Baby #2 Must-Haves: Preparing for Second Baby Checklist
Second baby on the way? Congratulations, Mama, and welcome to a whole new world of momming. I know you’re a little nervous about what’s to come, and sure there will be hard parts, but I promise things will settle into a beautiful rhythm before you know it.
A year from now you won’t be able to imagine your family without Baby #2. But FIRST, you’ll need to know what to buy for a second baby. And this second baby checklist will help you get to that point.
I think I went most of my second pregnancy thinking “we really have everything already.” We were having a second boy and I knew baby showers aren’t common practice after your first, so I just assumed we would make do with what we had.
Then at some point in my third trimester it hit me.
“Ah! We DO still need some stuff…oh wow…way more stuff than I thought!”
Panic and nesting instinct set in and I went into full-on prep mode. I made a list of all the little items I hadn’t been thinking about and realized I needed to get on it. I didn’t realize there are so many things you shouldn’t reuse for a second baby!
So here I am, over a year later, knee-deep in little ones, sharing the important must have baby items for Baby #2 that you don’t want to forget. These smart must-haves are exactly what to buy for a second baby!
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Before you Start Your Second Baby Checklist…
Create a Registry for your Second Baby
Before you start shopping, I have a couple tips for you:
Tip #1: Go to Amazon and create a 2nd baby registry checklist. I know, I know, you’re probably not having many baby showers this time around, but a registry for a second baby will help you get organized and make sure you’re not forgetting anything.
You can put everything on your second baby checklist in your cart and order in one click. Easy is a MUST when pregnant with Baby #2, because I KNOW you’re not about to spend an hour at Target with a registry scanner under one arm and your busy toddler under the other.
Tip #2: If you’re in your last few months of pregnancy, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime. When you’re done compiling everything you’re gonna need for this little one, free shipping will be a life-saver.
Second Baby Checklist: What to Re-Use & What NOT to
Ok, let’s get down to it. Here are some items you definitely need, shouldn’t reuse, or just might really like having for your second baby.
Items You Should Buy New for Baby #2:
Pacifiers – No lie, when I was pregnant with Baby number 2, I definitely googled: “Can you use pacifiers for second baby?” Answer: Nope. Even if you have a bunch of leftover pacifiers from your first, it’s best to replace them. You don’t want to risk any germs passing along to your tiny newborn. Get at least two different kinds. Just because Baby #1 loved one kind, doesn’t guarantee that your second baby will too. I like to start out with this kind and this kind.
Bottles and Nipples – Yep, I also searched: “Should I buy new bottles for second baby?” Keep things clean for newborns. Even after sterilizing, old bottles and nipples can retain nasty bacteria. These items are fairly inexpensive and definitely worth buying new.
Breast Milk Storage Bags – If you’ll be pumping at all, don’t forget breastmilk storage bags. I have found that this kind works best for freezing. I know there are hacks for using ziplocks, but I just could never get that to work very well for me. It’s worth the extra dollar or two to get the good kind.
Replacement pump parts – Yeah, I did not think about this until AFTER Baby came. Don’t make my mistake. If your pump has been sitting for a while, you gotta replace those parts, girl. It can get funky after a while and the pieces wear down and break easily. Depending on your breast pump, you’ll want new tubing, valves, and membranes and possibly new breastshields. I like this kit that has it all together.
Bottle Brushes – Even if you still have the bottle brush you used for your first, it’s probably a good idea to replace it. Sponges get GROSS with bacteria and mold. Don’t reuse these! I always buy these (I really like the handy little nipple brush that screws out of the bottom.)Changing Pad – If your older little one is done with diapers, just reuse this, but if you’ll still need to help them with clothes and pull-ups a lot, go ahead and get a second changing pad. We like this kind. And don’t forget changing pad covers.Crib Mattress – This didn’t hit me for way too long. If your first child is still sleeping on their crib mattress, even if they’ve moved to a toddler bed, you’ll need a new mattress for Baby #2. I prefer to invest in higher quality mattresses that last all the way from newborn to toddler. I really love the breathable, non-toxic and hypoallergenic kind.
Also, if your older one is still in a crib (we waited to transition until after things settled with the new baby, even though he probably COULD have done it sooner) you’ll need a second crib. If you won’t be using two for long, try to borrow one to save money. OR just use a pack and play or bassinet in your room for a few months until your tot can transition to a big kid bed.Waterproof Pads – Y’all. My oldest had super bad reflux and was always throwing up on his sheets. These things were life-savers. Now that he’s older, we have leaking pull-ups to deal with, so we still use the waterproof pads every night. Go ahead and get at least two for Baby, so you can switch them out in the middle of the night if needed.
Sheets – Same idea here. Your first will probably still be using their original sheets, so get a few extra sets. And don’t forget sheets for the pack and play or bassinet. Plus, it’s just nice to have fresh clean sheets for a new baby. I like these because they are soft and inexpensive.Carseat – Obviously, you need a second car seat. You might be able to use your infant carrier and base if your oldest has transitioned to a big kid carseat or booster, but you’ll still need a big one for your new baby after about 6 months or so.
If you’re trying to budget for a second baby, a convertible car seat is a great option. We have this one and really like it. I’m a one and done kind of girl, so we always use one carseat only for each baby throughout their car seat years.
Wash Cloths or Sponges – Grab a pack of fresh baby wash cloths for Baby’s first baths. Sponges hang on to lots of funky germs and washcloths lose their softness after several uses, so buy some new. I like these because they are super soft and gentle on baby skin and they’re also cheap, so I don’t mind using them to wipe snot or other baby bodily fluids when needed.
Face Wipes – I also LOVE using these wipes when we are out or in the car. They are very soft and don’t leave the nasty taste or residue in Baby’s mouth and on their hands like regular wipes do. Perfect when you need to do a quick wipe on the go after a snack. This is a must for us because with 2 I need to be able to wipe away all the extra messes extra quickly when we have somewhere to be. These are also fantastic for snotty noses because they are made with saline, which helps break down the extra stuck stuff.
Hangers – I honestly barely got these in time. Towards the end of my third trimester I pulled down all the baby clothes from the attic and sorted them. Then I went to hang them and realized all of our little hangers were being used in my toddler’s closet. Oops. Luckily I found these inexpensive ones and quickly ordered them. Simple, but I knew this was an easy one to forget so I had to share.
Toothbrush/Teether – Might seem weird to buy a toothbrush before Baby is born, but I’m a planner and I like to have what I need right when I need it. Technically, we are supposed to start brushing Baby’s teeth as soon as they start to come in. Plus your little one will want to copy their big sibling early on. We discovered this cute little toothbrush teether which I really like because I can feel like those new tiny teeth are getting cleaned while my baby is gnawing on it for teething relief.
Diapers – I know, duh. But I didn’t really think enough about stockpiling these like I should have. I like to start out with a few packs of the better brand newborn and size ones, then I switch to generic diapers in size two and up.
Wipes – Do you remember how many wipes you go through with a little baby? It’s kind of ridiculous. Have a big pack to have on hand. If you haven’t yet, check out Water Wipes. They are pure, 99.9% water, plus a drop of grapefruit seed extract to condition baby’s sensitive skin. They’re wonderful.
Additional Baby Gear for a Second Baby
Here are some “extras” that are helpful to have once you have a second baby…
Double Stroller – If you plan on doing outings with both littles, I definitely recommend adding a double stroller to your second baby checklist. Doing some walking helps get you back on your feet after having a baby and once you have two, having them both contained is like a mini vacation. So, exercise and some organized freedom…it’s a win win.
Also, once your littles are not-so-little, it’ll be a LIFE-SAVER to have this. Imagine carrying a diaper bag, lunches, water bottles, your phone, AND a kid or two everywhere you go…uh no. We LOVE our double stroller.Second Baby Monitor/Camera – Definitely grab an additional camera or a second monitor to add on to your original one. Unless your older kiddo is pretty big or you feel comfortable without a monitor, it’s a huge help to have two. When your newborn is napping, you can take your toddler outside to play without worrying that you won’t have ears on the baby.
Our’s scans back and forth every 5 seconds, so I can always hear each of my babies if they need me. And I personally prefer a camera monitor because I can better judge when I actually need to go in. This one is great.
Sound Machine – This is a second-time mom MUST. Once your newborn is past the “I can sleep through a rock concert” stage, it can be so stressful to try to keep their sibling from waking them up. True, second babies tend to learn how to sleep through noise a little better, but they’re also human and I know I can’t sleep through my toddler’s tantrum or loud toys, so I don’t expect Baby to either.
These sound machines have been so awesome. If you already use one for your oldest and you’re wondering if it’s worth having two, I vote YES. This also helps keep them from waking one another super early. If one wakes up before the sun I definitely don’t need them waking each other up.
Second Car Mirror – If your “big kid” is still rear facing in the car, it’s really great to have two car mirrors. I have eyes on them both while we drive and if the baby falls asleep, I can know to drive the long way or at least avoid those potholes. It’s also just fun to be able to make eye contact with them at stop lights and they can see me do hand motions to Wheels on the Bus when we are stuck in traffic.
Practical Items to Buy for a Second Baby
Bath wash – Twice the amount of kids means twice the baths and twice the soap. I switched to this awesome foaming bath wash/bubble bath. It’s natural and gentle for a new baby and my toddler with sensitive skin and keratosis pilaris. It also smells amazing and lasts forever. Use the code Ashley20 for a discount.
Diaper Cream – Go ahead and grab an extra tube of diaper rash cream so you have it on hand. I always forget I need this until I NEED it, ya know? Stick some in the diaper bag before Baby comes and be done with it.Hand Sanitizer – Since your hands will often go straight from changing Baby to helping your oldest, keep a quick way to clean them near your changing stations. I like this alcohol-free and dye-free kind. These are also great to keep on the coffee table for visitors wanting to snuggle your newborn.Teething Relief – When your baby is fussy and clingy because of teething and you already have a wild toddler needing you every 2 seconds, you want QUICK help, trust me. I’m in love with this teething gel! Don’t worry, it is 100% benzocaine-free and belladonna-free (the ingredients that kicked most other teething gels off of shelves in recent years.)
I’ve used it on myself as a test and can tell you it’s super gentle and it totally works. My baby loves it. It even comes in handy for those toddler molars lurking around the corner. Have it ready. They also have it on Amazon.
Things You Need for a Second Baby (If you don’t already have them)Baby Carrier – If you managed to get through your first little one’s baby stage without a baby carrier, I’m impressed. But let me tell you, you’re gonna want this on your second baby checklist. For. Sure. Can you imagine tending to your toddler one-handed right now? No? Exactly. When Baby number 2 comes, you’ll have your hands full, literally.
Tiny babies usually lovvve these wraps because it reminds them of Mommy’s womb. But once they get a little bigger, this carrier is a definitely mom-favorite. You can even use it for a toddler if needed. I don’t think we would have survived the first year of Baby #2 without our’s.
Swaddlers – Swaddling blankets are great, but they take a lot of extra tucking and wrapping. With two, you want to save all the time you can and make sure your baby is sleeping as soundly as possible. I fell in LOVE with these swaddlers with my first. We used them so much that they became pretty stretched out, so we bought more for our second baby. We also tried this kind, which I think I like even better.Backpack Diaper Bag – There are some super cute diaper bag purses out there…but they just aren’t very practical. I love having a backpack that I can load up with toddler snacks, pull-ups, diapers, and bottles, then throw on my back and still have both hands and hips free. These are also usually a little more Dad-friendly, which is a big help if he’s taking one of the little ones for a bit, so you can one-on-one it. This one is a great option.Baby Seat or Swing – This might be one of the most important baby items we needed once we had a second. With my first, I did a lot of snuggling and holding Baby on the couch. But now, I’m constantly needing to set Baby down to help his brother with this or that.
We kept a baby glider/swing in the living room area and a lightweight, portable baby seat in my toddler’s room. This REALLY came in handy when I was trying to figure out how to put my oldest down for a nap while the baby was up. It’s also a great way for the little one to feel involved while you spend some time playing blocks or dress up with your big kid.
So, to recap:
What do you need for a second baby?
- Bottles and Nipples
- Breast Milk Storage Bags
- Replacement pump parts
- Bottle Brushes
- Waterproof Pads
- Fresh Sheets
- Fresh Wash Cloths/Sponges
- A Second Carseat
- Changing Pad (If Baby #1 is still using their’s)
- Crib Mattress (If Baby #1 is still using their’s)
- Face Wipes
- Extra Hangers
Preparing for Baby #2
I hope you’re feeling more equipped to prepare for a second baby now. These items were such a huge help for us as we transitioned to two children, and I think they will be great adds to your second baby checklist too. You got this, Mama.
While you’re preparing for Baby, make sure you haven’t forgotten any of these great tips from my Last Minute Ways to Prepare for Baby.
Also be sure to go back over this great Hospital Bag Checklist (for second baby too!) as you get ready for labor.
For more tips on pregnancy and life as a new mom with babies and toddlers, follow me on Pinterest.