PREPARING FOR A MULTIPLE BIRTH – WHAT WILL WE NEED FOR THE FIRST THREE MONTHS?
I’ve consulted with a large group of fellow parents of multiples to put together some advice on preparing for the birth of your triplets (or more)! You’ve probable noticed the gaping hole in most baby books on information for multiple births, but I can recommend the following valuable resources available on Amazon below:
Read on for some heartfelt advice on preparing for the arrival of your multiples…
So, you’re expecting to have three or more additions to the family in a few months and understandably, you want to be as organised as possible when you bring your babies home. What are you going to need to get through the first three crazy months? Support, understanding, patience and resilience. Oh, and you’ll want to add a few things to the shopping list as well…
How many nappies will I need to buy?
Your newborn babies will each go through 8-12 nappies per day, adding up to around 200 nappies per week for triplets, obviously more for those of you with more babies (and even more superhuman powers – Go, you Power Parents!). Needless to say, when friends and family wanting to buy you a present for the arrival of your little ones are asking for ideas, point them to the nappy aisle! (Note: Most large chain supermarkets are happy to exchange unopened boxes of nappies for bigger sizes if you outgrow a size before you’ve used up your bulk supply.) Smaller babies may be better suited to premmie sizes which can be ordered online if you are having trouble finding them in stores.
As for baby wipes, you’re going to be using their magical “as though it never happened” cleaning powers for years to come, so if you see them on special, stock up!
How much formula does a baby use?
Many mums of multiples rely on baby formula in some capacity to supplement their own milk supply. If you do use formula, you may find that you are going through up to two and a half tins each week for 12 week old triplets. Several formula companies will offer discounts to families of Higher Order Multiples with a letter from your Dr confirming your situation, so its’ worth approaching them and asking the question. I would suggest waiting to see what brand you are happy with before attempting to buy in bulk as some brands agree with certain babies more than others. If you are breastfeeding, get yourself a good double breastfeeding pillow and plenty of breast pads. Check out some other mums’ experiences with combination feeding triplets and exclusively breastfeeding triplets.
How many bottles will I need to buy?
Depending on whether you are breastfeeding, expressing, formula feeding or a combination of these will dictate how many bottles you need. As a guide, a newborn baby will feed roughly four-hourly, so six feeds per day. It’s great to have two or even three set of bottles available, so if you do forget to turn the steriliser on or something, you always have a clean set ready to go when the hungry cries start in chorus! You might end up trialing several bottle or teat styles if you have a colicky baby or fussy feeder, so as with nappies and formula, it might be worth trying one brand out before rushing out to buy a large supply.
Best type of baby outfits for multiples:
Some of us like dressing our multiples alike, or others of us consciously try keep them as individual as possible. Some of us opt for hand-me-downs and some are lucky enough to be able to kit out a new wardrobe. Clothing your bubs is such an individual thing, but there are a couple of things worth mentioning from those of us who have already been there to those who have it all to come!
1. Embrace onesies. You will get so good at whipping these wonderful snap-crotch super-suits on and off, you’ll be able to do it one-handed, asleep whilst shoveling a cheese toastie down your throat. When you are changing three or more nappies each feed, the last thing you want to be doing is feeding six little legs in and out of a pair of tights or maneuvering three screaming heads through neck holes if you don’t need to!
2. If it needs ironing, give it away.
3. Don’t bother taking the tags off every new item you are given and pre-washing them all before bubs come home. Half of it won’t get worn because;
(a) Bubs grew too fast.
(b) It wasn’t a onesie and you discarded it in a huff after trying to get in on your baby the first time. You didn’t believe me about the onesies, did you?
(c) It needed ironing.
(d) It wasn’t one of the dozen outfits on the top of the clean washing pile that came in off the line and never made it back in to the drawer before being grabbed for wearing again.
At the end of the day, I’m sure your well-meaning friend or relative would rather you exchange something they bought you for a bigger size or something more practical, than it only getting worn once.
Have I mentioned bibs yet? Buy bibs. Lots and lots and lots of bibs.
Other ways to prepare for the first three months with multiple babies:
Stock the freezer with ready meals such as pasta sauce, curries, casseroles, soups and shredded roast lamb or chicken that can be revived by quickly pan frying and tossed through a salad. It’s so easy to rely on takeaway during those hectic weeks, but seriously, the sleep deprivation is going to hammer you anyway do yourself a favour by getting some nutritious meals in to your poor body. Consider signing up with a grocery delivery service for a couple of months to ensure the basic weekly staples are regularly stocked up such as bread, milk, fruit and veggies.
My in-laws paid for a cleaner to visit our house for two hours each week over the first few months after our babies’ birth and it was wonderful. Just knowing the floors and the bathroom would get a really good clean once a week was reassuring as we struggled to keep our head above water with the rest of the house. If your budget allows some help with housekeeping or lawn mowing, its’ a worthy investment in the early days. Better still, if your friends and family offer their time for free, say “Yes please!”