Advice on Handling 3 Kids - Ages 6, 1.5 and Infant

Updated on March 01, 2010
S.G. asks from Prior Lake, MN
10 answers

I am thinking about whether I should try for a third child right now, and the challenges that I would have to deal with, like:

1. Is it feasible to pay for 2 kids in the daycare at the same time, while also having one in school? Or will we find ourselves in a financial hole? Both me and my husband work, we have insurance through me, and I cannot stay home with kids.
2. How exactly would I fit them all three into a car? Can I have 2 car seats and a booster fit in the back of a regular sedan? Or do I have to buy a minivan? Or simply do we transport kids in two cars?
3. Is it feasible to take all three with us on vacation and how exactly? I mean like on the plane, to visit very distant relatives. Or will there be a specific youngest kid age threshold after which traveling with all three will not be an issue?

I would like to hear those moms who are dealing with 3 kids (2 of them under 1.5 years old) or who have been through that. Please also let me know other challenging situations that I should consider.

Thank you all in advance....

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answers from Omaha on

I have three just now. My infant is 3 months old. Plus I have my "older" children which are still young.

I didn't realize how interesting it would be. I fear the older ones are getting neglected right now because the baby is so demanding. I've pulled them in by making mommy help with him. I make them sit with mommy and daddy and help make him happy.

But you can take a baby on an airplane. Actually with the baby it is easy. You can actually hold them on your lap, the baby that is. No cost of a seat! The others you just bring their carseat along with you. So no problem there. I brought a 2 month old on a flight and a 2 year old once. It was fine.

I fit all my my children in one car with 2 booster seats and one of the large convertible carseat. It's in a little compact car and it still works. Most people buy an SUV or a Mini-van though. But I find in most cars you can make it work. It's just a little tight. But they are little people so they don't care, or at least mine don't.

And with the day care you really have to look at whether it is worth your time or not. An infant in daycare can be VERY expensive we found out. I'm staying home because there is no sense in me working and having the children in daycare. We did the math and I'd be making about 2 dollars an hour really. So call around or ask your current daycare provider how much it is for a 6 week old and then see if your cleared hourly wage makes it worth it or not. I wanted children more than anything so that was more important to me. So me and my hubby sat down and figured out if we could do it without my income and only on his. We figured out what we could cut out and decided it was doable. So we did it.

Good luck with your decision! And if you decide on the baby good luck with the pregnancy as well.


answers from Des Moines on

I have 4 kids and the youngest are twins. When the twins were 1.5, the middle child was 8.5. The oldest was only with us on the weekeds. I can tell you that daycare is crazy- I was paying over $1000/mo during the school years and $1400/mo in summer/breaks.

As far as a car, my husband has a small car and would not be able to comfortably fit all 3 of them in the back seat together. I have a minivan, and its very handy! I don't know if a larger sedan would be more comfortable. Do you have an old car seat? Just put it in the car with the booster and see if your oldest can squeeze in there comfortably.

Traveling...not sure what you are asking on that. The twins have always been good travelers, so it was always fine. I even flew alone with them when they were 3 and we did just fine.

Hope that helps!



answers from Duluth on

My situation is a little different...I'm already pregnant with #3...but we have an eight year old and when this baby is born we will have a newborn and a 23 month old. We have already invested in a Honda Pilot that seats 8, just because my husband didn't want a van and no, a plain sedan doesn't work well...we babysat and had a carseat on each outside seat with our daughter in the middle and the toddler kept pulling her hair and throwing his sippy on right then and there we knew it wouldn't work. We both work full time but we are considered low-income so we get daycare assistance, but that's it...and we're financially good. We don't live above our means and we are very good at not buying stuff if we don't have the money. I can honestly say that our kids have never, ever gone without, we just make it work. I'm sure you will be able to do the same! I had PPD with my second and I'm worried about that with this go round, but time will tell! Best wishes and please let me know what you decide! Feel free to write with anymore questions! :)



answers from Milwaukee on

I have been there. Day care is very expensive. For both of the little ones you are looking at well over 100 a month for full time care. Both of the little ones would be on an infant rate scale. My youngest are 19 months a part. I have a because I have 4 children. However depending on how big your sedan is you may be able to fit 2 car seats and a booster. It will be tight. It gets more challenging I think when they hit toddler years. Just think of one wanting to run in one direction and one in the other. On the other hand they are close in age so they make good play mates. There are pros and cons of every situation. I think the biggest thing you should worry about is daycare costs and space in the vehicle.



answers from Chicago on

Mine are 3, 2 and 6 months. We have a car with three seats across the back. The toddlers are in a Radian XT (which advertise they fit 3 across the back), and the baby is in a Britax Companion infant seat. Note the Radian does fit from birth, too.

We don't travel because it costs too much. But, we do drive a few states over to see relatives sometimes.

I cannot work because I would not make any money with 3 in daycare. I am completing a PhD but even so, the finances don't work out. Husband has insurance through his job.

I guess the hardest part is feeding everyone (when they all want to eat at the same time), and going ANYWHERE. But that will all pass with time.



answers from Albuquerque on

I am pregnant with my third and we too had some of these questions.
-Our kids are not in day care (I'm a SAHM) but I know a lot of daycare's offer a discount for siblings. I also think a lot of church based daycare's/preschools are cheaper than national daycare centers. If your willing to go that route.
-Yes you can fit two carseats and a booster in a sedan. I drive a Kia Rondo and all three will fit in our small car fine. Granted there will be some fighting but they'll just have to get over it!
-Vacations are feasible. Maybe not every year, but if you put your mind to it you can afford it. If you go in the "off season" it is cheaper. If you use a credit card you can earn miles. I have a friend who uses her card for everyday expenses then pays it off every month. They have not paid for a flight in 3 years. You can also earn points at hotels.

I think three kids, no matter what the ages can be difficult. You just have to get a little creative. I think that if you want three kids and your heart is in the right place you will make it work.


answers from Charlotte on

I have 4 kids, a 6 year old, twin 4 year olds and an 8mo old. My oldest was almost 2 when the twins were born.

1. I stayed home with all 3 because I would bring home less than the cost of child care. You just have to do the math for your situation. If you have to keep your job for the insurance, maybe your husband can stay home with the kids.

2. We do have a minivan, which is much more comfortable and convenient. But we were all able to squeeze into my husband's car with two infant seats and a booster seat in the back. But I would recommend a minivan or SUV, a car is a tight fit.

3. We have not taken our kids on a plane, but we have made frequent trips out of town to visit relatives. We did this when the twins were only 3mo. It was challenging. Kids got off schedule, sleeping arrangements, but as they got older, it got easier and easier.

Hope this helps



answers from Seattle on

I have three kids and it can be a challenge. My kids are spaced apart at 10, 6 and 10 months. it really hasnt been a problem yet the older kids are very helpful. I have a mini van so carseat have not been a real problem, but we also have a VW Jetta and two boosters and a carseat do not fit. As far as daycare you could call and price it out. I am mostly sahm and when I work (very, very part time) I am able to take my kids with me.

We go on vacation often babies under 2 can fly as a lap child at no cost. You might just have to plan and save up and maybe go every two year on a big vacation. My parents never went on vacations but we alway went to the lake and did lots of camping trips as a family. those were the best time.

The one thing that I cant believe is how much laundry one more kid adds to the pile. It is neverending but my two older kids are girls and go through alot of clothes.

I guess financially having a third child adds another college fund and baby items for the first year but for us it doesn't make much difference yet.

good luck



answers from Seattle on

If you have the resources (money and support) anything is possible.

- if you do not have an option of staying at home or are sure that you can afford daycare for two... you will find yourself in the hole. We will not have a second child, because just paying for daycare for two (even with a discount) would be more than I earn. I would not make sense to still go to work.
- yes, you can fit 3 seats in a sedan, but a minivan would probably be more comfortable.
- yes, you can still take vacations. Maybe not resort vacations in exotic places (again this depends on your income!) but driving yourself to the beach or a national park and camping or staying at a beach house - certainly doable.

My sister has 4 children with the last two less than 2 years apart, she stays at home and loves it. It is still a lot of work, even though her oldest is 10 years older than the youngest and can help a bit... and I would not underestimate the expenses for daily living either (food, clothes, insurance, medical bills...). It does not make much of a difference when they are babies, but feeding a couple of teenagers...
Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

I have 3 kids and I found having #3 to be the most expensive. We could not fit 3 car seats in the back of our sedan, so had to buy a bigger vehicle. I recommend something with a 3rd row. Putting 3 kids in one row is difficult. They are squeezed in there, have very little room, and will fight. It's easier and saves piece of mind to be able to separate them.

You also have to think about costs. It's not just paying for diapers for a 3rd kid, but it's activities too. Everything costs. You'll be paying for preschool, extra-curricular activities, religious school (if applicable), etc. We do have to look at what our kids can and can't do because of the cost. Also, going on outings or trips becomes even more expensive, especially as they get older. Going to a water park can easily cost you $100 or more for just the day, going out to dinner you pay for an extra meal, staying at a hotel you now have to upgrade to a bigger and more expensive room because most rooms accomodate only 4 people, if you need to rent a car while traveling then you pay more for the bigger one that can seat the 5 people. Babysitters also cost more since you have more kids to watch.
My kids are ages 7, 4, and almost 3. I love them to death, and if I had to do it all over again would still have 3, but there are extra costs with having that 3rd that I didn't really figure in. Also, by having child #2 and #3 so close the first couple of years were really difficult. If you asked me last year if I would have had a 3rd, my answer would have been yes, but I would have spaced them further apart. However, because child #2 and #3 are so close in age they have since become great friends. It took 2 years for this calm to happen, but just know that if you choose to have kids so close together it will be difficult for the first 2 maybe 3 years, but then it gets easier. Now, I'm very happy that I did have them so close together.
Hope this helps and good luck.

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