I’m back. It’s taken me much longer than I expected to share the newest addition to our family. This is Emily and we are all very much in love with her. If you follow me over on Instagram, I shared her arrival a few days after she was born, but finding the time and the words to craft an actual blog post has been a struggle.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s not a challenging baby. She really isn’t – I mean she doesn’t nap unless she is being held or worn and she does have a tendency to scream (really loud) for long periods of time, but she’s a baby and I expected all of that. My first was colic and didn’t sleep through the night for two and a half years, so it wasn’t like I was expecting the world’s easiest baby. To be honest, the transition from two kids to three has actually been a lot better than I thought. But for some reason, my ability to write or to have a creative thought has been a challenge. I blame lack of sleep and just the sheer overwhelm of never having a minute of quiet time or ‘me time.’
And that, I think, has been the hardest adjustment of all. No one is on the same schedule, no one sleeps at the same time, and that means I never get a break. And that’s ok- I love my kids and I love spending time with them. But I used to wake up early or stay up really late to get my work done, to blog, to think about new ideas… but right now bedtime is a race. I get the baby to sleep, put the boys down, and by the time we are done fighting with my two year old to stay in his bed, the baby is awake again. The same thing happens in the morning- the baby wakes up by 5 (after also waking up every hour before 5), I feed her and get her back to sleep and just as I put her down at least one of my boys wakes up. It’s not really a problem, it just means I am never alone where I can actually think straight. So that has been the hardest adjustment.
I have had a lot of questions about the transition to three kids (it sounds like a lot of my friends and even many of my readers are possibly considering baby number 3), so I figured I’d break it down for you on what the day-to-day is really like:
Nine Things You Should Know About Having a Third Baby
#1 You will be very sleep deprived, but you won’t really notice
Yes, we are super tired. Yes I am up pretty much every hour all night long – someone is either screaming to be fed, screaming because their teddy bear isn’t tucked in, or yelling that they need the potty – but that’s not new. The transition to sleep deprivation with this baby isn’t really that hard because we were already so used to functioning on no sleep. It was definitely tougher with baby #1 (although keep in mind baby #1 for me was colic so that’s my comparison).
#2 You don’t sweat the small stuff
Pacifiers fall on the floor and you don’t care. A stranger tried to touch the baby and you don’t panic. Why? Because your two year old already licked her face this morning when you turned your head for a second saying he was a puppy. Or your five year old told you it was totally fine he was touching the baby after sneezing into his hands because boogers only got on the other hand. You realize with this kid, you can’t keep the germs away so you just do what you can and pray for the best.
#3 Crying is white noise
With three young kids in the house, at least one is pretty much crying at any given moment. The baby may be hungry, the toddler may be overly tired, or someone isn’t sharing … someone is usually not happy. But hey, that’s how it goes. Two out of three being happy at any given time is pretty darn good.
#4 The hospital doesn’t tell you much … so ask
With baby #1, I remember learning so much at the hospital after he was born. I took classes, the nurses provided non-stop feedback on feeding, diaper changes, bathing, etc. This time around they were wonderful, but basically just would say ‘you have two others, you’ve got this.’ And yes, it’s true, but my others are boys not a girl. And the first few weeks are always a blur so things like umbilical cord care slipped my mind. So for anyone having their second, third, or forth kid just make sure to ask lots of questions because they may not just offer up the tips like they did with your first.
#5 You will feel unprepared, but you are actually over prepared
I was truly terrified of baby #3 being born- I mean how on Earth would I be able to juggle it all? And honestly work and life with the two boys was so busy leading up to her delivery, I didn’t really get a chance to prep much at all. But once she came home, we realized we pretty much had the essentials ready to go and it all starts to come back to you day after day. So if you are expecting baby #3, don’t sweat it. You will be fine!
#6 You may not get a chance to talk to your spouse (or anyone) for a few weeks
So we are now officially outnumbered, which means someone always needs you attention at any given time and someone else is usually waiting for your attention as well. That means that ‘you’ time and ‘us time’ with your spouse is pretty minimal, especially those first few weeks. But as you figure schedules out and work on hopefully one day coordinating nap times and bedtimes, ‘together time’ finds its way back into your life.
#7 This baby is definitely easier than your first
Unless you had some kind of magical unicorn baby for your first child, chances are the first few weeks (or even months) were a rough transition. Don’t get me wrong, I love my first born with my whole heart and he is beyond amazing … but he was a TOUGH infant. I seriously had some post-traumatic stress going on when expecting my second son worrying he was going to be a repeat of his older brother as an infant. With our new baby, she isn’t the easiest kid- she screams (a lot) and she only really sleeps when being held, but it honestly hasn’t phased us too much because we’ve been through it before. The first time around, everything is a shock and you are completely unprepared to deal with the sleep deprivation a new baby brings. But by number 3, you’ve seen it all and expect it all, so there aren’t too many things that can shock you.
#8 Watching your older children become protective big brothers (or sisters) is amazing
I knew my five-year-old would be an excellent big brother to his new little sister. He is already fantastic with his little brother. But I did worry about my two-year-old. He’s as sweet as can be, but he’s two and definitely has his tantrums as well. As excited as he seemed about his baby sister coming – he would kiss my belly each morning while singing to his ‘baby sista’’ – there were also moments when he would tell me his new sister was a Nutra-Grain bar and he was going to bite her. So understandably I wasn’t sure what to expect. Don’t get me wrong- he still has lots of two-year-old moments around her- but overall he just loves her to pieces (even if I do find chocolate chips stuck to her head at times from his ‘love’). And that love is just amazing to watch.
#9 You will be so glad this little one arrived
Number three took us by surprise and I definitely had my moments of panic before her arrival. I can’t say it isn’t a challenge to juggle three kids (and my guess is it gets more challenging before it gets easier), but this little lady certainly completes our family and we all just love her so much.
If you are contemplating baby number three, just keep in mind – like with your first child- you are never really prepared. And you never truly know what you are doing as a parent, but you take it day by day and find what works for your family. And overall it just works itself out. And if you want to see the day-to-day craziness of raising three kids, follow my Instagram stories over at @erinpalinskiwade (since that’s about the only thing I have time to consistently post right now LOL)