How I am Managing Life with Two Toddlers and a Newborn

To say that adding a third child to our family was an adjustment would be an understatement. Our oldest is not even 4 yet and we have a 2 year old and now a 3 month old. Our house has definitely gotten more crazy these past couple months. Our older two have become more clingy and have more meltdowns and to add to that I have a nursing baby who often fights her naps. It has been important for me to find some sort of routine that will help me manage all three kids especially when I am alone with all of them when my husband is working. Below are some things that I have found helpful during this stage:

  1. I try to make one of the baby’s naps overlap with our toddlers’ nap times. I usually baby wear our youngest while I feed the two toddlers lunch. Then once I get them down for naps, I either try to transfer her to the baby swing so I can get stuff done or I sit down and let her finish out the rest of her nap on my chest while I do my Bible study homework/some reading. As she gets older and has scheduled naps in her crib every day, I plan to make sure that one of her scheduled naps overlaps with the toddlers’ nap times.
  2. If you have a child who has outgrown naptime, start a quiet time. Visit this post on how to make a quiet time work and this post on some ideas of what activities to do during quiet time. We are just now entering this stage with our oldest so in these posts I let you know what is working for us!
  3. I get housework done while the baby is napping and our older kids are awake. I make sure to involve them in the work. They love to “help” by sweeping, folding laundry, or helping with cooking projects. This way not only am I spending quality time with the two older ones but I also am getting things done that need to be done. I also make sure to break down the household chores into small daily tasks. I am not trying to clean the entire house in one day with three kids three and under. But I might clean the bathrooms one day and vacuum the bedrooms the next day.
  4. If the weather is nice, I try to get outside with the kids. Usually I either will put the baby in a stroller or baby wear her. Fresh air and sunshine benefits all of us greatly. And I see a huge improvement in my mood those days.
  5. I do my best to get out of the house with all the kids a couple times a week. I have noticed that if we stay home too much, not only do I get stir crazy but our two oldest kids do too. Visit this post on how I get out with all three kids.
  6. I do my best to get up before the kids–sometimes I get up an hour earlier than them or sometimes it’s more like 15 minutes if the baby didn’t sleep well during the night. When I do get up before the kids, some of the things I like to do are get dressed, do my makeup/hair, take my vitamins, eat my breakfast, let the dog outside and feed her, and check over my to do list for the day. If I have extra time, I also will do some meal prep for dinner, get the kids’ breakfast out and on the table, unload the dishwasher, takeout the trash, and sometimes even work on a blog post. Usually while I’m doing all this I like to be listening to an audiobook at the same time. It makes a huge difference to the rest of my day the more tasks I am able to complete before the kids wake up. Especially if we have somewhere to be in the morning.
  7. I am making sure to ask for a lot of help. I wasn’t good about doing this after our second was born and I suffered with postpartum depression and anxiety for four months. I have had trouble again this postpartum season but I am finding it more manageable since I have made sure to ask for more help this time. Usually this involves asking my mom or mother-in-law or a babysitter to come for a few hours in the morning. Rotating between these three people, I usually have help a total of 2 or 3 mornings a week with someone here to help. This gives me time to catch up on stuff, run errands, or even just take a shower.
  8. I am on medication for my postpartum anxiety and it is really helping me manage things better this time around. After our second was born, I was embarrassed to admit I was struggling so I didn’t seek advice from my doctor until I was on the tail end of PPD. I told her I was struggling at my 6 week checkup this time around and she immediately prescribed me something. I have noticed a huge difference and am wondering why I didn’t get help after our middle child was born.
  9. I do my best to give the older two enough attention. Sometimes this may look like having someone else come over to play with them or to hold the baby so I can play with them. Or sometimes this looks like reading them books while I’m nursing the baby. They have had a huge transition with the birth of this baby so I am trying to make myself as available as possible as they adjust. I am also trying to be patient and give them grace as they adjust to the changes. They are used to having more outings and more time with me and they are acting out because they miss the structure of our lives a couple months ago. I don’t want them to resent their little sister for how life has changed so I am trying my best to give them undivided attention and fill their love tanks.

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