running errands, etc with twins? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 11-21-2008, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i just can't wrap my brain around the logistics of going to the supermarket, etc with twins when they are babies. how does it work? can i do it by myself, or is that wishful thinking?

i wasn't planning on getting a travel system with the baby carrier. i can see putting a carrier in a cart and slinging the other, is that the way you have to do it? do i need to re-think the carrier thing?

please explain
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#2 of 28 Old 11-21-2008, 03:36 PM
 
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I used to take the twins grocery shopping with me all the time when they were infants. I stopped when they were 8 months old and I had Caitlyn. Taking 8 month old twins and a newborn was NOT something I was brave enough to try

When it was just the twins I would put one carrier in the front of the shopping cart and the other in the basket.

Now that the youngest is 18 months (the twins are 26 months) and everyone is walking, I do sometimes take them all shopping, but only if I am just going in for a few things. Otherwise there isn't enough room in the shopping cart for the three of them as well as our groceries. Usually if I am going for a lot of groceries I go alone, or take someone else so we can have two shopping carts

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#3 of 28 Old 11-21-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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I go to the supermarket all the time with my 3 (2-year-old and 7-month-old twins). Usually I leave one baby in his car seat and stick that inside the cart, then wear the other baby and put the 2-year-old in the seat on the front of the cart. Then I just have to tuck groceries around the car seat. Now my babies sit up very steadily, so when we go to places that have double-seater carts I can put two kids in the seats. I have in the past tried pulling a double stroller and pushign a cart, but that's way too much of a pain and attracts far too many stares. One benefit of wearing one and having the other in the cart is that many people don't even notice I have 3 kids and I avoid all the comments
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#4 of 28 Old 11-21-2008, 04:26 PM
 
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If I can do it with twins and four older children I promise it's possible with just the twins, but it's still not EASY!

Right now, I have my older three walk, and I push my toddler and one twin in the double while I wear the other baby. If I'm out with just the twins and can do a full shop, I either wear both babies or now that they are old enough, one baby can sit in the cart and one can go on my back.

I could not EXIST without babywearing. For real.
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#5 of 28 Old 11-21-2008, 04:58 PM
 
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I take them all the time. Personally, I have enjoyed wearing them both (one on front in a mei tai, one on back in a backpack)...mine have always been happier that way when we are out, and it seemed like whenever I would have one in the seat, he would get fussy, or wake up and need to be held, and THEN things got hard trying to swap them around and what not. Now that they are getting bigger, I usually put one in the cart seat, and throw one on my back and have a sling underneath for the front, in case the one in the seat needs to nurse or be held.

I make sure I have my list organized roughly by section (produce, frozens, aisles, etc.), and move briskly. Usually I can make it out of there before someone gets fussy, but if not, I just end up nursing while waiting to be checked out.

When they were really little, sometimes I just went in the evenings by myself. It was nice to have time to myself and linger through the aisles. A good excuse to get out and have some alone time! However, time with my husband is so precious right now that I'd rather get it done in the day so we can hang out at night!

Hope that helps, and don't be afraid! I remember thinking the same thing when I was pregnant with our twins. I thought I would not leave the house for 6 months! Little did I realize that I would NEED to get out at almost any cost! The babies went to story time at the library, on nature center visits, hikes, meetings, whatever. The only down side is that I think half my town has seen me with my shirt half on!

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#6 of 28 Old 11-21-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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with my older two (a year apart) i used our double stroller with reusable grocery bags hanging from the handles. it worked really well - i just unloaded the groceries from the bags at checkout then the checker loaded them back in. then if i ended up tending to jet while he walked or wearing marvel it was still pretty easy to manage. using those big ikea bags i could get almost as much that was as i could in the cart with 2 kids in it.

now they are both old enough to sit in the cart or walk. i'm hoping by next summer i can go out with all 4. jet will be 4, marvel 3, and the twins several months old.

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#7 of 28 Old 11-21-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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internet shop for food

i've no car to cram them all into anymore, and we're avoiding busy places because they were preemies; otherwise i'd carry one, carseat in trolley the other and drag the whole crew round like usual with my stomach muscles groooaning!!!

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#8 of 28 Old 11-21-2008, 08:59 PM
 
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You can totally run errands with twins! When mine were little, I'd sling one and put the other in her carseat in the cart. Then when they got big enough, I did a double-mei-tei carry. Eventually they could sit up in the cart seat, facing each other (about 7 months?).

Now we're holed up for the rest of RSV season, so we're not going out at all, but we did it for months and it worked fine, even with two older kids along for the ride!
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#9 of 28 Old 11-21-2008, 09:51 PM
 
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I take all 4 of mine shopping by myself. That said, for the first 6ish months I didn't go alone. But once I could comfortably get one baby on my back (w/out help) and they could sit up well, I did. I had DS and DD walk, wore one twin on my back, and sat the other in the cart.

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#10 of 28 Old 11-21-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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When my two were little-little, I'd do one in the mei tai, one in the bucket carseat. We used a Mountain Buggy and I got really good at pushing it and pulling a cart behind me. I probably grocery shopped like that untl they were 3. I could also wrangle two carts but the children in the very maneuverable Mountain Buggy and a cart was much more pleasant to deal with.

You'll be fine! Plan out your trips, prioritize what you need to accomplish in case things fall apart, and get really good at cutting folks off with a, "Thanks! Have a good afternoon!" and move on.

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#11 of 28 Old 11-22-2008, 12:17 AM
 
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I don't take mine out unless I absolutely have to because they are preemies. If I have to take them out, I use my big cadillac double stroller and it doubles as a cart. I've taken all 4 of my kids out, by myself, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.
I do most of my errands and shopping when dh comes home. Like, tonight, I had to go to the grocery store, home depot, and one other store. I missed dinner and dh had to put the kids in bed but it was kind of nice to get out for a few hours.

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#12 of 28 Old 11-22-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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When mine were babies, the local Safeway used to give me a helper! The first time that I took them grocery shopping, the manager saw us & asked if I would like help. After that, every time I went one of the grocery packers/ shelf stockers would come & push the cart while I pushed the stroller.
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#13 of 28 Old 11-22-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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OMG! AJA! You probably just CHANGED my life! The bags on the handles thing is BRILLIANT! I've been using the basket underneath but then I have to lean over to get it all with a baby on my back and it's killing me! WOOT!
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#14 of 28 Old 11-22-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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awesome! the ikea bags are super sturdy for heavier things (not so heavy it tips the stroller of course!) and they have both long and short handles so they work well regardless of what kind of handles your stroller has (our double has umbrella type handles).

glad to help! :

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#15 of 28 Old 11-22-2008, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so from what i'm reading here it seems like it's worth getting the bucket-style car seats... i was just going to get 2 britax marathons and be done with it, but maybe for shopping and stuff it's better to have the bucket to use as a carrier? thoughts?
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#16 of 28 Old 11-22-2008, 09:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dividedsky View Post
so from what i'm reading here it seems like it's worth getting the bucket-style car seats... i was just going to get 2 britax marathons and be done with it, but maybe for shopping and stuff it's better to have the bucket to use as a carrier? thoughts?
I had a Marathon and was going to purchase a second one when I found out I was having twins but I was told by EVERYONE that they would probably not fit in a Marathon right away. I'm so glad I got my snap and go seats and a stroller. If you do a search, there are a lot of threads about which carseats are the best/easiest for multiples.

Lindsey- SAHM to Skylar (7-12-01), Leah (10-29-04), id twin boys Addison and Riley (6-17-08, born at 25w4d), and Terran (5-29-11, born at 28 weeks)

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#17 of 28 Old 11-22-2008, 11:37 PM
 
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Divided: I'm still in the planning stages too, but what I've read matches what you have. Twins are likely to be born small, so may not even fit into convertible car seats, so the infant seat buckets are more of a necessity. And even for baby wearers who would never lug their singleton around in a bucket seat, with twins, having that option on occasion does seem like a good idea for me. We're planning on getting buckets (probably graco snug) and putting them in the double snap n go, and then getting a twin umbrella (and if we can ever find a bargain on craig's list, etc. maybe a double jogger at some later point)
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#18 of 28 Old 11-22-2008, 11:51 PM
 
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Yeah, buckets are very handy with twins! Especially when you have other kids too.

And by the time they are out of the buckets, you are ready for COSTCO!! Yeah double seater carts!! (that was a little tongue in cheek, but true too) We also like the big kid carts with cars. From about 7 months my boys loved to "drive" while I shopped.

Shopping isn't too bad when the babies are content to be contained. It is when they start walking/running (and DON"T want to sit) that it gets tough with them in a store!

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#19 of 28 Old 11-23-2008, 03:37 AM
 
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When it was just the twins I would put one carrier in the front of the shopping cart and the other in the basket.
Yes, sometimes I wore one and put one in the top of the cart in the infant seat. But more often, I did the above and then just pulled the second cart around the store behind me to fill it with groceries. If I was getting only a few things, I could tuck them around the car seats in the single cart. If I had the other kids in tow, then EVERYONE got a kiddie cart. : That actually gives you a lot of capacity!

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#20 of 28 Old 11-23-2008, 05:31 AM
 
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I thought I'd wear one and put the other in the cart in his carseat. But I found that in reality, this did not work so well for me with newborns. Part of this was that I had no place (no surface) to put the baby if I needed to switch out who was being carried. And invariably, one (in the carseat) would begin fussing. If he needed to nurse when we were out and about, but I was wearing the iother one already, it was a frustrating problem. Same issue of needing a safe transitional surface for changes, etc., when out. Counting on ALWAYS wearing one did not seem practical. (All this refers to me being out with them on my own, without my husband's extra pair of hands.)

The other factor was that I wasn't always near a cart, or a cart corral, and wearing one baby and carrying in the other in his bucket wasn't a physically easy task. (Our seats are not the lightest, and by the time I was going out, our newborns were weighing 8 to 9 pounds each and I have always had trouble managing the seats with one hand.)

There was a thread here that helped to convince me that the Double Snap N Go frame-type stroller would be a good thing for supermarket trips, or for solo runs with them anywhere. I don't go to the supermarket a lot, but when I do I have used our Snap & Go. Both seats click into it, it's easy enough to assemble, I can get one or the other baby out (as necessary for holding/nursing), and there's always a place to put the one I'm holding if I need to switch. The basket underneath is large, and I've always found enough room to hold the items I'm getting (it gets over-stuffed, but it holds quite a lot. Once the stuff is bagged, though, I need a shopping cart to get it out to the car.) Otherwise, I'd pull a shopping cart behind me for the groceries, but I think I've only needed to do that once, since I am not the only one doing the shopping and I don't do many exclusive "big" shops on my own. I was able to fit a couple of gallon jugs into the under-basket, even with the two carseats in place on top.

If you decide to look into the Snap 'N Go and have time to shop around, you may be able to use Craigslist (etc.) to find a used one from a MoM whose twins have outgrown the carseat buckets. I didn't, but we live in a rural area and I didn't figure out that I'd need/want this item until after my boys were here. I had Lyme disease postpartum (had to treat it twice), so I was weak and sick for awhile and not going out, anyway. Plus, my husband had 6 weeks paternity leave so I wasn't doing any errands for the first long bit, either. By the time I was solo for things like picking up my daughter from preschool or taking my elderly mom to doctor appointments, I had ordered the Snap 'N Go so I was covered.
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#21 of 28 Old 11-23-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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so from what i'm reading here it seems like it's worth getting the bucket-style car seats... i was just going to get 2 britax marathons and be done with it, but maybe for shopping and stuff it's better to have the bucket to use as a carrier? thoughts?
if you are a babywearer, you definitely don't need two buckets. i'd say one or none. (my kids did not care for those hateful bucket seats) mine were happiest wearing them both in the store front/back, or at least one on my back and one in a bucket. i would nurse the one going on my back or in the bucket, last thing before leaving home and i would nurse the one in my wrap in the store while shopping.
i had one bucket and one britax for the twins. someone gave me a single snap-type stroller thing but it was not large enough for grocery shopping, so i usually just wore two babies.
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#22 of 28 Old 11-23-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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so from what i'm reading here it seems like it's worth getting the bucket-style car seats... i was just going to get 2 britax marathons and be done with it, but maybe for shopping and stuff it's better to have the bucket to use as a carrier? thoughts?

yeah, most newborns don't fit safely in marathons. there are a few convertibles on the market that fit newborns well, but not by britax.

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#23 of 28 Old 11-23-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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I maybe *could* have managed without bucket seats, but I wouldn't want to! They make my life so much easier. Even now when my babies weigh 18.5 and 17 pounds, I still use the buckets quite a lot. I'm pretty strong I never used one with DS1 (he was in one in the car but I never took it out of the car), but with the twins and also the older kid, they've been great.

I also really believe that newborns are safest in newborn seats. Even regular sized newborns. I had preemies and obviously had to get newborn seats.

eta: DS1 hated his bucket. The twins like theirs, thankfully.
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#24 of 28 Old 11-23-2008, 06:22 PM
 
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I maybe *could* have managed without bucket seats, but I wouldn't want to! They make my life so much easier. Even now when my babies weigh 18.5 and 17 pounds, I still use the buckets quite a lot. I'm pretty strong I
Yeah, I was leaving a friend's house once, and she's in a condo (I am too), so I had the babies loaded in their carseats for the walk down to the parking lot, and I had a couple of bags slung over my shoulder and she looked at me and said, "I wonder how much you're carrying," so we actually got her scale out of the bathroom, and weighed me with and without the babies, carseats and bags. I was carrying sixty-six pounds of stuff and kids! And that's a lot less than I carry when I'm carrying in the groceries! I may have twinskin on my belly, but my arms are BUFF.
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#25 of 28 Old 11-23-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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I have twin arms too! It ALMOST makes up for the saggy skin on my belly! My twins are 6 months and so ready to be out of their buckets but I'm not ready!!!! It makes my life sane with four other children. I have to be able to drop that bucket and bolt after Isabella at a moments notice.
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#26 of 28 Old 11-24-2008, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks so much for all of your great input. i think i'm definitely going to do the buckets and snap-n-go - it looks like a great solution. i can see it'll be really helpful to be able to put one down, etc... it just feels like the right thing.

slinging them both would be ideal, but i'm 5 foot nothing and just can't see it happening - i'd tip over! i've seen other mamas doing it though, and it's just so amazing...
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#27 of 28 Old 11-24-2008, 03:33 PM
 
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thanks so much for all of your great input. i think i'm definitely going to do the buckets and snap-n-go - it looks like a great solution. i can see it'll be really helpful to be able to put one down, etc... it just feels like the right thing.

slinging them both would be ideal, but i'm 5 foot nothing and just can't see it happening - i'd tip over! i've seen other mamas doing it though, and it's just so amazing...
I'm 5'8" and I can't do it. I mean I have, but last time I hurt myself and I'm not about to try again. I don't know if height has that much to do with it, though. You might give it a shot and see if it works for you. AND get the buckets and the snap-n-go ;-)
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#28 of 28 Old 11-24-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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I took them EVERYWHERE with me when they were little, and we went shopping a lot! I would wear both in a Moby wrap in one of the twins holds. Once they were too big for that, we used the stroller for a while. Once they were old enough for a back carry, I'd carry one on my back and one would sit in the shopping cart.

You actually can get used to it, and do a lot more than you'd think!

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