A new reader pinged me on Facebook last week to remind me that back when I wrote about organizing a nursery, I promised to blog about kids sharing a room with baby, and then never did it.
Totally busted. So here goes.
First off, stop worrying about how Big Kid is going to adjust to having to share her PERFECT ROOM with the new baby.
Seriously. Put that out of your head right now.
Your kids will LOVE sharing a room, at least while they’re still small.
The biggest complaint my girls had when we finally moved back into the house we’d been renovating for A BILLION YEARS to accomodate our growing family – don’t get me started on how having TWINS forced us to re-frame the ENTIRE downstairs THREE YEARS IN to this project – was that now they had their own rooms …. and they didn’t want to.
You hear that? MY GIRLS, having spent 2+ years sharing a room, BITCHED AND WHINED and CRIED THEIR EYES OUT when I gave them their own discrete spaces.
How did this happen?
How did I make my Big Kid WANT to live with her Baby?
The key was GETTING MY BIG KID involved with the plan BEFORE Baby got there.
1. ENLIST BIG SIB in the planning for her new, shared, space. Rearrange the room to accommodate a crib, make space in the closets. Then try to decorate in away that stakes out BIG SIB’S space as special from Baby’s.
- Separate bookshelves.
- A closet system that is easy to divide into separate spaces for each kid (I love ELFA).
- Separate dressers, or dedicated dresser drawers.
- Wall decals or wall art that differentiate different parts of the room for each kid.
- Bed linens that are UNIQUE to each kid, from each other, but coordinate in some way with the larger room.
- Common space on the floor for play.
2. Despite all this preparation, START BABY IN YOUR ROOM, or a third space, if you’ve got one.
- A Pack ‘N Play will suffice as the perfect spot for baby – near your bed if you’re nursing.
- Don’t bother with a “co-sleeper.” Co-sleepers are small. They are pricey. You can’t haul them around on vacation with the ease of a pack-n-play, and they won’t last your growing child as long, either.
3. SLEEP TRAIN BABY before you move her into the room with her big sibling.
- Believe it or not, you can sleep train ala The Sleepeasy Solution with your baby in your room – we did. When Gaga woke, and cried, we played dead. It wasn’t easy – Gaga was WAY harder to sleep train than her sister – but it was doable.
- Better yet: put your baby down AWAKE and without bouncing / singing / rocking FROM DAY ONE and avoid sleep training altogether!
4. ONCE BABY CAN SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT and you are past the point of responding to every waking and whimper – move Baby into her crib in Big Sib’s room.
Don’t worry that baby’s night noises will bother Big Sib – you’d be shocked at how quickly both kids will learn to sleep through each other’s noise.
I’m talking about babymoons over at Kristin’s Mommy Blog on 103.5 KOST FM today.
Head over there if you’re thinking about planning a great trip before baby … or if you just wanna read more about Naked House.
Did I mention I wrote this while on an airplane with children? OK, just one kid, but still — how’s THAT for a hat trick? I wrote this on an airplane while entertaining a very needy kid! Now you KNOW you wanna go read it … (see? I just gave you a totally NON-PERVY reason to go read my thingy about about babymoons! Head over there now!)
Pictured: The Moda Dresser used as a changing table (Roomandboard.com) — love this! (Source: decorpad.com)
A ‘lister wrote me yesterday to asking me what she needed to order on Diapers.com for her soon-to-be new baby — I took that to mean, “How the hell do I stock my changing table?” and until I hear otherwise, I figured I’d write THAT up for any FTM coming around here this week.
If you’re having doubts about having twins (and lord knows I was), this photo should put THAT to rest. If I’d had this photo — Pancake and Sausage, ten days old — when I was fat and miserable and on hospital bedrest, I might not have been such a cranky miserable bitch for my entire twin-pregnancy.
But if YOU are currently twin-pregnant and miserable: I get it. I really do. Which is why I wrote THIS list — it ain’t all as bad as you think / fear, promise:
1. Doctors actually WANT you to gain weight when you’re carrying twins.
None of that 15-20 pounds bullshit, when you’re carrying twins. Continue reading “8 Reasons Twins Don’t Suck” »
I love my pediatrician. She is awesome. She is smart, she is funny/snarky, she is a ball to be around, she didn’t flip out on me the time Diddy got into Daddy’s pill box and ended up having her stomach pumped, and she has never once told me she’s concerned my kids are too small.
If she weren’t so geographically-undesirable, we’d probably hang out.
So there’s the first thing I would tell you new moms out there:
1. PICK A PEDIATRICIAN WHO IS CLOSE TO YOUR HOUSE.
Like I said, I love my ped. You know what I hate? Driving across town to see her. All the time. Not because my kids are constantly sick or I am an overreacting helicopter nut of a Mom — in fact, I’ve gone the other direction COMPLETELY, I almost NEVER take the kids to the doctor when I should because she is SO FUCKING FAR AWAY — but because small kids, at least in the first year of life, tend to have monthly well-baby visits that lo-and-behold your insurance might actually cover.
After that, they go every eight weeks or three months or so until they turn 2.
And then you have another baby, and the whole thing starts all over again, and if you keep breeding like I did you will spend a lot of time dragging your kids to the pediatrician.
THAT IS A LOT OF DRIVING ACROSS TOWN.
And like I said, I love my ped too much to leave her, so I’m stuck.
DON’T GET STUCK DRIVING ACROSS TOWN.
2. PICK A PEDIATRICIAN YOU LIKE TO HANG OUT WITH.
Again, you’re going to be seeing a lot of her. Wouldn’t you rather it be fun?
3. PICK A PEDIATRICIAN OTHER DOCTORS RESPECT.
Here’s how you do that: Ask other doctors. My pediatrician went to school with my internist, who also went to school with both my first and second OBs. They trust each other. I trust them. They practice a brand of medicine I respect, aka THE KIND THAT’S BASED ON A HEALTHY RESPECT FOR AND UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENCE.
You can ask your friends, sure, but your friends motives aren’t always going to be your motives — for instance, your friends may secretly be batshit anti-vaccine nuts, and a) you don’t want to end up going to THEIR doctors and b) you probably don’t want to know that about your friends. I sure don’t. I don’t even want to know that about movie-stars-I’ve-loved-since-I-was-8.
(You wanna hear that story? Diddy and Gaga made friends with the daughter of Crushable Movie Star, over repeated sightings at our local restaurant-where-they-don’t-hate-kids. Finally, they all ended up on the local playground together. Mr. Big(Ideas) and Crushable Movie Star were having a good time, bonding over their love of chunky retro car phones, while Diddy and Crushable Kid were on the slides. Just around the same time Crushable Kid told Diddy “My parents fight a lot” ((PRICELESS!)), Crushable Movie Star told Mr. Big(Ideas) his kids weren’t vaccinated.End of story. We are not friends with Crushable Movie Star.)
Nor would I EVER EVER EVER take my kids to a doctor who didn’t INSIST UPON VACCINATING. I say this having spent my toddler-hood and some of my teenage-years in Kenya and Tanzania, where kids still die from things they could have gotten a shot to prevent. And guess what? THEY DIE HERE, TOO. Pertussis kills, folks. So does measles. And just because you haven’t seen a case of measles at your local supermarket doesn’t mean the kid at the pediatrician’s office sitting in the waiting room next to you didn’t sit next to a kid with measles on his flight back from France last weekend. See how that works? Small world, scary diseases. There’s a reason we invented shots to prevent them. GET YOUR KIDS SHOTS.
3. A “SICK-KID” WAITING ROOM IS NICE.
It’s not a deal-breaker for me, but I am glad my pediatrician now has a separate waiting room to keep the sick kids from the babies getting their basic check-ups.
And that’s basically the extent of what I care about. I know it’s not a long list, but I am one of those people who believes you find people who are smart and trust-worthy, and you let them do their jobs as they see fit.
That said, my pediatrician has a new partner who blogs and tweets — I love this, by the way, my internist does the same thing, he’s awesome — so here’s HER list of good pediatrician interview questions: