When you first find out you’re pregnant, a myriad of emotions come rushing in and sometimes it feels like they never leave. Ask just about any parent out there and I think they’ll agree that raising children is a bit of a rollercoaster. It’s overwhelming in the best possible way and while nothing can quite prepare you for the challenges that surface when you first become a mother, there are some things that can make motherhood and caring for a baby a little easier… and just about every mother out there has a different list of “must have” items depending on what worked well for their little ones.
When I was pregnant with Chase, I remember feeling incredibly overwhelmed by all the stuff I supposedly needed for our little one. When I became a mother again the second time around last summer, I was honestly a little surprised by how much new stuff was out there that didn’t even exist when I had our first child three years earlier. All of the sudden I was hearing all about the DockATot, Bluetooth-compatible sound machines, the Owlet SmartSock and more and I found myself feeling overwhelmed all over again!
I continue to receive a lot of requests for my top baby gear recommendations and wanted to break down the new-to-me stuff I’ve loved using with Ryder over the past 9 months that wasn’t even on my radar when I was a first-time mom. I’m teaming up with buybuy BABY today to share a list of the top 10 baby products I didn’t use with baby #1 that I LOVE with baby #2!
This list includes a bunch of items — some big-ticket finds we love and some inexpensive and incredibly affordable finds — and I hope it helps you either create your own baby registry, find some great gift ideas for an expectant mama in your life or provides you with some ideas for things you might want to have on hand before your little one arrives.
If you’re all about one-stop shopping, you can find everything on this list (and tons more!) at buybuy BABY. To say buybuy BABY has everything you need for your little one is a serious understatement. buybuy BABY makes it incredibly easy to create a baby registry online or in store, plus you get 15% off all remaining items on your registry which is awesome! (For those registering in store, if you download the app, you can easily scan items in the store to add to your registry in a flash!) And if you’re placing orders for yourself or buying a gift for a friend or family member, all orders $39+ ship for free. Woop!
So now let’s get to it! Below you will find my list of the 10 ten baby products I’ve loved using with Ryder that I didn’t know about or didn’t use with Chase. And for any parents of multiples out there, I’d love to hear about something you used with your second (third or fourth or fifth…) child that you absolutely loved that you didn’t use with your first little one!
10 Baby Products I Didn’t Use with Baby #1 that I LOVE with Baby #2
Bless you guys and your fabulous recommendations! I first heard about ChooMee food pouch toppers after I shared an Instagram Story video of the mess Ryder made when he got a hold of a pouch of purple carrots and blueberries and flung it all over our kitchen. It was a mess and a half but afterward a few of you sent me messages about these toppers and I instantly placed an order. After twisting a ChooMee topper on top of a food pouch, the flow-control valve keeps the food in the pouch until your little one is ready to suck it out. Ryder is a very grabby baby so feeding him a pouch these days often results in him grabbing it and it spilling all over the place but with the ChooMee topper on the pouch, he can squeeze it all he wants and the food stays in! He has to suck on it to get the food out and I also love the fact that it gives him some independence and he can hold his own pouches and feed himself sometimes, too!
I owe my sister a huge thanks for introducing me to this magical wipes dispenser. I initially discovered OXO’s Perfect Pull Wipe Dispenser on her baby registry and when I saw the reviews, I ended up ordering one for myself as well since I had recently dropped our original wipes dispenser and the top broke off. Suffice it to say, I ended up ordering a second one because I wanted one of these amazing dispensers upstairs and downstairs because they make selecting a single wipe with only one hand a breeze. I’m tellin’ you, this wipe dispenser puts all other wipe dispensers to shame! You completely unpack your baby’s wipes and put them in the dispenser underneath a weighted plate that allows you to access one wipe at a time. The top pops open with the press of a finger, you can grab a wipe with one hand (a crucial new mom skill!) and this dispenser keeps the wipes moist and like-new.
I have a feeling that if you’re a mom and had a baby 3+ years ago and then had another child more recently you’re in the same boat as me with this one! Where was this magical pillow when Chase was born!? I swear the DockATot gained traction overnight and quickly became a “must have” baby item. The DockATot came on my radar after a few of my friends who had babies about a year before I had Ryder all raved about it. They all assured me it lived up to the hype and that its uses were never-ending from tummy time to lounging and — my favorite — just a soft, secure place to put a newborn baby down that was easy to move from room to room! I carted the DockATot all over our house for the first few months of Ryder’s life! I will never forget my friend Leah telling me, “You can never have enough places to put your baby down” when I was pregnant with Chase and that absolutely rang true for me!
Obviously I didn’t use a double stroller when I only had one baby but I couldn’t leave our double strollers off this list because they’re so crucial to our ability to get around and do pretty much anything with two kids in the mix. We have two double strollers which might seem ridiculous until you have kids and realize different strollers are good for different things and having the right stroller for whatever activity you’re looking to do with your little ones makes life a lot easier! Here’s a brief rundown of the two double strollers we have and love:
Chicco Bravo for 2: We use this stroller primarily for running around town and travel. It’s incredibly easy to collapse (seriously just use your thumb on the lever and BAM!) and it also allows the bigger kid to easily hop on and off and switch back and forth from a pop-down seat to a standing platform. Chase LOVES this stroller since it gives him a little more freedom and he thinks standing up on the platform is awesome. It’s not the most agile stroller but it’s great for travel since it’s not wide like the side-by-side double strollers and also allows for a car seat to click in or for baby to be strapped in, making it very versatile.
BOB Revolution PRO Dualie: We are 100 percent obsessed with our double BOB and this stroller glides like a dream. What the Chicco Bravo for 2 lacks in maneuverability the double BOB makes up for in spades. Chase and Ryder sit side-by-side in this stroller so it’s quite wide but perfect for walks around the neighborhood, to the park, etc. It’s great for taking off road if you need to and is both easy to push and easy to turn.
Ryder spent a few days in the NICU with respiratory issues after his birth and I knew I would be a a nervous wreck when we brought him home and he was no longer hooked up to all of the monitors at the hospital. I ended up ordering our Owlet from the hospital and was so, so glad to have it to slip on Ryder’s foot during our first night home. The Owlet Smart Sock tracks your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels and sends real-time insights to your phone but also includes a base station that glows softly to let you know everything is okay. It’s definitely a “big ticket” baby item but for me it’s been worth its weight in gold for the peace of mind I get when I see the soft green glow from the monitor, telling me all of Ryder’s readings are normal. I am still using our Owlet on Ryder to this day and will likely continue to use it on him until he outgrows it!
I figured Ryder would easily transition out of the Merlin Magic Sleepsuit the same way Chase did — by swaddling his chest and leaving his arms free — but that was a big-time fail. I was at a loss as to how to successfully drop the sleepsuit for Ryder until I heard about the Nested Bean Zen Sleep Sack. It’s a standard super-soft sleep sack but has a lightly weighted area on the chest of the sleep sack that’s supposed to mimic the sensation of your palm on your baby’s chest. When I zipped Ryder into it, I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best and was honestly shocked that after minimal fussing, he went right to sleep! I instantly ordered another one!
I now only use the sleep sack for nighttime sleep and was surprised how easily Ryder adjusted to sleeping without it for naps. It’s a great transition sleep sack if you’re looking for a way to move baby out of the Merlin Magic Sleepsuit but know they aren’t quite ready to sleep without the help of something just yet!
These car seat clips cracked me up when I first saw them on a friend’s son’s car seat. I thought they were little hands telling strangers, “STOP! Don’t touch my baby!” The clips are actually a genius little invention and allow you to hook the straps of your child’s car seat up and out of the way thanks to the use of a powerful magnet so you’re not digging under their bodies and trying to find twisted straps as you’re loading your kiddo into their car seat. Ryder is a pretty happy little guy but he strongly dislikes getting loaded into his car seat so anything that helps make the process a little more seamless is a big-time win in my book!
Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine (Sound Machine, Night Light + Okay to Wake Alarm in One!)
I owe my friend Lauren a million thanks for recommending this light to me. Let me break this light down for you: It’s a sound machine, night light and okay-to-wake alarm all in one and — get this — you can control the Hatch Baby Rest from your phone. Using the app, you can turn it on and off, change the volume and brightness remotely, alter the “okay to wake” time and set programs every day for a certain sleep schedule. Is that not amazing!?
I initially bought our Hatch Baby Rest for Chase’s room when he began waking up ridiculously early a few days in a row and I needed a solution but he thankfully went back to his normal ways before the light arrived so I’ve been using it in Ryder’s room in the meantime. It’s not only attractive and sleek but Ryder seems to love it. I think this is such a genius invention because it serves so many different purposes and it’s one of those items I’d tell every new mom to put on their baby registry since it will get years of use.
I had no idea plates and bowls that suction to your little one’s high chair or a counter top/table existed until I saw a mom I follow on Instagram using them with her baby. I’m pretty sure this is a work of genius! I’d venture to say just about every parent out there has experienced their little ones grabbing anything and everything off their high chair try and chucking it across the room and as Ryder gets older and tries more and more new foods (and more and more of our meals), I’ve found myself using our suction bowls and plates all the time. They help keep food contained (especially food that isn’t as pincher-grasp friendly) and they’re great! I see these only becoming all the more handy in the coming months! I also love the way you can easily remove the suction from the bottom making them great for toddlers and big kids as well.
We officially have a good eater on our hands with Ryder and our hungry little man can suck down a baby food pouch in a hot second. I still buy my fair share of pouches because you cannot beat the convenience but I’ve also purchased Baby Brezza reusable pouches to use this time around and have been pleasantly surprised by how well they work! They’re easy to fill thanks to the wide-mouth funnel included in the box and not a huge pain to clean since you fill them up and clean them out by unzipping a leak-proof zipper on the side of the pouch. My friend Danielle recommended these to me and said her little one loves sucking smoothies out of these pouches and I love that idea, too!
Question of the Day
For the parents of multiple kiddos, what are some things you didn’t know about with your first child that you absolutely loved using with your next child(ren)?