The Transition with Multiple Children

Are you thinking of expanding your family? There are many things to take into consideration. Often times parents wonder how much harder it will be to make the transition with multiple children. For every parent it’s different. Age difference also plays an important factor when you are going from one baby to two or going from two kids to three. As a parent of two (and another on the way) I can speak from experience.

If you are planning on having more children, it’s important to factor in key elements that will be affected, like your finances. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Imagine what it takes to raise more than one!

Going From One Baby to Two

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to adding a new member to your family. If you think a baby changes everything, just wait. One of the biggest things that you’ll notice will change is your bank account! The average cost of raising a baby for a middle-income family is around $12,000 the first year! By the time you have a second baby, you’ll most likely have all of your big items you need like a crib, baby gear, etc. You’re still looking at spending an extra $50 approximately per week on just diapers and formula/baby food alone. That’s not including the cost of daycare!

You already know that having a baby comes at a costly expense. But what other things will change with a new baby on board? Your entire routine taht you currently have will be thrown out the window as you try to adapt to your baby’s routine. You’ll have to find some balance between your two kids and adjust time to accommodate for both of their needs. Age difference plays a huge part in this as well as older children will be more independent.

Albeit, having a baby already does give you a better concept at parenting since you are experienced. Those new parent fears are not nearly as prevalent as with your first and you have learned not to sweat all the small stuff. You’ll find in this aspect that the transition from one child to two isn’t quite as stressful as when you had your first and didn’t know what to expect. You’ll also likely break a few rules that you probably wouldn’t have with your first such as longer TV viewing time to save your sanity.

Keep in mind that you are not the only one that is adjusting! Your toddler needs time to adapt to having a sibling. Prepare them for the transition by talking to them ahead of time about the new baby to come. Talk up about becoming a big brother or big sister so encourage them to get excited about the new baby. Every child reacts differently to their arrival of a new sibling. They may be happy, or they may not. In my experience as a mom and seeing other parents with multiple children,  most girls tend to be more accepting as they get to help out.  They are already playing with dolls so having a sibling will be like having an actual real life  doll. Some children may regress if they recently achieved milestones like potty training.

Once you find what works for you and your family, you’ll see that you will now have a new sense of normal.

Transitioning from two kids to three

Now here’s a new challenge that I will soon be diving into. I went in thinking, I’ve done it twice already so it shouldn’t be that difficult making this transition with multiple children, right? After all, I’m well experienced now and have learned from my mistakes so adding another baby to the mix should be a piece of cake!

I was shocked when I recently asked parents on a forum which transition was harder for them, going from one child to two or going from two children to three. Much to my surprise, more than half of them (64% in fact) answered that going from 2 to 3 kids was the hardest transition. How could this be? Simple. Now, you’re outnumbered. My spouse and I had a routine where we divided some of the responsibilities like feedings and baths. Now, there’s an extra child that requires attention, and a lot of it!

It’s chaotic at times. There will be moments when all three will want your attention at the same time and you just don’t have enough arms to do everything. Take it in stride and help older kids to be patient by finding another activity to do while waiting. For instance, I’ll allow my daughter to color, make a puzzle, or something she likes to do while tending to the youngest first.

Expect less sleep and less down time. You may have been able to sneak in some quick cat naps when baby sleeps, but now that you’re shuffling with three kids as opposed to two, you find sleep doesn’t come as often. Also, you’ll have less time for yourself or you and your spouse. It’s much harder finding someone who will volunteer watching three kids as opposed to just one or even two.

 

You find that you become much more laid back about things. You only pack the bare essentials in the diaper bag if you’re even still using one! You’ve learned that a little dirt won’t hurt. It’s OK to let some things slide, but don’t throw all the rules out the window. Take time to be sure teeth still get brushed and they aren’t spending all day sitting in front of the TV or playing on electronic  devices.

You will see there are ups and downs as you transition with multiple children, but you find you will get through it.  Accept help from anyone who offers and find a routine that will work for everyone.

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