Car seats are installed, cribs assembled, diapers stocked, nursery decorated…just when you think you’ve prepared for everything, you bring home two little bundles and everything that used to be easy becomes a puzzle…
How the heck do you go grocery shopping with twins?
Well, it is entirely doable, and there are a few ways to go about it using just a paper clip, a rubber band, and a birthday candle. Just kidding!
You’ll need a double stroller, a baby carrier, a laptop or some combination of the above.
1. Stick to Small Shopping Trips when Alone with the Twins
Doing a big shopping trip once-a-month can help you keep your outings with the twins brief.
On the occasions when you have extra help (either shopping with you or watching your twins for you) stock up on non-perishable goods, household items, etc.
When something is about to run out, add it to a list on the fridge to minimize last minute runs to the store with two in tow.
Ok, now that your pantry is stocked with rice and beans and cereal and hot sauce (all the important things), the twins and you need to only dash in for some onions and yogurt and bananas!
Also, take advantage of various online shopping perks. You can subscribe and save money on stuff like diapers and have them delivered monthly right to your front door!
If you can’t wait for shipping, see if any stores near you offer store pick-up: you order online and everything is waiting for you when you get there-some will even bring to your car!
The first year with twins is your license to do whatever is convenient for you and if that means online shopping…go for it.
Oh and as for that list on the fridge?
If visitors ask “Do you need me to pick anything up on my way?” Say “Yes, thank you for asking: dish soap, kitty litter, and coffee.”
2. Bust Out the Double Stroller
Hopefully, you have a double travel system, like the Graco DuoGlider, as this will be the most straightforward way to pick up a few groceries when your little ones are still too floppy to sit up on their own.
Just pop the car seats out of the car, click into the stroller, and go!
You will want to get a couple of stroller (carabiner-style) clips to hook onto the handle of the stroller and string on some reusable shopping bags (or a store basket) so you have somewhere to put your goods before and after cashing out.
Even when you say you are just running in to get “one thing,” you never seem to leave with just that one thing!
The DuoGlider also has a basket underneath for storing items.
This method might not work if you are buying bulky items that require a cart.
So…if you don’t have a second person to push a cart, you can employ the push-pull method.
It is exactly what it sounds like: push the double stroller ahead of you and pull the shopping cart behind you.
Is it fun?
Not really, but sometimes you just gotta make it work and this method has done just that for many a twin mama.
Oh, and…expect comments from passersby…it is just inevitable.
3. Suit Up in a Baby Carrier
You rarely see singleton moms shopping with a stroller because they either A) put the baby in the grocery cart, or B) wear their baby in a carrier while pushing the cart.
Why not you too?
A+B=stroller free! Some carts actually accommodate two children, but most only fit one baby up front.
So once your twins are able to sit up without assistance, one can ride in the cart and the other in your pack!
Once they are ready to ride, a grocery cart cover can put some distance between exploring little fingers and the germy cart-they will be ridin’ in style.
4. Go Shopping at the Right Time and to the Right Place
Try to shop at family-friendly stores with changing tables in the bathroom or fitting rooms if you need some privacy.
Also, timing is everything: if the twins are hungry or tired you may be unwittingly unleashing unknown horrors upon humanity.
Try to go in between naps-little babies will probably sleep in the stroller fine…but they outgrow that quickly! Overtired babies are a recipe for disaster.
If you live nearby the grocery store, then you can feed them before leaving the house, or if you have a bit of a drive, feed them in the parking lot before going into the store.
Once they can hold their own bottles the whole endeavor becomes SO MUCH easier. But hey, sometimes even the best-laid plans come unraveled in the grocery store.
As uncomfortable as it may be-think about how many times you have heard someone else’s baby cry in the grocery store-to fellow shoppers it is basically an assumed part of the grocery shopping experience.
5. Come Prepared!
After repeating your mantra “keys, cellphone, wallet…keys, cellphone, wallet,” make sure you cross off this checklist before leaving the house.
- Reusable shopping bags
- Stroller clips
- Baby carrier (if using)
- The LIST and a pen-organize your grocery-list by sections of the store (i.e. produce, freezer, meat, etc.) to avoid wasting time wandering. Cross your items off as you go, stick to your list, and get outta there! Getting dropped in the wilderness without a compass would be less terrifying than taking twins grocery shopping without a list.
- Nursing cover and/or cooler with bottles of milk or formula
- Age appropriate snacks (mesh feeders or rice rusks can help stave off the crankies)
- Toys: car seat mobiles, teething toys, rattles, Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes (this toy will be the ace up your sleeve!)
- Pacifiers if you use them
- Diaper bag (diapers, wipes, change of clothes, rash cream, hand sanitizer, burp cloths)