Jennifer asks a question about shopping with twins. She says, “I’m trying to do some research on how I can go to the grocery store with four kids by myself.” She’s got a 4-year-old, a 3-year-old, and twin 6-month-olds.
Jennifer’s situation sounds almost exactly like the one that we had with our kids. When our twins were born, we had four kids ages 3 and younger. And oftentimes, my wife would have to go to the store with them by herself.
A Place for Every Child
When your twins are 6 months old or when they’re able to hold their heads up, that’s when shopping gets a little bit easier. You can put one of your twins in the shopping cart seat, and you can wear the other twin in, perhaps, a baby carrier like the Baby Bjorn. And then, your other two children can walk alongside or hang on the side of the shopping cart. This will give you some space in the actual shopping cart basket to put your food or the groceries that you’re shopping for.
If your kids are not yet able to hold their heads up or perhaps they’re still in their infant carriers, then you can try putting them in the double stroller. My wife would go shopping with the inline double Snap N Go stroller. She’d push that ahead of her and then pull the shopping cart behind her.
Encouragement and Praise
Just like with the sleep routine that we talked about earlier, it is important to reinforce the good and positive behavior in your children during the shopping experience. Praise them for staying close to you, holding on to the shopping cart, and acting good in the store. Then you’ll be able to continue that virtuous cycle of having them be well-behaved at the store.
Shopping in this manner is not going to be quick or easy, but we found that most other shoppers were accommodating and courteous when they realized that you did, indeed, have your hands full and were making your way down the aisle.
(RELATED: Love podcasts? Check out the entire Dad's Guide to Twins Podcast archive for additional twin tips and interviews with twin dads.)
You may also want to time your shopping experience during the day when most people are at work and the store is not that busy. That’ll make life a little easier for you, as well.
This question was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast episode 23: Sharing a Stroller, Crib to Bed Transition, Shopping with Twins.
Picture by Sarah