The arrival of twins is a roller coaster ride for all parents. At the beginning, the thought of leaving the house to go to the pediatrician can be a full day endeavor. Parents wonder how they’ll ever get their tired selves, and their babies, and their stuff (and there’s just so much stuff!) out the door and to their final destination. While daunting for sure, parents of twins quickly realise that at some point, they do need to go out for the day, or even travel for longer. (If the thought of this sounds insurmountable to you right now, bookmark this post and come back when you’re ready!) If you are ready for the adventure, read on for the top tips for twinning on the go!
Stick to Your Schedule
Whether your schedule is focused around feedings (for babies 4 months and younger), or based on nap times (for babies 5 months and older), the key to peace of mind with twins is having a schedule and sticking to it. Do your best to maintain this schedule no matter your location. Particularly if there are other family members around when you travel (think adoring grandparents who want nothing more than to play with your babies and nothing less than for them to nap!), it’s ok to ask them to honour your babies’ sleep needs. Your babies will be happier when better rested and will give bigger smiles for all the pictures.
Recreate Your Home Environment
To the best of your ability, it’s helpful for children if we can recreate their home environment for sleeping. Babies sleep best in a dark, quiet environment and there are some great baby products to help you on the go. If your children sleep with white noise, you can buy a portable white noise machine, or simply download a white noise app onto your phone. Babies accustomed to sleeping in dark environments will benefit from a travel blackout shade, or, in a pinch, you can hang a sheet or towel over a window (put the tacks in the top of the window sill so they’re hidden!). And make sure you bring your babies’ sheets, and newborn swaddles or sleeping bags so they can enjoy the comforts of home while they sleep.
Be Your Own Baby Supply Store
Twins require a lot of stuff! Just the nappies, wipes, burp clothes and changes of clothing alone can fill a large suitcase. Do yourself a favour - a little planning ahead can help lighten the load so you can carry less (as if two babies isn’t enough!). If traveling by car, keep a box of “extras” in the trunk at all times; just take a little of everything in your nappy bag. That way, if you notice your bag is running low, you have an extra stash on hand, and you can refill on the go. If traveling by plane, order nappies and wipes online and have them sent directly to your destination. One less bag to check on the plane will be a welcome relief!
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, sticking to a schedule is impossible. The airline schedule may not be accommodating and if traveling between time zones, you’re all sure to be a bit off. Similarly, your babies may or may not sleep well on the go. There’s only so much we can do to create a healthy sleep environment on an airplane or in the car. Just be prepared to ride the wave and regroup when you land. Keep in mind that if your babies are well rested 99% of time time, they should be able to more easily tolerate a bumpy travel day. Once you reach your final destination, do your best to apply the tips above and enjoy a change in scenery.
Photo by Kristy Denney of boysahoy.com