The first 18 months were a blur….3 of everything….3 car seats, 3 cribs, 3 feedings, 3 babies crying, 3 bed time routines, 3 crawlers/toddlers to chase around….and 1 tired mommy! I was not prepared for having 3 babies at once, but like everything else in life, you find creative ways to manage.
My first logistical challenge came when I had to run to the pharmacy with all three 2 month olds, by myself. I realized as soon as I got out of the car that I had a logistical problem. How was I going to get all three baby carriers out of the SUV without leaving any babies in the stroller unattended behind the car (the triplet stroller was too wide to fit between the cars)? Even the strongest of super moms can only hold 2 baby carriers at a time, which meant that 2 babies would be left in the stroller while I reached for the 3rd. I had to use my legs to hold onto the stroller while I reached for the 3rd baby in the car and snap into the stroller. Not ideal. The solution—a minivan. Not pretty, but very practical and a lifesaver. The next time I went to the pharmacy, I pushed a button as I approached, the door slid open, I pulled the stroller up to the wide opening, pulled all 3 seats out of the stroller swiftly and placed them on the floor of the van. I climbed in and locked the door. I was now safely inside and could take my time to get everyone settled into their seats safely (and, I could even charge a diaper on the floor if I needed to—not sanitary, but sometimes necessary!)
While the minivan is a good solution to managing multiples, the logistical struggles continued. How to know which bottle would be returned to which baby when all three dropped them on the floor during feedings? The answer was color coded bottles. Color coded bottles turned into color coded bowls, clothes, towels, toys and anything that needed to be differentiated. Blue, green and red became my sons’ favorite colors, and my saviors.
Moms of multiples need creative ways to manage everyday life.
- Making lists of who needs what medication when all 3 are sick, is helpful and adding a color coded sticker on each child’s medication bottle makes it even easier.
- Separating each child into different classes at school is good to give each child individuality, though it makes mommy crazed trying to keep assignments straight. Color coded folders and lists also helps to keep everything straight.
- Far and beyond, the best triplet idea to minimize fights and make decision making easier, was our “Boy of the Day” calendar. A simple, large, reusable, pocket calendar that hung on the wall at toddler level. It had slip in cards for the days of the week (we continuously updated it each month and reused it year after year) and 3 color coded cards with each corresponding name. Each child had a day of the week when he made all of the decisions and put his card on that day of the week calendar slot. Everyone knew not to complain because his day would be next and it took the decision making out of my hands. When we had to decide what movie to watch or what activity to go to, we would ask Boy-of-the-Day and the decision was made. There was no fighting, no favoritism, just easy decision making and each boy felt like he had a special day twice a week. Another multiple mania savior.
While logistics are harder when you have multiple children, the good news is that there are many ways to manage the everyday logistical challenges. And, the better news is that the tides turn around age 5 when kids are more self-sufficient and you can move in a pack with one schedule, sharing the same activities. For those of you just starting out in the wonderful world of multiple parenting, just know that you will find ways to manage and it will get easier.
Are you a parent of multiples? Leave us your tips and tricks for managing multiples below!
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