Parenting 101: FAQs: Quintuplets

Parenting 101: FAQs: Quintuplets
Dr. Phil answers some of the frequently asked questions about raising a child.
It was a one in 47 million chance: quintuplets. "When the doctor told me I was going to have quintuplets, I was in complete shock," says Candace. "You have to be kidding me. There's no way I'm having five babies."

Candace and her husband, Tom, welcomed Adriana, Alyssa, Olivia, Serena and Bryce to the world just a few months ago. The babies were born premature, so they've only been home for a few weeks — enough time for this couple to become exhausted, overwhelmed and filled with worries.
Candace explains the routine: "The best way to describe it is an assembly line. We feed and diaper one baby and then we move on to the rest. We do this eight times a day — every three hours and then we start all over again." Both of the parents average about four hours of sleep a night.

"Having to provide for our children and still remain a couple is stressful," says Tom. "When you sit down with your calculator and your pen and paper, it doesn't add up. The money just isn't there." They go through 40 diapers and 35 bottles of formula a day!

Tom and Candace worry about how they're going to make ends meet as well as having the financial stress carry over into the marriage. "I can't imagine in three, six, nine months, or even a year, how bad the stress will be," says Candace.
Tom and Candace admit to not really having a plan as of yet. Candace is still trying to decide whether she should go back to work and what would be more financially beneficial given the cost of daycare.

Dr. Phil tells Candace, "The number one priority has to be to protect you at this point. You've just given birth to five babies. You guys know that you can't work full-time jobs and raise five infants on four hours of sleep a night." He asks them about their resources for help, and they say they have some family members helping, but nothing set up regularly.

"The greatest gift you could give those babies is to take care of your relationship and be there for each other and carve out some time to be friends and lovers instead of just moms and dads," Dr. Phil says, adding that they're going to need some quiet time for themselves.

Dr. Phil offers to put up a link on his Web site for people in the surrounding community of Columbus, Ohio to volunteer to help. Click here to e-mail Candace and Tom.

He reveals that several companies also wanted to help them through their first year with the kids, and surprises Tom and Candace with gift baskets of baby products the couple will receive a year's supply of:

Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories: Neosure Formula by Similac
Gerber Products Company: First and Second Foods and Cereals
Proctor and Gamble: Pampers, Bibsters Bibs, Pampers Sensitive Touch Wipes
Johnson's Baby Products: Pink Baby Lotion, Diaper Rash Ointment, Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, Head-to-Toe Cleansing Cloths, Soft Wash Shampoo, Soft Wash Baby Wash, Johnson's Baby Shampoo, Soft Lotion for Moms.

In addition, Dr. Phil has arranged for Candace and Tom to receive free childcare for six months from the Starting Point Child Center in Columbus, Ohio, which came highly recommended from the Columbus Children's Hospital.