Once your triplets begin to walk and talk, you might find that the fun of multiples really begins! You will hopefully be getting more sleep and your little trio will be more able to entertain themselves for longer periods of time. You might even be a local celebrity as people awe at the uniqueness of your family.
That being said, each developmental stage brings it’s own set of challenges. Don’t be intimidated by talk of the “terrible twos” because they don’t have to be terrible, nor does any age. The early years are so special and important for your children to develop their individual personalities.
Here are seven helpful tips for parents of toddler to preschool age triplets:
1. Their development may vary.
One benefit of having triplets is being able to compare developmental progress. Don’t get caught up worrying if they develop skills at different rates, even in comparison to their peers. They might reach milestones a bit later if they were born premature, but that’s not always the case.
Triplets are usually on target by the time they reach school age. Talk to your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your triplets’ development or milestones.
2. They may share a special “language”.
While it is not a “language” per se, you may notice that your triplets communicate in a way that only they understand. Speech pathologists hypothesize that this is simply unclear speech that is reinforced by their same age siblings. Try to support their language development by repeating and reinforcing proper pronunciation of words they attempt to say.
3. Play dates can benefit their social development.
Going out on play dates with other children or multiples can help your triplets’ confidence and socialization. Seeing other multiples may help them feel better about any fears they have about how they will be treated as a triplet. Find a community group for families of multiples to connect with.
4. They don’t have to share everything.
One way you can help them develop as individuals is to let them have some toys that they don’t have to share with their siblings. They will have plenty of experience sharing and taking turns with other toys, and this will help them refine individual interests. Encourage family members to get different gifts for each one rather than the same for all three.
While it may seem counterintuitive, don’t force sharing when it isn’t necessary. Your children will learn to share and be generous by example. Respect their budding autonomy and sense of self by letting them experiment with ownership.
5. You may have to take extra precaution childproofing your home and backyard.
Children are naturally curious, and triplets may combine their skills to reach things you never thought they could! Take time looking at your house from their perspective so insure you keep them as safe as possible. Some common dangers are unsecured bookshelves or tall dressers, poisonous plants, heaters, chemicals, cupboards, and doors.
6. Consider enrolling them in preschool before they are old enough for kindergarten.
While not required, preschool can help your triplets get ready for kindergarten. They will learn the basic routines of going to school and be able to socialize with peers. Remember to book them far in advance and to a few centers to make sure there enough openings when the timed comes.
Playgroups are a good alternative if you decide not to enroll them in a preschool.
7. Discipline may take trial and error.
All parents have varying styles of discipline, ranging from very strict and structured to very free and flexible. If you are a first time parent, it may take time to develop your personal parenting style, and with three it will probably require some creativity. Some discipline tips for triplets are:
Raising triplets may be difficult at times, but it’s also highly rewarding and special. Deeply loving your children and using common sense are the best ingredients for a healthy, happy family. The toddler to preschool years can really be a blast, so laugh and have fun as often as you can.