What to Buy for Baby 2. With your first born, you get the majority of the baby gear you will ever need. But when you have your second, there are some items that you will need that you didn’t necessarily use for your first. As Jack is now 3.5 months old I feel like I have a better handle on what we use and what we have found to be helpful. Some items are easy like a double stroller, while others might be more personal like a front-facing carrier or ear plugs. Just kidding about the earplugs. We haven’t done strict sleep training yet and probably won’t for awhile longer. For all you kidless peeps, sleep training is when you try to teach the kid how to get to sleep on their own (basically, it often boils down to letting the kid cry it out.) And I am totally kidding about wearing ear plugs but man, it was one of the hardest things we ever did. Evan did bring home some industrial earplugs though as a joke after seeing how difficult it was for me to hear her. I didn’t use them but I did use a pan of brownies and wine. I am not looking forward to doing it with Jack but I feel like we are going to have to sooner rather than later.
Back to the point, here is what we bought for our second kiddo and here are all the brands and items I would recommend registering for for your first (click on button below for printable list!)
1.) Double Stroller:
We registered for a convertible stroller with our first born, our daughter Bowe. After hearing from my two friends who were both having their second babies how annoying it was to have to buy a whole new stroller system, we took their advice and bought a convertible stroller, the Baby Jogger City Select (it goes from one kid to two, and even has a ride-along board for #3!) We bought it with only one seat, and then when Jack came along we bought the second add on seat. But you can also buy it with both seats. This stroller lives in our car now as it is in the only way I can transport his carseat out of the car without carrying it myself. Do you know how heavy those things are especially with a 16 pound child in it? To accommodate Jack, we simply bought the second seat attachment (around $150). And this would be completely sufficient if I didn’t want a stroller to exercise with, and go “off road” with. So we bought a double jogging stroller, the Bob Flex Duallie. It is amazing and we use it all the time. The BOB one resides in our garage and we use it for walking the dogs (we take them around the pond which is easier with an off-road stroller), jogging, and to the beach! I promise to do a full comparison between the two strollers (and our whole stroller line up!)
Our around the town stroller and pool sherpa, Baby Jogger City Select with the bassinet. Depending on if we walk to the pool or not, I will put Jack in his carseat or the bassinet. This stroller stays in my car so I can always use it.
Our workhorse stroller, the Bob Flex Duallie. It made the trip to the beach doable with two kids and one parent!
2.) Another baby carrier:
For Bowe, we bought the Boba. I still use it all the time (it is like an Ergo but doens’t require a newborn insert). The only downside with it is that the baby can’t face out. Now for some babies that is not a dealbreaker. But, for Bowe it was. So we ended up borrowing our friends’ Beco Gemini for a hiking trip so she could face or face in. When Jack was born, I was able to score a really good deal on one and bought this model, the Beco Gemini. It isn’t quite as comfortable as the Boba for long periods of time (in my opinion;) but, it does face forward so if that is important to you then consider it.
Our amazing friends lent us their swing to use with Bowe but this time around their baby #3 was still using it. I ended up buying two different swings one for each floor and will do a full review and comparison of them because I think both have their strengths and weaknesses. However, I would fully recommend either. Again, I scored a great deal on the Mamaroo and only paid $150 instead of the $239 list price! I will be sure to share all the details in an upcoming post, How To Save Money on Baby Gear Purchases. We also bought the Rock n’ Sleep and we are big fans. He takes most of his naps in this one downstairs so I can workout in the afternoons.
We still love our Baby Bjorn Travel Crib but Bowe is still using it when we travel. It has the highest weight limit, is JPMA certified and is really light and well constructed in addition to being intuitive. We figure she will use it until we transition her into a big girl bed. The one downside with the Baby Bjorn is that it is deep. The mattress rests on the ground so it isn’t ideal for little babies who are constantly getting up at night and who wake up when you put them down (this same design is what allows it to have such a high weight limit). Even with my monkey arms, it is a far reach. The other downside: it isn’t great for use as a playyard. Now, this wasn’t important with Bowie because we lived in a tiny apartment and I was literally within three feet of her. I know this time around, that I will want a safe place to put him down while I go to the bathroom with her or take a shower. Third downside- no changing table attachment. After contemplating the Nuna Sena (which has amazing reviews!) I couldn’t stomach the price (you have to purchase the changing table attachment separately so I bought a Graco Pack n’ Play. Now I will tell you it isn’t light so if you do airplane travel do not buy it. It takes a lot longer to set up, is heavier, and isn’t half as intuitive as the Baby Bjorn. But the price was right and I needed to use it for the three things it is good for: a changing table/ bassinet for downstairs (so I can always be on the same floor as Bowie), playyard, and second pack n’ play. When Jack gets older and we transition Bowie out of her crib, he will use the Baby Bjorn when we travel.
4.) A Second Diaper Sprayer:
We cloth diapered Bowe and are cloth diapering Jack as well (though not as religiously with all of our traveling!) Having a diaper sprayer has been so useful not only for the cloth diapers but for potty training. We still use Bowie’s Baby Bjorn so this rinses off any debris shall we say left in the little potty. Our original diaper sprayer was the Bum Genius and I love it but it was expensive, so I bought a cheaper alternative, this Bumkins Cloth Diaper Sprayer, for our second sprayer. I will compare and contrast these too in a different post but basically it isn’t as powerful which is a plus and a minus as you may guess.
5.) Newborn Cloth Diapers:
We borrowed newborn cloth diapers when we had Bowie and while we didn’t put Jack into them until three or four weeks (cannot remember thank you sleep deprivation!) I am so happy we bought them. Now, he has already outgrown them because he is a big boy (16 lbs at 14 weeks!) so we are in regular Bum Genius diapers; but we did use them for 10 weeks. We had way fewer blowouts with the cloth diapers than we did with the disposables.
6.) Aden & Anais Swaddling Blankets:
I bought girl Aden & Anais blankets for Bowie and absolutely loved them, but packed them away when we stopped using them and now, I cannot find them. So Jack got his own set of Aden & Anais swaddling blankets (these are a great price right now!) that are gender neutral. They are absolutely the best and are perfect not only as a swaddler but as a sun cover, nursing cover, or lightweight blanket. We even use them as an impromptu burp cloth when need be!
7.) Diapers Diapers and more Diapers.
Even though we cloth diaper, we still use disposables. We use disposables for the first several weeks because seriously, do you need one more thing to do during that time? Go with the easiest thing. We use Pampers Swaddlers as well as Honest Co. diapers. Otherwise, Earth’s Best and Seventh Generation are good diapers too. I am much more flexible with what brand we are using this time around and usually just go with what is the best deal although I am partial to Honest because they are so darn cute!
8.) A Second Baby Monitor:
We bought a Levana Lila with one camera originally when we moved last year, knowing that we were going to have a second and want to add a camera. Overall it is a good monitor. It does its job and although it isn’t super fancy it has all of the capabilities we want and is under $200.
9.) A Crib:
Luckily, we didn’t have to buy a second crib but if we had to we would have because we have to kids in cribs still. My parents gave us Bowe’s crib which is from Ikea when we moved last year. Bowe’s Ikea crib converts to a toddler bed which we will convert in the next year. Jack uses the Babyletto mini crib. The mini-crib is good for kids until about 12-18 months, so we have plenty of time.
10.) A Baby Bath Cushion:
Now that we have a tub, we no longer use the foldable tub we used with Bowie. We still however, use a cushion for him to lie on in the bath tub. This one is about $10 and is cute. I rinse ours out and let it air dry between baths and it works great!
If I was bottle feeding at all on a regular basis, (still working on Jack to take a bottle) I would buy a bottle warmer. I used this one (Dr. Brown bottle warmer) for a kid I babysat and it warmed up the bottle so quickly.
We don’t have an exersaucer or bouncer yet so we will see if we buy one. We literally did not have the room for one with Bowie and I know they are not good for the kids hip development but most kids love them and if you keep it to a minimum how much you use it, I think it can be a good thing. Give mama some freedome and keep the kid occupied!
I am also on the fence about buying a Bumbo. Again, we didn’t have room for one in our tiny apartment when Bowie was little and I had heard from physical therapists how they don’t recommend the Bumbo or seat devices like it, but it would be mighty convenient and I think would help with sitting up earlier.
What did you buy for Baby Number 2? Were you pretty well set up after your first born? We really have only had to fill in the holes where we skipped gear the first time around. Do you want a list of my favorite brands and exactly what I would register for again today? Then click on the button below to print out my checklist!