When Some Boy was born, I shared my new mom must-haves including our favorite items that we used with our first son. After our second son came along, we thought we could simply reuse the stuff from the first time. No new registry needed, we've been around the block! I've totally got this, right? Wrong. The thing with second, third and subsequent kids is that your parenting style changes completely and you need an additional set of gear to adjust to the new new normal. Baby must-haves for kids after number one include all the stuff from the first time around, as well as additional items to keep the older kids happy and give mom and dad more hands-free maneuverability since they can't hover over the kid all day like they did in those precious first-time parenting months.
More hands would be good. Top of the list of baby must-haves for child number three: more hands. Can someone please get to work on that?
After taking stock of what we used most with baby number two, my high-priority items this time around are clear. Here are my baby must-haves for our soon-to-be-born third kid.
Baby Must-Haves For the Experienced Parent
Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper. With babies two, three and four, you're bound to move throughout the house more due to chasing the first kids around. Parents need more help soothing baby and additional places to put him or her down. We're still working with Fisher-Price, and I love that their Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper features provides a comforting rocking motion for baby without a parent needing to constantly push it. I plan to have one of these on-hand to shuffle between the kitchen and living room so I can maybe do some dishes or, you know, watch TV. Wishful thinking?
Movement monitor. With our first son, I had the freedom to sit around and stare at his every motion. Deep breath in, deep breath out. When I had my second, I was simultaneously dealing with a toddler who needed to be fed and changed. Baby nap times were spent running around the house trying to get things in some semblance of order. I gained an enormous amount of peace of mind by using the Angelcare Movement & Sound Monitor that goes under the crib mattress. It has a listening and talk-back feature to calm baby, and a sensor pad that detect baby's breathing and will sound an alarm if no motion is felt for a certain period of time.
A really easy-to-use baby carrier. Fiddling with straps and excess cloth doesn't make sense when you have multiple kids to deal with. You need to get baby on and GO. I love the Baby K'Tan for the early months, after which we bump up to the Ergo.
Hands-free battery-operated pump. Being plugged into a wall TOTALLY doesn't work after the first kid. I'm using the Medela Freestyle this time around which actually lets me – gasp! – walk around while pumping. Maybe the preschooler and toddler can even get lunch while I, ahem, “express” dinner for the baby.
Backpack/sling diaper bag. If you're like me, you got a super cute purse-like bag with the first. Unfortunately, over-the-shoulder isn't the best solution any longer. You really need to have those hands free. Are you sensing a trend with these baby must-haves? A current obsession of mine is TWELVElittle, who makes amazingly versatile and stylish grab-and-go diaper bags. My pick this time around is the convenient Unisex Courage backpack with tons of room. Its biggest selling point? Nate can carry it and look cool.
Double stroller. We constantly reach for our BabyJogger City Mini Double for city treks and parks (opt for the GT version for more rugged wheels). The BOB Sport Utility Duallie Double is a beast, but it's our go-to pick for jogging and backroad adventures and tops tons of parents' lists of baby must-haves for kids born close together.
A new interactive toy like the Bounce, Ride and Stride Elephant is top of the list in baby must-haves – gotta keep the older kids entertained! Our 2-year-old LOVES the Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Bounce, Stride & Ride Elephant. This is what I'm using to keep him occupied when the third baby comes along. He and the preschooler both like to bounce on it and scoot it along, and it can be a walker for toddlers who need a little help steadying themselves. Obviously I have a plethora of new toys (as you can see in the background), but this is the one they're most excited about every single time I bring it out.