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Old Jul 12th, 2017, 16:48 PM   1
Mum (Mom)
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3 kids, 3 and under - failing miserably

I just had my third baby; he is 4 weeks today. I have a 3.5 year old and
Almost 2 year old, and things are just going horribly. The baby only sleeps for 45 minutes at a time, day and night, and only while held. Which means I can't do hardly anything for the other two other than yell at them to stop stealing toys from each other, stop hitting, stop screaming - I just feel awful. I am trying to find the positive to praise, trying to find the good, but they are just fighting like cats and dogs since the baby has arrived. They behave when they are watching TV or iPads, but I won't let them do more than an hour or 2. My family supports plenty, but they can't be here all day. I feel like my other kids are miserable and hate me because I am no fun and yell. Help! How did you all manage 2 babies with a new baby?!?

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Old Jul 12th, 2017, 17:03 PM   2
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Hi, I don't have 3 under 3, but both my sisters have and it was very hard. They both felt guilty, upset, tired, drained, exhausted, and so on! They told me it wasn't enjoyable at times, but it did get easier and routein was key!
The kids are now 5,3,2 and play along brilliantly, good company for each other.
stay strong, your doing a brillant job Xxxx

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Old Jul 12th, 2017, 19:11 PM   3
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I had 3 under 3, which isn't the same at all... since my youngest two at that point were 11 months and a newborn, and they were very much babies. Your situation sounds more like my middle two when my fourth baby was born. My kids were barely-5, almost-2 and almost-3. So, snatching toys, jumping all over the furniture, hitting, getting into things, etc. was a big problem. Oh, it wasn't easy. I cried a lot. Especially since I breastfeed, my babies are attached to me almost 24/7 for the first three months or longer. It gets easier, quickly.

My children are only allowed screen time once or twice a month, so we tend to wait until there's a big storm, and we use that opportunity to watch a movie. If there were no storms in any given month, they probably haven't had any screen time at all that month.

Instead, the kids will play outside a LOT. We have a great playset that they can play on, and I can just sit outside in my comfy chair and nurse the baby. If it's winter and/or we can't spend a ton of time outside for some reason, we bring up a mini trampoline that we keep in the basement, and we set a 5-minute timer, and each child gets 5 minutes to jump to their heart's content. I will sing or count while they count sometimes, or they'll sing and count their siblings' jumps.

We don't keep a ton of toys around. What? Well, fewer toys means longer attention spans. We use toy rotation, so they can have one bin (a milk crate) of toys at a time. They'll still fight over toys, and if that happens, I'll put the baby down and gather all the toys and put them away. Then, they get no toys. They can read at that point or go play in the playroom where I don't have to hear them arguing. lol

I don't generally get involved in their arguments. I feel they need to stand up for themselves, but they are of course allowed to come to me and ask for help figuring out a solution for any situation. For instance, today, my 3-year-old told me that my 4-year-old had snatched a toy from her and wouldn't give it back. My 4-year-old argued that he had the toy first. I talked them through it, asking them questions and letting them figure out the proper solution together. In the end, they decided they would take turns playing with the toy and asked me to set a timer for 5 minutes so they'd get equal amounts of time. They do tend to like the 5-minute timer.

Another thing I do is spend at least 15 minutes per day playing with each child, doing what THEY want to do. This helps a LOT to make each child feel special and combat the sibling rivalry. When I have a newborn, the newborn will be put down for the entire 15 minutes, and as much as I hate to have a baby cry, I will not pick that baby up (or my phone, or answer the door, or bother with anyone else, unless there's an emergency) for that entire time. I have four children now, so the baby gets his time in the morning, my 3-year-old gets her time right before lunch, my 5-year-old gets his time after lunch, and 4-year-old gets his time right before dinner. We spend our time as a family after dinner, doing baths and reading books and talking and laughing together before bed.

It gets easier, I PROMISE. I'm not going to say it's not going to always be a struggle, but it won't be HALF as difficult as it is right now.

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Old Jul 14th, 2017, 15:39 PM   4
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I have two. One is 3 and the other is 6 weeks. My 3 year old is a lovely, happy, gentle and easy little girl. And still, I am not coping AT ALL.

Hats off to you, it must be bloody awful. But you're doing the best you can with the situation you're in at the moment. It won't be like this forever. Be kind to yourself.

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Old Jul 14th, 2017, 16:17 PM   5
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Not quite the same but my oldest was 4 when my youngest was born, and my middle was 2. It was sooooooo hard. It was SO much harder than having two as when I had my second my oldest was on his own so i didn't have to referee!!
I had some really horrible days when my youngest was a newborn. i also tried not to do too much screen time. I wish I had just let them get on with it and do what they wanted.
it will get easier. Mine are 5, 3 and 18 months now and I have just had some lovely school reports for the older two, my oldest is turning into a lovely boy. Keep going with it and be kind to yourself and it will all be ok

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Old Jul 16th, 2017, 17:21 PM   6
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It gets easier!!! Or it did for me my oldest was 3.5 and middle child 2.5 when baby arrived and it was xmas and chaotic. I dont even no what to suggest or tips to give all i can say is it gets easier. It changes so quickly my goungest is away to be 8 months and honestly its sooo much easier. Hopefully your baby will start sleeping longer soon and that will help massively.

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Old Jul 16th, 2017, 18:36 PM   7
Mrs. Heuneman
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I will soon have 3 under 3... I feel your pain!! I wish all the positive vibes to you!!!

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Old Jul 18th, 2017, 22:55 PM   8
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Have you tried a baby carrier? It helps so much so you can be hands free. And if baby sleeps while being held, they'd most likely sleep in it so you would have spate time to play with your older ones.

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Old Jul 19th, 2017, 14:40 PM   9
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Honestly don't know how you guys do it? I often find it hard with just my 15 month old (my 5 year old is easy now) to have 3 under 3 I take my hat off to you. Your doing a great job x

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Old Jul 24th, 2017, 14:38 PM   10
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I am sorry that you're struggling. I have three under 4 and the first 6 months (heck, even now!) was total mayhem at times.

Right now it's all about survival. I let some of my rules slide. More tv and iPad than normal when I needed to and setting a timer for playing with certain hot ticket item toys really helped. I also introduced the naughty bench (I didn't have a stool but I do have a bench!) and used it for timeouts when my older two were behaving.

There will be those moments where you are nursing and have your hands utterly tied but it will get better as baby gets bigger and is slightly less dependent.

One item that saved me loads was setting up a play pen in my living room so that I could put baby down whenever I needed my hands free.

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failing , kids , miserably

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