Baby Items You Really Need (and Don’t): My Second Time Around

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My first child is almost three, and I’m due in August with my second! It’s exciting, but most aspects of being being pregnant this time around are harder. I can’t rest like I could with my last pregnancy, my budget is tighter, and the laundry and cleanup never stop with a toddler.

But…at least this time I know exactly what baby gear I need and will actually use. When I was pregnant with my son I obsessed over registry items, online baby must haves, and all the latest research on what toys and books stimulate learning.

Whether you are planning for your first bundle of joy, or you just want to compare notes, I’d love to share my thoughts with you!

Stuff You Need

  1. A Bassinet is More Important than a Crib at First: I bought a big, fancy crib for my son. Then I walked back and forth from his room every few hours, all night for about a week. Not this time! This baby will sleep in a bassinet beside me for the first few months instead. Every extra minute of sleep counts! Plus having extra time to assemble a crib is great. 
  2. Quality Counts for Swings and Bouncers: I wasn’t sure if my first baby would need a swing AND a bouncer, so I bought low-quality ones to see how much we even used them. Hilarious. Take all my money, you swing and bouncer manufacturers. Anything to stop the crying. I bought this swing, but slightly used. I would rather have a quality used product than something that constantly runs out of batteries. Avoiding batteries all together for something that charges via a wall plug is best! I still haven’t found a bouncer that I’m in love with, so someone tell me!
  3. Put that Baby Uppies: I had no idea how much I would baby wear. I couldn’t get anything done or go anywhere unless I strapped my son right to my chest. I recommend multiple baby wear options for different stages. I love the Moby wrap for newborns, the Baby Bjorn for facing outward, and the Tula for slightly bigger babies all the way to toddlers (I’m not a huge fan of the infant insert). There are tons of facebook groups with deals, sometimes Babies to Kids has gently used carriers, and lots of moms in town like to sell to other local moms. 
  4. A Click Connect Stroller System: I bought a grow with me carseat the first time around (the kind that installs into the car and then is usable for 10 years), but I couldn’t click it in and out of the car. I burned with jealousy seeing other moms peacefully transfer their sleeping baby into a stroller or cart. This time I’m doing two Graco click connect seats and a stroller that they can click into. Babies should be rear facing as long as possible anyway, so I’ll get a good life out of the seats. Then I’ll buy a grow with me seat after we front-face. 
  5. Pacifiers and Clips: I was convinced that my baby would never use a pacifier. Mmmmhmmm. Pacifiers are lifesavers. My son didn’t need one after the first year or so, but they saved us in the early days. Buy some. Buy the clip things so they don’t drop all over the floor- so important. 
  6. High Contrast Toys and Books: So many baby books and toys are cute, but babies can’t see them or interact with them well. High contrast is everything. I love this book. Find high contrast play gyms, travel games, mobiles, and so on that your baby will actually engage with. 
  7. A Backseat Mirror: It is so cool to be able to see what your baby is doing in the backseat. Mirrors that strap to the headrest in front of your baby are super cheap, and they let you safely glance at the baby. This product could save your baby’s life if you see them choking. Plus, they serve as an extra reminder that your baby is in the car with you (we all think we will never leave a baby in the car, but it happens more than anyone wants to think about). 

Stuff I Hardly Used

  1. I had a fancy seat cover that went over high chairs and shopping cart seats. That was cute for a hot minute, and then I had a life to live and no time to drag a cover around. 
  2. I never used bottle sterilizer or drying rack. I breastfed and only pumped for when I was at work (a couple bottles a few days a week). The bottles weren’t that hard to clean, and they could easily dry on a dish towel. 
  3. I see no point in a wipe warmer. Do you want your toilet paper to be warm? I don’t get it. My baby had no problems with room temperature wipes. Plus, some wipe warmers have started fires. 
  4. My nursing covers turned into big scarves that I wear occasionally. My baby wanted no part of nursing under a hot cover where he couldn’t see his mama. I don’t eat in the dark either. 
  5. PJ’s with buttons were my downfall. Sleep deprivation plus buttons was not a good mix. I switched over to zippers and never looked back.