If you are expecting or have multiples, welcome to the club! The birth rate of multiples is on the rise—and with more parents of multiples comes more creative ways to get out and about, even when your nuggets aren’t mobile. We’ve rounded up some great strategies to help you wrangle two or more babies at home and on the go!
Get the gear
When it comes to the must-have gear, you’ll need a great double stroller. Nicole Boesen, a mom of 5-month-old twins, swears by the Joovy Roo+ stroller. A carrier is another option to keep you hands free—you can even wear one baby and carry the other.
To keep everyone in sight at home, opt for a Boppy pillow or a bouncer. These both provide a soft, safe space to set one baby down when you have to tend to the other.
Another trick is the Table for Two, a twin baby feeding system that props up your babies side by side. A twin plus nursing pillow from My Brest Friend can help with breastfeeding two at once.
Get settled at home
When I first came home with my twins, I didn’t have any type of plan. When they pooped, I changed them. When they cried, I fed them. When they fell asleep, I left them alone. This was easy to manage for a few weeks, but as they started to drift apart in times, I found myself feeding babies back-to-back and there was very little time when they were both asleep.
I soon discovered that a schedule is vital to surviving those first few foggy months with multiples. Do your best to get them to eat and sleep simultaneously, and you will have some much-needed alone time. You can even squeeze in a shower!
The sooner you develop a routine, the sooner you can create expectations around your day as well. You can begin to anticipate when your babies will be alert and ready for visitors, and when you need to scoot out for naptime.
A key to enjoying that first year with multiples is getting a good escape routine. You’ve got to get out of the house! You might spend more time packing everyone up than you do at your activity, but the time away from the clutter-filled home of twindom will do you wonders.
Don’t be intimated by taking your multiples out into the world. Taylor Aguirre, mom to 9-month-old fraternal boys, has already tackled trips to the Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of Science& Industry.
“The sooner you get started bringing the babies places, the better,” Aguirre says. “It’s all about practice and comfort.”
Her approach is to get out between the boys’ two naps. This allows her to shower and prep the diaper bag during their morning nap, head out on their adventure and feed them on the go, then be back home in time for the afternoon conk-out.
Great options abound: the Pritzker Playspace room in the Chicago Children’s Museum is a secured, infant-friendly area that allows your babies to roam and play while you chat with other parents. Garfield Park Conservatory is a great place to drive a double-stroller through a serene setting. Just need to get out for a few minutes? Stop by the children’s section of your local library or try a playgroup through your park district.
Having multiple little ones is a tough task, but you can still explore the great Chicagoland area with them in tow.
Any mom with older multiples will tell you that great memories are made on adventures or in those little moments of success—the first time you feed them alone outside of the house, the moment they crawl up a set of play stairs or when they run in separate directions but you successfully gather everyone back together without losing your cool.
One of the most important things any new parent needs is support. And when it comes to multiples, the need for help is even more unique. Connect with the awesome support of your local Multiples of America group. These clubs offer mentorship, meal trains, playdates, educational topic nights and a chance to connect with other moms who “get it.”
“Join a twin club while you are still pregnant,” says Josee Martens, mom to 4-year-old twin boys. “They are the best resource your first year.”
Beth Schwartz, of Countryside, is co-president of the West Suburban Moms of Multiples. Her club shares tips and strategies during get-togethers.
“We can discuss openly how to breastfeed two, or three, babies at once, how to logistically get out of the house, tricks for grocery shopping with two babies, where double strollers do and don’t work, tips for when multiple babies start moving in different directions.”