Saturday, March 06, 2010

Survival guide: things I couldn't live without

Expecting parents ask this question on Triplet Connection all the time. I hope this post helps parents-to-be, specifically those with multiples. When I was pregnant, I fashioned my own list of things to register for based on the information I found on blogs and forums, but I wished that someone could have done this legwork for me.

I'll be adding to this post as I think of more can't-live-without items.


Triple Decker stroller. We use the Graco Safeseat infant carriers that click into the frame and it's worked very well to not load/unload 3 babies in and out of the car seats in cold weather.

3 Boppy pillows

3 Boppy covers

12+ Dr Brown's bottles (we bought the glass version and they've worked beautifully). We initially used Munchkin's glass bottles and love them too, but with 3 reflux babies, it was more important to switch to bottles with an internal vent. Read the post about glass bottles.

Bottle brush (we use Munchkin brand)

3 Munchkin drying racks

Crockpot or electric kettle to always have hot water on hand to warm bottles

24+ burp cloths. A friend bought more than two dozen "old style" cloth diapers for us to use as burp cloths since they're more absorbent than the commercially available muslin burp cloths. They're like hand towels, but square, and work beautifully. We go through *all* of them! It's handy to have enough to not do laundry every day, and to keep 3 in a diaper bag. We always have a clean one on the changing pad as an easily removable "cover" in the event that a baby pees while we're in the midst of a diaper change. It prevents urine from reaching their clothes in an "accident."

Bibs. We go through dozens of bibs with our refluxers. I like the Koala Baby bibs from Babies R Us as they're more absorbent than others we've tried.

3 Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe Blankets. I've heard good things about Miracle Blankets too. Alternatively, buy any 60x60 blanket large enough to swaddle securely. At 4 months, we do not swaddle the babies for naps and nighttime sleeping anymore, but it still works wonders when they're fussy. I know of many parents who swaddle their babies until 9+ months of age.

Swing(s). We have 3, but have only used 2. You could get away with 1.

Baby Björn or Moby Wrap. We have 3 Baby Björns, but only use 1.

3 Bouncy seats. We have used all 3, all the time, from the time that they could hold their heads up.

3 Cribs. Initially, you could get away with 1, or a Pack 'n Play. Our babies have slept in separate cribs at night from day 1, but we had them co-sleep in one crib for naps until they were about 3 months actual.

3 Bumbo seats. Our babies will start using these in the next few weeks. We've tried them, but at 4 months (2 months adjusted), the babies still tire easily.

Playmat(s). Get different mats with different toys to prevent them from getting bored.

Crib sheets. We have 6, but I'm going to buy more. We have crib sheet savers, but haven't used them yet.

Sleep & play suits with zippers. One caveat, these won't work if your babies come home on monitors. Fortunately, ours didn't use monitors and LIVE in these outfits. It's faster for diaper changes, especially the middle-of-the-night ones. Refluxing babies hate wearing anything with a waist band, so even though they have tons of cute outfits, they hardly get to wear them. Constantly chasing down 6 little socks gets old fast too.

Gripe water. This has made a HUGE difference. Even though the babies are on prescription meds for reflux, I see a marked difference every time I stop giving them gripe water.


Hospital-grade breast pump. I've used Medela Pump in Style Advanced (portable) and Medela Symphony (at the NICU) and both are very efficient. Unfortunately, my first Medela PISA broke after a month, which is the absolute worst fear of anyone who is exclusively pumping. Fortunately, Medela has terrific customer service and replaced it immediately by overnighting it to me. No problems since.

3 sets of breast shields so you don't have to wash pumping parts in the middle of the night. Many moms just rinse them and place them in a container in the fridge and wash them once daily. I prefer to wash them after each use, but that's just me. Having 3 sets allows me to toss them in the hot, soapy water after use and deal with washing them when the babies are napping.

Extra 8 oz Medela collection bottles (you could use a different brand too; anything with a standard opening fits on the Medela equipment). Glass is too heavy, though, but the glass bottles do fit if you've run out of clean collection bottles!

Hands-free pumping bra. You can buy one, or create one yourself by cutting holes in an old sports bra.

1 comment:

BB said...

Thanks for sharing the list! Makes me a lil confident with stuff that I have purchased and helps in creating a list of things we might need!