The time will eventually come when you must exit your newborn bubble and leave the house again. There is a good chance that the second (or third, fourth, etc) time around will be even sooner than it was with your first as you have another little person to attend to. For some, taking both children out together for the first time can be a very daunting task. My first born is already four so I didn’t worry as much as I can
bribe reason with her and manage her behaviour easier than if she was a tinier terror. Adjusting to carrying out tasks with twice the occupancy does take some time and practice but with a few tips and a lot of wine patience, you will be a pro in no time.
Snacks. All the snacks.
Boredom= Hunger so if you are at the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment or on a walk longer than 30 seconds, children become ravenous. Having a snack bag on hand helps keep the hangry at bay and also keep them occupied. Bonus points for healthy snacks and triple word score if it is something that takes a really long time to eat!
A seat for each rider
When you are doing anything with small children it is always helpful to have them each in a seat that allows them to be both comfortable and also contained. Your double stroller is amazing if age appropriate but a ride on board that keeps your older child on board also works well. The invention of a double seat in grocery carts should win a nobel prize in my opinion as children free to roam the store will surely knock over at least one display of stacked coconuts. Plus, children forced to walk for any length of time when it is not to an activity of their choosing are ripe for a meltdown, and nobody wants to carry a screaming toddler home from anywhere.
Remember that you’re not an octopus.
Since you don’t have eight hands to satisfy each child’s every whim and demand, free up the two you do have and go hands free when possible and necessary. If you are taking a trip to the park, a baby carrier is the perfect place for baby to relax while simultaneously allowing you to push swings, open water bottles and carry rocks and dandelion bouquets. Backpack style diaper bags are also great for going handsfree but also being prepared with your on the go essentials. For destinations in your stroller, an organizer will free you up from holding on to your phone/water/keys/coffee and allow you to push freely.
You’re on the clock
Consider your children’s ages and how much time they can handle doing any one activity. If your baby naps every 90 minutes then capping your trip at one hour will leave you with enough time to be home for a nap and not wear your babe out. Similarly, in the blazing summer heat, extended trips to the park will result in a sweaty meltdown if you are not careful about limiting your stay. Plan your trip and stick to your timeline and you will set yourself up for success.
It’s ok to be a quitter
If, in spite of your best preparations and planning, the wheels fall off and the trip becomes an absolute disaster, don’t be afraid to abort the mission and call it a day. We all have bad days and there will be some days that are just better spent at home than battling the terrible twos, teething and traffic.
Whether your first trip out with your twosome is a fantastic success or a giant failure, remember to enjoy the journey and the destination. They won’t always be little, they won’t always hate the car seat and they won’t always fit in the grocery cart. Some of my most favourite times with my children are when we are out adventuring, even if the adventure is just deciding what we will have for dinner tonight while browsing aisle four. Setting the expectation that outings- whether fun or functional- are a part of every day life will make them just that and your kids will likely settle in and enjoy the side by side, reclined ride.
Katie is a new mom of two and will be sharing her experiences in parenting a toddler and a newborn though this series “New with Two”.