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Your Shopping Checklist for Multiples!

Are you about to have twins, triplets, or even more? Your life will be much easier if you stock up now on enough of everything to keep the nursery running smoothly while you juggle those multiple tots' feeding, bathing, and nap times. If you're wondering just what you'll need to "outfit" your babies, here are some suggestions:

____ Three or more cribs or porta-cribs: You'll probably only use one in the beginning, but you'll eventually need one for each child.

____ At least three changes of sheets per crib: You can use mattress pads, but receiving blankets work well, too.

____ At least one heavyweight and two lightweight blankets per baby.

____ A dozen pacifiers: Most parents have found that very tiny babies won't take a pacifier. Often this is because the nipple is too large and/or hard. Look for pacifiers for preterm babies -- they're smaller and softer. If you can find them, buy about 12!

____ Bottles: The number you'll need depends on how often your babies need to be fed and whether you're breastfeeding. Having a full day's supply of bottles and nipples on hand (with 3 to 6 to spare) is definitely a big help. Since some babies may be on a two-hour feeding schedule in the beginning (if they're small babies), you may require 36 bottles and nipples a day for triplets.

____ Cloth diapers: Whether you use your own cloth diapers, a diaper service, or disposable diapers, you'll definitely need some cloth diapers of your own. Cloth diapers are handy for use as burp cloths and many other applications. If you use cloth diapers, you'll need to stock up on about five dozen diapers to start.

____ Disposable diapers: If you're planning to use disposable diapers, check out different brands to find the features you like best. Talk to your local stores -- they may be willing to donate or give you a discount on large quantities of disposable diapers. Also, contact diaper companies for coupons.

____ Clothing: Many parents have found that the easiest, most comfortable item for new babies is the terry cloth snap-up sleeper. At least four sleepers per baby works best. The advantage of these sleepers is that they are perfectly acceptable for day or night. Depending on the weather, you'll also need one coat or sweater apiece.

____ Strollers: After your babies are past the newborn stage, a stroller is a must. Perego, RunAbout, and Baby Jogger offer strollers for multiples.

____ Playpens: Playpens simply don't work for triplets or more, because their play area is too small. Expandable "corrals" are more practical. These corrals can be used to safely enclose a play area that is big enough for all your babies.

____ Swings: Battery-operated or wind-up swings could prove invaluable. Many parents prefer battery-operated swings, as they're quieter and don't need winding. Since you'll use them for a relatively short time, it may be more economical to borrow one or two of them.

____ High chairs: You'll need one high chair per baby. Be sure to get high chairs with safety straps and bars between the legs to hold babies securely in place. If you're buying high chairs, check out how they latch and adjust -- cumbersome buckles and adjustments will become frustrating when you multiply the hassle times two or three. Some mothers prefer attachable chairs that secure to the table, since they take up less room.

Reprinted with permission from Exceptional Pregnancies: A Survival Guide to Parents Expecting Triplets or More (Elm Street Press), by Kathleen S. Birch, MA and Janet L. Bleyl.

Meet the Double Stroller
Meet the Double Stroller

Originally published on AmericanBaby.com, December 2001.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.