First Kid Logic vs. Third Kid Wisdom: What New Parents Need to Know 

by | Jan 18, 2023 | Family

Having kids is a big adventure that teaches us more about ourselves than we ever thought possible. Often people will joke about the first kid versus the third kid, stating that the first kid gets all the nice things while the third kid (or later!) gets the leftovers. We aren’t saying this isn’t true, but it isn’t because parents gave up. It’s due to a little thing we call “third kid wisdom.” Let’s talk more about the wisdom that comes with time, experience, and siblings.  

Picture of a baby’s beautifully decorated room with “Dream Big” on the wall, a crib, chair, and cute rug.

The Baby Basics 

First kids tend to have all the bells and whistles in their nursery … coordinated bedding, an entire theme, all the trendiest baby clothes … you name it. These make for so many cute pictures and are great for pregnancy nesting. 

By the third kid, however, most parents know that all a new baby really needs is a safe place to sleep, food to eat, and lots of diapers and blankets (although coordinating sets are just as fun the third time around!). Cute clothes are a huge plus, but they will probably get soiled quickly, so there’s really no need to spend a fortune on them.  

Here’s a quick checklist of essentials to get before baby gets here: 

  • Diapers and wipes (or however you will keep baby clean) 
  • A feeding plan (breastmilk, formula, who’s in charge of mornings/nights, etc.) 
  • A crib, bassinet, or other safe sleep space (read more here
  • Light blankets and clothing (buying secondhand is helpful in stretching your dollar) 
  • A safe car seat (read more here)

Obviously, there are a lot of other accessories that come along with time and your baby’s specific needs, but this list is a solid start without overbuying.  

An image of a bunch of colorful fruit and vegetables, including carrots, avocados, garlic, grapes, and more on a wooden table. 

Meal Time 

Toddler lunches for your first kiddo might look like a tiny charcuterie board with everything laid out beautifully on their highchair tray or an actual rainbow of fruits and veggies in a perfect plate arch. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to eat like that for every meal?  

By the third kid, however, you’ve probably streamlined your process because you now have two more mouths to feed and no extra time in the day. You will know that some days, chicken nuggets in the microwave will be a sufficient enough lunch and keep your kids full and happy (which means you will be happier too). 

Instagram™ and Pinterest™ are full of perfectly portioned and colorful kid plates that can make you feel like your offering isn’t enough. Feeding your kids something is better than nothing, and it takes time to strike the balance. There will be days when your kids refuse to eat anything but fishy crackers and raisins, and there will be days when they will eat anything you put in front of them (broccoli included). Think of what your children eat in a week instead of each meal and use that as your guide for how balanced their diet is.  

Need a food-positive Instagram account to follow? We love Feeding Littles for food support and hilarious content that you can relate to.  

A picture of a wooden child’s toy containing colorful balls on a dark wooden floor.

At-Home Education 

First-kid logic says to start drilling your toddler on their ABCs as soon as they can talk and enroll them in a specialty preschool as soon as they turn 3. “They have to be ready for kindergarten early!” first-kid logic screams, and you don’t want to be the reason they fall behind. 

Third-kid wisdom is much gentler in the way it approaches learning. You know that kids will be ready to tackle concepts when they are ready, and every child progresses differently. So don’t stress when your 3-year-old stumbles over “L-M-N-O-P” in the alphabet song. Kids will learn when they are ready. 

Susie Allison is a former kindergarten teacher and curriculum specialist who is a huge supporter of learning through play. She often goes by “Busy Toddler” lady and is famous for her sensory bins, popsicle baths, and so many other activities and life hacks that encourage learning through our children’s play time. Give her Instagram a look and see how to fill your home with reasonable activities you can set up in 5 minutes or less.  

Having more kids is a huge blessing, but it also adds a lot more stress on parents. You still only have 24 hours in the day to keep all the tiny people alive and happy. This means parents with multiple kids are usually pretty good at focusing on important things, and not so much on the stuff that doesn’t matter. All parents, old and new, can learn from these ideas to make their lives better. 

Are you preparing to get back into exercise after having a little one? Read our tips in our recent blog, “A Workout Routine for Every Stage.”