19 weeks

Milestones this week: All babies laughed several times. All babies responded to their names. All babies eat 6-10 baby spoonfuls of organic rice cereal twice a day. William is our best eater, always opening wide, swallowing well, and wanting more. I’m not sure how much to give him. I’ll ask the doc next week.

I’m on a roll with this whole routine/schedule thing! We’re doing great, and the babies usually sleep about 10 hours a night! I’m not there yet, but I feel almost human again. Jason and I enjoy the babies more every week.

In the beginning, I rarely (ok, never) let the babies cry. After live-in help left, we turned to a stricter schedule, one that allowed for more crying.

Here’s our schedule, roughly. It’ll probably change next week…I included my “philosophy” as well.

PHILOSOPHY NOTES:

*Babies need adult interaction and conversation! Talk to babies at all times–while feeding, changing and playing. Read to babies.

*Other than feeding and sleeping, keep off heads! Use lap, bumbo, exersaucer, jumperoo, or tummy time.

*Put triplets in the same room. ALWAYS put down for naps and bedtime at the same time. BABIES WHO CRY AT THE SAME TIME, SLEEP AT THE SAME TIME. (If you stager them, they wake each other up.)

*Feed all babies at the same time to maintain the sleeping schedule. This is done by supervised bottle propping.

*Let babies cry for 10 mins (if not a panic cry) when going down for naps and bedtime. Listen for cries that don’t sound right. Notice they “talk” to each other, and take turns crying.

*Babies this age need 14.5 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, with 10-11 of those hours at night. Let cry and fall back to sleep during nighttime wakings for no more than 10mins. Make exceptions. (Though Emilia will often wake and go back to sleep like the boys, sometimes she stays awake, and screams hard. She must be picked up, fed and changed during those times.)

*We’re still doing 4 naps a day, about an hour to an hour and a half per nap. If any baby wakes from a nap before an hour, do not get up. Conversely, wake any baby still sleeping after an hour and a half. Always listen for unusual crying, and make exceptions.

And….the (ROUGH) schedule:

6:20am: Usually 2 of 3 babies wake. Get up all 3, and change diapers. Then on to the exersaucer, bumbo or jumperoo to watch “Baby’s First Sounds” Enstein video. This caps the TV viewing for the day.

6:30am-6:45am: Make bottles and Jason’s coffee. Replenish dog’s food and water. Water organic garden.

6:45am-7:15am: Feed all babies 5 to 6 ounces of organic formula.

7:15am: Jason gets ready for work. Fry thick-cut bacon and hashbrowns. Eggs come later.

7:30am: Jason plays with the babies. I finish breakfast (the eggs, with freshly grated cheese).

7:45am: Jason leaves for work, and takes breakfast with him.

8:00am: Diaper changes. Put all babies down for naps in same room. Crying begins.

8:00am-8:10am: Crying ceases, all babies sleep…at the same time!

8:10am-9:10am: Mom works on school stuff, and household chores.

9:10am: First baby wakes for one-on-one time with mom.

9:20am: Second baby wakes for one-on-one time with mom. First baby goes in bumbo, exersaucer, jumperoo, or tummy time under the play mat (toys included).

9:30am: If not up, last baby is woken for one-on-one time with mom. The other two rotate between the exersaucer, jumperoo, bumbo, and/or tummy time on the mat (toys included).

9:40am: Rotate through stations. Make bottles and cereal.

9:50am-10:40 Spoon-feed organic rice cereal (about 7 teaspoons each). Feed between 5 and 6 ounces of organic formula.

10:40am-11:00am: Read 3-5 books to babies. Talk to babies; play with babies.

11:00am: Change diapers and put everyone down for naps at the same time. Crying begins.

11:00am – 11:10am: Crying ceases. Babies sleep.

11:10am-12:10pm: Mom works on school stuff, and household chores.

12:10pm: First baby wakes for one-on-one time with mom.

12:20pm: Second baby wakes for one-on-one time with mom. First baby goes to bumbo, exersaucer, jumperoo, or tummy time.

12:30pm: Third baby wakes or is woken for one-on-one time with mom while other two rotate through stations.

12:40pm-12:50pm: Take babies into playroom and explore environment; tummy time on giant mat. Make bottles.

12:50pm-1:15pm: Backyard lunch outside. Babies eat at same time via propped bottles in bouncers and a swing made for outdoor feedings. Feed 5-6 ounces of formula.

1:20pm-2:00pm: Take babies for a walk OR give baths. These activities are switched every day. If bath day, dress after bath. If walk day, dress before leaving.

2:00pm: Change diapers. Put babies down for naps. Crying begins.

2:00pm-2:10pm: Crying ceases. Babies sleep.

2:10pm-3pm: Mom works on school stuff, and chores.

3:10pm: First baby wakes for one-on-one time with mom.

3:20pm: Second baby wakes for one-on-one time with mom while first baby hits the stations.

3:30pm: Third baby wakes for one-on-one time with mom while other two rotate through stations.

3:40pm-3:50pm: Rotate babies through stations. Make bottles and cereal.

4pm-4:45pm: All babies go outside to eat. Spoon feed organic rice cereal and 5-6 ounces of formula.

4:45pm: Talk and read to babies outside.

5:00pm: Diaper changes. Babies go down for last nap. Crying begins.

5:00pm – 5:10pm: Crying ceases. Babies sleep.

5:15pm-8:00pm: Mom prepares dinner for Dad’s arrival home from work. Or, mom works on blog, and household chores.

While making dinner:

6:30pm-7:00pm: Babies wake and play with dad.

6:45pm: Make bottles.

7:00pm-7:30pm: All babies eat 5-6 ounces.

7:30pm: Diaper changes. Jammies on.

7:45pm: All babies go down for night. Crying begins.

8:00pm–8:10pm: Crying ceases. All babies sleep through the night. (Ah..maybe that rice cereal really does help…)

8:10pm-9:30pm: Mom and dad eat prepared dinner.

9:30pm: Mom goes to bed. Dad works.

12:00am: Dad finishes working and goes to bed.

12:00am-6:30am: Though becoming rare, babies sometimes cry during the night. We LISTEN AND CHECK. Most of the time, baby stops crying after 5-10 mins or so. Picking up to comfort usually disturbs sleeping and keeps them up longer.

Dinners are as follows:

*2 nights a week (I make what Jason likes): Chicken pot pie, swedish meatballs over pasta, or meatloaf and mashed potatoes. The meatloaf is made in varying ways, depending on our seasonings, and what’s in the fridge (e.g. BBQ sauce or Ketchup). I make mashed potatoes extra creamy (sour cream, parmesan, butter, milk), served with classic brown gravy, and grilled veggies from the organic garden.

*2 nights a week: (I make what I like): Crab cakes and seafood linguini (Trader Joe’s; usually shrimp or scallops, and fresh linguini), and my own sauce (made from scratch, using white wine and herbs from the garden). Or something Jason can grill: Salmon, tuna, or steak. For each, I take a different approach to marinating. Alongside, I make seasoned sweet potatoes or garlic mashed potatoes. Served with steamed asparagus or brussels sprouts, and homemade béarnaise sauce. A light gorgonzola salad with micro greens and creamy balsamic dressing (made from scratch) finish it off.

*2 nights a week: Takeout: Vietnamese or Thai.

*1 night a week: We fend for ourselves.

A rough outline of a typical day. Of course, we never hit those times on the mark, but you get the idea.

Although we’re still on a 3 hour feeding schedule, we need to graduate to a 4 hour schedule soon. Any tips/advice/suggestions on how to implement this? I know a lot of crying will be involved because they HATE waiting any longer than 3 hours to eat, I’ve tried it. And it’s hard holding off 3 crying babies at the same time. I suppose I’ll need to bite the bullet and just go through a few rough days?

They eat rice cereal twice a day. William is our big eater. I swear, if I let him, he’d just eat solids.

6 comments

  • JulieSD3 says:

    wow – thanks for posting (I guess, even though you’re putting me to shame!) – organic garden & scratch sauces, really!? with triplets.  Way to go!!!
    What is the outdoor feeding swing?  For propping, do you use wadded blanket or something official (which product)?

    • Esther says:

      I’ve always been a big cooker, so, yes! Those sauces take 5 mins to make! I always prop with blankets, yes. Nothing fancy required, fyi! I use a swing an old swing that I took the batteries out of!!

  • Lori Vidonic says:

    My advice for switching to a 4 hour schedule is to do it gradually.  Push the feedings back by 15 minutes each time.  Be prepared to be a bit flexible at first.  Even once we got to 4 hours, there were times in the beginning where they just could not wait that long.  I would compromise and feed at 3.5 hours in that case.  Remember to up all of the bottles by a little bit so they get the same total amount.  Also,  as you get to a 4 hour schedule, that is also a good time to transition to a 3 nap schedule since there is more time between feedings.  Generally that will mean longer morning and afternoon naps and a shorter 3rd “catnap” that will last until around 8 or 9 months of age. 

    • Esther says:

      huh, thanks! You make it sound surprisingly simple. I think I’m ready, but not sure if it’s too soon.

      • Lori Vidonic says:

        There is no such thing as a simple transition, LOL.  There really isn’t any hurry.  If you don’t think they are ready, wait a while.  I thought the 3 hour schedule was torture and forced the issue moving to 4 hours pretty early.  My theory was that many preemies come home from the NICU on a 4 hour schedule so my 36 weekers ought to be able to handle it.   They could, after a transiton period.  I knew they were still very young so that is why I was pretty flexible until their bodies got used to the change.

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