Who are these Critters you speak of?

Monday, February 22, 2010

How We Do It.

Apparently these are real books. Hopefully that knife is not involved.

This post was spurred by a loyal blog reader's (Fran) suggestion that I reveal our secrets on how we get out and about with the Critters. First, we don't have any wonderful secrets on how to get out with the Critters, we just have to do it to maintain our sanity. Secondly, it is the only way that we know how to do things, we don't know anything else but triplets.

I am going to give ya'll a little insight on how we get around from tips (if you can call them that)that we have learned to the gear that we use.

1) Own a Big Ol' Car. Luckily Rian desperately wanted a Jeep Commander before we had kids. I definitely think she is clairvoyant sometimes, this car is a Godsend. We have yet to, and will probably have to be dragged to the world of mini vans. It appears as though the Honda Odyssey is the official van of multiples.

2) Good Diaper Bag. While many, including Grandma Kate think that Rian's Petunia Pickle Bottom (yes that is actually the company name) Bag is the ugliest thing going it has actually turned out to be a fantastic buy. I comes with a higher price tag then some bags but by my standards this thing is worth its weight in gold. It is super convenient to change the kids and it has more than enough room to store stuff for three Critters.

Boxy Backpack in Moon over Macau.

3) Car Seats/Infant Carries. I list both because we got both and it wasn't by plan. Let's just say that my grand plan not to have infant carriers and just use convertible car seats blew-up in my face. I will say that it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The backseat of the Jeep is 54" across, that leaves me roughly 17.5-18" per seat/carrier. After having a nervous breakdown in Babies'R Us due to all the seats being over 18" wide, I stumbled on the Sunshine Kids Radian 80 Convertible Car Seat. While this seat will be great when the children can face forward, it didn't work so well in the rear facing mode. I really think that one would need a conversion van or flatbed truck to have these things fit comfortably in the rear facing position. Unfortunately Rian and I are not contortionists and couldn't comfortably fit in (ie - not a shot of us riding from TLH to Orlando like this) the front seats. One would think that through all my research I would figure in the measurements in the rear facing position, but you would all be wrong. Imagine my reaction when we found this out.

Radian 80 Convertible Car Seat.

Another issue is that even though the seats say they are 5-80lb, there is no way a five pound baby can comfortably ride in it. We had to prop little CarCar up with receiving blankets to get her home. Luckily, Grandma Kate swooped in and remedied the situation and got us the Combi Shuttle infant carriers. These have turned out to be a wonderful addition to our baby portfolio. Unfortunately, I seen to be the only person that can get the seats in and out easily, convenient huh. While I am completely satisfied with these seats, it is a little hard on the old lower back getting the middle Critter out.

Combi Shuttle in Bonsai Green

4) Don't Skimp on the Stroller. This is probably were I poured most of my research in. I wanted a stroller that could last and one that could easily get through doors. In the realm of multiples strollers you have two choices, tandem and side-by-side. I preferred the tandem style due to the ease of getting through doors. I also wanted a stroller in which the Critters could face us as we pushed them. This requirement right here drastically narrowed my choices. In the United States there appears to only be two types to choose from, Kolcraft Contours or the Peg Perego Duette.

Note: We quickly dismissed the idea of a triplet stroller due to their size, it was akin to pushing around my Jetta. There was no way unless we drove a Fed Ex truck that we could transport one of those things.

We pseudo test drove the Kolcraft at Babies 'R Us. I say pseudo test drove because the thing literally fell apart as I was getting off the display shelf. I know that many people swear by these things, maybe the display model was a lemon, but this completely turned me off of this one. Next we took the Peg for a spin. Night and Day people, Night and Day. This was like a Rolls Royce compared to the Kolcraft, it even had a steering wheel, a freakin steering wheel. All that was missing was a self powered motor on this thing. It was settle we were going to shell out the big bucks for this one........until I did some digging. It appears that while the steering wheel is a super cool feature, it has some mechanical issues, that if they break virtually render this stroller useless. Now I don't know about you all but if I am shelling out over a thousand buck for a stroller it better darn well last.

Dismayed and felling defeated I mustered up the strength to do one more google search for a double tandem stroller. This German website popped up and I was intrigued. I clicked on it and it was like finding the Holy Grail. This was it, this was the stroller. I convinced Rian that we needed to order the stroller and optional carrycots without test driving. I have no idea why I thought this was a good idea after the last two disappointments but I clicked the order button. A little north of $800 bucks later (including $120 bucks for shipping) this beauty (ABC Design Zoom) was on its way. I mentioned that this was a German website, but I guess that I figured in this day an age they had faster shipping options than 6-8 weeks. Thank God I ordered this three months before they were born. This company which I later learned is the only one that will ship this stroller to the States sends everything by boat, you heard that right a boat. Ten weeks later the stroller arrived and it did not disappoint. This thing is freaking amazing, sad I know to talk about a stroller in those terms. Eight months later and we are still happy with this thing, we have moved to the traditional seats from the carrycots.

ABC Design Tandem Zoom in Carbon (with regular seat and optional carrycot).

What do you do with the other Critter you are probably asking. Well here you go, we bought another stroller from ABC Designs called the Takeoff. This little guy folds up to the size of a piece of carry on luggage. This little fact is quite important when space is at a premium. The Takeoff is great and easy to use after a little practice.

ABC Design Takeoff in Carbon.

This is the Takeoff folded down.

If we decide not to use the second stroller we use a Baby Bjorn given to us by the Grahamily. This thing is great, it also makes it easier to walk the dog.

Well there you have it, our closely guarded secrets. If you have any questions about any of the other stuff that we use shoot me an email, I am sure I left out some good info.



  1. very informative! I love that you still walk the dog. And, I totally WAS wondering where the 3rd critter would ride. I thought maybe there were 2 bunked together. Never occured to me that there might be a second stroller or that one would be stashed in a sling. Brilliant. And, it is refreshing that you, as a dad, took the time to research products.

  2. I think it is about time that Hadley is mention for being a crawling critter, just like her sister Carson.
    Grandma Kate

  3. What about feeding time? And diapering? How do you handle it when all 3 are crying at once? I've got one infant and a toddler and I feel like balls are dropping left and right. I can't imagine 3 babies! God bless you guys.

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