I have never been one for staying indoors… until I had twins. Leaving the house solo with twins has its challenges, the most basic of trips can become difficult when you have two toddlers in tow. The very idea of it is enough to keep many twin moms from leaving the house at all. Sharing is caring, and I’m passing on my best tips for keeping twin toddlers safe in open spaces.
Despite staying home more than I’d like, I am also stubborn and refuse to be defeated. We took the Twins on their first road trip at 6wks old, despite it being a logistical nightmare. I took the twins to the beach alone when they were 6months old because I promised their big sister I would. There is no way I’m going to be beaten by a basic trip to the park, just because they can walk…
5 common problems keeping twin toddlers safe in open spaces:
- Getting them out of the car – How do you keep the first one safe while unbuckling and lifting out the second one?
- Crossing the road – If one slips free from holding hands, how do jump forward/run after them if you are still holding the other one’s hand?
- Supervising play equipment – How do you stop one leaping from the top of the climbing wall while the other is trying to master the slide?
- Twins on the run – What happens when they both choose to run in opposite directions at the same time?
- Leaving – How do you deal with two children in a tantrum refusing to leave the park?
Leaving can catch you by surprise… everything went brilliantly, you feel like a champion, and all of a sudden they both hit the ground kicking and screaming and refusing to leave. I have seen a toddler tantrum in the park many times, and often the only way to get a toddler to leave is to pick them up, wear an awkward grin and make a run for the car. However, picking up two 33lb toddlers at the same time is some feat, let alone if they are both in a strop.
When One Twin Spots SOmething of Interest En-Route
I went to the Phoenix Children’s Museum a while back and all I had to do was get them both to the enclosed toddler room. It’s a glorious space filled with loads of cool interactive stuff, safely enclosed with walls and a picket fence. Unfortunately for us parents, getting there involves walking past a few very enticing areas of the museum.
George was determined to investigate the noodle forest, while Arthur wanted to hit up the play hotdog stand. Of course, these two activities are in opposite directions so I made an executive decision… and asked George to come the other way. This news went down like a lead balloon, and George hit the floor in a massive tantrum. With Arthur still determined to make a hot dog, I had no choice but to squat, grab and run… or waddle. By the time I got to the gate at the toddler room I looked like I was doing some kind of Russian weightlifting sport… shuffling in full squat, one screaming child under each arm.
Advice For keeping twin toddlers safe in open spaces:
Although I find this a genuine struggle myself, I can’t just leave you drowning in the trauma of keeping twin toddler safe in open spaces. I hope you are blessed with robot twins that do what they’re told and never leave your side. If you are not and are suffering like the rest of us, I pass on these words of wisdom:
- Even though it’s difficult, do it. The earlier those Twinkies get used to being free from the stroller the better. If you keep them confined until they are ready for pre-school, what do you think is going to happen when you do release them in the wild? They’ll be faster, that’s for sure.
- Practice with another adult present. If you’re terrified to give it a go, try doing things exactly as you would on your own, with backup. A few cold runs will give you the confidence to go out on your own.
- Use your legs. When I’m getting the second child out of the car, I put the first one stood between my legs as I lean into the car. It’s not the best barrier but I can feel if they are making a break for it.
- Sing songs and march. You might look crazy, but by making the journey across the carpark fun, your littles will be less distracted and more likely to remain holding hands.
- Keep it short. I find the Twins are easier to supervise and stick together more at the start of a visit. As confidence and curiosity build, the situation becomes gradually more exhausting. So don’t worry if you only last 20mins in the park… everyone had fun and it’s better than not leaving the house at all.
- Get used to recruiting strangers. I have mentioned many times… people are obsessed with twins. That means the general public are always happy to help, so ask! If one of your twins is running towards the road… shout. “Stop that baby!”
Some moms may find child reigns the best solution. I am not a big supporter of reigns because I don’t believe it teaches kids much, however, there are times safety is more important. It really depends on the personality of your children and the environment you live in.
The summer has finally broken here in Arizona, and I’m looking forward to getting out and about more after some major cabin fever. It’s tiring but the Boys are loving being outside and exploring again after the excruciating heat. If you have any useful tips for keeping twin toddlers safe in open spaces, do let me know and I can update the post!