I cannot begin to tell you the amount of times I get asked the question “so, was it SO crazy going from two to three kids?!” I usually give a slight laugh and then will quickly respond with the same sentence every time. “Actually, going from one to two was so much more of a change.”
And it’s true. Don’t get me wrong, three kids is downright crazy-town most of the time but when you are already outnumbered in the day-to-day, the logistics already had to be figured out with two.
Some of the biggest changes in our lives when we went from two kids to three kids were the following:
We had it figured out. All the right car seats, plenty of room in the trunk for the strollers (even the extra-large BOB) and then when we found out we were pregnant with babe #3, all of that went out the window, and we spent the majority of the pregnancy (okay, I spent the majority of it) stressing about what we were going to do about a new car. Having moved from NYC less than three years ago, I was just not ready to pull the minivan trigger. I will leave it at that. With three car seats, one being an infant seat, it’s all about logistics. It took some time but we settled on the not so little but not ginormous Tahoe. I love it. It’s got just enough of the bells and whistles and makes me feel so safe driving around in all sorts of weather with all three babes.
(and for those of you in stroller land, we opted to add the ride along board to our BOB!)
SLEEP & NAPS
Now, if you have two kids, you already know that naps and bedtimes can be tricky. It’s a dance. If you’re riding solo at one of these times you are forced to figure this out fairly quickly. Does your oldest come with you to put the baby down? Do they both come? Do you set them up with books/iPads, etc…so that you can do a quick feed/put baby down? It’s a balancing act and it can easily turn a perfectly harmonious morning into a sweaty, teary and just plain exhausting afternoon if the routine is off in any way. Some suggestions – get help for those first few months if you’re on your own. Even if you can get a sitter/mother’s helper for an hour while you get the baby down will help the transition and worth every penny. I find around the 6/7/8 month mark, you will likely have some overlapping nap times and life will start to feel somewhat sane again.
It can depend on the ages of your older kids, but for most of us, you are usually bringing a baby into the mix with a toddler. That can make sitting and feeding a baby leisurely very difficult. Mix a baby with TWO toddlers and you’ve got an even trickier sitch on your hands. I’ve done the activity/feeding baskets, the crafts, etc…and while that’s all fine and dandy, those last about ten minutes and that’s all of ten minutes TOTAL for the day. Give yourself a break-put on some Daniel Tiger, sing some songs along with them and the kids, and enjoy SITTING and feeding that baby.
The best part of bringing a third baby home is the built-in entertainment. I still remember watching my second baby watch his Sister dance around the living room-it was the happiest he ever was! I would place his high chair by the living room door so that he could watch her dance. Don’t be afraid to wear your new baby as much as needed. Give me all the wraps, slings and carriers! Do whatever needs to be done so that you can be as hands free as possible. Enjoy every precious moment because before you know it, they’re napping in their cribs, eating real food and starting to move on their own. And then you wonder, how did life exist before this third baby?!