Bringing Home 3 Children Under the age of 3!

Thursday 24 February 2022

Bringing Home 3 Children Under the age of 3!

When we presented the news to our families, chimes of ‘3 under 3?!’ – ‘Wait, they are all younger than 3?’ – ‘from the same family, 3 under 3?’ – could be heard.

The excitement remained but the looks of ‘you are mad’ began to appear, we are fortunate that both of our families are very supportive. However, when you initially bring them home, your day-to-day life evolves around you and your children, which means you have to find your own feet.

Unusually our children all came home together, so we went from an empty house to a busy home with three toddlers almost overnight!

For us, we settled into a rhythm through trial and error. We didn’t make any big changes to their routines in those first few months; however, we did tweak gradually as we went along. Moving bedtime slightly later and implementing, bath and story time before bed.

Whilst it is important to maintain that continuity for the children, they are also aware that it is a new home, new environment and expect some sort of change – this can make it simpler to implement certain changes gradually. Every family and child will be different, I am only detailing what worked for us.

Organisation became my new best friend! I’m generally a well organised person anyway but this presented a whole new challenge! It meant fitting in potentially three different nap times, bath times or even feeding times … the possibilities for chaos were (and still are) endless!

A key point to highlight is, ‘you can do it’ – despite all the madness and those around you who may fear (possibly quite rightly so) for your sanity. Every day is a new day. There is nothing that cannot be washed or tidied away. Granted if you leave valuables around our home that may break, then you do so at your own risk!

What did a day-in-the-life look like in the beginning?

In the beginning, when two of us were home all day, we split the morning wake up call and did alternate mornings, giving each of us, some sort of brief sleep-in. We would start with breakfast and then whilst the children played, clean up that mess (which from three toddlers can only be described as apocalyptic!), nappy change and getting dressed was the next battle. Then setting out games and activities spaced out across the morning until lunch, with a possible snack in between, before settling them down for an afternoon nap. During nap time, this was a nice break for us but also time to tidy/wash/complete errands, as you can imagine – sometimes, it was just sitting and watching the TV uninterrupted! Once nap time was over, we then started the nappy change and sometimes clothes change process again, this time it may be a walk or outside play. As teatime arrived, we would brace ourselves for the bedtime rumble, tea, songs, bath, story, and bed. Finally, lights out and a flop down on the sofa for us!

A disclaimer at this point: none of this ran as smoothly as it may seem nor was it the same every day. The time of naps varied as did the number of children who partook in them. Tidying up was not a concept they followed nor was not throwing food on the floor! The key: consistency and perseverance.

We did not expect the children to be welcomed home and suddenly understand and follow the routines we set them. Generally, we adjusted our routines and activities daily to see what worked best.

What actually worked best?

Who knows?! Certainly not us. The important thing for us, was maintaining some sort of routine and being consistent with it. It did not matter if six weeks later, nap time occurred at three different times or that bedtime seem to stretch over two hours – if it was what the children needed to feel comfortable, we went with it.

We did have several successes in those first few weeks; all three children slept a full 12-hours, which in fairness, the foster-carers had reported they do. The children enjoyed nap time and loved food! We had few issues with behaviour which was reassuring to us about how they were settling-in. The new bedtime routine we implemented worked well and the children loved getting a bath together before bed – even if the bathroom ended up looking like Shamu had been in our tub!

If you think you could adopt siblings, we'd love to hear from you. Call 01642 526400 or request a call back below.