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!