3u3 help! — The Bump
Two Under 2

3u3 help!

Hello!

We have just welcomed a perfect little girl into our family, giving us 3u3.

While I never felt 2u2 was unmanageable, I am already feeling extremely overwhelmed now!

My two older kids are in daycare, so I'm with all three of them from about 6am until 9am and then from 4pm until bed (8pm). My husband leaves for work by 6am and isn't home until at least 5 or 6pm and then has a rest until after bath time (7ish).

We hired someone to help me during these hours just for two weeks while we transition (mostly so I don't need to put #3 in the car for two hours a day, and get them all in and out for the two daycare drop offs and pick ups). Unfortunately, due to family sickness, the nanny has left us after just one week.

I don't really have any family or friends to rely on for more than the occasional few hours of help... And we can't afford a long-term nanny while I'm not working.

How can I make this work?! I'm so terrified that one of my children will get hurt when I'm alone with all of them!

TIA!!

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Re: 3u3 help!

  • Hi - I can't imagine your situation. I have 2u2 and nervous. What I have found best is to keep them all in one area of house and put up gates. This way they are all in your sight. Bring a pack n' play in the same area. Then you can out them in it if you need to leave room or do something. Prep each night so that you have all that you need for the morning shift in the one area. Are there any friends or college students that are looking for a few extra hours of work. You could try the child development/education department at your local college.
  • A pack n play is a good idea actually! We have one at my dad's for naps (for the 19 mo old). Maybe I'll bring it back as a safe place to put the baby when I'm in the bathroom or busy with my hads for any reason...

    I have also thought about a local student to help in the afternoons... I just think it will be too expensive (on top of two kids in daycare hen in not working!)...

    Thanks though and good luck with yours!! I found the first three months were really difficult, the. It got better, and then after the first year it was SO much easier!!!

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  • I hear you - having 3 was a game changer for me.  2u2 wasn't bad - having 3 was so overwhelming, and mine were just 3 3 and under.  I can tell you my story - because we were used to having multiple kids and the baby is "just a baby" and the big kids were in pre-school 3x a week, I also got left alone with all 3 very early on while DH went back to work, and tried to resume his regular work week.  What happened to us was that 3 weeks in, DD#2 had actually lost an ounce from birth weight.  I was so busy with everyone, trying to take care of everything, playing with the big kids, giving them baths, getting them to school, etc, that while I was nursing the baby every 2-3 hours, I wasn't noticing how long I was feeding her for.  She would fall asleep when eating, and I would assume she was done.  She had wet and dirty diapers.  Turns out she needed to eat for at least 45 min every 2-3 hours to get an adequate amount of food.  And I definitely wasn't feeding her for that long.  After that I practically broke down - I felt terrible that I was starving my baby!  We realized that I needed more help.  DH started trying to get home every night by 6, except once a week he would work late and my mom would come over to help.  And when he would get home, he would take the big kids, give them their baths and do their bed time while I fed the baby and took care of her.  

    I wore the baby most often to keep her out of the way of the older 2 so they wouldn't try to be helpful and "feed" her goldfish or something worse.  I also learned to nurse her in a Maya Wrap.  That way I could get things done while she was eating - get the big kids dressed, wipe someones butt, prepare their lunch, etc.  

    So what I think is that your DH needs to help a little more, or figure out a situation where you can have more help.  Why does DH need to rest for 1-2 hours when he gets home?  Can't he do that after everyone goes to bed?  Things are different now - you are WAY outnumbered and they all need so much help being so young.  And for me the worst time is dinner through bed time.  That is when I always need the most help.

    You also probably just need to face the realization that the baby will often be screaming and you just have to leave her in a safe spot so you can deal with the other disasters going on.  Crying won't kill her!  When DD#2 was about 6 weeks old, the stomach bug hit our house.  I kept having to put her down in her crib/pnp/bouncy seat, etc to clean up the vomit all over the place.  DH was out of town, and it was a nightmare.  Poor baby spent so much of that time screaming just wanting to be held.  But we all survived, and so will you!  And DD#2 is a very happy girl now - has no recollection of screaming in the corner for quite some time while I dealt the the sick kids.  
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  • Sorry, I should have specified that my husband just had back surgery, so unfortunately there are many things with the kids he cannot do (such as bathe them).

    However, if he's home by their dinner time he cooks and feeds them, and he does bedtime with them.

    But I also do think he deserves a break when he has an 11-12 hour work day and while I am with the baby all day, the other two kids are at daycare so I do have downtime.

    As for the carrier, I've started using one more (#2 lived in the Ergo for 8-9 months!). It helps in some situations, but it's difficult to keep her (#3) safe while running after the big crazies! ;)

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  • I will be 3u3 in May, and I am getting a bit anxious cus my husband is at work 6:30am-7:30pm (that includes commuting time) and I have no family in our area. My 2 girls are easy (sleep 13+ hrs at night and PM naps each day, but still, 3u3 seems like it's going to be quite the game changer! I'll have my oldest in preschool 4x per week in Sept next year, but drop off an pick up will be rough, plus summer time (yikes) before we even get to school starting...! Its good to hear peoples experiences & tips! I will get some babysitting help but I'm just not sure how much we will get. Probably just a couple hours 3x per week or something- not much....
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