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9 Things You Should Do As A Family Of Three Before You Have Another Baby

Not to brag, but my family of three was pretty awesome. I had finally figured out what I was doing as a mom, and my daughter and I were an unstoppable team. So I was scared things would change if I had another baby. Spoiler alert: they totally did. In fact, I think going from one child to two was actually harder than going from zero to one. Looking back, there are so many things we did as a family of three, before we became four, that made that difficult transition so much easier, though. We were able to enjoy the life we had built together before we started building a new one.

For example, I am so glad we moved into a bigger home before our second child was born. I'm also glad I had a chance to have some special one-on-one time with my daughter, too, because after her brother was born our relationship changed big time. And as much as I love my son, and can't imagine life without him, I get pretty nostalgic for my former "mom-of-one" life sometimes.

Of course, there are also more than a few things I would do if I had a time machine. For example, I would definitely go back and have a silly maternity photo shoot with my daughter, or, at the very least, have someone take more pictures of the two or three of us. I wish I had traveled more, too, because going on vacation as a family of four isn't really a vacation at all. I also wish we had taken more trips to the park, museum, and even just gone to Target more often. These things can be fun with one kid, but they're exponentially harder with two.

When you add another baby to the mix, your life will change forever. So, before you take the plunge, there's a few things I recommend doing as a family of three. Trust me.

Go On Vacation

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Go. On. Vacation. Hell, if you can afford it go on more than one vacation. I will never regret taking my daughter on adventures when she was little, especially when I could pop her in a baby carrier and board a plane without having to buy a ticket for her. She may not remember those adventures, but I do.

Chances are, it will be a while before you get take a break from "normal" life after having baby number two. Besides, taking more than one child on vacation is exhausting, expensive, and overwhelming as hell.

Sleep

If your child is sleeping consistently through the night, at least some of the time, you should join them. It's a cliché, sure, but you should try to get all of the sleep you can now, while you still have a chance. Once baby number two is here, you will have twice the bedtime struggles, middle-of-the-night visitors, and kids in your bed. Do it for me, guys. I haven't slept a full night in years.

Have A Family Photoshoot

Courtesy of Steph Montgomery

I wish I had more pictures of my daughter and me, just the two of us. If I could turn back time, I would let someone else take pictures of our family. More importantly, I would have tried to get over my worries about how I looked and put myself in front of the camera more, instead of always being the one behind it.

Go To Target

If you're a mom to one relatively well-behaved baby or kid, I want you to go to Target, like, right now. Spend time making silly faces at your kid, let them pick out ice cream, or actually purchase everything on your list before you leave.

Go Out To Eat

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Eating out with one child is rough, sometimes, but if you time it right the entire experience can be relatively painless. Eating out with more than one kid is an unnamed level of hell, involving hungry, angry kids, annoyed wait staff, tired parents, and judgmental strangers.

Prepare For Baby

I am so glad we let our daughter get involved in things like picking out baby clothes and toys. It made her transition to being a big sister so much more fun, honestly.

Make A Move

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As much as moving while pregnant and parenting a toddler was a nightmare, moving with a toddler and a newborn is literally the worst. It was pure luck that we were able to move when I found out I was pregnant, but damn, I'm so glad it happened that way.

Learn Together

I have to admit, at first the idea of taking a class about becoming an older sibling sounded silly and unnecessary to me, but it was actually pretty fun. My daughter and I also read books about becoming a big sister. My daughter's favorite was Lulu and the Witch Baby. She still loves that book.

Play

Courtesy of Steph Montgomery

As a mom to more than one kid, I almost never have enough time, energy, or desire to play with my kids anymore. I miss it so much. My advice is to bake all the cookies, finger paint, go to the park, and play with all the Legos now, while you still want to.

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.