Watching friends with single babies breeze off to tiny, trendy cafes for lunch or hearing about their one-to-one bonding at tots swimming classes can be really irritating when you have worn yourself out simply trying to get your twins as far as the front door. It can’t be denied that your life is slightly more complicated than theirs at the moment, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without just as many special moments.
How to actually get out of the house
As we’ve established, getting out of the house with tiny twins is a big deal. In fact, your timetable may look something like this:
9.00 a.m. Stock changing bag with nappies, wipes, vests, Babygros and muslin squares
9.05 a.m. Break off to change first baby’s nappy
9.10 a.m. Resume filling changing bag
9.13 a.m. Break off to wipe sick off second baby
9.16 a.m. Finish filling changing bag, but will six changes of clothes be enough?
9.20 a.m. Stash extra baby clothes underneath the buggy
9.25 a.m. Prepare bag of emergency feeding options
9.30 a.m. Break off to pick up crying baby
9.35 a.m. Rock second crying baby with foot as first baby continues to howl
9.40 a.m. Put buggy in position by the door
9.42 a.m. Wrestle first baby into outdoor gear. Does he need a hat?
9.45 a.m. Find hat
9.46 a.m. Pick hat off the floor and jam it back on baby’s head
9.48 a.m. Put second baby into outdoor gear and strap into the buggy
9.50 a.m. Retrieve two hats from the floor and put them back in the cupboard
9.52 a.m. Go to the toilet
9.55 a.m. Open the door and leave the house
9.57 a.m. Stop to tell a stranger: ‘Yes, they are twins. But, no, they’re not identical.’
9.59 a.m. Reply to the inevitable comment: ‘Yes! My hands are full!’
10.02 a.m. Arrive at the corner shop
10.03 a.m. Buy a loaf of bread
10.10 a.m. Return home
Whether your destination is Mount Kilimanjaro or your local playgroup, it is impossible to leave the house without groaning under the weight of bags of spare clothes, equipment and food. No matter how well organised you are, unexpected interruptions are inevitable and punctuality becomes, frankly, a rather overrated quality. Just add this to the growing list of items from which control is slipping.
Getting from A to B (without going via Z)
If you are going further afield, careful planning is required so that you don’t find yourself stranded with your double buggy at the bottom of an escalator or facing a vertiginous set of stairs alone.
A few things to double check before you visit somewhere new:
▶ Is there parking nearby, preferably family-friendly with extra space to unload?
▶ Are there any lifts? If not, is there any alternative to using stairs (i.e. ramps)?
▶ Are there any family-friendly toilets/baby-change areas big enough to fi t a double buggy inside?
▶ Is the cafe big enough to fi t a double buggy?
▶ Are there plenty of high chairs?
▶ If you are visiting with an older sibling, is there anywhere enclosed (play area, cafe section with toys), for peace of mind while you eat or snack?
Travelling by public transport can be stressful and, no matter how much you prepare, there is much more chance of your carefully laid plans going awry thanks to breakdowns, lateness or overcrowding.
Extracted from It’s Twins! Now What?: Tips, Advice and Real-life Experience to Help You from Pregnancy through to Your Babies’ First Year by Jessica Bromford. Published by Summersdale (2016) and available from Amazon (£9.98)