Our triplets are close to turning two years old. Two. I seriously cannot believe it. If there’s one thing that has surprised me about being a mom of multiples (add this to my growing and probably never-ending list), it’s that I was so focused on the newborn and infant stages, I completely forgot how fleeting they would be. In the tumult after finding out we were having triplets, I forgot that life with babies and toddlers is marked in developmental stages that approach rapidly and are fleeting. Let me give you some examples.
1. Most strollers only serve you well for fleeting stages of baby and toddlerhood.
I was so focused on the stroller with multiple newborns conundrum, I forgot we’d probably need different modes of transportation for different stages. We started with bucket seats and snap-n-go strollers (a single and a double). But before we knew it, the babies were too big for bucket seats and we moved on to thin convertible car seats. And that meant we needed a new stroller. I’m relieved we didn’t spend a fortune on a triplet stroller, although I’m sure some moms have loved theirs. I do see quite a few going up for sale on Facebook sale sites, so I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that particular mode of transportation can be costly when considering the length of time they can be used.
We moved from snap-n-go strollers to a Triple Play Wagon.
This wagon has been a lifesaver. I use it on walks, quick errands, bus stop runs– you name it, we use it. But even this lifesaver seems to have an end to usefulness that we are quickly approaching. The wagon has three seats, a large cargo bag in the back, and buckles for each seat. But as the triplets have become more mobile, they are more able to climb and wiggle out of things, including non-harness seat buckles. Which means this wagon may not contain them for much longer. Also, the wagon isn’t conducive to napping or long walks. As we are now able to be out of the house for longer periods of time, I’m more interested in transportation that allows comfort for all of us for longer periods of time.
We luckily just found a used Valco stroller with a Joey seat (similar to this one) that has much harder buckles to get out of. The stroller is much easier on my arms (in contrast to the wagon, where I am hauling 60 pounds behind me). It has the added bonus of allowing me to see the triplets as I walk, so if they drop their sippy cups or other beloved toy, I am quick to notice it and react. We’ve lost the portability of the wagon (it’s really easy to load into the car and get everyone out quickly), but we’ve gained the ability to be out for longer.
So as you can see, in the 22 months we’ve had the triplets, we’ve used 3 different modes of transportation (and that’s not counting a hand-me-d0wn jogging triplet stroller a friend gave us that we used for short neighborhood walks before the triplets outgrew it). That’s an average of 7 months per mode of transportation.
I wish I had thought about these stages when I was anxiously googling multiple stroller advice when I was pregnant. Sure, you need a way to transport them from the beginning, but just don’t forget it won’t last forever. You will need to anticipate needing something different as they grow up, and that means keeping that in the back of your mind as you consider costs, trunk space, and storage capabilities of your house.
2. You will not be carrying kids up and down the stairs for years.
I worried about how I’d get the triplets up and down the stairs. For the first 12 months of their lives, I carried two at a time with no problem. (I know this is against most doctors recommendations and probably many parents will disagree with this practice. But it worked for us). Then I’d go back up/down for the third baby. I actually got a pretty good workout doing it. I still can carry two 20+ pound babies up and down the stairs fairly easily. I simply got used to it, and as they gained weight, I gained the corresponding strength. But around 18 months we started letting the triplets go up the stairs on their own with us supervising them. At first, if I was alone, I could only take one at a time to allow me to vigilantly watch and help with the inevitable slip. But over time, they got used to going up the stairs, and I could add another baby into the mix. We now have one baby (oops- toddler) that is great at not only going up the stairs, but going directly into the nursery so that we don’t have to worry about chasing toddlers in different directions. I can now take all 3 up at the same time safely. This also means I’m going to lose the leg and arm strength I had from carrying 60 lbs up the stairs at least twice a day, but hey, there are worse problems in life.
Again, I focused so much on how I’d get kids up and down the stairs, I forgot there would be an end in sight, and honestly it seems like it came sooner than I thought. And I’m pleasantly surprised that I’ll miss this source of exercise.
3. You will be able to bathe multiples alone sooner than you think.
Baths were another source of anxiety. I could only bathe them with another person helping, and even then, at the newborn stage, we really benefitted from having 3 people involved. We would bathe one at a time, hand a baby off to the helper, they’d get fed, and we’d move on to the next, hand off for a bottle, and the last was for me to feed after the bath.
When we outgrew the baby bath, we moved on to bath seats (we had these). Even with the seats, I’d need someone to hand off babies to as they finished the bath.
Now that the triplets are fairly good walkers, I can tell them “time for bath!” and they will walk towards the bathroom, wait to be undressed and put into the bath, and play happily together while I get soaked from their splashing. When it’s time to get out, I thoroughly dry the first and allow him or her to walk out of the bathroom while I dry the second and third. Then we all walk together to the living room where I can diaper and dress them. (Full disclosure- I have to entice them with an episode of Sesame Street to go in the right direction- but it works!)
I’ve also been able to go on outings alone (I do this several times a week at this point). The outings don’t always require them to be confined to a stroller. I can take the triplets to playgroups and allow them to roam freely while I stand back and watch. I also no longer have to change out clothes in a drawer because they’ve outgrown them after one day. It’s all pretty neat, and it happened faster than I anticipated!
Do you feel like you can’t see past the newborn stage of multiples?
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