The present paper reports on work in progress in the field of early trilingual language development. Specifically, it explores the question: What contextual (i.e. social and situational) factors help or hinder young children in acquiring three languages in infancy? For a number of years now, research in bilingualism has recognised the importance of context (societal, familial and conversational) in analysing language use in bilingual couples (Piller 2002) and families (Okita 2002), as well as in understanding the early acquisition of two languages by children (De Houwer 1990, Döpke 1992, Lanza 2004). In this paper, I hope to see whether the theoretical approaches developed in such studies are equally useful for the analysis of early trilingualism. After describing the data (section 1), I shall give a general idea of the various contexts in which children grow up with three languages in a Western European country (section 2). The major part of this paper (section 3) will then be devoted to an examination of certain contextual factors affecting the linguistic development of a young trilingual child.