This year we added baby number 3 to our family. The question I get asked the most is how the transition from having two children to three children has been. I was so worried and anxious before we even decided to have a third baby about how a third child would fit into our lives and how our two kids would handle that life change. Now, every family is different but, in our experience, going from two kids to three has been the easiest transition. It was easier than having our first son, and it was so much easier than going from one to two kids. I think the greatest reason for this is because our third baby has been so chill and easy from the beginning. But there are a few more reasons this transition has been easier.
It felt natural.
Like our third baby just belonged with us. Our first two kids wanted a baby brother or sister before my husband and I had even fully committed to the idea of growing our family. Because of this they were both more excited and eager to help. When we had baby no. 3, our other two were almost 6 and almost 3 so they were great helpers. Our daughter could bring us diapers and wipes while our son could fill up my water bottle and even make a snack for him and his sister. That was a huge help. They’ve never seemed resentful of their new baby brother because they instantly loved him from the beginning.
Our first two children could play together and entertain each other, so I didn’t feel guilty about being busy caring for our new baby. After our second child was born, our oldest son was a month shy of turning three and each time he asked me to play with him I was always nursing the baby. He no longer had me to himself, and that was rough for both of us. After our youngest was born and our first two kids would ask me to play, I didn’t feel as bad telling them I had to feed the baby. They never seemed sad or upset. They just found something to do together.
We had more experience as what becoming new parents meant.
Every baby is different, so while no one can really know what to expect after the birth of a child we felt we knew what we were doing. We had a routine established in our home to try to limit the chaos of bringing home a new baby to add to our family, and it saved us when it was bedtime. While things were crazier at this point, our oldest son and daughter knew what the expect each night as we went through our bedtime routine. We knew how to try to prepare them for what a new baby would bring. They had baby dolls they cared for and we read them books about getting a new brother or sister.
One thing I was particularly nervous about when it came to adding a third baby into the mix was how I was going to run errands with all three kids in tow. With the right timing between feedings and naps and snacks (for all of us!) I was able to navigate it and guess what? It was easier than I thought. Most of the time. I kept the older two in the car while I put the baby in my carried so I could wear him. Then the other two were able to get out. I made it very clear to them how important it was that they listen and be big helpers while out in public. One would walk and hang on to the cart and the other would ride in the cart. (Bonus tip- backpack diaper bags are a life changer! You have all of your stuff but you’re still able to be hands-free.)
Whether you have one, two, three or more children transitions like adding a new baby are tough and challenging in so many ways. One thing I’ve always tried to remember is that everything is a season and if things are rough at the beginning, it probably won’t be that way for too long.
Photo by Danielle Weinbrenner Photography
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