If you don’t know Al Pollard, you should. He runs StayAtHomeTripletDad.com and his family is the subject of the legendary Pollard Triplets blog. He’s administrator for an online Triplet Dad network and he and his wife have lead courses on multiples parenting. There probably isn’t such a thing as Celebrity Triplet Virtuosity, but if there is, I nominate Al.
Anyhow, sensitive to my nerves and insecurities as a soon-to-be triplet dad, Al reached out with spark and comfort. He’s offered more than a few helpful words to me via email and his latest message was loaded with too much good material to remain unexploited.
Advice to Parents-To-Be of Multiples
from new Parents of Triplets:
- While pregnant, follow your doctor’s advice to the letter. This can add days and even weeks to how long you carry your babies and we all know the longer the better! That being said, some things are out of our control and sometimes babies are born premature (see “Let go of the guilt” below).
- If your babies end up in the NICU—don’t wear yourself out spending too much time there. Use that time to heal and prepare for their homecoming. Understand that they are in the best of hands and receiving the best of care. Don’t worry that they won’t know who you are … they do! Or that you are a bad parent … you are not!
- Let go of the guilt. Know that you did and are doing the best that you can.
- The best thing we did was to spend the first two weeks alone at home with the babies. This gave us time to bond with the babies and to put a system in place that worked for us, our babies, our house and our dog!
- Blame everything on the Doctors! People will want to come and visit (some of these will be family and close friends, but others will be people you barely know) … multiples seem to draw a large crowd. You have to be selfish … think of yourself and the babies first. Then, blame the doctors when you let them know it will be a few months before you are receiving visitors.
- Get the babies on a schedule and use some type of system to track feeding and activities (tummy time, baths, walks, skin-to-skin time, etc.)
- Learn (quickly!) to not let the unimportant things bother you.
- Don’t feed two babies at a time (propped bottles). Not only can this be dangerous, but this is your opportunity to spend one-on-one time with each baby.
- Make sure you finish one baby before you start the next … sometimes, you will feel rushed when feeding one because the other is crying (here is where you need to let go of some of the guilt!), but going back and forth between two babies does not work. Believe us! We have tried it.
- Things will not always go as planned! Adapt your plan … don’t get upset!
- Finally, just face it. Your life is never going to be the same again.But it will be better than you ever imagined possible!
Al was also good enough to include a printable spreadsheet that he used to keep track of all the necessaries for kids 1,2 and 3. Overboard? I wondered, but Al assured me there’s not only a method behind the madness, but your kids’ health and nutrition could very well depend on your keeping an accurate log of who’s had what and when.
Finally, he sent along a hyper-detailed .doc, outlining to babysitters, family members or any other caregivers how to handle just about every triplet-related situation, from hygiene to feeding to medicine to bottle cleaning. A lot of it is personal and specific to his children, so I won’t post it here, but woof! what a lot to digest.
Thanks, Al, for doing your part to save us from calamity. Let me know about that tattoo artwork, I surely do owe you one.