we're expecting our second child and -- as with number one -- we're planning on staying at home for child labour and birth. I have a good midwife and there's no medical reason to go to a hospital.

There's another issue though that we need to tackle: Our first child. Is there someone here who has experience with giving birth at home while there's already another child (will be about 22 months old then) in the household?

I read "What can help prepare a 15 month old for the birth of a sibling?", but that's about the time before and after giving birth, not during...

Close family lives 3 to 8 hours away (depending on whom we're talking about...), so "go to granny" is not an option for a quick birth.

Thanks for all suggestions, ideas and sharings of own experiences!

EDIT to answer the comments: I was in search also for ideas on how to explain the kid that I will give birth and that during this time, I will be too occupied to care much for him. I'm hoping not to have him in the same room with me, but as you said -- babies have their own schedule, so if it comes to the toddler being in the room with me, I'd also like to hear suggestions on how to handle that.

The ideas about incorporating the midwives sounds good (as long as they agree to it), because they can also explain what#s going on -- and they have experience in caring about people who are around (normally husbands, but well, also maybe kids).

  • 2
    Welcome to Parenting.SE! Do you have any friends that you could ask to come over to watch him (or send him over to their house for a play date)? Are you concerned more about keeping him occupied and happily out of the way (which I understand, nobody needs a toddler asking for attention in the middle of contractions!!!) or about issues with possibly seeing the process of labor and delivery?
    – Acire
    Sep 26, 2015 at 15:08
  • 1
    Im trying to understand what you need help and/or suggestions with: Is it that you just need help with a babysitter/someone to watch your soon to be 22 month old baby or how to emotionally prepare him/her for this experience of you giving birth? Sep 27, 2015 at 1:19
  • It happens to one of my friends with a 18mo. They had a on-call baby sitter, she was willing to sleep at their place and take care of the kid.
    – the_lotus
    Sep 30, 2015 at 11:05

3 Answers 3


We did this twice. Friends and family are obvious choices but we lived far away from family at the time.

When #2 was born, #1 was not quite a year old and we had him stay the night at a friends house who also had a baby of the same age. #2 was was nice enough to show up at 6pm so we could have brought #1 back for the night. However, a quick phone call confirmed that he was doing just fine and so we let him stay the night there and brought him back the next morning.

#3 was more difficult as we needed arrangement for both #1, and #2 who where 2 and 3 at the time. We had made multiple alternative arrangements: two set of friends, neighbors in the same building, and our regular babysitter coming over to watch them in a different room at our place. Things got more complicated since #3 was two weeks late and #2 was sick as a dog running a high fever. In the end it all worked out. We parked #1 at friends, and kept #2 around with first me, then the babysitter watching him and then moving him over to the neighbors.

It's certainly a good idea to have multiple options so you can react quickly if something unexpected happens and to accommodate for the lack of ability to plan. Baby's show up when they are ready, regardless of your schedule.

  • +1 for having multiple alternatives lined up! Something might come up at the last moment. Sep 28, 2015 at 11:47

We birthed 6 of our 7 children at home (#2 was the only one born in a hospital). Our older kids were always at home during the births. Sometimes grandparents were able to watch them in another room, but not always. Sometimes we put them to bed and the baby was kind enough to be born at night. For our fourth baby, we didn't have either option so the assistant midwife helped watch the kids. We just juggled and it all worked out.


We birthed two children at home. When we had only our #1 child (22 months old), we were lucky, because the birth of #2 started at midnight, and #1 slept all night. We took #1 over to another room to sleep when the birth happened. The next morning #1 had a brother (#2) and was very happy.

The birth of our #4 started in the early evening when the others (#1, #2, #3) were still awake. The father (me) went to the bedroom with them and read some books for them (as always), explaining them, that I wont read to much today, because I want to attend the birth of #4. But when I finished reading, it was already “to late”, because the birth had happened (the process was much faster this time, then the births before — maybe due to the experienced mother?). When I heard the new baby (#4) I told them that I want to go there and help the mother. The youngest (#3) of the three was already sleeping and the two older kids (#1, #2) understood it or accepted it.

Our idea was to call a friend or bring them to our neighbours (which are friends, too) to help us and attend the children while we were occupied with the birth. But finally we never needed it.

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