10 Things We Plan to do Differently with Baby #3

As parents, we're constantly learning from our mistakes. It's just part of being a parent. There is no way to be prepared for baby number one. I think we can all just get a pass for winging it with our first child! Baby number two, it's more of a "been there, done that" kind of thing with a few curve balls thrown in the mix because of course, no one child is the same. With baby number three, you're in full on "OK, I got this" mode, as you've picked up a few things along the way that'll help you parent your third child better.

Now that our babygirl Riley is finally here, I've been doing some reflecting on our journey as parents for the past three years.

What I did differently with baby #3

Looking back, while we were the best parents we could be to our two oldest, there are a few things we want to do differently with our third baby. Here are ten things we plan to do differently with Baby # 3.

Get baby in the crib earlier

We were pretty decent with keeping Leilani in her crib at night, until I had to go back to work. Working full time while waking up every two hours to breastfeed just wasn't feasible for me. Having to physically get up, take baby out the crib, nurse, then get baby back to sleep and in the crib was tiring. When Leilani would wake for her first feed of the night, it was easier to just nurse her and keep her in the bed with us. With Josiah, now, we were in the same boat again, and ended up cosleeping with both an infant and a toddler!  Cosleeping with two children in the bed doesn't necessarily help in the love department, if you married folks know what I mean! The goal now is to push past tired and practice nursing and putting Riley back down in her own bed. This leads to my second point:b

Sleep Training 

Because we co-slept, Leilani and Josiah weren't sleep trained until just before Riley was born! I know, terrible. This time around, we've been laying Riley down when she's drowsy but awake, which helps her learn to fall asleep on her own AND in her own bed instead of being rocked to sleep all the time.

Fed is best 

I'm a firm believer that breast is best, but I also believe that fed is best. I don't think there's anything wrong with using formula for the mamas that need a little extra help, or the mamas that choose not to breastfeed. 

When Leilani was a baby, she had a cow's milk allergy so she couldn't drink formula. She also refused anything that wasn't mama's milk, so she was exclusively breastfed. I'd wake up twice in the middle of the night to pump, just to be sure I had enough milk for her during the day, which was extremely stressful and exhausting. It was also extremely hard to have time away from her so I can get a break. 

With Josiah, we decided to supplement with formula on days where I wasn't able to pump all the milk he needed for the day. Now that Riley's here, we're trying to implement the same thing by getting her on the bottle in preparing for me going back to work. We're also experimenting with giving her one formula bottle a day. She doesn't seem to be a fan of the formula, so more to come on that!

Ask for help 

What I did differently with baby #3

I'm the type of person who will try to take on the entire load....even when I don't have to! I grew up watching my mother be strong and do this same exact thing, so naturally, you tend to do what you've seen growing up. In this instance, I'm learning that I don't need to take on the whole burden of taking care of the kids, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, etc... I have a husband who shares those responsibilities with me, and actually wants to help. Collectively we make this house a home so the burden of certain tasks doesn't just fall on one person. I definitely can't do this thing by myself! 

Don't sweat what you can't control 

Not everything will go your way, especially when dealing with a baby who doesn't come with a manual and can't verbally tell you what they need. Or dealing with two toddlers throwing temper tantrums at the same time. All you can do is try to pay close attention to your child, and make the best decision on what you feel your child needs at that moment. 

Patience, Patience, Patience

Because you can't always tell what your child wants, it will require lots of patience. I've definitely struggled with trying not to get frustrated when I can't figure something out, or things don't go my way. In those moments, I try to regroup, remember where my help comes from, and ask the Lord for more grace. 

Self Care 

I'm a little late to the game, but I am just recently learning the importance of taking care of yourself. As a mom and wife, you're pulled in so many different directions making sure everyone else is okay, and its easy to lose sight of making sure you're  okay. You can't pour from an empty cup, so I'm learning to take some time to myself, whether it be treating myself to a mani/pedi, doing at-home facials, or just taking a relaxing shower....minus 2 two year old following you into the bathroom or yelling for you at the door! I recently decided to start taking control of my health, changing up my diet, and even working out two-four times a week as a way of doing something just for me. Mamas, you deserve it!

Mommy & Daddy One-on-one Time 

What I did differently with baby #3

We've had three kids in the last three years, and husband and I have had maybe 4 dates where we were baby free and just had time to enjoy each other. With three babies and two full time jobs in the picture, it's be a bit harder to try to get out for date nights because we don't have many options for baby sitters since we only trust a handful of people to watch our kids. Even if we can't get out for dates, it's important to try building that connection even at home. Cook together, put your phones down when you're talking to each other & actively engaging one another.   Even if you have to steal a few minutes to cuddle sans the kiddos, do it! My husband has been reiterating this to me for months: don't get so caught up in raising your children that we forget our covenant. When the kids are long gone, it'll just be the two of you. Babies and all, continue to nurture and cultivate your love for one another and keep the fire burning for each other!


My daughter can be very determined, persistent, and extremely curious, as any toddler is. Sometimes, this gets her into trouble, and she doesn't want to listen to mommy or daddy when we say no, or don't touch something. I'm more lenient than my husband is when it comes to discipline, but I'm learning how important it is for both parents to be on the same page when it comes to discipline. That way, there's consistency on all fronts and your child won't try to get over on certain authority figures. Children are very smart, and they know what they can get away with and with whom. Nip it in the bud now!

Let go of mom guilt 

I struggled with mom guilt for a while. Even now, it still tries to creep in, especially when I don't get to spend as much time with Leilani & Josiah as I want to because their sister requires a little more attention. I'm learning it's okay, and try to include them in the daily care of their sister so they don't feel left out. 

Mirror grace, not perfection 

Trying to be the "perfect mom" will burn you out. Literally. For a long time, I was burnt out because I tried to do everything on my own to be the perfect mom. If I handle a situation the wrong way, or if I don't get to fold that load of laundry, I don't beat myself up for it and allow that to steal my joy.

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