Thursday, May 9, 2013

Preparing (or rather, not) for Baby #2

11 weeks pregnant
This time around, I sometimes feel like I'm neglecting the baby that's in my belly. I did so much to get ready for Sprout's arrival, but his sister is getting nowhere near the same level of preparation.

When I was pregnant with Sprout, I swear I spent 95% of my time planning, obsessing, researching & preparing for his arrival. We painted his room, picked out furniture, decorated it & stuffed the closet with clothes & all kinds of gadgets & doo-dads that we'd be sure to need, many given to us by well-meaning friends & relatives, some bought ourselves.

This pregnancy, it took me months to get to the point where I wasn't regularly forgetting that I'm pregnant. I haven't read a single book on pregnancy or birth or registered for even a refresher prenatal education course. I think I've taken two 'belly pictures' in the past five months. I did buy some less casual maternity clothes in preparation for the job that so far hasn't materialized: two pairs of pants that I've already grown out of, a dress, a sweater, a top & a blouse.

19 weeks pregnant
But I haven't bought anything for the new baby. We got Stokke Tripp Trapp chair on consignment for Sprout, freeing up the booster for his little sister next year. I'm thinking about getting a 'skateboard' attachment for the Uppababy Vista stroller so Sprout can ride along when the baby's in the seat or bassinet. I have so far avoided buying any adorable little dresses or shoes (though I admit, I've looked) because I know that we will probably have more than we need with the promised hand-me-downs from three girl cousins.

The biggest thing is that our daughter doesn't have a bedroom in our house. In our part of the house--which is a bit over 1000 square feet--we've got two small bedrooms, then two rooms at the back off the kitchen that are each about 7'x9', closetless, with one or no electrical outlets respectively. Though this house was billed as having four bedrooms, I'd say half of them hardly qualify. Also: they're both packed to the rafters with stuff. Mine's mainly sewing/craft stuff, with a large percentage of stilting costume parts. Oliver's is, well, I'm not even sure how to categorize it. It's a storage room. So where does the baby go?

I was feeling just slightly guilty that this little girl isn't really getting the same level of attention, much less her own room, but then after reading Rachel's post over on Minimalist Mom: Do You Really Need a Nursery?, I felt a little better. I love the idea of minimalism, though it's a far cry from how we live. Still, I think it's worth striving to have less clutter & pare down a little. More importantly though, it's valuable to remember that it's not the stuff that shows we care about our children. We'll figure out where to put the baby once she arrives.

Parents of more than one child: did you find you prepared as much for baby number two? Or were you like me, distracted enough by the first one that you often forgot about the one on the way?

Follow The Sprog here too:


  1. Well, I had two at once, as you know, which is not the same thing at all. But on the space issue, as a Manhattanite I have to say that 1000 sq feet sounds roomy to me! Not to play a game of "let me one up you" -- which is not my intention. But really take heart: you can make that place work for you. Even if the baby shares a room with you and Oliver. Even if the baby sleeps in the freaking living room for awhile. Eventually she can move in with Sprout (you know, once she sleeps through the night and doesn't ruin his life!). And I'm sure eventually you will move. But in the meantime it will feel cozy. In a great way. I'm so excited for you--and I have NO idea how you haven't bought little tiny dresses yet!!!

    1. I was totally thinking of you when I wrote the number of square feet! It would absolutely be enough space if we could get rid of the junk in the two back 'bedrooms'. That's the trouble--we want to be minimalists, but we are rather typical North Americans/borderline hoarders in reality. The plan is for this one to sleep in our room, just as Sprout did, for the first few months, until she outgrows the bassinet we've got. Then we need to figure something out. & you're right about moving--I can't see staying in this house with ONE bathroom all that long, once there are four of us...

  2. I was always aware I was pregnant the second time (blew up like a balloon, hard not to be! ;p), but not nearly as much attention was paid to preparation. Jonah's bedroom was painted when I was pregnant (by Paul and Sarah), everything was bought, washed, put away...etc. I read all the books.
    The second time around, I read a few more books on multiple births, on c-sections, but was working and parenting a 2 year old at the same time. We finally painted the girls room last fall, just before their 3rd birthday. I only got the crib put together in their bedroom (just one crib, not two) a few weeks before they were born. We had an advantage though...we moved into this house when I was halfway through my pregnancy, and their bedroom was always designated as theirs, so the movers moved the couch, bureau, and crib pieces directly into it at that point.
    I bought a double stroller, borrowed an extra bouncy chair and a carseat...and I think Jonah and I bought 2 sleepers each for the babies, and that was it. Oh, and the super-duper-double milking machine! So many people gave us clothing for gifts (especially adoring grandparents!!) that I didn't have to worry about dashing to the store to get more.
    You definately know what you need and what you don't need the second time around!
    I think I should have bought preemie sized cloth diapers in advance though. They took 3 weeks to order in, so we had to use disposables for too long.

    1. You did get big fast with the two of them. I remember that. :) I still need to figure out what to do about newborn diapers. I was thinking of looking for a batch on Craigslist, possibly. We do have a bunch of one-size diapers, but I doubt they'll fit a newborn very well, unless she's really chubby from day one. With Sprout, his skinny little legs didn't chub up until he was at least two or three months old.

  3. We were in a tiny London flat when we had Elliot, and never had a nursery. We changed him on a mat on our bed, or the living room floor, and his toys were in bins in the living room. Our 'second bedroom' sounds like one of your storage rooms too - we didn't have a single closet in the entire place so that room was also our closet with a big wardrobe and a rolling rack in it. His cot, which he hardly slept in, was by the window at the end, but he never spent time in there. They don't really need space of their own until they are older really, I didn't feel the lack at all. Elliot now has a proper room he can play in and it's great now that's he's nearly 4. I think you'll be fine!

    1. Yeah, though Sprout has a room that I put a lot of effort into decorating, he only uses it to sleep & change diapers. He plays in the living room, where the majority of his toys are. So I think sticking the two kids in the same room might work. We'll see how well she sleeps & if he can sleep through her nighttime wakeups.

  4. We moved out of our 1972 minimal closet space, one bathroom rancher when our second (Em) was around 6 months old. SO SO glad we did it even though this wasn't our first choice of neighbourhoods. The extra closet space and bathrooms have become invaluable! We definitely didn't buy much for Em since our first was a girl too, but had to get a few onesies and stuff after she was born because my kids were not the same season and it made a difference until Em was around 1 and her growth slowed down a bit. I bought newborn sized cloth (tiny fits) for Em, brand new, because I felt so bad to have not really paid much attention to her during pregnancy, and have gotten my money's worth because they have been through two more babies (of friends) and are going to be used by my sister's baby girl this summer! If they hadn't been in constant rotation I would have sold them and almost made the money back, so I think it's a little investment that's pretty worthwhile. We aren't hard-core cloth diaperers of newborns at all BTW, didn't put them in cloth until the stump fell off:)

    1. Our last place was a 1973 condo, though it actually had more bathrooms & closet space than we do in our part of the house now! :P

      The fact that this next baby is due just a month later in the year than Sprout was will make using his baby clothes feasible. Her twin cousins' hand-me-downs, born in early October 2009, should fill in any gaps with seasonally appropriate clothes, hopefully.

      Sprout was in cloth from day 2, but I don't know if we'll be as hardcore about it the second time around. I do hate spending money on disposables though. :P


Thanks for commenting! (I've had to enable comment moderation on older posts to thwart spammers, so your post may not appear right away.)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...