This week’s announcement of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s on-the-way twins and Pharrell Williams and wife Helen Lasichanh’s newly born triplets meant two new entries in the music world’s multiples club. Like Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Sean Combs and Céline Dion, the couples will become accustomed to dual nightly feedings, two-seater strollers and double (or multiple) diapers. But what seems overwhelming is simply a matter of adjustment, according to Shalena Smith, a baby concierge who helped both Carey and Combs prepare for their twins.
“It’s two separate things,” Smith said of the preparation process. “It’s celebrities having triplets. You’re dealing with people that have multiple homes and they need to have things that the average person doesn’t need to have, whether it’s more travel gear, more things that are easy for pickup and go. It’s not just two of everything, it’s six of everything.”
For families that need a bit of assistance, Smith takes all the planning out of their hands. “I not only come in and sit with them and pick all the products and do the baby registry and help plan the baby shower, but I select specialized items for them. So again, it’s sitting them down and figuring out okay, what do you need? Where is the main house that you’re going to be living?”
Entering the world of multiples means a whole rethinking of the shopping process. “With twins, oftentimes people get two cribs, but they sleep in the same crib for a very long time. There are no cribs that are physically made for twins, it’s just about making it cozy and safe,” Smith explains.
For napping, the Nordic-chic So-Ro cradle, a sleek wooden rocker that allows twins to sleep side by side, is an A-list favorite. For carting around a pair, Smith recommends either the Silvercross Wave, a high-end British model only recently available in the United States. “Its not just fancy, it’s practical. I wouldn’t be surprised if [the Knowles-Carters] get their hands on one of the first ones.” (When Combs and Kim Porter’s twin daughters D’Lila and Jessie were born in 2006, Beyoncé and Jay Z sent them a custom changing table designed by Smith.)
When it comes to triplets, however, options are scarce. While triple strollers do exist, they’re heavy and often require more than one parent at the helm. “You need help. You need an extra set of hands,” Smith emphasizes. “With Pharrell, they’re going to be staffed up or family is going to help because there’s just not much stuff out there for newborn triplets.”
While multiples can be expensive and exhausting, for many wealthy families the ability to get two (or more) babies out of one pregnancy can be a huge plus. “Most of the time, my clients are shocked and then it comes to, ‘Well, okay, good news, we’re just going to have two and be done.’ I know that’s how Mariah felt at the time,” Smith says.
Ultimately, though, parenting a duo or trio isn’t all that different a job. “The basic thing is when people come to me, they’re always overwhelmed. One baby, two, but you can’t imagine three. But ultimately these precious babies just need love. It comes down to if you have the people that love these babies to help you, and you have diapers, food, the basic things that they need.”