So you’ve given birth to your second child and brought him/her home. Congratulations and welcome to the 2 under 2 club! Now you’ve got to figure out…
How to go places alone with 2 under 2
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You’ve survived the first few weeks of your new life (read more about my first few weeks) and now cabin fever has struck. Hard. Perhaps your hubby has gone back to work. Relatives and friends who’ve been helping out have also gone home. You’re thinking about venturing out…but where to begin??
Months before my second child (Peanut) was born, I started having immense anxiety about the prospect of 2 under 2. Hubs and I were over the moon with excitement about our rapidly growing family (Nugget was 6 months old at the time) but the reality of life with two babies loomed over my head. How would I meet both of their needs? Get them to sleep? Accomplish anything? Go anywhere? With 2 under 2?!
Six months in and I’m here to tell you…
It can be done!
It’s not always pretty, but it can be done.
Without further ado, here are my tips for going out:
1. Keep it simple.
My personal rule (when possible, because…life) is to only do one outing per day. Our “big” outings include:
- Doctor visits
- Grocery shopping
- Taking the dog to get bathed and nails clipped
- Play dates
“Small” outings (can we even call them that?) are tasks that don’t require removal of children from vehicle. Depending on location and general temperament of the littles, you could do a few:
- Drive throughs
- Fast food
- Gas – if you pay with credit card at pump and don’t need to go inside
- Grocery pick up where you drive up and they load your car for you (I still need to get on this train!)
- Porch pick up of items bought through mom groups
2. Have a plan for transportation and containment of your 2 under 2.
Depending on the ages of babies, where you are going, and purpose of trip, you can plan accordingly. Here are my various arrangements:
- Babywear + toddler in single stroller
- Wear baby + toddler in shopping cart
- Babywear + toddler in push car
- Wear toddler + carry baby (also not ideal)
- Tandemwear (wear one in front and one in back)
- Both in double stroller
- Shopping cart + infant car seat in shopping cart
- Carry both (not ideal, because…arms)
- Single stroller + infant car seat (ok for short distances)
This has been my go to stroller since Peanut was born. (I usually wear her while Nugget rides.)
It’s lightweight, easy to maneuver, and can be folded up and worn over your shoulder.
This is my FAVORITE double stroller!
It’s sturdy yet weighs on the lighter end (as far as double strollers go). Folding and unfolding is easy breezy (an ABSOLUTE MUST in my book!) and I can hoist it into my trunk without any problems. The shades go down far enough to truly protect from sun and wind and the seats recline all the way back (perfect for naps on the go!). Want to know the best part? It fits through single doors! Admittedly, the price is a bit steep but you truly do get what you pay for. (I bought mine used off of Facebook, though, hee hee.) If you are able to find it used, do your due diligence and make sure everything is in working order.
My favorite carrier:
Where I’m at right now:
Nugget is 22 months old and EXTREMELY mobile; however, she is still a “young” toddler (as opposed to a 3 or 4 year old). Peanut is 7 months old and is just starting to sit unassisted for short periods of time. I’m not yet at the stage where Nugget can walk alongside me while I carry Peanut; thus, CONTAINMENT is a key factor in any of my solo outings.
3. Always bring a fully stocked diaper bag with you. Always.
Even if you are going somewhere super close or for an (intended) short amount of time…bring it. (Or at least have it handy, like in your car.) A fully stocked diaper bag includes (but is not limited to): diapers, wipes, and a full change of clothes for both. This includes onesies, pants, socks, and a sweater. I also like to pack Aquaphor, two blankets, bibs, and a changing pad.
“OMG! Is she packing for the Apocalypse?” you might ask.
Seriously, I have needed/used every single item listed above. While out.
4. Always have eats for your 2 under 2.
Always have food/water/milk/formula/etc. for baby…and yourself! Make sure to also have a bottle of water and something to nosh on. I like to keep treats in my purse, car, and diaper bag. You never know when you might need something!
5. Have an escape plan for your 2 under 2.
For us, it’s the minivan. We nurse, change diapers, eat snacks, and regroup in the minivan (aka Berniece) before heading home after an outing. Sometimes our escape plan is simply going home (if we are near home to begin with). Remember, there’s always tomorrow!
6. Be Safe.
Try to be prepared as best you can. Always have your cell phone with you (preferably fully charged). Keep charging cord in car. Have cash and/or a credit card on you. Make sure your car has plenty of gas. **Keep keys easily accessible.** Berniece sometimes locks on her own when you close the door. One of my biggest fears is having the girls inside with the key while I’m outside! (As a result, I keep my keys on a lanyard that I wear around my neck when we go to the car.)
7. Allow for plenty of time with your 2 under 2.
There are some mamas out there who can wrangle their kiddos out the door in no time. To you, I tip my hat! On any given day, it takes me AT LEAST two hours from the time we wake to the time Berniece is peeling away from the curb.
8. Make sure your sense of humor is intact and keep your expectations low.
Don’t expect too much, especially your first few times out. This way, you are less likely to get frustrated or stressed. Just the fact that you are attempting to leave the house is a victory in and of itself!
Hope some of these tips helped! It will get easier over time, I promise.