Here are some of our favorite resources for education and entertainment purposes:
Dr. Barbara Luke's book When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads
This book was a lifesaver during my quadruplet pregnancy. Dr. Luke is the founder of the University Consortium on Multiple Births, a researcher and fellow dietitian who really knows her stuff when it comes to weight gain and high risk pregnancy outcomes.
Guidelines on weight gain and calorie intake are hard to come by for high order multiple births, but Dr. Luke was on the Institutes of Medicine committee that revised the guidelines in 2009. Her book has great evidence-based nutrition advice and helpful suggestions for getting above 3,000 calories per day in a quad pregnancy. She supports a recommended 70-80 pound weight gain for quads (not always easy info to digest I might add!)
- Fertility IQ - billed as "The Smart Way to Find a Fertility Doctor", Fertility IQ was started by my friends Jake and Deborah after their own particularly harrowing fertility journey. Great fertility info on their content site and comprehensive, firsthand reviews of fertility docs too.
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine - love their Challenges of Parenting Multiples fact sheet. They also publish a guide for patients pregnant with high order multiples available here.
- Multiples of America - check out your local chapter for twin mom & more info. I'm currently our San Diego chapter's secretary and have met so many great parents of multiples and gotten fantastic recommendations on childcare, gear and coping from this amazing group.
Blogs and Shows
We don't have much time to watch TV these days - but when we do, TLC comes through! TLC has a corner on the market when it comes to shows about high order birth multiples. We love watching how other families handle a lot of kids at once, and all of these blogs and shows feature a slice of real life with quadruplets and quintuplets.
Baby Gear Galore
One of the things we were not prepared for when we had quadruplets was the insane amount of baby gear donated and offered to us by all sorts of baby related companies and organizations. We are so grateful for all of the brands we have had the opportunity to partner with because the thought of shopping on top of keeping track of these kids is just too much!
People always ask, "How do you afford to clothe and feed and move all these kids around?" To be honest, we operate on a lot of donated product, clothes and in Claire's case, mad amounts of headbows. There are too many generous companies out there to list, but here are a few of our favorite baby brands and products that have helped keep us sane and semi-sensible with quadruplets:
- Bumbleride Indie Twin double strollers - when we found out we were having quadruplets, probably even more top of mind than what car we were going to drive was obviously, what type of strollers we would have?! We LIVE that stroller life and our Bumbleride Indie Twin double strollers are the deal! I wish I had an odometer on the Bumblerides because we log so many miles in these suckers. We are also proud to partner with Bumbleride as one of their Bumbleride Adventurers featured families - check our story out here.
- Gerber Soothe formula - I'm a dietitian and thankfully have dietitian formula rep friends who kept the formula coming for free! Although I pumped for the first 7 months, I always needed to supplement the quadruplets' breastmilk with formula to keep up with their hearty appetites. Our babies loved Gerber Soothe, an easily digestible formula with hydrolyzed protein and probiotics that is easy on the gut.
- Inchbug Orbit labels - we were introduced to Brenda the Inchbug owner via Instagram when she sent us some Orbit name labels for the quads' bottles. If you have more than 1 kid or if your kid hangs around other kids, you need these labels in your life. They don't budge in the dishwasher and they are color coded to help you keep your cool. Check out Inchbug on Sharktank - also very cool.
- Cuddle + Kind dolls - another friend from Instagram, husband and wife owner team Derek and Jen sell these adorable dolls and also donate 10 meals to hungry children in need for every doll sold. Each doll is made by women artisans in Peru and our quadruplets absolutely adore their C&K dolls.
- Purl Lamb hoodie sets - is there really anything cuter than a kid in a hoodie? When friends ask me what to get for a new baby, hands down I say Purl Lamb sweat suits. They are amazingly durable and come in adorable patterns that I'm like, "Can I get one for me too?!"
- BabyBrezza FormulaPro - This is basically a Keurig for formula, and the smartest thing ever if you make more than 1 bottle per day (or in our case at the peak: 24 bottles per day). My best friend bought me this when I was pregnant with the quads and I thank her silently every day at bottle time. The FormulaPro perfectly mixes, shakes and reconstitutes bottles. You'll never need to shake a bottle again!
- 4Moms Mamaroo - we called these the spaceship swings and our quadruplets lived in the for their first 6 months of life. The Mamaroo has a small footprint and quickly rocks, bounces or lulls your baby to sleep or keeps them calm when they're awake. We could not have made it through without our Mamaroos, and if you know any expecting parents, pick them up at least one stat!
- Guava Family Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib - our longtime family friends are neighbors with the owners of this amazing company who makes, seriously, the best travel baby crib ever. We travel heavily with our 5 kids and these portable cribs are the lightest and easiest to set up and break down. The backpack design is genius for freeing up your hands and our kids sleep like babies in them!
- CreamHaus Folding Play Mat - so I thought all playmats were created equal...until the owner of CreamHaus contacted me about his toxin-free baby playmat. Our quadruplets spend a lot of time on the ground, and this playmat is amazing. It's nicer than almost all of the furniture in my house and I feel totally confident letting them romp around on this non-toxic, eco-friendly surface.
If you have a baby gear or kid company with product you'd like out squad to test or try out or a resource to share that has been helpful for your family, please email Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org.