What Do You Need For The Second Baby?

Recently Alex asked me what I would recommend purchasing for a second baby, and I realized I have gotten a lot of questions over the last year about the transition to two kids, but I've never written any posts about it!  So I'm starting a little mini series on the transition to two kids.  

Of course the balancing act is going to a whole other level soon with Baby #3 coming, so maybe once I figure things out after this little one makes his/her appearance I'll do a post on having three kids as well.  But for now, my tips on going from one to two.


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First of all - what do you need for two kids?  

It can be a little tricky to know what to purchase for the second baby when you got so much of what you needed for the first.  What do you really need more of?  What extras will you need now that you will be handling two kids instead of one?  

I think the answers vary a lot by family, lifestyle, what exactly you already have, and whether you are having the same gender as your first or not.  If you are having the opposite gender the second time around, the list is obviously going to be much longer.  But in general, you are not going to need a whole lot of extras for the second baby.  Here are a few tips for buying for Baby #2 (or #3).


A Few Things To Think About

1.  Go through your stuff and see what you have that is worn out.  For us, this was swaddling blankets, burp clothes, and bottles.  These items had a lot of wear by the time Wyatt was done with them, so I decided to get new ones.  And it's just nice to have some fresh things for the new baby.

2. Think about how old your first child(ren) will be when the next one comes and go from there.  Whether you need to make some of the big purchases again - ex. crib, car seat, stroller - is going to depend a lot on how far apart your kids will be.  

3. Get things that you wanted to try with your first baby but never did.  These will probably mostly be little items, but here's your chance!  For me, it was those SwaddleMe blankets.  I bought a couple to try with Gwen, and I loved them!  It was fun to try something new.  For the next baby, I want some sort of cute teething toy (like Sophie the Giraffe), or pacifier toy (like a Wubbanub).  Just because I think they are cute.  I also think a carseat blanket/cover would be nice, instead of draping a blanket over the carseat all the time (but I might just try to make one of those).  Just to give you some examples.  Give some new items a go!


A Few Specific Items

1.  Get a good baby carrier.  If you don't already have one, now is the time to get one.

2.  Double Stroller?  For strollers, I say if your kids are going to be close to two years apart or more, you can probably get away with not purchasing a double (unless it's in your budget and you just want one).  You can carry your youngest in a carrier and put the oldest in a regular stroller until baby gets older, and by the time you need the stroller for your new baby, your other child will probably be walking better.  A double stroller is only really necessary when it's just you alone with the kids anyway - if your husband is coming with you, using two separate strollers is easy enough (hello $15 umbrella stroller!).  However, if your kids are going to be less than 18 months apart (like with my third baby), I think a double stroller is something you might want to consider.

3.  Diapers.  Obviously.  If you are using cloth, you need to evaluate the age gap again.  I'd say if the new baby is coming right around the time you could be potty training your older child, you will probably still need more cloth diapers (sorry to burst your bubble).  You might be lucky and have your child potty trained in a weekend, or it could be a really long process.  Your child could be ready before the baby comes, or they might not.  They may be doing great with potty training and then regress because of all the changes with a new baby (I think it's generally not a good idea to mix potty-training changes with new baby changes, but everyone is different).  Bottom line: Potty training is unpredictable, so play it safe.

4.  Somewhere safe to put the new baby. If you don't have a swing, bouncy chair, pack and play, or something like that, get one so you have somewhere to put the new baby when you need to help the older child.  I think it's pretty unlikely that someone having a second baby would not have at least one these things already, but just in case.

5.  New pacifiers.  Pacifiers hold a lot of bacteria (yuck), so just get new ones.


That is pretty much all I can think of.  If you still have everything you had for your first baby, you are probably already set for most things.  You just need to decide if you are going to need to re-purchase any big items, depending on the age gap, and then fill in the little things that need replacing or that you wished you had with the first baby.

Anything I'm forgetting?  Do any of you have any items that you think were lifesavers for when you added another baby to your family?  Comment below, I'd love to hear!


Have any specific questions for me about having more than one (or more than two) kiddos?  Leave them in the comments and I will tell you what I think!

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Hayley! said...

This is a great list!

Inspired said...

I love it all! I'm eating it up. My two will be about 18 months a part and the same gender but I still feel like there are things I need. It's a good reminder about pacifiers - added them to my registry. AND to go through your things for worn out. For us that is little white onesies (short and long sleeved) that got lots of EB poo stains ;) and you use all the time to layer up.

Can't wait to

Kate Craig said...

I've bought very few things! But here's my list:
A double stroller was a must have for me because I walk for exercise
A nicer carrier that I see myself using a lot while Kylie plays outside
A booster seat for Kylie so the baby can have the highchair (it's one that reclines for infants, I used it instead of a bouncy seat)
Replacement bottle and sippy cup nipples. And nursing things like storage bags and pads
New bibs because Kylie still uses hers
A mattress for the pack n play instead of buying a second crib

As for the diapers, I'm wondering if it would be more cost effective to put the almost potty trained one in disposables and use the cloth for the new one. I guess it depends on which cloth diapers you buy.

Unknown said...

Looking forward to reading more of this series Callie - great idea :)

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