A trip from Austin to Dallas could hardly qualify as a “road trip” pre-babies. Anything under 5 hours could just be “quite the drive” in my book; however, with newborn twins anything past an hour qualifies as a road trip. Since making this drive with my babies I’ve been facebook messaged, called, texted, and even instagrammed from new moms and twin moms wondering how the eff I pulled it off. Let me tell you, nothing I do with my babies is by the seat of my pants. Everything is methodically planned out.
So here’s what’s up.
Step 1: Think of all possible scenarios and squash all obstacles in advance.
I don’t think it’s right to let babies cry for very long at this age. They’re in a socio-emotional developmental stage called “trust vs mistrust” (according to Erik Erikson), which means they’re learning whether or not they can trust their caregivers and the world around them. Whether they become secure and confident or fearful and dependent depend on their caregiver’s ability to meet their needs adequately during this crucial stage.
When should we leave?
If we left midday, they could sleep too long and not sleep at night.
But, if we drive at bedtime then I’m missing my best stretch of sleep.
If we left here at 7 when they wake up we’d sit in traffic leaving town so they’d scream mercilessly unless we’re driving a constant speed.
So, we left at 5 am. I nursed them at 4am when they woke up. Packed a few things I couldn’t get to the night before. Then nursed them again right before we put them in the car. We pulled out at exactly 5:04am which allowed us to beat Austin traffic getting out and miss Dallas traffic getting in.
Step 2: Keep them well fed, but plan to empty your breasts too.
Pumping while my babies are awake is damn near impossible so I knew I wouldn’t be able to pump on the road. Four plus hours is far too long to go without nursing, but nursing two babies at the same time from the car is too challenging due to space constraints. If I feed one at a time there’s a chance the other will be screaming so…
- My Twin Z pillow (twin boppy)
- 6oz of pumped milk
- Wore a nursing tank under a black long baggy tank
At 7am upon arriving in Waco I pulled through the drive through at Chick-fil-A knowing I had mere moments before the boys woke up. I ate my breakfast sandwich super fat and ordered a 1/4 cup full of hot water. I heated the breastmilk for less than a minute in the hot water while pulling suitcases out of the trunk so I could place the Twin Z in there. Then, I placed the babies on the pillow and fed 1 baby 3oz of milk with my left hand while I leaned over the other baby with my right breast. The nursing tank covered my belly while the long tank over it covered the baby’s head and my breast. Passersby had no clue what I was doing. Then, I switched. This way each baby got a full 3-5 oz between breast and bottle and I didn’t have to pump. Then, I loaded the boys in their stroller after burping, changed their diapers in the handicap stall of the restroom and then nursed each a few minutes more (so they’d be full) while I played spa music for the other in the stroller. Yes, I sat on the toilet to nurse LOL.
Step 3: Plan for your own comforts the night before
I prepared my coffee before I went to bed and set the timer so it would be brewed when I woke up. I cooked my steel cut oats and had them stored in the fridge so all I needed to do was reheat for 30 seconds before leaving. I put headphones in the car so I could listen to music on my phone without disturbing the babies and I filled a tumbler with cold water and had it in my front seat. I also had as much as I could packed and in the car the night before so I didn’t have to stress in the morning, including their blankets so I could just put them in the corsets, tuck the blankets around them and drive off.
It worked beautifully! We arrived at my sister’s house in Dallas at exactly 9:15 just in time for me to quickly unpack the car before they woke up and feed them from her bedroom at 9:30.
Twin mom advice: don’t be scared to do what you would normally do. Live your life as you did before just follow my motto, “plan ahead and keep them fed”!