I am sure I am not alone in thinking that once you have had your first baby, you must surely know everything there is to know about what a little one will need.
You may also think that you already have everything that you need to keep your second baby clothed, warm and safe. So, how can there be must-haves for a second or more babies?
Well, depending on the gap between the births of your babies, the first thing you will probably find is that some of the cute items that you packed away carefully now look a bit “worn” and maybe even a little grubby.
Also, baby products are constantly being improved and new ones invented, so it makes sense to see what is now available to make your life easier. What you did not have the first time around is a mischievous older sibling running around, not feeling particularly keen on sharing mom’s attention with the new intruder. There are several tips and products that will make the life of moms with second babies much easier.
You might like to start a registry with a reputable company that stocks baby products, such as the Amazon Baby Registry. This will help you to find out which are the most up-to-the-minute products. You can browse the selection and easily return items that you decide are not suitable for your baby.
Rock-a-bye-Baby – essentials for sleep
1. A bassinet
All the best advice for keeping your baby safe while it is sleeping states that you should keep your baby next to your bed. It is reassuring for both of you and very convenient when you have to wake in the night for feeds. So, the Halo Bassinet is perfect for this purpose. These are the main features:
- The height is adjustable.
- It swivels, and it is easy and light to push into place.
- The sides slide up and down, so it is easy to reach across and bring the baby to your side when feeding.
- As your baby becomes more observant, they can see their parent(s) through the mesh sides or you can admire your sleeping baby.
- The built-in music option is soothing, and the vibration option is very relaxing for babies.
It is always a good idea to get a new crib mattress if possible. Make sure that it is firm and waterproof.
If you are looking for a multi-purpose item in which your baby can safely sleep, play and cuddle, then DockATot is what you need. It can be used as a place to change nappies and is easily transported around the house as you get on with chores. It comes in different sizes to suit newborns thru larger babies.
The sleepsack is another must-have safety item to keep your baby cosy and warm without the risk of getting tangled in blankets. Baby has plenty of space to move and stretch about, but the sleepsack cannot be kicked off.
My favourite is the Halo 100% Cotton Muslin Wearable Blanket which has a zip that opens from the bottom for easier nappy changing, and, being made of a breathable fabric, it prevents baby from overheating.
Your baby will probably be swaddled soon after birth in the hospital because this gives a baby the cosy cocoon it needs that is similar to being in the womb. A swaddling blanket was used in the past, but it took some practise to get it right.
The best swaddle blankets on the market these days are so simple to use and have the following features:
- They come equipped with Velcro or zippers to make nappy changing easier.
- There is more space at the bottom for free movement.
- They can be used as a wearable blanket as baby grows.
- They are made of natural fabrics such as muslin or cotton.
Check out the Halo Sleepsack Swaddle, Summer Infant Swaddle, Smarter Swaddle or The Woombie Pod, which has a mix of cotton and spandex, allowing for comfy movement while keeping baby cosy.
5. Baby Monitor
A monitor will be very useful for keeping your mind at rest so that hopefully, you will also get some sleep at night.
When you are a mom for the second time, you might not be able to take a nap when baby sleeps though. Your first child will probably grab the chance to have you to themselves, and they will want you to play with them.
Having a monitor that supports two cameras will be a lifesaver. You can keep an eye on one child while you are still giving the other one your attention.
For this reason, I recommend the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor with add-on camera unit.
6. Keep the noise down with a Cushy Closer
A Cushy Closer is a wonderful invention that stops anyone from accidentally slamming a door closed and waking the baby that you have spent ages trying to settle. You can put them on all the doors around the house, and the sound of the latch clicking will be softened by this little cushion that fits around the doorknob.
7. White noise is the right noise
Babies do not need total silence when they are asleep because they are used to all the gentle rumblings that went on around them in your tummy.
Your baby may enjoy similar soothing sounds now, so a soundmachine that provides sounds for sleep and relaxation could be ideal. The LectroFan Micro Wireless Sleep Sound Machine is available from Amazon.
8. Nursing covers
If you are breastfeeding your second baby, you might like to treat yourself to a new nursing cover for when you are nursing in public. I find the Nursing Cover with sewn in burp cloth particularly useful, and the stylish nursing poncho provides all the privacy you need as well as keeping you warm around the shoulders. Another favourite is the baby wrap. The CuddleBug Baby Wrap Sling can take a weight of up to 36 lbs and keeps baby right where you want it—close to you. It is also ideal for covering up when breastfeeding.
9. Breast pump
You will definitely need a breast pump when you have a second baby, or you will never have a moment to yourself. Being able to express and store breastmilk will give you a much needed break whenever it is possible to escape for a while and leave the feeding to someone else.
The Medela Freestyle Breast Pump or the Medela Easy Expression Hands Free Pumping Bra are some of the latest methods for expressing milk quickly and easily.
I am guessing that you will have thrown away any bibs that were used by your first baby,because learning to feed yourself is a messy business. Bibs are reasonably priced, and some are so gorgeous that they could even be called baby fashion accessories! They offer such great protection for baby’s clothes and reduce the number of changes you have to make, so it’s worth getting new ones.
Some of my favourites are Bumkins Dr Seuss SuperBib and Alvababy bandana bibs which are funky and cool.
11. A Highchair
From between four and six months, your baby will be able to sit up on its own, and that is the time to start using a highchair. You may be able to use the one you had for your first baby, but if your budget allows, you may want to invest in the Stokke Steps Complete 5-in-1 High chair which has many fabulous features—but also has a hefty price tag.
Out and about with baby + 1 or 2
One of my fears when I had my second baby was how I was going to manage transporting everybody when we left the house.
12. Jogging Stroller
The Baby Jogger City Mini Double Stroller makes taking both children out a breeze. It has great suspension, easy folding, and adjustable sun canopies. It also has plenty of storage for the endless supply of baby and toddler paraphernalia that will have to accompany you on every trip out.
13. Car seats
When it comes to car seats, you definitely don’t want to skimp on safety. The Britax B Rear Facing Infant Car Seat offers you an advanced level of safety for your precious bundle when travelling in the car.
14. Car seats and shopping trolleys
Another stressful task is supermarket shopping with a second baby. You need to attach the baby car seat to the trolley and make sure that your toddler is also able to take a seat. This is where the Binxy Baby comes in handy It is a hammock that is specially designed to attach to the trolley and can take the weight of the baby car seat with baby inside.
15. Changing station
When you are out visiting with baby or even when you are just busy around the house and garden, you will find that a portable crib and changing station will make life so much easier for you. Take a look at the Graco Pack ‘n Play Portable Napper and Changer. This portable crib and changing table is easy to clean, and you have everything you need all in one unit.
16. Diaper Bag
Gone are the days of stepping out of the door in stilettos, with a designer purse and not a care in the world! Actually, you probably remember that from when you became a first time mom. Now you have to plan your trip with the precision of a military invasion, including all the supplies that go with it.
You need a diaper bag that has the capacity to hold everything that your baby is going to need, and then some. Don’t forget that your older child is also going to want to stow some of their gear in there. There are so many gorgeous diaper bags to choose from, and I would advise taking a look at the Nordstrom range. They have tried to think of everything a mom could want in a bag, and they have managed to nail it in their range, as well as making them look really good too. If you prefer a backpack diaper bag, you may like the Bag Nation diaper bag backpack that has the best overall rating in that category.
What supplies do you need to take in your diaper bag?
Well, diapers for a start. You can choose from so many disposable diapers these days, and you need to try different types to find out which are the best fit for your baby. Pampers do a new line of disposable diapers for new-borns called Pampers Swaddlers. And then there is the Huggies range which caters for every age and size.
18. Diaper disposal bags
A roll of these pleasant smelling little bags will make it much easier and more pleasant to get rid of baby’s used disposable diapers.
When you are changing diapers at home, you will find that the Playtex Genie Complete Diaper Pail is a hygienic, handsfree disposal unit that needs a place in every nursery. It can hold 270 newborn diapers (imagine the smells that could produce) and is a great timesaving device.
It seems that you need an endless supply of wipes when you have a second baby because now you have double the number of faces, fingers, and bottoms to clean. Buy them in all different-sized packs so that you can keep some in your diaper bag, changing station, car, and anywhere else that your baby might go with you.
20. A changing pad
Some diaper bags have integrated changing pads, but if yours doesn’t, then you need a lightweight, waterproof changing pad that can be rolled up and used as often as needed. And it will be needed often!
Just because you are the second baby does not mean that you should look like a Second-hand Rose!
Of course there will be some beautiful baby clothes that you were gifted at the baby shower and those you bought for the first baby. Often, these have hardly been worn before the baby outgrows them, and if the siblings are the same sex, then clothing your second baby is not going to be much of a problem.
You might find that there is a new babies clothing line that you really like, or you might find that there have been new innovations in fabric and fittings since you had your first baby.
Try not to hang on to hand-me-downs like soiled vests and saggy Babygro’s when they are now so affordable and can be bought in multi-packs. Often these get in such a mess that there is only one place for them – the bin.
21. Socks and Mittens
Depending on the season that your baby is born, they might need the additional warmth of socks and mittens. Chances are that you have a selection of mismatched ones anyway. Why do you always end up with one of a pair?
Forget about footed pyjamas with poppers. You can now get cosy jammies with ankle-to-chin zippers that make diaper changing in the middle of the night a cinch. Footed pyjamas are all your baby needs to keep warm at night, even if they manage to wriggle out from under a blanket. Kickee pants bamboo footie pyjamas are cool in summer and can be layered with a sleepsack in winter. With all footed pyjamas, you should choose a breathable fabric so that baby does not overheat in the crib.
Baby Bath Times are great for Bonding
Who can resist the smell of a freshly-bathed baby? It can be quite a terrifying experience giving your new-born baby its first bath, whether you are an experienced mom or not. They can be so slippery and wriggly!
23. Baby baths
You may like to start off with a soft, flexible bath like the Puj Tub for the first few months. It will fit into most regular bathroom sinks and will keep baby still and safe. It also saves your back as you will not need to lean over the tub.
The Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn to Toddler Tub is very good value for money because it caters for a larger age range. There is a mess insert for newborn babies that holds them in position while they are having a splash.
24. Hooded bath towels
Is there anything cuter than a baby wrapped in a hooded bath towel?
Look for the sweetest animal-themed hooded towel and make sure that it is made from a super absorbent fabric like the Miniboo Organic Bamboo Hooded Baby Towel range available on Amazon. You might also want to splash out on an ultra-soft, hooded bathrobe to keep baby snug after its bath.
Older siblings do not need to feel left out because there is an awesome Dinosaur hooded towel that will make bathtime fun for everyone!
25. Bath toys
Bath time can become a fun, learning experience as well. Your baby can learn from playing with the water and finding out about floating, sinking, and all kinds of science stuff without even knowing that it’s happening.
The Munchkin White Hot Safety Bath Ducky could be a lifesaver as it shows the word HOT if the water is too hot for baby to be immersed in. It is an ideal size for baby to hold on to and will float perfectly because it is watertight.
My babies loved playing with the Nuby 5-piece Splish Splash Bath Time Stacking Cups. They are brightly coloured and a mini waterfall is created as a cup drains.
There will be giggles galore if the Elegant Baby Dinosaur Party Squirt toys appear at bath time. They will appeal to your first and second baby, and that is for sure!
26. Baby Wash and lotion
You will have a wonderful time sniffing the vast range of baby wash and lotion products available. There washes and lotions for every type of baby skin and even some with aromatherapy oils to relax baby before bed.
You can use the opportunity to give your baby a soothing massage after the bath time fun and make this into a wonderful bonding experience for both of you.
The old favourite baby wash and lotion products are made by Johnson’s and Dove, but have a sniff of new products like Honeykeeper Kids Shampoo which carries a five-star rating.
Playing is how babies learn
Finding the best toys for your second baby is so easy these days!
Baby toys take a hard knock over time, so you should be prepared to have a good sort through the toy box and decide whether some toys have had their day or whether some have become downright dangerous. Of course, I am not suggesting that you throw away your firstborn’s favourite, loved-to-death teddy!
Babies and toddlers learn so much through play, so it is a good idea to invest in this important part of their development.
27. Teething Toys
You will probably need some new teething toys and they provide the best relief for sensitive, aching gums – especially if they are delivered ice-cold from the freezer.
You can find teething toys made out of so many different materials. Your baby will decide whether it prefers to chew on a wood, silicone, BPA-free plastic or fabric teether.
The winner of the 2018 Best of Baby award was the Mombella Ellie Elephant teether. It is easy to hold and is specially designed to give relief to the emerging molars, but it won’t make baby gag.
I think that the Chewbeads teething necklace is pure genius because babies always grab at your necklace, don’t they? And don’t you hate having to forever bend down to pick up the teething toy that has been dropped and then have to find a place to wash it off? Well, with this teething necklace you will not have that problem.
Then there is the delightful Apple Park Cubby Soft Teething Toy. Made of organic cotton and filled with corn fibres, it is unique in that it is super soft on baby’s sensitive gums. It even makes a gentle jingle to cheer up a fussy baby.
Best Baby Toys of 2019
28. Baby Activity Mats
Babies enjoy the freedom of an activity mat. They can fiddle, roll about and develop their observational skills all at the same time. With so many activities, it is a sensory experience that can keep them entertained for hours while also developing those tiny muscles and strengthening fine motor skills.
The Skip Hop Treetop Friends playmat is inspired by nature, and it is an interactive delight.
29. Stuffed toys
Although stuffed toys come with a warning because of the possibility of smothering a baby or the fear that bits and bobs may come loose and choke a baby, it is almost impossible to resist the latest cuddly toys.
I have fallen in love with the Jellycat Bashful Beige Bunny, and I know you will too. It is so soft and cuddly and is safe for babies from birth. Jellycat make a whole range of the softest toys you have ever seen, and they come in such soft pastel colours that they will match any nursery.
30. Baby Books
There is no need to keep dog-eared, gummed up, old baby books on your nursery shelf. There are some amazing new books that you can share with newborn babies, and they will also appeal to your firstborn, so everyone is a winner! As they say, curl up with good book, and maybe you will all get a restful nap.
So, there you have my list of 30 things you must have for your second baby. I am sure that you will have just as much fun choosing things for your second baby, and of course, you now have experience on your side.