I've teamed up with some of these fine brands for this post about second baby must haves.
Now that I've done this mothering thing once before, I think I've got a pretty good handle on what to expect this time around. Hopefully that new mother fog won't completely overwhelm me and I can really enjoy my newborn in all of her tiny glory. I swear, with my son it took me a good 4-5 months before I really felt like I could think clearly. I was drowning in diapers, bottles, baby gear - not to mention trying to be a wife and running our household. I just did not have it all together. This time though, I think I'm better prepared. I'm calmer and know what to expect, plus after reviewing products for the past 2 and a half years, I think I know which items are must-haves and which items I can skip. That's why I want to share with you my second baby must haves.
1.) A good, quality bouncer. Like me, you might have held your first born child a lot. Sure, you'll want to hold your new baby a lot too, but sometimes that's just not feasible. You're going to need a few places to set that baby down while you're chasing your older child(ren), and a good bouncer is a great start. I just received a Baby Bjorn Bouncer Balance Soft and I'm impressed with the design and quality. It provides ergonomic support and can transition from a baby bouncer into a rocking child's chair (I'm ALL for products with multiple uses that grow with your kids). The good thing about a bouncer is that they're made to be portable so you can bring it from room to room. This is really handy when you want to take a shower. Just grab your baby and set them in the bouncer outside of the shower door so you can keep an eye on him or her and still take care of yourself.
2.) A bigger diaper bag. If your older child is potty trained you might be able to get away with using the same diaper bag you used for your first baby. My little guy isn't taking to the potty so well, so I need to be able to haul diapers for two, not to mention sippy cups, snacks, bottles, formula, burp cloths, changes of clothes, toys, and all of my stuff. I'll definitely be needing a bigger bag so I'm opting for one from one of my favorite brands, Petunia Pickle Bottom. I have a Wistful Weekender (this bag is HUGE and plenty big if you're using cloth diapers, plus it's got a cross-body strap so you can be hands free), but I'd also recommend their Boxy Backpack. The boxy also allows you to be hands free since it can be worn cross-body or as a backpack. This is super helpful when you need to hold your toddler's hand and you have your baby on the other hip. Another one of my favorite PPB bags that's big enough for two is the Hampton Holdall from their Cake collection. I have a few of those and I'll likely rotate them.
3.) Baby Swing. Again, you're going need somewhere to put your new baby down while you care for your other child(ren) and a swing is a fabulous option. My little guy loved his Fisher Price Snugabunny Swing and took most of his naps there during the day. I hear the 4moms mamaRoo is also quite amazing, but I don't have any personal experience with it. My advice would be to look for a swing or similar item that has a plug, otherwise you'll spend a fortune in batteries.
4.) Double Stroller. If your older child is 3 or up, you could probably get by without a double stroller... BUT there will be times when that other child wants to ride in the stroller even though they've told you otherwise. You'll be walking along in a theme park or at the zoo and they'll look resentfully at their little brother or sister that's riding comfortably in the stroller and say, "Can't you hold her for a while so I can ride in the stroller?" That's why I'd suggest getting a sit and stand. I recently reviewed the Joovy Caboose VaryLight and I'm totally impressed with it's features and know it's going to be a great fit for our family. My infant can ride along using the infant car seat adapters (and as she gets older she can transition to the front seat), and my 3 year old will be able to ride on the back bench seat OR he can stand on the back platform. UPDATE, the Caboose VaryLight is no longer available, but the Joovy Caboose UltraLight is and it's very similar (and cheaper!). Alternatively, if you don't want to invest in a whole new stroller system, you can opt for the a Universal Stroller Board. This will turn almost any stroller into a sit and stand.
5.) Fisher Price Newborn Rock N Play Sleeper. We found the Rock N Play Sleeper to be invaluable with our first child, and I imagine that it will get just as much use with our second. This rocker and sleeper has a great incline so if your child suffers from any sort of reflux it will help reduce that, plus it's super portable since it folds easily and it's lightweight. We were able to bring it upstairs or downstairs quickly so our little guy had a safe place to sleep during the day when we needed to get stuff done in other rooms of the house but still wanted him close by.
6.) Nesting Days Carrier. This is a new find for me and I'm completely obsessed with it. I first noticed this product on Instagram and quickly fell in love with it after doing a little more research.The Nesting Days Carrier is a skin to skin newborn carrier that's designed to provide the ultimate mother-baby bonding experience.
I received a classic wrap as a gift for my first baby and was so intimated by it that I didn't even try to use it until my son was 3 or 4 months old. By that point he was a bit heavy and it was HOT. We live in Florida so wearing a shirt, then a baby with several layers of wrap around me was just too much in the warmer months. Then, when I tried to transition him into a soft structured carrier he didn't seem to enjoy it as much as I hoped he would. This time, I've vowed to start babywearing right from the start and I know the Nesting Days Carrier is going to be perfect! Created by a postpartum doula, Nesting Days is the first all-in-one newborn baby carrier and postpartum body shaper for moms. The goal is to help you integrate your baby into your daily routine, while keeping baby in the safest place possible - next to your heart.
This genius carrier is a shirt and carrier in one that can accommodate babies from 5 to 18 pounds (but it can also be worn over clothing for on the go use as well). It provides a cozy, second womb of sorts for your newborn, plus it's composed of a 4-way-stretch nylon/lycra body that provides soft, strong core strength (high compression) for mom (I just LOVE compression garments for the postpartum period). There are just SO many benefits to this type of skin to skin carrier that I don't think I can adequately name them all (less colic and reflux, helps maintain body temperature, boosts oxytocin levels and lowers cortisol levels - just to name a few!). Plus, this carrier promotes breastfeeding success since you can nurse while wearing it. It's truly amazing and I cannot wait to try it out. For a full review of this beautiful carrier, check out Snap Happy Mom.
What are your must-haves for baby 2 (or beyond)?
I would love to hear them!
Disclosure: I received some of these items at no cost to facilitate this post and other items I purchased myself. All opinions are 100% my own and are not influenced in any way. Images are courtesy of Amazon.