To think it's impossible to look after 3 kids under 3?(53 Posts)
How do people do it? My newborn is a bad sleeper and naps for 30 max day and night. When she's awake she just wants feeding or being held and dislikes her bed.
My 1 year old is naturally feeling jealous and has been playing up even more. Screaming and crying for anything and everything. Tried to sleep train him to put himself down but it's failing.
My 2 year old will just whinge at anything you ask her to do or just whinges for no apparent reason.
Nap time is hard. I try time it so that the baby is asleep so I can put my 1 year old down but he makes so much noise he wakes her up and then end up with both screaming their heads off.
My DH is at work so I've no help during the day. Finances don't allow me to afford childcare for the older ones.
I'm just so sleep deprived!
How do you do it? If anyone has any tips I'd be eternally grateful
for you op, that sounds so hard. I don't suppose if you strapped them all in to pram/pushchair/carrier and went for a walk they would drop off then and stay asleep to give you half an hour once you got home?
Do you have any non-working family, friends or neighbours around? I use to in between contracts, pop around to see a neighbour with young children be roped into looking after all or some of her children so she could have a break of 30 minutes to a couple of hours.
I don't have an adapter to fit my stroller on for my 1 year old and my carrier hasn't arrived yet. I suppose I could try that once it does come and hope for the best. In past experiences they don't fall asleep in the buggy but that could change. I'll try that tomorrow xx
Gosh that sounds hard op
Persevere with a nap time routine, or will work in the end.
I have three under three every day for work and it only really works with a strict routine, lots of outdoor time to tire them out etc., But this didn't include a little baby, only toddlers!
At least be reassured that then will grow older and get easier, this time will pass.
I came across a blog, a Mother Far from Home who had 5 children in 5 years. The blog opens and looks like it may be a religious far right thing (faith is specifically one of the headings) but it's not at all. I came across it looking at ways to fit a new baby's sleep routine into our family with an older child and frankly took my hat off to her.
She has things like naps plans, so you try and get them all to nap together, plus other useful tips - how to manage when getting them all out / into the car at the supermarket etc. Might be worth a read?
Having a baby in the house can cause the older ones to regress. Do you qualify for any free childcare for the 2 yo? If so put him / her in for as much as possible.
It is also quite ok to let any of your kids winge. You don’t have to resolve everything straight away. Similarly if newborn doesn’t sleep more than 30mins at a time and is a crier, it’s ok if you feel overwhelmed to leave her in her cot. She won’t come to any harm.
Having had three under 2.5 at one point I think it was easier as thry were still in the 'baby/toddler' stage and it was much easier to baby proof and entertain them than it is with an age gap where younger child is irritating the older child.
I went through this with mine. Eldest was 2.5 when the youngest was born so had three in the space of 2.5 years.
If I’m being honest I was on autopilot for the first three years of my youngest DC’s life. There are sadly things that other people have to remind me of about my DC’s when they were younger because I was so exhausted at the time, I was basically a robot every day and I recall very little.
It is always tough with a newborn in the house whether it’s your first or fifth. You will get into a routine eventually and things will start to get a little easier. Mine are all in primary school now and I honestly find it a breeze most of the time.
Gosh that sounds hard op. My Ds2 didn’t nap well unless in the car, so I used to go out for a drive and then I could transfer him to the bed, or sit in the car for a bit. Would that work for you, do you drive?
for you. First of all, congratulations. I'm sure you're doing a wonderful job.
Do you have a double buggy. If so, I'd suggest baby in sling (when it arrives) and 1 and 2 year old in buggy . Or if older one good at walking then single buggy. Get out somewhere like a country park where they can let off steam. Buy yourself a flask and a holder for the buggy so you can get out and about to places and still drink tea or coffee where the children can run.
Also don't worry about things like tv time or the odd treat. You need to focus and do what you have to in order to make the day go more smoothly. Stick a film on once in a while and rest on the sofa whilst older 2 watch film/ roam around you. Don't feel guilty about not being on the floor with them 24 / 7. In terms of nap times, may be once the sling has come you can pop baby in there while you concentrate on the 1 year old getting to sleep. When is the eldest 3? That should help as they will get free hours at pre school?
It's the sleep that's the problem, not the 3 under 3. If they all slept through the night and the smaller 2 napped well you'd feel very busy but not out of control.
When I started childminding I used to childmind 3 under 18 months (one was my own, one one month older, one 6 months older), continuing with the same kids for the next 14 months and I loved it - but that was because I only had 3 from 8am til 6pm, and only one at night.
I set out a policy of never leaving a child cry, so attracted clientele who were more attachment types and didn't want their babies left to cry to sleep (and I wouldn't have wanted to), so I had a triple buggy and walked them to sleep after lunch every day and then sat outside with them if the weather allowed (if not I had to try to carry them in, and inevitably at least one woke).
Is a triple buggy an option? Or even walk the little two to sleep in a double if your 2 year old is a good walker or rides on a buggy board?
Your DH needs to be dealing with the 1 year old if he wakes at night. Are you breast feeding? If not then you need one uninterrupted night's sleep a week - say Saturday - when your DH does all the night waking and getting up in the morning on Sunday. You do all the Friday night waking and give him a lie in Friday to Saturday.
It will make the world of difference to get one decent night's sleep and lie in per week, and to get a quiet 45 minutes in the day during the week if you can walk them to sleep.
Double pram & sling was very helpful to me - I'd go to something every morning (play group, library session etc) which is excellent for everyone's sanity. Only downside was I'd then sometimes spend the whole day wandering around streets/park/cafes/shops as they all liked to sleep on the move/outside and at different times, and getting the pram back into the house without waking passengers was impossible...
Thank you all for your lovely suggestions.
I don't mind taking them out but it's finding the time to get myself ready is hard
My DM did it - she had 4 in 5 years and I don't know how she did it! Sorry OP I've got no advice for you but I do remember that she did say that it did get easier the older we got.
It's not impossible but it is very very tough. I'm sorry I've got no advice but it is doable.
Op, do what you can the night before to get ready - I still shower at night and DS is KS2 at school!
If you can lie your clothes out at night, and maybe have a dressing race with your oldest, it would make it easier to get ready. Also look at whether you can have a sandwich for breakfast on the move, so you prioritise feeding them and then get out. It's just doing as little as possible to get everyone out of the door and doing more when they're napping at home / at night when you have an extra pair of hands.
This is what I was concered about when I found that blog. I remember having one and being in PJs in the afternoon. If I have to be out at 8.20 for the school drop-off, I can't still be in my night clothes.
Getting ready on a morning - You put them all in cots for 10mins while u go for a quick shower and let them scream and try not to feel guilty. Only way I managed to get showered and dressed
I had 3 under 3 OP. It's bloody hard. Are you able to get a homestart volunteer? I had a lovely lady who came for a morning per week. It's free and you can self refer. It was a life saver in the early days. You'll get through this OP it's intense parenting but I promise it will get better xx
Most people don’t have more than they can cope with OP.
Do what you have to do to survive but get on some long term contraception.
Your posts have been very helpful. I definitely will look into the web link and into the home start - I didn't know something like this existed so thanks for recommending it.
My slings arrived, washed and dried so tomorrow I will take them out and see how that goes!
There are also sure start centres; free playgroups for preschoolers
One of my friends volunteers for Homestart. She is a former nurse with grown children.
It will be survival until the first one is at school. It is horrendous if one or more get poorly. I can remember phoning DH and begging him to come home at one stage when I had 2 puking in different bedrooms, however, the first year or 2 are so hard that after that it seems to get so much easier and eventually having them all close together is a real bonus. I have 4 years at which they are all at the same secondary school near our house and logistics are so manageable now. Try and keep to routines and try and get them all to bed by 7/7.30ish so you get your evenings to feel a bit more human. HANG IN THERE.xx
What time does dh leave for work? Can you at least have the 30 mins prior to him leaving for yourself to get showered and dressed? Similarly the first 30 mins he walks in the door are yours to go
have a scream take a bit of time.
I did this with twins and toddler, honestly paced the streets a lot left the house everyday at 9ish to somewhere-anywhere and came home when I had to made sure twins were stuffed full and would maybe sleep in the pram, got home fed toddler, put the tv on for as long as babies slept and did stuff like washing chaos taming then did drawing etc in the afternoon sometimes popping to the shops or something to break it up, husband arrived around 7ish we ate and I fell asleep!
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