Sunday, September 20, 2009

Successful Outings with Twin Babies

In the past few months, outings with the twins have been more enjoyable than ever. Obviously, age has a lot to do with this but us parents make a big difference when it comes to an outing be a success or failure. This is by no means ground breaking but here is the Sotorrific Guide to happy outings with your (older) babies:

1. (capable, caring) Adult:baby ratio

Naturally, having as many, if not more, adults than babies makes any outing easier. Of course, those adults need to be willing and able to help with the babies (playing, soothing, feeding, etc.) for this to actually be helpful. I have been with plenty of people who take a very hands-off approach to my kids and I therefore cannot include them in the ratio. But, when I go to my aunt's house for cook out, there are usually 10+ adults and only my two babies. This is a very sweet ratio that makes for an enjoyable afternoon.

2. Get outside

Sebastian and Collette are very easily distracted when we are outdoors. It seems that I don't need nearly as many toys as I do inside - just watching everything around them is entertainment enough. New England weather doesn't always make this a possibility but take advantage of those sunny enough, not too hot, not too cold days and head outside. A blanket on the grass, a park with swings, a walk around a park - all good!

A fire an a cool afternoon is a great outdoor distraction for babies and grown ups!

3. Lower your expectations

With two babies, the likelihood that something could go wrong is high. Babies are unpredictable little creatures and you can't plan for every possibility. Therefore, you have to take it easy. Don't plan all day activities every Saturday. Maybe stick to activities that will take a couple of hours. This is much more manageable and decreases the likelihood of meltdown. Take on small challenges (quick grocery store trip, farmer's market) instead of big ones (all day IKEA shopping bonanza, day-long beach party).

4. Bring twice as many snacks as you think you'll need

I'm sure this advice holds true through the teenage years but now that we have solid food babies, it is one of the biggest parts of planning an outing. My diaper bag has a canister filled with rice puffs for quick snacks - ideal for giving the babies while you are waiting for their food to arrive at a restaurant. On walks/trips to the park or mall, I always have bagels, crackers or baby biscuits which are easy to hold onto while they chew on them.

5. Respect the nap!

It may be tempting to head to festival downtown because it would be so fun for the whole family. But, if that festival takes place during nap time, I can be sure my kids will not appreciate the trip. I often pass on things that run smack in middle of our naps because it's simply not worth it. And if I say I'm doing something for them, how is it really for them if I am disturbing their precious sleep to do it? If you have to do something, by all means, do it. Maybe fit naps in around it - move naps up and hour so you'll make it in time or move them back so you can stay as long as you need to. But don't mess with naps just because - it's no fun to soothe to tired, crying babies, even if you got some fried dough out of it.

6. Choose an appropriate place

Going out to eat with two babies can be daunting but its SO doable. As i mentioned above, bring snacks for before the food arrives and respect naps. But, you also have to pick a good place. We have taken the twins out for breakfast, lunch and dinner an d have had mixed success. The key is pick a place that can get you your food fast, has an easy escape route, and won't get mad at you if you end up with two screaming babies you left a huge mess under the table. We made meals work at Bickford's, Legal Seafood (surprisingly!!) and Rain Forest Cafe. We order as soon as we sit down, don't choose things that will take long to cook and get the check as soon as we get our food. When I'm alone with the twins, I try places like Bruegger's and Dunkin' Donuts because they are even faster and easier to get in and out of than a proper restaurant.

What do you do to increase the odds that your outing will be a success?


  1. Great list - no surprise I agree with you 100% since we are cut from the same cloth. I especially appreciate how you know that naps can be modified (in the car if possible, or move up the time), but not skipped. We'll have to try legals. We did Applebee's and they were very nice to the kids but the food was terrible.

  2. great post! agree that going outside on walks in the stroller is an easy and effective way to pass a fun hour or more...

    we find that going "off hours" to restaurants is key - go right when they open or right at the beginning of lunch or brunch when there are less people at the resto. also, find a place with a patio or outdoor seating - more outdoor distractions/attractions.

  3. also - get food you can eat with only one hand and/or just a fork!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.