Life is about to get much busier for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with the birth of their third child due this month. The royal couple will have to get to grips with caring for their newborn as well as ensuring Prince George and Princess Charlotte don't feel left out once their baby brother or sister has arrived. While they will have the full support of their families, along with their nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Burrallo, there are a few things Prince William and Kate should consider ahead of their new arrival. Sanjima DeZoysa, NCT's Parent Content Manager, has shared her tips on looking after multiple young children.
What are the difficulties and stresses of raising three children under five?
You can't forget that the other children are still very young: When a baby arrives, it's amazing how your toddler and other child seem so much bigger and older. Don't forget though, they are still young, and being an older brother or sister doesn't suddenly make them more mature or responsible. In fact, it's very common for children to regress when a sibling arrives; they might start wanting bottles again, for instance, when they've been using cups. While frustrating, remember that this is just their way of adjusting to the new family situation and also maintaining their share of attention. Try not to let your expectations of them change because of the baby; they still need your help and patience too.
The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her third child in April
Paying all three children enough attention: It can be easy for all the kisses and cuddles to be focused on the new bundle, but one of the difficulties is making enough of a fuss of and spending time with your other children too so they don't get jealous. So to help your older children still feel secure and loved, make sure they get lots of attention too. Encourage any visiting friends and family to lavish just as much attention on your older children as the new baby and make a point of praising them on being 'such a great big brother or sister'. If friends ask what gift would be helpful, remember a small present for your toddler to unwrap can be very welcome.
Prince William and Kate are parents to Prince George and Princess Charlotte
Dealing with one child's needs at a time…it will be a balancing act: With more than one young child, there will be moments when you have the stressful situation of two or three crying children who want you at the same time. It's not always easy but it can help to decide how to respond to each child based on who has the greater need at that moment in time. So, for instance, if your toddler is crying because they just fell down and hurt themselves, and the baby is crying because they want to be held, then it probably makes sense to help your toddler first. Of course, any parent will want to make sure both children are safe and happy, and you will find different ways to balance the needs of both. And there will be probably be times when you'll just have to scoop them all up for a cuddle!