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Twinfant Tuesday: A Day in the Life with Triplets-The First Month

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Categories Higher-Order Multiples, Infants, Parenting, Routines, Twinfant Tuesday

When people hear that we have triplets, often one of the first comments is “I don’t know how you do it!” So I wrote this post to give folks a better idea of what our typical day looked like for the first couple of months after the NICU. I figured it was fitting to share this post from our blog here on How Do You Do It blog for Twinfant Tuesday.

We read a lot of triplet blogs during the pregnancy and honestly, not very many people keep up the detailed posts after the babies are born. It is mostly just pictures, which I completely understand! (And obviously, I know that’s why most people follow our blog!). But as we prepared for our trio’s arrival, I found myself searching for the details and wanting to ask each family “No, really, how do you do it?!” So this post will give you some idea what our days were like for the first month or two. Most importantly, for any families who are expecting, or just had triplets, this post is for you!

When writing this post I had a hard time figuring out where to start “the day!” Our days didn’t exactly start at 6, 7, or 8a.m. but it seemed weird to start at midnight too! So I decided to start with a “normal person’s” morning (albeit pretty early for most normal people!) and go from there.

**side notes, so the schedule below makes sense: My wife and I both have “M” names so M&M means both of us are on duty.  Oh, and we’re both breastfeeding because I was able to induce lactation to solve the “more babies than breasts” problem!

Here was our schedule for the first couple of months that I pulled from our blog

  • 5am-Both M&M feed babies
  • 5:30-One of us feeds baby #3 while the other starts changing diapers. (If we have a helper for this one, Michelle usually sends me to bed so I get an extra bit of sleep because the late night/early mornings are the hardest times for me.)
  • 6:00-Swaddle and soothe babies and put them down to sleep
  • 6:15-M&M pump to maintain/increase milk supply and get milk for next feeding’s supplements (We had to supplement each nursing session to get enough calories in)
  • 6:30-Wash pump parts and supplement contraption, prep supplements for the next feeding, & take any extra milk to the fridge
  • 6:45/7ish-M&M eat a snack & lay back down to catch an hour or so of sleep before starting all over
  • 8ish-Babies start stirring again and we start the feed, change, swaddle, pump, clean/prep cycle all over again (We often have a helper for this cycle so it tends to go a little faster…sometimes done in an hour!)
  • 9/9:30ish-M&M eat a quick breakfast and either lay down for another snooze or take a shower or do one small productive task like put in a load of diaper laundry, tidy up the zoo of a bedroom, or do dishes.
  • 11ish-Babies start stirring and repeat. This cycle is either followed by a nap or lunch or breakfast if we prioritized sleep the previous cycle!
  • 2ish-Samesies-almost always followed by a nap-particularly for Michelle whose hardest time is the afternoon.
  • 5ish-Surprise surprise…we do it all over again! Mari might start this one solo to give Michelle an extra half hour of sleep or might do it all alone with a helper handling the diapers and prep.
  • 6:30ish-M&M eat dinner–generally something a helper prepared for us or that we heat up from the freezer. Prep night time nursing snacks and bring them to the bedroom.
  • 7ish-M&M lay down for a short snooze before the 8pm cycle. Or, if we’re not feeling sleepy we might actually hang out with each other, check in, & talk over our plans, if any, for the next day.
  • 8pm-Hungry hungry hippos are ready to eat again (did I say hippos?! I meant babies, of course!) and the feed/change/swaddle/pump/clean cycle repeats. We try to do this one quickly and with as little light as possible, trying to help them get the idea of night time = sleep time. So far it doesn’t seem to be helping and they are just as likely to be wide eyed after this feeding as any other. A helper takes baby duty during this time, soothing them if they stir, so we can both get a nice solid uninterrupted hour or two of sleep going into the night.
  • 11pm-Repeat. Same as 8pm with low light and as quickly as we can manage.
  • 2am-Here we go again…This is the hardest one for me and Michelle has had to wake me up for this feeding some nights! Half the time I feel like I’m sleep walking and struggling to stay awake while nursing. Sometimes I have to stand up and move around the room to keep myself alert and functional.

And then it’s on to the next day!  Whenever we had help, one or both of us tried to go sleep in the guest room so that we weren’t disturbed by the little stirrings/rumblings/cries of one or more babies as they cycled through lighter periods of sleep since they were sleeping in our room. The above schedule is like a rough draft. We were not hard core about the clock and the babies really led the way. Oftentimes our lovely 3 hour cycle was shortened to 2.5 hours because of hungry tummies. And occasionally, they’d stretch it to 3.5 hours! This only happened a handful of times, and of course, only once at night. It was amazing how different that extra half hour of sleep made us feel!  For triplet parents to be, our triplets are now 5 months old and I will tell you that we regularly get more than an hour of sleep at a time, but I’d be lying if I said we got enough sleep!

Our GBG triplets at 2 weeks old!
Our GBG triplets at 2 weeks old!

 

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8 thoughts on “Twinfant Tuesday: A Day in the Life with Triplets-The First Month”

  1. Oh. My. Goodness. That photo. They are adorable. Makes me just want to snuggle them. It’s great that you got a routine down and that you work together as such a great team.

    I know who to come to if I ever want to induce lactation! (I can imagine wanting to breastfeed an adopted child, assuming he/she were young enough.)

  2. I wondered if you were both able to breastfeed…how amazing!!! I thought I’d gathered that from a comment you made at one time, but I kept forgetting to ask.

    I, too, have a very detailed account of our girls’ feeding / sleep schedule. I’ve referenced my notebook quite a few times for friends…both those with multiples, and those with singletons. It helped my mental state to keep up with everything, and I’m thankful to have been able to guide some of my mommy friends with our experience.

    I’m sure this will be an awesome resource post for a lot of triplet families!

  3. People usually find having more than one baby an impossible mission, and they are so surprised because they have only one perspective upon things, the outside one. They can’t tell that even if you are tired, you can’t get upset on your children for waking you up…These people are worth only an acid reply and a smile.

    1. Ahh, so very true. I have BBB triplets (now 9 months old) and everywhere I go, I get the same shocking question: “How do you do it?” Although it bugs me, I have to remember what you mentioned: They only have one perspective…the outside one.

      Beautiful post, beautiful babies! Thank you for sharing how us triplet parents do it! 😉

      1. People don’t realize the power of a mother when it comes to their children. We have to stay strong. People like you deserves respect and appreciation for the love that you have for your children. I kiss you and take care of yourself!

  4. I am so jealous……. our triplets are almost a year and I still am averaging 3 to 4 hours of sleep on a good day. Between these 3 and our other 6 ages 10,8,6,5,4,3 this is what a typical day looks like. {let me add we do this by ourselves and still have not had a day off}

    6am- wake up for feeding for trip#3
    620am- feed trip#2
    645am- wake up dad to help change diapers and feed trip#1
    7am wake up the 3 oldest to get ready for school
    715 wake up all remaining school aged children so I can dress them.
    740am make breakfast
    8am eat breakfast
    820am running late rush to get kids to 3 differnt schools
    910am back home so dad can leave and wake up my 3 yr old to eat breakfast
    930 feed trip# 2 breakfast
    940am feed trip#3 breakfast
    10am feed trip#1 a bottle
    (all three are on different formula which I have to supplement to adjust to 24 and 29 cal for trip #1 and trip# 3 and due to severe reflex they also have to thickened to nectar for trip 3 and honey for trip 1 so that is also another step thats included at every bottle feed)
    1020 put babies down for a nap
    1045am clean up morning mess (dishes, clothes my kids have manage to throw everywhere while dressing for school, wash bottles and so on)
    1120am my 3 year old loves to wake up babies and play who can scream the loudest while I make lunch
    1145am feed my 3yr old
    noon start feeding the triplets
    1245 get everyone dressed and in the car
    130- go to reoccurring appointment
    2pm to 3pm
    (Monday my 8yr therapy
    Tuesday trips ot
    Wednesday my 1oyr old speech
    Thursday trips pt
    Friday left for other random appointments(dentist regular doc appointments or what ever else there is)
    330pm pick up kids
    345 make bottles and snacks
    430pm homework
    5pm put babies down for nap while older kids get tv time
    510pm – 6pm start making dinner, break up 14 fights, listen to 10 tattle tales, say “no, stop, and dont even think about it” 40 times
    615pm eat dinner
    645pm feed triplets
    730 start baths in order of who goes to bed first
    8pm start playing the thats not fair game with the ones who should be getting bed
    830pm still playing the thats not fair game
    9pm all older kids finally in bed {or so I think}
    915pm triplets think its time to play the “who can be the meanest game” by taking each others toys, climbing over one another, and what ever else these clever little monsters can think of to make the other ones cry
    945 baths for babies while daddy feeds and puts to sleep
    1015pm Finally shower
    1045pm time to get some homework done
    2am realize its 2am and try to get to bed
    215am (in any random order) one triplet will wake up a second triplet whos crying wakes up the third triplet
    230am find myself explaining to 10 month olds that 230am is not play time its sleepy time
    245am feed each of the babies
    330am this is where one of two things happen #1 go to bed (for reals this time) or #2 pass out in the middle of doing some random thing (its always a surprise just where I wake up a couple of times in the middle of our closet possibly was folding clothes I really dont know or to tired to care…….. lol)
    6am- Super excited to do it all over again
    Sorry this post was super long but so are my days just waiting for the day that I can go pee in by myself again and forgive me for any grammar or miss spellings I know have babies crying and do not have time to proof read and please pray for my sanity……… j/k

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