Remember that time you decided at last minute to go on a road trip, threw some clothes and toiletries in a bag and jumped on the road? HA! Yeah… those days are gone sister. I can’t even go to the grocery store without an execution plan. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go. You should totally go. It’s really rewarding when you are successful. It makes you feel like superwoman, because you basically are. The thought of actually making that leap and getting road ready can seem like a daunting task. Sometimes the hardest things in life are the most rewarding.
Jason and I weren’t even close to being ready to taking our first road trip with the girls. We had it in our minds that we wouldn’t travel with them until they are AT LEAST one. When the girls turned three months old, we learned that my Granny would be having open heart surgery when they would be turning four months old. There was never a doubt in my mind from that point forward. I wouldn’t have missed the surgery for the world and Jason wanted to be there for my Granny and I as well. She has always been there for me (no matter what). So, the planning began. We have since been on quite a few road trips and are starting to feel like pros. I wanted to share with you some tips and tricks for traveling with infant twins.
Making a List…Checking it Twice (or three or four or five times). MAKE A LIST. Did it look like I was yelling? Good! I am so serious right now. Make a list! I start making my list about a week in advance and just keep adding things to it the days that lead up to packing and leaving. Everything that we need to function on a normal day I would add to the list. It is amazing how many things you can forget without a list! Like back when I thought I was a pro and forgot to bring bibs, burp cloths and blankets. My girls usually spit up after their bottles. And Eliana likes to make a giant mess while eating doing anything ranging from moving her head side to side, giggling and blowing bubbles.
On this list make sure to have extra of everything. Extra diapers, wipes, disinfectant spray, hand sanitizer, bottles, clothes, socks, formula, water bottles…sanity.
You always want to have emergency clothes and diapers. Something about road trips makes my girls want to blow right out of their diapers, especially if I have them in a really nice outfit.
Many babies will also have weird eating habits in new surroundings or even in the car. They may not eat the full 6 ounces they usually eat at a certain time and only eat one or two. You definitely want to have more formula, water and bottles than you think you need. If you are breastfeeding your twins, congratulations! YOU seriously deserve a medal. If you pump, make sure you bring plenty of extra bottles and pumped milk for the same reasons. You also want to call ahead and make SURE your hotel has a working fridge. Ask someone at the front desk to read the label on the inside of the door to see if it is safe for breast milk. Some “coolers” are not safe for breast milk. I stayed in a hotel once that brought an extra break room fridge into our room for my coworker because the cooler wasn’t breast milk safe.
Bring multiple trash bags/old grocery bags for “dirty” things. These things can range from adult clothes, baby cloths, and diapers to bottles and baby spoons that need to be washed.
Speaking of dirty bottles. Make sure that you have dish soap, a bottle brush, and some sort of drying rack or mat. I use a fold up one like this.
No need to have a bag for dirty bibs though! My mom introduced me to disposable bibs and it’s a whole new world. Okay, that’s my last song reference. Maybe. But seriously. THESE are amazing and you need these whether you are going on a road trip, a holiday party or a restaurant. You NEED some.
Moving on to packing the car. I hope you have a big car or a trailer or luggage racks or something. We have a Cadillac Escalade and it doesn’t seem big enough! I guess I just need a school bus. My sister somehow travels with her husband and FOUR kids, she is my hero. It may help you to have some reusable shopping bags to compartmentalize things. You can have all of the adult/older children snack in one, baby snacks/formula in another, diapers wipes and all things dirty booty in another, baby toys…you get the point. Make sure you have some of everything you need accessible to you in the car. I always sit in the back row and tend to the girls while Jason drives. I make sure that I have some diapers and wipes next to me as well as blankets, formula and bottles.
For the hotel you definitely want to bring two pack ‘n plays or a double bassinet pack ‘n play (unless you are cool with bassinets that some hotels have). **HINT** **HINT** **HINT** Double bed rooms have more square footage than king size beds. If its just you, the hubby and the babies just sacrifice some bed space and you will thank yourself later. You can use the extra bed for diaper and clothes changes or luggage storage. We also usually bring our gigantic play mat. I say gigantic because it is about four times bigger than the standard one you see people using. My girls still use it with plenty of room and they are eight months old. We use it on the hotel floor and also when we visited my Granny’s hospital room. We also bring our Twin-Z pillow if we have enough room. This is a definitely must if you are breast feeding.
And lastly, but probably most importantly…I am sure that you have heard of the saying “A happy wife is a happy life”. Well my new travel motto is “Keep a happy baby and no one goes crazy.” If at all possible, try to schedule your trip around their schedule. If you have a really long road trip and they wake up really early for a bottle and then sleep for a few more hours then try to leave after that first bottle so they can sleep the first several hours of the trip like normal. Talk to them, sing to them and make funny faces. Have plenty of baby toys for them in the car for entertainment. They get bored just like we do. If you get car sick, I would not suggest reading too many books to them from the back seat. Speaking from experience here. I make sure that the girls have big crinkly books and a couple of small toys that light up and make noises. I like to grab toys from the play mat and clip them onto the car seats so they can play with those as well. Just remember that if you are exhausted and the babies are frustrated and every one in the entire car can’t take one more minute…just STOP. It is OKAY. Everyone needs a little fresh air sometimes. Just give yourself a little time to regroup and continue on when everyone is ready.
You really can do this and it really will be worth it!