Welcoming Baby #2 into a Rental

It’s so true what people say – you really do “plan” less for your second child.

I was four months pregnant with Theo when we moved into our last home. By that time, I had already mentally designed his nursery and we had a painter in the house in the first week to paint his room. A month later, we had a carpenter there to build his custom closet. By the time I was six months pregnant, the whole space was basically ready for him.

Baby #2 has been a completely different story. Of course, the circumstances are different now. We found out we were pregnant almost immediately after selling our home and purchasing the land, so we knew that this baby would likely spend his/her first year in our rental home. For me, it also meant that I wouldn’t be able to design a traditional nursery (although I am designing an entire house, so my creative juices are still flowing…).

But just because I can’t welcome Baby #2 into a meticulously laid out nursery doesn’t mean he/she won’t have a space of their own in our little rental. The baby will be in our room for the first little while, so we’ve moved Theo into his big boy bed and the crib is now by my bedside. Eventually, the guest room will double as the baby’s room so the baby could have his/her own room.

The one focus I have had in planning this space is to try, as much as possible, to buy things that have multiple uses. For example, since we are short on space, we removed the sliding closet doors from the guest room and have turned it into the baby’s make-shift closet with the Ikea Jonaxel storage systems that I plan on using in our future closets at the next house.

We learned with Theo that babies need to be changed a lot at first and we didn’t always rush to the change table in his room to change him; so, this time around, we omitted the dresser/change table (also in part because there is no room) and are setting up a couple of the Ikea Raskog utility carts instead. Later on, these can double as art and crafts carts for the kids… We’ll just change and dress the baby on the bed or couch or floor, much like we ended up doing with Theo anyway.

Ultimately, although I feel a little guilty that I am not giving Baby #2 the same house welcoming as we did for Theo, I’m choosing to see this as a positive in the long run. The reality is, by the time Theo was approaching his second birthday, I was already thinking of ways to change his room to move away from the “nursery” feel towards the “boy-room” feel. The way I see it, since we’re not finding out the gender of our current baby, not being able to design a nursery now will give me more time to design a “boy- or girl-room” for when we move into our Custom Home.