Monday, September 24, 2012

Things Every New HOM-to-be Mom Needs!

I have been putting together a list of things that every High Order Multiple (HOM) mom needs. Surprisingly I did not get a lot of input from the other HOMs.  I think they, like myself, suffer from memory loss during those early days.  You stay SO busy in the beginning and sleep deprived that the details are hard to remember. This gets me to the first thing on the list...

1. Please, please, please find the time and get a blog or something.  I know I kept several logs of records on my computer but I lost them when my computers (yes, plural) died.  So I have NO idea, for the most part, when the babies started to smile, babble, talk, sit up, walk and ect.  With multiples it is hard to keep all that information straight for each baby.  By keeping the information in a "cloud" you will not lose it and you will be able to record those precious moments. When life slows down, say when the kids are about 10, you can record those moments in a baby

2. Boppies.  In the beginning I had bassinets since they took up less room.  When the children were out of the bassinets we had them in Boppies to sit up and for feeding.  They really are a HUGE help!  The Boppy is still SO loved in the family I have four of them.  Joseph uses a Boppy as a pillow at night.  It is the perfect size for him since he is a side-sleeper.

3. Bouncers.  When the children were not in bed or the floor they were pretty much in a bouncer.  Especially after feeding.  Preemies often have reflux issues.  Please know the signs for reflux and get help for your baby if needed!  You will need at least one bouncer per child!

4. Bottles.  Even if you are breast feeding at some point most HOMs will have to use bottles.  Find some you like.  For us it was Dr. Brown bottles but I think EVERY baby is different.  Make sure you find some bottles and get at least four per child. In the beginning I had 10 bottles per child and was using 8 of them per day.  The extras were for when I was behind in bottle washing.  :  )

5. Bar Mop Towels. I bought these from Costco and got a LOT of them!  I had about 60 of them at one point.  I got solid white ones so I could bleach them.  The babies refluxed a lot and I was constantly wiping up barf, formula, food or something.  Once dirty, the bar towels can be thrown into the washer with some bleach and come out as good as new.  Other people have used cloth diapers.  I like the bar towels better but I am sure that is another personal choice thing.

6. Baby Wipes.  This is a matter of personal opinion.  I really like the Huggies One & Done.  They are thick with a soft cotton-like feel. Also they do not really tear apart easily.  If they dry out you can add a bit of water and they are good as new.  I still use wipes and diapers.  Neither Margaret nor Joseph are potty trained.  I use the wipes for EVERYTHING!  Cleaning butts, wiping faces, wiping hands/feet, cleaning surfaces and anything else.  Amazon is my favorite source for wipes.  I buy the tubs of wipes and then I buy refills to refill the tubs.  I keep buying refills until the tubs are starting to fall apart.  Then I buy more  I can get 8 tubs for $24.  Not too bad AND it is delivered to my door!

7. Diapers.  For diapers I like Pampers.  I find them to be softer and fit better.  I figured out, in the beginning, we went through 6 diapers (on average) per day per child.  So we were going through about 2 cases per month and now I use one case per month.  Again, Amazon is my favorite source for convenience. There used to be good reward programs out there (Amazon Moms and Babies "R" Us) but I don't think anyone is running anything anymore.  Keep an eye out for your best price.  I do have a Prime membership with Amazon so I can get the diapers quickly.  Otherwise I find Babies "R" Us is the best place to pick up diapers in person.

8. Portable Mini Cribs.  I am not endorsing any particular brand.  I LOVED these because I could roll them to where ever I needed them.  They were small and I could easily fit three in a room.  When we had to travel we just took their cribs with us.  These worked great until they stood up and got too tall for them.  About 14 to 18 months.  After that I moved them to a toddler bed.

9. White Noise Machine.  This is a personal preference also.  I love this because it allows for a constant noise at night that is soothing.  It also kinda "trains" them to sleep to the noise.  It works pretty well. LOL

10. Carseats.  In the beginning, because the babies were so small, I got GRACO snugrides.  If you google them you will see they come in a variety of colors and styles.  When I went out shopping I would put one carseat up top where children sit and two down inside the basket.  I would grab a second basket for actual  When the babies got bigger I was doing research and the Sunshine Radian carseat was the ONLY carseat that could fit three across in a standard car.  They have been bought out by a company called Diono.  They have the Radian r100.  I think it is the same carseat that I purchased originally.  I have been VERY happy with my carseats.  We have used them for FOUR years and we are going to get new booster style seats (when I have the money) from the same company.  The Radian80 is very expensive at about $225 per seat but they were the ONLY car seat we had to buy in four years!  The Radian r100 is priced about the same but you may want to make sure three of these will fit across the backseat in a standard car.

11. Strollers. This is another super hard question to answer.  I can tell you about the two strollers I had and what I liked or not about them.  One of the strollers I had was a Foundation Quad Stroller.  I liked that I had an extra seat where I could put my diaper bag and anything else that amused me.  Overall the stroller was not that bad.  My biggest problem with the stroller was the weight.  I have this huge E-350 van.  I had to lift the stroller, as dead weight, from the ground to my trunk.  It sucked!  LOL  The stroller weighed about  50 pounds empty.  Too much for me!  Otherwise I liked it. The second stroller I LOVED!  It was a Runabout triple stroller.  It was not as heavy as the Foundation stroller.  Since the stroller does not fold you do need to figure out how you can haul it.  They do make a tailgate carrier for it.  Since it has stadium style seating the kids could see over one another and it was SUPER easy to fit through a standard doorway.  The Runabout was BY FAR the easiest stroller for me to roll around with all the kids.  If anything I had to be careful because the stroller could start to roll away from  The length of the stroller allowed me to tilt the front wheel up and have it hit my tailgate.  Then I just pushed the stroller in. It was SO easy for me.  I was sad when James got too big for the seat at 3.5 years old.  :(  When the children were small I either left them in their Graco Sungride carseats or I put them in the Runabout.  Other people have mentioned to me that the Graco carseat stroller frames. You can link them together with various products on me market.

12. Books.  The only book I got to read was Dr. Barbara Luke and Tamara Elberlein's book, "When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: A Complete Resource."  This was a great book and provided a lot of insight for me.  Especially what I needed to be taking in vitamins to create four people at  I am sure there are other resources but this is the only one I read and can vouch for.

Can't stress strongly enough.  You've GOT to have a schedule.  You may not like it but it helps to keep all the kiddos on the same track doing the same thing.  That is important if you ever hope to sleep again!

The other items I think you can figure out and get your own.  I am sure as I think of things I will come back and add to this post.  I am hoping that other HOMs will leave comments and let me know the tools they found most useful.  I would LOVE to hear other people's experiences!

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