Three is the magic number

three siblings

Kate and William will have an easier time with baby three, say Mumsnet users – but watch out for sibling rivalry

A new survey by Mumsnet, the UK’s largest community of parents, has revealed what Kate Middleton can expect after giving birth to baby number three.

In the survey of over 1,000 parents, 55% of those who have three children said going from two children to three was easier than the transition from one to two children, and also easier than welcoming a baby into the family for the first time.

It’s good news for Prince George and Princess Charlotte, too: 60% of parents with three children say the transition from two to three is the easiest for the baby’s siblings. However, 54% of parents who have more than three children admitted they worried about ‘middle child syndrome’, in which the eldest and youngest get more attention.

Those who don’t have an unlimited household budget will be cheered to hear that parents of three say the appearance of their third child was the least financially painful transition, and Kate and William will be thrilled to know that they also say the third child has the least significant impact on parents’ careers.

Parents of three are evenly divided over which transition had the worst impact on their relationship with their spouse, with 33% pegging this to the appearance of the third child. Other downsides of the third bundle of joy include logistical problems, with a 60% of parents of three saying the third baby causes the biggest organisational headaches, 72% saying they needed to buy a new car, and 41% saying it necessitated a house move.

However, there’s plenty of encouragement for going for baby number four. 44% of parents with four children say going from three to four was their easiest transition, and 25% said it had the most positive impact on their relationship with their spouse.

Mumsnet users with big families had lots of advice for the royal couple, from “Keep the older children's routine as steady as possible”, “Always remember your eldest is still a child”, and “Make sure visitors don’t just focus on the baby”, to the more all-purpose: “Lower your standards.”

Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts said: “Bigger families mean a lifestyle change, whether you live in a prefab or a palace, and all the staff in the world won’t stop parents worrying about the impact of a new baby on older siblings. The good news from parents of three or more children is that a big brood just means more love and entertainment, albeit with a bit more chaos.”

Read the full data here.