What We've Learned Since Our Triplets

Oct 9, 2001

The Bottom Line This hopefully will be to some help to the growing number of people that are having multiples in the world.

This hopefully will be to some help to the growing number of people that are having multiples in the world. First, I must tell you a little about me. I have five children:

o Treí - 8 years old
o Blake - 6 years old
o Easton - 5 months old
o Hailey - 5 months old
o Brendon - 5 months old

Most people that meet our 5 little munchkins and us donít know how we ever manage it. Itís not easy, but itís very doable. I know for us, itís just as much as taking a deep breath every morning and hit the floor running, literally.

Furniture - What you do and donít need

We were told a lot of things while my wife was pregnant with our triplets. We were told we would need this, that, and lots of these. Some of this advice was very helpful, and others could have been done without. Here is my opinion on the physical things that will sometimes save your life.

We wanted to get everything bought before the triplets were born. I wanted my wife to be able to help me pick it out, and I also knew that it would be a lot easier now than later. We started early and it was well worth it.

We bought three cribs, swings, and car seats. I donít know how we would have done it without all three. The car seats are pretty self-explanatory. The swings are used and used often. Itís hard to find a place to put three of them, but itís worth the effort. The babies sleep much better if they are sleeping together at first. While they were little we had one crib in our bedroom for nighttime. One was in the living room so that we could get things done during the day and have them sleeping close by. The other was in their nursery, which was closer to the living room than our room, so they could get some peaceful sleep after the big brothers got home from school.

We also purchased three portable Fisher Price bassinets. They are the foldable models that have the vibrating feature. These were more trouble than anything. We definitely could have done without them. Save your money for something more useful.

What we did need was at least one dresser per child. Yes, some of the clothes will be combined, but it will take all of 3 dressers to hold all of their belongings. We under estimated this in the beginning.

We knew, from having two children previously, that a changing table was only going to take up precious space and probably be used very little. Thatís what the floor or couch is for.

You definitely must have a bathtub for the little ones, but three is a little over board. Itís very doubtful, unless you are blessed with six arms, that you will be able to bathe three at the same time anyway.

Clothes and Linens

There were many misconceptions when it came to the amount of things we needed in this department.

The city closest to us has a mother of multiples club that has a sale twice a year. We made our presence there before the babies were born. This saved us an enormous amount of time and money. I would suggest that everyone that is expecting or has had multiples, to look up these clubs in your local town. They can be a lifesaver.

Having had two children previous, we knew how babies were. They were going to spit up on their clothes, slobber all over them, and need to be changed many times each day. With three, this was going to mean we needed a LOT of clothes.

Before it was over, my wife, the professional shopper, had accumulated hundreds of sleepers and many different little outfits for the babies to wear. We also had friends and family donating and buying clothes for the little ones. We were stuffing clothes into every empty drawer in the house.

Needless to say, being they are five months old now, we have already started boxing stuff up that they have outgrown. I would guess that half of everything we boxed up was unworn. Some of them still had the tags on them. The cute little outfits that my wife had purchased were boxed and sent to storage. Hereís what you need to think about while buying clothes:

You are going to need plenty of sleepers and gowns. That is about all the babies are going to wear for the first 3 months of their lives. They will most likely be born very early and be very small. My smallest was 2 lbs. 15 oz., and my biggest was 3 lbs. 9 oz. They spent the first three weeks of their lives in the hospital, of course, no clothes in there. After they sent them home, we were not able to take them anywhere because they were so premature. They were very susceptible to many viruses that if they contracted, could very easily put them back in the hospital or even killed them. There went all the dress up outfits that werenít worn because we never left the house. Youíve also got to take into account that loading up three little babies, in their car seats, with their heart monitors, in the back of the van and going for a trip isnít easy. Itís like going on vacation every time you walk out the door.

It is very important to have plenty of crib sheets and blankets. With three beds that all three children slept in all the time, we had to change the sheets and blanket every day. If one of them had a runny nose, it got on the bed, and then that night when you laid down one of the other children on it, you had two of them with runny noses. We bought at least three sheets for every bed and at least four blankets for each child.

Wow, Thatís a lot of Baby Bottles

Yes, you are going to need a lot of baby bottles. When our triplets first came home, we were going through at least 27 bottles per day. At five months old, we are now going through about 18 bottles per day.

We pre-make two days worth of bottles for each child and have them in the refrigerator. This is going to call for you making about 90 bottles to have on hand. Yes, that is a lot of bottles. It will in the end though, save your life. Having to mix or pour the bottles, which we did try, every time it was feeding time, was adding so much time to each feeding. When you are feeding three children, that extra five minutes is precious. We have each bottle filled with the formula, where we add hot water and itís ready to go.

Every other night, my wife and I sit down and form our little assembly line. I pour the bottles and she puts the nipples and caps on. Load them in the refrigerator and weíre ready for our little ones to get hungry.

The One Thing That I Couldnít Live Without

There is that one piece of baby equipment that has saved our precious lives.

The one thing that we had to experiment a lot with was feeding time. As if you couldnít imagine, you canít hold three babies and three bottles all at one time. The only option was to sit the babies on the floor and prop the bottles up. We were always sitting right there while the babies were eating in case one of them choked or spit up. The doctor showed us some of the safest ways for us to do this. We first would put them in their carriers and feed them. This worked, but we soon noticed that we were staining them up pretty good when one of their bottles leaked or they spit up. These were also their car seats, so we didnít want to have to wash them all the time or have them all stained up. We then tried the portable bassinets that I mentioned earlier. This was a lot of trouble to drag out every time it was feeding time.

Then, one day while my wife and I were shopping, there they were. They were twenty dollars apiece, which wasnít bad unless you had to buy three of them. The answer to our feeding problems had been there all the time, Boppies. If you donít know what Boppies are, you should go find them. They are wonderful for any child, but they are a godsend for multiples. They are light, and the babies are sitting up just right for you to prop the bottles up for feeding. We have since bought a couple more at garage sales for grandparentís houses. We use them for feeding, for propping the baby while playing with their activity center, or just watching TV. I donít know how we would have ever managed without them.

Tips for the Multiple Parent

Ok, so now you have all the necessary equipment. I will now try to let you in on a few of the time saving tips that will make you day a little smoother.

One thing we learned early. Get them to eat at the same time and life is grand. When one eats, they all eat. This will keep your routine in line.

Yes, you must have a routine. My wife stays at home with the triplets all day, by herself until I come home from work. I know exactly what is going to be done when I get there and she knows what is going to be done when she gets up in the morning. We have a routine and we stick to it. Itís the most important thing for our children and us right now. We know what time the kids eat, what time dinner is, and when itís reading time for our two older boys.

Bath time is every other night. My wife jumps in the bath just as soon as our two oldest are in bed. She bathes and then runs new water. I undress one triplet and while she washes, Iím undressing another one. I then hand that baby to her and take the clean one, and lotion and dress them. Then the next one goes in for the switch. We have this down. We get a little faster each time, just as we do in everything else. We can bathe all three babies and have them ready for bed in less than 25 minutes.

I remember when they were first home, I was so happy if I could get them all to eat and get them burped in less than 45 minutes. This has gradually improved with their age, and my expert feeding talent. :-) . I can now have it all done in about 15-20 minutes.

Soon, you will notice that your day just flows along and everything that should be done is done and you actually start to notice a beautiful thing, free time. Thatís a wonderful commodity in our house. We use it wisely.

I hope this information helps someone.

Thanks for reading and God Bless.

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About the Author

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Member: Erik McPherson
Location: Preston, OK
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About Me: 41 year old married father of 5 awesome kiddos, including a set of triplets.