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Family of identical triplets has the best answer to ‘how do you tell them apart?’

The Hasselquist family has totally nailed how to keep track of their identical triplets.
L-R: Henry, James and Thomas wearing their signature colors of blue, green and red. The color coding helps their parents tell the identical triplets apart.
L-R: Henry, James and Thomas wearing their signature colors of blue, green and red. The color coding helps their parents tell the identical triplets apart. AmyJo Hasselquist

It’s all hands on deck in the Hasselquist household, where toddlers abound. 

Henrik, James, and Thomas Hasselquist are the newest members of Crystal and Jon Hasselquist’s family. The 15-month-old identical triplets require a good deal of sleeping, eating, monitoring and color-coding.

“I was fearful when I was in the NICU that I would mix them up. It was a real fear of mine,” the boys’ mother, Crystal, told TODAY Parents in an interview. While some parents of multiples opt for more permanent identifiers like medical tattoos, Crystal and her husband decided to use nail polish. “I decided the one toenail would be sufficient."

Related: Mom gives birth to three babies in less than a year... and they're not triplets

To ensure the boys are never mixed up, Henry was given blue as his color, James got green, and Thomas red.

Their careful system recently gained attention on TikTok after the boys’ aunt (Crystal’s sister-in-law), AmyJo Hasselquist, started documenting the brothers' routine. The three boys are almost always clad in their given colors (which match the colors of the name signs their nurses made for them in the NICU).

From color-coding onesies to hats, blankets and feeding bowls, the Hasselquists have figured out how to guarantee no baby gets overfed or left behind. 

“Seeing everyone kind of latch on to this one toenail polish video has been really cool,” AmyJo told TODAY. “There (are) a ton of triplets and twins on Tik Tok that have commented and shared how they were color-coded or how they color-coded their kids or, you know, ‘Grandma switched them up 21 years ago, and they still don’t know who is who’ so things like that have been kind of fun to follow along and have everyone share how they can relate.”

AmyJo Hasselquist

Hasselquist’s TikTok page has reeled in thousands of comments and more than 2.1 million likes since she shared her first post.

“People will comment on the videos about how they were having a tough day, and they saw this cute video of the triplets, and it made their day better,” AmyJo explained. “So that’s been fun to see it impact people that way. I think by no means will this be something to push on the boys as they’re older … It’s just kind of having fun.”

Big brother Peter with the triplets.
Big brother Peter with the triplets.AmyJo Hasselquist

AmyJo and Crystal say they love seeing the boys develop their own personality traits. 

“Their personalities are drastically different from each other,” Crystal explained. “Henrik is a leader. He is kind of very dominant and likes to be first and very much so happy and giggly but likes to be ahead of the pack and everything. James is kind of quiet, likes to sit in the corner and watch the other two brothers do all the things, and he seems to be kind of just sitting there, just happy to be there. And Thomas is adventurous. He is very much a go-getter and likes to study people and figure things out. He likes to watch and know what’s going on.”

With time, the triplets will develop more traits that will help their parents and aunt tell the difference between them. Until then, their big brother Peter, aged 3, is happy to identify who's who.

“Peter had it down first. He was always (aware of) who was who and never had to second guess,” Crystal explained. “I always joked with the toenail polish wore off, we can always double-check with Peter.”

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