We planned our first two kids but little did we know we would have 3 kids under 3. People tell you that going from one to two is the hardest and maybe it is when your kids are spread out, but when you have them close in age it’s a different story.
When you have 3 kids under 3 you’re out numbered. You have more kids than you have hands. I’ve heard it all, “are they all yours”, or, “you must have your hands full”. I always answer the same way, “yes they are all mine, and yes my hands are full, but so is my heart.” Here are my tips to surviving 3 kids under 3.
Diapers and wipe
Make sure you have lots of them! I still do not feel comfortable going out alone with all of the kids, so I buy our diapers in bulk. I make sure I have enough diapers because I do NOT want to have to take a solo trip to the store. No thanks! Not to mention buying diapers for 3 kids is expensive so the money I save is a plus!
Wipes- Have them on hand at all times. I have packs of wipes strategically placed all around my house. It seems like every five minutes I’m cleaning a mess up that one of them has made. I use wipes for everything from cleaning messy hands to changing diaper.
For the first few months, I didn’t get more than 1 hour a night. I am not exaggerating. I was tired. I quickly learned that to be able to take care of the kids, I had to get some sleep. I started sleeping when they did, day, and, night. No more cleaning during nap time or working at night. When they slept, I slept, and I started to feel a lot better. Make sure you get your sleep mom because you wearing yourself out isn’t helping anyone, especially not your kids.
I hate laundry. I hate it, but with 5 people in our house it’s a never ending story, so make sure you stay on top of it. Do one load of laundry a day. This will help stop clothes from overflowing.
Your house isn’t going to be spotless anymore, and that’s ok. When you have 3 kids under 3 years old there is always going to be a mess somewhere.
I always carry a diaper bag. It’ doesn’t matter where I’m going. I keep a change of clothes for all three (in individual zip locks bags so nothing spills on them), extra sippy cups, snacks, my Huggies wipes, and, extra Huggies diapers. I keep my bag right at the back door so I can grab it on the way out.
There is nothing worse than having to search and run around trying to get stuff together when you’re leaving, so, the minute you walk in the door make sure you take the old out and put the new in. If the kids ate all the snacks, replace them. If you used your Huggies diapers, replace them. If the sippy cups are dirty, wash them. Sounds silly, but you will have yourself time and sanity by not having to go crazy next time you’re headed out the door.
Fixing your toddlers a snack every time they’re hungry can be rough when you’re taking care of a newborn, so make snacks ahead of time. We have a snack basket and a snack shelf in our fridge. I keep everything in little pre-portioned Ziploc bags. If I buy a big box of animal crackers from sam’s club, it makes nearly a month’s worth of snacks.
I would be lying if I said having three kids under three wasn’t challenging and that sometimes I go a little crazy, but having them so close in age does have its advantages.
My kids are best friends. Sure they still fight sometimes, but they are all so close. Each one has a special relationship with the others. The minute they wake up, to the minute they go to bed, they are playing with each other.
Little Man is about to head off to pre-k, so we’ve been making sure that he knows his colors, numbers, and, letters. While we’re working them with him, his brother and sister are also picking them up. He is constantly pointing out colors and counting with them.
After your kids get out of the newborn stage, they will have a bed time. Sure sometimes they might not stay on schedule, but in general, you will have an hour or two at night to do something you enjoy for you. I know what you’re thinking “I will have me time” – yes you will.
Enjoy the Little Things
If you don’t take anything else away from this post remember this – enjoy the small things. There are going to be messes. And nights you don’t get a lot of sleep. There will be days that all the kids are sick. Their first words. Their first everything. It only happens for the first time once. Let the small things go. Don’t worry about the house or making the perfect dinner. Don’t worry about stuff. Stuff will always be there. Your little ones, albeit challenging, will only be small once. Love them. Enjoy them.
Surviving three kids under three is a never ending mission. Sure they will get older, but the challenges you face won’t get easier, they just change.