Baby #3 will soon be here.
As excited as I am to meet our third little love, I’m a bit anxious about it all, too. My other two daughters are just 3 years old and 22 months, so adding a newborn to the mix is going to be quite the challenge. But as much as I can anticipate what it’s going to be like, I’ll never really know until she is here.
So to get a decent perspective and to gain some wisdom, I asked my mama friends for their best advice when it comes to taking care of three kids at the same time.
Here’s what they had to say…
1. Don’t overplan.
“I know it feels tempting, but when you leave room in the day for the unpredictable, you will feel much more relaxed. I found that if I said “yes” to too many events, the kids and I were BOTH exhausted and stressed out. One of my big secrets is just keeping things low key.” – Caroline
2. Try to encourage them to play independently.
“I try to encourage my boys to play independently from me and together with each other from the get go. That way if you need to attend to cooking, work, breastfeeding a baby, etc., they are able to find something to do! Obviously I love playing with them, but I think freedom to explore and play on their own is huge.” – Joya
3. Give them one-on-one time.
“Make sure to spend one-on-one time with each of your children. Even if it’s 20 minutes of reading a book or sharing a treat, that time with you is important!” – Mary
4. Leave some unstructured time so they can bond.
“My biggest reason for leaving lots of unstructured time is that, with different schools and peer groups, if there isn’t a lot of unstructured time, my girls don’t get much time to play together and it often takes them a long time to get into something and then carry it through.” – Stephanie
5. Get outside.
“NOTHING works better than outside play! Especially when everyone is cranky!” – Caroline
6. Be spontaneous.
“I’m a huge proponent of impromptu playdates. I love getting texts like, “Hey, are you guys around? We’re in front of your house!” It’s great to have a network of other families that are happy to bring their kids over or take yours or meet you at the park or whatever at the spur of the moment.” – Stephanie
7. Try babywearing.
“Babywearing is a MUST! It lets me have two free hands to hold two little hands, while taking care of my newborn at the same time.” – Erin
8. See what you can delegate.
“Train the oldest one to help.” – Leslie
Older children can help with household chores or with simple things like fetching a new diaper, etc.
9. Recognize their individual talents.
“Don’t try to praise them all for the same things. Praise them for their own unique, individual talents!” – Rachel
10. Remember, each child is different.
“Realize milestones and personalities are all different for each child.” – Joya