Plans for Having a Baby in a Bus

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I’m looking at that title and I’m thinking that maybe people are going to mistake this for a home/bus birth post. It’s not. Maybe if I were a stronger, braver woman… but I’m going on 24 weeks now and if I stumbled upon someone handing out back-alley epidurals I would be sorely tempted.

No, in this instance I’m simply referring to our plans for bringing our newborn home in a few months to a brand new type of living situation. I use the term “plans” loosely because, like just about everything else in this situation, there’s really no telling how it’s all going to turn out. We could wind up abandoning this whole endeavor and the blog title might be changed to “Tiny Apartment in the Suburbs”, who knows?

However, for now we’re thinking that we’re just going to stay the course and take things as they come. Currently, that entails planning to welcome Baby Springfield the Fourth to the Busosaurus andΒ  having a place for him or her to sleep and some clothes to wear.

What? You mean no fancy swing? No colorful tummy-time mat filled with mirrors and buttons for the baby to swat? No diaper pail, changing table, light-up mobile, johnny-jump-up, baby-food-processor, wipes warmer,Β  bumbo-seat or boppy?

Yup. I feel like the amount of things new mothers are told they NEED is one one of the biggest marketing ploys since DeBeers started trying to tell people that diamonds are actually valuable.

At least to start with. With such minimal space, I am paring it down to just the basics. As things progress, and since we’re in a new situation, this might change, but I’m thinking we’ll obtain things as we need them and not before then. In general, my list of essential newborn items includes:

1. Clothes.Β Onesies for Summer, cozy pajamas for Winter. I find that dresses and shoes and all that jazz are more useful when they’re older.

2. Crib/bassinet. Even that could probably wait a while since all three of mine so far have co-slept for at least the first two or three months.

3. Some sort of sling or baby carrier. I’m not a baby-wearing connoisseur – from newborn until they get too heavy I’ve worn the Baby K’tan because the learning curve on the Moby was too steep for me.

4. A blanket or two to lay the baby down on. Noah’s mom has made a special quilt for each of our kids, so I generally use that and then keep another clean blanket as a spare or a thinner one to use as a nursing cover.

Of course, I’m making the assumption that I’ll be able to breastfeed and so I’m not including bottles and the associated trappings on that list. If things should turn out differently, because sometimes that happens, then we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

So, as far as “baby gear” goes I don’t go in for a lot, but am I forgetting anything?

As far as our particular situation is concerned, I’m thinking that we’ll have the girls share a bed (which they do voluntarily already), move Finn onto the other one and then the baby will have the porta-crib. Here is a reminder of the bedroom set-up (when it’s clean):


Finnegan and the new baby will be the closest together of all my kids (he’ll be just 20 months when I’m due in November), so I’m not sure how smoothly the transition is going to go moving Finn to a bed and having the newborn take “his place” in the crib. He can already climb out of his crib on his own (so we’ve already got safeties in place for when he gets out of bed) and since it’s just a mattress on the floor I’m not worried so much about him falling out and getting hurt.

Any suggestions about how to make the transition and whether to do it earlier or later?

The biggest obstacle to work around seems to be the ladder leading to the upper story.

Please ignore my streaky mirror. Small children have no respect for reflective surfaces.

This is a problem even before the baby arrives because in the evenings I get hip pain which makes going up and down moderately excruciating. It’s not unbearable yet, but Noah and I have plans to start sleeping on the futon downstairs if things get too bad. We might wind up keeping the baby down there as well, rather than carry him or her up and down the ladder. It could just be as simple as strapping the baby into the carrier before going up the ladder, but getting a small bassinet for the downstairs is a part of the contingency plan.

In sum: our plan is pretty much to prepare for the bare minimum, add to it if necessary and just kind of see how things go.

I would love to hear if you feel there’s something I’m leaving out or that it seems like we haven’t thought of yet or if you have any ideas on how to get a baby up a ladder that don’t involve strapping it to the pulley and hauling it upstairs (because trust me, we thought of that first).

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28 thoughts on “Plans for Having a Baby in a Bus

  1. We put our oldest child into his big boy bed and took down the crib and put it away about 6 weeks before his little brother was born. When we put the crib back up, he didn’t feel like it was “his” anymore and there was no jealousy.

    Best wishes to you and your family!

  2. My two are 25 months apart. When we raised the mattress for our baby boy, our daughter crawled up in it and giggled and had fun … then she was done! As for the ladder … I don’t know if I could do that by myself let alone with a baby;0)

    1. I had to do a double take! Just saw you commenting on my Facebook post and then here and it threw me for a second LOL

  3. Either a compact swing, or a baby bouncer, or newborn seat… Somewhere for them to nap. Might be able to get away without if you have a bassinet downstairs… We got this Summer Infant sleeper thingy which is meant to go in bed between mom & dad, but makes a great portable bassinet, added bonus it’s less than $40 new.

    I’m not a minimalist most of the time, but when it comes to baby stuff… I just can’t see spending a ton of money on stuff they will use for just a few months.

    Once baby can hold his/her head up well then I like to get a Bumbo or a Space Saver reclining high chair so they can watch me while I’m in the kitchen without being in the way…

    1. Yeah, I’m thinking a downstairs bassinet will help for naptime. My oldest used a bumbo seat for a while, but the other two didn’t like it at all, so I guess we’ll see!

  4. When I read the post title, the first thought that crossed my mind was a bus-birth, but I’m glad that that isn’t your plan A! πŸ™‚ Yikes!

    I think you’ve got the right idea. Babies don’t have to take up as much space we think they do. I agree that having a spot for the baby to nap downstairs will be helpful. Our kids liked to nap in their car seat sometimes, but that might be bad parenting advice (even though everyone does it).

    My oldest two are 17 months apart. I had my oldest in a toddler bed at 16 month though, because she could get out and I was afraid she’d break her neck climbing out! The only thing I would worry about is Finn falling down the stairs in the night, but you move something in front of the stairs at night, right? I think he would be excited to have a big boy mattress-on-the-floor bed like his sisters.

    Do you know what you’re having? It sounds like a girl because you said dresses, but maybe it’s a surprise? Or maybe I totally missed the announcement.

    PS- I love seeing photos of the Busosaurus, streaky mirror and all!

    1. Yes, we do put something in front of the gaping pit of death at bed time and nap time, even though he’s actually quite proficient at going up and down the ladder himself now. And I think you’re right about him feeling grown up in a bed like the girls.

      We are going to be surprised this time, I just threw the comment about dresses out there randomly πŸ™‚

  5. I have 5 kids 7, 6, 2, 16 months & 4 months. I’m so with you on the simplifying. We have drastically less than we did with our older 2 girls. We had all 1st time parent gimmicks… Wipe warmer & diaper genie. Now we have “cold” wipes and grocery bags!
    One thing we can’t live without is a bouncy seat. Just a plain old boring bouncy seat. That’s what all of our kids loved to sleep in. They loved being upright a bit and they loved the gentle bounce.
    As far as the whole crib thing, do whatever is best for Finn. I recommend not making any major changes with him in the 2 month window before and after baby’s arrival. My babies start sleeping in a crib around 5-6 months old (when they can roll and sleep on their tummies.) Our 16 month old is in a crib still and he sleeps so well in it too… I really don’t want to ruin a good thing. We typically transition our kiddos to a “big kid bed” around 2, but ours aren’t really big climbers either.
    Do you have room for a pack n play? They have a built in bassinet and then you can use it down the road too. Where as a bassinet just serves one purpose for a short period of time. Our friends use a Rock n Play for their little guy. They love it and it folds up and out of the way super easy too. Co-sleeping is pretty great too. Just do whatever you think works best.
    I’m a Moby/Ergo lover! I had a friend show me a bajillion times how to use my Moby. Now I’m a Rockstar, but wow… The learning curve! Oh and You Tube helped be when nobody was there to help! What did we do before You Tube!?!?

    1. We don’t really have room for a pack n play as it stands. We might have some adjustments to make if it seems like we need to have room for extra stuff – I’m hoping that we can get back on the bare minimum!

      1. I’m sure you’ll be able to get by with the bare minimum. Babies don’t need much. You are so right with the huge marketing ploy. I wish we would have never fallen victim to it. I had a Blessingway instead of a shower with my last four kiddos. It was so nice to be blessed spiritually vs materially!

          1. It’s a spiritual blessing with women that are close to the mother to be. It’s a time of pampering the mother to be, praying over her and those closest to her easing her fears and pledging their support to her. There are many symbolic things you can do. It can be personalized for each mother to be.

  6. My boys are 22 months apart. I moved the older one into a toddler bed a few weeks before his little brother was born. He did pretty well with it, and it did not bother him at all when the new baby was sleeping in “his” crib. As far as stuff — I had 3 baby showers, and got oodles of hand me downs from friends/family. Pretty much any possible baby item you can name, we had it at some point. Mine both liked the bouncy seat, hated the swing, and moderately enjoyed the Jumperoo when they got big enough for it. It is so hard to give suggestions, as babies are just so different. If I were in your situation, I would probably start out with as little as possible, and when you realize you need something then go buy it.

    1. That’s the plan exactly πŸ™‚ I’m thinking Finn is going to be excited to sleep in a regular bed – he already tries to get under the covers with his sisters at bedtime!

  7. I’m sorry, but I laughed at, “Tiny Apartment in the Suburbs.” I’m surprised you’re still going up and down that ladder and haven’t been sleeping downstairs already. And the picture of the kids’ room with the mattresses on the floor – that’s how we’ve been sleeping the past few nights, getting ready for our move. Until I saw this post, I didn’t even think about you actually having a baby in the bus. I was only thinking about how you’d do pregnancy in that double decker. Who knows, maybe this whole experience will become a funny children’s picture book someday. =P

  8. We lived in a small 2bedroom appartment when we had our 4th. We felt it was crowded and cluttered enough that we didn’t even set up a bassinet for her. She just slept with us in our bed. I only had to buy diapers, to get out a few baby clothes and the sling and since I nursed her there was nothing else we really needed for her ! It was all very simple. We had our appartment for sale and visitors would be shocked to find that tiny baby napping (she napped most of the time, completely oblivious to all the noise and activity around her !) in the middle of our big bed. We moved to a bigger place when she was 3 months old and she then got her own crib in our room.
    Concerning moving a toddler to a big bed, I would do it as soon as possible so he forgets about the crib being his by the time the baby needs it. We moved our 5th from the crib in our bedroom to a regular bed (with a rail) in his brothers bedroom when he was 15 months. He needed a couple days of training to learn to stay in bed and not get up until morning time, but he’s been doing great !

  9. Our kids are 3 years apart exactly. My son was kicked out of our bed when his sister came along and he didn’t like it at all. Actually, we moved him out a couple months before she was born, but always crawled in with us some time in the night. I ended up having to sleep with him in his bed every night until he fell asleep for quite a long time. It seemed like such a big deal then, but now that he is 20 I really miss the good ole days. I think the oldest child has the hardest time making transitions, but the younger siblings have someone’s lead to follow. I’m sure Finn will adjust just fine to his new bed.

    I don’t know how you climb up and down that ladder being pregnant. I can hardly climb one anyway. I think your very handy husband should build a spiral staircase! πŸ™‚ Just kidding. But they do make some really great metal ones. We have friends with a little tiny chalet with a loft and they have the coolest spiral stairs which save so much space. If it were me, I would just sleep downstairs. Maybe even move Finn downstairs with you so you don’t have to worry about him. It’s probably much cooler downstairs anyway.

    I’m with you on keeping baby stuff to a minimum. All they need are diapers, a few onesies, and a source of food to keep them happy. All you need is a safe place to put them down and an easy way to carry them.

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