Six weeks and three days into my pregnancy, I found out that I was not only STILL pregnant (despite a scare that made me think otherwise), but that I was actually pregnant with THREE babies. After the shock and awe of that first appointment, I did what any person would do: I went home and I Googled everything I could about a triplet pregnancy. And believe it or not, there is not a lot out there relating to a triplet, or higher order multiples pregnancy.
I didn’t really know anyone who had triplets and it would be a few weeks before I found an awesome group of moms who were going through the same experience as me (shout out to all my Facebook mamas!) I was put in contact with a triplet mom through a friend at work and she planned a visit shortly after I was put on bedrest (a triplet pregnancy isn’t for the faint of heart).
This is where I got my first book recommendation.
1. When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads 4th Edition: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy
This book is the multiples pregnancy BIBLE. It talks about all of the things you don’t even know to ask about. From discussing the importance of a maternal/fetal medicine specialist to what to eat and how much, this book covered all of the things! A multiples pregnancy is often (not always) a lot different from a singleton pregnancy and can affect your body in a lot of different ways. This books gives lots of tips and tricks for how to maintain your health and the health of your babies during your pregnancy.
After reading this book and allowing the reality that I was having triplets sink in, I knew that I was going to need a lot more information. With my borderline type A personality (self-diagnosed), I knew that I was going to need a game plan for the things I was previously considering just ‘winging’ it on.
Like sleep. With having three tiny humans in the same room and dependent on their schedule (I had poor eaters and slow weight gainers and the schedule was LIFE for us in the beginning), I knew that we needed to master sleep as early as possible. There are lots of books on how to get your baby sleeping through the night but the book that I found most useful was the following one.
This book discusses a baby’s eating, waketime, and nightime cycles in a way that makes sense, while also considering ages and stages (no pushing your child to sleep long stretches before they are ready). We definitely didn’t read the whole book (hello, I had 3 newborns and there are a lot of anecdotes) BUT we followed the basic pattern outlined in the book and the one thing I can say that went well during the infant stage for our children was sleeping! They loved (still do at 2 years old) sleeping, both naps and nighttime. It was a respite for us and was one less thing to stress about!
My babes were born at 30 weeks and 0 days gestation, which mostly means they had a lot to catch up on! When you have a preemie baby (or babies), you are given an ‘adjusted age’ that they get to keep until they turn two years old. This means that if they are ‘behind’ developmentally, you can go by the number of weeks they are adjusted as your point of reference rather than their actual birthdate.
That being said, there were a lot of things to keep track of. Which is why I loved this book so much!
While I didn’t love it’s counterpart, What to Expect When You’re Expecting (mostly because I feel like it gives too much information and makes it really easy for a person to find things to stress about during pregnancy), I loved this book because it outlined what your child should be able to do based on their age.
It was easy for me to flip between our actual age and adjusted age to see where we fell and it also gave practical tools to work on skills that your baby might not yet be mastering. It also gave some pointers on adjusted age and preemies which was really helpful. This was not a book I read cover to cover but I utilized the monthly breakdowns for some basic developmental things.
4. The Wonder Weeks: How to Stimulate Your Baby’s Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases into Magical Leaps Forward
Another book (and app!) that I loved for development was this one.
I utilized the app for this book more than the book itself (because again, three babies) BUT I loved this book. Before having kids, I had never heard that a baby made mental leap developments in a similar way that they made physical developments. While the concept makes sense to me, it just was not something I had given consideration to.
Utilizing the app, you plug in your baby’s birth date AND their adjusted age if applicable (preemie mom’s dream!). It then maps out on a calendar when they are most likely going through a mental leap and what development they were making. It also gave suggestions on how to help your baby adjust to their new thought process and skill.
I also like this book because sometimes babies are just fussy and it is really nice to have an app that says “yeah, your babe should be fussy for the next week or so” to give you a little peace of mind.
This last book is less of a parenting book or guide but one that I feel is just as important anyway.
Reading is one of the best gifts you can give to your children and this book not only tells you why, but it gives you tips to use along the way. It also discusses the importance of reading aloud to your children, beginning with infancy. This book is a very quick read but so beneficial. I think every parent should have a copy!
There are so many books out there for the new parents. SO MANY. It can be very difficult to narrow down your search and thankfully, through the help of some magical Google searches and some awesome mom friends, I was able to find several books that worked for us.