In college, I was a server at the Crocodile Cafe...biggest responsibility? Making sure food got to the right table and was still hot. Importance Level? Well, I guess it's important if it was YOUR Warm Mushroom Salad I was delivering...
Then to Victoria's Secret, the Lotion Side...biggest responsibility? Making sure to offer the 3 for $15 deal...Importance Level? Not even worth finishing this senten.... :)
Then I moved to Chicago and was an American Airlines Flight Attendant. Biggest Responsibility? Making sure everyone had their desired beverage and choice of meal. (Because yes, back then we STILL served meals!!) Ok, and let's be honest, your traveling safety is also in my hands. Importance Level? You'd sure find me important if we had an emergency!!
Once I tired of that career, I became a teacher...kindergarten, first and second grade. Biggest Responsibility? Molding young minds! Importance Level? Pretty darn important, especially in this day and age!
And finally (ok, I skipped about 5 other small jobs, but that's ok), to my most recent career choice, MOM!! Of TRIPLETS, no less! Biggest responsibility? Raising 3 responsible, respectful, loveable kids, and SHARING SECRETS OF RAISING MULTIPLES with other moms! Importance Level? I'd say it's the most important of all...especially if YOU are about to have more than one baby in your charge!
So here it is, it's just the beginning. I know that I still have so much to learn myself. (And do not let this well-organized list give you the false impression that chaos does not exist in this house, because at times, I go sub for 24 brand new kindergartners (which is much like herding cats) to get some relief! Nevertheless it is my own compilation of products or ideas that HAVE made our lives with triplets much, much more sane.
**In fact, it's the list that I myself spent many late nights "triplet-blog" surfing and trolling the internet for, and never found! So help yourself! Most of them are just as applicable to moms who have their babies one at a time anyway. Brilliant concept, by the way. :)
HOMEDICS Lullaby Sound Spa
This product is a must, must, must! I owe a huge thank you to Jannis, Anissa and even Danny Medina for bringing this little bit of bliss into our lives! In a nutshell, it plays 6 sounds (3 songs and 3 "sounds") plus, it has a projector with 3 different full color discs that play and rotate on the ceiling! One is night sky, one is ocean critters and one is birds and frogs! Plus it has a timer that lets you choose when it should turn itself off. Seriously, at bedtime now, and this is not a joke, we put all three babies in their cribs, and they stare in awe at the ceiling until their little eyes are just too tired to stay open any longer! No more crying at bedtime!! LOVE THIS PRODUCT!!
This is what it looks like on the ceiling!
A thumb. Or 3.
Ok this one is sort of a joke, but not really! This one is for free, if your babies can just manage to find them! Our lives are pacifier free at 4 months old because of the blessed little thumbs! No more pacifier battles at bedtime because the darn thing just keeps falling out. Nope! That thumb is like old reliable-always there when you need it!
Thank you to Sara Glenn for this suggestion! I bought each baby a different color bottle band which they engrave with a first name or even a first and last name for you as part of the cost! These are wonderful! Made of sturdy rubber, they clearly help people who come to our house to help us feed babies know whose bottles are whose-Of particular importance when your babies eat different amounts or different formulas! And frankly, they look so organized when you line up all the babies' bottles in the fridge! You get 4 of them for $12.00...and they grow with your child...they fit on bottles, sippy cups, shampoo bottles when they go off to camp! They're like wine charms for babies!
Here are our 3 Inchbug Labels
Hunter Bunch, Colton Bunch and Ethan Bunch
A closer look...
Ok, I got three of these at various showers, which I adorned with scrapbook stickers to clearly identify which timer belongs to which baby. Now, initially, they were awesome to help us keep track of how long it had been since each baby had eaten, pooped, etc. Now, I don't use them as much for that reason, because our eating schedule is MOM and DAD directed....however, they are still very handy to help keep track of and remind you to give medications, or other chores that need to occur regularly. For instance, I now set one button on Hunter's Itzbeen timer to go off every 24 hours as a reminder for me to take my birth control pill or my "No fourth baby pill" as Brian calls it...Brilliant! I bet the makers of the itzbeen didn't think of that one! I think they are $25.00 each. TOTALLY worth having one for each baby if you're going to breastfeed or let the baby decide when to eat. Otherwise, one timer might be sufficient!
It even comes with a handy clip, that you can clip to a bag or your belt loop so you can take it on the go...I choose to use that clip to keep my pills right there where I can't lose them. :)
A clock (well, a schedule really)
This one is really much more about my opinion than real data, but here it is. We have 3 babies. All of which really like to eat. Now, there are certainly different philosophies to this, all of which are completely valid...but here's mine. If you have just one baby to feed, then go ahead, let them tell you when they're hungry and feed them when they want it. But if you have more than one baby, that just may not be feasible, practical or even remotely sane.
Choose a time interval...for us, it's every 3 hours. And that's the way it is. Every 3 hours, we feed all three babies. If they're hungry, they finish it. If they're not, they eat some of it. But it doesn't matter if they're sleeping, playing, crying, etc. We feed them every 3 hours. If not, think about it. Imagine it's nighttime. Uh oh, you hear "BABY A" crying. It's 2 a.m. so you get up and feed that baby. 30 minutes later, you're back in bed, YES! Oh, nope. Not so fast. After just 30 minutes of not-so-restful sleep, you hear "BABY B" crying, so up you go again. Before you know it, YOU will have been awake for 3 or more hours just to accomodate your babies.
No way. Not for us. WE tell them when they're going to eat. And it works beautifully. Our triplets are now 4 and a half months old and they eat a 7 a.m., 10 a.m., (NAP TIME,) 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and then BED TIME. They now average 10 hours of sleep at night. All 3 of them. In the same room. A crib's length apart. They sleep from 8 pm to 6am without waking up. Yes, it's possible. Pick a schedule you like and stick with it.
The clock is your friend. :)
File Folders for each baby
This one doesn't need much explanation. If you have more than one baby, you ESPECIALLY need a place to keep track of their important papers. So once again, for a non-scrapbooker, I'm noticing that I sure do like to use scrapbook stickers! Slap some names on a folder and away you go! I take them with me to all appointments so I have all their papers right there if I need them.
A calendar for each baby
I often THINK my memory is far better than it actually is. I actually think that when we're out at a store and one of the babies smiles that I will remember a week later, which baby it was and what the date was so that I can put it in their baby books. I in fact do NOT ever remember. So I used the free calendars you get from Babies R Us when you start a registry there. (they were kind enough to give me three). I once again decorated/personalized them (hmm...maybe I AM secretly a closet scrapbooker) and then I record ALL important events in each babies' personal calendar! And then of course, add pictures!
Playtex Drop-In Bottles
Ok, I do have to admit, that even as I write this, I do feel a little guilty in this age of "going green" to even recommend this, but you know, raising multiples is not easy and I believe it is a genuinely good tip. I went through about 3 different brands and types of bottles before I settled on the Playtex Drop ins. I kept thinking I didn't want to pay for the drop in liners. But when you have to fill and use 18 to 24 bottles a day, saving time is VERY important. And frankly, throwing away a liner and dropping a new one in saves SO MUCH MORE TIME than having to thoroughly wash those 18 to 24 bottles a day. So yes, I feel guilty about the waste ( I actually stack my dirty liners into each other because I feel like together, they will take up less space in the landfill....what a dork.) And the small cost of liners is pennies compared to the extra time you get to spend with your kids! (This was a tip I got from Kate Gosselin believe it or not!)
Even better, until Playtex makes theirs a few cents cheaper, I use the Playtex bottles with the Target Brand Liners. :)
Yes, this is how I would stack them before throwing them away, because I feel better about that! Where has my rational mind gone?
Thermal Bottle Bag
Got this one at Target for $9.99. It goes everywhere me, the babies and my diaper bag/purse go. It fits lots of bottles, bibs, etc. I also got a smaller one at Babies R Us for times when I take just one baby out with me.
Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rockers
Having 3 of these is wonderful! Thanks to the Rudnicks (Remember our chiropractor?) for these. We have 3 from them which stay at Gramma and Grampa's house and then Gramma got us another 3 for our house! Yes, that's how great they are! The babies LOVE the toys that dangle and that ladybug in the middle plays music when it is tugged, which all three babies are currently obsessed with doing! It reclines to different positions, stays stationary or rocks, and even vibrates! They are awesome!
**Yes, I'm pretty sure that having your child slouched this way IS the manufacturers's suggested position..... :) which reminds me, it DOES come with a seatbelt-type device you can (ok, should) use to basically AVOID what little Hunter is doing.