18 answers

Pros or Cons to Having a Third Child

I am trying to decide whether to get an IUD or plan for a third child. My husband and I have two beautiful children and we are considering how much the dynamics would change if we had one more child. I just wanted some opinions from mothers with three children as to what was the biggest change when having the third child? Most of my friends are saying why bother when you already have one of each. I guess I was wondering if three makes it easier, my mom said you need a tie-breaker but I think she is just in love with being a grandmother. :) If we did have a third child we would have to get a bigger car and we would probably have to move into a bigger home, but the idea of those adjustments have not turned my husband and I completely off. However, my husband plans on going back to school next year and I know for the next couple of years he is going to be working and having his "nose in the books" so he will not be able to help me as much with the kids as he does now. Any enlightenment you all can provide is welcome. I am particularly interested in mothers with three children.

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I am a mom of 3 girls (23,18,16). I planned on having 5 or 6 but the hubby decided that 3 was enough for him. My question to you is do you WANT another baby. You seem to be worried if he/she will fit into your schedule, a new home, a new car/van.

Having 3 children is great, my girls are all of different identities. I have a perfectionist, one that just goes day to day and is always willing to help and my youngest who is in high school and right now just wants her drivers license and a car.

My mom had 10 children her way of thinking was "what one more". Children are a blessing, kiss them and hug them all the time, they grow up very very fast.


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Hi S.,
I am a mom of three children ages 23,21 (2 daughters) and 17 (my son). So I can give you some perspectives of having three children who are now older. I was younger when I had my kids.. (I was 22 years old)so I was immersed in diapers and playgroups and preschool and all of that in my 20's and 30's.. now I'm 45 and I have been working the past 10 years and am having a great time planning my daughter's wedding AND getting kids through college. I suppose I would recommend looking into your heart and honesty examining why you are considering having another child as it is going to change your life as you said.. financially and so forth.

We had to move as well into a bigger home as well and buy a mini van and so forth. I also stayed home with all three of them too as it seemed pointless to work just to pay for a babysitter and juggle the kids.. I just didn't think that was fair to them.

so I suppose now as I'm trying to send three to college and pay for a wedding.. I could have used more savings but I would have had to work full time and I just wasn't willing to do that.

Its just they were all sick quite a bit. I could have never kept a full time job and I didn't have a good family network around to help me. My husband was a gem and I couldn't have done it without him as I went to school at night.

I can't imagine my life without my son; he is such a joy and has made us so proud. Our second and third child were not planned but welcomed. We never really thought it all out but knew we were open to children. We never thought about age spacing or having 2 in college at the same time ( I DO recommend that now!!)

But let's face it, having three young children will NOT make your life easier. I'm not sure what you and your mom mean by a tie breaker or making life easier. IT will enrich it ofcourse but will also add to your stress.. just being honest..

If you have a good marriage, a family network with family and friends to help you and if you are ready to juggle the kids a lot as your husband sounds like he is going to be busy with school and all.. and if you are prepared to move if necessary and you guys can handle it financially..and if you are ready to welcome another child into your life and your heart with all of the joys and demands as well.. then go for it..

it is a big decision..I didn't think about all of those things and well.. I don't know.. maybe I should have..? but again.. I wouldn't trade my son for the world! Sometimes, you just have to go with your gut feeling after you have rationally thought it all through I suppose.

I wish you the best of luck. Hopefully something I wrote made sense.. as you can see, there is no clear cut answer.. there are pros and cons to every decision.

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I LOVE having 3!! Seriously I think its easier! Why well the other kids play with the baby. Doesn't need ALL my attention. Of course my other 2 are 13 months apart and were both out of diapers before No. 3 arrived. i love watching her play with the boys!! Finanacially well there are diapers but other than that if you kept your clothes you are set with allt hat. You probably have baby items and if not.. garage sales usually have great stuff CHEAP!! Whats the con... well if you saw my last post I talked about goign crazy because the boys would jump in her crib and want to play with her and help her dress etc. So that is a little scarey. They are now adjusting and are very helpful so I really rely on them!! I feel like we are a copmlete family having 5 I am not sure why. For me I feel we are complete all kids close in age and love each other. The baby has separation anxiety.. not from me but from her brothers!! :) Not sure the size of your house but my boys share a room, we did get a minivan so we are officially suburbanites!! If you have more questions feel free to ask!!

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Hi! I remember struggling with the decision of number 3...if I could handle it, what would it be like, etc....and people telling me once I was pregnant how I was going to have my hands full! No duh!! I literally felt it was the toughest decision I ever had to make. Now that she is here, I simply can't imagine life with out her! Seeing all the kids loving each other makes it all worth it (it at least makes you forget all the challenges..heehee). I personally chose a third because my son has a disability and I wanted my daughter to have a "typical" sibling as well. I think the two girls were perfect so as to help take care of my son later in life if I and my husband are not around....good luck to you. It isn't easy but it will make for a real great family I'm sure!

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I think you really need to examine your heart. It has to go beyone the financial and schedule parts. Those ALWAYS work themselves out...you make the necessary adjustments and move on. Children are a blessing and a gift from God. I have yet to hear of anyone regretting having another child, but I have heard of many who have wished they'd had "just one more". Do you and your husband feel your family is complete? Truly complete?? Are you young enough to wait awhile until he's done with his education? If so, perhaps you make a shift from babies to his education and than when he's done, go ahead with the third child. There is no "perfect" spacing...each family has different dynamics and a different flow. My kids are 13, 5, 3, and the 4th is due in 12 days (or less!!). I "wanted" it spaced differently, and almost had it that way until I had 2 miscarriages, but God had other plans and I see now how this is what is best for our family. I truly wouldn't change it.

Follow your hearts...if we waited until we could afford kids or until everything was just right, no one would ever have them!

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We have three It was meant to be.
There is really no big change after you get past the second one the third just falls into place I have always told everyone the biggest change is when you go from one to two after that it is a breeze I have a friend that has eight and she says the same thing. So just try and if it happens it happens and you will have more blessing to count.
I can't stand when people say "oh you have one of each" or "oh you only have two hands so keep it at two". If that is how my parents would have thought I wouldn't be here. God gives you all the love and ability to handle as many children that He blesses you with. I always think the more the merrier.Have a great day.

Many of my friends have told me that if you are even contemplating having a third, then you probably really do want a third, and will regret not having another child. My friends that have one or two children and have decided not to have a third say that they never really thought about having more.

On that note, if you do decide to have a third, I would encourage you to consider waiting a while until you have a third. That is what we are doing. When my second was a few months old, I got an IUD so that I could wait until my youngest was 4 or 5 to have another child. I just knew that the finances would be way too hard on us, i.e., paying for preschool and later music lessons, etc., plus the thought of having 2-3 children in college all at the same time almost made my husband decree that we were done.

So, with the IUD, I have the peace of mind of knowing that I won't become pregnant accidentally, but can wait until we are ready for #3 or even #4.

We have 3, two girls who are almost 6 and just turned 4, and a baby boy who is 3 months old. On the one hand, I am sure that I will love having a son ,and the girls do love their baby brother. But, my husband works long hours and we don't have any family in the area for help, so I pay a ton of $ for babysitters to help out with stuff. The girls are just old enough that they are more independent, which is good, but also involved in lots of stuff, which is tricky. The baby spends much too much time in the car seat driving to soccer and ballet and swim team. I have a hard time balancing between their needs for socialization and activity and his need to be home in the crib for a nap. Also, while it is true that most 3rd babies do just figure out how to fit in with the family routine, there is always the chance that your baby will need something extra. Our son was born with some muscle problems which require him to have PT 1xweek for an hour, so with drive time to the appt and back it is a 2 hour block of time. Plus lots of extra doctors visits in addition to the regular well check up visits to make sure it is getting fixed. While I am extremely grateful that his problem is not serious and will correct completely, I just hadn't expected that the baby would have things like this which would require so much additional time. Every day is a major juggling exercise. I know that in a few years it will be different and I will forget and just enjoy them, but getting there will take a long time! Good luck with your decision.

Hi S.,

I have 3 boys 6, 3, & 13 months, it's great. I am also expecting twins in December. The twins were a total surprise since I was on BC. But it was meant to be. The boys are super easy, we have the serious one who is my oldest, the wild one who is the middle one and the in between is my youngest. If you want to go ahead with another one go for it, it is not hard having 3. I get to attempt 5 by Christmas.

Good Luck.

Hi S.,
I have a 13 and a 12 year old and an almost 3 year old child.
I thought I was done after my first two.
It is alot of work,my husband quit school. I moved here from Germany 15 years ago and had a hard time to adjust.
After ten years and adjusting to Amerika,we wanted another child, and I'm glad I have waited.
The older kids really enjoy having the little one around,they have watched him being born etc.
So I would just enjoy your children for a while,let your husband go to school and then if you have that strong feeling for another baby go for it.
It is hard to give good attention to each child, espechialy if your husband has to study,you will have to do so much more.
Good luck M.

I would say go for it, if that is what you want to do. I had my twins at age 38, and even though I knew going in that we were done,but it does not stop the longing for another one. That is natural. I had some medical complications afterwards and was told by the doctors to not have anymore children, so I was done either way.

I have 3 girls, and even though we were not expecting to have 3, I would not change it for anything.

We have three as well. They are all two years apart. I am very happy I had my third! Although, if I could go back in time I would have waited longer to have #3. It is really hard having three kids under five. Now they are 2, 4, and 6. I still think things are VERY hectic around here. It is hard for my hubby to take all three out by himself. I wish my 2nd and 3rd were about four years apart. My advice wait until number 2 is at least three!!

I have been thinking on the same topic lately. My husband and I have 2 perfect daughters, ages 3 and 1. We are undecided if we are going to have a third. If we do, we will be trying soon, because we want them all about 2 years apart. I am so torn, but some of the answers you received by asking your questions, have been very insightful for me. I can't stop debating it over and over, going back and forth between we are DONE, and YES another one is the answer! I was wondering what you decided. Keep with 2 or did you get your third? I always wanted a large family, but it is such a hard thing to figure out. Too many what ifs, but then, there will always be those open, unanswerable questions, no matter which path is chosen. I am just curious what path you decided was right for your families future... Thanks! A.

I just had my 3rd 8 weeks ago and so far, it's not that bad. She's now sleeping through the night so I feel much better. My husband works long hours and travels a lot so we just take one day at a time. Yes, it more difficult to go to the store with three but I try to get my shopping while my oldest is a girl.

I did find my last pregnancy to be the worst. Tired all the time while chasing the others around. Once I had the baby, I was 100% better.

I say go for it!

I have a 4-year-old girl, a 3-year-old boy, and a 9-month old girl. And I want one more. I don't know if we'll actually have another one as you never know what life is going to bring you, but I still want one more! I love having 3 kids. I've heard people say that it's bad because you and your husband are outnumbered. I did not have that experience. My husband works a lot, though, so it's possible that I was just already outnumbered when I had my second!! If you know that you'd be getting less help from your husband, I would just be prepared to ask that grandma who wants more grandkids to be around to pick up the slack. You don't want the stress of a new baby and your husband's schooling to be a strain on your marriage - that's not good for anyone. I love having 3 kids and am very happy that I did it. I know it's definitely not for everyone. Let's see - the hardest part about it, for me, has been that I have to work around the baby's nap so I cannot get out with the older kids as much. But I think it's worth it to them - they adore their sister. If you have any specific questions about this, please don't hesistate to ask. Good luck to you with this important decision! And don't feel pressured to decide. You can always use another method of BC until you feel confident about your decision.


I know you asked for opinions on Mom's of 3, but I thought I would offer my thoughts.

Rich (hubby) and I never wanted kids. We met, dated, married and always agreed we didn't want children. So, I thought. After 7 kid-free years together, we changed our minds and I got pregnant within 2 weeks of stopping the pill. Unfortunately, I miscarried - twice. I was blessed to give birth to our son in June 2005. And, after dealing with severe colic for 12-15 weeks I swore I'd never, ever have another one again. Not that I didn't love my son with every cell in my body, but it was so overwhelming for me (us) and such a change from the life we were so used to, that I couldn't fathom another child.

I don't know when it happened, I don't know how it happened, but I wanted another baby. When I told Rich, his response was "Are you sh*tting me?" (he never swears). We talked and talked for about 2 months before we knew it was actually what we both wanted. Our fears were very similar to what you wrote. Do we have enough room? We need a bigger car (had a 2005 VW Jetta). What about the cost of daycare? How will we be able to give Jacob (our first) the attention he's so used to? How will I be able to take two boys to the grocery store, Target, whatever? COLLEGE?!? There were a lot of things that were screaming "don't do it" to us.

Our hearts could scream louder, though. I'm due with our second son at the end of August. :)

My point is that you truly need to look at what both you and your husband want. Listen to each others fears and concerns. I agree with everyone that said you will never regret a third child. My mom had 4 children (I'm the oldest and only one that was 'planned'). She loves us all with every ounce she has. She looks back and says she doesn't regret God blessing her with 4 children, not for a second.

I'm truly done after this one. No doubt in my (or Rich's) mind. We are happy with having two children and are very comfortable in our ability to handle them. But, that's what works for us. When it comes down to it, it's what you and your husband want.

Good luck!


I have 3. a 4.5 yr old, a 3 yr old and a 6 month old.
Our 6 month old was not planned. I totally freaked out when we found out. Especailly since I was almost 12 weeks along and had done so many wrong things.I am not a baby person either, I was happy with my 2.
I am so happy I have her.
There are the hard days when they are all whining and crying at once, and the sleep is less, but I have to honestly say, going from 2-3 isn't bad at all, not like going from one to two.
Instead of changing everything, she just kind of fits into our schedule. and I feel like I have actually got parentling down right because I've done it twice before, I don't have any of the anxieties I had with the first two. Even introducing food and sleep schedules. I sweated those with my first two, with the third, i don't even worry. I think it's made me a batter parent. though, I will tell you, I cannot get thier names straight when I am yelling a them. It's really okay and I find I actually really enjoying her. I am so glad our "accident"happened.
I would say do it. You'll never regret having the third, but you can't go back and change it later if you decide to do it. We are very cramped in our 3 bedroom, 11,000 sq ft. house. we do have a van. But, we make do.Feel free to e-mail me with any other questions.

Hi, we had our third child, not planned, about 2 yrs ago. I was worried at first, but she is the light of our lives! I think it's because we know for sure we aren't having any more. We are enjoying her much more than I think we did our other two. We now have two girls and one boy. Our family is complete. I won't kid you, it's a lot of work. Taking three kids places is tough. Good luck with your decision. I say go for it. You won't regret it.

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