When the boys were finally sitting up by themselves, we ventured into grocery stores that boasted double-seater carts. By then we were living in Texas. (How I love, and miss, HEB! It's a chain that only exists in certain parts of the state.) But sometimes the desirable carts were placed in odd locations, not in the parking lot or not even with the regular carts. A few times, afraid to leave my babies alone in the car, I put them in the double stroller, searched for the right cart, loaded them in, put the stroller in the cart, returned it to our car trunk, THEN went shopping. Waaaaaay too many steps.
But not every store HAS double-seater carts, much to my, and I'm sure many a mother of multiples', dismay. Or worse, stores that have just a few...or one. Once, after the boys had been walking for awhile, I tried to bravely transfer them from the car to the store without the stroller in between. I tried to have them walk by holding my hand, occasionally muscling a runner or a layer-downer up into my arms across the parking lot. We finally entered, only to find no suitable carts. I asked an employee who said they only had one, and uh, it was being used. I gave up, and returned my squirmy squirrels to the car. Then we went to Costco! Beautiful Costco, where ALL the carts are double-seaters. More retailers need to invest in these types of carts. (Market Street, I'm talking to you!) Multiples are on the rise, and besides, mothers with several little ones of different ages surely need more of these carts, too!
Solutions for shopping with twins:
- Scope out stores beforehand, if possible. When we moved to a new city, it was oddly fun for me to go around, testing out all the new grocery store chains in our area, or even to see how local branches of familiar chains were laid out. I could also do some product and pricing comparisons. I would see if a store had good carts, and if so, WHERE they were kept. Next time I went with the boys I could try and park as close as possible to those carts.
- Be organized. It took me awhile, but I've finally gotten into a better meal-planning routine, and this helps with my grocery lists. If you can keep your twin-accompanied grocery runs to once a week or even less, score!
- OR, if you don't mind grocery shopping more often (sometimes it's nice just to get out of the house), take your double stroller and just stuff in whatever will fit at that time. Then go back in a few days for other necessities.
- I WISH I had known about this product before (my kids are too big for it now), but it looks very helpful: the Buggy Bench! Carry it in the car and just insert into the basket of a cart for an instant, second seat.
- When the babies are still tiny, you could also wear one baby, and have the other in their car seat in the basket of the cart. I have also seen people put one car seat on the riding part of the seat, and one car seat in the basket...but then you have very little room for groceries.
- Bring whatever will bring more peace: bottles, snack cups, sippy cups, pacifiers, etc.!