Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Getting Out of the House

My biggest recommendation is getting out of the house with your baby or babies as soon as possible.  This is your life now and you do not want to be trapped inside your house all day every day!  It might seem like a burden at first, but the earlier you start doing it, the easier it will become.  I literally took the girls on walks every day as soon as they came home from the NICU and as soon as my pediatrician gave me the okay for them to be out in public, I did that too.  This is how I did it:
At first it’s relatively easy – the girls were in the infant car seats and those come in and out of your car.  So, I would carry the girls in and out of my house in the car seats, snap them into the car and when I was out, like at the mall or wherever, snap them into my stroller.  At first when the girls weighed only 4 pounds, I was able to carry both car seats at the same time.  As the girls got heavier, I would sometimes put both car seats by my front door, run one into the car and come back for the second one.  However, I live in a gated community and my garage is detached from my house so keep that in mind. 
In terms of a stroller, they make a double snap and go stroller, but I thought it was too long.  Instead I use the Baby Jogger City Select stroller.  You can buy car seat adaptors so it acts like an easy snap and go where you just literally snap the car seats into the adaptor and go.  It also is the stroller I’m still using now.  There is something like 16 different configurations for this stroller.  My favorite is that now that the girls are in regular stroller seats, I have them actually facing each other.  It’s adorable!  And the other great thing about this stroller is since it’s the width of a single stroller (and can be used as a single.  One of my best friends has it for 1 baby), it fits through all doors easily.  I just back up into doors, holding the door with my butt and sometimes a nice person will offer to hold the door for me!  But, when that doesn’t happen, it’s never an issue.  On a side note, my twins friend mom has the Double City Mini stroller, which is a side by side stroller, and loves it!  Personal preference!
Anyway, I literally kept the girls in the infant car seats as long as possible so that it was easy to take them anywhere and everywhere!  I would eat in restaurants with them sleeping in the car seats on their stroller or awake and playing with toys.  It made transferring them while they were sleeping easier too.  Once they started eating baby food, I would keep them in the car seats to feed them while I was at a restaurant too.  At this point, my girls were way too small for high chairs.  As they started to get bigger though, I used the booster seats in restaurants all the time.  I would just keep them in my trunk and if I had to bring them with me, I would hook one on a stroller hook and put one in the underneath basket.  Eventually, the girls got big enough for regular high chairs so that makes it easier because I have to carry less with me.
Now that the girls are in their regular car seats that don’t transfer in and out of the car, things are a little different.  I often carry both to my car, one in each arm.  I put one in her car seat while I sit the other one down on the floor of the back seat of my car with a toy and my foot blocking her from going anywhere.  Or, I’ll put one girl in the car while the other is playing in the house in a safe enclosed area and then run back in for her.  Once I get somewhere, I always have to have my stroller with me.  One girl goes in and then the other.  Although, I’ve gotten very strong so if I’m just meeting friends for lunch, I will carry both in and put them right into high chairs.  Being with helpful friends is so important.  The people I’ve met through the girls are amazing!  But, that’s for my next blog!
In the meantime, let me summarize:  Get out of your house!  Don’t be scared that you can’t do it with 2 babies because YOU CAN!  Pack up your diaper bag and put it in the car before you take the babies out.  (FYI, in my diaper bag I have diapers, wipes, change of clothes, toys and snacks.)  Leave the babies in the infant car seats as long as possible!  Once they get bigger and are eating at restaurants with you, leave 2 booster seats in your trunk.  Figure out what works for you – can you carry 2 babies at the same time?  Do you have to put 1 in the car and run back for the other?  Learn your limitations but live your life!   

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