What You’ll Really Use with the Second Baby

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Congrats, you have baby number two on the way! That means more love in your heart, but also more stuff in your home. So this begs the question: What do you really need? We asked parents with multiple children to weigh in on what items to keep, what to donate, and what to toss. As you’ll see, not everyone was in agreement, but that’s where your opinion comes in because you’re an experienced parent now too.

Pro tip: Give all items a thorough check and discard any that are past their expiration date, recalled, or have wear and tear that might pose a safety hazard.

Feeding
“Make sure to keep fresh bottles and formula on hand for the second baby, even if you didn't use them with the first. You always want to be prepared in case you need them for a middle-of-the-night feeding.”Julianne

“Don’t keep the baby food maker. I made all my first child’s baby purees. However, I found I couldn’t keep up with the peeling, dicing, steaming and mashing with my second and working full-time. Buying storebought ended up being so much easier and less stressful. If you’re concerned about the regulations in storebought brands, my pediatrician recommended checking the Clean Label Project website. Or, there are fresh baby food subscriptions you can join, such as Yumi.”Ashley

“I liked having my same familiar nursing pillow for baby two. You can always get a new cover to freshen it up or make it match any new decorating you do.”Kate

“We had extra breastfeeding pillows from keeping one at a parent’s house, so we donated one of those. We learned from baby one which bottles we didn’t like, so we gave away those extras.”Kelly

Diapering
“One product I found that was not necessary was the changing table. The floor was so much easier as I was usually sitting on it anyway, and the older sibling was right there to help as well. Pulling out extra wipes was a helpful job and having the older sibling be a part of it made it special for her and easy to keep eyes on both kiddos, which was a mom win!”Meghan

“Don’t keep a purse-style diaper bag. Get a diaper bag backpack instead! I had a crossbody style for my first, but being hands-free was so much easier with two.”Ashley

“Between babies one and two, we switched to cloth diapers and so donated that horrible diaper genie!”Andi

“After the first one, I realized the waste of the diaper genie and wipes warmer. A plastic shopping bag works just the same and is much cheaper than the refills, while the wipes warmer dries out the wipes too quickly.”Shelly

“Keep the wipe warmer. I was a skeptic. I left it in the box. I mean, really—one more thing to plug in and maintain—so unnecessary, right? Well, three kids later, the youngest (now 4) still insists on a warm wipe when the pull-up comes off in the morning. And in retrospect, who can blame her—have you ever tried to use a cold wipe on a chilly morning? Case closed!”Kelly

Sleeping
“I was so grateful to have kept our bassinet for the second baby.”Kerry

“Keep the crib. I reused my crib and put my son straight into a big boy bed. But don’t keep the crib mattress. You want a firm, clean mattress for the new baby!” Ashley

“Cribs are expensive, and getting a new one for every child would be incredibly wasteful. So long as it meets safety standards, it makes sense to tighten up all the pieces, give it a good cleaning, and buy new sheets for the next baby.”Adam

Clothing
“We have three boys, so we saved a lot of baby clothes, only getting rid of those that were stained or damaged. We kept it all organized by size in canvas storage containers and pulled them out as needed.”Kate

“Don’t keep all the old clothes. I had a girl after having my son, and as much clothing as I saved to be practical, I found I couldn’t resist buying some new clothes. People also gifted or handed down plenty to me. Jammies, however, keep! You can never have too many and they’re all adorable. I loved seeing my daughter in her big brother’s shark and construction jammies for some reason.”Ashley

Car Seat
“As a mom that had her second child five years later, so much had changed. My newest family member was over ten pounds, so the infant car seat was extra heavy. So we used a convertible one and wore him as much as we could.”Meghan

“The JJ Cole Bundleme is an absolute lifesaver. The ease of zipping it right into the car seat and not having to worry about putting coats on and off is well worth it! With multiple winter babies, I couldn’t imagine not having it!”Rebeka

Stroller
“Time to upgrade the stroller. I like the sit-stand type so my older kid can jump on and off.”Christopher

“If you have kids close together, a sit-and-stand stroller is great. The older one wants to be independent but still gets tired easily so it's great when they want to hop off to walk with you.”Shelly

“We never bothered with a double stroller since the boys are four years apart.”Kerry

“I definitely kept the strollers. I held on to almost everything if I’m being honest!”Lindsay

 

Play Time
“I donated anything we never used with baby one, anything broken, chewing toys with plastic, gifts we didn’t use. Babies need very little. A soft place to play on the floor, a place to sleep, an eating chair, clothes, diapers, a car seat, stroller, and a few things to play with and teeth on.”Kelly

“One baby item I made sure to keep was the swing. It was great for the baby to take an afternoon nap in. Or a safe spot to keep the baby entertained while I made dinner. There were even a handful of nights it helped during the witching hour when everyone was at wits' end! Definitely one of the most useful baby items in our house.”—Nicole

“The playmat is a must keep. It makes the dreaded tummy time a little more manageable. And older siblings love having a turn demonstrating all the toys to the new baby.”Kate

“Keep any safe place to put the baby when things get hectic. This includes pack and plays, swings, seats and loungers. Also, just because your first didn’t like something doesn’t mean your second will be the same. I was gifted a baby swing that my son never enjoyed using, but my daughter loved.”Ashley

“We kept my BabyBjörn bouncer, the jumper toys, my lightweight baby carrier, our swings, all of our ‘teach the ABCs’ toys, and our ride-on lion!”Kerry

It’s Not All About the Stuff
“I’d say that after having one child, when you’re preparing to have a second, you realize how few of the things you registered for or got with your first that you actually used. All you really need are a crib (or similar), car seat, some clothes and diapers, and a stroller and/or carrier depending on your parenting style.”Phoebe

“The best advice I can give to parents from going from one to two kids is to give yourselves time and some grace as you adjust. Say yes to help from grandparents or friends when they offer. Try to dedicate some special time every day to your first child when the baby sleeps or other parent is home and engage in a craft, walk, reading a book or just playing with toys.”Lindsay

Katie L. Carroll

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