“I need to get out of the house.”
A couple weeks into my maternity leave with twins and I had reached the point where I needed some fresh air.
I remember pondering this second question in particular as my twins lay snoozing on their breastfriend pillow.
How on earth was I going to get these two babies out of the house?
affiliate links may be included below.
I could see the plusses.
- My sanity.
- Little ones are incredibly portable once you figure out the logistics. I think the unpredictable schedules of newborns and the mountains of newborn essentials make leaving the comforts of your home daunting. For me, however, getting out of the house did so much for my spirits and sense of normalcy. And once we were out, they were typically content or asleep as long as we were moving. These mini-escapes broke up the day and quite simply helped me feel like a person, not just a nursing machine.
Read also: How to survive the first 3 years with twins
After a while I figured it out and there are definitely some things that make it easier.
It is super hard to predict what a little one is going to need and when. (This gets easier with time!)
For newborns, once your baby is fed and changed, get them in the car seat and GO!
NOTE: This means you have to have your diaper bag ready to go before you start feeding them (or have a handy helper) so that once they are in that magical happy fed, clean diaper stage you can take advantage.
What to Bring
There are two schools of thought on this.
As the mom, I tend to pack for all possible eventualities.
My husband on the other hand is more of a wing it – there’s always a store nearby – kind of guy.
If you are more his speed, you with have a lighter diaper bag with a bottle, milk or formula, diapers, wipes.
If you are more my speed, listed below is what I had in our diaper bag at all times (I have adjusted the amounts to reflect what ONE child needs. We obviously doubled everything).
NOTE: Depending on the specific needs of a season (say adding sunscreen for summer time) or a specific outing (swim suits and towels for the beach) I might add things to the bag, but for an average trip to the store or story time at the library this bag covers your general bases.
Infant Diaper Bag Essentials:
- 2 Diapers (we used these cloth ones)
- Wet Bag or Gallon Sized Ziplock Bag (for dirty diapers and/or soiled clothes)
- Diaper Cream
- Diaper Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer (We loved this sanitizer/lotion)
- Diaper Changing Mat (ours came with the diaper bag)
- 2 Changes of Clothing (make sure it is a full change – socks included)
- Change of Shirt for Mom
- Nursing Cover (if not nursing, bottles and formula would be substituted here)
- Nursing Pads for Mom
- Small Container of Cheerios or other finger food (once you get to this stage)
- Snack + Water Bottle for Mom (especially if nursing)
- 2 Small Toys and/or Books (these were rotated occasionally and mostly used for periods of waiting)
- Nuk (we had one pacifier user and one thumb sucker)
Expect that you will be late. Expect that your newborn(s) will want to nurse at the least convenient moment. Expect that someone is going to need a change of clothing.
Expect that you will somehow survive any and all challenges and you and your babies will make it home in one piece.
Where to Go
So you pre-packed your diaper bag. You’ve got the fed, sleepy babies. You are ready to load them up and get outside, but where can you go with a newborn or two?
- Neighborhood Walk. This is a great starting place. Every day for the 3 months of my maternity leave, I snuggled our newborns in their stroller and took a walk. I had a c-section so at first our “walk” was a slow (read: snails zooming past me pace) walk around our block, but by the end of the 3 months we were regularly making it 1 1/2 – 2 miles.
- Park or Trail. Is there a park or trail near your house? This is a great second step outing. Stroll out and back.
- Lake or Boardwalk. We were in Minnesota when our twins were born so lakes were an easy find. Such a pretty place to push and walk. The tricky part with this was the distance. I would feed the babies, drive them to the lake, wait for them to wake up (bring a book or audiobook to listen to), feed them again and then we’d walk. Tedious, but worth it to me.
- Snack and Stroll. If you know other friends home during the day or on maternity leave, meet them for a coffee or snack and then stroll together.
- Zoo. Especially during the week I loved walking around the zoo. Zoos are stroller friendly and less busy during the week. They are a nice change of scenery from houses.
- Art Museum. This is the same logic as the zoo. Strollers fit. Babies will sleep if you’re pushing them. The scenery is pleasant and different. Bonus – you might be able to talk someone else into strolling around with you.
For more walk ideas and other adventures for toddlers, check out my book Little Walks Big Adventures!