Running errands with newborn twins may seem intimidating, but these tactics make shopping with two babies less stressful.

woman holding twins
Credit: Kathryn Gamble

Plan ahead. Now that you're the parent of twins, gone are the days (at least for now) of wandering through the produce aisles, sniffing melons for ripeness or contemplating what to make for dinner. Approach shopping like a military operation: Scope out the store to see if the aisles are wide enough for your stroller and make a list of the things you need to get before you go. Having a game plan will help things go smoothly.

Clip coupons. With two little mouths to feed (and two adorable tushies to diaper), your shopping bills can add up fast. Make sure you have the membership savings cards for the stores you frequent. Be aware that for some big purchases (like furniture) there are twin discounts when you buy two of the same item.

Forgo the shopping cart. If your stroller has a large basket, load it up with groceries. After you make your purchases, stow bags in the basket again. You can hang a bag or two off your handlebars as long as the bags aren't too heavy -- you don't want to risk having the stroller tip!

When the babies are older, seek out double carts. Some of the big-box stores provide shopping carts with two seats to accommodate your twins. The stores that offer family-friendly solutions like this will quickly become your go-to places.

Buy now, return later. When it comes to shopping excursions with twins, speed is the name of the game. You want to get in, get what you need, and get out. Sometimes that means you don't have the luxury of trying things on or comparing different products. Buy what looks right and remember that you can always make another trip to return items that don't fit or work for you.

Shop while they sleep. An outing to the store is much easier if your twins can nap while you gather. If they don't cooperate, don't worry -- just make sure you have enough bottles, snacks, and toys with you and you'll be good to go.

Scope out the bathroom situation. Once you start shopping with your twins, you'll quickly learn which stores have bathrooms, which ones have changing tables, and, best of all, which ones have family rooms where you can spread out and change the little ones.

Don't forget about YOU. Use the bathroom before you leave for the store. Make sure you've eaten something and take a bottle of water along for the trip. When taking care of twins, it's easy to forget to take care of yourself. Just remember, if you're thirsty, starving, or bursting for the bathroom, no one will be having fun.

Take setbacks in stride. Did one of the twins wake up crying before you could get everything on your list, or did one of them vomit in the aisle? This stuff happens. The fact that you actually got to the store is an accomplishment in itself. You'll do better next time -- promise.

Accept help. If someone's willing to hold a door or go get you a product you need, let them do it (and say thanks). Depending on the store, you may need to ask a manager to unlock a gate to let you and your wide load enter. Don't be shy about this -- remember, most people will be marveling at how cute the twins are and won't mind the imposition.

Shop online. You can order groceries, diapers, and clothing (for them and yourself!) with the click of a mouse. Of course you should go out shopping with your twins and not hide in the house, but you can also give yourself a break. Don't worry, mamma, there will still be plenty of opportunities for excursions with your twins, so get clicking.

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