So it's been almost a month since our accident and you know that saying "When you fall off the horse, you have to get back on." Well I'm finally getting back on the horse!! Life has slowly, but surly returned to normal and the girls and I have been busy getting out and about. We've been trying to soak up the mild fall weather before the rains return. Plus we got a new double stroller and I have finally found the courage to start taking the girls out on walks again (we went with the Uppababy Vista). That feels pretty huge for me as I could barely leave the house after the accident. So yay me!
Homebodies we are not, the girls and I get out and do something just about everyday. The girls are like my little partners in crime, we do EVERYTHING together. It always surprises me when people say I'm brave to take the girls on so many outings and errands. How else would I get anything done?! Eric works long hours and I don't want to fill the family time we do have with errands so I always get those out of the way just the girls and I.
Getting out with two kiddos can feel really overwhelming at first, but with practice and pre-planning it can feel just as easy as getting out with one. When I first had Phayre I was so overwhelmed (more about our transition here) and getting out of the house was exhausting (and took forever). I'm obviously not an expert and I only have two babes, but I thought I'd share some tips and tricks I've learned over the last year. Hopefully you'll find something here that will make your outings a bit easier with your kiddos!
Plan, plan, and plan some more.
So first things first: Pre-planning is key. I do as much as I possibly can the night before so that when I'm ready to go in the morning I can just scoop up the girls and go. This includes:
-Packing your diaper bag every night. Every night when Eric is cleaning up the kitchen, I replenish diapers and snacks in my diaper bag and make sure that it's ready for the next day. This ensures that I never forget anything (or ever ever run out of snacks!!).
-Pick out your kiddos clothes the night before. This has become a fun part of our nighttime routine. While we're getting the girls' pajamas on, we also pick out their clothes for the next day and lay them out on the floor. This way there's no arguments over which bow Sloan will wear or frantic searches for shoes in the morning.
-Pack lunches and snacks the night before. If we're going on a bigger outing (that will take up a big chunk of the day, like the zoo), I always pack our lunches the night before. I also cut up fruit or veggies for snacks and have those ready to go in the fridge.
-Pack up any necessary baby gear items in your car the night before. If I know I'm going to the mall the next day or on a walk with a friend, I load up the double stroller into the back of my car the night before. This also goes for my front pack or wrap or anything else we may need.
Tip: If you know you're going to be wearing your baby in a wrap, put your wrap on while you're at home before you leave on your outing. This way, your wrap doesn't touch the ground of a parking lot and you can quickly put baby in as soon as you get to your destination.
What to Bring
Ok, now let's talk about items that might make your outings a bit easier. The first thing you will need is snacks. All. The. Snacks. But I'm serious, food keeps little people quiet and occupied. I pretty much never leave the house without a container of cut up grapes and cucumbers, raisins, and applesauce pouches. When a situation is getting pretty crazy I pull out the big guns: pirate booty or fruit snacks. I also prepay the girls for good behavior with special treat type items (chocolate milk at Target, churros at Costco, you get the idea).
I also always have a few books and toys in my diaper bag. I love these books because they're super slim, light weight, and P can't rip them. I also buy these little activity packs at Michaels for $1 that have a little coloring book, a few crayons, and stickers. Those are usually my go-to for Sloan when we're at restaurants.
Having a functional diaper bag is SO important, especially when you have two kiddos. You need a diaper bag that can be worn as a backpack AND it needs to feel comfortable when you're wearing it that way. Here are a few great options 1, 2, and 3. You can see what I pack in my diaper bag here (I promise I'l update that post soon!).
Tip: Try to put everything you need (diaper bag, coats, etc.) in one spot so that you can grab it quickly before you leave. If you're going on a big outing and are bringing things you don't normally bring (lunches, pool floats, picnic blanket, etc.) make yourself a list of things to grab before you leave. Leave the list on your diaper bag and peek at it before you leave the house to make sure you didn't forget anything!
The Almighty Double Stroller
Always bring the appropriate baby gear. If you have more than one baby, you need a good double stroller! And by good I mean it has to be convenient, comfortable, and safe. We went with the Uppababy Vista and I love it. We also have the rumble (second) seat and the piggyback board. It's incredibly convenient for me because it's SO easy to fold and unfold, the basket underneath is HUGE, and I love that it isn't a side-by-side stroller so it's still easy to get through doorways. The girls are really comfortable and I love that Sloan can choose between sitting in the second seat or standing on the piggyback board.
The Vista also comes with a bassinet, perfect for newborns. And you can attach several brands of carseats. I love that the piggyback board makes this the perfect stroller for three kiddos... which will come in handy when I talk Eric into another baby ;). The bassinet and the toddler seat also have large sunshades, great for naps on the go.
We've absolutely loved our Vista so far, it really is the perfect grow-with-you stroller. I also find it to be so convenient because the storage basket underneath is so big (it's probably my favorite part of this stroller)! I've actually walked the girls to the grocery store and can walk home with a couple bags of groceries underneath!
Children are like Sloths
Ha! Just kidding, kind of. And is anyone thinking of Flash from Zootopia now :)? I swear the girls move slower when I'm trying to get out of the house. We have also entered the "NO, I CAN DO IT" phase with Sloan so simple things like unlocking and opening the door can take muuuuuuuch longer. Give yourself enough time to get out of the house. You will stay calmer which will greatly effect your kids mood and behavior! If we're going on a bigger outing, I set an alarm and get up before the girls so that I can get myself ready and start on breakfast before they even wake up.
Tip: When I first had Phayre, she nursed about every 90 minutes (sometimes making it two whole hours between feedings, but not usually!). It was hard to stop and nurse her when I was out because Sloan was so young and wouldn't just sit and hang out while I nursed. I planned small outings and broke up our errands so that I wasn't out for long periods of time. I would also get us completely ready to go, nurse P, and then leave as soon as she was finished nursing. This gave me the most possible time to be out before I had a hungry and cranky baby.
When I did have to nurse P between errands, I would usually do it in the car. I actually don't mind nursing in public at all, but when I had both girls by myself this was the easiest way to contain Sloan. I would keep a little basket of toys and books in the backseat so Sloan would just play while I nursed P.
You Can Do This!!!
When you first start venturing out with both of your kiddos it seems so hard (I just remember always being REALLY sweaty, and a little bit frantic). The more you do it, the easier it becomes! My girls are two years and almost three months apart and they're now one and almost three and a half. Going out with them now is a piece of cake, it became easier and easier with time. You can do this! Just keep getting out and making memories with your littles!
Like I said, I'm not an expert and I only have two babes (the thought of taking more little people out is scary!), but these are the things that have worked for us. I truly love getting out with the girls, they're my little besties and our days really are so fun. I hope that you found something helpful here!!