Should I Have a Third Baby? How Should I Decide?

third child

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Whether or not you should have a third baby really depends. There is no straight answer. However, there are several things that you can take into consideration to decide if a third child will work out well for you, your household, and your future baby.

You’ll need to make sure that you’re prepared for the chaos of a third child before you have one. Regardless of what situation you’re in, there is definitely an adjustment period. 

Are You Financially Stable Enough For A Third Child?

Can you afford the children and house that you have now, or are you struggling to pay the electric bill? Along with babies comes a lot of expenses, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re financially stable before having a third child.

Diapers alone can cost you thousands of dollars, and that’s not including all of the money that you’re going to spend on furniture, clothing, necessities like a swing, etc.

However, you can also consider whether you still have things put up from previous children or not too. If you have ways to save money, consider those when answering this question too. 

Start Saving If You Still Want To Have A Baby

If your financial situation isn’t ideal, but you still want to have a baby, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t.

You can make future plans to have a child, and start saving as soon as possible. This can help offset the initial costs of a new baby in the home. 

Find Ways To Save Money With A New Baby

Having a nice little nest egg is a great idea, but that is only going to get you so far once you start dipping into it. Because of that, it’s important to know how to save money when you have a child too. Some great ideas for saving money include: 

  • Buying used clothing and baby items
  • Buying things ahead of a season when they are on clearance
  • Only buying the necessities
  • Buying off-brand diapers and formula
  • Using coupons

Finding ways to save money when you have a baby can help you afford one so that you can have the third child that you’re dreaming about. 

Mother Looking At Daughter Holding Piggybank

Consider What’s Going On With Your Household Situation

What is currently going on in your house is going to have an impact on whether you’re ready for a third child or not. This doesn’t just mean your other children.

You’ll need to consider quite a few things about your household to determine if you’re ready for a third child and if it’s a good idea in the future. 

Your Relationship With Your Partner

How long have you guys been together? Do you have effective communication? If the relationship is struggling now, a baby will not change things.

However, if you and your partner are on the same page and doing great, a baby might not be such a bad idea. 

The Ages Of Your Other Children

It can be easy to blow off having a third child as simply being one more, but that’s not the case. In fact, a third child can create a definition of chaos in your household.

Going from one to two is not that bad. Going from two to three children is the toughest transition. The ages of your children will affect that transition one way or another. 

If your children are already young, it can be great that the three of them will all grow up together.

However, that means that you’re going to be downright exhausted, especially if they are all three in diapers at the same time. It can be even more work that you’re already putting in, and it’s not going to settle down for a few years still. 

If your children are older it might be an easier transition because you won’t be doing triple duty. However, it can be challenging in other ways.

If it’s been a while since you had a baby in the house because your other two are older children, it will be a bigger adjustment to going back to changing diapers and waking up all night long.

Also, your two older children might not have the same bond with your littlest that they do with each other, which can mean that they will be a bit more clingy with you. 

Regardless of what is going on in the household regarding your other children, having a third child is a big adjustment.

However, knowing what that adjustment will be like can get you mentally prepared beforehand. This can make the adjustment a bit easier. 

Last, consider the size of your house. By that, I literally mean your house. Are you guys already cramped in an apartment?

Young Family Looking at a New Home

Do you have room for another one? Where will the new baby sleep? If you can move before getting pregnant when you want a third child. 

Keep in mind that regardless of your household situation, it is possible to work through it. You’ll adjust to the ages of your children or the extra diaper duty and sleepless nights.

You’ll also adjust to having a little mini-me because of a large age gap. If you and your partner start struggling after the baby is born, couples counseling can work wonders.

Don’t get discouraged if you’re pregnant and your situation isn’t perfect. Most people don’t have a perfect situation. 

Take A Good Look At Your Daily Schedule

Do you have time for a baby? I mean really have extra time? If not, are you willing to compromise?

If you’re already taking care of children and your days consist of packing lunches, kissing boo-boos, and transporting children, it can be a bit much to throw a baby into the mix.

You’ll also need to consider your school schedule, work schedule, and anything else that you do on a daily basis. 

Most of us don’t have a lot of free time, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to fit in a third child. You’ll need to make some compromises, though.

Consider whether one of you can cut back on work, school, or whether family members can pitch in on transporting children. It is possible, but it will require some thought and planning. 

How Badly Do You Want A Third Child?

This is probably one of the most important things to consider. If you want a third child with all of your heart and are willing to do anything to make that work, you should seriously consider having one.

Without one, you might be left feeling like your family is never really complete. You can wind up regretting it for the rest of your life.

If you’re on the fence or don’t really want a third child once you put some thought into it, it might be best to not have another little one. 

Parenting A Third Child Is Easier

With my first two children, I read all the parenting books. I scoured parenting magazines in waiting rooms. I called the pediatrician over every single runny nose.

There were meltdowns in the grocery store. As I was raising them, I was growing up myself. Not only as a person but as a parent. I was still learning the type of mother that I was, and everything I could about parenting. 

Now, years later, I’m what my youngest daughter’s doctor referred to as a “seasoned parent.” I don’t know everything, and I don’t think any of us really do.

Yet, I’m confident in my ability to parent my youngest. I know every runny nose is nothing to panic about. I understand that children all develop at different rates.

I even know those cool little tips to help prevent temper tantrums in the store. Thankfully, I acquired most of this with my first two, so the third isn’t as challenging.

There’s less research that goes into parenting and less panic. Overall, that leads to less stress. I think it’s a nice way to balance out the chaos that a third one brings with them. 

How Are You Doing?

Before making the decision to bring another child into your house, and your life, you need to take a step back and take a good look at yourself.

Are you mentally healthy? Do you feel happy and fulfilled? Or are you spending most of your days depressed? If you’re sad or depressed, the urge to have another child might be your way of trying to fill a void in your life.

Mom’s that are struggling with mental illness might have a harder time adjusting to a new baby, or to the extra pressure they’re going to experience day-to-day.

Make sure that your mental health is on the right track to guarantee that you bring a baby into a healthy environment, and don’t overwhelm yourself. 

Mental health is not the only thing that’s important. You also need to consider your physical health. If you have a particular condition that will make it hard to care for an infant, you need to keep that in mind.

No matter how badly you would like a new baby in the house, you need to make sure that you can take care of them. 

Some Final Things To Consider

If you’re thinking about having a third baby, listening to your heart isn’t such a bad idea. Circumstances change as life progresses, so you might wind up in a situation that is ideal for a third child.

You can also do your part to make sure that you are able to welcome a third baby into a happy, healthy environment. 

Finances Change

Even if you’re financially stable, you could lose your job in a few years. Likewise, you can take steps to figure out ways to make yourself more financially stable.

Perhaps you or your partner can pick up a second job. Maybe you guys can sell some things you don’t need, like an extra car.

There are plenty of ways that you can make or save money to ensure that your baby is taken care of. On top of that, remember that children will not always need things. Some day, they will be grown up. 

Relationships Can Grow Stronger

If you and your partner are on the rocks, and you’d both love a new baby, you can take the steps necessary to strengthen your relationship.

Learn effective communication skills. Take the time to truly understand each other. Schedule a date night. Just because you two aren’t getting along right now doesn’t mean that you never will. 

The Chaos Doesn’t Last Forever

Tired mother with infant child sitting on couch while naughty siblings playing at home

In the beginning, it can feel like your world got turned upside down. You’ll never forget those nights that you spent pacing in your room with a screaming infant while you were crying yourself.

Or the days that you couldn’t get two free minutes to poop without someone screaming for you. However, children get older. As they grow, the chaos slowly subsides a little bit so you can at least go to the bathroom by yourself.

You’ll miss those days when they were little, and suddenly all those sleepless nights will be worth it.

If you have a third child, and your family finally feels complete, you’ll find that you start to miss those tiny hands covering the house in sticky fingerprints. 

In Conclusion

Having a third child can transform your house from a little bit of peace into a world of chaos, but those sweet moments in the midst of the hurricane make it well worth it.

If you’re in a position to have a third child and desperately want one, go for it. If not, make some changes beforehand to make sure that you can get the most out of motherhood. 

My name is Amber Dixon. I am a mother to three wonderful children, and recently welcomed a beautiful grandson into the world as well as into my home. I've learned a great deal about raising children through my own experiences as a mother, but also from several other places. While working at a daycare full time, I learned about childhood development, teaching children, and more. Through earning degrees in Social Work, I was educated about human development, including a great deal about children and childhood development. My education and experience combined have taught me a lot about children of every stage and age, and I hope that I can help you on your journey to becoming the best parent that you can be!

My name is Amber Dixon. I am a mother to three wonderful children, and recently welcomed a beautiful grandson into the world as well as into my home. I've learned a great deal about raising children through my own experiences as a mother, but also from several other places. While working at a daycare full time, I learned about childhood development, teaching children, and more. Through earning degrees in Social Work, I was educated about human development, including a great deal about children and childhood development. My education and experience combined have taught me a lot about children of every stage and age, and I hope that I can help you on your journey to becoming the best parent that you can be!