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Several posts lately have talked about getting out with two babies or toddlers. While we usually do a good job getting out of the house, I always look forward to the weekend, when there will be two sets of hands. This means that we can go out to stores that don’t have double shopping carts (Why, oh why doesn’t Target have double shopping carts?) and I only need to do one shuttle run to the car, buckle in one baby in the carseat….we can play some man-to-man defense.
Sometimes getting out means doing something social. While we did very few social activities in the first few months of having babies, we have been trying to do more now. Sometimes this is a birthday celebration at a friend’s house (brunch so it will be baby friendly), a baby’s birthday party, an afternoon at the grandparents’ or just a quick visit with friends. On a recent summer weekend, we went to two outdoor bbq’s. Several things I learned from these experiences:
1. Picnics at a baby friendly house are much easier. There are baby toys in the backyard (and maybe even baby swings!). There is baby friendly food. No one minds that you stop mid-sentence to go chasing a wandering baby or two. And, best of all, events are often scheduled in that key after nap, pre-bedtime time.
2. Don’t worry about bringing your own food or feeding kiddos before hand (unless they are too young for table food)—they will want to eat whatever everyone else is eating anyway! Fruit salads, often a staple at summer picnics, are fantastic for babies. My babies prefer fruit over most foods anyway. My guys had their first watermelon at a picnic and also enjoy the cantalope, blueberries and strawberries that often come in a fruit salad. They’re in heaven! Messy, but happy. Note Abigail shoving watermelon in her mouth with her whole hand—and the watermelon juice dripping down her dress.
3. Bring sippy cups of water or milk. My guys drink plenty of milk, so when we go out I usually just bring sippies for water. I don’t like the idea of milk sitting out for a couple of hours at a picnic. If it’s a hot day, make sure that the sippies are available to your kiddos. You can also offer lots of fruit on a hot day, like watermelon, that has lots of water in it.
4. Beware of the hidden nuts! Most pediatricians recommend waiting until 2 years for nuts and peanuts….be aware that nuts can hide in the more unexpected places. Our recent experiences with hidden nuts include cookies, stuffed french toast and raisen bread.
And, of course, picnics are more fun for all concerned if you can do a man-to-man defense. Assign each parent a baby and they will be easier to keep track of. Even better, get together with some friends without babies as well, and the childless (but baby-friendly) friends can help chase down babies. They might even think it’s fun! (Take note: this is another great way to help those POM’s!)
Other hints for enjoying an outdoor picnic? Share them with us in the comments!
TIP Don’t forget to put sunscreen and a hat on those babies!!!!