Practical tips for 3+ child families(21 Posts)
This thread is really good, I use quite a few of the tips mentioned. I started doing some of them when I was still pg with DC2 so that we could hit the ground running so to speak.
I guess you already have a double buggy? The sling was my savoir when DC3 was born, have a google at some makes like Ergo, Tula, Manduca, Boba or Rose and rebellion, the baby is positioned in such a way that you can wear them for hours...it was like going back to having 2DC again because my hands were free.
Also no more ironing and online supermarket shopping helped to.
Seriously. For the delivery, and tv, music etc. Money so well spent.
This week I've sorted emergency joint party gifts and a nativity costume.
God bless you tax dodging crims.
Checking in! I have a 3 week old, a 1 year old and a just 3 year old
So far all going OK. Top tips
1. Express milk so other people can help with feeds. I wouldn't be able to cope with breast feeding the traditional way all the time. Also, we can tank the baby up with a biggish bottle of EBM and she sleeps for a good long stretch
2. Have a safe place to put the newborn in every room
3. Have a good pram. I have a bugaboo donkey with an attached buggy board with seat. It's great and I can get out well with that for walks etc.
4. Somedays nobody has got dressed - and I don't feel bad about that!
5. My mum made loads of meals for the freezer. That was really helpful as at least 2 days a week we are eating those
6. Discourage people from dropping in unannounced. It's massively disruptive. Particularly unhelpful types who expect you to make cups of tea for them
7. Are your parents helpful? Mine stayed for two weeks post birth and that let me get breastfeeding established. DH looked after the other two and mum and dad dud everything in the house plus ad hoc childcare as and when needed. They were amazing
8. Try and get everyone asleep at the same time it at least lying down in their cot each day so you can have 2 minutes peace!
9. Get a cleaner if you can. I can't bear a messy house so we have a weekly cleaner who is also very good at tidying children's toys etc.
10. Internet shopping!
Hope this helps!
one - I am mean mummy and discourage toy buying by relatives. One smallish toy or books is fine but when asked what the DC want for Xmas/birthdays, I ask for zoo membership or swimming lessons etc. I hate clutter. Do you have good storage? Each of the dCs have storage in their rooms (GLTC has good stuff) and I pout toys away there each day. I also put all the toys that have migrated downstairs or into other rooms into a basket each day and either put it upstairs or in a corner of the living room to keep it under control as much as I can.
God bless you tax dodging crims 😁 This is true though. Amazon prime is well worth it, free trial for a month at the moment and postman can leave in a safe place if you can't answer the door or need to go out.
I third amazon prime. Excellent for nappies too.
Have a colour and pattern assigned to each child for bedding/socks/plates/ gloves etc. Eg boy 1 - purple and spots
Then it makes sorting washing and whose item is whose much easier. I have 4 teen girls and still use this system.
Store bedding sets inside the pillowcase and keep them under the mattress of the relevant bed
Have a unit with a shelf/ box for each child's stuff ready for when you go out
Totally re Amazon prime. Popping to a shop is not on my radar.
I have 3, 2 and newborn
Have a rough routine
- every day I get dressed upstairs before we come down and the 3yo normally dresses herself, 2yo depends
- I always do a morning runaround - sort laundry etc, wipes sides in kitchen and get supper out, clean something, do online shop
-breakfast is 9 ish, wake up/come down 8 ish
Day kind of disintegrates from there but I know I have essentials done
We safeguard a nap time in the afternoon for some all of us.
Visitors therefore can come morning or if they are helpful eg in-laws come at 4pm and help with tea, bath etc.
We've started sometimes having bath at 4pm so that when the girls are tired after tea they don't have to do much. (Bath not every day obvs!)
Accept offers of food!!
1) Batch cooking
2) Shopping on line
3) Having a stock of birthday cards/presents
4) Having an organised diary. DH and I both have paper diaries but we also have a shared paper diary and an online diary. Each week we write that week's appts./things needed for school/birthdays etc on a whiteboard in the kitchen.
5) get 3yo in nursery if not already.
6) School (or nursery) letters- take a photo of them then throw/return.
7) obviously you're not quite there yet but homework- whenever we're in the car one of them reads to me or we practice spellings/maths targets. Means more time to play when we're at home. It helps they aren't car sick and the school run is at least 20 mins. When they were younger we listened to audio books.
8) Get everything ready the night before.
9) Aim to leave 10 mins before you actually need to.
10) Save each month for birthdays/holidays/days out/school costs(trips/milk/revision books etc) /school uniform/christmas/other kids costs (clothes/hair cuts/treats etc)
11) we have a strict morning and evening routine.
12) we try to give DC 1:1 time at least once a month.
13) don't be afraid to ask for help. Whether that's will you pick 3yo up from nursery or will you hold the baby please.
14) if your 3yo doesn't nap any more when baby and 1yo are napping they can have quiet time with TV/story so you can get things done or some days this would be brilliant timing to give them 1:1 time.
15) I know PP said don't worry about PJ days while I didn't worry I did try to get out of the house each day. Even if it was a 15 min walk around the village and took longer to get ready than I was out adult contact kept me sane.
16) Be ruthless when decluttering. If it hasn't been used in the last 6 months you can get rid unless it's something season specific and in that case within the last year. Children need less clothes than you think because with 3 DC you'll wash more frequently.
I've no answers about toys I'm afraid as we're overrun with them PIL are forever buying for DC but they are all played with. We recently turned DHs office/ 2nd living room/ room with sofa bed in into a playroom however toys are still spread all over the house and there's a football table in the conservatory but at least at the end of the day I can throw all the toys into the playroom and close the door.
Sorry it was a bit of a ramble - I was trying to write before newborn woke up!
- dh really helps get things sorted of an evening so the kitchen is in a reasonable state (he also does dishwasher and floors as I am having trouble post c section and should be resting - ha!!)
Lots of good points ^^
We had a Hosp appt for newborn last week and I used 5 quite mins days before to make a list of what I needed to take - preplanning!!!
Leave 10mins before is good but I need to keep reminding myself to factor in time to bf if required.
poor screaming baby in the car
Some really good ideas here.
Ooh yes lists. Lists for everything. What you need to do. What you need to take. What you need to get. Where you need to go and when. Where you've put things
or is that only me?
Champion you'll soon get into a routine and bfing before you leave will become second nature.
In the vain thought that someone is interested in my internet musings:
- try to salvage some stuff to re wear the following day and get a good system for laundry
I'm off now...
Agree poocatcher. Get clothes out fir next day.
Recruit local teens, we have seven dc and have four teens who help out. They cut the grass, help put away laundry, babysit and clean.
I don't feel guilty that I pay for help as it means my dc get more quality time.
I have 11 dc but only 9 now living at home. My tips would be
- get the washing on first thing in the morning or last thing at night if there's any hope of hanging it out the next day
- the curtain poles make good places to hang light washing to dry in desperate times
- plan meals ahead and make a start on the evening meal as soon as possible in the morning because whatever the day brings, people will need to eat
- don't sweat the small stuff, forget matching socks for example and only iron what you absolutely must
- teach the older ones how to use the washing machine and give everyone a daily task. Even the tiny ones can empty wastepaper bins for example.
- fix hooks at different levels so that everyone can reach their own hook for their coat and buddy the children up with an older sibling when you need them dressed to go out
- wholesalers are cheaper for catering sized packs of things used regularly
- make sure every child has a skill or joins a club that is different from everyone else so that they know that they are individuals, not just one of many
Become a minimalist! Children do not need loads of toys. Keep it down to what they love and play with. If they haven't looked at it for 6months just get rid. Most likely they'd rather play with each other then a load of teddy bears. 2 or 3 are enough. Same with books. They have their favourites so just stick with those. have a monthly trip to the library to pick up something different. Less stuff you own, the less there is to tidy up and they appreciate items more. Say no to toys at Xmas from friends/relatives. Vouchers for days out, meals out, trip to the panto etc. Memories and time spent together is 100x better then more toys!
Keep clothes down as well. I work on 4 long sleeve tops, 4 short sleeve tops, 4 shorts and 4 trousers. Plus 2 jumpers, winter coat, Spring/Autumn rain coat. One pair of shoes plus wellies and sandals in summer. My almost-teen dd gets an allowance each month so she can buy any extra clothes/shoes with her own money if she wants.
I wash daily. I work evenings so in the morning I do school run then washing on and dishwasher on, vacuum. If you don't have already, invest in a tumble dryer and washing machine! Do not buy clothes that require ironing.
Plan your weekly shopping. Work out what meals you will eat that week and buy exactly what you need.
Online shopping - godsend!
Best of all - enjoy! Big families are fab!
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