This post is made possible with support from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.”
They always say things get a little lax with the third kid. Having one kid is fun, having two kids is work, and having three kids is a party. That bit of parenting advice is so true, because when you’re at a party, everything get’s thrown to the waist side. You’re either enjoying yourself a little too much, breaking up drama, or chilling on the couch, watching everything go down. The biggest downside of being the 3rd baby is that we’re not paying enough attention to his milestones.
Missing Your Third Baby’s Milestones
I was THAT mom. I had worksheets, apps, scrapbooks, and ALL THE THINGS when we were blessed with our first son. I basically stared into his face all day, to make sure I didn’t miss a milestone. Once we accomplished a milestone, I called all of the grandparents and great-grandparents to announce the news. If he wasn’t on track towards his next milestone, our pediatrician got an earful from me during our next visit.
With our little girl, it was more of the same. Mostly because she was our first and only girl, and we were SURE we were done having babies. I put in work to make sure all of her milestones were tracked and accomplished, and I even enlisted her big brother to help. See? Having two kids is work.
Our third baby caught us off guard. All baby items had been sold or given away, we were planning “family of four” vacations, and getting used to each family member having their own space in our tiny apartment. Then, here comes James. I strapped him in his baby carrier, fed him when he was hungry, let the big kids play with him as his entertainment, and went about our regular business. Between soccer practice, preschool, holiday and spring concerts, we didn’t take the time to carefully track our 3rd baby’s milestones.
How To Get Back On Track
I still remember the day I realized we were missing tracking our third baby’s milestones. We were visiting the pediatrician, after missing a past appointment because I forgot about it, and I couldn’t answer most of the questions our sweet doctor was asking me. Feeling very embarrassed, Dr. Tuma could read it all over my face. “It’s OK,” he said. “He’s your third baby. He happy and healthy, so you’re doing a good job, Mom.” As nice as that was for him to say, I still felt like I was failing my boy. After being on top of it all with the first two, this was a punch in the gut. I had to get it together for my baby.
I needed resources to show me how to get back on track. Did you know the CDC material like their site to encourage parents to track their kids’ development? Me neither! Their Learn The Signs. Act Early page is extremely helpful for parents of one or many. Because I’m all about an app, I decided to use the CDC app to check milestones while on the go. A child’s milestones should be tracked from birth to age 5, and this is the way I’ve gotten back to making our third baby’s milestones top priority.