When you become a parent of multiples, the word “logistics” enters your daily vocabulary. One of my least favorite logistical activities with my twin boys is what I call the Dreaded Daycare Dropoff. I naively thought things would get easier as the boys aged, but each stage brings a different challenges. Here’s what I’ve learned at each stage along the way.
While still in infant seats:
* Keep them in infant seats as long as possible!
* Prepare as much as possible the night before – bottles prepared and labelled, clothes picked out, extra diapers and clothes packed
* In the morning, do everything else you need to do and pack the babies last. This way, you can pack them up, put them in the car, and be on your way. No worrying about poop explosions or vomiting on clean clothes.
* When unloading them at day care, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Can someone help you unload babies? Can someone help you unload bottles? Is there a place to store your double Snap n Go and car seats on site?
Out of infant seats but not walking:
* We tried two methods over time – double stroller and single stroller while carrying another. Overwhelmingly, using the double stroller was easier because it kept our hands free for bottles, diapers, opening doors, and anything else.
* Again, prepare everything the night before and pack up the kids last.
* When arriving at day care, take the kids out first so they can begin playing while you unpack everything. Again ask for help wherever possible.
Once they are walking:
* Use the stroller for as long as you can. You will miss it!
* Decide early on if you are going to be a hand-holder or a leash-user (no judgement on either) and use these methods consistently from an early age. They are more amenable to these methods when they are younger and it will become second nature to them.
* Expect things to take just as long, if not longer. They are now full-blown toddlers and everything is interesting to them, which means lots of stopping and starting… times two.
* Expect some crying, fussing, and clinging when you leave them. Talk to your care provider about how you’d like to handle it together. Will you have the provider distract them while you exit quickly? Will you stay awhile to make them (hopefully) feel more comfortable before leaving?
* Have them help where possible. They are starting to understand directions, so can they get their coats out of the cubby? Can they line up at the door? Can they carry something while they walk?
Now you tell us… do you have any advice on doing solo day care dropoffs and pickups?