How Hard Is It Going From 2 to 3 Children?
So, you’ve decided to bite the bullet – you’re going to expand the family. You’ve probably based your decision on health, financial and other considerations and feel confident on that front. However, the fear of how you will cope going from 2 to 3 children – especially if you found going from 1 to 2 traumatic – might weigh on your mind as you contemplate the dynamics of three kids in the household. Just how hard is it going from 2 to 3 children?
How hard the adjustment is for everyone (including the other children) is different for every family. The age and temperament of the first two children can be a significant factor. Whether it is because they are more confident in their abilities to cope as a parent or because the third child simply has to fit into the family routine, some parents find going from 2 to 3 kids is easier than the jump from an only child. Other families can find the third child creates significant upheaval in the family dynamic.
Even if you’ve already had children before, a new arrival can bring on a swift change in your moods, your outlook and even aspects of your personality. If you find you are really overwhelmed or struggling once the new baby arrives, it is important to seek professional, medical advice as soon as possible to help you determine whether what you are feeling is normal, ‘baby blues’ or if it is postnatal depression.
Whether you are adding to your family unit because you want to try and have the boy you always dreamed of or are trying for a girl to make your family complete, one thing you can be sure of is that life will never be the same once that new little person arrives on the scene.
We asked Australian mums about their experiences going from 2 to 3 children and the Baby Hints and Tips community had this to say.
What are other people’s experiences with going from 2 children to 3. I have received a lot of advice from friends and family that going from 2 to 3 can be really challenging and difficult, more than from 1 to 2
- It is different for everyone but for us we found it quite easy. I found the shock of going from one to two intense but adding number three wasn’t so hard as I already had found my ‘stride’ in being a parent and she fit right in. BUT some people will struggle and some people just like to tell you horrible stories to make themselves feel better or something. If you and your partner are ready for another child then try not to let negative people influence you xx – Mel
- Every family is different I found the hardest was from 1 to 2 number 3 had no choice and just had to fit in (and did quite well) just keep in mind you will be super busy and the age differences between them (eg will the eldest be school age while you have a new born also if you have s strong network of people/family/friends to help it might make things more smooth sailing in the early days) Good luck – Anna
- I’ve heard the more the easier lol – Justine
- I think going from 1 to 2 is more of a change them from 2 to 3 – Jenna
- I think it depends on so many things, How old your older kids are, How helpful your partner is, Temperament of babies. Personally I didn’t find it challenging at all – Sarah
- I have 5 kids, and honestly I found 2 to 3 the worst, 4 and 5 just slotted right in – Kathryn
- I have just gone from 2-3 5 weeks ago and it’s really not that bad. The only time it is an issue is when your feeding baby and the older 2 want something. The only other time I find it a bit of a struggle is shopping alone with them. In saying that my other 2 are 3 and 5. My line at the moment is “what’s 1 more kid” – Nita
- I found two to three kids really hard, but I think their ages do matter, I had a newborn, 17mth old and 2/3mth old or thereabouts, and if they had been triplets it would have been way easier as they’d all be doing the same thing around the same time, but I had three babies that were all at way different stages of their very early life. I don’t think I left our house much over the first four or so months-no car- and it was such a MISSION to get every thing together for any kind of outing of any length. Luckily I did have parks really close and we weren’t much farther-50 mtrs lol- from a little bay that the kids were able to splash around in the warmer weather. I also didn’t have a great deal of support around me due to distance and that does make a difference of huge proportions. In the end it’s your personal situation that could make all the difference in how hard it is for yourself, but all the best – Nicole
- I didn’t find going from 2 to 3 any different than going from 1 to 2. If anything it’s easier as u are more relaxed and at ease about things. I guess it depends on the ages of your other two. Routine is a must and u get good at time managementI’m currently pregnant with baby number 4. But my youngest is 8 so it’s like I’m staring all over again. It’s all very exciting just remember everyone’s experience is different. Just keep calm and enjoy – Leanne
- it was the hardest change. Harder than from 0-1 and from 1-2. Stock up on meals, if you’re precious about how things are done in your house, let go of that or teach someone how to do it like you! – Bianca
- We have 3. Going from 1-2 was a change but nothing like we were told. Went quite smooth then when we had our 3rd son he fitted right in. Now 4 weeks away from our 4th (1st girl) think it will be a huge change – Melissa
- I think it depends on the children themselves. Chaos started to truly reign when I had my third. But my eldest had just started Prep so all the drop offs and pickups started. And as my third got older my house was never (ever) truly tidy let alone clean. I have three pretty good girls but if you are already in some form of chaos it won’t make much of a difference adding another beautiful child to the mix! – Rosalie
- I would say it depends on a few factors. I have 3, but the age gaps between them are kind of biggish. When I had no.3, my other 2 were 8yrs 3 months and no2 was 4yrs 4 months. So I had one at school and one at kinder and a new born who never slept. So personally I did struggle, however, in hindsight it really wasn’t as hard as I thought it was at the time. I just had a harder baby after having 2 easy babies and that’s what I had the most trouble with, not the amount of kids – Rachael
- I had twins just over 3 yrs ago and had our little boy 5 months ago and I can tell you, it is bloody hard some days!! I suppose having 2 x 3yr olds is a bit different to having, say a 6 & 3yr old and an infant. All I can say is, I can’t wait for kindy next year! – Louise
- I found it much harder going from 1 to 2. 2 to 3 was far easier just busier – Kylie
- Yes they are right, at least according to my experience. With two children, when I look back I feel like was great(it’s good now but very demanding) I was more free and in better health. But that’s my story, yours could be different. I had a boy and girl and felt it was perfect so mentally having third kid made me too overwhelmed and I feel like crying when I am too tired and all. But when we all laugh, it’s louder thanks to that addition I wish u good luck but it is no doubt more challenging. But worth it at same time – Nida
- I have 4 and just love how busy life is and if your blessed with awesome quiet sleeping babies like me then I would say go for it BUT be aware very aware THEY GROW UP and omg they become challenging until after the 3yr old stage – BeviBoo
- I found going from 1 to 2 harder than 2 to 3, or even 3 to 4 – Bec
- Three is a lot harder when they are older, when they are babies it’s easy! – Nikki
- I found it easier going from 2-3 than 1-2, but I think that’s because I have an almost 5 year gap between my first two and the baby thing was a bit of a shock to the system. There is only two years between #2 and #3 so I was still in baby/toddler mode so it was a bit easier. Find a routine that works for you and your family – Nicole
- I’ve heard the opposite that from 1 to 2 is harder than from 2 to 3. I had twins first so don’t know myself but when we went from 2 to 3 it was easy and #3 just slotted into our daily routines easily – Nicole
- Definitely the age of the other 2 kids is a big factor. I had a 14 and 9 yr old when we decided to have another child. BIG shock to the system, sleepless nights, dirty nappies, crying……….cause it had been so long since we had a baby in the house. But I wouldn’t change anything, in fact my kids are now 7, 16 and 21 and I would still go for a 4th – Fatima
- If you think that it will be a challenging and hard experience then it probably will be! Every family and situation is different and yes, you have more to account for, but like others, I found it relatively easy, and my hubby if FIFO. It would also depend on the age/personalities if your other children. I would say, take on as much advice as you can, but go into it with an open mind. The calmer and more relaxed you are, the calmer and more relaxed your family will be – Nadia
- Hard – Jodie
- I have found 2 to 3 hard but believe it is due to the age difference & the fact my middle child is a handful! She was 16 months when we had a newborn…she is adventurous, head strong & very independent….add terrible 2’s just a tad early makes for a difficult time. Add a 4 yo who tries to help but causes more issues sometimes! It will get easier (or so they say! ) Each child is different so every experience will be different – Kirstene
- ok, I am going to be honest as that’s what I wanted when I fell pregnant with my 3rd (unplanned) and it’s not what I got! It’s hard work!!! I will say this though, it’s not as hard as it was for me going from 1 to 2 kids. I find it difficult as I have a 4yr old and 2yr old as well – both girls and they are both very demanding. The 4yr old does not play well on her own and constantly follows me around. I love her to pieces (obviously) but I thank the lord she starts kindy in a few weeks. Girl number 2 has Classic middle child syndrome and is a handful. Throw in the terrible 2’s and its a fun fun fun. The baby (a son!!) fits in somewhere in all of that and that’s what I find hard. Juggling 3 very specific sets of needs that all seem like a priority ALL AT THE SAME TIME!! The sleep deprivation doesn’t help but is nowhere near as bad IMO. Not trying to scare you but when people told me ‘oh it’s nothing, hardly notice the difference’ etc etc – I now want to slap them. Baby is now almost 3 months and it’s getting easier. We have found a nice routine (which happened much quicker and with much less fuss) and we are managing to get out and about. Just takes a while to figure it out. It’s crazy and busy and full-on, but I focus on how much fun it is when it works and try not to let it get to me too much when it doesnt. Good luck – Sarah
- 2-3 is a breeze. 1-2 was much harder – Kyra
- I was in the same boat. Our 3rd wasn’t exactly planned either. It was a bit overwhelming through the pregnancy especially when my other 2 would be playing up and driving me nuts. I just use to think at those times “and there is gonna be another one!!” but then I remembered tomorrow would be a new day and it was less likely to be as crazy as today. I have a 17 month age gap between 1&2 and a 19 month age difference between 2&3. Our 3rd is 2 weeks on Saturday and so far it’s going well. I had heard a lot of people saying that the 3rd just slips in… Well in my case he has and my other 2 are now obsessed with their baby brother. Good luck and try not to stress about it – Cherie