PDA

View Full Version : 1 parent 2 kids...can I do this?


lawyergirl22
04-15-2008, 05:40 PM
I saw the thread below re: losing things at the world, and it caught my eye. I am taking my DD4 and DS1 (who will be almost 2) in september and losing one of them while attending to another/distracted is a major theme that keeps running through my mind.

I am sure I am not the first parent to go solo to WDW with 2 littles. :rolleyes1 Anyone else do it and have advice? Any and all would be much appreciated!

FYI, we are staying at the Poly for 8 nights with free dining, and flying all the way from Nevada!

Thanks!
Gianna

PaDisney02
04-15-2008, 08:26 PM
WOW! you r brave. I have never been to disney b4 but I def. would not attempt it alone. I've tried taking my 2 boys to the zoo alone and that didnt even work (I couldnt enjoy it with my older son cuz I was busy with the little guy) Dont you have a relative or any1 else who is willing to come along and help? I dont want to discourage you but...what if one has a temper tantrum, its gonna be hard to control them both alone, in a strange atmosphere. Good Luck! I hope everything works out for you. You must be one amazing parent.

goofygal531
04-15-2008, 08:49 PM
I'm taking my kids to the Bronx Zoo alone Thursday, so I'll let you know how I manage! :rotfl:

Nothing keeps me from getting out of the house and doing things with my boys, I would do WDW alone too if I had to. I think you'll do fine.

I'm actually sending DH on a Segway tour one morning this trip and going to MK with the boys alone. It will be an EMH so I'm hoping for manageable crowds. The only thing that I'm concerned about is getting on and off the attractions with the moving floor. I'm hoping a CM will assist my older son while I hold the younger one.

My kids are the same age as your. I highly recommend the Joovy Ultralight Caboose stroller, I bought it specifically for WDW and malls,themeparks, etc... it stays in my car. I'm in the city, so my everyday stroller is a Bugaboo Cameleon w/kiddy board for my oldest.

Last Nov, I went to WDW with a side by side double and HATED it! It was a nightmare, everywhere I looked I saw people with the Joovy Caboose! My DH had to say, how come we don't have that one!:rotfl: It's such a dream to push. My DS4 still naps, but we plan on taking daily park breaks for naps for all of us. If you plan to get out EARLY and be at the park when they open, the lines will be managable, leave when the crowds come around lunch then head back in the evenings, you'll be fine.

You're staying at a great resort. I stayed at the Poly when DS4 was 1 and with my mom. She couldn't lift the stroller or the baby to climb on the bus. We went to AK very early and had an empty bus, which worked for us since we took a long time getting on the bus (the driver DID NOT HELP ME!). After that, we avoided the bus the rest of the 10 days. We went to MK and Epcot mostly a few times we went from Epcot to DHS by boat. I recommend this if you don't want to fold the stroller, it's longer but for one person less drama.

Don't feel like you have to see and do everything. Do what's comfortable for you. Most importantly, don't feel like you have to rush. If it takes you an extra minute to pack up the kids, so be it. People can wait.

Just a suggestion, but if you should ever feel that you need an extra set of hands, Kid's Nite Out is a babysitting service (which I'm using this trip for the first time) that offers Mother's Helpers. They could assist you at the theme parks during the day. I thought that was a great idea, something I never would have thought of! Their website is www.kidsniteout.com

goofygal531
04-15-2008, 08:58 PM
WOW! you r brave. I have never been to disney b4 but I def. would not attempt it alone. I've tried taking my 2 boys to the zoo alone and that didnt even work (I couldnt enjoy it with my older son cuz I was busy with the little guy) Dont you have a relative or any1 else who is willing to come along and help? I dont want to discourage you but...what if one has a temper tantrum, its gonna be hard to control them both alone, in a strange atmosphere. Good Luck! I hope everything works out for you. You must be one amazing parent.

I completely disagree! I think it's all about the parent, not the child. I take my two boys with me everywhere and what ever happens, happens. I'm not the type of person to just sit home, if I want to go somewhere, we're going. I've taken my kids to the NYC Aquarium alone we had a lovely day. This Thursday we're going to the Bronx Zoo alone, I know we'll have a great time.

I've also handled WDW at times alone. It's completely manageable.

I forgot to mention to the OP, last Nov DH had a cell phone emergency and had to leave me and the kids in AK and get to a Nextel dealer in Orlando to replace his phone ASAP (business phone). He left us in the middle of the Pocohantas show. He was a wreak, I was fine, encouraged him to leave. I had the two boys, a side by side double stroller (airline broke, happy it's gone!) a diaper bag and extra bag with jackets, blanket, etc.... We watched the show then headed to the buses to meet DH in DTD. Well, DS1 fell asleep the second we got the bus stop. Thankfully I had a Baby Bjorn with me. I had him in there, one bag on each shoulder and the stroller in my hands. NOT ONE PERSON OR THE DRIVER OFFERED TO HELP ME. Not that I was expecting it or needed help. I just thought someone would say let me get that stroller from you. Nope! No one. But we made it. I hopped on the SSR bus and it's last stop is two feet from DTD Marketplace. DH was right there.

OP: Make sure to have some sort of a hip carrier for your 1 year old. I have one from One Step Ahead. You'll need this to hold them hands free. I think this is a must with two children.

holly7347
04-15-2008, 08:59 PM
I think it really depends on the kids. Mine are newly turned 5 and 3 year olds and I don't think I could do it. I mean I could do it but not sure I would want to do it. I work part-time evenings and am home with the girls all day. So I have taken them plenty of places by myself - zoo, indoor play areas, children's museum, aquarium etc. But lately neither of them want to listen to me. The oldest thinks she is old enough to walk ahead so then the youngest wants to try. Or we get somewhere where one goes one way and the other goes the other way. I run after the youngest while screaming for the oldest to get her butt back here :eek: But at a not very crowded mall on Tuesday morning is way different from a packed Disney. If the youngest is willing to sit in the stroller that would help. When my DD's are in a particular mood I put the youngest in the stroller and make the oldest hold onto the side. At a very crowded place like disney I would even consider one of those straps that attach from the childs wrist to yours or from a stuffed animal backpack to your wrist for the oldest and a stroller for the youngest - that is if you aren't using a double stroller.

I feel confident that I could take care of my 2 alone at Disney but our trip is 7 days and I just think I would be exhausted doing all that alone. You know when one is happily occupied doing something and the other has to go to the bathroom, without any help you have to drag the other child kicking and screaming into the bathroom with you.

But those may just be my kids. If your kids listen to you and aren't runners it could be fun.

carj
04-15-2008, 09:31 PM
While I won't have them all by myself for the entire trip, my husband will be at a conference 5 of the 6 days from 8am-6pm.

I plan on making it to the parks early, taking a break and then heading back for the evening shows.

I have scheduled our character meals for times when we can both go. One meal we will all attend. The princess breakfast will just be my daughter and I while my husband takes my son to the pirate cruise. One sit-down meal will be just the kids and I.

I am still debating which stroller option. My children are 7 and 4 so they are older but neither of them is going to be up for the major walking.

We have a sit and stand stroller but since we are flying, I am not sure how that will work out.

I may just buy an umbrella stroller once we get there and make them take turns!

happypooh
04-15-2008, 09:40 PM
It's doable but requires planning and making sure you have a great baby carrier - I use an ergo and love it. Carried baby in that and pushed 3 year old in our sit and stroll when we went to AK on our own and also when we went to disneyland on our own. Thankfully I did get help with the stroller - it would be tough to do buses and so I'm not sure I could do it if I took the disney buses. If you're at a monorail resort that would be alot easier to do MK and Epcot. Take lots of breaks and you'll be fine. Funny I was just thinking about whether I'd want to do a solo trip with the kids and saw this thread....I think the toughest part will be flying on the plane...

delmar411
04-15-2008, 10:17 PM
I think you'll do just fine. I would recommend a carrier for the little one. Just a soft one (mei tai) and you can pop the baby on your back and hold your 4yr old's hand in the lines. That or a safety harness for the baby. Just something so you know they are attached to you. Depending on how heavy your 4yr old is she could also go into the mei tai on your back if you only brought a single stroller and she needed a break from walking. Just go in with a great attitude, don't try to commando tour and go along at a little one's pace and I bet it will be a wonderful vacation full of great memories! I would also utilize the photopass as much as possible. That way you get lots of pics with all of you. :goodvibes

lawyergirl22
04-15-2008, 10:25 PM
Thanks for all the great tips and encouragement. We are heading to Disneyland in a couple of weeks, so I am going to use that as an experiment to see how the kids do/gauge their behavior and listening skills in a crowded/stimulating enviroment (although DH will be on that trip).

I chose Poly because of the monorail and the ease of getting to MK and Epcot. I plan to go to the parks early in the AM and return to the room for afternoon naps/rest. If we make it back out to a park, great. If not, we'll just relax in the room. I have no expectations. I do have a list of things I'd like to see with the kids, but will not pressure myself.

DH is going to be out of town for a month working, so I will be alone with the kids anyway. I figured I could spend the whole month at home with work and daycare obligations everyday (housework/cooking/shopping etc:headache: ), or I could take a vacation to a place I've never been, that I know the kids will LOVE! WDW won.

I have lots of time to change my mind, but am really looking forward to this!

Thanks again for the help!:)

Gianna

emma'smom
04-15-2008, 10:26 PM
I took my two dds (4 and 2 at the time) to the parks alone while DH was at a conference. It was fine...just planned carefully.

We even went to the BBB in Downtown Disney. Here are some tips:

-Use a Joovy or Sit and Stand Stroller (we used our Joovy) so that you can more easily move them around.

-If you board buses, try to do this at off-times (early or mid-day). I would fold up the stroller as the bus pulled up, have dd4 walk in front of me so I could see her and carry dd2 up the steps. Once we were on the bus, we just grabbed the first seats we could find. We repeated the process to get off...it worked fine as long as it wasn't crowded. You'll be able to keep them on the Joovy for the monorail.

-Plan character meals that are "served"....We did Garden Grille. This was great because once I had them seated, we didn't have to manage a buffet. Th characters came to us....lots of fun!

mommy-on-the-move
04-16-2008, 05:52 AM
Just remember disney is designed for kids ;)

Even when i have my husband with me the kids out number us 2 to 1 but I often get out with all 4 by myself as I'd go stir crazy if I didn't- we have no car, so i get out with them on my own using buses, trains etc too. Mine are 10, 4, 5 and 1 (5 year old is special needs though and requires more watching/assistance than average 3/4 year old) I do have the added bonus that my 10 year old is fabulously sensible, hugely responsible and also very compassionate and willing to help with her siblings if it means we get to go out! (she's not daft- she knows help a bit and we go somewhere good, refuse to help and we're all sitting in the house 24-7 when school is out)

I agree about going to table service or the type of counter service where you can get it all on one tray and have 4 year old hold 2 year olds hand and walk with you to the table. Also don't be shy about asking kind looking strangers for a hand- I never mind helping out people who are on their own with kids with strollers, carrying trays etc because I see it as paying it forward for when I'm the one needing help.

It can depend alot on how well you personally cope with meltdowns etc if and when they happen- personally after 10 years they roll off me like a water on a ducks back, before ds5 was born I worried alot about people staring etc if I had any less-than-perfect parenting events in public but then ds5 really did change the way i look at the world, people looking doesn't bother me anymore! Took me a while to reach that point though.

fizz13
04-16-2008, 07:05 AM
Hi to the OP!
I did disney alone in December for 10 nights with DD8, DS6 and DS3 and survived! I was as nervous as you as I had a 9 hour flight from the uk first with immigration waiting and then handling anything that came my way in the parks and such, and yes i got myself in a state before i went. You know what? It was the most fun i ever had with them, I loosened the rules so it was danishes and muffins for breakfast:lmao: and i let them lead the way. A couple of days they didn't want to go to the park at all, just swim and play at the hotel so we did. We went to see Fantasmic 3 times, we went to Tom Sawyer island 3 times, I halved my adrs mid way through as sitting at a table for over an hour was no fun for them, however they loved Chef Mickeys (I didn't but this wasn't about me) Whispering Canyon Cafe, Tusker House breakfast.
I let my oldest go with fastpass on her own for Mission Space, Space Mtn and Everest as she has done them before and I know shes fine and i didn't want her to miss out which i panicked about every second she was gone and waited frantically right by the exit:lmao:, i rented double strollers so that i always had sitting space for whoever needed it (not that i would anymore with the new charges:headache: ), i basically compromised everything i would normally do at WDW, I did do rope drop and start of my tour plan but then the rest of the day was totally relaxed and whatever they wanted. I think a couple of days i called time as i was physically exhausted and had to rest but they were very good about it...oh and i made sure i collected a cocktail on the way to bed so i ahd something just for me:rotfl:

i know some of this doesn't apply to you and your kids ages, but my point is after all that worrying we had a blast and it was real quality time with them, i wasn't ditracted by the phone or the laundry, it was wonderful, so much so that i am doing it all again next year for 2 weeks!!!
btw, the Polynesian is heaven on earth, so relaxing and welcoming, and you can't beat that monorail. make sure you walk through to the TTC for Epcot, it is so convenient!! have a wonderful time:goodvibes

tci1212
04-16-2008, 07:13 AM
My husband isn't a Disney fan so I always took our boys by myself. I started when they were 2 and 4 yrs old. We would usually go for 10 days. The only problem I had was they fell asleep on the bus ride home if we were out late. Then I would have to try and carry one and wake up the other,lol. :)

DawnM
04-16-2008, 07:26 AM
I have done it. I made sure the older one understood CLEARLY that he was to watch for Mommy and explained that the younger one would be harder for me to keep an eye on.

I would (I didn't, but I suggest it) get some form of ID onto your child.....a sticker, a necklace thing, etc....that has your cell phone number on it.

I DID lose my son once at Disney, but it was on the island. We were going through those caves and he darted through the other people in there when I couldn't.

He was lost for about 30 min. A CM found him and had him by the hand when he was found. :thumbsup2

Dawn

Bethy Lou
04-16-2008, 07:53 AM
My husband took our daughters to the Halloween party a few years ago when they were 7 and 3 and had no problem. I was not able to get off work and they really wanted to go so I tried not to be too jealous! haha! As long as you can handle them alone in public period Disney will be perfectly fine for you. Good luck!

1stluvispooh
04-16-2008, 08:16 AM
I think you will be fine. My kids are 25 months apart ( they are now just turned 10 on Sunday and 7 next month 8 :scared1: ) I went everywhere with my kids alone at the ages that your kids are. I still go everywhere with them. I feel it is an experience for them and there will be something that they will benefit from if it's the museum or a water park. I actually think it was easier at the age that your kids are because I could keep at least 1 of them contained at all times. ie in the stroller. I agree with you that if your DH is going to be out of town for an entire month going to WDW would be a great idea. I still try and keep the kids extra busy when DH is out of town it is just easier on all of us! Go have fun and don't stress. Don't forget to ask for help if you need it!

iheartdisney
04-16-2008, 08:36 AM
Don't let others discourage you! I have a 5, 4, and 2 yr old, and we went to Disneyland once a month while DH is deployed. With your oldest being 4, you won't have to worry about the "big" rides, so that will save you a headache.
I have no problems asking for help! I have a backpack carrier for my 2 year old, which I can get on OK, but getting it of is a problem. I have no shyness about asking someone in line with me or the Cm for help.
Also, biggest airplane tip...everyone likes to sit n the front, I always go for the back row!
A. Not as many people use the rear restroom
B Not as much waiting when you land. By the time you get off the plane, the stroller is up (if you gate-check it) and the bags are moving (if not mostly gone)
HAVE FUN!

Happy_Mom
04-16-2008, 09:25 AM
Absolutely!

I brought my 3 year old twin girls to Disney and spent most of the time alone with them. The only problem I did run into was the same at TCI- at night they would fall asleep on the way back to the room and I would have to wake one up.

Have a great time. :goodvibes

Sheaboys
04-16-2008, 09:56 AM
I took a 3yr old and a 15 month old to Disney by myself, flying from Massachusetts to Florida alone also. No problems at all. I had a double stroller, which broke while there, so I rented a double after that. My kids are great in public places, they are not runners or wonderers. With 2 in the stroller they were right in front of me at all times.

We now have 4 boys. I take them everywhere alone. I flew to Florida from Mass, with a 3 month old, an 8, 6 and 4 yr old. It is all about control, I think. I had the baby on me (carrier), a child on each side holding my hands, and the oldest holding another childs hand. They will all walk in front of me, if need be. I always say when I get eyes behind my head, you can walk behind me, until then, in front at all times or holding hands.

I just recently took them to the Boston Museum of Science they are now 9, 7, 5 and 19 months. No problem

Now, when DH gets into the mix, all hell seems to break loose!:rolleyes1

I also dress them in the same shirts, or same colors, that way in one eye swoop I can find them all. I do have them all wear the same brightly colored swim suits at a beach as well, so I can always locate them and do a head count.

mommy-on-the-move
04-16-2008, 10:19 AM
Now, when DH gets into the mix, all hell seems to break loose!:rolleyes1


I have similar ages to you (10, 5, 4 and 16months) and I find exactly the same- more chaos with DH along because they will happily attempt to play us off each other where as on my own mommy is all there is! As a consequence DH panics if i have to go places without him as he assumes they're like it when he's not there too (if they were I'd probably go home with less than i left with!)

I do the walking in front thing too only with us it's baby in carrier, 10 year old with 4 year old and me holding 5 year old & bags!

goofygal531
04-16-2008, 11:32 AM
I forgot to mention that there are family restrooms located in all the parks so you can all go potty together (which helps ALOT to have the older child locked in the same bathroom with you while your changing the little ones diaper!) :)

Also, use the baby centers! My fav is in AK, it looks like a day care center. They have family restrooms, tv room, toys, coloring area, a separate room to change the baby in (wipes and Huggies provided!), microwaves, high chairs, etc... They also sell formula, diapers, pacifiers, meds, etc...We always hit the baby centers for a break. let the baby crawl around the tv toy area. Even just for the adults to make a potty break. Your all in a/c and can just relax a bit. They're usually empty in AK and Epcot. Never been to the one in DHS (we don't last very long at that park!) :rotfl:

Avoid the baby center in MK at all costs! It's crowded and usually smells of dirty diapers!:scared1:

jrandtysmom
04-16-2008, 01:54 PM
I am going with my 2 boys in October by myself - no DH any longer so I don't have a choice. :lmao: I was nervous at first and kept asking myself - are you crazy?!?! - but now I am feeling better after reading these boards. I feel I'm doing my homework and getting prepared. Plus I think alot of it does depend on the parent - if you become used to doing things on your own with your kids and not having the other parent there to help, then you learn to adapt and the children. My kids listen well and I think it's going to be a great trip for us!!!

I read a thread where someone asked about Moms and bathrooms with young boys and and I have that issue at home too but it's not a problem because I drag them into the Women's room with me. They don't even attempt to go into the Men's room because they know the rule. :rotfl:

lawyergirl22
04-16-2008, 03:06 PM
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! to everyone who took the time to reply. :thumbsup2 I feel so much better about going, having read all these great tips and been there, done that experiences! This is THE BEST community.

We don't currently have a double stroller, because DD4 refuses to ride in one. We went to Disneyland last September and took 2 strollers--she didn't sit in it once! :confused3 However, with everything I have read, I suspect WDW might be a different case, especially at Epcot. I'll be checking into this. I also have a Mei Tei baby carrier, but thought DS might get hot being so close to me (especially in September).

I will definately be purchasing backpack/leash type things, just for my own peace of mind. I am avoiding buffets for the reasons already posted, and kicking up my workout routine so I'll be in the best possible shape to keep up! :rotfl2:

Bottom line, this is a vacation to spend quality time with my kids. As someone mentioned, home if full of distractions/responsibilities. I think it's going to be great!

Thanks again for all the input. It's really helped me regain my confidence (although why I doubted myself I don't know!)

Gianna

goofygal531
04-16-2008, 03:15 PM
I read a thread where someone asked about Moms and bathrooms with young boys and and I have that issue at home too but it's not a problem because I drag them into the Women's room with me. They don't even attempt to go into the Men's room because they know the rule. :rotfl:

Family bathroom :thumbsup2

goofygal531
04-16-2008, 03:25 PM
We don't currently have a double stroller, because DD4 refuses to ride in one. We went to Disneyland last September and took 2 strollers--she didn't sit in it once! :confused3 However, with everything I have read, I suspect WDW might be a different case, especially at Epcot. I'll be checking into this. I also have a Mei Tei baby carrier, but thought DS might get hot being so close to me (especially in September).

Kids in WDW ride in strollers until they physically can't fit :lmao: Joovy caboose or Sit n Stand are the best choices for an older child who will need a seat, but doesn't want to be in a stroller. My DS4 loves the freedom to hop on and off the stroller.

The baby carrier you'll probably wear most in Fantasy land in MK. You will need to be able to have your hands free to assist your older child on the rides and also on boarding the bus. I have the One Step Ahead hip carrier, http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=533897&cmSource=Search. It's very lightweight and easy to get on and off. It's also great for those preshow when you have to hold the little one before entering the theater like Muppets 3D.


I will definately be purchasing backpack/leash type things, just for my own peace of mind. I am avoiding buffets for the reasons already posted, and kicking up my workout routine so I'll be in the best possible shape to keep up! :rotfl2:

You might have to avoid some of the counter service too, I didn't fit in Pizza Planet in DHS with the stroller. They have bars to separate the rows for each register, they are very narrow. Make sure the counter service is a direct walk up.

Don't forget ID tags for the kids. Mine wear engraved dogtags from Walmart $5 each (you make them in the machine at the front of the store). I wrote "If lost, please call my daddy's cell phone (xxx) xxx-xxxx." Daddy's cell phone is always on due to business, mommy's is off on vacation :lmao: I put the dogtag on their shoe.

fireworks fan
04-16-2008, 07:12 PM
Its great to read all these tips. I will also be alone with 2 kids (5 and 2) at WDW while DH is at a conference. I take the kids all over the place by myself usually, anyway, so hopefully it will only be better since we're at WDW:lmao:

Crisgw
04-16-2008, 08:26 PM
:) My boys are crazy together and in Jan my husband had a conference in South Beach and we stayed there at the hotel and in South Beach (the boys and myself) without my DH everyday for a week. It was rough at times with a few meltdowns, but otherwise, they were just excited to be on vacation :)
Good luck and HAVE FUN!!

~Kristina~
04-16-2008, 08:39 PM
I did it in Dec 06. It was very easy, maybe because they are seasoned, I'm not sure. I took the double stroller, they both sat the entrie time which made it a million times better. The busses were easy because there was always someone who offered to help with the stroller.

Mouse House Mama
04-16-2008, 10:26 PM
I saw the thread below re: losing things at the world, and it caught my eye. I am taking my DD4 and DS1 (who will be almost 2) in september and losing one of them while attending to another/distracted is a major theme that keeps running through my mind.

I am sure I am not the first parent to go solo to WDW with 2 littles. :rolleyes1 Anyone else do it and have advice? Any and all would be much appreciated!

FYI, we are staying at the Poly for 8 nights with free dining, and flying all the way from Nevada!

Thanks!
Gianna
Eh- don't stress. You watch your own kids all the time. WDW is no different. You know what to expect from them. It's like going to the mall only fun! The Poly is great and you will have so much fun! Just relax and do what you always do when you take them out and you will be fine.princess: