Traveling with Twins

You want to travel, but is it really possible when you have young twins? How do you know when your twins are ready? How do handle eating and sleeping arrangements which may not follow your typical schedule? Our twin moms share what’s worked (and what’s not worked) for them when taking a road trip or flying the friendly skies.

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Twin Talks
Traveling with Twins

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

SUNNY GAULT: Hey Twin Talks, we have a special announcement before we start the show. New Mommy Media, the parent company of Twin Talks, is looking for moms and dads to join the new sales team and sell advertising on our shows. This is a great opportunity for parents who are looking for a job where they can work from home and still be able to spend time with their twins. Visit www.newmommymedia.com/jobs for details.

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CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Are you dreaming of a getaway but feel like it would be impossible with your twins? Like every other aspect of twin parenting, traveling with twins requires careful planning but it do able and it can actually be fun. Today we have an expert panel of twin parents who’ve taken their young twins half way around the world and back and they’re still in one piece. You too can learn how to travel with twins. This is Twin Talks.

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CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Welcome to Twin Talks, broadcasting from the birth education centre of San Diego. Twin Talks is your weekly online on the go support group for expecting and new parents of twins and I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald. And have you heard about the Twin Talks club? Our member get bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts. Subscribed to our monthly Twin Talks newsletter and learn about the latest episodes available. And another for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Twin Talks app and it’s available for Android, Apple and Windows mobile devices. So before we get started, let’s go around and introduce our panellists.

LARISA SHULIKA: Hi. My name is Larisa Shulika. I’m 39 and I have 3 children. I have boy and a girl twins some who are 4 and then I have a singleton girl who is 2.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: My name is Becky Beierschmitt. I am 41 years old and I have twin boys who will be 3 this month.

SHELLY STEELY: Hi. I’m Shelly Steely. I’m the producer here at Twin Talks. I’m 30 and I have identical twin boys who will be 2 in July and I’m 28 weeks pregnant with a singleton, a girl. So…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yehey! Yoohoo!

SHELLY STEELY: Just want to let you know about our virtual panellist program that we have. In addition to listening to our podcast you can also be part of our online conversation by following us on Facebook or Twitter. If you want to participate, you can use the #twintalksvp to be a panellist on the comfort of your own home.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Alright.

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CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And here we have a question from one of our listeners, Marianne in Dallas. I have 5 year old twin girls who are day time potty trained but they’re still wearing pull ups at night. We try a few times to go without a pull up but we’ve had accidents. So should I keep them in them or should I be worried?

DR. DEBRA: Hi Marianne. I’m Dr. Debra Pontillo, child psychologist, developmental and behavioural specialist and voluntary assistant clinical professor in the University of California San Diego. My website if you like to contact me is www.howtohelpmychild.com. That’s in numeric too. Thanks for your question. You know typically I’m not concerned when I hear that a child does not achieve [inaudible] until age 6. In fact as many as 10-13% of 6 year olds and actually about 7% of 7 year olds still wet the bed at night. Now this is especially true for deep sleepers.

As we know this is your physiological mechanism that alerts from doing cap from the bladders so may not fully develop as quickly in some children. In general I would not recommend putting your twins to undies at night until they are dry most nights of the week. Think about it. Your frustrated as are they, they’re repeating wetting the bed and child may begin to feel badly about their lack of success over time and we certainly don’t want that to happen. Although here are some strategies that I would recommend to help them to learn to stay dry at night.

However like I mention because of the physiological process, they are going to be ready at their own time and in their own time tables. Number one of course prevent it by not drinking two hours before bed time so that were not having a large amount of fluids. Take your twins to the bathroom at night before they both go to bed which is a no brainer but then the important part number three I would say is waking your twins to take them to the bathroom.

Usually some time and an easy time for most parents is right before the parents go to bed at right 10:30 or 11 just to empty their bladder. However if you are noticing that your twins are wetting the bed at a certain time at night and be woken often it’s early morning like 4 or 5 in the morning, that might be a good time to set the alarm to half an hour before that and begin to take your twins to the bathroom at that hour.

That begins to condition them to wake in that hour and it sort like when someone woke you up every night at 3:30, pretty soon your eyes will shoot open. So that can help and also number 4 buying a bed wetting alarm. Now this is optional and it’s not necessarily something that you need to do. It’s a mat that goes under your sheets and let’s an alarm go off when it gets wet.

That’s helpful for some kids although in general I often don’t recommend that unless a child is approaching 6 or 7 and they’re really struggling to achieve night time dryness. If you like some more ideas, you can listen to our Parent Savers podcast on night time bed wetting and potty training. I’m Dr. Debra Pontillo for www.twintalks.com and www.howtohelpmychild.com . Thanks for calling in.

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CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So alright well let’s get started. We’re talking about traveling with twins. I know you guys have taken your twins you know pretty far distances. So I know in my case it’s just a few hours away. I’m going to start with Larisa. How old were your twins when you first took them on a trip?

LARISA SHULIKA: You know it’s funny I was trying to calculate last night how many times my kids have been on the plane and just before they turned two, the twins have been on a plane 5 times.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wow.

SHELLY STEELY: Oh my gosh.

LARISA SHULIKA: And two of those trips where international. So I you know it’s hard to think back on those days but you know how did we do it, how did we manage but you know it’s fun and we took them on a trip first when we they were three months old.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wow.

SHELLY STEELY: That is so great.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: To the east coast. Yeah.

LARISA SHULIKA: To the east coast and you know there was no occasion nothing well it was my birthday I think. But just you know we just want to get away and we’ve been, we’ve always been at a travellers and it was hard to let it go. I mean we had kids and I guess we didn’t have to so now that you know now that I know you can travel and you can travel these twins and you can travel obviously with three kids. So you know it’s manageable and it’s do able and it’s actually fine you know aside from all the meltdowns and tantrums and you know parents tears and things like that.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Which you have at home anyway?

LARISA SHULIKA: We do. Yeah. Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So might as well have it in nice place.

LARISA SHULIKA: And our kids love it now and they’re favourite game is to play the airplane. They all sit in the middle you know on the chairs and they’re just moving around and they say close you didn’t make it okay close okay tickets and it’s hilarious. Yeah. So this is their plane you know it’s fun.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh my gosh. That is so cool. Okay so now Becky how about your kids, how old are they when they first you ventured out.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: Our first trip on a plane was when they were 15 months old and I’m from the east coast so we went back east as well. It was daunting at first when I the whole idea of it was very overwhelming to me. But I did some research and talk to some other twin parents and realize hey you know what you figure it out and you do it and then as you said earlier they’re going to have tantrums no matter where you are.

You know meltdowns so you just kind of go with it and figure it out. So but they were they were fine was we were able to stay at my parent’s house as well when we got there so which is nice. We didn’t have to deal with the hotel as well. And they have everything set up with cribs and all of that and my cousins where there and my brothers. So it all worked out in the end. But the actual plane ride you know there’s little tips and tricks that you can do along the way to help them…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: Through it. But overall I think they were so over stimulated that the whole idea like I know some people like travel when they’re sleeping. Well mine were so over stimulated even though we travelled during that time. It didn’t matter. They were wide awake…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh my gosh.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: They touch everything and look around and walk around which is fine because it kind of made it go by quicker but then you know towards the end of it they were obviously tired because they nap and so forth and they finally fell asleep but…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: It works.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: Yeah. Exactly. See you just kind of [inaudible 00:09:15] with it.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay Shelly how about you? How old are your guys?

SHELLY STEELY: So the first long trip we took the twins on, we took to Oregon. My husband’s from up there when they were 13 months old and tips and tricks I honestly don’t have any. We’ve always been really laid back. We’re not schedule people. So we just we booked the flights when they were cheapest and figured if they slept great and if they didn’t we’d survived.

And we took them on a road trip actually this past December so they were you know 15-16 months old and that I mean I think that the best tip for driving with twins, we went up to Sta. Cruz so it was an 8 hour drive, we just drive when they were sleeping. Because as twin parents we learn to survive on very little sleep. So for us it was more important that the boys got their sleep than us so we hit the road at 7 after dinner.

Took them about an hour to fall asleep in the car and they slept the entire drive up. So we didn’t have to take them out to walk them around. We don’t have to worry about snacks or TV or anything. We just you know my husband drove until he got tired and then I drove until we got there and that was...

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

SHELLY STEELY: That’s what works for us.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

SHELLY STEELY: Some people think it’s crazy but I would rather have them get their sleep than deal with having them in the car all day and then running around somewhere, so that was my road trip advice.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Now I’m just curious okay so yours were really young and then yours was just over a year. So what was it that made you feel like okay it’s okay we can actually do this. I mean was it you know like they’re age where they weaned you know where they or you know or in your case I don’t know.

LARISA SHULIKA: Well for me you know the biggest I think tip when you travel with the kids that are you know very young, for me breastfeeding was the key honestly. You know whenever they fussed, I breastfed them and they went back to sleep or you know they stayed calm and I mean it was a little probably odd from you know seeing us from the side.

I’m just like you know trying to think back and you know like imagine this you know you breastfeed one twin and then you pass them back to my husband and then my husband passes me another screaming one at that time you know. I mean it was kind of funny but you know definitely the feeding helps during the flight because it helps them with their ears and they fell asleep you know every single time. So but…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So they’re age I mean wasn’t so much of a concern.

LARISA SHULIKA: But the age you know it’s I mean I’ve always I was overwhelmed. I packed two diaper bags and my husband said why are you doing that? And you know since then I learned that you can survived by as very little you know what you need to have and what you don’t have to have. And but you know they just again we’ve travelled so much before the kids I mean I couldn’t let it go. So I guess you know when the time came and I said well I think we had the miles that were expiring.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: We’re going to use them.

LARISA SHULIKA: Something like we’re taking the kids and so then we went to South Carolina were we’ve never been and you know we’ve stayed at the hotel. I mean we had a time share I guess that’s what makes us travel so much too.

But it was fun you know they had everything we need and on the plane, the plane ride was kind of scary actually because we had a when we were supposed to land at the Hilton had and instead we were landed at the Charleston because there was like a scare of the tornado and here we are with twins and then the train ride was so bumpy actually you’re holding your kids at your lap when you’re holding them and then one of the kids in the few rollers up you know one of the bumps they let go and the kid went up.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: No.

SHELLY STEELY: Oh my gosh.

LARISA SHULIKA: It was an older child but you know just seeing, that was scary. I mean nothing happened but you know things happen and you just deal with that and you manage it and as long as you so I learned that you have to hold them really tight. You know it doesn’t like you don’t just oh no they’re fine and you just like let them go a little bit. You hold them. So I learned that lesson but yeah you know they get used to it too.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Now as you have mention as far as like you know when you’re planning out your flight and I mean I think you’ve mentioned that you were initially tried scheduling around sleeping. Yeah. So…

LARISA SHULIKA: We try to do that but I you know going back to Shelly I think it’s, it goes around cost. I mean especially when you’re going across the country or internationally or…

I mean how many seats that you have to buy. You know for us what we decided to do was we bought a whole row because our boys were under 2 so they didn’t have to have a sit. But everything that I’ve read on the twins site was if you can afford it buy three sits. And that way you have the whole row and that worked for us. But we did based it more around cost than around their sleeping patterns but I don’t know if anyone has ever done this but I don’t think I could ever do a red eye.

I would be so paranoid that they wouldn’t sleep and they would ruin everybody’s turf.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: It’s 6:30 in the morning and they are just wide awake.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: We actually flew I think our flight left it was the first one of the day so it was something really early but I don’t know I’m kind of in the mind that if you’re going to be in the general public in airplanes or the general public and if a baby cries a baby cries you know I mean I when I wasn’t a parent I mean I won’t say that it’s not a little annoying but at the same time I have had phones and I have had seatmates who were significantly more annoying than a crying baby.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s true.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: So I think for us it was important to not get flustered so we had to wake them up early to get to the airport and get on the plane and they did not fall back asleep in the car and they did not fall back asleep on the plane but you know they were fine and everybody was really friendly.

So I mean that help too. In terms of eating and sleeping schedules while travelling, the one problem that we had and we still have is that my children do not like to nap away from home at all. They just it’s too exciting. There’s too much going on and their pretty solid I mean they can make it a whole day without a nap without too much of a meltdown which is a super power I wish they didn’t have because I wish they don’t needed it.

But we were just plan to do our mid trip travelling during nap times so they would sleep get at least a little bit of sleep in the car. Because we just didn’t, mean we tried with the pack and play and bring in the sauna machine and the same routine and they just they won’t do it. It’s too exciting. There’s too many new things. So what we do is we try to plan to do one we didn’t start travelling until they were over a year and they are already on just one nap so we plan something in the morning and we make it a long drive to wherever we’re going next so drive through, get some coffees, do the sites, you know give it an hour and then show up where we were going next.

So in a way that was kind of that was important for us and then eating schedules we never scheduled their feeding. I nurse to almost a year and a half but they were big solid food eaters too and so it was kind of luckily they’re pretty go with the flow. That’s how always been so you know we’ll get breakfast when we find it and you know if everyone starts getting fussy we’ll stop but a diaper back full of snacks…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: Is always a key.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: And that’s everywhere. It’s not just travelling.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s true. That’s true yeah.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: I mean with twins in general as long as you have enough food to last you know as long as possible that usually keeps us happy.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Now I’ll ask Larisa again. Now you’ve done some international travel. You know with your kids and so how old are they when they first did an international flight?

LARISA SHULIKA: The first one with it was when they were 15 months old and right then they both been on the plane you know a fair amount of time that you know we’ve ventured to Italy. Again you know there was nothing calling us. We just wanted to go everywhere but the problem was that after I bought the tickets is when I found out I was pregnant.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh my gosh.

LARISA SHULIKA: So we went there was me being sick. I mean I was about 10 weeks and so we flew to Italy and you know the plane ride I’m not you know the long plane rides are not fun. I think for anybody and…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Right.

LARISA SHULIKA: You know for children in particular too and I mean you have to sleep on the plane on that long you know 12 hours or 10 hours. They stop for about two. You know I don’t remember much but I remembered that I just kept feeding them little things and they would just trying t run around or you know walk around as much as they could. What are they called where you have a little space up front?

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: The bulk head.

LARISA SHULIKA: The bulk head yes that’s right. Yeah so we were on one of those and one of the even gotten a little [inaudible] that they gave us. I mean they were too old for that but…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That was key. Yes. They were nice.

LARISA SHULIKA: They were nice. They give it to us only one baby slept in there over a limit by a little bit but you know sometimes they bend the rules a little bit if you ask them to and one of the baby slept in there and maybe for a couple of hours. That’s about it.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Now you know what the fact that you mentioned the bassinet because I have heard quite a bit about that too.

LARISA SHULIKA: Yeah I’ve heard that.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: If you. So if you reserve the bulk head basically you know the seats that are let’s just say if you’re in economy class and you’re at the very front of the economy class and you got the little partition in front of you. So a lot of airlines especially like the international ones they have…

LARISA SHULIKA: Most of them I think…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Most of them yeah.

LARISA SHULIKA: I think they had to have them yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: They had to have oh okay. That’s great.

LARISA SHULIKA: And I think one of the things you don’t have to have the bulk head like because they’re not booking the bulk head in general they reserve those seats for people travelling with those little children. So when you booking the tickets you can call the airlines and say I’m travelling this you know with little ones so can you give me sometimes they do, sometimes they give it to you on check in you know but we’ve had those and they work for us.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Now that is smart. Definitely I mean yeah.

LARISA SHULIKA: You don’t have you know…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Tell talk to them

LARISA SHULIKA: You know folks when you’re reserving. I know most of us probably book online you know through the on-site but then I think it’s definitely worth a phone call because I think yeah either…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I think I never actually use those the bassinets myself but I’ve seen the photos were they’re literally it there’s like a little hook on the bulk head and so the babies can actually sleep flat. Looks like a little like a tray.

LARISA SHULIKA: Yeah it is. And you know it’s a, the little annoying thing is I don’t know how your children went hours when they wake up, they wake up. You can’t put them back to sleep so but they going to make you take the baby out of bassinets every time you know you have to buckle the seat. You know how you have the turbulence . . .

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I know. Right.

LARISA SHULIKA: So they came to us a number of times and I say would you rather have a screaming baby or can I just hold him like that?

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh no.

LARISA SHULIKA: And they let me do it. So I’ve seen people just you know but I’m in general just like stand up for my kids a lot.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

LARISA SHULIKA: So let’s say like no you no-no-no to this and that and a lot of times they it’s okay you know as long as you this and it’s long as you this though you kind of just work with them so but you have to take the baby out of the bassinet every time there is a turbulence or you know whatever.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh that’s good to know and so when you travelled so it sounds like you had them as lap children so you didn’t require a seat.

LARISA SHULIKA: We had them lap children…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay.

LARISA SHULIKA: Up until they were two you know because that you know that’s having them travel international that I felt like that’s what our last opportunity to do it before they turned two. WE actually travelled another international after that but anyway so it’s just you know they did it lap children and sometimes there where empty seats you know where they could just play. They never sat on the sit that’s why we never bought them. They even to this day they don’t like they did get under the seat, they’re over the seat, they’re standing on the seat you know they’re everywhere but in the seats.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So they’re pretty much like but they have when doing take-off and landing they have to be yeah in your lap.

LARISA SHULIKA: You have to be holding them and you know a lot of times they want to be on your lap anyway.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

LARISA SHULIKA: They’re like you can read them a book or give them a snack or you know just play with them a little bit so it’s and a lot of people when you have to go to the bathroom or whatever even if it’s just the two of you and the kids a lot people are pretty friendly you know especially older woman they’re always like oh can I hug your baby, oh can I play with your baby and you know say yes.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh take advantage of it.

LARISA SHULIKA: Say yes. Yeah. Even if you don’t have to go to the bath you have to say yes.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah. Yeah. And Becky in your case you said that you’re pretty much you bought seats for the every flight.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: Yeah when they were under two we would just buy one additional seat.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh okay.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: So we only buy three, three total seats for four people and that was just so we have one lap child and one child that have a seat. And before I forget the other thing is I’m sure you did this as well but sign them up for the mileage program too once you buy them a seat because they can start accumulating miles themselves as well. So that’s another thing to…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh. That’s a good point.

LARISA SHULIKA: Yes. Miles are always good too.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: Yeah because then both of our boys have miles now on the various airlines that we have.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So you did yes you had a lap so you had one seat…

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: Yes.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And you kind of rotated them sounds like probably between the empty seat or…

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: Yeah but you know again they don’t seat in there…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: They don’t seat in there yeah.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: So it was more for us it was more about being able to contain them. Right? So we had my husband would sit in the aisle or I would sit in the aisle and one of us will be by the window and then the two would be in the middle. So it was kind of like a place…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Place.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: That’s only for them.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: So that was really the only reason was just to so that we could contain them and then not bother anyone else so that we all had our own because who’s going to want to sit on next to us. Not a chance.

SHELLY STEELY: So you only have one lap child per row because there’s only four oxygen mask.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: Oxygen mask. Yeah right.

SHELLY STEELY: So if you we flew with just each of us flew with one boy as a lap child the first time. We figured we would try it and honestly I don’t think I would do it again. They were it was short so we only flew and hour and a half to San Francisco and then an hour and a half from San Francisco to Portland. But that was pretty much all the energy I had for holding toddler in my lap.

We haven’t flown since because I haven’t have occasion to but I definitely at any flights would have bought them a seat each. I think one thing that I’ve heard obviously it’s more expensive to buy them a seat but if you are used to having them have their own seat and be harness in, you can get you know there’s car seats that are travel you know you can travel with your car seat or there’s a harness you can actually purchase.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: The carriers.

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah the 5 point harness. I think they kind of will correlate plane like car like time you know where you kind of have to stay in your seat and that I’ve heard from people who travelled with kids in car seats it’s like they once they realize like this is like a car, this is my seat that I don’t get out of, they stay in it. You know and they sleep in it or play a toy and it just make for an easier flight yeah for everybody because you’re not stuck.

I mean my boys are active and you can’t really be active on a full flight so it was, it was definitely a struggle for us considering that they didn’t sleep on the plane and that they were already walking and wanting to explore where I almost felt like it was taking all of my upper arm strength to you know physical restrain a child.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes.

SHELLY STEELY: And that’s not something I would want to do again. And they do recommend that you buy them seats. I know I’ve a friend who’s a pilot and she said she thinks she wishes they would require it. I know it’s expensive but you know she’s like she wish that every parents because you know we all hold them tight and take care of them but there are plenty of people who…Who are from these kids getaway or who are runners and then I mean you got to worry about plane safety too. Right?

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh absolutely. Now who’ve spoken car seats which speaking of that so what did everybody do with their car seats? So how did you or when did you check them? Did you bring them or . . .

LARISA SHULIKA: We had the stroller that you can put the baby seats you know the one before they were just regular baby seats. So they just check in everything at the gate and they let us and then you know it was fine and they never and I think after that they always went to the car seats at the destination when they were older. So they don’t have to…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: The folded, the convertible car seat.

LARISA SHULIKA: Right.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay.

LARISA SHULIKA: Yeah and like last time they just got them like little it’s you know this is ingenious. It’s inflatable toddler seats…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh yes.

LARISA SHULIKA: They called something I can’t remember bubble bump?

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes.

LARISA SHULIKA: Bubble bump.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes.

LARISA SHULIKA: Perfect. We went to Hawaii just last month. Perfect you know we’ve I mean I wouldn’t recommend for having it full time but they were able to fit five of us in the regular car with those seats. They just took the regular car seats with the babies. So…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh my gosh.

LARISA SHULIKA: Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s great.

LARISA SHULIKA: That’s right.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: How about you guys what did you guys do with the car seats?

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: We checked yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So you’ve checked? Yeah. Now I know they’re like so are we took my husband and I took our girls to Hawaii and so that was a five hour flight from California and then we ended up taking the car seats. We kind of I guess you guys probably heard like there’s a go-go car seats where it’s like a little wheeler, a little wheely you can put your you know your convertible car seats on the wheeler and you can start to wheel it along with you know and the kid can sit on it at the same time which is effective getting them through the airport terminal so they’re not wondering off when they’re strap in.

But we did a little convertible thing where we I saw this on as a DIY you know in the internet somewhere and so we got these little clips and we basically clip the car seat onto our carryon luggage and so we use the carryon to sort of to carry the weight of the luggage. And so my husband just took them through so it was I mean I think you know the total cost was maybe a dollar and 25. And then we gate checked it. So I mean that was it was do able.

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah they definitely recommend gate checking your car seats just for the safety of the seat. I mean you don’t want your seat get thrown around on the luggage. High impact can damage your car seats structurally so you always want to check it at the gate. They make rolling carts. You can they’re like a like a car seat carrier that has wheels on the bottom.

They make one that attaches to the car seat that actually you can put the child in the convertible car seat and then pull them behind you so almost like a mini stroller. And then they make also once that I like are like a backpack so you can wear the car seat. There’s plenty of options for getting those big bulky car seats through. What we actually did is we, because we don’t travel often, we bought a really cheap convertible car seat online and had it shipped to my mother in law in Oregon so we didn’t have to travel up with the car seats. We just send them up there and then he put them in his car.

So that we he pick us up on the airport he already had two car seats and we have to fix the install because you know. Not everybody has to do but we are already done with the car seats when we’re already there and we really only have to bring them back with us. So it kind of cut half the car seat travel but a friend of mine who travels frequently with her twins, what they do is they would put a cart like basically a car seat on their back with the straps where baby on the front and then put their stuff in a double stroller and that way two people can easily carry all of the stuff that you need for the twins all away up to the gate. So…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I like that idea kind of hey just buy it and have it . . .

SHELLY STEELY: It was waiting for us. Yeah. It was definitely an easier option.

LARISA SHULIKA: We did that one when we went east. We did that too with because it was colder. We went in the fall and you know living in Southern California you don’t have heavy jackets or pants or gloves or anything like that so we did that with clothes. We bought stuff online and shipped it to my mom’s house so that it was there when we got there. We don’t have to worry about packing . . .

SHELLY STEELY: If you are visiting families, it is the way to go.

LARISA SHULIKA: Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah. Okay you know we’re going to take a break and when we come back we’re going to talk about sort of managing this gear when you’re on the go.

[Theme Music]¬¬¬

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Welcome back. Today we’re talking with our expert panellist about some of the baby gear that they were using on their trip. So we’re kind of talking about some you know buying some things and having them shipped and you know where does any other you know gear you know besides the car seats or even like I think we talk about high chairs when you’re staying at hotels. Did you rent any gear?

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: With hotels most hotels offer cribs. We’re getting to a point now where our boys still sleep in cribs at home but the pack and plays are up to I think 35 pounds and that’s where my boys are right now.

SHELLY STEELY: 30.

LARISA SHULIKA: And they’re a little short too.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: So we’re pushing it in pack and plays so I’m not sure what we’re going to do later on but most hotels do offer cribs to rent. Although we have run into problems where they run out of them and then we just bring our own pack and plays with us and that’s when we’re when we were driving. We haven’t stayed oh I take that back we actually have stayed in a hotel that we flew to and again just rented the cribs when we got there from the hotel.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Hotels usually do have a pretty good system where you can you know select from you know the different services and you know pack and plays. Was that a factor when you’re selecting your accommodations? I mean if you’re staying with family you know family you can send them on errands but how about you know for . . .

LARISA SHULIKA: Well we always yeah when we stayed you know they always joke at my husband because we always have a kitchen and we always have you know at least two bedrooms so you know that’s major for us and they always have pack and plays. Sometimes if you have us you know stay in a nicer place they have full size cribs too you know that you know they can sit up.

So they always had high chair. Always had pack and plays or you know something of that extent and they recommend you even if they don’t have something they always have a list of you know places where you can rent for a little more. You know that they are just full of resources. I like staying at a place where I can always like the last trip they my kids got sick, really sick and you know they’ve been throwing up all over the beds and things like that and staying in that hotel was priceless. Yeah you know I mean you feel bad about them changing the bed in the middle of the night but you know that’s a hotel and you know it was great. They would come back and you know do whatever they needed them to do and it was clean.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Take advantage of their service.

LARISA SHULIKA: It’s just I mean we’re paying for it and they are super nice. They would bring us things that we need and that really help. I remember just saying thinking if we were renting a house that would have been much different so lots of laundry in the middle of the night. It’s definitely just…

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: I think everywhere you stay is that they’re going to have their own challenges. We stayed in hotels locally and then once in [inaudible] when we took the boys to Disneyland. But my husband works for a hotel group and so he gets perks you know we can stay there so we’ve done actually stay-cations with the boys. And they have cribs which you know was really nice.

And I actually like hotels better than having like a time share or going to somebody else’s house because hotels don’t have much in them but time shares with a full kitchen and knife drawers and washing machine and cabinets and sliders and then other people’s houses. I mean people without kids don’t know that you shouldn’t keep batteries on the floor. I mean…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Right.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: Just it doesn’t occur to them so we definitely I mean I prefer staying on hotels because you know there’s a table and a bible and a bed. That’s pretty much it.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: So there’s not much that the kids can get into.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Speaking of sort of gear and even you know which you say even like clothes and medicine and just stuff in general, thinking back to the kind of first trip, is there anything that you think you should have brought that you didn’t have with you?

LARISA SHULIKA: We forgot the baby monitor at once and all the kids own the same schedule usually on occasion as their at home so for us not having a baby monitor was kind of odd because we would sit on the balcony and just you know enjoy whatever and you know it’s nice to hear the kids so it you know we just are back and forth all the time it’s hard you know.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Now that’s hard because you know that’s probably something you can’t…Yeah.

LARISA SHULIKA: We always bring the baby monitor you know something that the kids can’t go to sleep without you know whatever it is you know the toy you know and something familiar I mean like with they cover you know they have their little covers that they sleep with. I mean you probably don’t have to have them but it’s nice for them to have them. You know something familiar from home…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes.

LARISA SHULIKA: They go, they look forward to sleep so they use them on the airplane so…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Has the home smell. Yeah.

LARISA SHULIKA: Some things that you know like they can identify with and we buy a little something for them to be excited to be out on a trip like for example like a rolling card you know something like little luggage for them that they like. And you know they just their oblivious to little things that we are worry about.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: I feel like I always into wishing we have brought less you know I mean even in terms of you know toys and books and things to keep things busy. I mean somewhere that’s not your house is inherently exciting and so we really don’t need I mean like friends when we are in a time share we have brought the books that they have loved from home.

They wanted nothing to do with the books because there was a vacuum and a dust pan and like a durable spatula which was way more exciting than anything we could have brought so I think I mean as long as you’re not I mean we’re not in touch with camping or like backpacking adventures but if you’re going to a major city I mean pack as little as you can get away with honestly because there’s always somewhere to buy diapers.

There’s always someone to send out for [inaudible] I mean you know just I think it’s better to keep it to you know what they need for sleep is important and everything else you can probably find them along the way.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Just some comfort from home.

LARISA SHULIKA: Exactly. Thing like sleep stuff like monitor, jammies, blanky, pack and play but as long as it’s not part of your sleep routine, leave it at home.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: We always brought like little stack and cups I mean they’re like a dollar. Right?

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: And we put them by the luggage and they play with them in the bath and they love bath time so this is just one toy I mean at home they have a zillion a bazillion toys right in the bath time but you know here they just have that stack and they would play with them and they would love their bath and I love that.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh just you know yeah.

BECKY BEIERSCHMITT: like we have a little traditions that we go with and the kids were like they always you know look for those.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh that’s great well were going to wrap this up so thank so much to everyone from joining us today and for more information about traveling with twins or more information about any of our speakers and panellist, visit the episode page on our website. This conversation continues for members of our twin talks club. And after the show we’re going to talk about what changes we might make in our travelling plan as our twins get older. For more information about the Twin Talks club, visit our website at www.twintalks.com .

[Theme Music]¬¬¬

SHELLY STEELY: Today on our annoying comments that twin moms get we have Kristina in New York. Kristina says I had identical girls and people still say oh a boy and a girl? I respond with no they’re both girls and they’re wearing matching outfits. I have people follow me on the store trying to look in the car seats to see them. I also have people say oh I always wanted twins. No you don’t. It’s more of a challenge than one baby plus I have two toddlers on top of my 4 month old twins which makes it even harder.

Other questions are always whose family do they run in? Are they yours or your husbands? I try to tell them that fraternal twins run the families and ours were identical and even if they did run in my husband’s family that has nothing to do with having twins at all because it would have to come for my side. They don’t listen. And one more, people tell me oh they’re identical did you know that’s good luck. Really?

[Theme Music]¬¬¬

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well, that wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks.

Don’t forget to check our sister show:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Our show The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies and
• Parent Savers, your parenting resource on-the-go.

So next week we’re going to be talking about baby wearing twins.
This is Twin Talks, parenting times two.

[Disclaimer]
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

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