In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Friday, June 5, 2015

Baby Proofing for your Mobile Twins

It's safe to say that I don't have babies anymore.  My days are spent chasing two very active one year olds, who find no greater joy than exploring their surroundings and figuring out ways to "problems solve" their way into anything within their reach. If they see something they want, they will do everything within their power to try to figure out a way to get to it!

Our boys went from rolling over to running in just a short few months.  They didn't even sit up until they were seven months old, but they were crawling at nine months and walking at eleven months!  By twelve months, they could do a pretty good toddler run!  Our lives changed the day that our twins became mobile!  That may sound a bit dramatic, but it's true.

The boys have been mobile for about six months.  While I'm no expert on twins, seeing as how I've been a mom of twins for a whopping fifteen months, one thing I do know about twins is this ~ mobile twins can bring a whole lot of crazy to your life!!!  The kind of crazy that makes you want to pull your hair out and laugh all at the same time.  Once those kiddos take off, the fun is just beginning.  I mean it.  They really are fun at this age!  Will they drive you nuts, getting into every thing? You betcha!  But will you smile, laugh and be filled with joy, as they learn to explore their new surroundings?  Of course you will!  Having mobile twins is crazy, but it's a good kind of crazy. 

Now that I can no longer place my babies on the floor in a pile of toys, walk away for five minutes and return to find them playing quietly, in the same place I left them ~ ahh, those were the days ~ life is little bit different in our home.  I find myself saying the word "no" far more often than I would like.  And I find the following phrases coming out of my mouth on a, make that hourly basis ~ "Don't touch that!", "Get out of there!", "What are you doing?", "Come here please.", "Put that back please.", "We don't touch that.', "Don't run away from me!", "Don't pull your brother's hair!", "Don't sit on his head!",  "Give him back that toy!",  "No biting!  We don't bite our brother....but we also don't put our finger in our brother's mouth to get bit!", "Why? That's all I can say is why?"  All the while, this long list of comments that come out of my mouth mean nothing to my little guys.  They just look up at me with a big grin, not understanding why their mama has such an unpleasant look on her face.  Yes, mobile twins can be exhausting, but on the bright side, this whole toddler phase is a really fun age!  Your babies will bring you such entertainment, as they learn to explore the world around them!

Babies on the move mean it's time to baby proof! For the most part, baby proofing for twins is the same as baby proofing for one baby.  You have the baby proofing basics you'll check off of your baby proofing list:
  • put plugs in the outlets
  • strap furniture to the wall
  • pad furniture with sharp corners
  • install cabinet and drawer pulls
  • put up baby gates
  • keep all choking hazards out of reach
The only thing I'd add to that list, if you have twins, is a baby play yard.  I highly recommend adding the eight panel baby play yard to your baby proofing list.  I mentioned it in this post about baby equipment for twins.  Seriously, it would be on my top five must have list for things to buy when you have multiples.  We used it in so many ways once our twins started to get mobile! You may even want to get additional panels, if you want to extend the play area.  

While the baby proofing basics are the same with one, two ore more babies, the part that is different from singleton babies is that there are two babies getting into EVERYTHING!  Oh. My. Goodness.  My boys keep me on my toes! Toddlers are little explorers, and if they can reach it, they're gonna grab it.  They pull stuff down....take things out....and PUT EVERYTHING IN THEIR MOUTH!  No seriously, EVERYTHING.  How one of my boys ate cat poop like it was a decadent piece of fine wrapped chocolate is beyond me!  Yes, that really happened.  A month later, the other twin may have managed to get a hold of his brother's poopy diaper and put that in his mouth too.  For real.  No judging.

Yes, all toddlers do this - well, maybe not the eat poop thing, but definitely the getting into everything thing - but when you have multiples, you are completely out numbered! One toddler can be a handful. Two toddlers can wear you down.  Three or more....well, I stand and applaud those moms of multiples, because I know how much my little guys wear me out by getting into everything in sight!  

Those who do not have multiples may not realize that those of us with more than one toddler struggle with some of the everyday toddler experiences.  For example, I can not take my toddlers to the playground during the day, because they out number me!   Yes, they can walk and run, but they have yet to learn boundaries.  They see a big open space, and they are off!  I can chase two babies if they go the same way, but I can't chase two babies going different directions.  There is only one of me, so unless my boys are confined to a stroller, I can not take them anywhere on my own without the final destination being toddler proofed with toddler boundaries.  Needless to say, most fun things that are outdoors ~like parks, pools, splash pads or even our unfenced back yard ~ has to wait until Daddy can go with us on the weekends.

Let me close this post by saying that no matter how much you baby proof for your twins, you can never completely protect them.  They will find a way to get things they aren't supposed to.  You can't watch them 100% of the time.  They are going to fall down, get bumps, get bruises, and all you can do is pray that nothing breaks or gets permanently damaged.

One of the scariest moments of my life was when one of our boys fell down our hardwood stair case.  He was about ten months old at the time.  I had just gotten upstairs and my husband was going downstairs.  The boys were playing by a bookshelf not far from our staircase, when I realized that one of my boys had something in his mouth. I went to check his mouth, and he had gotten a hold of a screw.  How he ever got that screw or where it even came from, we will never know.  We have no idea.  Anyway, I hollered for my husband to come help me, and in a panic he ran upstairs, leaving the gate to the stairs unlatched.  A split second later, baby number two goes right towards the staircase with the unlatched gate.  We didn't even notice he had crawled over there, it happened so fast.  Next thing we know we hear and see him tumble down all fourteen steps!  My husband went after him, but couldn't catch up to his falling.  It was sheer panic for Mom and Dad. Here we had one kid with a screw in his mouth and the other had just fallen down the staircase. Certainly this was not one of our finest parenting moments!  We got the screw out of baby number one's mouth and were a bit relieved to find baby number two conscious and moving at the bottom of our stairs.  A family trip to the ER assured us that nothing was broken and there wasn't a concussion.  We were very grateful.  It could have been much worse.  I say all of that to say this ~ no matter how much we, as parents, try to protect our kids, we can't always keep them from getting hurt.  We do our best, and that's what matters.  Baby proof what you can....  Don't let them out of your sight, as much as possible.... And when your toddlers do fall down and get hurt, you'll know you did all you could, and that your next job as Mom or Dad is to pick them up, kiss their boo-boo and make them feel all better!

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