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By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Preparing for baby #3

Uploaded: Feb 7, 2017
As I count down the weeks to baby #3 I'm finding myself much less concerned about how our kids will adjust to the new baby compared to last time. I'm confident that they will (eventually) figure it out. And I'm much more focused on simplifying our lives during the newborn stage.

What tasks can our son and daughter do themselves? Which snacks can they prepare on their own? Can they clean the floor? Help fold clothes? Help put away groceries?

Which of their activities require my supervision (painting, water games, cooking, etc) and what can be done more independently?

I'm spending less time physically getting down on the floor to play with our kids and more time overhearing their conversations as they run off and make up games on their own. Especially now, it comforts me to know that they can sometimes play together for long stretches of time with minimal parental involvement.

I bought disposable plates, cups and utensils to simplify meal clean-up for the first few weeks after baby is born. I'm also attempting to declutter a bit. And I'm filling our calendar with play dates, family outings and other activities now in hopes that we can have a bit clearer calendar once baby arrives.

Fingers crossed that these small changes help all of us enjoy the newborn stage as much as possible.

How did you differently prepare for the arrival of your first, second and/or third child?
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Mother of 4 , a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Feb 8, 2017 at 8:13 am

The arrival of baby 3 (and 4) was met with very little fanfare by my older children. They were more excited about the visit of my mother in law to help (who always bore gifts) than the impending arrival of a new sibling. My advice is to make sure their routines are not affected too much as that can cause jealousy and you are the one to supervise their personal hygiene rather than anyone else. They don't mind too much who plays with them, takes them to the park, etc. but they don't want someone else doing their personal stuff.

Posted by menlo mom, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights,
on Feb 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Cheryl, congratulation on your expected new addition! I, too, concentrated on getting my two older ones more independent with the arrival of #3. It was around this time that I purchased a set of plastic dishes (melamine), probably from Target, and stored them in a lower cabinet that they could reach. I also bought a one quart pitcher with lid, and would transfer milk from the gallon jug into this, so their little hands could handle it. My 6 and 7 year old could then get themselves a bowl of cereal for breakfast, with no help from me. (I was shocked years later to find parents of 10-11 year olds whose children still were not able to make their own breakfast.)

A bonus of this system was that they were then given the job of emptying "kid dishes" from the dishwasher, along with the silverware. I would announce that the dishwasher needed to be emptied, first one there got to choose: silverware or kid dishes. There would be a mad scramble! And as the kids got older, and #3 was old enough to be a part, I added the third category of "grown-up dishes," which were to be stacked on the counter for me. I believe I was the only parent on the block whose kids,for years, raced to empty the dishwasher.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Feb 8, 2017 at 1:42 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4 - Thanks for the tips. Yes, our son is also very excited to hang out with his grandparents after baby arrives.

Menlo Mom - What a great way to make emptying the dishwasher more enjoyable for everyone! Thanks for the tips.

Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Feb 8, 2017 at 11:14 pm

I had no help from relatives or friends. And I mean no help. My husband was working crazy long hours, and I was angry about doing everything. I know everyone cannot do this, but I hired help once every other week for 2 hours. Just 2 hours of help once every 2 hours was an amazing relief. I got this tip from a friend who had twins.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Feb 9, 2017 at 7:27 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Neighbor - After our daughter was born we hired a postpartum doula to help us twice a week for a couple of hours. I agree, it was wonderful to have the help.

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