An older brother kissing the head of the infant brother. An older brother kissing the head of the infant brother.

What to Buy for a Second Baby? A Detailed Guide

Congratulations, Mama’s out there for embracing motherhood for the second time. The feeling of being a mother is surreal; whether it’s your first or second, it doesn’t matter. Not all pregnancies are the same; every pregnancy is unique, and so are the needs of the baby.

When I was expecting baby number two, I was very clear in my head as to what to buy for the second baby, what items to invest in and what could be left. Despite that, I made a few mistakes, which I shall be discussing so that you don’t repeat the same mistake and save some money. In this post, I shall share some personal views and ideas as to what to buy for a second baby.

Start by making a second baby checklist and make sure to add second baby essentials to it in detail. Additionally, make sure that you purchase these items way ahead of the baby’s arrival as you might be extremely busy with handling two at a time.

1. What to Buy for a Second Baby- Newborn Essentials

These are second-baby must-haves that should be there in your second-baby registry (if you created one). Usually, with baby number one, everyone is aware that you will start from basics, but with baby number two, they might be confused as to what items you possess and what products you are in need of. Also, this second baby registry must-have will enable the avoidance of confusion or the acquisition of double products.

1.1. Clothes

Baby clothes and nappies lying on the bed
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels/ copyright 2020

Baby clothes are the basic requirement. Even if you have clothes of firstborns that you might plan to reuse, you will still need an extra pair for your second child. No clothes are more clothes when it comes to newborns as you end up changing them thrice or even more times in a single day. And with two kids to handle it, you might not have sufficient time left for laundry. Hence, extra is better.

1.2. Diaper

Well, diapers are the best innovation mankind has made to help those tired mommies out there. Before your due date, make sure that you stock up on those diapers. Make sure you don’t over-buy newborn diapers, which are XS size, as babies outgrow their size pretty quickly.

Tip: Always check for the expiry date before purchasing a diaper. Purchase a diaper that has the latest manufacturing date.

1.3. Soothers

Commonly known as “Pacifiers1”, is a must to satisfy the baby’s urge to suckle. Moreover, you cannot use a used pacifier for a newborn. Also, these are not very expensive, and hence, you can surely buy a pair or two for your little bundle of joy.

1.4. Infant Car Seat

An infant seat is a must-have product. In general, car seats have a shelf life of 6 years, after which their usage is not recommended by the manufacturers. So, even if you already have a car seat for your elder one, you should have a new car seat, as safety is a top priority for newborns.

Tip: Always check for the expiry date when purchasing a car seat. Every brand has a different expiry period.

1.5. Double Stroller

MacroBaby Store - Baby Trend Sit N Stand Double Stroller

Trust me; this is one of the best buys and a game-changer that will prove to be very beneficial in the long run. A double stroller is built in such a manner that it can accommodate both your children. I had utilized it for an entire trip to the States.

I had the one from Baby Trend Sit and Stand Double Stroller, which was built in a way that my toddler could stand as well as sit as per his convenience while my newborn could be placed on a seat that would recline to make her sleep and sit comfortably.

Tip: Don’t buy a very heavy stroller. Look for one that can be folded with one hand and easily fit in the trunk of your car.

1.6. Formula

If you are planning on feeding the baby on formula or even partially on formula then it is better to stock up on it before the arrival of the baby. Even if you have a toddler who is still taking formula milk1, the composition of formula milk for newborns is different than that of a toddler.

1.7. Milk Feeding Bottle

A mother feeds her baby with milk in a bottle
Photo by Sarah Chai on Pexels/ copyright 2021

Milk-feeding bottles and their accessories are important if you wish to bottle-feed your baby. Feeding bottles do have an expiration date, and reusing them is not a great option as they might contain harmful bacteria. Additionally, new bottles are very reasonable.

Tip: Remember to purchase an extra pair of these bottle nipples.

1.8. Pump Accessories

If you were using a breast-pumping machine2 for your elder one, you might use it for your newborn as well because of its multiple advantages. Make sure to replace the accessories attached to the machine as they might have bacteria in them, contaminating the milk. Also, these parts are not very expensive and worth investing in.

2. What to Buy for a Second Baby- Optional Items

Here’s a list of items that completely depend on you, whether you want to buy them or leave them. Firstly, with your second one around, you might still have these items. Lastly, these are those optional items whose absence will not impact you or your little one.

2.1. Wipes and other Toiletries

Newborn Essentials Part 2 | Mommy Tin Sun

Wipes are very important, and with your firstborn being around, you must have ample of them present in your house. Hence baby wipes can be avoided in bulk purchase as it does have an expiry date.

Other toiletry baby essentials that you might want to check in your house are diaper rash cream, baby massage oil, chemical-free head-to-toe body wash, an all-natural moisturizer, and infant sunscreen3. If you are missing any of the baby products you might consider buying it.

Tip: My daughter had extremely dry skin when she was born, and on the recommendation of the pediatrician, I started CeraVe Moisturiser post-bath bath, and it worked wonders for her skin. You might consider trying it as well after consultation with Pedtriatiacan.

2.2. Breast Milk Storage Bag

As long as these milk storage pouches are kept in a cool and dry place they can be used. These pouches do not have any kind of expiry date. Hence if you have these breast milk storage bags4 available at home do use them or else purchase them. Also, it’s not very expensive and comes in very handy so you might consider stacking it up for your newborn.

Tip: Make sure to label the milk pouches individually as milk can be stored for a certain period. Labelling them with proper dates and other details will help you in the long run.

2.3. Bibs and Burp Clothes

A baby is getting fed by a parent.
Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels/ copyright 2020

Baby bibs and burp clothes are essential and they come very handy for mess-free meal time and post-meal period. Because you might have used bibs and burp clothes for your first one you can reuse them for your second one. Make sure to wash them with disinfected liquid in hot water to make them germ-free.

Furthermore, you should opt to buy a few pairs of bibs and burp clothes for when they are used in public, as stained bibs do look a little untidy. Also, they are not very expensive.

Tip: When buying a bib, look for a plastic one with a pouch in front of it.

Firstly, the plastic bibs are easy to wash, they dry up quickly and they don’t stain easily. Secondly, the pouch in front of the bib helps in holding the vomit or spit up of the baby helping in mess-free meal time. Lastly, these bibs are not very expensive and last over a year or so.

2.4. Diaper Disposal Bags

These bags are really helpful when traveling. Diaper disposal bags are odor-free, leakproof, and can be sealed. Moreover, they are cheap for a few dollars you can buy 100’s of them.

2.5. Baby Chewy Toys

There are various types of chewy toys available in the market at a reasonable price. These help soothe a teething baby. If you have many of them at home and do not wish to buy anymore, you can simply boil the old, chewy toys and disinfect them. But I would advise purchasing new chews as they cost a few dollars.

2.6. Crib and Crib Mattress

If you have 2 under 2, then you might consider purchasing a second crib along with the crib mattress. But if your elder child is above 5 years of age and has his toddler bed then you might consider using his old crib and mattress.

Tip: Wash the mattress with disinfected liquid and let it sun dry. Although it’ll take time to dry, it will surely kill all those harmful bacteria. Furthermore, you can also repaint the old crib with a different color, it will appear to be brand new.

2.7. Single Stroller

If your older one is of a certain age and can walk independently without being held in hand then investing in a double stroller would be a waste of money as older children don’t like being on a stroller but rather want to explore the world on their own feet. In such a scenario, you can re-use the single stroller of your elder one.

Tip: Look for any broken parts and replace them. You can easily get these accessories at a reasonable cost.

3. Items You Don’t Need to Buy for a Second Baby

Baby Products I REGRET buying & what I'm getting instead (2nd baby!)

These are the list of items that can be completely avoided as you might already possess them and can be easily reused:

3.1. Diaper Backpack/ Baby Bag

I purchased my first diaper bag from an online site, and it was the best decision I ever made. And I have been using the same bag for both of my kids.

These diaper bags are customed in a way that accommodates every need of the baby. Typically, you can carry 2 to 3 pairs of clothes, milk bottles, burp clothes, hankies, wipes, diapers, a powder box, 3 to 4 puree containers, small sized baby blanket, and snacks for the baby and still, there might be little space left.

Tip: Invest in good quality diaper bag. Though they might be a bit expensive they will last longer than you expect. Look for the washable one. Purchase a darker shade of bag as bright colors tend to get dirty. Don’t opt for a shoulder bag as they are difficult to carry.

3.2. Nursery Decoration

An empty baby room with pink and white colour walls and decor
Photo by Collov Home Design on Unsplash/ copyright 2021

First-time parents are the most excited, and they purchase every item on the list for their first bundle of joy. And so, I am sure you must have purchased tons of nursery decoration items.  You can reuse them for your second one as well and save money. Just make sure to wipe it clean with cloth and disinfectant spray.

3.3. Humidifier

Humidifiers are a must. This device helps regulate the moisture in the room in a manner that prevents dryness. It comes as a great rescue when your baby has a cold and irritation in the nostril. You can reuse it.

3.4. Baby Carrier

This is one of the essential items for a newborn. A good baby carrier helps both the baby and the mommy. Moreover, it’s a safe and cozy way of moving around with your baby while keeping your hands free for other children. Additionally, the baby carrier doesn’t have any expiration date, but you must still check the quality of the fabric and other attachments.

3.5. Warm Woolen Clothes

Babies outgrow quickly, so buying warm clothes like winter jackets and sweaters, which are usually expensive, doesn’t make any scene. Rather, reuse these from the firstborn. Just make sure to clean them with a cleaning agent.

3.6. White Noise Machine

This sound machine is of great use to calm down a cracky baby. A white noise machine is a portable sleep theory5 for babies as it helps the baby sleep better; hence, every parent must own this item. If you have one, that’s more than sufficient and can be used by both your children.

3.7. Baby Bath Tub

Bathtubs are very important as bathing a baby is quite a risky job and must be done with great caution. Baby tubs assist in the safe bathing of babies. This can be reused.

3.8. Infant Shoes and Mittens

A baby wearing white knitted socks is lying on the bed
Photo by Monika Balciuniene on Pexels/ copyright 2021

As much as you adore those cute little infant shoes and mittens, you must admit that these are one of those products that no one uses much.

Mittens are essential in the initial days of the baby to help them protect them from scratching themselves. These mittens can be reused after cleaning them properly.

Shoes are another thing which is hardly used so if you have them from your first reuse them and in case you don’t have them don’t waste your money in purchasing them. Babies grow very quickly these tiny shoes won’t even last for a month or so.

Also, these shoes and mittens are unisex so even if your older child and younger child are of the same gender or a different gender you can reuse them.

3.9. Baby Wrap/ Swaddlers

Baby wraps and swaddles are used to make babies feel comfortable and cozy. Swaddling a baby helps in reducing the chances of SIDS6. Good quality wrappers and swaddles are made of premium quality cloth and are a bit expensive. If you already have these, you must re-use it. Just make sure to make it germ-free by washing it and sun drying it.

3.10. High Chair

High Chair is again an expensive affair, so if you have one, make sure to reuse them. These high chairs are built in such a way that they last for a longer period.

3.11. Infant Toys

I am sure everyone can relate to this that the infants play with everything but toys that are designed for them. Just reuse the toys that you purchased for your firstborn instead of purchasing new ones. Make sure to sterilize them before use.

3.12. Breastfeeding Pillow

This comes as a savior for new moms. Breastfeeding pillows are designed in a way that provides comfort to both the mother and the baby.

NEWBORN ESSENTIALS! WHAT I ACTUALLY USE EVERY DAY | OLIVIA ZAPO

4. Additional Information with Regard to Second Baby

4.1. Managing Two Children

Firstly, having a second kid is an overwhelming feeling for your firstborn as well. They are also going through a new phase and a new setting. Secondly, many times, they feel left out because of the divided attention of both parents. Hence, to avoid this scenario, the firstborn must be involved as much as possible.

Lastly, make them realize that they are big brothers/sisters and they need to take care of the younger ones. Ask them to help them with newborn kinds of stuff. For instance, you can get diapers/ wipes or simply watch the baby when you are not around. This way, you can get a little help, and the elderly are also not neglected. It’s a win-win situation.

4.2. Co-Sleeping

Co-sleeping is a term used when a newborn baby shares the same bed as the mother. Though it is risky with extra care and precaution it is possible. I did co-sleep with both my babies.

The rule is not to overcrowd the bed with extra pillows and blankets; try keeping the bed as free as possible; this will reduce the chances of suffocating the baby.

When you co-sleep with a baby, your accessibility is increased, reducing the chances of SIDS. Also, the baby feels safe and secure and can sleep better when you are in the same room. This also benefits the new mom to feed the baby at night without having to move from bed.

7 Essential Tips to Make Co-Sleeping Safer

4.3. Ideal Time to Plan for a Second Baby

Embracing parenthood for the second time or having multiple kids requires analyzing a bit. This decision depends on three factors – your mental health, physical health, and how strong your financials are. The ideal time frame between your first kid and second child should be three years.

Firstly, your body goes through immense changes when you conceive and deliver a baby. Hence, your body needs to recover and get back to normal to handle a second pregnancy without having an impact on your body. Being a second-time mom is no easy task.

Secondly, your mental health plays a pivotal role in raising your kids. Pregnancy does change your mental health. Additionally, many cases of postpartum depression7 can be seen in new moms, which lasts over some time. If you think you can handle two kiddos simultaneously without hampering your state of mind, you should go ahead.

Lastly, in today’s time, where everything is so expensive, you need to see how strong you are financially footing. And can you handle the needs of both the kids and meet at least their basic requirements? If yes, go for it.

OB/GYN Explains How Long To Wait Between Pregnancies

5. Frequently Asked Questions

5.1. Is it Necessary to Make a Baby Registry for My Second Child?

Though it’s not mandatory, it is still recommended to have a second baby registry for your second child as well. This second baby registry checklist will enable your friends and family to know the requirements of baby number two.

5.2. How Safe is Reusing Clothes for Newborn?

It’s completely safe if you reuse your older ones’ clothes for the newborn baby. Though few precautionary measures are to be taken. For instance, soak the clothes in warm water with salt in it, followed by washing the clothes with soap and disinfected liquid. Additionally, if possible, sun dry these clothes.

5.3. How to Prepare Your Older Child for the Arrival of a Newborn Baby?

You must inform and prepare your older child well in advance about the arrival of a new family member. Communication is of crucial importance the more you talk and let your kid express the more openly he will accept the new baby. Additionally, you can read age-appropriate books for your kid explaining to them the role of elder sibling.

5.4. What to Pack in a Hospital Bag?

Carry all baby essentials like a few pairs of clothes, toiletries, some warm clothes, baby wrap, and a blanket. Also, don’t forget to carry your and your partner’s hygienic essentials and other toiletries, along with pairs of comfy clothes and slippers.

Tip: Do not overpack, as many hospitals provide essentials for mothers and babies.

My Minimal Hospital Bag For My 5th Baby | Only Packing The Essentials

6. Final Thoughts

When welcoming a new baby whether first or second we are never sure about the preparations that we have done for the baby. Hope this article can guide you through your second pregnancy and some bits of advice as to what to buy for a second baby.

Along with materialistic preparations, you also need to prepare your mind and body for the arrival of a new family member. And not just the mother but the whole family needs to prepare mentally for the arrival of the new bundle of joy.

Take extra precautions for your firstborn, as it has been noticed that they feel neglected and lonely many times; hence, this is an added responsibility on the shoulders of second-time parents.

  1. Moreira-Monteagudo, Marta, Raquel Leirós-Rodríguez, and Pilar Marqués-Sánchez. “Effects of formula milk feeding in premature infants: a systematic review.” Children 9.2 (2022): 150. ↩︎
  2. Martucci, Jessica. “Breast pumping.” AMA Journal of Ethics 15.9 (2013): 791-797. ↩︎
  3. Julian, Elyse, Andrea M. Palestro, and Jacqueline A. Thomas. “Pediatric sunscreen and sun safety guidelines.” Clinical Pediatrics 54.12 (2015): 1133-1140. ↩︎
  4. Janjindamai, Waricha, et al. “Soft plastic bag instead of hard plastic container for long-term storage of breast milk.” The Indian Journal of Pediatrics 80 (2013): 809-813. ↩︎
  5. Jones, Sandy, and Marcie Jones Brennan. Great Expectations: Baby Sleep Guide. Union Square & Co., 2010. ↩︎
  6. Mitchell, Edwin A. “SIDS: past, present and future.” Acta paediatrica 98.11 (2009): 1712-1719. ↩︎
  7. Kroska, Emily B., and Zachary N. Stowe. “Postpartum depression: identification and treatment in the clinic setting.” Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics 47.3 (2020): 409-419. ↩︎

Last Updated on by Arnab Nandi

Authors

  • nazish

    Nazish is a member of ICSI (Institute of Company Secretaries of India) and also double graduate in Commerce and Law. Currently a full time mother and a homemaker trying to mark a difference through the power of pen. She is a voracious reader and has passion for writing. She has positive outlook towards life. She enjoys travelling and discovering new places.

  • Arnab Nandi

    Arnab Nandi is a recent graduate with a Bachelor's degree and currently pursuing Masters in Commerce from the University of Calcutta, India. Born and raised in Calcutta, always has a passion for creative problem-solving and content writing. He loves reading Marc P. Cosentino and loves to visit offbeat places once in a while.

  • Disha Ahuja

    Disha Ahuja is a professional content writer and editor delivering creative quality output. She has exceptional research skills and is self-driven to deliver quality results. She has experience in SEO optimization and have a knack for crafting compelling stories with a creative touch. She is a highly creative, and detail-oriented writer. She has a dedication for learning and is constantly updating her skills and knowledge to stay up-to-date with the topics she writes about. She is very passionate about writing, and confident to help her clients take their blog to the next level through her exceptional abilities as a writer and editor!

    Education

    • Bcom
    • Specialization in Human Resources

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    • Professional Content Writing and Copywriting Certifications
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    • Professional Training in Human Resource Management

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