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If you're expecting multiples...

 

Below is a list of things I have found to be time-savers and life-savers. 


This list will continue to grow as I remember things that were and are ever-so-valuable for families with multiples.  Also check my links page for links to triplet sites not included here.
 
Crib for Triplets - Okay, so I don't have this, but I'm sure there are those who do.  With a hefty price-tag, and the inability to use this with crib tents, no way!  But it's adorable!  Little Miss Liberty Round Crib Company

Triplet Tricycle - Kettler has a great-quality tricyle that can be converted into a twin, triplet, or quad tricyle.  Here's a picture of mine.  Here's a list of what you need to complete yours.  It's pricey.  I bought mine piece by piece over the course of a year.  It's tough to maneuver, but we just bought it and I'm learning.  So if you have any questions, please email me.

Loads of parents with multiples use newborn schedule sheets to remember medicines, diaper changes, feedings, etc.  Here's one.  I'ts a pdf document, so you'll have to have Adobe Reader to view it and print it.  Newborn schedule.  You can get a free download of Adobe Reader by going to Adobe's website.

Great ideas for Halloween triplet-themed costumes were compiled by a fellow triplet mom, Megan Welfare.  Here's the list.

Books for Parents Expecting Multiples - This is a growing list of books I've read, I own, or I've found listed on Amazon.  Still under construction.

Multiples Pendant for necklace - Loren bought one of these for me for our anniversary when we were expecting our trio.  These come from a jeweler in Amsterdam.  I love mine and still wear it.  The site is in Dutch, but you can click on the British flag and switch to English.  Payment is in Euros, but you can pay with a credit card and it arrives very quickly.  These come in silver and gold and he makes them with one, two, three, or four babies.  I hear he even does special orders. 

Let your kids do the talking when you are confronted with rude questions from strangers.  Here are some tactful responses on some cute clothing.

T-shirts - Yes, We're Triplets and Big Brother of Triplets t-shirts can be found here at Micki's Twin Shop.  We bought these and they're so cute.  Great embroidery and the woman who makes them does a fantastic job - great customer service!

Babies R Us and Toys R Us Multiples Policy - Babies R Us offers a discount on certain items in their stores.  However, they have offered some resistance in the past when I've attempted to purchase 3 identical items in their store and request the discount.  I know I'm not the only one who has been through this.  I always carry a copy of their corporate policy with me when I intend to make a "multiples purchase."  Even the clerks and managers don't have a full grasp on their own policy.  Carrying their policy into the store saves an argument and money. 

Transportation -   We use our Runabout (see below) for most trips, but for trips to the zoo and walks around the neighborhood, there's no substitute for the Choo-Choo Wagon by Step2Click here to see a picture of our babies in the Choo-Choo Wagon.  You can contact them about availability (there's some question about whether they'll continue to sell it) or purchase a used one on eBay.  Word of caution, if you need one for 3, then make sure it has 3 compartments, for 4 - four compartments, etc.  They come in 2, 3 and 4 compartments.  Make sure it has seatbelts or if it doesn't come with them, Step2 sells them.

Prepare your older child(ren) for the arrival of your multiples - Angus and the Triplets, the book, was designed to introduce a toddler or preschooler to the fun that comes with having multiples at home.  Click on The Book tab to find out how to purchase your own copy.

 Safety Items - This isn't exactly triplet related, but when you have multiples, you have special safety concerns, multiplied.  My Precious Kid is a website with loads of safety items.  Busy toddlers can get lost.  ID bracelets at the zoo can be a lifesaver.  Carseats should be tagged so emergency staff will know who's who if you can't answer that question.  This website has an answer for loads of safety concerns.  If it's your first purchase, use Voucher #12063333 for 10% off of your first order.

Blankets for swaddling - Miracle Blankets by MiracleBlanket.com, although purchasing them on eBay is a definite money saver.  Click here to see a picture of our swaddled Miracle Blanket babies.

Mosquito netting - Purchase this at Babies R Us and surround each infant seat with it on outings to prevent unnecessary touching by ignorant people.  Click here to see our protected babies.

Easy clothing for wiggly babies - Echofield has affordable cotton clothing that zips in the crotch.  I calculated that I snap about 300 snaps a day when all three wear snap-up clothing - even if they only snap in the crotch.  Zippers are life-savers for squirmy babies.  There are other brands like Chicken Noodle boutique brand (which I LOVE, by the way) that have zippers, but none so comfortable, affordable, and washable for everyday wear.

Making formula the multiples way - We bought a Pampered Chef Family-Size Quick-Stir Pitcher.  It has a plunger in it that quickly mixes a couple of cans of powdered formula and can keep a gallon of formula in the fridge at a time.  No lumps, no foam.  It's great.  We had it down to a science the quantity of water we needed for each size can we used and were able to make a days-supply of formula for the three babies at one time. 

Stroller for infants - No question that the Triple Decker is the easiest to use for young babies.  We were always on the go and used it several times a week with the babies until the babies were 10-months old.  It folded up nicely and fit perfectly in our van.  Click here to see a picture of our babies in their Triple Decker.  Hint:  Find out which seats, from the website, will fit the Triple Decker and then buy them at Babies R Us, WalMart, or Baby Depot.  Usually you can get a discount on 3 and they're SO much cheaper. 

Triplet Statistics from the Center for Disease Control - This is a PDF file from the CDC with twins and triplet statistics from 1980-1997.

Triplet Leashes - Keeping three toddlers from going in three different directions... I love these leashes.  Click here to see a picture of our babies with their leashes.  Easy to use and they look good, too.  Tommiguard Leashes

Here are more harnesses.  I would love to have a set of these.  I don't have any personal experience with these, but they look pretty streamlined and easy to use.

Alligator Walking Rope.   I want one of these.  My kids are fast-approaching the time when the stroller won't be called for in every situation.  Daycare walking ropes are a good idea for multiples.  There are others if you do a search on Google.

Stroller for older babies - When we left the Triple Decker behind, we switched to the Runabout stroller which is equally a dream to maneuver.  Fits like a glove in our van.  Click here to see our babies in the Runabout.  We even painted it with plastic spray-paint for a custom-look.

Vans to accommodate big families - If my Toyota Sienna were a man, I'd marry it!  Ours is an 8-passenger,version, accommodates 4 car seats nicely and will fit our Runabout stroller and loads of groceries.  Add a DVD player and you're all set.  It has a powerful engine and doesn't drive like a minivan.  Click here to see how well 6 kids fit in the back two seats. (Kevin, my older son, was camera-shy.)

Car seats - Britax Roundabouts fit nicely in the Sienna van and are easy enough to clasp and unclasp.  Highly recommend!

Crib sheets - The Ultimate Crib Sheet is the only way to go.  With three babies, changing mattress pads and crib sheets is time-consuming and back-breaking.  This is a combination waterproof mattress pad, soft layer, and top sheet all in one.  The Ultimate Crib Sheet snaps on in about 20 seconds and comes off in less time than that.  I always have the normal sheets and mattress pad underneath the Ultimate Crib Sheet.  That way I can unsnap the Ultimate Crib Sheet and while it's being washed, there's a fresh sheet underneath for naps and quick changes in the middle of the night (when necessary).  These have been life-savers for middle-of-the-night vomit episodes, diarrhea episodes and just washing in general.  WARNING - my daughter got stuck under her Ultimate Crib sheet so we removed it.  At 18-months, she unsnapped it and crawled underneath.  When your baby's old enough to unsnap it, this sheet is NOT a good idea.  I did contact the company about the potential suffocation/strangulation hazard.

Cribs and Crib Tents - I don't have any preference for any brand of crib over another, but keep in mind that your crib should eventually be able to accommodate a crib tent.  Some cribs don't work well with the Cozy Crib Tent.  With more than one, they teach each other things.  You don't want to find out the hard way that they've taught each other to climb out of the crib (and they will).  Crib tents are wonderful to keep your little escape artists contained.  I don't recommend the Cozy Crib Tent II - the newer version.  You can't put hanging crib toys in the crib.  My kids spend about 15 minutes after they wake from naps playing with their music boxes and hanging activity centers.  The original works fine with hanging crib toys.

For the NICU - If you're not fortunate enough to bring your babies home with you... Buy three (or more) disposable cameras (with flash) and write in black sharpie "A," "B," or "C" on each one.  Keep them with each babies' things at the NICU.  That way, when you're not there for midnight baths, cute moments, etc., your nurse can take pictures of your babies for you.  It was such a gift to get those pictures developed and see moments in the NICU that we missed, such as two babies snuggling together, etc.  Our nurses were great and happy to accommodate.  Buy in advance of delivery.

Night Nannies - If you're in search of some night help after the babies come home, consider asking one of the NICU night nurses if she'd like to earn some extra money.  They're already used to dealing with multiples, they're already on the night schedule, and if you've developed a rapport with anyone in particular, it might be a life-saver and give you a night or two each month of uninterrupted sleep.  (I never did this, but sometimes wish I had.)

Day Nannies - Nannies from agencies are EXPENSIVE, but if you sign on to your local university or college website, you can usually post that you're looking for part-time help and a college-student's schedule usually allows for gaps of 5 hours 2-3 times a week for some extra mother's help.

Freebies and Coupons for New Multiples Parents - Click here for a list of companies who generously give to new parents of multiples.  Make one request letter with a blank space for their business name and address.  Copy it as many times as you need to and insert the company's information.  It's SO worth your time.  Some companies gave us clothing, etc.  Some may be out of date.  You may have to research to see if addresses may have changed or promotions no longer apply.

Pediatricians - Multiples have special needs when it comes to pediatricians.  Along with the normal questions you'd ask a potential pediatrician, you should also include: 

  • Will you see all of the babies in the same visit?  (Most times it's easier to get them all in at the same time.) 
  • Do you offer a multiples discount on copays?  (Buy 2 get one free)
  • Can we handle simple problems and concerns over the phone?  (Lots of times our doctor will take care of our common complaints without an office visit.)
  • Will your office accommodate the triplet stroller I have?

Handicapped Placards - This is a "hot topic" and not one that every parent of supertwins can agree on.  I contemplated not putting this one on, but felt it was important that expectant parents of multiples be aware of this.  Many pediatricians will give a handicapped placard to parents of multiples for their special needs in parking lots.  Taking three babies (plus a toddler or two) out in a busy parking lot is an extraordinary event and parking lots are not designed to accommodate families with multiples safely.  When we brought the babies home we had a toddler under the age of two.  We had a stroller for him and a triplet stroller for the babies.  It was unsafe to unload all babies and Angus in a parking lot without the extra space a handicapped parking space can afford.  It's not an issue of convenience but of SAFETY.  Toddlers run and two big strollers have no business being in a busy crowded parking lot where cars pass.   The peace of mind of having the space for the time involved in unloading and loading makes it worth it.  Having triplets means having extraordinary needs. I am in no way implying that we are handicapped.  If you only have triplets - one stroller - and feel that you can maneuver safely through a parking lot, go for it.  But the safety of my children come before the opinions of others.