ll definitely want to pack a blanket or two, and make sure you have an idea where you can take a break. If the weather is ok, parks are a great option. If not, perhaps look for a mall or another indoor public area where you can spread out and make your babies a spot to relax.

For my twins, skipping that free movement time was a recipe for disaster. They’d remain cranky and very upset until they got an opportunity to move freely. Another mom failure – I did not plan to let them get out and move around, and couldn’t find anywhere where I feel I could allow them to move, and instead had to drive 2 hours home to the sound of two increasingly upset babies. Don’t do that- it’s not fun!

Looking at trees at the park

Ready to give it a try?

With a little bit of practice, a lot of guts, and a few amazing tricks up your sleeve, you can totally get out of the house with your twins. It can feel completely overwhelming in the beginning. But come on- twin parents are amazing! Plus, you will never regret taking a little adventure with your kiddos. And, once you’ve figured out the day trips, and are ready for more, check out our posts on travel and flying with infant twins.

When we first found out we were having twins, I wasn’t… thrilled.  A big part of the reason was that I had imagined that, though travel would slow down, it would still be possible with one baby.  With two- out of the question, right? Maybe not. Traveling with infant twins isn’t easy, and it probably isn’t for everyone. But for us, it’s well worth the trouble.   

Cons

  • The babies are too young to remember any of it
  • Babies need a lot of stuff
  • Being away from home isn’t as comfortable or easy as just staying home
  • More exposure to illnesses
  • Your travel pace will be much slower

Pros

  • Even if the babies don’t remember, we remember it, and there is nothing like watching your kids enjoy something new
  • Maybe they won’t exactly remember the trip, but they will have this great time to bond with family, and they will remember it in their cells
  • Mom and dad have probably been cooped up in the house for months and need a change of scenery
  • Getting away from home and forgetting a thing or two teach parents and babies how to be a little bit more flexible
  • Traveling at a slower pace, as is required when traveling with small children, can actually make your vacation more enjoyable and more relaxing.  

Travel, even with our infants,  was a no brainer for us for several reasons.  The biggest thing, in those early years, is the fact that we have no family nearby, so getting to know aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents means traveling.  But also, travel so is important to us for a million reasons, and I feel strongly that one of the most important gifts I can give my children is the gift of perspective that only comes with travel and that the shared experiences we have traveling and taking family vacations will bring us a lifetime of happy memories.

So once our boys were about four months old, and we finally felt a little bit less afraid (they were premature and just so small), we started traveling.  Keep reading for some of the things we learned. Also, see our separate posts on flying with infant twins and for travel with twin toddlers.

Tip 1.  Just jump in.  

The younger your babies are, the more likely they are to be flexible about where they sleep, where they eat, etc.  It can be intimidating thinking about taking on something else when you are already exhausted, but sometimes a little family trip can really refresh you.

My babies loved they snow!

Tip 2.  Enjoy the things you can do and don’t dwell on those things you can’t.

There are a million things we simply cannot do now that we are traveling with young twins.  But there are also a million things we can do and experience in a whole new way- watching our boys’ wide eyes when they see a colorful school of fish or feeling the sand on their toes for the first time, or even just getting to witness the first time they meet someone important to you.

first trip with our twins!
Baby’s first trip!

Tip 3: Cosleep if you are comfortable with it

We are not a co-sleeping family (at least not on purpose), but we did feel comfortable with it once they were about 5 months old.  When traveling by plane, co-sleeping made things easier because we didn’t have to bring much extra for them. They didn’t move around a ton at that age, so we felt fairly comfortable having them in the middle of a hotel bed.  The best arrangement for us was to have two queen beds, and each parent slept with one baby.

Tip 4:  Replicate your twins sleep environment as much as possible.  

Hopefully, you are lucky enough to have twins that can just sleep anywhere, whenever they get tired.  Mine have never been like that. And we’ve found anything we can do to replicate our sleep situation at home helps them get to sleep faster.  We always stuck to our normal sleep routines, and whenever we could, did blackout curtains, white noise, and a room with a door.

If our hotel could provide two pack n plays, we’d definitely take it.  But we didn’t find the availability of two to be reliable. We tried all kinds of travel bassinets, pack n plays, etc., and found that they were not for us- too expensive, too bulky, and not something that we could use for very long, and when buying two, we just didn’t find worthwhile.  

I guess they didn’t love this hotel room?
  • Blackout curtains are almost a guarantee at hotels, but if you are staying at a VRBO, or a friend or relatives’ house, there is a pretty low likelihood of having them.  Bring a cheap plastic shower curtain you can tape or pin up to block out some of the light
  • We use a white noise machine at home, but a tablet we’d be bringing anyway does the trick.  There are 8+ hour Youtube videos or white noise apps you can download.
  • Being able to stay in a 1+ bedroom suite, or VRBO is such a luxury when your kids are tiny.  Infants sleep a lot, and it’s so nice to be able to able to do your own thing while they sleep.  Plus, lots of kids have trouble falling asleep when they see their parents. However, that wasn’t always possible for us.  We could sometimes head out to a balcony with the door cracked, or just hang out quietly and in the dark until we were ready for bed.

Tip 5 Travel light

Pick up diapers and wipes at your destination, or order them ahead of time to be delivered, and bring only what you really need.  Your twin nursing pillow might be amazing but it’s not absolutely necessary for a week away- a few pillows are a decent substitute. As much as it feels like you are moving out every time you leave the house, you really can get by with much less than you expect.

I’d recommend

  • Clothes for a couple of days- plan on 2-3 outfits per day per child
  • A lightweight blanket
  • A heavier blanket for them to lie down on
  • Swaddle if you are using them
  • One lovey per child
  • Extra pacifiers and clips
  • If you bottle-feed, enough to last you through the night, plus a bottle brush.  
  • Your baby carrier/s of choice
  • A couple of small toys/teethers
  • Baby butt cream of choice.  
  • Any medicine you might need- Baby Tylenol or Motrin, gas drops, etc.
  • Baby lotion and soap
  • Some kind of a lightweight stroller (maybe just a single)

Tip 6:  Don’t forget about baths

Otteroos are awesome!

Baths on vacation are something that is easy to forget about.  You can certain opt to just do a sponge bath or attempt to hold your slippery infants one at a time in the shower.  We tried the slippery shower situation once- it was terrifying to me. My go-to solution was Otteroos. They definitely look strange and not everyone is comfortable with them, but they do comply with US safety standards.  As long as you are in the room and watching them, I feel that they are perfectly safe. Other pluses- they are inflatable and fold up really small, and then allow you to give your infant an enjoyable bath in any bathtub. Plus my kids LOVED them

Tip 7: If you are breastfeeding, learn how to breastfeed in your carrier.  

When we are at home, I tandem nursed. But in public- no thank you.  I have to be pretty much topless and looking like a milking cow. No one wants to see that. And if you try to sit down to nurse individually, you’ll end up doing nothing else.  Nursing in the carrier meant we could carry on with our day instead of planning around our nursing breaks.

Though infants generally are pretty ok with being in a carrier or a stroller, we found it was best to plan on giving them some time to get out and wiggle around every few hours.  Maybe you stop back at your hotel and let them do some tummy time on the bed. Maybe you put a blanket in the grass at a park so they can look at the leaves. Whatever it is, make a plan because it can be difficult to find somewhere you feel comfortable putting your twins down and letting them touch things.  

Tip 8:  Babywear, but also maybe bring a stroller?  

Babywearing was a lifesaver for travel for us.  It’s so convenient, no stopping to get the baby whatever they need, and no limitations to where you can go because of a huge stroller.  

Cheap but functional single stroller

But some babies don’t love it, and some parents don’t love it.  And some babies and parents get hot in there and just want a break after babywearing all day, or maybe your babies can nap in their stroller and you can eat a meal without two babies touching you for once.   Also, when you have two, at least unless you are a superhero mom, you kinda need two adults when you are babywearing. I never really got the wearing two at a time thing down. I don’t know how you awesome mamas do it.  Anyway, having a stroller can really help.

We love our MacLaren lightweight double stroller because it’s fully reclinable, has a nice big sunshade, and it is easy to fold up.  Another option we only came up with accidentally was to just bring or buy a single, super cheap (like $10) umbrella stroller.  I used it when we tagged along on my husband’s work trip, so I was alone sometimes during the day. When you usually are pushing around a massive double stroller, even a super cheapo single feels GLORIOUS.   I was totally comfortable and could get around really easily with just the single stroller, and my bigger twin was pretty happy to have that extra breeze in the stroller.

Tip 9. Don’t forget, you are all on vacation.  

While you probably don’t want to let your regular schedule go out the window completely, accept that your babies are not going to be eager to nap with all the excitement.  They may skip a few naps, or at least delay them. They may not eat as well, and they may want to try some new, fun, but less than healthy foods, just like you.

Tip 10. Take tons of pictures.

Really, has anyone ever wished they had taken fewer pictures? And little video clips- those are even better. They change so fast at this age, and you’ll be capturing a ‘first’ almost every time you take a photo

Matching Daddy at their first wedding!

As tricky as travel with your twin infants may seem, it is doable with if you just take it easy on yourself.  And nothing beats these early memories. I will never forget the way they looked in their baby suits for their first wedding, or the strange pride I felt seeing them happy and thriving in outside of their ‘normal’ environment in our sunny hotel room.  You can do this!

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