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  • Writer's pictureLiss McKenzie

Sanity-Saving Tips for Solo Outings with Multiples

Updated: Mar 9

mom pushing double stroller with twins and toddle on glider board

One of the most intimidating and challenging parts of twin parenthood is dealing with the logistics (and anxiety) of leaving the house with multiples. I remember feeling so overwhelmed when I had my newborn twins at the idea of needing to go anywhere outside the house alone, especially with my then 3-year-old son also in tow.


In the baby stage you worry about trying to soothe, feed, change or manage both babies at once on your own. As they get older and enter toddlerhood, the same challenges exist, but now you need to add wrangling to the mix! There is no greater sense of panic than when you have two toddlers running in opposite directions and you are on your own.


As with anything in twin parenthood, the idea of doing something for the first time is always worse than the experience in actuality, and the benefits of getting out of the house far outweigh the negatives. That said, there are certainly some things I wish I knew earlier in my twin parent journey, so here are my tips for getting out of the house solo, with multiples.



Bring along whatever makes you feel comfortable.


Those first few outings I packed my minivan with all. the. things. Breastfeeding pillow, pump, bottles, sanitizing wipes, change of clothes, snacks, diapers, wipes, sound machine, blankets, soothers, more diapers, more wipes. And within the first fifteen minutes, realized that I needed none of those things for a quick run to the grocery store. BUT, the added security in knowing that I had anything I might need within a few steps away, gave me the confidence to venture out of the house on my own. The more you get out there and experience outings on your own, the more confidence you build and experience you gain in knowing what you need to make outings easier, and what you can leave at home. I recorded this reel when the twins were babies with some more tips for getting out of the house in the early days, and this one about my favorite gear for solo outings with the twins.


I was always surprised with how well they did when we were out running errands, I think we all needed that change of scenery. Even now at 2.5 years old, the twins favorite thing to do is go shopping. They love the extra attention they get from strangers asking "are they twins" and "OMG how cute". I tend to favor shops that have shopping carts with double seats like Costco or Sobey's and I learned we usually have about an hour timer before the breakdown commences, so have learned to shop efficiently! You can check out this recent reel of our latest solo Costco trip for more shopping related advice!


Keep them contained, wherever and whenever possible!


As they get older and can walk (or run), you may be tempted to give in to their requests to get out of the stroller or shopping cart or any other containment device you may be using (wagons or carriers work too!). Whatever you do - DO NOT LET THEM FREE. Every time I have attempted this, I have regretted it. It usually starts out fine, they push the cart, they check out toys, but then something switches and all hell breaks loose. Trust me on this, keep them contained. Bring toys, snacks, iPads, whatever you need to keep them happy and strapped in their seats or in the carrier. A screaming child strapped in somewhere safe within reach is much easier to deal with than a loose child (and especially more than one loose child) when you are on your own.

Mom holding identical twin boys with tushbaby hip carrier around her waist

One of my favorite semi-containment items was the Tushbaby carrier, especially as the boys got bigger and I wanted the extra help holding one (or both) babies on my hip. I love that it has enough storage space for a few diapers, wipes, pacifiers etc., plus space for your phone, wallet and keys! It was a game-change on flights because it doubled as a diaper bag and carrier when taking them for a change in the small bathrooms, and the little seat was the perfect size for them to sit comfortably facing me on takeoff and departure. You can use the code MYDOUBLERAINBOWS22 for a discount if you are looking to get one (or two) of these for your twins! At 32 months we still use this carrier on flights and family walks to help extend the time we can carry the boys.


Pick outings with extra help and security.


If you are hoping to burn some energy and need them to be free... definitely find an outing which has extra help or contained areas. Fenced in playgrounds, small indoor play areas, friends' houses or services geared towards families and children are all great options.


One of my favorite outings when the babies were small was visiting our local Dr. For Moms clinic which provides health related services for moms with the added bonus of extra staff and play areas to entertain the kids. I would have my chiro or acupuncture appointment while the kids played outside the treatment room with the incredible staff keeping a close eye or holding the babies for me. The bonus of having some self-care time mixed with a break from holding and feeding babies at home alone all day, was key to my survival those days. Something as simple as knowing you were in a place where kids could be kids (make noise, play, fuss), took away so much anxiety!


Older brother and identical twin toddlers posing with flexed muscles


As the twins have gotten bigger and we've been looking for sports or classes to involve them in, we've discovered an awesome activity for all three boys which is geared to character, brain and physical development. KidStrong is a skills enhancement program with high-energy coaches and custom designed courses with science-based programming to help with confidence, social skills and developmental milestones. Our boys like to call it "Ninja class", and it's their favorite day of the week! What I love about KidStrong is there is lots of hands-on help so I can confidently take all three kids on my own. It is one secure location with two designated areas where both the toddlers and big kids get customized programming and support. And the membership-based program means there is flexibility in class times so we have an options for make-up or flex classes to help with a very busy schedule.


When I was trying to find mom and baby classes as a twin parent on maternity leave, there were VERY limited options. So being able to do something together as a family, or on my own with the comfort and safety aspect fully covered has been the best discovery! This reel has clips from one of our recent KidStrong classes and more info about why we love it. You can also learn more by following this affiliate* link.


Join another PoM (Parent of Multiples).


No one can understand the chaos of twin parenthood better than a fellow twin parent. And while two hands for 2 (or more) kids seem never to be enough, somehow 4 hands for 4 kids is more manageable. The PoM tribe is one of the most welcoming, supportive and wonderful groups you will ever find. It is a kind of kinship you just can't describe, but a simple look and nod from another twin parent makes all the difference in your confidence and reserve to tackle the day.


Remember, YOU were picked to be a parent of multiples and YOU can do it. Now go make friends with other twin parents through your local twin association or facebook group. If you're local to Calgary or even Alberta, check out TTMAC for amazing support and resources.


I hope these tips are helpful or at least give you the confidence to try a solo outing with your twins. I promise, it won't be nearly as bad as you think it will!!


As always, reach out any time in my DMs on my Instagram page or via comments or email below.


Liss


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