August 25, 2016 by mamacravings
As our family inches closer and closer to the due date for our second child, we are receiving more and more of the question: What do you need for this baby?
With our first son (who is now 6 1/2), I wanted everything suggested on the gift registry website. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, I found that I didn’t use a good portion of those items. They just weren’t necessary, or they weren’t convenient with a disgruntled newborn in my arms. My theory is that you won’t know unless you try. I tried, and now I know.
There are going to be many mamas that will want to add to or take away from this list. Please do! Everyone’s experience is different. There is no right way to prepare for a newborn. Start with this list, and then see what else you might need based on your baby’s preferences and your parenting style (i.e: attached parents may add a sling, etc).
In this list, I have compiled the absolute necessities that I found for surviving those newborn days. There is also a list under each necessity for “luxury items”. By luxury, I don’t mean expensive necessarily. They’re an added, comfortable bonus that makes life a bit easier, but they aren’t mandatory.
1 . A Way to Eat
With my son Eli, I breastfed. So, eating had pretty few accessories. When I went back to work I pumped. A breast pump was then a necessity for us. We had 3-4 bottles total that were washed each day to prepare for the next day. For us, that’s all we needed.
I’m not sure what to recommend for formula feeding only because I personally didn’t experience it. Mamas who formula feed or fed, how many bottles would you recommend? Which formula worked best for your little one? Is there any other needed item?
added “luxury” item: breastfeeding pillow. They sit up a bit higher than my bed pillow. While they aren’t necessary, I found mine to be quite helpful for positioning and for support.
2. A Place to Sleep
We did purchase a crib for Eli, but we ended up co-sleeping. So, the crib wasn’t actually needed. Occasionally the crib was used for his naps. It was mostly a fancy laundry sorting station. For this pregnancy, we set up the crib again. I imagine it will get the same amount of usage as the first time around.
added “luxury” item: Rock and Play/Swing. So many of my friends swear by the Rock and Play. We didn’t have one for Eli (I don’t even know if they were a thing nearly 7 years ago.), so I can’t speak from my own experience. It’s one of those items that you can try and hopefully your baby will like it. From the continued rave reviews from friends, we will certainly be trying one.
3. A Way to Go
A car seat is an absolute must for any baby on the go in the car. With Eli, we had a travel system which included the carrier/car seat and stroller. We really enjoyed it, but he grew out of it very quickly (by 9 months), and then we had to purchase another car seat. This is not the norm, and now travel system carriers support more weight than they did several years ago. However, my baby was a giant, and he needed a new seat. This time we’re opting for a car seat that will last him several years. It has rear facing, forward facing, high back booster and a low back booster.
Now the flip-side to this choice is that we will not have a car seat carrier. I rarely used mine to actually carry him, so this isn’t a deal breaker for me. I much preferred my sling. That sling was Eli’s bff. We didn’t go anywhere without it.
added “luxury” item: stroller. I say that a stroller is an added item, because we didn’t use ours very much at all. We used the baby sling instead. You may be the opposite and want to invest in a stroller and not a baby carrier. It’s completely up to how you want to mobilize your newborn.
4. A Wardrobe of Onesies and Pajamas
This is the item that you want to invest in multiples. Newborns go through several outfits per day. There are fluids everywhere….every. where. Pick items that are easy to dress and undress, especially in the middle of the night. While you don’t need a ton of onesies and pajamas, it’s convenient to have a few days worth. While one day of outfits is washing, another is being worn and another is on deck for use.
added “luxury” item: more baby clothes. Baby clothes and accessories are just plain fun! While it may not be necessary to put your infant in shoes or to have a hat for every outfit, it is quite delightful to have our own living baby doll.
5. A Collection of Diapers
For this baby, we are going to cloth diaper. It’s a new adventure for us. I am currently creating a stash of diapers of different sizes and styles. While I haven’t cloth diapered yet, I have read from the experts (mamas who are already knee deep in the cloth diaper world), to have at least 2 days worth of diapers on hand. It’s the same concept as the clothing: one day in the wash, one day on the bum and one day on deck. While you can get away with less, it is ideal to have more than you absolutely need.
The same concept goes for disposable diapers. You only need so many, but these are the items that you want more than you need. There’s nothing quite like the panic of “I just used our last diaper, and it’s 2 AM.”
An item that you need to go with diapers is wipes. Whether you are using cloth or disposable, you will need something to get your little one’s tush nice and clean.
added “luxury” item: diaper pail. We didn’t use a diaper pail for Eli. We just used the outdoor trashcan. For this baby, we have a diaper pail with a cloth liner to keep the need-to-be-washed diapers.
Based on the list above: What would you take away? What would you add? Did you find your needs list changing from first to second child?