If you read my articles then you’ll already know that me and my wife have 5 children together, with 3 of which up until recently being under 3 years old (now 3, 4 & 5). In this article I’m going to focus on these 3 children in particular and what life was like when Dylan, my eldest of the 3 was just 2 years old, Bonnie being a 1 year old and Archie being just a baby.

How we ended up with 3 children under 3 years old

Usually when I tell people that I have (or had) 3 children under 3 years old they almost always assume that we had twins somewhere along the line but in my situation, this just isn’t true. The truth is that after our first 2 children, we went some years thinking we were finished growing our family. But one evening when I was laying in bed, my wife turned to me and asked my thoughts on having just one more before focusing on the business.

Although I had not previously thought about the possibility of having another child, the idea of having another baby actually filled me with excitement and so after an evening of talking, we made plans to have our third and (although we thought) final baby.

Approximately 1 year later we welcomed our baby boy, Dylan into the world. The first of our 3 under 3 babies. Running my own business and able to be at home, I quickly turned nocturnal and slept through the day whilst my wife took care of him and I stayed up all night whilst she got her rest. This made life with a new baby very easy. Perhaps a little too easy as it was only a few months later that my wife showed me a positive pregnancy test!

I was in shock. We both were! Dylan was only a few months old and we were expecting another baby. Initially we didn’t know what to do. The not knowing turned to fear of coping with 2 children under 2 years old and over time the fear turned to excitement as we dreamed about what good friends Dylan and his sibling would be having such a close age gap.

9 months later we welcomed our baby girl, Bonnie into the world. Our fourth baby. Our first baby born with a head full of big curly hair. At this point, Dylan was a 1 year old and sleeping through the night so off I went again turning myself nocturnal, giving my wife a full night’s sleep at night whilst I had a full sleep during the day.

Now this full night’s sleep we were both getting was clearly an issue as not 6 months later, my wife announced that she was pregnant again. Our fifth child was on the way. The third of our 3 under 3 years old trio.

We were scared. Worried. We were living under cramped conditions as it was. Money was tight. There was no room for another baby! But together and as a team, we welcomed our baby boy Archie into the world. We had jumped from 2 children to 5 in less than 3 years. We had 3 children under 3 years of age. We had 3 car seats in our big 7 seater car and all we needed now was a bigger home to fit them all in. Life was going to be hard for a while, but we knew they’d bring us so much joy that it would be more than worth it!

Be prepared for how expensive it is to raise 3 children under 3 years of age

The cost of living when raising 3 children under 3 years old is something to be prepared for. It’s not like having 3 children with greater age gaps. For example, a baby, 1 year old and 2 year old are all in nappies, at the same time. So your forever buying them! And clothes too! Babies grow out of clothes so fast that you’ll feel like you’re forever buying them. Your only hope is that they are all the same sex so atleast the oldest of the 3 can hand them down as they get older.

Food. Formula. Nappies. Clothes. Milk. Medicine. Cots. Beds. Toys. It all adds up and it’s all multiplied by 3. What about the initial investment too? If you already have 1 or more children before your 3 under 3 come along then you can say goodbye to your car! You need a 7 seater. When you’ve purchased your 7 seater car you’d better buy a buggy or 2 or 3 or else you won’t be taking your children out anyway. We purchased a buggy for 2 small children and had a separate buggy for our 2 year old. When me and my wife went out, we had a buggy each.

Childcare isn’t cheap either. If your both working parents then you’ll be surprised how much it is to organise childcare. It isn’t a fixed price per household either. They charge by the child.

The most important thing when having 3 children under 3 years old is having a strict bedtime

My number 1 rule for a family of any size, especially for those of us that have 3 children under 3 years of age is to have a strict bed time. Not only is it better for your children to have a good night’s sleep but ofcourse you need some me time. Some time to yourselves. As a couple too.

For example, I have a friend with 5 children and like myself, 3 of their children are under 3 years old but there is no strict bed time and they are often up until 10 or 11PM. This isn’t healthy for any relationship! Could you imagine? From Morning until the point you go to sleep, all you do is manage your children!

A typical day for me and my wife looks like this. We wake up and I go to work at approximately 8AM and get home for approximately 5PM. My wife wakes up and gets all 5 children clothed and ready for the school run at a similar time. Whilst your 3 youngest children are under 3 years of age, your 3 year old will likely be in pre-school but you will have the 1 and 2 year old with you all day until the afternoon school run when 2 turns to 3, or in my wife’s case, 5. She gets home and makes the dinner ready for when I get home and then we work together keeping the little ones entertained and keeping on top of our home.

At 7PM it’s their bedtime! Every family has a bedtime routine that suits them with (in my opinion) no wrong or right way of doing it. I typically deal with bedtimes which starts with making 3 bottles, finding 3 dummies, gathering 3 blankets and getting 3 children under 3 years old into their pyjamas and brushing their teeth. Once in bed I read them a short story and sit in their room until they fall asleep at approximately 8PM. All the while my wife is giving the home a tidy up ready for us to relax in the evening.

Realisticly it’s probably not until 8.30PM until we are properly on top of the place and often later at times too, depending on how destructive the kids have been that day. Our home can get pretty messy on the weekends!

It’s at this point me and my wife can relax. We could do absolutely nothing and just enjoy the peace and quiet. Other times we watch a film or catch up on a Netflix series. Ultimately we spend time together without the children for a good 3 hours per night. It’s with this strict bed time that we’ve managed to stay sane with 3 children under 3 years old.

Days out with 3 children under 3 years of age can be eventful

From managing 3 kids under 3 years of age to finding things to do, looking forward to days out can quickly become a thing of the past, atleast until your little ones get that little bit older.

My absolute favourite thing to do as a parent of a large family including 3 under 3 is to go for long scenic walks. Woodlands work well as there are lots of puddles, mud and made up obstacle courses for the 3 year old and my older ones to enjoy. My youngest 2 would typically be enjoying the bumpy ground in their buggy with my 1/2 year old coming out for occasional walks, piggy backs etc.. Going for walks with 3 children under 3 years old is definitely my favourite way of taking them out without getting too stressed and everyone enjoys themselves.

Going to children’s play areas was for the most part, a good place to go but we did scope out the ones that suited us best. For example, one of our favourites is an indoor play area not far from where we live which has 2 sections depending on the age of your children. The baby area is where me and my wife would typically sit which would be for any child under 3 years of age. If your youngest is still really young then you can just chill on the sofa enjoying eachother’s company. The other parent can sit in the play area with the 2 and 3 year old and my older 2 children, well they will be playing on their own in the older section only returning for drinks and to complain about newly found enemies.

What we did avoid however was restaurants! I don’t think any visits were successful when going with 3 children under 3 years old. The baby screaming. The 1 year old throwing food and shouting. The 2 year old trying to climb into the next booth. Eventually they get bored and we make a swift exit before we become the centre of attention, although my wife was always a lot more relaxed than I was in these situations. In fact, if it were up to me then we likely never would have gone out for meals! What I would say though is that now my youngest 3 are 3, 4 and 5 years old, going out for meals is for the most part, stress free and I look forward to them so it doesn’t take long!

What I love about having 3 children under 3 years old

Having 3 children under 3 years of age will ofcourse come with a level of worries and stress from the cost of living to keeping on top of everything but let me be the first to tell you that it’s so worth it! Me and my wife are by no means wealthy and have had to adapt financially which includes being more selective on where we buy from and cutting back on unnecessary expenses but as humans, adapting is what comes naturally to us!

We don’t live in a mansion either. We live in a 3 bedroom house which meant purchasing a 3 tier bunk bed for the boys room and a 2 tier bunk bed for the girls room. Luckily the rooms are all of a good size as we aren’t in a position to move just yet. What I’m saying is that if you’re expecting your 3rd child under 3 years old then don’t worry. You will adjust and make these necessary adjustments when the time is right.

Having 3 children under 3 years old is amazing! No day is the same as the last and it’s crazy to see how close they are in age but how different they are as their personalities develop.

Sometimes they fight, scratch and pull eachothers hair but most of the time they are the best of friends. Now mine are that little bit older, when one isn’t interested in playing, the other always is. The sweetest of times is when you find that they have all sneaked into one bed and snuggled up to sleep during the night. The absolute joy of having children so close in age is like no other. We call them the 3 musketeers.