Baby advice needed—times THREE!

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NO, IT’S NOT ME. Seriously, do you think that’s how I would tell you?

Actually, I don’t know how I would tell you, but I know it would be from a prone position because I would be lying on the ground from the shock.

But anyway.

Dear friends of mine are going to be first-time parents and they are looking for advice on the baby stuff. You know, What To Buy, What Not To Buy, Nuggets of Parenting Advice and, of course, What Will You Give Them If You Are Done With It, because GUESS WHAT—she’s having triplets.

Internet, this is your moment to shine.

Since a triplet pregnancy gives you less time to prepare than a singleton pregnancy (which doesn’t seem fair, really), this mom-to-be-times-three is trying to get all her preparations done soon. Really soon.

And while she really needs a triplet stroller, three cribs and a day at the spa (oh, and a BLOG, because she is a great writer and boy, does she have material), you can help out by giving her and her husband the best parenting & baby gear advice you can think of. And come now, you don’t need to BE a parent to give parenting advice—we’ve all had parents, right? These babies will have two amazing parents, a wonderful extended family and all the love they could ever want, which is what you really need to start with. But love alone won’t get them to sleep, so if you have a trick, tip or piece of advice, pass it on!

I’ll start:

Swaddling—learn the swaddle in the hospital, and don’t be like me, thinking it was just a pretty way for the nurses to present the baby. As it turns out, it is an actual soothing technique, and it helps baby fall asleep.

We’ve learned to keep an “emergency” kit in the car with a receiving blanket, extra diapers, wipes and a change of clothes for baby (and you, too!). Especially in the early days, diaper blowouts and massive spit-ups occur without warning in any location. As they get older, you can add snacks, paper towels, tissues, toys, etc—this kit has saved me (and other moms who have borrowed from it) many times, especially when you get a little cavalier about leaving the house without the full-on diaper bag.

It’s also a good idea to always have an extra receiving blanket handy in your diaper bag, car or stroller, or just up your sleeve. You’ll find it being pressed into service as you tuck it around your Baby Bjorn (s) while walking on a cool day, to wrap around baby as you contain blowouts on your way to a changing area, as a burp cloth, to roll up and support baby’s head or body, to lay him down and change him, etc.

Clear out some space in your freezer, even if you’ve been dutifully filling it with pre-made meals before baby. You’re bound to get a few more meals (or batches of cookies) that need to be frozen. To make room, eat the cookies.

For night changings/feedings, we liked having a clock that we could see in the dark, as well as a light with a dimmer switch. As the weeks go by, keeping the lights low at night is helpful in teaching baby the difference between day and night, an important distinction they don’t always come out knowing!

Your baby might come home with full-grown talons, so have some teeny baby nail clippers on hand, or dress your newborn in those gowns with the flip-over hand mitts if you need a few days to gain the strength and focus to cut those little nails. They also make little teeny cotton mittens you can use or use some baby socks. They can really scratch the heck out of their faces if their nails go uncovered/untrimmed.

Have some infant Tylenol and infant Motrin in the house, and know where the closest 24-hour pharmacy is. You never know when you will need it. And be sure you factor in location when choosing your pediatrician. You will be there ALL THE TIME, so make sure it is easy to get there!

Our NICU nurse recommended the Chicco Keyfit infant seat for its amazing infant positioner, esp. good for very small babies in danger of positional asphyxia. We got the Keyfit and really, really love it—so easy to adjust. For “big kid” car seats, we have the Britax Marathon.

The exersaucer, from about five months to walking was our best friend—both kids loved the upright position after months on back and tummy. (That being said, of course you’ve heard it’s best to borrow or buy second-hand the optional gear, like swings, bouncy seats and exersaucers. Some babies can’t stand the stuff, and you’ll never know until you try a few times.)

I really prefer the softness of jersey knit and flannel crib sheets—the regular cotton ones, even high-end ones just felt too rough for new baby skin.

I’m a big reader, so it is no surprise that I have read a LOT of baby care books. My favorites? Baby 411, Your Newborn Head to Toe and the classic, given to me by a dear friend, Your Baby and Child: From birth to age five (Hi Barbara!).

I also have read all the sleep books, (Ferber, Weissbluth, etc.) and by far I really like Jodi Mindell’s Sleeping Through the Night. Who wouldn’t, with a title like that? Of course, you could also go with Jennifer’s brilliant sleep book idea over at Playgroups are no place for children, but we probably shouldn’t scare future parents that much!

The best advice we got about baby furniture from experienced parents was this: don’t get a high chair. They’re too expensive, and take up too much space. Instead, get a feeding seat that can be strapped to one of your chairs. When baby is done with the tray, it becomes a booster seat at the table. They take up much less space and are so much easier to clean—also great for traveling. We love our blue and green $25 Fisher-Price one.

The packs of prefolded cotton diapers are ok as burp cloths, but the flannel ones are really, really soft and nice and more absorbent.

When baby starts moving around, soft-soled leather slip on shoes like Robeez are fantastic until they really start doing a lot of outside walking— in winter they keep the socks on, keep the feet warm and protect the toes of little crawlers. Target has a cheaper version of Robeez shoes, plus there is an eBay store that sells similar soft-soled shoes for much less than Robeez, search for “ShoesZoo” on eBay.

We have the Diaper Dekor diaper pail, and find that it does a pretty good job of containing the smell. You can use regular bags in it or the special liners, which I like because they last FOREVER, and they are in a tube format, so you can change a stinky pail before it is full, without wasting a bag that is less than full.

I love the Vera Bradley and Skip-Hop diaper bags. And to put in them, Amazon sells giant economy boxes of disposable diapers and wipes at great prices (often better than the warehouse stores, and the boxes are usually bigger than any you can get at other stores), and they come straight to your door with free shipping. Yes, that’s right, I said straight to your door with free shipping. Why would you buy diapers anywhere else?

Oh and, don’t get hung up on the newborn diapers with the cord cutout—both my babies were too small for the cord cutout so we had to fold it over anyway, and by the time they grew into the area where the cord cutout is, the cords had fallen off.

Strollers, strollers, strollers—I did more research on strollers than the rest of the baby gear combined. Baby Bargains is a help, as is the good parent feedback available on the Baby Bargains message boards. My big piece of advice would be don’t buy a matching travel system—most infant car seats fit into most strollers just fine, and you get a much better stroller if you buy it separately. If you are wondering if your car seat of choice fits your stroller of choice, just go try it out at a baby store. Oh, and definitely buy your stroller through Marilyn at A Running Stroller, fantastic prices, fantastic service (call her and talk to her for advice and ideas) and NO shipping charges. She also has GREAT prices on Britax car seats, Skip-Hop diaper bags, etc.

And don’t forget the lovely Internet! Find the support groups and parenting sites that work for you, from Baby Center and Parent Dish to all the blogs you could ever want—see list to your right for starters!

Okay, your turn, Internet! What could you not live without with a newborn (or three) in the house? What’s the best parenting book, children’s book, sleep technique, piece of gear, web site, parenting blog, easy recipe or just plain piece of advice you can think of? And if you know any moms of multiples, please ask them to stop by and share their advice!

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28 Responses to “Baby advice needed—times THREE!”

  1. Jen Says:

    What fantastic advice, Anna! I wish I would have had this before Eli came along 😉 I will try to think of some valuable tidbit to pass along…nothing immediatley comes to mind! Love all your new photos! I have been absent from blogging yet again….just can’t keep up! Thanks for checking in on my blog 😉

  2. Stacy Says:

    Congratulations to your friend!

    You did a great job at covering the basics! That’s a pretty thorough list. I did a few posts awhile back on mommy advice:

    Stuff: http://the-kraft-family.com/WordPress/?p=167

    Baby Food: http://the-kraft-family.com/WordPress/?p=166

    Nursing: http://the-kraft-family.com/WordPress/?p=165

  3. B. Says:

    I know this is cheesy, and everything above is fantastic advice, but here is my suggestion… love and humor. Shower them (kiddies and spouse too) with love and laughter and the rest will be icing on the cake or in the case of triplets, cakes!

    Oh yeah, I video camera would be cool too, so that you can relive those days of sleep deprivation and dirty diapers over and over again.

  4. sdh Says:

    weirdly, my other favorite mom blogger has a post about triplets today too!
    http://moxie.blogs.com/askmoxie/

    i, having no kids, cannot offer much advice, but i will gladly volunteer some of my mondays-off to come over and hold a baby or two…

    if the triplet parents are looking for a minivan, my dad loves the chrysler town & country. but keep in mind he is delivering cakes, not babies.

  5. amy Flood Says:

    Anna-
    Oh my! your friends are and will be very blessed with 3 babies, but what a challenge they have ahead of them! and boy do i have suggestions!
    1. join freecycle. it is a yahoo internet group that has “chapters” in your local area. where i live it is county-wide. people place “offer” ads for stuff they want to get rid of and everything is free. you can also place “wanted” ads asking for specific things and if someone has that item and they are willing to part with it they will email you.
    2. definitely get a triple stroller. i have a 2 yr old and a set of 1yr old twins and wish every day that i had a triple stroller. there will be many days that everyone is screaming and getting outside seems to pacify everyone. i used a baby harness and a double stroller which only worked for so long, and not recommended for someone recovering from a c-section.
    3. take into account your car when you purchase your car seats. i have a station wagon and getting 3 car seats in side by side on the back bench seat is a challenge. i sometimes have to use all my body weight to get the doors to close! even minivans have their problems. my husband has a minivan and although it seats 7 adults, it is not set up for multiple car seats. you have to lift up the 2nd row bucket seat to get to the back row meaning you can’t put a car seat there.
    4. bottlefeeding? with triplets i image you will have to at least supplement. i prefer the playtex dropins bottles. i would have at least 12-enough for 4 feedings. we used a different colored ring for each child. also get a label maker and label the bottles and caps with each child’s name. plan for each baby to be on different formula and buy by the case. if you have access to Bristol Myers Squibb, they have a company store that sells the Emfamil line of formula. i’m not sure if it is open to the public, but if so, you can get formula for up to 1/3 off and times 3 babies that is a great savings! and sign up with the website of your formula brand–they usually send you a welcome baby case of formula–make sure they know you have triplets. you’ll also get coupons. Also check your grocery store for incentives to buy baby items there. Shoprite runs a BabyBucks coupon program and for every $75 you spend in baby items, you get a coupon for $10 off your next grocery bill.
    5.have at least 2 of each gadget, swings, tummy time mats etc. even with 2 adults around it is impossible to hold 3 babies at once and there will be times when you want to use the bathroom—-alone!
    6. definitely get 3 cribs. my twins did not sleep well together and slept much better apart. as soon as you can, get them on the same sleep schedule. even if it is only 1 nap a day, you will welcome the peace. i used both Weissbluth and Ferber and they helped me at different stages. with 3 babies, it would be nice if you could rock each one to sleep, but it is not possible unless you have 2 nannies on call all day long. i defintely see a change in behavior with better sleep habits. i never liked to let my oldest cry to long so i would run to him at every peep. with 2 or 3, you just can’t do that. the sooner they can learn to fall asleep themselves the better–for your sanity and theirs!
    7. stock up on baby tylenol-remember not to use baby motrin until the babies are older than 6 months. i also liked a product called “homeopathic teething drops” by a company called Gentle Naturals. i have only been able to find it at Target. it is essentially cammomile and helps like magic with teething issues. i also used Mylicon by the gallon! some people also swear by a product called Gripe Water that you can usually find at natural food stores. it is a colic aid.
    8. if you are not against TV, then baby einstein is great.
    9. have a mini diaper changing station is the rooms you typically use. one of those plastic set of drawers works great for extra diapers, wipers and cream. the worst diaper blowouts always happen when you don’t have time to bring the baby to its room to change his diaper. i also keep wipes handy all around the house. i use them all, all the time.
    9. i don’t have a recommendation for diaper pails. the first one i had i liked okay, but it has been discontinued and so have the inserts. the second one sucks! with 3 babies, you might want to get 2 and keep one in the babies room and 1 in the other room you use the most.
    10. lighten up. especially as first time parents there will be pressure to do everything right. remember that you have special circumstances that don’t allow for that. i had all sorts of ideas before i had kids about what i would do as a mom-no TV, let them use their imagination, homemade organic babyfood, never raise my voice etc etc. 3 babies come with 3 times the stress so if sitting them in front of a baby einstein video for 15 minutes gives you enough quiet time so you can clean up bottles for the next feeding (or make another pot of coffee or hide in a corner of your kitchen wondering will you make it through the day or whatever), that is okay, you are not a bad parent and your children may still get a scholarship to an ivy league school.
    11. I definitely recommend joining a BJs or Costco or another wholesale club that is closest to you. I joined BJs and find that their diaper prices are good. (Sorry Anna, i pay less for 25 more diapers than what is selling at Amazon.) they also have some organic products. their organic milk is the cheapest price i can find. once the kids are off formula, you’ll have milk to deal with. i go through 1/2 gallon a day.
    12. diaper bags. i have two diaper bags. one i keep stocked with diapers, wipes and extra clothes and leave that in the car. i have another that is a backpack style. it ain’t pretty, but it is functional! i keep only essentials in there and carry it wherever i go, just diapers, wipes, cream, extra pacifiers and teething cookies. it also fits 2 bottles in a “cooler” section.
    13. exersaucers are great, but don’t get the exersaucer triple play. it breaks apart for when the babies are toddling, but it is very unstable. buy a different toy for when they can pull themselves up.
    14. bibs and bed linens!! if you think you have enough, get more. once the babies start eating solids, you’ll go through 9 bibs a day! if you think you’ll be doing laundry every day, think again. you probably should, but the day is only so long. have enough for a couple of days and have at least 2 sheets per crib.
    15. highchairs. i think i have the same highchair for my twins that Anna has. love it and it is easily portable. they do make ones that recline and you may find that that better suits your needs
    16. speaking of eating, get a splat mat or two or three. The Land of Nod has a great Splat Mat. it is a bit pricey, but really goes the distance. they work great too as a picnic blanket and wipe off easily.
    Well, that is all i can think of now, but Anna, feel free to give your friend my email address if they have any questions. i’m still learning myself, but i am willing to share all i’ve learned so far. Amy

  6. Angie Says:

    Hi, I stumbled upon your site randomly, and the only advice I can think of is to sign up for your area Freecycle (http://www.freecycle.org/). It’s a great place to find used toys, clothes, etc.. And best of all, you specify your area, and you can get an email everyday (or a few times a day) with what people are giving away.
    Best of luck to your friends!

  7. Anna Says:

    Amy, you are amazing! Thank you so much, I will share your email with my friend!
    A

  8. Bond Triplets Says:

    Our triplets are 8 weeks old today. We’ve been through a lot so far, and can’t imagine what’s still in store for us. Our suggestions:
    1) When they are older – we got a triplet feeding table – a large table with 3 highchair seats sunk into it. Plug all 3 kids in their seats, and you can use it for activities too.
    2) We got a triplet stroller that folds up nicely, and is quite manuverable. It fits the car seats – so we leave the bases in the car, snap the seats off the bases, and onto the stroller frame. http://www.doubledeckerstroller.com
    3) Bouncy chairs – at least three – great for them to sleep in. Then I guess swings once they are older.
    4) We got an easy mix pitcher from pampered chef for making large batches of formula
    5) make an easy to find station for all the spitup clothes/diapers/etc. We run through a huge amount and are always in need of them
    6) Find a huge diaper bag.
    7) Follow up on every offer of help! 🙂

  9. itsallabouthallie Says:

    Wow advice! hmmm…multiplies..now i only have twins, triplets…that is awesome! There is so much to say! I think the first thing i would suggest is relax! Everyone is going to tell you about their pregnancy or how they had! enjoy yours! Not everyone will agree with me but giving birth was the easiest part in all of this! i push for about 30 min. and i was done.

    so some things i have lived by as a mother of twins and a singleton two years older! Remember it gets easier as they get older. (oh yeah i had an 8 and 12 year old foster child at the house as well and then when they left when the twins were not yet a year i had another little girl who was three days older than the twins so it was like having triplets…she was autistic oh the days)

    1. Schedule schedule schedule. I had my babies sleeping through the night at about three months and have been great sleepers. I believe that is because i did the same thing every night. my twins slept together until they were about a year old. then they had a crib next to each other and one would climb into to the other and often i would find them together inthe morning. I always believe kids can not tell time but they can expect. so they can expect that a bath meant i would nurse them, swaddle them so tightly, and then lay them down to sleep. they caught on. They got it! thank heavens. if one twin woke in the night i would wake the other and nurse him. they were on the same schedule, i nursed them thirteen months and they never had bottles. a bit tough but it was possible. I read a lot about how triplets could be nursed too!
    2. SWINGS they saved my life. at night when it was time to make dinner the swings were a god send. with a two year old running around and the twins screaming….swing….i actually would sing anything when they cried, i would make up stuff. it was a lot of fun…
    3. get out…remember people are going to ask questions. the best was when some one asked me if they were twins. i said no triplets, the other is in the car i did not have a stroller big enough for two….duh…i think it had been a bad night and i needed to get out and see that there was life beyond my house….
    4. I always had an extra bag in the car no matter what…extra pacifers, extra clothes diapers and so on….a must. and i had a diaper bag
    5. i never had a diaper pail as i went through so many diapers i just took out the trash everyday with three in diapers it was not worth the work or the money. that is a personal choice.
    6. relax, you are going to be tired, sleep when they do. i remember being so tired i would take a shower and forget to wash my hair….it was tough.
    7. talk to others that have multiples, it is nice to talk with people that have gone through what you are….one of my best friends has twins 5 years older than mine and it was nice to talk to her. it is not the same when people say they had their kids 12 months apart, it was like having twins or triplets. i always want to say no it is not.
    8. did i say have a schedule…man that is what saves my life even today. my boy go to bed at 730pm every night. no fuss not carrying on…it works.
    9. clothes, i dressed mine alike but in different colors, Raymond always had Red and Nathaniel always had Navy. but having them in the same clothes i found to be easier when picking out clothes for the day. pick out one set and you are done. but again, before i had the twins i swore i would never dress them alike. i did and still will for pictures.
    10. i had a bassinet downstairs as well as upstairs…and a changing station i think someone mentioned that. that is extremely helpful.
    11. i used to put the babies in bouncy chairs in the bathroom to help stop the screaming, even would shower with them. that was always helpful.
    12 take pictures….dont forget the camera….take tons and tons…
    13. one of the bed sheets or bed ideas i did was, my grandmother made these flannel swaddling blankets i might have a few left, i will dig around, but they were great as they were huge and i could tuck them tight into the cradle and replace them if they spit up instead of changing the sheets everyday.

    kids do not come with an instruction manual. i remember having that ultra sound….at first there were 4!!! EGGS! no one told me until after i went back and there were TWO!!! i almost feel off the table….i asked the doctor if he had it on the right channel….he did not find the humor in it all!

    how much fun to have three little ones! i am sure there are lots more little things. let me know. my “babies” are now 7 years old and in second grade. my oldest is 9 in the forth grade! THEY ROCK!!!

    i hope that was not to much….

  10. Sarah Says:

    I tell every mother of multiples to get the book “When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads, Revised Edition: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy” by Dr. Barbara Luke. I know a lot of doctors don’t believe in it, but tons of v. respected perinatologists and MFMs (maternal-fetal medicine specialists) do, and besides, it freakin’ works. I followed her plan while pregnant with my boys and I seriously think I have this book to thank for my boys’ large birth weight (6 lbs. 3 oz and 7 lbs. 9 oz — the biggest twins born in our hospital that anyone can remember. No joke, total strangers would come to see us in the hospital, saying “we heard about the enormous twins that were born…”). It’s hard, very hard work, following the plan, but I made it to 37w5d with my twins, which is past full-term for twins, so I thought it was very worthwhile.

    Swaddling is awesome. Also lots of help. It’s very heartbreaking for a mother of multiples to hear one baby crying but she can’t do anything about it because she’s feeding/caring for the other baby. With help, at least “the other one” gets held, too, y’know?

    Oh and encourage her to find a mothers of multiples group nearby; it’ll be a great resource. Here’s the national site: http://www.nomotc.org/ Yes it says mothers of twins, but it’s all multiples, really.

  11. Sarah Says:

    oh geez, yeah, I agree: schedule the kids as early as possible. I know a lot of moms don’t like the idea, but to stay sane with that many newborns in the house, you NEED a routine, if only to get yourself through the darn day all in one piece.

  12. Cari Says:

    Wow! Congrats to your friend and what great advice from everyone.

    I only have a couple things to offer up.

    RE: Nursing/pumping: Foo was a preemie, so she couldn’t nurse at first. I used a hospital grade pump while we were in the hospital and ended up renting it for the duration of her nursing/me pumping. With Luna I got a relatively good quality pump from Target (Medela). I would say definitely use the hospital grade pump. It was much more efficient.

    RE: Bottles. Foo had to have human milk fortifier added to breastmilk at least 50% of the time at first, so we had to use bottles. That was awful. She was so gassy and fussy and UGH. A friend suggested Dr. Brown’s Bottles and – literally – overnight those issues were resolved. I absolutely swear by them.

    All my best to your friends and their wee ones!

  13. Lynne Says:

    Congratulations! And coincidentaly, it’s my triplets’ birthday today (9/26 – as I just looked at the clock and it’s after midnight where I am). They are 2 today.

    Here are some random thoughts….

    Definitely purchase the triple-decker stroller as advised above. It was our life-saver for the first six months or so. We went to the Runabout after that.

    Prepare to be busy. Accept any and all forms of “good” help offered. Make a list of things to do. Include laundry, dishes, making bottles, walking the dog, …whatever. Post the list on your fridge and when people ask what they can do show them the list.

    Get a noteboot to record everything for the first few months. Do you know how difficult it can be to remember the details when you’re going on way to little sleep? If someone gets sick, this info is good to know.

    During your pregnancy read Dr. Luke’s book. Eat helthy and eat as much as you can. Eating is hard when you are pregnant with multiples. You are either too nauseus or your stomach feels like it’s in your throat. I drank lots of protein drinks and ate wheat English muffins with cheese and/or peanut buter. Also beef up your fish oil and the other things that Dr. Luke recommends.

    And drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated. My temp stayed up around 99 or 100 from 14 weeks forward. They’re so busy growing they take everything you have. Some weeks I’d lose a pound or two on 4000 calories/day.

    Prepare for the worst and expect the best. I did everything I knew how too and still delivered at 29 weeks (there’s a post about that yesterday on my site). Sometimes you can do everything right and they still come early. Luckily for us we had great NICU care and we have 3 healthy babies. God blessed us enormously.

    If you can afford it, get full time or part time help. We had a son that was 20 months old when our 3 were born and my husband was travelling some, so it was a must for us. We weaned ourselves down to part time and now we’re on are own with our 4 under 4 in preschool.

    Look for all of the freebies for multiples and get a friend to be in charge of filling out the forms. Many of the offers require a crib card or copy of the birth certificate or certificate of live birth. The freebies add up. See if you pediatrician can help with formula and tyenol, etc.

    Keep your sense of humor and try to enjoy it as much as you can. The baby stage goes by so fast. Use your digital camera and camcoder as often as you can to capture those moments that your brain may be too tired to remember later.

    Join a multiples club and ask for suggestions and advice. It’s also a great place to buy/sell equipment, etc.

    Check into Marvelous Multiples. We took the class in the Atlanta area when I was 19 weeks along. We became friends with the other triplet couple and their kids are just 5 weeks behind ours. We often talk and compare notes and exchange ideas.

    Get as much sleep as you can and nap often in the first year. Get them on the same schedule. If they are in the NICU for a couple of weeks (odds are they will be there for at least a few days) they will be on a great schedule. We used a combination of several methods, but I really like the Baby Whisperer and Happiest Baby on the Block.

    Speaking of sleep…my toddlers will be up in 6 hours. 🙂

    Good luck and take care of yourself.

  14. Bond Triplets Says:

    Adding a bit more in response:
    1) definately follow a schedule. We feed our three at the same time, usually doing 2 and then the third. We tried the other way, and it gave us no time off from feeding….

    2) Definately get “When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads” – as the previous poster said, the diet works! We got to 35 wks with triplets, and were the first set delivered at our hospital (the rest had to go to a different one with a special nicu for premies) – at 6,5,and 5lbs, we were treated like a normal pregnancy.

    oh, and look for a local mothers of multiples group.

  15. Michele Another Triplet Mom Says:

    I didn’t read through all the responses you have here, so this may be duplicate information. If you go to my website http://www.fourtimesthefun.blogspot.com and click on the Triplet Related label there is lots and lots of posts specifically geared towards triplets. Also, my Sleep label has a lot geared towards triplets and sleeping.

    My advice for the stroller is the Triple Decker. It’s a frame that you pop the carseats on. This is the stroller that will allow her to get out of the house ON HER OWN and keep her from turning into a lunatic that sits in a corner flipping a light off and on and listening to Madame Butterfly. GET THIS STROLLER. Look for a used one. Join the Triplet Connection.com and go to their used stroller listings.

    I’m not sure how far along she is now, but she should have her shower really early. I had mine at 26 weeks.

    Also, if she is just newly pregnant, she should be seeing a perinatologist and be preparing to give birth at a hospital with a Level III NICU. She should also be prepared to quit working around 20 weeks. At 20 weeks her uterus will be the size of a full term singleton pregnancy and this is when things start getting tricky.

    Drink lots and lots of water. Stay down. Stay on her left side. Stay off the cervix.

    I did all of these things and never had a day of preterm labor and delivered my trio at 35w1d.

    She should also start reading and posting on the Triplet Connection. Join her local Mothers of Multiples club because they should be having their Fall Garage Sale right now and she could pick up a ton of stuff for CHEAP!

    Okay, if I think of anything else I’ll be back. 🙂

    Michele

  16. joselle@williamstriplets Says:

    1. Definitely the Triple Decker Stroller. Hands down the best thing that I had when they were in infant seats still.
    2. Bumbo seats- I lined all 3 up and fed them until they could sit in the feeding table.
    3. 3 Swings- They were a lifesaver when it came to naptime and no one wanted to be in the cribs
    4. Personally, I would avoid Diaper Genies etc. With 3 getting diaper changes all day long, that thing filled up way too quickly. We trashed ours and just went with a can and scented bags.
    5. I went through tons of receiving blankets and bibs.
    6. Snap front onesies were awesome when they were still tiny.
    7. Crib positioners were great when I had all 3 in one crib when they 1st came home
    8. LOTS OF PUREX HAND SANITIZER!
    9. Boppy pillows for double feeding
    10. I kept mine on the schedule they came home from the hospital on (every 3 hours at 1st). It kept me sane and kept them on a schedule.

  17. snickollet Says:

    There is so much good advice here that I feel like I have nothing to contribute. I was all excited to recommend joining a local twin moms club, and a few people beat me to it. I will say that the three things I have found most helpful about my club are (1) the twice-yearly yard sales (so much stuff! so cheap! and worth going to while you’re pregnant if you can deal); (2) the online message group (for questions about any and everything as well as lots of stuff being offered up for free or at very low cost); and (3) the monthly support meetings (not the business meetings, but the chit-chat with other moms meetings–great reason to get out of the house in the early months).

    If you plan to nurse at all, be sure to get a twin nursing pillow. There are a bunch of them on the market (EZ-2-Nurse, Anna), and they make it quite possible to nurse two at a time.

    Schedule, schedule, schedule. As others have said, it will save your sanity.

    Someone already recommended doubledeckerstroller.com, but Graco makes a triple Snap’N’Go, too, that’s cheaper and accomplishes the same goal (although I think it’s less compact).

    Ummmm, I’m coming up empty for other ideas right now, but I’ll be back if I think of anything else.

    Good luck and how exciting!

  18. cherie Says:

    Send her over to my blog! I’ve been blogging since my trio were conceived. 🙂

    http://www.tripletconnection.com also has some great advice.

  19. Anna Says:

    Leaving this great comment I got on email:

    Hi Anna! I am Sarah’s sister, Emily, and I thoroughly enjoy your blog : )

    As to advice for the expectant Mom of triplets – I have to recommend
    that she join the local mother of twins/multiples club up here – its
    based in Arlington, MA.

    Even though I only have a singleton. we have been attending their enormous twice a year tag sale for great high quality gently used baby gear and clothes. The great part of her becoming a member is that she can enter the tag sale an hour early for
    first pick of all of the multi-strollers, car seats, toys, gear, books, playpens, and clothes. Just saw that the Fall Sale is THIS WEEKEND (Saturday the 29th) at Winchester High School (10-15 minutes from Cambridge). Link to the website attached. http://www.mmota.org/events.htm

    Another cool tip is to make up the babies beds with multiple layers of
    fitted sheets and waterproof flannels. That way, if he/she wets through
    in the night, you just peel off the wet layer and have a fresh sleep
    surface without the hassle of remaking the crib/bassinet : )

    Fun gear? Our little guy enjoyed the Bumbo
    (http://www.bumbobabyseat.com) and we used it instead of a high chair or
    booster for several months. We also found the cradle-style swing (we
    used Fisher-Price Nature Sounds – which was quiet) really helped him at
    nap time.

    That’s all for now – Take care. Emily

  20. Ritualistic « Hank & Willie Says:

    […] Hank & Willie Shockingly regular entries since early 2007 « Baby advice needed—times THREE! […]

  21. Anna Says:

    This came via email:

    My name is Julie. I will be more than willing to answer any questions she has what-so-ever! The first thing I recommend is to join MOST (Mothers of Super Twins), they are out of New York and are wonderful people.

    She should also see if there is a local Moms of Twins club or Moms of Multiples club in her area, it is nice to have a group of people who know exactly what you are going through. The best book to buy is ” Raising Multiple Birth Children: A Parents’ Survival Guide” I bought mine on Amazon.com, here is the link – http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Multiple-Birth-Children-Survival/dp/1886284350.

    The easiest and most affordable stroller if you can’t find a used triplet one is the Baby Trend Triple Stroller, which I bought online at http://www.strollerdepot.com/list.php?category=Strollers&subcategory=Triple%20and%20Quad%20Strollers . This stroller folds up like a normal stroller, and it is fairly cheap as far as triplet strollers go, it is $249.00 and has free shipping from strollerdepot.com.

    I don’t recommend buying second hand car seats, however, a lot of people do. I used the Graco snug rides and you should check if the store has a multiples discount. Babies R Us does, they give 10% off each item but they have to be purchased together. Baby Depot at Burlington Coat Factory does as well. She needs to contact your local health department to get on WIC. That is Women, Infant, Children and it will pay for your formula as well as some other things. Now is not a time to be proud :), WIC is great and formula is $12-15/ can and you will go through about 4-6 cans a week which severly cuts into your diaper money.

    That is the other thing. She needs to start buying a jumbo pack or two of diapers/ week now. In the beginning you will be going through 240-250 diapers a week. We did and it was great, we didn’t have to buy diapers until they were 6-7 months old. You will only need a few packs of NB size. They will outgrow those quickly unless they are very small. But as long as they don’t open them, they can take them back and exchange them. I love Sam’s Club diapers if you have one near or any other warehouse store. They generally only come in a 3,4,5 size for the store brand. Do not feel that you have to buy only Pampers, all babies are different. Luv’s and Pampers are made in the same factory. In fact, if you have a Target store, you can search online for Luv’s coupon’s at Target, and they are $3 off a box of diapers and thate really makes them affordable. I love the Sam’s Club brand diaper wipes. When shopping for diapers and wipes, break it down to the cost of each diaper, it makes it much easier to keep track of if it is a good deal. Like, I won’t buy wipes unless they are under 2 cents per wipe. Diapers are good if you can get unter 16 cents per diaper. I try to get as close to 12 cents as I can. Don’t buy a lot of binky’s they will likely only like the kind that they had in the hospital and if so, you need to buy a lot of them.

    Our hospital uses the Gum Drop pacifier ( http://www.hawaiimedical.com/) and that is the only thing that mine would take. Also, binky clips, buy the Mam clips, not the pooh bear clips, the Mam ones lock on to the clothes. You will need 3 bouncy chairs of some kind. We used the Fisher Price toddler rockers. They have an activity bar and vibrate. They have a stabilizing bar, are easy to wash and are good up to 40 pounds. We still use ours and my triplets are 15 months.

    We had 3 swings. The travel type are good in the beginning becaus they aren’t up for activity stuff for a while, but then we switched to the bigger swings. We had at least 2 of those, it depends on what people get you for your shower. Oh that is the other thing. Have a huge shower, even if you have to rent someplace big enough. It was very helpful. We had big gift baskets that people could buy raffle tickets for and all of the proceeds went to the “Diaper Fund”. I know that it may sound greedy but 3 babies are VERY pricey and you need as much help getting started as you can.

    As for receiving blankets, we couldn’t find any larger ones so, at the fabric stores you can buy the fleece material in really cute prints. You only need a yard to make one blanket and one matching burp cloth. We would just cut 6 -7 inches off of the longer end of the material and zig zag on our sewing machine around the edge for the blanket so it didn’t ravel and for the burp cloth, just fold it in half wrong side out, sew it almost completely around and then flip it right side out and sew the remaining section. They are very easy, if you have any questions about sewing those, I can help.

    We did eventually get a jumperoo, but you don’t need one right away. You will need 3 cribs, they all slept for a while in the top level of the pack n play and together in their crib, but eventually you have to move one out and then they will all need to be separate. In the beginning it is nice to have enough bottles to do up 48 hours worth of bottles. I used the small avents and the small gerber bottles. My boys were on thickened formula for acid reflux so they used the gerbers. My daughter was colicy so we tried the Avents. Can’t say they really helped. I have heard people say the Dr. Brown bottles work well for colicky but they are hard to clean and you want everything to be as easy as possible. And if they really helped, I think that the company would be advertising it all over the place.

    We used a dorm room fridge to put the bottles in so we didn’t have to give up fridge space. Also, if she is able to breast feed and/or pump, that is awesome and you will need to think about additional freezer space. I couldn’t produce any milk, because of infection and loss of blood. A lot of moms can produce the milk and that is awesome. There is so much more that I can help with, I know that this is a lot of info. Have her email me questions or she can even call me. I would love to help her.

    Julie, mommy of Wesley, Zachary, and Emalynne – 15 mo.

  22. Dara Lee Says:

    I was fortunate enough to have a mother in law who had twins, she was a godsend in the first week. My best advice is to join the local Multiples club. Ours has bi-annual sales, I pick up tons of clothes for cheap and lots of gear as well. I swore by my vibrating bouncy chairs, I think they were Fisher Price. The boys napped in them all of the time. My twins were not premature though, so I don’t know how they would be for really small babies. It’s worth looking into though. I also think that as a Mom, as well as a parent, you should follow your gut instincts. If something does seem wrong, have it checked out. We went a whole year before we found out our youngest was lactose intolerant, the whole time thinking there was something seriously wrong with him. If I had just pestered the doctors more, he might have been a happier baby.

    Ask as many questions of the nurses as you can while you’re in the hospital. Remember, it’s never too silly a question. Write things down as well, because you’ll forget what they said about Baby A by the time they get to Baby C. And when people ask what they can help with, tell them. With my first I was very shy about accepting help, but by the time the twins came along I told people what they could do. I had people folding laundry and even just holding the babies so I could have a shower.

    I think the best thing that we did was set up a changing station on our main floor. We currently live in a two-story, and it was a lot of work to carry two babies and a toddler up the stairs to change them all of the time. We put diapers, wipes, extra clothes, all the bath stuff and a stack of receiving blankets on a shelf in the living room. It wasn’t pretty, but it did help a lot.

    There’s so much to tell about multiples, and I only had twins. I can only imagine what three babies would be like. As for the pregnancy, try to eat often and small amounts. I suffered from morning sickness from the day I got pregnant until the day I had them, but I could control it a bit if I ate frequently.

    Oh, and though I totally support breastfeeding, it is smart to find a way that someone can help feed the babies too. It gives you a break and a chance to sleep more than an hour at a time. If you are boiling bottles, lemon juice in the water will keep the mineral deposits down so the bottles aren’t all filmy. Boiling the pot with cream of tartar in the water will get rid of mineral deposits on the pot as well.

    Good luck to your friends! I wish them all the best. It’s totally worth all the crying when they smile at you in a few months.

    Dara Lee, mom to Gage (2.5 yrs), Nate & Jude (17 months)

  23. Tammie Says:

    Congrats to them! My three are a little over 2 and what a ride it has been. While I dont have much to offer because it seems as though the bases have all been covered I can suggest she look for items on Craigs List. Joining Triplet Connection is a good idea.

    The best advice I can give is to be a team. Her and her husband really need to be a team. The ultrasound tech at our first ultrasound gave us that advice and it was something that rang true, even now. Also keep humor. Being spit up on, pooped on, peed on and all sorts of other fun that comes with being a parent is funny… just maybe not at the time.

    Good luck to them! Its fun, wild and a whole lot of crazy!
    Tammie, mom to Jack, Abigail and Henry http://thehalcombhellions.blogspot.com/

  24. loren Says:

    holy advice, batman!

    I’ll have to come back when my girls aren’t beating each other up with paintbrushes and add to your HUGE list! I promise, I’ll be back!

    Tell your friends congratulations – they’re in for a treat

  25. Karen Says:

    Anna,
    I just had my triplets (all of a week and a half ago!). I don’t have time just this minute to write out anything, and I’m afraid I’ll forget to do so later, but if your friend wants to email me directly, I’ll be happy to think on it and write her later! Thanks!

    Karen
    estie2972@gmail.com

  26. Deanna Says:

    Only have a second, as my 13-month old triplets are calling! First, get PODEE BOTTLES! At about 10 weeks I begain feeding all three at once with these. Reduced my feeding time from 90 minutes to about 45 minutes. Eventually they get good at it and the whole feeding only takes about 15 minutes…really! Get the velcro swaddlers at BRU…they stay wrapped and the babies are MUCH happier. As others have said…the Triple Decker stroller is awesome while they’re in their infant carseats. Get the Pampered Chef pitcher to make batches of formula (get the “recipe” from the formula companies’ web site). Find a local multiples club, they are an invaluable resource. Accept help! You can’t do it alone. And finally, read the Weissbluth sleep book. Mine slept thru the night at about 4 months of age (all of them!) and I attribute that success, and my sanity, to that book. A schedule is crucial and the babies are happier on one…good luck! It’s really a fun ride.

  27. Michael Says:

    The blog was positively fantastic! Lots of nice information and inspiration, both of which we all need!

  28. Jan Says:

    This is fantastic, the shared information is great. This must be an inspiration.
    Jan
    BabyCradleSwingReview

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