Sweet silence fills the Hyundai as we cruise onto the George Washington bridge and it’s smooth sailing to Boston- who said traveling with 2 month old twins was hard? Wait, why are we stopping? (Simultaneous baby screaming ensues)
Nick and I have been traveling long distances since we met because we lived 600 miles apart. For us, driving 10 hours has become standard procedure, but traveling with two babies is a whole other ballgame. When the babies were a little less than two months old, Nick got a job interview in Boston which is 4 hours away from us. We decided to make it into a little family trip as kind of a test run for when we go to visit my family. It was an amazing trip and so much fun, but as you can see by the intro to this blog post, it wasn’t without difficulty.
The trip did go surprisingly well after the traffic and the screaming subsided. We got lucky enough to stumble upon a beautiful little park in Connecticut and I had plenty of privacy to breastfeed (which is not always the case) and we got out and stretched our legs and ate our lunch. Having two babies in the hotel room was the hardest part. Luckily at the time we were still co-sleeping so they just slept in bed with us but we were terrified every time they cried in the middle of the night that they were disturbing people. Their boppy pillows were their perfect little sleeping spot and didn’t take up much room in the car. We also got to take them swimming for the first time and see some beautiful views.
About a month after the Boston trip we set off for West Virginia to see my family who couldn’t wait to see the babies. That trip is about 450 miles and the GPS says its about 8 and a half hours away. That time always expands a little bit no matter what, even Nick and I have to stop and get gas or food or use the restroom, but we usually still make it in about 9 hours. Now what I’m about to tell you might freak you out if you’re about to take twin babies on a trip but don’t be discouraged just be prepared, with the babies the trip takes us about 12 hours. Give yourself plenty of time if you’re making a trip with a baby, one or two, I’m sure either way you will have enough to worry about without staring at your watch the entire time.
Since then we’ve made the trip about 6 times and the babies have gotten much more used to it. Some things have gotten harder now that they’re a little older and some things have gotten easier. I have a couple basic tips for traveling with twin infants or twin toddlers:
Planning: For our Boston trip, I made 10 different lists with 3 pages each and probably close to 200 items that were an absolute necessity, and I started planning a month ahead of time. DON’T try to plan a month ahead of time, 99% of the things you need to take can’t be packed until the day before. You should plan ahead as best you can but you have to balance that out with a healthy understanding that you will probably forget a few things and everything will be okay. Double check that you have enough diapers and wipes for diaper changing and for sanitizing slightly unsanitary rest stops on the trip. Pack one bag specifically for “trip needs” so you don’t have to go digging through your luggage every time the babies want a new toy to play with. And the biggest thing with traveling with babies is go with the flow. Enjoy it because before you know it you’ll be back home again and everything will have gone fine and you’ll wonder why you were so worried in the first place.
Food: If you’re breastfeeding ESPECIALLY with twins, make sure you have something to cover up the windows and windshield of the car. On long stretches of highway often times there’s not a lot of options for pulling over so you might end up in a crowded gas station and you want to make yourself and your baby as comfortable as possible during the feedings. Nick and I had a good system going where he would change one baby and get out and let them stretch their legs while I nursed the other one and that made it a little easier to keep covered up. Also what helped a ton was bringing the pump in the front seat and plugging it into the little car charger so I could pump on the drive and then we could bottle feed the babes when they got hungry. Once you’re feeding the babies solids, make sure to pack lots of extra food. Don’t forget to pack food for you and any other traveling companions too, hungry passengers make for grumpy passengers and no one needs that. If you’re going to stop somewhere for dinner make sure to google it ahead of time so you don’t end up on a long stretch of highway searching for somewhere to eat.
Entertainment: The first long trips we made I was mostly scrunched up in the back between two car seats doing anything possible to keep the babies from crying. It’s gotten better but for the most part I am still their main source of entertainment. When they were really little it was just handing them rattles and toys to chew on, now it’s singing and making funny faces. The best thing for all of us I’ve found is just trying to enjoy the trip itself. If a place along the way looks interesting, we stop and check it out. That has gotten easier now that the babies are bigger they enjoy getting out at the rest stops and seeing the views and the people. Inevitably though at some point in the trip usually before dinner time, we are all out of ideas and just doing our best to get through.
My final thought that I leave you with (before I leave you with some pretty dang adorable pictures) is that the key to traveling with babies, as is the key to life, is to be positive and make the most of every moment. Roll with the punches, stop to smell the roses, even if it takes you 12 hours instead of 9, that’s okay. There are lots of different reasons for traveling but I hope yours are good and that you’re traveling to somewhere beautiful or to be with beautiful people. Now here’s a couple (or a bunch) of pictures to help explain why we are crazy enough to lock ourselves in a car for 12 hours with twin babies!
Enjoy your journey ♥