The nation’s sweetheart Hollly Willoughby revealed on her website last week that she is pregnant with her third child. Holly — mum to 4-year-old Harry and 2-year-old Belle — will soon have her hands full with three children under the age of 6.
When it comes to all aspects of parenting mums are the real experts, right? We asked SheKnows readers how they handled the leap from two to three kids. Listen up, Holly.
Make big changes early
“My third pregnancy came as a surprise. My son and daughter still slept in our bed so our first priority was to make the transition into their own beds before we even revealed that a sibling was on the way. By the time our third baby arrived the older children had great sleeping habits, making it a lot easier for everyone.” Jane, mum to 5-year-old Aflie, 3-year-old Jessica and 6-month-old Joe
“With one child at school, one in nursery and one still in nappies, life is pretty hectic. I’m sure Holly Willoughby has someone to help her stay organised; for all those regular mums out there, I recommend a large whiteboard. At the start of every week I make sure all play dates, doctor’s appointments, school trips etc. are recorded. It lets me see where potential clashes are, giving me time to arrange babysitters or reschedule appointments where necessary.” Zoe, mum to 7-year-old Zac, 3-year-old George and 1-year-old Lewis
Read our pros and cons of having a third child >>
Ask for help
“Don’t be too proud to ask for help. No matter how well behaved your children are it’s still physically and emotionally draining looking after three of them, day after day. Make sure you set aside some “me” time to relax and recharge. No matter what else we have going on, my husband takes the three kids out for a few hours every weekend. He and the children love their time to bond with Daddy and I can take a bath, read a book or catch up with a friend in complete peace.” Isabelle, mum to 6-year-old Toby, 3-year-old Taylor and 10-month-old Katie.
“Remember, you only have two hands. Taking three small children anywhere can be like a military operation. If it’s a struggle to push the buggy and keep your other two under control don’t even attempt it. Try wrist straps, buggy handles and reins as safety measures until you work out what works for you and your kids.” Emma, mum to 4-year-old twins Eilidh and Jack and 8-month-old Lucy.
“The tighter your three children are as a unit the happier they will be and the easier life will be for you. No matter what the age gaps are, you can always find games and activities they can all enjoy. Get outdoors as much as you can and let your children run, explore or crawl together to their hearts’ content. This will tire them out, making bedtime easier. One of our favourite indoor activities involves covering the kitchen table with paper and creating art — washable paint is essential. My older kids help my toddler make patterns with fingerprints and sponges and she loves it.” Siobhan, mum to 6-year-old Ben, 4-year-old Brodie and 2-year-old Ruby.
Are you mum to three kids? Share with us in the comment section below some of your tips and secrets.