Whole Parenting Family

3 Questions Before Baby Number 2: Rooms Prep and Water Birth Option??

Being pregnant with baby number 2 gives cause for pause. And consideration about what steps need to be taken in a practical sense to be prepared, or at least, pre-prepared. I recently wrote about finding out the baby’s gender (just about 4 weeks away!) which will help greatly with the baby clothing situation.

1) Getting baby’s room ready.

SuperBoy co-slept with us for about 3 months until he no longer wanted to nurse at night and in fact, don’t kill me with jealousy, he stopped waking up every 3 hours and slept about 8. This baby will sleep with us for a few months, so the actually sleeping arrangements aren’t as crucial to me as the baby’s nursery.

Do I really need to have it all set up ahead of time? Well, for organization’s sake, it would be nice to have all infant clothing in one chest of drawers, a place to stash the cloth diapers (we’re doing round two with Do Good Diaper Service–love ’em as evidenced by our discussions of them in the world of cloth diapering and why to cloth diaper), and a place for baby to nap that’s quiet and away from SuperBoy.

So that means moving him to his bigger boy room next door to his current nursery, and doing so with enough lead time that he doesn’t associate baby with stealing his space, right?

2) Getting SuperBoy’s new room ready.

We already striped the wallpaper & repainted the room that used to have floral wallpaper and pastel blue curtains. Now the walls are a very gender neutral green and I still have to figure out curtains. When you live in Minnesota and in an almost 100-year-old-house, and have radiant heat, shades don’t cut it for keeping the heat in. It’s like a medieval mead hall that needs wooly curtains.

Right now it is a pseudo guest room/play room. The big person bed is still in there for our Christmas guests (yay!) but we’ve added a ton of SuperBoy’s blocks, books, and toys to it to make it a “fun” room for him. Hat tip to my eldest sister for her insights on this whole gradual transition thing.

The other big question is do we keep a 22 month old in a crib (so buy another one) or move to a twin bed low to the ground? How do you keep an unhappy I’m-too-tired-to-nap child in a bed without bars?

3) Decide on water birth or no.

Right now, after the hospital tour, we weren’t sold on the water birth idea. I thought it looked like I couldn’t really PUSH off anything or anyone, and the thought of having to get up/down/in/out was not appealing. Similarly, AA didn’t see that he could play as active a role as he did with J in our unmedicated hospital birth. We had done a lot of preparation ahead of time last time with Bradley exercises and reading about birthing positions. I really liked being able to move around a lot during labor. The water tub seems to obviate some of that (though I realize you can wait to get in until you’re in active active pushing labor). I did have the blood tests done to clear me for it if we changed our minds.

Any of you have water birth I-loved-it or I-hated-it experiences?

Three questions I need insights on: 1) when to transition toddler to new room? 2) what kind of bed to have in new room? and 3) water birth, love or hate?




  1. Liv on November 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I couldn’t actually birth Vera in the water since she was breech (laws against it), but I was able to spend a fair amount of time in the water, during contractions and the beginning stages of pushing. I would absolutely recommend it. It was so so so soothing to be in the warm water. I was also afraid of being able to get in, and then get out, but my midwives assured me it was possible, and it somehow/someway I ended up on the bed in the end! I will definitely do it again.
    The best part was afterwards, they prepared a herbal bath that Vera and I could take together. OMG, words can not describe… 🙂 Excited for you!!

    • Novice Natural Mama on November 4, 2011 at 9:37 am

      It’s so helpful to hear that the in & out was okay! And an herbal bath . . . oh, yes, sign me up!!

  2. aphimama on November 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    1. We transitioned DD1 to her new room months before DD2 arrives because we figured that the more things related to her own development and not to the arrival of a new baby, the better. For example, we made sure she knew she was moving into a new room because she was ready, rather than moving her and having her connect it to the arrival of her new sister and feeling pushed out. The more things you can make about J and not about him having to do something for the new baby, the better. We even stopped calling DD1 a baby and DD2 “the new baby” so that it never sent an unintended message that DD1 was no longer our baby and priority. We also made sure that she spent a night or two with Grandma before the delivery in case we had to stay at the hospital and would be separated. This allowed it to be a fun night with Grandma, rather than solely related to the arrival of her sibling.

    2. DD1 is three and still in a crib because she sleeps well in it and isn’t yet night time potty trained so there’s no reason not to – I recommend this as long as J isn’t trying to climb out. The minute they start climbing out it becomes worth it to switch beds. One of the biggest reasons for toddler sleep disturbance is listed as transitioning out of a crib too early. That said, if you don’t want to buy a new crib, I also know people who let their little ones into a big bed by that age and they are certainly happy little kids, too.

    3. I didn’t do a water birth because of her position, but I did have a nice looooooong hot shower while in labor and it was the only thing that helped the pain during a long transition phase and back labor. It was a lifesaver. I would encourage it as an option even if not as a plan. I had a chair in the shower with a detachable shower-head and literally sat there for at least an hour or two. My theory on labor is: never rule anything out. Every labor and delivery is different and you just want to have options. Your experience will be spontaneous even if you have a plan, so just be ready to adjust and let yourself try new things.

    • Novice Natural Mama on November 4, 2011 at 9:42 am

      That is helpful to hear about the terminology difference. I’ve been saying “we’re having a baby” and “you’re still my baby” so as to not make that “big boy/baby” difference. But maybe eliminating baby all together will be helpful (it will be great to know the gender, because then we’ll know the name, and then we can talk to J about “x” or “y” instead). Good idea about the transitional sleepover as well.

      Crib -longer sounds like a good thing. I don’t mind going to Ikea and spending a small amount on a new crib (sorry, handmade crib carpenters in Minnesota, your beautiful cribs are not affordable!). So far he’s not trying to climb out. I’ve also heard of these crib “net” things (basically a tent topper that keeps climbing out a dream and not a reality). If he does have a serious climbing out issue, maybe we’ll explore that route. I don’t like the idea of “containing him” as it sounds negative. However I do like the actual ability to contain and help him sleep better.

      Water = helpful and good. I was only at the hospital for 3.5 hours with J as I had labored at home after my water broke for 5 hours–and somehow never really wanted to get into water. But I will keep this option open and in my mind, my doula’s mind, and AA’s mind (as my mind will likely be wandering when the time actually comes).

  3. mom of 7 on November 3, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I can’t say anything about your first 2 questions since my kids are crammed into 2 bedrooms and the baby sleeps in a crib in the walk in closet.:-) But 2 of my seven kids were water births and I loved it! The first one was accidental because I was in the bathtub and felt so good, that I decided to go all the way- and it was just a bath tub, not a specific birthing tub. But the midwives were great about letting me stay in. At first I was worried about my positioning and ability to hold on to my husband or the side of the tub. But both were fine and I didn’t find an issue with either. The last baby got the official birthing tub and that again was fantastic. Even if you decide at the last minute to get out (which I kind of doubt) labor was alot easier and relaxing (if labor can be either of those:-). I’ve done hospital birth, home birth, birthing center birth and water birth, and water birth wins hands down!

    • Novice Natural Mama on November 4, 2011 at 9:54 am

      I want you to write a post for me about all your different births! You’re a well of knowledge! And it’s helpful to hear that you could get a good position in the tub–and that it was fantastic for you!!

  4. Antonina on November 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    My two cents on number two: We just moved little P age 17 mo. from his pack & play to the crib mattress on the floor. With my older two we did this a bit later, closer to age two, but it works great! I just put a baby gate at the door, so it doesn’t really matter where they fall asleep. Mostly they fall asleep on the mattress, because that’s where we nurse, read, snuggle before I leave. I do remember putting my oldest in a twin bed with rails on both sides in one home around age two, and that worked well. Oh, and someone gave us a rollaway trundle frame that worked for a while with a twin mattress on it for my middle guy. Just do whatever works! 🙂

    • Novice Natural Mama on November 4, 2011 at 9:56 am

      Baby gate by the door: key. And that’s comforting to know that it’s okay wherever they fall asleep (J is often sleeping on his stomach, though he definitely starts on his back). The many options are overwhelming, but hopefully we find one that works!

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