To Three Or Not To Three? What You Should Know Before Having A Third Baby

To three or not to three

Thinking of a third baby? Read this first.

Look at your two. Aren’t they cute? Aren’t they getting a bit easier now they’re that little bit older? Wouldn’t another one be nice…?

If your mind is currently at this dangerous stage, congratulations! You may soon enter the world of Three. Just be aware of a couple of things first.

Two into three does not go. There will always be one child left unmarked while you and your partner deal with the other two. This “rogue child” will create more mayhem than you thought possible while left unsupervised. Particularly noticeable at bedtime.

You will ignore your third most of the time. Especially as a newborn when they sleep a lot and can easily get completely forgotten about. In a house of three, he who shouts loudest, wins, and the youngest often doesn’t get a look in.

You’ll need a bladder of steel. Both to carry a third baby and then after s/he’s born. Two nappies to change plus a child to help to the loo is quite a challenge when mummy needs to go too.

You only have two hands. Well, duh. Two hands cannot (easily) hold three children. You will have to step up your powers of remote control over the older two siblings to keep them safe on roads / out of the biscuit tin. You will find yourself bleating, “I only have two hands” several times a day. To deaf and unsympathetic little ears.

Tiredness will take on a new meaning. Remember how hard it was having a new baby keep you up all night and not being able to rest in the day because you had a toddler to look after? Well, now you have two others to entertain, feed, worry about, bottom-wipe…

Your life will become an endless game of fox, chicken and grain. Strap baby in his carseat while the other two wait in the house and take their shoes off again. Put toddler and older one in car, baby has done a poo. Go back in house to change baby. Other two start braining each other and set off the car alarm…You get the picture. But you don’t get where you’re going on time. Ever again.

You’ll never get your kids’ names right again. There must be some algorithm for this, but you always say the wrong two names first. And then they see you are weak.

Public places of interest will be a no-go for years. Large open areas are bad enough with one bolter, let alone three. Unfenced parks, the zoo, museums or any such like become out of bounds unless you have an ally.

Supermarkets will not welcome you. Aisles are just not big enough for both a mum with three kids and two trolleys, and all the local mean people.

People will think you’re mad… Both when you are pregnant and after. They will not be afraid to tell you this.

…You will agree with them, much of the time. There is never a moment when someone is not saying, “Mum!” Someone, somewhere will always be asking for something. You will be torn in three directions and wonder what is left.

Someone, somewhere will always be fighting. It is the universal law of siblings.

No one will help you. You brought it on yourself, lady. Not realising what the jump from one to two would be like is fair enough, but subsequent children? You knew what you were letting yourself in for. Deal.

No one will invite you to anything. They have seen your house. They do not want theirs to resemble it.

Holidays will become ridiculous. Planes, trains and hotels were not created with families of five in mind. One of you (and it will not be you) will always be sat behind while the other one manages all the children. You will cram into one hotel room until they are ten, because you don’t want to pay for two rooms.

You will always be disappointing one of your children at any given moment. It is the universal law of parenting three.

You will cope. Just as your capacity to love simply and miraculously grows with each child, so does your capacity to cope.

And most importantly…

You will love it!





Tots 100 Awards


  • Celia says:

    My 3 boys are 2, 4 and 6 and this post made me smile, especially about getting out the door. I also hated squeezing 3 car seats into a car and getting soaking wet strapping them all in if it was raining. Thank goodness the older 2 do it themselves now! If I also had a pound for every time someone said to me ‘you’ve got your hands full’ when out in public!

  • Brilliant as always lovely! Especially the not getting names right. Seriously, how hard can it be?! xx

  • Donna says:

    We are most definitely done at two. I don’t think the love it times would outnumber the rest! x
    Donna recently posted…Redhead Roundup – Books {March}My Profile

    • Wry Mummy says:

      It’s good to know for sure – because it’s not like you can change your mind after! I come from a big family so I always thought three would be nice. No more though! xx

  • hilary says:

    I had six. A long time ago. I am still too exhausted to write more here. Except, great post, as ever.

  • All so very true! It is exhausting and relentless. I remember the stares I got walking along with a baby carried on the front of me and a small boy on each side. Was I mad?! Probably.
    The ‘no-one will help you’ thing is totally true. Apparently some couples go away on their own without their kids! Who knew? This has happened ONCE to us – my kids were 12, 9 and 7 at the time. That’s how much people don’t want us 🙁
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Hide and Seek by Ian RankinMy Profile

    • Wry Mummy says:

      Wow, you had to wait a long time to be welcome! We are lucky to have a few close friends who take us part and parcel, but we are certainly a daunting prospect. I know, because I feel the same! x

  • Nikki Thomas says:

    Well I have four and my bladder is well … let’s not go there! I certainly nodded through this post and yes no-one comes near you to help when you have four. Brill post

    • Wry Mummy says:

      Thanks Nikki – and massive respect to you having four! We are definitely happy with our three but I’ve heard four is good because they pair off. I believe this in the same way as I believe all the people who tell me three is easier than two. People with two children! x

  • Christine says:

    Thank you I needed to read this! I’m very happy with my two and why bring things out of balance… And pretty much all of the above already applies when you have two so I can’t even imagine what it will be like with three… Still, another tiny baby would be so lovely 😉

    • Wry Mummy says:

      You’re right, life is hectic with one child, let alone two, three and more. I don’t mean to put you off at all – tiny babies are the best. And so are the children they grow to be.

  • Love it! My first three were born close together so my eldest was three when the third daughter came along. (planned – honestly!) My 2nd daughter was so easy, so placid, I couldn’t wait for number three to arrive. You definitely notice number three in my experience! Eldest, aged 3 at the time, was heard to say, “mummy, you are like the old woman who lives in a shoe, you have so many children, you don’t know what to do!” She had that right. However, I went on to have two more (boys) albeit with slightly more respectable gaps. I coped and I’d do it all again though I haven’t a clue, looking back, how I managed! A younger me found it a breeze. As for getting away – caravan holidays were the thing for us. We even took ‘a friend’. Oh, that’s the other thing of course, if you have five, you may look after your friends’ sets of two or three for a weekend but they will not repay the favour and what’s worse, I understood why…maybe I was mad after all… 🙂
    Deborah Barker recently posted…Biscuits and kind words …My Profile

  • Rebecca M. says:

    We plan on having a third soon enough! And very aware we will run out of knees soon in the process. I guess it just makes you feel all the more “popular” with three littles wanting your attention:)

    • Wry Mummy says:

      That is a very good way of looking at it Rebecca! At least you’re never lonely or feel like no one needs you. Good luck, you will love having three!

  • Topfivemum says:

    Haha I relate to some of these already and I only have a 2 year old and 5 mo old. Recently we have been discussing having 3 but I remember thinking a second was a cool idea when by eldest was 8 months. By the time she was 1 and running around everywhere like a screaming maniac, it was too late to change our minds. I’m definitely going to wait until both are 3 before deciding if a 3rd is right for us or if it would be the tipping point. xx
    Topfivemum recently posted…MY MAM, ME & HEREDITARY BREAST CANCERMy Profile

  • Honest Mum says:

    Thanks goodness for that ending. Def not something imminent but thinking about it, maybe next year potentially (need to work on my husband). Can’t decide whether to show him this though, he might not read far enough to reach the disclaimer! x

  • Samara says:

    Great post! I would love to have another baby, but after reading your list, I may need to rethink that… My boyfriend has already essentially vetoed the idea, citing many of the reasons on your list, coincidentally! That being said, I definitely have enough love to go around : )
    Samara recently posted…Ride-On Toys for 8-Year-Olds – 11 Top PicksMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge