Here’s the crazy thing about having a baby: you never know what you don’t know until you know you don’t know it. Does that make sense? I remember ALL of the unsolicited advice about labor, and going “I really don’t know, because I just don’t know what labor is like.” I had this tiny newborn and was learning so much so quickly… and she was changing so quickly that some of the lessons went by REALLY fast.
There were moments when I said “if we have another baby, we should definitely ________.” and often, that sentence was finished by phrases that started with “invest in..” and finished with some piece of baby gear I’d JUST learned about or JUST realized I’d like a different one of, but couldn’t justify investing in with a shorter window of use.
This is a short list of things we’ve invested in for Baby #2 that I wished we had just purchased before Madeleine was born.
#1. Hatch Rest+
We actually started using this one right away, when we were still sharing a room with Madeleine. She was having a hard time sleeping and I wanted to see if a night light would help. The Hatch Rest+ is a very expensive night light, but we were hoping to eventually move into a 2 bedroom living space (which we did!) and also have it as Madeleine’s sound machine. Now, before nap and bedtime, she gets to press the button on our phone to turn the Hatch on. It’s worth the hype for us.
It wasn’t until AFTER Madeleine was born and I entered the land of mom comparison/guilt that I realized there were different calibers of strollers. No worries, I thought. Our rather low-end Graco travel system worked just fine for us…. until August of 2020, when Madeleine was almost a year old. We went to the zoo and I decided we should use the toddler insert instead of attaching the car seat. Wouldn’t you know, I HATED the toddler insert. I’m not going to bore you with the details, but I hated that stroller so much. Justen got frustrated with my complaining and I said “I will stop complaining about this stroller if you promise me that if we have another baby, we can get a Mockingbird.” In the almost year since Madeleine had been born, I’d discovered the Mockingbird strollers and was IN LOVE.
Once we found out Baby Martian #2 was going to be a girl, we ordered our double stroller. For as much as I HATED the other stroller, I immediately fell in LOVE with our Mockingbird. I HIGHLY recommend it if you’re looking for a stroller that seems luxury but without the price tag. It’s even trip to Disneyland approved. I kept saying “I LOVE THIS STROLLER!” over and over the whole time we were there!
(it’s now available at Target! Which is AMAZING because when we got it, it had a 10 week shipping window and was only available online)
After diving into the world of all things baby, certain brands and products kept coming up and I kept thinking “wow, that is SO SMART.” The Newton mattress was one of them. I had a hard time thinking about replacing everything we’d already bought, but since we were going to need a second crib mattress anyway, we invested in a Newton Mattress. The mattress is completely washable – the inside can be rinsed off in the shower and the cover can go in the machine – and completely breathable. This time around I’m prepared for the anxiety of having a baby and all of the fears of things that can happen while they’re sleeping, but knowing that she’ll have a mattress she can breathe through should she ever find herself face down on it makes me feel a LOT better.
Our friend sent us an AngelCare monitor before Madeleine was born. We didn’t think we’d use it since we shared a room and lived in a small apartment, but like I previously mentioned.. that new baby anxiety is crazy. When Madeleine was about 8 weeks old I started putting her in her crib for every nap time, and I don’t know if I could have gone about that time doing the dishes or watching TV without knowing I could see what was happening if she started making noise.
The monitor stopped charging or holding a charge a month or so ago, so we knew that we needed to replace ours. We decided to go with the Nanit and ended up just buying the whole freaking collection – we have two monitors, one floor stand so we can keep the baby in our room for naps and see what she’s up to, a wall mount for when she permanently switches out of our room, and a travel mount for the second monitor, so it can capture the girls’ room and we can have eyes on Madeleine while taking care of her sister.
Luckily when we bought our second monitor set, Buy Buy Baby was having a great promo where you earned money to spend if you met certain thresholds. We got $100 in credit, which we used to purchase the travel mount and a few other random things we’ve been needing.
I never understood the purpose of these loungers. Before Madeleine was born, I kept reading all of the moms online saying “tHeY aRe NoT sAfE fOr SLeEpInG, dO nOt bUy ThEm!” But when Madeleine was about 5 weeks old and I was starting to stumble out of the fog that is postpartum/newborn life, I kept wanting to put Madeleine down and never knew where to put her. We didn’t (and don’t!) have a swing or bouncer or anything. It felt weird just setting her on the couch because WHAT IF SHE ROLLED OVER? Spoiler: she was lazy af and didn’t start rolling until she was 9 months old.
That’s when I tried to make my own lounger with pillows and blankets but wouldn’t you know, the anxiety of having her surrounded by BLANKETS really got to me. Again, that anxiety!
My little makeshift lounger with pillows covered with a blanket, and my tiny baby Madeleine who had just started to smile.
Now that we already have a baby, have more space, and I saw the value of the loungers, we snagged a Snuggle Me (it was $50 and brand new at Goodwill, I RAN across the store to grab it 😂). It’s the exact color I wanted and I’m glad we have it!
There are definitely some things we’re planning on using again should this baby cooperate. We LOVE the Love to Dream swaddles and the Magic Sleepsuit. Our Skip Hop play gym was great, the Boppy SAVED our arms when we were holding Madeleine for long periods of time. Despite their MILLIONS of little parts, we loved how the Dr. Brown’s bottles really seemed to help reduce gas/air/etc with Madeleine after feedings.
If you’ve had more than one child, what are some things you did differently with a second (or third, fourth, etc!) child?