Here are the things that made the first year with triplets a lot easier. (The links are Amazon affiliate links). I’ll do a separate post on items after the first year.
- a Twin Z Pillow. This is a double boppy that we used multiple times a day for feedings. When I first purchased it, I hoped to use it for tandem breast feeding. The pillow is pretty firm and plump, which makes it hard to keep babies level while nursing. However, it is perfect for propping up babies so you can feed two at a time. Our triplets are now 14 months old and we still use this for every bottle feeding (4 times a day at this point). The third baby would be on a single Boppy pillow next to the Twin Z pillow.
- Bouncers. I liked our automatic bouncers because they actually bounced as opposed to vibrated (I have used a few different brands that seem to only vibrate). It was nice to have a designated spot to put each baby when we were in between feedings. If they fell asleep in the bouncer, that was ok too. Some people like these newborn boppies instead. I don’t know that it matters what you have, so long as you have somewhere safe to put them. A lot of moms swear by Rock n’ Plays, but I have heard a lot of flat head issues have occurred from those. We did have to be cautious and rotate babies from different bouncers to make sure they weren’t preferring one side over the other, but these were great as safe, comfortable temporary holding spots. We also would use the Twin Z Pillow and the boppy in the living room when we wanted to change things up.
- Sound machine. With two other kids in the house, its great to have this noise machine in the nursery so they get a good nap.
- A nail clipper with a built in light. I have used my fair share of nail clippers, but tiny preemie hands were a whole new level of stress. I love having a light so I can make absolute sure I’m only getting the nail and nothing else. I still use these on the triplets, even though their nails are much easier to handle now that they are bigger.
- Muslin washcloths. Again, I’ve used my fair share of washcloths on babies, and these were by far the softest. I was extra concerned with preemie delicate skin and these really were amazing.
- Boon drying rack. We bought two drying racks and loved the versatility of the Boon grass. We added some twigs and also loved those.
- 4 Moms Tub. We liked this tub because it was continuously running clean water in and dirty water out. It had a temperature gauge so we always knew the water was a good temperature. We could do an assembly line of baths without having to empty the tub each time. It was hard to hold the babies up in the bath when they were tiny, but that only lasted a short time. We used this from day one- when they came home as little as 4 lbs.
- Halo Sleep Sacks. We used these sleep sacks for the first few months every night, and sometimes as we were holding them because it would keep them snug and warm (yes, even in the summer- AC is cold for newborn preemies!). We needed a minimum of 6. The babies spit up a lot, so we would have one clean set and a spare for each baby. Yes, that’s not cheap. We had a few free ones from the hospital. You can always ask the hospital if you could take at least one. Once they were older, we transitioned to regular, non swaddle Halo Sleep Sacks.
- Backpack Diaper Bag. I don’t think the brand particularly matters. What matters is having free hands. We initially bought two backpacks thinking we’d need the extra space in a second bag, but we never ended up using two at a time. One was plenty, even with bottles for 3, snacks, burp cloths, a change of clothes, diapers, and wipes.
- Bibs. We used regular cotton bibs when they were only drinking bottles. The triplets were inefficient feeders so they dribbled while eating, making a wet mess. Once we transitioned to solid foods, they wore bibs with pockets to catch food.
- A Baby Care Play Mat. Once the triplets were rolling around, I couldn’t fit them on a single blanket for very long. We purchased two of these play mats and they have become a lifesaver for us. The triplets had reflux, but it was easy to clean spit up on the play mats (as opposed to the carpet). When they were learning to sit up, the mats cushioned inevitable head bonks. Now that they are cruising, the mats continue to provide cushioning for their shenanigans.
- We used Avent bottles because we could have 3 different colors (we did blue, pink, and clear). Other brands also have different colored bottles too. The colors helped us differentiate who ate how much at each feeding. We also were not sure if the babies would be on different formula/milk or have differing allergies so we thought it was best to have different colors just in case. In the end, the triplets had the same formula and no allergies, but I’m still glad we have a way to differentiate bottles. There are other ways of differentiating bottles too. Some people like bands, or you cold even just use stickers or colored tape on the bottles. I have used different brands of bottles in the past and I’m not sold on one brand or the other, so if you have experience with a particular brand you like, there are ways of using them for triplets. The main advice for bottles is to have a lot of them. We had 9 bottles for each baby (for a total of 27 bottles). In a span of 24 hours, if you feed the babies every 3 hours, you need a minimum of 8. It’s not an exact science when they first get home, so we were happy to have at least 9 each. It was nice to not have to wash in between feedings, at least for a few hours in the day!
- We mixed a batch of formula in Rubbermaid pitchers with a top. We go through a pitcher a day at this point (at the beginning it was slightly less). I liked having a closed top so I could shake the pitcher after stirring it to make sure the formula was completely dissolved.
I didn’t purchase hardly any new clothes or burp cloths for the triplets. We had amazingly generous friends who gave us free hand me downs. Lots of triplet moms also generously donate to fellow triplet families. If you are in the NICU, they often have preemie clothes left from other families once their babies quickly outgrew the small sizes. Hand me downs saved us tons of money. I really recommend asking around for hand me downs while you are pregnant. It will not only save you money but also time. When the babies look like they are outgrowing clothes, I can just look in the boxes of hand me downs for the next size up and in a few minutes, I’ve got a batch of clothes ready to go. If you want to find matching outfits, there are Facebook pages devoted to selling triplet items. You can even find specific boards on your genders. In my case, we have 2 girls and 1 boy, so I’ve joined a Facebook page called GGB Triplet Resale.
That’s my advice for the first year equipment! I have some other things I’ve loved as we’ve transitioned to toddlerhood, but I didn’t purchase any of these things while the babies were newborns. It was financially helpful to wait, and it was also nice to try and get things second hand because we didn’t need anything else immediately like we had with newborns.