When bringing a second kid into your family (especially within a short time), there are many, many, many things that you will simply reuse. For us, this has definitely been the case, even though we had a boy first, followed by a girl. With the exception of needing some of the “basics” for her, (i.e. a bed), we have reused almost everything, from the changing table and the rocker, to the infant carseat and baby swing. There is something still very sweet and special about getting the next baby his/her own things (like some clothes), but the hand-me-down game is strong the second time around. That said, there are some things that have become invaluable for the second baby in ways I could not have predicted. Here is a more detailed list of my Top 5 2nd Baby Essentials… these are not meant for ONLY a second baby, they just make second baby/2-kid management a teensy bit easier. (Follow Linked Items for All Products)
1.Baby Lounger: See Below for Recommendations
Ours is called a Nap Nanny, which, as much as I love it, I cannot recommend because during my research for this list, I learned it’s been recalled! We will still use ours, but it pains me to say I can’t tell you to get one for yourself. See below for a list of similar products still available.
WHAT: A portable supportive “reclined seat” for baby
WHY: So you have the freedom to do things around the house or attend to baby #1 while keeping baby #2 present and part of the conversation. The easy maneuverability makes this a must so you can keep baby with you in every room of the house.
PERSONAL NOTE: This is perhaps my most used and valued second-baby item. We’ve had ours since before the birth of our first, but we never used it. It was a hand- me-down from a friend who had also never used it – so it sat in our closet until our daughter was born. We don’t have the biggest house, but once our second baby arrived, I saw the need for an easy place to put her in every room. This we already have: a swing in the living room (which is earshot from he dining room and kitchen), beds and/or changing tables in all the bedrooms, and even some bonus seating with a baby bjorn bouncer (which we love as well). What separates this type of product from the rest, and makes it so easy and
“essential” for baby #2 is the following: It’s SUPER easy to move around, it can literally be placed ANYWHERE, it’s a solid piece of foam so baby is stable and doesn’t always need to be strapped in (which is great when you just need a place to put her for a quick minute – no fuss), it’s not a bed but it’s “cozy” enough for baby to nap in, baby is slightly propped up, allowing her to look around and interact even when she’s not in your arms. We literally use it in every room all the time (and never felt we needed it with our first).
2. Structured Carrier: ERGOBABY BABY CARRIER
WHAT: As opposed to a wrap (which is comfy and beautiful and sweet for a newborn), a structured carrier has a little more support for both mama and baby.
WHY: It allows mama to be a little more hands-free, which is super helpful with second baby when multitasking becomes your number 1 job. (carrying baby while: playing with toddler, doing laundry, unloading dishwasher, etc.)
PERSONAL NOTE: With my son, I used both the Baby K’Tan and the Ergobaby carrier. I love wraps because they are so cozy, and always make me feel like the easygoing, free spirited boho mama I admire. But I have used a wrap one time with my daughter. I jumped right to the ergobaby, simply because it was more practical and easier to maneuver when trying to juggle multiple tasks. Baby-wearing is a skill to master in and of itself, but assuming a mama is experienced by the time baby #2 rolls around, I recommend more structure because it gives you more “hands-free” comfort and freedom right from the start – which is the whole point, right?
3. Multi-Use Wrap: NATIVE WILDS NEST
WHAT: A multi-purpose wrap that can be a carseat cover, baby swaddle/blanket, nursing cover, and any number of other creative uses.
WHY: For managing 2 babies, ease of functionality and swiftness of use are essential. This product has turned become one of my favorites, because it’s one less thing I have to think about when we’re leaving the house.
PERSONAL NOTE: Like the baby lounger, the Native Wilds Nest is something I’ve had in my possession for some time, folded away with all our extra swaddle blankets, etc., but finally realized its value when I pulled it out and used it for the first time rather recently. I instantly thought to myself “what took me so long?!” Like everything else on this list, it is not 2nd baby specific, and is a great asset to every parent. But when you have a 2nd baby on your hands, anything that can be used in multiple ways and saves time is key. So here’s why it’s so great for this purpose alone: it can live on your carseat and act as a carseat cover with an adjustable window to protect from shade as needed, look at your babe as needed, or cover a sleeping babe as needed. Because it wraps around the carseat, there is no concern for a fly away blanket or one that drags on the dirty ground. And anytime you leave the house with your brood, there is no need to to scramble for all the blankets you might need – you have them all wrapped up in one! Super convenient, super cute, super affordable and super worth it.
4. Diaper Backpack: SKIPHOP FORMA BACKPACK
WHAT: A Backpack instead of a Tote. Imagine: Carrying all your baby needs on your back and being completely hands free for running, chasing, carrying, juggling.
WHY: Because why not make life easier!
PERSONAL NOTE: At the risk of looking like a 12-year-old every time I go out with my kids, the diaper backpack was a complete no brainer as soon as we found out about
baby #2. It might have been the first thing I put on my registry. I love the Skip Hop Forma Backpack because I find it has just enough room for everything I need, and isn’t huge or cumbersome to open, close or carry. There were some packs that are perhaps a little chicer, but of the ones I investigated I liked this one the most for its overall looks, washability, packability, and lightness. I still find the need for my original diaper bag (which I also LOVE) anytime my kids are separate. But because my toddler needs far fewer things packed on the go, one backpack for both during family outings is (usually) all we need! (for changing, clothing & feeding supplies at least). The ONLY super valuable thing my original diaper bag had that this particular backpack doesn’t is a built-in insulated pocket for bottles or cold snacks. That said, there are easy fixes for this so it’s not a deal breaker.
5. Wine AND Coffee (DUH!)
These should be pretty self explanatory… and yes they are both acceptable while breastfeeding… if you were cautious about this with your first, you might find yourself less restrictive with your second because SURVIVAL. No Shame in the Mom Game.