Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Babywearing Triplets: Preemie Problems

Welcome to my first of many recurring blogs on babywearing triplets. My name is Carolyn and I gave birth to spontaneous triplets (!) recently. (Yes, that means they were totally natural and a big fat surprise). Oh yeah, and I also have a 5yr old and 2 year old. I’ve been a babywearer for many years and was sure I could handle this new challenge with lots of babywearing, but so far life has been more complicated than I’d hoped.
My babes (2 girls and a boy) were born at 34 weeks and because of that were in the NICU for a little while. I found out right away that there would be lots of obstacles between my babies and me. They could only nurse a little because they tired out too much. They were also attached to wires which made it difficult to maneuver with them. Lastly, of course, there were three of them, which had me rotating from baby to baby.

After 10 days we had S home, and 2 days later R was home. Great news! Unfortunately they were both on apnea monitors. This was wonderful for my sanity, because I knew they were breathing, but not great for babywearing. The leads pulled on the carriers and it was hard to carry around the monitor wherever I went and sort of defeated some of the purpose of babywearing (which is being able to get things done and play with the big kids.) I found myself putting my babies down much more than I ever thought I would. I held my first born all the time and wore my second child around the clock, so putting children down is strange to me.

I did find some opportunities to wear them, and even wore both girls in a Moby once. It was awkward, and they got too big for it quickly.  I found a ring sling great for wearing one and was able to tuck part of the monitor leads into the sling which kept it from pulling on the ring sling too much. Even at 4 pounds the ring sling was a perfect fit.
During really fussy times at night I did wear 2 in two separate mei tais. It looks like they are on top of each other in the picture, but really one is more on my left and one more on my right. Keep in mind that they are used to being pressed up against each other. I did have to put a receiving blanket in between the girls to make sure they didn’t bonk heads.

The best thing for us has been mei tais. My husband finds them easy to use and we are constantly switching which baby is being worn and which baby is in a swing or bouncy seat so a mei tai is good for quick ins and outs. I have also had a few requests to be worn from my 2 year old, and the mei tai is still perfect for him on my back.

So far, I have been a little disappointed that I haven’t worn them constantly, or worn two or even three, on a regular basis, but we have been plagued with unwieldy monitors, reflux, and other preemie problems. I have not been comfortable putting them on my back due to their small size and previous breathing problems. I look forward to them getting a little bigger and being off the monitors because we feel a bit trapped in one 10 foot radius these days.

Next blog: The girls are off the monitors and my determination to make Christmas normal


  1. Carolyn, even admid the premie difficulties, you have such an abundance of grace--it's inspiring!

  2. You are doing such a great job, Carolyn! Your kids are blessed to have you!