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Hi all. I have a brand new 2-week old baby who's a joy. I also have a 22 month old toddler. I'm wondering about the logistics of leaving the house with the two of them and no other adults to help. My toddler is prone to running away from me -- he thinks it's a game. If I have the infant in the car carrier, how do I run after him? Seems like even if I have the infant in a bjorn or similar, it will be hard to rein in the toddler, and I won't be able to pick him up.

My biggest worry is picking up the toddler from daycare (he goes 3 days a week now). I don't want to leave the baby in the car, but it seems like it will be difficult to bring him in, get all the stuff, and corral the toddler into the car. Does anyone have any hints?

asked 23 Mar '11, 08:46

Anne's gravatar image

Anne
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accept rate: 17%

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Wow congratulations !

(23 Mar '11, 12:11) Emi

Thanks Emi!

(23 Mar '11, 12:43) Anne

Congratulations on the new baby Anne. I remember trying to think through how I was going to get myself out of the house with the two girls (they are 27 months apart).

I am lucky that my toddler is timid and is unlikely to take off on me. But I always try to be ready for the possibility as it can happen. A friend of mine pointed out that the baby can't go anywhere in the carrier so I always get the toddler in the car first and out of the car last. I've gotten good at holding the baby carrier with one hand while I hold my toddler's hand with the other.

Whenever possible I try to get the stuff in and out of the car first. For daycare I load of the car before waking the girls up. When I pick her up, I will usually leave the kids with the daycare provider (it's a house so not too far from the car) while I run the stuff into the car then come back for them.

For running errands. I always get a cart to load them in when one is available. I park as close to the carts as possible, then load the toddler in then the baby. If one is not available I use the stroller. My oldest has learned to hold onto the stroller just as she would hold my hand. If we are in a place that might be a little more dangerous (e.g. crossing a street) I will hold my toddler's hand while pushing the stroller with the other hand.

It's always a balancing act but we're managing and you'll get used to it.

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answered 23 Mar '11, 09:58

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦
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Goodness that is impressive!

(23 Mar '11, 12:25) Emi

I like both answers but I'm marking this one because I like the ideas about keeping the time the toddler can dart away to a minimum. I've done it a couple of times now and he's really fine. I think they do understand that they shoudn't run away from you. It wouldn't be any fun if you can't chase them, anyway! Thanks for both answers.

(10 Apr '11, 16:04) Anne

I agree with everything Tammy says and I use all of those tricks, especially parking next to the carts at the grocery store so one of my twins goes directly into the shopping cart while I'm getting the other in/out of the car.

Here's a few other idea's you might consider:

Is it possible to bring a stroller into daycare to get both of your children in safely? For my twins, I have a single stroller with a buggy board attached to the back for quick runs into stores. Its similar to the idea of a "sit and stand" stroller, but you just add the board to the back of your infant's stroller so your toddler has a place to stand. That way you don't have to carry the infant's carrier and your son will get a fun ride on the back and if he tries to dart away you'll have time to grab him before he's gone.

I have also seen these stroller handles that you teach your toddler to hold onto at all times. Obviously, this will take some training, but it seems like a good idea. I haven't tried these yet, but I am considering buying some.

Lastly, and I know this is not going to be a very popular idea, but there are always the toddler backpack harnesses. I do own two of these and when my boys are misbehaving and refuse to stay near me, I do use them, but only rarely. My husband (and many other people) are very much against them, but when you're child's safety is in question, I would rather have them harnessed to me than run off into a busy parking lot. Again, I try to use this as a training measure and when my boys are good and staying near me, I take them off.

Is your son at the age where he wants to be your helper? At times I have good luck in getting one of my boys to push the stroller (with my other son in it) to help me. They love to help and get very excited to push the stroller (which some small assistance on my part). My one son also loves to help me carry their diaper bag and will stay right next to me or hold my hand as he is helping me.

Hopefully this gives you a few ideas, good luck!

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answered 23 Mar '11, 16:03

Shannon%20B's gravatar image

Shannon B
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accept rate: 9%

edited 24 Mar '11, 08:53

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+1: My kids are 21 months apart and when my son was just born, I used a backpack harness for a few months until my daughter was more (ahem) reliable at not running away when I took them out alone to places like the zoo - 2 year olds are unpredictable little beasts!

(23 Mar '11, 23:54) Kate
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My son isn't really interested in helping, but that's a good idea. I'm not above the toddler backpack harness for a longer outing. Usually we have both parents available for those, though.

(10 Apr '11, 16:03) Anne
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Toddler harnesses were my saviour when I had a two year old and a baby. Especially in busy places. Toddler harness and a sling (not a baby bjorn though, a nice comfy one). You don't have to hold them taut, just have it as a back up so when they've wriggled their hand out of yours and started to run off in a busy train station in the middle of London, they can't actually disappear under a train (that was my experience, anyway).

(11 Apr '11, 13:44) Meg Stephenson
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Asked: 23 Mar '11, 08:46

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Last updated: 11 Apr '11, 13:44