Things No One Tells You About Having a Third Baby

Caitlin Houston
5 min readOct 12, 2023

There are things no one tells you about having a third baby and if they did — you might not believe them anyways.

Things No One Tells You About Having a Third Baby

8 Things No One Tells You About Having a Third Baby

Most women don’t want advice when at the end of pregnancy, especially when she is 37 and having her third. It can feel overwhelming to think about what’s to come when you haven’t even met the newest member of your family. After the arrival of baby number three, I discovered a bunch of unexpected surprises. While I should have expected more laundry and a messier house, our washing machine never rests. And the floors are always covered in crumbs. Here are 8 things no one tells you about having a third baby (don’t worry it’s not all so bad).

Experience means nothing.

Even though you already have children, nothing can prepare you for a new newborn phase — especially after a five year hiatus. I remember thinking the first few months would be like riding a bike; I would hop on the Momcycle and take off without any wobbling. But, every baby is different. Every postpartum period is different. And my experience with two kids did not prepare me for having three kids whatsoever.

The transition from two to three could be hard.

Most of my Mom friends with multiples said the transition from two to three wasn’t too hard. And good for them — because our transition from two to three was difficult. It is still difficult. For the first few months I kept waiting to feel settled into life as a family of five. Then about eleven months in, when things finally felt normal, I blinked and felt lost again. Three kids is an ongoing adventure, especially when our baby turned into a tiny fearless babbling human. We are close to being two years in as parents with three kids and I still feel like we in a period of transition.

Don’t get me wrong, we do have a better grasp on juggling three kids — but there are so many adjustments that will continue to happen with the passing of time.

Every child will need a new parenting style.

The oldest never played in the bathroom. The second liked to throw things in the toilet. The third… let’s just say she knows exactly what toilet water tastes like.

My parents always said they were more laid-back and flexible with my younger sister. But my husband and I are two years in with three kids and I would be lying if I said I was more easy going with our third. Arbor is our most active, most curious, and the fastest child we have ever made. We have to be firm and set very clear boundaries or this one is going to take us on a wild ride. For example, Arbor said, “No” before we could tell her, “No.” She already knew what was coming and now says, “Please Mommy?” when she is doing something naughty.

It’s important to remember that with each child, your parenting style and expectations may shift; every child is different, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting.

toddler standing in between mom dad and sisters smiling

You and your partner may not see one another as much.

It’s all hands on deck with three kids in the house — and sometimes it means everyone doing different things in different places. Truly, I never anticipated (or thought about) how little I would see my husband once our third was born. But once she was here, Brandon continued to work full time AND shuttle the older sisters around to school/dance/etc. We had to make an effort to spend time together — even if it just meant being in the same room while I nursed Arbor for the 3947th time that day.

You don’t have to be the perfect Mom.

I really wish someone told me mom-perfection is pointless when I was pregnant the first time around. Perhaps it would have spared me the silly thought that I could try to “get it right” with my third. The truth is the best Moms don’t get it right. Mistakes are normal when you’re a parent. If you set the motherhood bar too high with unattainable goals and expectations, you’ll ultimately feel horrible every time you don’t meet them. Instead of being perfect, just be chill — be loving, be funny, show your kids you’re human with real feelings and admit that you sometimes make mistakes. In the end you’ll be the best Mom no matter what.

big sisters snuggling baby sister in bed
mom with three kids

Lower your expectations. Then lower them again.

I used to be on time for parties with a perfectly wrapped gift or warm delicious side dish. My girls were dressed in clean clothes with matching socks and a bow. Nowadays, I am lucky if I remember to change out of my slippers before I leave the house. And you know what — I’ve done it and it’s OKAY. You get used to things not being exactly how you used to like them and learn quickly that having low expectations is the way to go.

Read: How I Really Felt Having a Third Baby after 6 months.

It will be loud.

All I have to say is — I feel for the parents who have three under five. Our house is rarely quiet, but little people make more noise than a 7 and 9 year old who enjoy silently drawing/reading from time to time.

Your heart may feel like it’s going to explode.

I’m not talking from stress — I’m referring to the overwhelming sense of love, pride, and joy you will experience when you see your three children together. I’ll never forget the first time I noticed my daughters playing together on their own. It wasn’t forced, it just naturally happened, and it made my chest ache with the most wonderful feelings.

I don’t recall when I had the epiphany that having a third child is worth every challenge and bump in the road — but it happened. One day I looked around and knew I was right where I am supposed to be. Even though you feel three times as exhausted and three times as busy when you have your third child, you will also undoubtedly feel three times in love.

Big sisters tickling baby sister on dock at beach three kids
Things No One Tells You About Having a Third Baby

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Caitlin Houston

Caitlin Houston is a Mom of three and creator of Connecticut based life + style site Caitlin Houston Blog.