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3 under 3 Survival Guide

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hospital photo family of 5
When the big littles met the tiny little!

How do you do it? Referring to having 3 kids under the age of 3 years old. Firstly, I love being a mom! Nurturing comes naturally to me and I find so much joy in taking care of my tiny humans. They give me purpose and motivate me to be the best version of myself.

I had always wanted my kids close in age, although I never imagined them being THIS close. My oldest and youngest are a little over 2 years apart. Our family went from 0 to 3 kids in 16 months! No, none of them were accidents. Yes, we're a little crazy. What can we say? We've always been all or nothing people, ha! ALSO, you might be thinking the math doesn't make sense... I promise I will explain soon enough.

Since we signed ourselves up for the ultimate crash course in parenting, we’ve had to learn fast. I’ve learned the secret to parenting is the same as the secret to life- you will forever be figuring it out as you go. What specifically works for one person or family might not work for another, so you keep learning and keep trying. Whether you’re about the be a first-time mom or you have instant family like me, let’s dive into some of my personal takeaways. I'm committed to thriving through baby/toddler phase, not merely surviving!

family photo, 3 under 3
When taking a photo with 3 under 3, it's a win if all eyes are looking at the camera, regardless of facial expression.

Accept Your Support System

I recognize that I'm very fortunate to have my parents and sister help with the kids. I’ve never had to worry about the quality of childcare because the ones who raised me are helping me raise my kids. When Henry left for Washington, my stubborn I can do it all by myself attitude was really tested. I quickly realized that I needed to reach out for more help, specifically on the weekends while I worked. It was hard for me to ask and even harder to accept that my family and friends wanted to. I have always loved to give and am still working on receiving. If you have family and friends that have offered help, it is ok to accept it. Most won't offer unless they mean it. It really does take a village!

If you are lacking a support system altogether, there are plenty of resources. You can reach out to a fellow mom, join a mom group on Facebook, or even turn to Google to find a group in your area. The great thing about technology is that connecting with others is literally at our fingertips. Finding emotional support and camaraderie among others walking a similar path makes motherhood a lot more empowering!

Stick to Routine

Everyone thrives with a consistent routine! Kids are no different. Our structure consists of waking up, napping, eating, bathing, and going to bed at the same times every day. We plan any extra activities around their existing schedules. We make exceptions occasionally, but not often, because it’s a domino effect. Messing with nap time affects lunch time which pushes back dinner and so on. Consistency is not only important for the kids but it also keeps me sane. With 3 under 3, there is very little you can control. You can't control teething, meltdowns, how well they sleep or how much they eat, but you can equip yourself and your little humans with tools to manage. Our routine is one thing I do to set us ALL up for success!

Embrace the Chaos

Whining happens, sometimes all day. Sharing is not an innate trait and toddlers have no concept of personal space. It’s pure chaos most of the time, but I love it! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again- mindset is everything. It’s not that I don’t get stressed or overwhelmed or frustrated, but I choose not to live there. I am all about embracing the crazy by going with it and celebrating the small victories. Like getting everyone to the car in the mornings, the moments all 3 kids are napping at the same time, or when they’re laughing together instead of fighting. Simply have a good sense of humor, stay grateful, and enjoy those simple moments!

Encourage Independent Activities

It is a beautiful moment when all the kids are peacefully doing their own thing. The moment is normally brief, but I’m all here for it. The kids share majority of their toys, yet they all have specific ones that are their own. As much as we encourage sharing, we also teach them about boundaries and to understand that they are not entitled to everything they want. For example, our oldest is really into puzzles right now, so we encourage that behavior by having her sit at the dining table by herself without any of her siblings around.

Below are a few toys and activities that encourage independent play for ages 1-3.

1 Year Old

2 Years Old

3 Years Old

Must-Have Battle Gear

Oh, I mean baby gear! I’m mostly a minimalist when it comes to all the stuff that babies bring and I'm a big fan of efficiency. If a product doesn’t work for me, I give it away or sell it. In my opinion, the most important gear when having kids close in age is a functional stroller and the right bag. We’ve had a total of 5 strollers over the past 2 years and I’ve narrowed it down to two of my favorites, along with my preferred bags.

This is my out-and-about stroller. It has durable wheels so I feel comfortable taking it anywhere. This stroller not only has the ability to be a single or double stroller, but also has an attachment of a glider board to fit all 3 kids. Pure lifesaver! It breaks down into 2-3 parts making it easy to transport. Anytime we run errands or go on walks, this is my go-to, especially when I’m by myself with all 3 kids!

This umbrella double stroller is what I use for loading up the car in the morning. Sounds a little extra, I know. But when you have 3 under 3 and live in an apartment, you gotta do what you gotta do. It makes getting out of the house so much easier! I've tried a wagon, but I have to say this stroller is the way to go. The stroller is also perfect for traveling because it is smaller, easier to manipulate, and it's on the cheaper side, so I’m not worried if something happens to it.

I’ve had this bag for over 2 years and it’s held up SO good! Best part is that it doesn’t look like a diaper bag. It’s simple, fashionable and most importantly functional. It comes with a changing pad and has plenty of compartments for all the things motherhood calls for.

The ultimate Mary Poppins bag! I always try to fit everything in my diaper bag, but when we’re going to be gone for the day, this bag is a must. This is the largest tote I’ve ever owned and the quality is so durable. I love that it has a crossbody strap so it’s easier to carry to the car!

As I've stated a few times, I love efficiency! BUT I also care about style and aesthetics. I do a ton of research, have tried several brands, and always ballin' on a budget. If you ever need honest feedback or recommendations, I'm your girl! :)



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Katrina! A proud wife + humbled mama making the best out of life and staying centered among the chaos

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