Survival Guide!: How to Stay Sane Parenting Twins in the City

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Having twins can be double the fun, but it doesn’t have to be double the trouble just because you’re living in New York City. Once you figure out how to maneuver that huge stroller through the crowded streets, you’ll find that the Big Apple is one of the best places to raise your dynamic duo. Check out these survival tips to help your family conquer the city — with ease, and style.

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photo: Caitlin Dowling

Get your groceries delivered
While that double stroller may get through the door of many grocery stores, there’s a good chance it won’t fit through the check out line. Luckily for you, there’s a surplus of grocery delivery services to choose from, like Fresh Direct, Amazon Fresh, and Instacart, just to name a few. Not to mention you can actually get your shopping done during the endless feedings that come along with having two babies.

While you’re at it…get everything delivered!
From your corner store to Diapers.com to Amazon Prime Now, you can literally get anything delivered to your apartment within minutes, hours or days. So take advantage of city living and have those big boxes of diapers among other things, dropped off at your front door. (Is it the greenest solution? Maybe not; but you take the subway, recycle and probably don’t even have a car. Plus: twins.)

Parks and playgrounds are your best friend
The city is home to over 1,700 parks and playgrounds — that’s right over 1,700. So no matter where you live, we’re willing to bet that your family is within walking distance to at least one of them, and your stroller is guaranteed to fit! Depending on how old your little ones are, bring a blanket for tummy time or burn some energy at the playground. Key playground swing hack: You can put both kiddos in the same swing so you don’t have to work as hard pushing.
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photo: Caitlin Dowling

Know Your Stroller Parking
Yup, it’s a thing. A “parking lot” designated to store your stroller while you and your tiny tots attend an event or class, and at some places, parking your wheels is mandatory. So make sure to do your research before heading out on a family outing, because as you know, if your twins aren’t walking yet, carrying two babies can be pretty tricky. However, there are also places where having multiples actually gives you VIP status, and you are the only one allowed to roll on in on all four wheels. The JCC on the UWS allows you to bypass the stroller lot in the lobby and head directly to class and most local drop in classes at resturant venues will give you the green light once you explain your situation.

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Strollers parked outside on the Upper West Side: via Bev Norton on Flickr

Join a club
You will be amazed (or, you know, maybe not) at just how many twin families live right around the corner from you, possibly even in your building. Get connected by joining some groups. They’re a great resource to seek advice, a marketplace to buy and sell gear, and a fabulous way to make new friends. Check out Meetup.com to find local groups and Manhattan Twins Club for events all over the city. 

Getting around town
The good news for city dwellers is you walk almost everywhere, so once you strap your munchkins into their stroller, they can stay there for as many stops as you need to make (i.e., no getting in out of cars and car seats.) Should you ever need to venture out of your neighborhood (likely) the subway is a great option, but do yourself a favor and make liberal use of the MTA’s stations outfitted with elevators (indicated by a wheelchair accessible symbol on maps). Want to take a car instead? There are some car services that offer two car seat accommodations. With a quick request on your phone, Uber Family can show up equipped with two booster seats if you have older kiddos. Still rocking infant seats or convertible car seats, check out Kid Car NY. Don’t expect a car in the next 15 minutes, but they can show up with any combination you need.

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Double Stroller in NYC: via Ed Yourdon on Flickr 

Grab a bite to eat
Have no fear, you should absolutely still be enjoying a tasty bite out as a family. For infants, consider putting them in car seats even though you’re not driving — it can be easy to have them sit next to you on the floor or in a booth. For kids a little older, try BYO’ing high chairs that clamp on to the table to save space and give you more dining options. (There are tons on the market but here’s a few: Check out the Phil and Ted Lobster Chair or the Chico Caddy Hook on Chair. These handy dandy chairs are compact and will allow your family to fit in a booth or eat at a smaller restaurant that may not have any high chairs at all. And of course, you have that big ol’ double stroller, so try and find a restaurant that has room to store it or a decent outdoor area to park it. You might even consider investing in a stroller lock, take a look at a Buggy Gear’s locks that come in fun designs and animal shapes — those wheels don’t come cheap afterall. 

Take a class
If you can dream it up, there’s probably a class for it, so nurture your twins’ interests and sign them up. However, classes come with a price tag, so ALWAYS ask about sibling and twin discounts — and even try to negotiate. Lots of places will also lend you an extra hand during class since you have two kids running around, so give them a heads up.

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photo: Elliot’s Gymnastics 

Embrace apartment living
Sure, every New Yorker has at one point complained about how small their living space is, but the good news is, that works in your favor for once. While you’re going to have to get creative on where you store all the babies’ stuff, having a limited amount of square footage, means less baby proofing. It’s easy to just let your little ones roam since you can see or hear them from almost anywhere in your home and most likely, you don’t even have to worry about stairs. 

Enjoy the attention
Everyone loves babies, so of course people are doubly excited when there are two to enjoy. Your twins are beautiful; soak up the compliments.

How to do you conquer the city with twins? Share in the comments section below!

—Caitlin Dowling