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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 and 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, 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. 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.
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.
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).