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What to Expect When Adding Child #3 to Family

I'm a SAHM in the second month of my third pregnancy. I have two kids (a girl age 3 1/2 and a boy age 2). This pregnancy was quite a surprise for us! I'd always wanted three, but my husband was content since we already had a boy and a girl. Though we're happy about expecting a new little one, I've been hearing a lot of cons about how hard three is. I'd like to learn from anyone else who has experience adding a third child to a family. How did it change your family dynamic? How did you make one-on-one time for your older kids?

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Thank you all for your wonderful encouragement! It was reassuring to read about your experiences. I'm going to try to relax and enjoy this pregnancy, prepare and involve my older two as much as possible and try to just enjoy this chance to have a new little one around the house again. And anytime I start to feel a little freaked out about it, I now have your stories to look at to remind me this is possible! Thanks again!

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I have 3 daughters...7yrs, 5yrs and 11 months old. I thought because my kids were older that having a 3rd would be a breeze. I assumed that since my older 2 kids were great sleepers that #3 would follow suit. Unfortunately not the case so the sleep deprivation has been the toughest adjustment. On the other hand there has been no jealousy, and I love it when the older girls try to make their baby sister laugh. They've become good friends already. I have really enjoyed having a baby again. I wrestled for a long time about having another hence the wider age gap between #2 and #3. Now that she's here I can't imagine life without her...she belongs.

I can't be of any help in the advice department. I just wanted to let you know I am in the same boat you are. I am 10 weeks pregnant with #3 and it was a total suprise for us. We have 2 boys ages 12 and 4 and a half(he'll be 5 when the baby arrives). And I always wondered how hard it would be. I feel guilty sometimes knowing that the time with each one will be even more limited than what it is now. Thanks for asking the question so I can read the responses too! Take care and I wish you a H&H 9 months.

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I think that you have already done the hard part! Going from 1 to 2 kids was really hard for me. Learning how to divide my time so the oldest didn't feel left out, getting them both to sleep at once, etc... I too was worried about how hard adding a third child would be. Life got much easier once I had them both (and myself!) on a schedule, and when our 3rd came, she just slipped right in. My oldest was 5 when we had her and was quite the little mother, it was like playing dolls for her. My son was 3 and had about a 10 second attention span for the baby and was off to more exciting things! Just involve the others as much as they would like and turn that positive interest into help for you! As far as one-on-one time goes, plan special time during naps. I always enjoyed reading to my older kids while feeding the baby. Don't worry, you will do great! Good Luck!

Quick bit about me....I'm a SAHM of 4 wonderful, crazy kids ages 9, 7, 3, and 1. Our youngest has Spina Bifida. Check out his website at www.caringbridge.org/visit/babybrendan

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Girl - it is great! The transistion was so much easier than 1 child to 2. We were not planning on a third for a little while after our 2nd (I had post pardum pretty bad), but what can you do? So, we had a girl 3 1/2, a boy 19 mo and a brand new one. He fit in wonderfully and I wouldn't have it any other way. You'll find you really don't have to "do" anything. Just enjoy this and know that. Mine are 8, 7 and 5 now, and they are my joy. There are struggles. There are hard days. You can do it, and I pray you really take the time to enjoy it - consider yourself blessed.

Three for me was wonderful. I can share a story with you that will probably make some of you cringe but will be funny all the same.
When we had our third in Portland the rainy town, my husband had to use the car not the bike to go to work. I needed to go to Fred Meyers in the Hollywood district. So I don't have a stroller big enough I do have the bike with a bike seat, it had stopped raining, I needed to get to the store. So I did what I had to do. I put the two month old, in the snuggie on front, the 21 month old in a back pack, and the 5 year old in the seat, and I rode the bike from 33rd to Hollywood to Fred Meyers, so how crazy was that, when I think back on it. This day and age, I probably would have been pulled over, but this was the 80's! Oh, and my sons weren't small either, when born they were 10lb, 11lb, well and the 3 was only 8 lbs, but you know what when I think about the crazy thing I did just to get by and the giggly little ones on my back I would do it again in a heart beat!But this time they would all have helmets!
I loved being a mom of three and if God had given me the gift to have more I would have. We took in exchange students as they got older, and family and friends to fill our home, but to me nothing is better then a house full of kids.
Oh, I was the middle of 9 and God bless my mom she had all of us in exactly 12 years, 3 shared the same birthday exactly 6 years apart....... Growing up we always had room at the table for more.
Enjoy them they grow fast so fast that I am now a proud grandma of two already and I don't feel that old.
I wonder if their mom would let me take them all on a bike ride? :)

I am in the same place you are just a little further along. I am the mom of a gorgeous 6 year old girl and a very active 20 month old on top of that I am pregnant with our third who is due next month but due to complications could be here at the end of April.

I was so nervous when I found out about baby number 3. Are we ready? Are we crazy? My husband is in the military and leaves for deployment shortly after the baby is born, so I constantly ask myself if I am sure I can do this alone? But as we've started packing for the hospital and putting the diaper bag together I realize that experience is a wonderful teacher. With #1 I was so nervous about being a mom. With #2 I was trying to balance between both kids and be supermom. But now I've relaxed and I hope I can enjoy #3 a little more! Plus I will have two special helpers this time around.

There will be bumps in the road as our family adjusts to a new baby but there will be wonderful memories too! Relax, don't stress about it or you will stress out your family and kids. I am sure your kids are wonderful and the new one will be too!


Adding #3 isn't as tough as we imagined. Sometimes it takes a little bit of shifting things about, deciding who will share a room, and in our case asking our oldest to do as much for himself as possible.

The toughest thing was getting our middle boy (who had been the baby before little sister came along) to learn to like the new arrival. But now he loves his "Sissy" and seems to have adjusted to his new place in the family.

We don't do much one-on-one time, there always seems to be someone who wants attention at the same time or needs something... but we do our best and the kids have learned how to "share" Mommy...

The other thing for us was getting a vehicle that would seat all the kids comfortably and still have room for strollers and groceries.

But three isn't unusual anymore. I know more and more moms with three (or more!) these days.

Congrats on baby #3!

I have no advice for i am in the same boat. I am seven months pregnant with our third boy! I have the big sense that it will be just one more.. you know i thought that the change from one to two was going to be this horrible thing and i was never going to get sleep and life it self would just be a struggle for awhile but everything was ok so this one i am just so lax and really the thing i cant wait for is to be done being pregnant! I am sick of it. sorry i went on a tangent!! Good luck and i wish you well!!!

The addition of #3 was great! I think the addition of #2 was harder and more shocking for me. Everyone is different and children behave differently in different families. We train our children to obey and they are true blessings to us. I am expecting #5 and can't wait! You become experienced and the care of your child is less guess work and worry and you know what you are doing so you can appreciate them so much more. I have enjoyed my 4th child probably the most because I haven't been freaked out about all the baby stuff. The dynamics are great too among the siblings. When there are more than 1 or 2 each child becomes a vital helper to the family. My oldest is 7 and he loves to help his younger brothers and sister and he is the better for it too. Responsibility is so valuable for children as they feel needed and important and makes them so much less likely to act up. I am told all the time by moms who have 7+ that the more you have the easier it gets. It really is true as your oldest ones become mature enough to help even a little bit. Yours are still toddlers and your hands will be full but enjoy this season of your life for what it is. They will only be little once:) Congrats on the new baby growing within your womb!

Hi J.,
I am a mother of 3, our oldest she is only 3 and our first son was only 16 months when son #2 came along. I made the adjustment just 4 months ago and I must say it wasn't as difficult as I had imagined. I made lots of Dr.s nervous because I became pregnant less than 2 months after having brain surgery and am still considered to be in recovery. What's actually the most difficult for me right now is just the fact that I don't have medical clearance to drive and am stuck at home all day every day and I have to make arrangements well in advance for appointments that don't always work out. Having 3 kids really isn't hard, they entertain eachother very well and it's fun to watch and/or listen to, and I look forward to what I'll hear when they're just a few years older, wondering if people will ask if my boys are twins for one. For one on one time I first put my two older kids to bed at seperate times and for about 1/2 an hour or so I am with them in their room reading them the book of their choice, and my husband is doing the same with the another in a different room or he takes them out for car rides that they take turns for and I for now get time alone then too.
I do still have my bad days, but I blame that on the surgery, making it hard for me to keep a system. When I do at least stay close to my system my days go well and I'm not so exhausted at the end of the day to do a few extra things with a certain someone after the kids go to bed;) So my best advice after all that I've said is keep a system or pattern for each day of the week, just so you know, you must give yourself a 'lazy day' on a weekday where you just let youself sit around, take a nap when the kids do and play outside with them, just no housework, I have that on Wednesdays.

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