May 16, 2012 05:00 PM


Melissa Joan Hart‘s baby on the way already has her beat.

“[I’m] really exhausted. I don’t know if it’s [from taking care of] the two older ones, I don’t know if it’s because I’m older … but I feel so tired all the time,” the actress, 36, told PEOPLE at the Monday premiere of What to Expect When You’re Expecting in Hollywood, Calif.

“I’ve been in bed at 8:30 every night. I tell my kids, ‘Go put yourselves in bed. I gotta go to sleep.'”

But while she recognizes age may play a factor in her third pregnancy, Hart — who is mom to sons Mason Walter, 6, and Braydon Hart, 4 — did her part to prepare for the challenge.

“I was in really good shape before I got pregnant with this one,” she says. “I tried to set myself up. For about a year I made sure I took the right vitamins and didn’t take artificial sweeteners. I did take some precautions.”

Now in her second trimester, Hart has begun to feel the baby move inside her belly. And while she’s loving the “gentle” flutters for now, the Melissa & Joey star fears for her future.

“I feel like it’s going to be a strong baby,” she explains, “[but] if the kicks get stronger, I don’t know if I can handle it.”

But her little one’s moves don’t look like they’ll be slowing down anytime soon; Big brother Brady is already intent on teaching his boxing skills to the baby.

“The other day he was explaining to my belly how to do boxing. He was like, ‘Listen, here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to go right, left, uppercut. Right, left,'” the mom-to-be says with a laugh.

After two strikingly different approaches to motherhood — she and husband Mark Wilkerson gave their eldest “so much attention” as a baby, which proved hard to repeat with their second — Hart is hopeful she will savor each second with the upcoming addition.

“Things like, ‘What’s this letter? What’s this color? What does a duck say?’ With Brady we kind of blurred over that because we had Mason, too,” she explains. “I hope with this one that we’ll be able to go back to really focusing on the little things.”

— Anya Leon with reporting by Scott Huver

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