Tuesday, 9 June 2020

PARENTHOOD: Ways to Prepare for your Third Baby

When those two blue lines first appear so many thoughts may be going through your mind, from excitement to panic to apprehension and all the emotions in-between. Finding out we were expecting our third baby was such a special moment, but one that filled me almost as much fear as the first time. Not fear of having another baby as such, but more how was I going to manage looking after three children? My husband and I would be outnumbered from the moment our third baby came into the world, which was a scary concept and I know I'm not alone in thinking that. In fact I remember having almost exactly the same concerns when expecting our second baby - how would I split my time between two children? But you do, trust me. You change and grow as every parenting situation you face influences your life; if there is one thing us parents are experts at it is adapting. 

Our third baby is now almost eight months, so we are well out of the newborn days and fast approaching the toddler stage. I can't believe how quickly the time goes, especially with your third and when lockdown is thrown into the mix! Looking back there were some ways I prepared for our third baby that proved to be really helpful and some I wish I had done, so I thought I'd share them for anyone else expecting their third baby...Increase your other children's independence and responsibility around the house. When it comes to life with a newborn baby having two hands free is a rare luxury and juggling another child's needs too is such a challenge at times. It is therefore really helpful to support their ability to be independent during your pregnancy, so that when your little one does arrive they don't need you to do absolutely everything. This will, of course, depend on the age gap you have; we have just over two years between all three of ours, so increasing independence of the two year old really helped. Nothing too complicated, instead activities like being able to put their own shoes on, start to get themselves dressed/undressed, get their own hat/scraf/sunglasses/gloves/coat depending on the time of year, feed themselves etc.

Go to toddler classes, so that you'll feel comfortable going when baby arrives. This is something I learnt third time around and wished I had done second time! Going to a new baby or toddler class can be a bit intimidating at the best of times, but if you want to take your toddler to a class then try to go for a term or so prior to your baby arriving. This helps make you feel comfortable with the other parents, enables your older child to know what to expect/do throughout the class and gives you an excuse to get out of the house each day. When our third baby was three weeks old we went back to a Messy Senses class that our middle child loved going to while I was pregnant. It was lovely to do something for her throughout the newborn bubble and helped ease my mum guilt too. But being familiar with the class leader was such a comfort because I knew that if anything happened (poo explosion, sick, crying uncontrollable etc.) I had the support of the class leader there too.Go to local groups, so that you can make friends that are within walking distance. If you are lucky enough to have a local baby/toddler group then make the most of it because getting multiple children into a car is a mission at the best of times. Having a group to walk to makes life so much easier and often means you'll make friends with local mums (some of my best friends are ones I've met at a local baby group and now our eldest children go to school together!).

Batch cook meals for the whole family. This is a tip for any parent to be - batch cook as much as you possibly can. Cooking from scratch is a hard task with a newborn baby, especially when you need to factor in feeding another child as well as yourselves. This is an area of your life you can make as stress-free as possible in those early weeks/months, simply by batch cooking and freezing. Make as much space as you can in the freezer, stock up on Tupperware and then cook your family's favourite meals ready to throw in the freezer for a later date. Trust me, your future self will thank past self for making the time to batch cook. 

Set up online food shopping and have saved 'lists'. I honestly don't know how parents did the food shopping prior to home delivery - three children don't fit in one trolley! I used to enjoy taking my eldest two to the shops when they were younger, but now they don't all fit in one trolley it is a bit of a task; not to mention the impact of lockdown and COVID-19. Setting up lists with whichever supermarket you shop online with is really easy and can save time in the long run. We all have a selection of items that are ordered every week, such as milk, bread, fruit, vegetables etc., so make your life easier with a newborn baby and simply add the list to your basket each week and then top up with the other food you need that week.Find your pushchair friendly 'safe places'. This is something I discovered third time around, but wished I'd thought of it earlier. Finding those places that you can go to with a pushchair can really help you feel less alone during those hard early months because you know you've got somewhere to go. A lot of cafes and restaurants simply aren't pushchair friendly, so making a list of the ones that are in your local area can be really helpful.

Stock up on essentials, so that you can take those first few weeks at a slow pace and it gives you the freedom to leave the house when you're ready to. Again, a new discovery this time around and is one that meant we could truly cherish those early weeks. By stocking up on essentials we didn't feel the need to venture out to the shops or worry about not having enough food in, which was one less thing to think about and I was grateful for that.Do you have any tips/tricks for preparing for the arrival of a baby?


Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)


Helen x
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13 comments

  1. I can’t believe your youngest is 8 months old now! And utterly adorable!

    Brilliant post, the jump from 2 to 3 can be overwhelming. This is great advice x

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  2. Being able to manage three children is amazing, certainly not something I could do. Think I'd be fine with having just one

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  3. These sound like some great ideas for those who are preparing for their 3rd! I am sure it will be so very useful to upcoming parents.

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  4. Great tips here for those who are preparing for their third child, having a newborn in the house can throw normal life into chaos. This will be really helpful to those going through this x

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  5. Kristine Nicole Alessandra10 June 2020 at 11:45

    I discovered I was pregnant with a 3rd child the day after my 2nd child turned one. Prepared? No, I was not, but babies are blessings so we are thankful. I did not notice any sibling rivalry or jealousy between my two younger children, being born so close together. It was my eldest child that had to be given "extra" attention because she was an "only child" for 5 years before she got to have two brothers. Thanks for sharing your parenting tips. I will share it with friends and family who are expecting.

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  6. Had I started my family when I was younger, I would have had another baby but, at the moment 2 is quite enough! Tween time is such fun ;-) My sister has three kids and she said that number 3 was a bit easier because numbers 1 and 2 pitch in and help. I hope that's true for you.

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  7. These are some great tips and tricks. I am sticking with two for just now but will consider these for the future.

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  8. There is some really sound and sensible advice here fort sure, as I am sure already having 2 kids in the house things are hectic enough x

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  9. This was a lovely read. I need to share this with my mum, and I am sure she could relate to a lot of this when she gave birth to her second child, even though my mum only has given birth to me and my brother, so 2 children!

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  10. This is a great read and one that as as doula I know I will end up sharing with parents who are about to make the leap from 2 to 3 kids x

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  11. It must be a big transition! A great post, I'm sure a lot of parents would find it very informative.

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  12. A really good post with lots of great advise . I think the most important thing is being able to spend one to one time with each of the kids and then also have family time and me time too .

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