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Help! - I'm expecting my 4th, and so will have 4 children under 3 years!!

(11 Posts)
Haya1 Tue 14-Jun-11 14:07:47

smile I'd very much love to hear from anyone who has had 4 or more children under the age of 3. My eldest, who are twins, will be 2 and three quarters when my 4th is born.

At the moment, I have a 16 month gap between the twins and the youngest - and they all get along wonderfully.

I'm worried that the new baby will affect the dynamic badly, that my current youngest will feel horribly left out when the baby arrives, that none of them will get sufficient attention, and also that I won't manage!

I worry that the children will all end up being too competitive, and they won't get along. I came from a big family, and that happened to us - even though we had a 7 year age gap between the first and fourth, rather than less than a less than 3 year gap! I worry I won't be able to make them all happy.

I have routines for the 3 of them that work very well. I'm at home full time with them. But I do get exhausted and worn out - I've been out with my husband only three times since my first were born, and I really feel suffocated quite a lot. I find it hard to visit friends' houses for variety, because I overwhelm them with so many children.

Money is tight, so I can't hire a nanny etc.

Any advice is really, really welcome!smile

Babieseverywhere Tue 14-Jun-11 14:16:08

Congratulations smile

Wow, four under three must be a pretty rare combination. As you mention money is tight, have you considered contacting home start and/or local college for childcare students who could act as a cheap/free mothers help whilst you get to grips with your expanding family.

darleneoconnor Tue 14-Jun-11 14:27:27

Contact home start.

Kendodd Tue 14-Jun-11 14:40:25

I know it's not what you might be expecting to hear but I think your family sounds wonderful, you are so lucky to have all those lovely children.

I had three under three (no twins) the eldest is nearly three now and they all get on great. The only thing I would suggest is really focus on getting them to sleep through the night, I know with a very young baby that's imposable but from about 4/5 months push that. You can cope with ten children during the day if you've had a decent nights sleep and not be able to cope with one child if you haven't.

Good luck and congratulations.

Kendodd Tue 14-Jun-11 14:41:06

Sorry I meant the youngest is nearly three now.

Haya1 Tue 14-Jun-11 14:56:53

Thank you for your advice! The 3 do sleep through the night, I pushed it with each of them, and you're right, I find it impossible to cope with even 1 if I haven't slept - I'm not looking forward to that feeling again.

I will contact Homestart, thanks. It would be amazing to get out alone for just a little bit every now and then, just to get a change. Sometimes, even already, life just feels like a never-ending round of feeding and nappy changing and cleaning.

threecurrantbuns Wed 15-Jun-11 14:39:56

Wow I had 3 under 4 when dc3 was born I thought that was good going smile I feel a bit envy as I'm constantly going back and forth about having a forth go from definite yes to wobble usually when tired would be nice If I could have another minus pregnancy and sleepless nights wink

Im curious about the homestart bit? Haven't heard about it before.
Can't offer much advice but congratulations and I'm sure it will be fab having four close in age x

Anjelika Fri 17-Jun-11 13:51:08

Homestart in my area have been fab - would definitely recommend. I had DS1 who was 3 and DTs who were 4 months. We only got 2 hours help a week but it really was a help. I would reiterate the suggestion about contacting a local college which offers childcare courses. We've had 2 sets of students, one from Sept to Feb and the other from March to June and both were great. You can't leave them alone in the house with the children but they can watch the kids whilst you get on with something else or they can watch one or more of the kids whilst you spend some 1 on 1 time with the other. It's really like having a free mother's help.

harrygracejessica Sat 18-Jun-11 21:42:17

Not quite 3 under 3 but I was 3 weeks off having 5 under 4!!!

My eldest just turned 4 and my twin girls were 2 and3/4 when twin boys decided to enter the world smile

Its tiring, im going greyer but its FAB!!!! I have no help when OH is at work (he works shifts which is nice as I get help at different times of the day for a week at a time).

Would I change any of it??? Not a thing (apart from the stupid comments passerbys like to say smile.

MrsZebra Sun 19-Jun-11 21:39:36

Hello. I'm the same! I have four boys: DS1 - 3yr 4 mths, DTs - 2 yrs 2 mths and DS4 - 6 mths. When my fourth was born in December, I had four under 3. I too am a normal, stay at home mum and it's going well. Completely knackering and I don't have time for anything else but I'm so pleased to have four. We even managed to take them on a last-minute family holiday to Spain last week... My first holiday in four years!!! It was great.
I was really nervous about having my fourth..... I thought that I was pushing it and that I'd neglect the others but to be really honest, he hasn't made much difference to my workload. My other three also have good routines but my fourth has just slotted in and fits round the others. He is an absolute joy and the others love him, especially my other singleton. I received some help from Homestart and that has made it possible to take them all to a playgroup one morning without worrying about not having enough hands. I wish you loads of luck. Message me anytime.... I don't know anyone else in the same position!!

ps I don't get invited round to friends houses anymore but go to playgroups or children centres instead. To be honest, I prefer it because I don't have to worry about them ruining people's houses. x

naturalbaby Thu 23-Jun-11 20:10:46

i've had 3 under 3 and am surviving on routine, routine and gina ford routine! apart from the screaming and screeching when baby was going through growth spurts it's been fine but i've had a lot of help to entertain the older 2 while i can sort out baby's routine. the only downside of that was their behaviour started to go downhill cause i'm quite strict on them so they started pushing boudries a lot. i then cut right back on the help to sort the older 2 out again, then baby had another big growth spurt!

i've just been through bit of a tough patch, struggling without any time to myself and feeling really trapped that i can't leave all 3 of them with anyone for very long but it's very quickly getting better now that they're all getting older and more independent so quick!

we have splashed out on a cleaner as that was the one thing i struggled with and got really stressed and worked up about when i had my 2nd baby. the cleaner only comes once a fortnight for a couple of hours so isn't that expensive but is really, really worth it.

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