Thursday, March 22, 2012

Twins 101: How to enjoy going out with babies

Wednesday is my favourite week day because it's my day off from corporate work and I get to spend the day with my cherubs. On the next day when I am back in the office, I will regale tales from the day before to my colleagues who often marvel and wonder how I do it. To them, much planning and effort goes into taking a child out, let alone, twins and on my own.

This prompted me to share my own experience. Again, allow me to stress that every child and every set of multiples are different AND I am no expert. In fact, I am a novice!

Based on my own experience, I think that one of the reasons my children adjust well to different environments and noises is because they have been accustomed to those conditions since birth. One of my saving graces when I was a full-time stay at home mum was to go out each day for a few hours. Be it shopping centres, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants and even to noisy yum cha!

Something a mummy friend shared with me a few months ago stuck with me and it has certainly influence my style of parenting in a very significant way: "If I don't enjoy my children, no one else will." How true.

Alright, this is how I do it - always get things ready the night before so in the morning all I have to do is pack the cold snacks in the insulated bag and strap the twins in the car seats!

  • My nappy bag is always packed and in the car. Whenever we return from our outing, I always restock my supplies on the same day regardless;
  • The pram is always packed and in the car. One less thing to do in the morning;
  • Their insulated lunch bag is always packed with bibs, cutlery, wet ones and a few packets of healthy biscuits;
  • Prepare children's snacks (cut up cheese cubes, fruit, etc) and leave it in the fridge , fill up their water bottles and place it into their insulated lunch bag and
  • Pick the clothes that I wish for the children to wear the night before. Again one less thing to do in the morning especially if babies are not in the best of moods or if one is running late!
This is what the morning of the outing looks like for us:

The children wake up. Nappies are changed. Kisses and cuddles.

Children are fed their milk. They play and crawl around.

Childre are fed their breakfast. Faces and fingers are cleaned.

They get lifted out of their high chairs to play and crawl around while I clean up the high chair and their surrounding areas.

Children are changed into their going out clothes and put down for a nap in their bedroom.

I take a leisurely shower, have a cup of coffee and something to eat while tidying up the home and clean the kitchen benchtops. Note; This is not a detailed clean it is more maintainence!

They wake up from their nap and I carry them one at a time to their own car seat to be strapped in. I grab their snack box from the fridge and place it in their insulated bag.

We are out of the garage.

9:00am - 11:30am
We are out doing whatever that takes my fancy!

This is what the afternoon looks like:

We are back at home. Children play and crawl around while I microwave their lunch, restock nappy bag and wash out their snack box.

Children are in their high chairs. They have hot (temperature and not spicy) lunch, dessert and water.

Their faces and hands get cleaned and are taken off their high chairs. They play and crawl around while I clean the high chairs, surrounding areas, place lunch items in dishwasher, etc

They are changed out of their outfits into home clothes and nappy changed. Blinds and curtains are drawn, the ceiling fan and air-conditioned is turned on in their bedroom and they nap in their own cots.

1:15pm - whenever they wake up
The home gets tidied, I take a mini break with lunch and pre-recordered television program.

When they wake up (say, 2:15pm)
Loads of kisses, cuddles and play in the media room. Afternoon tea of fruit and water is given.

3:00pm - 4:00pm
Walk around our local park

This is what the late afternoon - early evening looks like:

4:05pm - 4:10pm
While they play and crawl around our home, I pick out their PJs and lay it out with their nappies. Place their dried bath towels in the laundry (they get bathed in our laundry tub).

Children are fed their milk. They play and crawl around our home.

4:45pm - 5:30pm
They are in their high chairs. Fed their dinner and dessert followed by story time while still in their high chairs.

Off their high chairs while I clean up (again). They play around me.

5:40pm - 5:55pm
Bath time and changed into their pjs. Their blinds and curtains are drawn, ceiling fan and air-conditioning turned on to prepare the room for bedtime.

6:00pm - 6:20pm
Kisses, cuddles and relaxing play time in the media room

They are carried off to bed. We shut the bedroom door behind us.

All is quiet on the home front (most nights, thankfully).

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