Baby gear: little sister

Three months until baby arrives! My to-do list is eight hundred miles long, y'all. I've resigned myself to the fact that it's not all going to get done in time, but I'm still chipping away as much as I can. I've spent what feels like an eternity washing, folding, and putting away clothes and unpacking baby gear. It's still a little all over the place, but I make progress little by little.

Because we've now done this before (yay for experience), I have a better idea of what we will and won't need, especially right away. That does make the prep work a little less stressful--I know there are things we just won't need for a while and I don't have to worry about them. I also have an idea of how we like to do things with a newborn and/or things we'd like to try doing differently. It's nice to not feel like I'm totally floundering! Things will be different this time around simply because we already have a little one in the house, but having that base level of knowledge is reassuring.

All that being said, here's where we currently stand on all the stuff!

Things we kept:

  • Baby bath tub--I might have chosen something else given the opportunity (something less bulky), but ours totally works so we're just using it again. 
  • Swing--I considered "upgrading" to a mamaroo for a while, but in the end I decided it wasn't worth the money. It seems that babies can be super iffy with this swing, so we'er just going to stick with the one that's worked for us before.
  • Bouncer--If I can figure out how to actually put this thing back together (WHERE did the instructions go?), it'll get the job done.
  • Exersaucer--I bought this used for $10 with E--I like a good deal. It's been in the garage for a while, so it needs a good cleaning, but it'll be good to go once we get that done.

Things we bought, made, or adjusted:

Wildbird ring sling: With E, I never really got the hang of babywearing. Not that I didn't want to--she LOVED being in a carrier--but I didn't find the right type of carrier. We used a wrap (which was ridiculously cumbersome) and an ergo (which was good for long periods of time, but hard to buckle myself and a little awkward for just wearing around the house). Neither one was love for me and by the time I figured out what I really wanted, she was too old and I couldn't justify buying a new carrier.

All that to say that this time, I'm going with a ring sling. A ring sling is the easiest of baby carriers to figure out and manage with a tiny babe--no wrapping yourself up in anything or buckling things behind your back. Just put it on, put baby in it, tighten and go. And Wildbird slings are gorgeous, so there's that.

Blankets: E had way too many blankets. It seems that blankets of all types--swaddles, stroller, quilts--are an extremely popular baby shower gift, and we received far more than we really needed. I've since let go of a lot of them, and this time around we're keeping our stash smaller. I held on to a few Aden + Anais blankets and supplemented with new, gender-neutral swaddles from Little Unicorn. They're SUPER soft (softer than A+A, even before washing) and the colors/patterns are cute and stylish. And because baby will be a fall/winter baby, I also bought two Saranoni receiving blankets (because I couldn't decide between them... this might have been going overboard a bit). They are SO SOFT and snuggly. 

Easy swaddlers/swaddle pods: We had one of these when E was tiny, and they quickly became one of my favorite baby items. It's also part of the reason we needed fewer blankets: we swaddled her in these a lot more often. They're just so easy, and as she got bigger she wasn't able to bust out of them like she did a blanket.

DIY wood baby gym: With E, we had one of those play mats with the arch and the piano at the bottom... and I hated it. It was always in the way and didn't store easily. So this time around I had C build a simple wood bar that we can hang toys from. It folds up and can be packed away easily so I don't have to have it out all the time.

Spare changing pad cover: We use these little liners on the changing pad to minimize the number of times we have to wash the actual cover, but it still needs a regular cleaning. Our changing pad is still completely functional, but the plastic has cracked a bit, so I plan to pick up a spare cover to use while the other is being washed (OK, so this one isn't done yet, but it's on the list!).

Bassinet: When E was born, I tried going straight to crib-sleeping in her own room. She had so many issues with MSPI, though, that it didn't really work. We ended up snagging an old bassinet on a Facebook group and using that for a while until things settled down--it was easier to tilt the mattress with that. I'm still not sure if the crib thing didn't work because it just didn't or because she was having so much tummy pain. We went ahead and got a bassinet this time around, though (we didn't keep the old one, oops), and put it in our bedroom. It'll be a drastically different sleeping arrangement (even when she was in the bassinet, E still slept in her own room), but we're going to give it a shot. I have no idea if having the baby in the same room as me will keep me awake or help me sleep better, but we'll see.

Things we skipped or are holding off on:

Pacifiers & paci clips: E didn't take to a pacifier, and we never ended up using them. For now, I'm holding off on buying anything pacifier-related. I plan on picking up one pacifier once baby is here, to give it a shot. If it becomes a thing, we'll snag this stuff then. If not, that'll be that.

Double stroller: I think we're going to end up with a double stroller, because we really like to take family walks around the neighborhood, but we're holding off for now. Baby will be born at the very end of October--heading into weather that makes outdoor walks less than enjoyable. We'll wait until next spring and reevaluate then.

New decor: I went all out with E's nursery, putting it together just so--and within a year it was completely different. This time, I've stuck to using thrift store items and things I already had on hand to decorate. It's not "themed" the same way E's was, nor is everything perfectly coordinated. I've skipped several things that would be pretty or even nice to have but that would have a limited lifespan in a child's room. Instead, I've aimed for thriftiness and functionality. The room is going to work and be able to adjust easily as our needs change. Something tells me baby won't notice if it's not all new and perfect. Plus, thrifting is way more fun!

Toys: We learned fast with E that babies don't really need much in the way of toys. Their environment provides plenty of interesting things for them to explore. And anything battery-operated is on my blacklist. So we skipped buying much of anything for toys. I did buy a set of textured rubber balls to be given as baby's first Christmas gift, but other than that I'm staying out of the baby toy aisle. The book/toy shelf in baby's room is actually almost completely empty, because we just don't have a lot of bitty baby toys (and most of our children's books have a home elsewhere in the house).

A special going-home outfit: While I do remember what E wore home from the hospital, it's not my favorite nor the most special thing she wore. The time and effort put into selecting something sweet and perfect for her to come home in just wasn't worth the teeny tiny payoff. There are plenty of other things to worry about!

Veteran moms weigh in! What did you toss/keep/add when you had multiple children?


  1. The simplicity and experience 2nd time around makes baby gear so much less intimidating, I totally agree. We had the opposite experience with pacifiers - Kate loved them, Cora could not hate them any more - so I stocked up and haven't used any. Oh well, I'll try to keep them for the next babe. And you already know how much I love my Wildbird! It had a steeper learning curve than some other babywearing but 100% worth it. :)

  2. I just got rid of the swing...they all hated it and it took up a lot of space and it was maddening to have something around that was supposed to calm them down but just made them worse. I also got rid of quite a few blankets but they still have way too many and it's so hard to get rid of them for one reason or blankets from childhood, one from the NICU, hand knitted ones from many blankets. The double stroller is a must I think. Tossed most toys, still have too many...actually had two big boxes of clothes I got rid of too. I've really been enjoying purging, if you can't tell ;)

    1. I also made a topponcino this last time around. It was very nice to have in those first couple weeks. I still use it to lay the baby on in random places throughout the house.

    2. What did you stuff your topponcino with/use as the mattress?

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    4. The pattern I used had you sew several layers of cotton batting together and then sew those into a batting case. That mattress then goes inside a muslin slip cover. I'm sure she will be done with it long before you're due if you would like to borrow it. Or I can give you the pattern if you'd like to make one.