They say life doesn’t give you more than you can handle, a notion which new moms of multiples must remind themselves of daily. Whether you’ve got (or are expecting) two, three or – gasp – even more babies at a time, you’ll need all the help you can get.
Here’s the top advice from our community to help you along the ride:
1. Add an extra hour to any arrival/return estimates. See #2.
2. Get ready to be a public curiosity. You can just go ahead and prepare your answers to hand out for the (sometimes intrusive and sometimes funny) inevitable questions that strangers at the store will ask, like “Are they twins/triplets?” “Are they natural?” “Can they read each other’s minds?” “Are they identical?” “How do you tell them apart?” Try to remember that they don’t realize that they are the 700th person this week to ask these very same questions.
3. Prepare to be broke for a really, really long time. Ever heard the term “rich in love”? Embrace it.
4. Keep the babies on the same schedule as much as possible. This includes feeding, bathing, sleeping, etc, so if one baby wakes up in the middle of the night needing a clean bottom and a bite to eat, go ahead and do the same for the other(s).
5. Invest in a dishwasher, if you don’t already have one. You’ll go crazy otherwise.
6. Make sure you have baby supplies on every floor. Otherwise, you get to pick between leaving one or more of the kids alone while you run upstairs for the baby wipes, or you get to carry all the kids up the stairs to change one diaper.
7. Even though you’ll want to get used to a synchronized schedule, don’t fall into thinking of your multiples as one unit. Each child is their own person, with their own likes and dislikes, and may develop at a different rate (they may even outgrow their clothes at different speeds!), so comparisons will achieve nothing.
8. Join a wholesale club, immediately.
9. Realize that you are outnumbered, and accept any and all offers of help, no matter how small. Remember to say “thank you” … even if they “did it wrong.”
10. Everybody in the house should get at least 10-30 minutes of one-on-one time. It’s not their fault they’re a multiple.
11. Invest in a crockpot and learn how to use it. It will save you years in cooking time.
12. When one of your kids gets sick, it’ll probably be easier to skip the whole ‘trying to keep them separate so the other ones don’t catch it,” and just go ahead and get it over with. It’s inevitable.
13. Make sure your diaper bag stays packed. Have a backup diaper bag packed, too. You might even get a third emergency diaper bag and put it in the trunk. And then go ahead and put at least 2 extra diapers per kid in your purse, along with a small travel pack of wipes.
14. Buy multiples of everything. If one baby has a toy, the other kid(s) will also decide exactly 1.5 seconds later that they want that exact same toy, even if there are 62 other toys right there at their feet. Note: Color coding saves lives. Know that this won’t always be helpful, especially when one child decides that she wants all the red legos and then one Tuesday refuses to drink from the yellow sippy cup ever again.
15. Find other moms of multiples and make friends. Singleton parents can try, but nobody really gets it like a fellow multiple mom.
16. Buy a third-row vehicle. Sadly, even the largest, roomiest minivan on the market will feel like a matchbox car with all your baby crap piled in it.
17. The first time you successfully manage to take your multiples out in public alone and make it back home in one piece, you will feel like an Olympic medal winner. And you really do deserve the freaking gold.
18. Keep a sense of humor. You will have days, some more often than others, when you can either laugh or cry. Laughing is always better. Crying will just make your eyes puffy and waste precious baby wipes.
Related post: 10 Reasons It’s Awesome Having Twins