It was long after my twins were born, 8 months to be exact, that I felt comfortable leaving the house and going to social events by myself. Story hours and play dates were new to my agenda and although these events were crucial in helping me feel less isolated and introducing me to friends in my new town, they also brought with them many new challenges. For example, after feeling so proud of myself for making it out of the house and being on time for my first ever story hour, my spirits were quickly squashed when I discovered that the staff did not allow mothers to bring strollers into the performance room. I was shocked and almost felt like crying when the kind librarian informed me that I has to transport my kids inside without the help of my trusty stroller. I felt awkward as I carried my car seats into the performance room. I felt clumsy as I placed them on the floor, sat in front of them, unbuckled them and then left the car seats near me- taking up valuable space, but feeling unable to move them because I did not want to leave my children unattained. I also felt silly as I packed my boys up to leave and I know I bumped into several people with my wide load.
I encountered similar difficulties when attending play group meetings at new friends’ houses. Some walkways made wheeling a stroller up to the front door impossible. Others had long sets of stairs leading to the front door creating a whole new obstacle. These new situations taught me the best and easiest ways to carry my guys around when strollers were not permitted or usable. Here are some suggestions in case you find yourself in a similar situation:
1. Place one baby in a carrier and hold the other on your hip. I used this method most often when I was faced with a difficult transportation scenario. I was able to support my (somewhat lighter) son on my hip and use the carrier to support the weight of my other boy. I felt like I still had one hand free for opening doors, digging keys out of pockets and placing the baby back in the car seat. This was my favorite way to roll.
2. Carry the babies in their infant car seats. I used the method if I had to, but by 8 months, my boys were heavy! Also, when carrying kids this way, you do not have any free hands to open doors (especially your own car doors). This method is less than ideal for some situations.
3. Use a twin carrier or two carriers (one on the front and one of the back): There are some twin specific carriers that allow you to carry two babies relatively hands free. Be mindful of the weight limitations of these carriers; however, as they are really meant to be used when your babies are small. Alternatively, some choose to wear one baby in a single carrier on the front and one in a single carrier on the back. This can work nicely for situations where you have a long walk or when you may have to stand for a long period of time.
4. Carry one baby on each hip: As twin moms we are really good at carrying both of our children around the house at the same time but sometimes getting both babies into your arms is a challenge. I have always had good luck picking up two babies from their beds but have found that it is tough to grab two from their car seats or from the ground. Keep this in mind if you do not have anyone to help hand you the second child.
I am sure there are many other ways people have engineered a solution to this unique problem. Please let us know how you transport your kids when strollers are not allowed or ideal.