William and Kate have recently announced the big news that royal baby number three is on the way. While this is fantastic for fans of the royals – the thought of having three small children aged under six could seem a bit daunting – particularly the idea of sharing your emotions with another new arrival.
Kristen Harding, childcare expert at nanny agency, Tinies reveals her top tips on making sure your little ones all receive the attention they deserve with no envy-inducing temper tantrums!
Multi-tasking with baby number three? You’ve already got this!
“Firstly, as terrifying as it may sound – the idea of going from two to three is actually much easier than going from one to two. Perhaps without knowing it, you have become an amazing multi-tasker, are able to work to different schedules and are thinking about things from all perspectives. Now, it will become even easier to work out those schedules because you are extremely well practiced!
Team play and responsibilities
“To avoid the older children feeling left out, give them different sets of responsibilities. Even things like helping your young sibling choose their pajamas or getting dressed in the morning will make your oldest feel important – while giving you a helping hand at nappy changing time!
“Create a schedule where you look at the earliest time of doing things. So, feed your older two and then coincide baby’s feeding time with story time when your partner or you can give each as much attention as possible.
Schedule quality time with each child
“Make sure that you spend some quality individual time with each of your children, as well as in a family group. So, if your older child really enjoys riding bikes, go out with them on a bike ride on the Saturday while your partner is spending time with the younger two. Make sure BOTH parents spend enough quality time with each child so they are getting lots of attention.
Practice makes perfect
“Before the new baby arrives, talk about what this means for the family as a whole. One of the families I worked with had an older child who was desperate to help with the baby but her expressions of love looked more like manhandling to us! So, we introduced a doll and agreed that if she could take care of the dolly then she could help take care of baby. So, anything from holding or sitting in the bath with the baby, we made sure she got it right with the dolly first. This gave her a sense of success as she felt she was enhancing the family rather than being told off for constantly doing something wrong. Remind them of how delicate and soft baby number three is in a constructive and supportive way.”
Make the most of nap time
“Big tip – take advantage of nap time! Or when the older children are at school – make sure you’re using this time to spend quality time with the children who are there. If they’re not at school, baby’s nap time is a great time to focus on the others.
Dealing with jealousy
“If your child does seem to get jealous – discover the root of the anger or jealousy. For example, if the issue is that your oldest used to like holding your hand on their walk to school but can’t do that now you have three – make sure you hold their hand as much as you can. Or, you could get a scooter for the eldest child so that they’re distracted and feel special in another way.
“Make sure your partner is also sharing the attention and talk to them if not. Make sure that you’re both involved in bath time or getting the kids up and ready for school or sharing tasks wherever possible.
Create a quiet playtime
“Encourage your two eldest children to indulge in quiet play together when the new baby arrives. Not only will they learn to entertain themselves but it will give you much more sanity in the future when you need a few minutes to get something else done around the house. Learning to play well together from a young age will help in the future.
Know when to ask for help
“As Kate and William will do – don’t be afraid to ask for help, particularly if you are balancing work too! Tinies has full and part time Nannies, event nannies and babysitters across the county so do drop them a line if you need a helping hand at home of for an upcoming event – 01992 578 735.