Abby, Izzy, Ally

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Frustrated Mommy

This is an email I wrote to the Tulsa Mothers of Multiples group I am a member of... It pretty much sums up my frustrations of this week... let's hope it's just a phase.


My triplet girls are 12.5 months old, and the last few weeks I'm seeing a change in them. They went from being very content babies, to almost non-stop whining and crying. They still take two full naps (1.5 hours in a.m. and 2 hours in p.m.) a day and get 11+ hours of sleep at night. They're also eating table foods and transitioned to cow's milk just fine. We try to get out of the house, at least to go for a walk, once a day. I can't, for the life of me, figure out what has changed to make them so unhappy. I keep thinking this might be a multiples thing... when they see one of their sisters being held, they want to be held. When they see one of their sisters playing with a toy, they want the toy. I sit with them in the living room/play room most of the day, but it seems that after the inital crying because mommy left the room, they do better when I'm not in the room?! Can anyone relate to this problem and does anyone have any suggestions? Please tell me it's just a phase and my babies have not turned into little brats!!!!

P.S. I have my living room set up where the babies can't escape and everything is baby proofed in that area with tons of toys... is it possible they're bored and want to explore the whole house? We tried this weekend to let them rome free in the house, but it was SO tiring chasing them down and watching their every move.

Frustrated mommy,
Mommy to Izzy, Abby and Ally

Here are the responses from the other Mothers of Multipes:
Oh, I forgot one the boys loved....we got a small blow up pool and set it up in the shade on the back porch, filled it slightly with slightly warmed water (it had a blow up cushioned bottom too) Layed them all in and they splashed each other silly. We did this before they could sit up, it would make them laugh hysterically. Once they were bigger we put cups and toys and things in with them. They love the water and we can't keep them out of it. Soon as it gets warm enough all we hear is can we play in the water, sprinklers, hose, spray bottles, water balloons, you name it water!Nikki
Kami, I agree with Dana. My triplet boys (now 4 1/2) still do this but I think I remember it starting around 13-16 months. We had our living room and dining room sectioned off with gates, the baby jail as we called it. We had a jumper thing, an activity table with attached walker like chair and a walker (these toys let them burn off energy). When they started fighting or getting fussy we separated them in these things and let them have fun alone. This also gave us a break for a few minutes. They always played better afterwards. We also introduced them to Baby Einstein, which they absolutely loved. I guess the music and colors gave them something to think about. My husbands Aunt and Uncle were wonderful and brought over fun things like coffee cans with stuff in them that made noise, stacking cups, and even stuff like foam shapes to string on a rope. We also got them a blow up ball pit that had a tunnel. And those fold up tent like tunnels. They loved to crawl through them and chase each other. They would crawl in with toys or books and just sit there. I remember using the teething tablets too. And they LOVED to go outside. We had a big square play pen and one of those super play-yard gates that we'd put in the back yard and let them enjoy the sounds of nature. I don't think the fighting for attention ever stops especially with triplets. There's always one less adult than child. We try to rotate laps, trips to the store and snuggle time so that each one of our boys feels special. It has reduced the constant competition but believe me it's still there. We're now using individual Mommy or Daddy time as a reward for good behavior, they seem to be really proud now that they do good things. Hang in there, it will get better!!!!!! Nikki Stovall
My b/g twins did the same thing... Happy babies turned into fussy toddlers at 12months! Now they are 15m and things are better. Looking back I am SURE it was a teething thing. They both cut their molars! Hang in there "frustrated mommy"!
It's always a guessing game with children...esp when they can't talk! If you ruled out teething & ear infection (like Jackie suggested) then I would guess that it could be that they are bored AND it's a multiples thing. My twin girls (now 2) and even my boys ages 4 & 5 fight or compete most of the day....whether it's over a toy, my attention, or who has more dessert. It's enough to drive you insane!

A couple of suggestions for stopping boredom...
· rotate their toys in and out of their playroom so they don't loose their spark
· introduce them to "big kid" activities. this will obviously become easier when they get a little older...coloring, finger painting (you can use pudding), playdoh (you can make your own if you think they might eat it!), playing with dry beans and measuring cups (again, not sure if your little ones still eat everything!)
· water play...I once read, if you have a cranky baby JUST ADD WATER! A bath or kiddie pool is a sure way to change an attitude. Before my girls could walk I would sit them in the shade outside in their highchairs. I would put water in the tray and just let them splash away!
· pretend play...dress up, cooking and eating, and my girls personal favorite...pretend crying and comforting...they really get a kick out of it if YOU cry!! lol
· unusual "toys" ...anything that would be interesting! I saved all the food canisters (yogurt containers, egg & milk cartons, boxes of cereal, etc) for an entire week in the garage....when I brought it out it was AMAZING! The kids were engrossed in our trash for hours!
I sure rambled on....hope it helps a little. Good luck and remember, this to shall pass (hopefully)! =)
My situation is almost identical….it must be a multiple thing. No pun intended.

My boys are 14 months and doing the same thing. I figured it is either teething or jealousy. They use to be such happy babies and now they throw a fit for the smallest of things. They have started fighting more…but loving more also. They constantly take toys, food, paci’s, anything from each other. Derrek doesn’t seem to mind having to share mommy, but Wyatt will get up and walk away and start whining if Derrek comes over…which is every time he sees Wyatt with mommy. My house is also set-up where we have the living area blocked. Just this past month or so, we opened up one of the hallways which allows them to go in a big circle, but we have everything else blocked off
My girls are 13 months and are doing the same thing! So far, I have chalked it up to teething since one of them has started getting molars and the other one is getting more of the front teeth. And they have had ear problems too, so that could be part of it. But they do the same thing when it comes to me holding one of them or stealing toys. Emily seems to be worse about it than Brooklyn. If Brooklyn crawls in my general direction, not even to me, and Emily sees her then Emily will crawl as fast as she can to me. I lay on the floor with them a lot, so if Brooklyn crawls onto my stomach, Emily will crawl onto my face just to be between me and Brooklyn. And when it comes to stealing toys... Brooklyn loves her pacifier and Emily hasn't wanted one since she was about 4 months old. However, Emily is constantly taking Brooklyn's from her. Sometimes she tries to put it in Brooklyn's mouth, but usually she doesn't. And if Brooklyn has a toy that Emily wants, she just takes it from her. Brooklyn takes toys from Emily too, but not as often. I also have my living room set up to be babyproofed and that is where the girls play all the time. I change out their toys pretty often and they don't seem to be bored by them. I also let them explore other rooms sometimes, like letting them crawl to the kitchen for dinner or to the bathroom for bath time. My girls go to early headstart during the day, so they are only in the living room from about 4:30 until bed time, typically 7:00. I know this doesn't offer advice, but know that you aren't the only one who has this problem going on. I just kinda figured it's something they will outgrow... hopefully soon since the whining gets old quick!
If the basics aren't satisfying them (food, drink, etc), I might consider taking them to the doctor to see if there's an ear infection you don't know about. It has happened to me and the ear infection was pretty bad and I had no idea.

Also, are they teething? Teething tablets worked wonders.

Kami: First of all, l want to say that I admire you for being at home with the 3 girls. are already amazing in my book :)I have twin boys (4 yrs old) and I did notice a change when mine were 14 - 18 month old. It is part of the process but one thing you are correct is the type of entertainment the girls need. Changing toys or environment (something different outside the house) might help because they will be distracted with something new. The fighting never ends when it comes to sharing toys or Mom's attention. One of my boys used to see me leaving the room and he will see me walking away in the hallway and he will run the other way screaming, out of control and lost. The pediatrician and the girls at the TMOMs told me that separation is a big issue for some kids and it could last until they are close to 3 yrs old. My son got better around 2 or 2.5 months old. You and the girls will be ok.... Jenny


  1. Just so ya know, I'm in the same boat! This week especially has been awful! What did your mommy group tell you?!?

  2. I think as kids get older their world just gets frustrating. They all of a sudden want more than just food, a clean diaper and sleep, and because they are walking they think they can also get to everything they want. And they don't have the words to express themselves. So they get frustrated. I would also think that they might be a little bored with their surroundings like you suggested. It was fine when they were just crawling, but now they want to go go go. My 2 yr old cries everyday when we pull back into our driveway after dropping off the older two because she wants to go somewhere. She says "we go bye bye....please". She doesn't like to be home all the time. I say baby proof the rest of your house, shut any doors to rooms that they can't go into, and let them explore. If a room is baby proofed it is okay for them to be in a room without being right with them at every second. Check on them frequently of course, but it's not possible to watch 1 child every second, let alone 3. So let them explore from time to time. And getting out of the house is always a good thing. Myabe call a friend to see if they can meet you at the park. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Or just let them run around in the backyard (if it has a fence).