Five children under five get a head start
Victoria’s Bart Paino still clearly remembers the moment he learned he was going to be a father to five children aged under five years old.
He was beside his wife Ang’s side, sitting in an ultrasound office looking forward to seeing his baby to be in the scan.
“I saw two sacs on the screen and thought how nice it would be to have twins,” Mr Paino said. “And then the person doing the ultrasound pointed out heartbeat number three. It was pretty intense.”
The triplets, Carter, Christian and Jordan, are now seven months old, and siblings to four-year-old Sophia and two-year-old Orlando.
All five attend Goodstart Early Learning’s Berwick
centre (pictured below are educator Nateeka with Jordan, Elisha with Christian, Anna with Carter, Neelika with Sophia and Natalie with Orlando).
“It was definitely a big shock when we first found out because it was all natural and a really rare occurrence. But it’s been all good – more recently it’s been a bit harder because the triplets are teething and the two-year-old’s molars are coming through but that’s life,” Mr Paino said.
“The two-year-old has probably been the most difficult because he loves throwing himself off the couch and being very active so we have to keep an eye on him all the time.”
Mr Paino said feeding was getting easier because it was taking 20 minutes per child instead of an hour each child.
“We try to stagger the bottles but sometimes we don’t get it quite right and one child just has to wait. And the hardest time is definitely between 6-9pm when we are at home together trying to get everyone fed, bathed and into bed.
“And then we’re washing all of the bottles from the day, making up two and a half litres of formula. It’s busy."
Berwick centre director Natalie Curm said the day generally got a whole lot busier when the Paino family arrived each morning.
“We always try to make sure there is an extra staff member on at drop off so Bart doesn’t have to leave any children in the car when he arrives. He can’t carry all three at once, and shepherd two others in so someone meets him in the mornings and afternoons,” Ms Curm said.
“The triplets look exactly like their siblings and we have some of the toddlers come down at feed times to help with their bottles. The older siblings are actually really nurturing and enjoy spending time with them during the day.”
has managed to offer the family 15 per cent off their daily fees to help the family out.
“They seem to have a good support system but we’ve managed to set up special childcare benefits for them so that things are a bit easier financially,” Ms Curm said.
“Because they have to pay for five children, it’s pretty expensive and they were looking at other options but luckily we could help them out.”
The triplets started at the centre on May 20 this year and have settled in easily.
“The centre has been great,” Mr Paino said. “I drive up in the mornings and park in a no-standing spot so that I can unload all of the children. Once we’re in a routine it all seems to work out pretty well.”