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SAHMs With 3 or More Kids Close in Age....Advice Please

I just had a baby. I stay at home with my newborn, my 21 month old son, and my 3 year old daughter. It is so hard right now and I don't know how I'm going to get through this first year.

I'm breastfeeding my newborn. She will only sleep if I'm holding her. I've had no luck with her crib, swing, or bouncy seat. She also won't take a pacifier. I don't know how I'm going to care for the newborn while also giving the toddlers the attention they need and deserve, not to mention when am I going to do housework or even take a shower?

Can some organized mommy that's been in my shoes give me some advice? I've got to get a handle on things at home. My husband has a very stressful job and him coming home to chaos each day is not helping.

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:20 PM on Jan. 26, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (8)
  • Well, when I gave birth to my son (our last) my oldest daughter was 4, and the middle daughter was 2 1/2. It is VERY hard! You grab a nap whenever you can, but I suggest you get the baby accustomed to sleeping somewhere other than your arms. She'll cry for a while, but she'll adjust. You do have other children to tend to, and you can't hold her forever. If the crib and playpen don't work, maybe try the carseat? Good luck!

    Answer by TimandMely4ever at 5:24 PM on Jan. 26, 2010

  • Get a sling for the newborn. That way you can still hold the baby while she is fussy. You can nurse her while you do other things too. I love my ring sling, but there are many different types to choose from.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 5:26 PM on Jan. 26, 2010

  • First off congrats on your new baby! And as for advice, do what you can when you can and don't worry about the rest! Every day will be a little different. It will take a little time to get your newborn on a schedule, and when you do things will ease up! What I do is try to have my hubby take an hour in the evening...maybe when your newborn is napping your hubby can play with the toddlers and you can have a bath or shower! Also one thing that is helpful is make a daily goal...just one play with the toddlers for an hour, or do a load of the end of the day you will feel much better and feel a little accomplished !

    Good luck!

    Answer by Rebecca727 at 5:29 PM on Jan. 26, 2010

  • Sorry, no advice. When my 3rd was born my other kids were 13 months and 28 months but I bottle fed and my 3rd child was an angel. She slept all the time (through the night at 5 weeks) and my other kids were pretty independent and would just go off and play with each other. I was basically on my own all day with my husband working usually doubles. I just kind of muddled through. I didn't do housework (just enough to have dishes done every other day and laundry when we ran out of clothes). I've never been big on entertaining my kids or playing with them all day so it was never an issue. We would all snuggle on the couch and watch TV and have popcorn or something. That was our together time.
    They are 9, 8 and 7 now and I can't imagine doing things differently.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 6:17 PM on Jan. 26, 2010

  • If you have the cash, hire a Mother's Helper to do the tedious, not-very-valuable but necessary daily work, like folding laundry, washing dishes, picking up toys, etc. They can be younger than standard babysitters, 'cause they aren't taking care of kids, and the 9-12yos often find housework at other people's houses rewarding, lucrative (they don't have a lot of money-earning options, generally) and not at all boring --and $2-$5/hour is reasonable for them. If you could find 2, you could have 3-5 afterschool Helpers each week, that would really make a difference.

    I knew a woman who had a 3yo, 18mo twins and then had triplets. Just to make her whole life completely charming, her adorable husband left. She asked the people of her church to help -not 'come by some days and drink tea' but actually come and help: do laundry, bring (and donate) groceries, clean house, make meals, feed babies, etc.

    Ask for help. People like to.

    Answer by LindaClement at 6:35 PM on Jan. 26, 2010

  • How old is your newborn? Initially they're all like that, and they settle out. Don't just leave her to cry, as someone else suggested. That's ridiculous to make a newborn cry.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:17 PM on Jan. 26, 2010

  • Day at a time. You all have to know that it will take some time to adjust, wont happen over night or even in a week or two's time.

    Learn to breastfeed one handed so you can move around and grab toys or whatnot for the older kids. Use a sling to carry the baby around, that will give you the use of your hands again to do little things like dishes and vacuuming. Put the baby down and let her cry til you finish tending to whatever it is the older one(s)need at that moment.

    Do one or two household chores a day til you get back into the swing of things.

    Thats what I did when I had a newborn and a 19mth old and 3 yr old to tend to. Making dinner was the hardest part for me and I would just let the baby cry in the bassinet and when I was done stirring or whatnot Id go back and talk to him and soothe him and such then go back to the kitchen and continue cooking and just do that over and over.

    My husband learned to deal.

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 8:13 PM on Jan. 26, 2010

  • when i had my twins i also had an almost 3 yo, and a 4 1/2 yo. for the first 3 months someone was always with me, my dad, a babysitter, my mil stayed for 6 weeks. it helped a lot!
    dinner time was the hardest time at our house. the babies cluster fed from 4pm to 11 pm. i had to put them down to get dinner for the other boys...the babies had to cry :( i found that every 3 months the babies got easier and easier.
    my boys had a snack drawer with ziploc baggies filled with crackers, granola, they could help themselves to a snack.
    a sling is a good idea, i didn't figure mine out for my 1st child, but i will try again with #5!
    good luck to you, hopefully there is someone that could help you. if you go to church, churches sometimes love to help.
    you could ask family to prepare freezable meals for you as well.
    or you could go to one of those places that you prepare meals and pack them up for the freezer.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 10:40 PM on Jan. 26, 2010

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