Just when you think you’ve started to figure out the twin parenting thing, your twins enter the toddler phase. Adding a third baby to the mix on top of twin toddlers takes you to a whole new dimension of parenthood! Below are six tips for making life easier when you have three kids under the age of three:
1. Get comfortable playing defense
If you are blessed to have a partner on your parenting journey, then you’ve had a nice ratio of parents to kids in your home thus far. Once you introduce a third baby, the adults are outnumbered. You now have three children who need you for various reasons, some more serious and pressing than others. Be prepared to triage who needs the most immediate attention at any given moment.
2. Mom guilt is real
Sure, you’ve been dividing your attention between the twins ever since they were born, but adding a third child really changes the dynamic. When you’re with your newborn, your toddlers will be clamoring for attention, and vice versa. Just remember that you’re doing the best you can, and you have plenty of love to go around. Invest in quality time which each child each day, even if it’s only a few minutes, to reinforce your connection with each of your children.
3. Scheduling becomes even more important
Your twins’ daily nap time may be your saving grace, allowing you to get some rest (or be productive) during an otherwise hectic day. While you can anticipate a new baby to sleep often, it’s important that you overlap one of the baby’s naps with your twins so that you can still get a window of respite to yourself.
4. Potty-training is inevitable
There’s a very real possibility that you may have three children in diapers, which can be both a financial and physical burden. If your twins show signs of readiness, try to potty-train before the baby arrives to save yourself the stress of doing so when you’ll have one more person to look after.
5. Your older children can help
Your toddlers are learning how to be independent and desperately want to help, so let them. There are many tasks they can do to make your life a bit easier, such as fetching a diaper, getting out a towel and washcloth for bathtime, or even simply shaking a rattle for the baby. Enabling safe participation can go a long way toward strengthening sibling bonds and maintaining the peace while promoting independence.
6. Patience is a virtue
Sure, there are times that you will feel challenged and frustrated in ways that you never have before, and you will have to dive into a deeper well of patience to manage those situations. But those lows are far outweighed by the myriad joys that come along with your three beautiful blessings. Allow yourself to feel your rollercoaster of emotions, and appreciate the unique situation that is having three kids under three. Enjoy the journey, it will pass too quickly!
About the Author
Lori Bacon – PT, DPT, TLC’s Associate for the San Francisco Bay Area and the East Bay, is the proud mother of fraternal twin girls. Lori is also a practicing physical therapist, and as a member of a helping profession, she particularly enjoys being able to connect with and educate her clients. Lori was thrilled to find out she was expecting twins, but without any family or support network nearby, she proactively sought out whatever information she could find on preparing for twins. From her unexpected birth experience she quickly learned that life with twins would prove to be chaotic, and being knowledgeable about different equipment, processes, and milestones was one way to feel in control. You can reach Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our services in San Francisco and the East Bay.