Question of the Week:
My twin boys are four months old and I just don’t know how to get out of the house alone with them. I am home alone with them during the day and need to be able to get out more for my sanity. I live in a third-floor condo with no elevator. I have about 30 steps before getting to the ground floor and from there I have another two minute walk to our garage. I can barely hold one car seat yet alone two. I don’t feel comfortable taking one to the garage at a time since it would take me over five minutes to get back to the condo for the other. There aren’t any storage options at the foot of the stairs, only inside the condo or in the garage. We could leave the car seats in the car. I don’t have a twin backpack but I did get the Weego but haven’t tried it yet. It sounds weird but I have a fear of dropping them while trying to transport them from the carrier to the car seat. Do you have any suggestions? Do you know of any equipment that could help me? I already use a backpack as their diaper bag. I have read that other moms go up and down the stairs with some strollers but each stretch of my stairs have about 14 steps and are steep.
Answer: I’m so sorry for your frustration. I remember being home alone with my twins when they were that young and at times it felt very isolating and lonely. Getting out and about with them on a regular basis was important to me as it really lifted all our spirits.
You’re right in not wanting to leave one twin alone in your condo as you take the other to the car. It’s far too dangerous and should never be considered. So what options do you have left?
Thankfully there are several.
The Weego is a great idea. It will feel uncomfortable and cumbersome in the beginning but if you practice inside your condo walking around with your twins tucked inside perhaps just doing your daily chores, you’ll be a pro in no time. Once you feel confident and ready to navigate your staircase, remember to hold the railing with one hand, and wrap your arm around your babies with the other (obviously don’t wear high heels and go slowly).
If you don’t like the Weego, some moms (myself included) have had success with putting one twin in a Baby Bijorn in the front and the other twin in a baby backpack in the back. But remember, always practice getting your twins in and out of whichever carrier you choose in the safety of your own home and on weekends when your husband is around to offer a hand if it gets tricky.
Furthermore, organize for your outings ahead of time, even if your outing is simply going to the grocery store. The night before or early in the morning before your husband leaves the house, put your packed diaper bag, stroller, and car seats in the car. This way when you’re ready to head out the door, you can concentrate solely on your babies and not worry about hauling another piece of paraphernalia. You’ll always have free hands.
Are you a member of you local Mothers of Twins Club? I ask because every single member has been in your exact position and most are very willing to help a new mom of twins. Join one of their play groups and ask if someone could help you get out of the house on the day of a scheduled play date. I bet a mom with older twins would be willing to come over and give you a hand so that you can join them all.
If a local club is not an option, form a playgroup of your own and host it in your home. Invite other moms with young children (find them in your neighborhood, at your local church/synagogue, or post a note at your pediatrician’s office). Even though your babies can’t exactly play, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about bonding and socialization with other moms anyway! It may not get you out of the house but it will help you build a network of support.
And finally, as soon as your babies learn to walk, begin teaching them the safest way to traverse down the stairs—backwards. (When teaching them, you should also head downstairs backwards positioning yourself one step lower than your twins to act as a buffer in case one slips.) It may sound crazy but as moms of twins know, we have to teach our kids to do things sooner than singletons or we’ll go crazy! Having your twins become more mobile will help you get out of the house but just wait until they start to run in opposite directions once they get outside.
Yes, the fun is just beginning.