As a second-time mom, I thought I was covered as far as the baby must haves. Sure, those newborn essentials were a little well-worn, but I had what I needed to survive the newborn phase.
But when my second child arrived, I realized my mistake.
Because suddenly, I had a newborn and an older kid to wrangle:
- When the baby went down for a nap, I spent every ounce of energy, creativity, and patience I had to keep my big kid quiet.
- When they were both awake, that was when my big kid needed something like a snack or help using the bathroom.
- If we ran out of an essential like diapers or wipes or mom’s emergency chocolate stash, jumping in the car to run to Target wasn’t as easy as before – because now I had to line up two kids’ schedules and moods.
And so when I was in the trenches with two little ones, I realized some baby gear that seemed unnecessary the first time around was now absolutely essential.
Since my second baby was born, I’ve gone on to have two more babies, so I learned through trial and error what you really need on your second baby registry for welcoming another baby into the mix when you have an older child.
7 Musts for Your Second Baby Registry That Will Make Your Life Easier
Below, I’m sharing my lessons learned so you can beef up your own second baby registry. These second baby must haves will make the transition from one child to two as easy as possible for you.
By the way, if you haven’t started your second baby registry yet, I loved the Amazon baby registry†. You can add any product from any site, plus it’s super easy to share it with friends and family.
Of all these second baby must haves, this one has been the biggest lifesaver. We’re still using ours with our fourth baby, and we have several in the house.
So what’s the big deal about The Cushy Closer?
When the baby goes down for a nap, you’ll want her to get good rest so she doesn’t end up overtired and fighting sleep the rest of the day. But your older child isn’t quite self-aware enough yet to know what “be quiet” means.
You can say it until you’re blue in the face, but they just won’t get it. Expect them to do everything at normal (loud!) volume, from talking to shutting doors. You’ll soon realize that your older child doesn’t shut doors so much as slam them, and that’s where The Cushy Closer comes in.
This genius invention fits around a doorknob and the latch in order to cushion the sound of the door closing.
Before we got these little contraptions for the kids’ rooms and the bathroom door, the big kids would wake up the baby during every single nap. Now, the baby sleeps through the doors opening and closing, and the big kids don’t have to deal with a grumpy mom snapping at them. Win-win!
My Pick: The Cushy Closer
If you didn’t get a baby monitor with your first baby, you’ll definitely want it on your second baby registry. That way, you can take your (loud!) older kid outside or in another part of your home while your baby sleeps.
Even if you already have a baby monitor, you’ll want to consider upgrading to a monitor that supports two cameras.
Here’s why: When you’re trying to put baby down for a nap, that’s when your older kid will decide to grab a dining room chair, drag it to the kitchen, and climb up on the counter to get into your secret chocolate stash. Or worse: Get into something dangerous like knives or cleaning solutions.
Add a baby monitor with two cameras to your second baby checklist, and you can set up the extra camera to watch your older kid while you’re getting your baby down for a nap. That way you can focus on getting your baby calmed down and rest assured knowing you’re keeping your big kid safe, too.
When I went to pull the burp cloths out of storage, I got an unpleasant surprise: All those baby spit-up stains had yellowed from age, and my formerly cute burp cloths looked pretty nasty.
You’ll have those things thrown over your shoulder the vast majority of the time, so add new burp cloths to your second baby registry. That way, you won’t feel like barfing if you catch a glimpse of yourself in the hallway mirror wearing a ratty old burp cloth.
Bonus for the brand I’m using this go-round: They double as bibs later on when baby’s ready for solid foods.
My Pick: aden + anais Burpy Bib
With two kiddos to manage, you’ll often find yourself in situations where they both need you at the same time. For example, your baby may be fussy at the same time your big kid needs help using the bathroom.
In those situations, you’ll want a baby carrier that’s easy to put on and take off. For my first child, I loved the Moby, but with my second baby I realized it wasn’t quick enough to put on when my big kid needed me, too.
I’ve used both the Baby K’tan Baby Carrier and the Ergobaby Adapt, and I loved both. What I appreciate about the Ergobaby Adapt is that unlike similar carriers, it works from newborn to toddler and doesn’t need an extra insert to work for the newborn stage.
If your big kid still rides in a stroller, consider adding a double stroller to your second baby registry.
As an alternative, you can put your baby in your carrier like the Ergobaby Adapt and keep your big kid in the stroller. But you may find that you don’t appreciate the feeling of having an 11-pound turkey strapped to your chest while pushing forward with both arms.
We fell in love with the UPPAbaby Vista Stroller because both kids fit comfortably without the stroller needing to be double-wide. (Trying to fit a double-wide stroller through narrow areas is certainly no fun!)
And if you end up having another little one later on, you can actually fit three kids on the Vista with their PiggyBack accessory.
But if you have bumpy roads or hilly areas in your neighborhood, you may want something a bit beefier like the BOB Revolution Flex Duallie Jogging Stroller. Just beware that if you go with this stroller, you’ll need to get an adapter so the baby’s car seat can snap in during the first few months when baby can’t sit up unassisted.
To help drown out the noise of your big kid while your baby is sleeping, you’ll want to add a white noise machine to your second baby registry.
Bonus: Babies are used to a constant whooshing sound from when they were inside your body, so white noise is something your baby will love anyway. But no need to get a separate gadget – just get a white noise app and stick your phone in a sound dock. (This sound dock is what we have.)
You can find free white noise apps, but this specific White Noise app has 40+ different sounds to choose from. This is perfect because if your baby doesn’t like the popular brown noise or the research-proven pink noise, she may like the sounds of a rainstorm. Or a cat purring. Or a Tibetan singing bowl. Plus, you can get more sounds for free from the White Noise Market.
Odds are your first kid did a number on all those brand new baby board books you had the first go-round. If any titles in your baby book collection have been chewed on, slobbered on, and/or torn to pieces, go ahead and add a replacement to your second baby registry.
You’ll be happy you did for three reasons:
- You can feel good about reading to your baby from the start.
- When you need to entertain both kids at the same time, you can grab a big stack of books and go to town.
- If your first baby’s library had any boring or mind-numbing books, now’s your chance to recycle the chewed-up versions and replace them with high-quality baby board books you’ll actually enjoy reading.
Check out Baby Must Haves: 25+ Surprising Essentials for Baby’s First Year for more tips on which baby gear you’ll need.
What baby gear do you recommend for a second baby registry? Leave a comment below to share your tips!