What to Buy (and Skip) for your Second Baby

by - Sunday, July 24, 2016

Our niece and nephew six years ago. He is showing off his new sister and new dvd. Equally important. 
We are staring down the barrel at our second baby- he is coming in 6 weeks- and I feel panicked at just how calm I am. It feels like I should be preparing, prepping, shopping, etc (because that's how it was the first time), but there just isn't much to do. It's eerily quiet in my Amazon shopping cart.

 You can find these long, epic lists about what you need for the second baby all over (including here), but I mostly regret getting so much stuff I didn't need the first time, I also really regret that I didn't buy more ethical, eco-friendly, and locally-made stuff when we had the giant shopping (and registering) spree the first time. So this time, my goal is to keep the shopping list small and to do right by every item on it.

Want to join me? What are you thinking about buying again? Any clever hacks on how to make gendered stuff from the first baby work for the second (other than just not caring because those expectations are ridiculous for beings that can't recognize their own hands, much less their own gender)? I know the more we can make work a second go round, the better for our own budget and the environment, so this is my list of the few essentials we have to buy this time around.

What to Buy

Big Sibling Books

We bought a few gems- Daniel Tiger and Mercer Mayer especially, and that has really helped our toddler catch on to what is happening (or at least to Baby Margaret). I am hoping it sets some expectations, but at least it has created a fondness for babies.

Our Picks- We bought all of these used and in great condition from third party sellers.  Could be a great option for you too! Lots of these titles have sister versions as well. I am a Big Brother!, The New Baby, Big Brother Daniel, and Just Me and My Little Brother.


If you are doing reusable, this is just about refreshing your supply and maybe getting some new inserts.

Our Picks- G Diapers or Jack and Jill

If you are doing disposable, it's time to get a whole new supply again (this is why reusable does turn out so much cheaper in the end). We are going to try Honest Company this time for our disposables.

Our Picks- The Honest Company or Earth's Best

Bottle Nipples

 We are just going to get one new set for both of the glass bottle sets we use. If you used plastic bottles, the answer to this might be more complicated, because plastic leeches chemicals over time. If you do need new bottles, let me suggest Lifefactory or Evenflo glass bottles. Most everything can ust be sterilized.

Our Picks- Evenflo (the glass bottles) and Lifefactory (the bottles and the sippy cup tops)

Burp Rags

 Ours definitely kind of spread around and some came to untimely ends. We are great on washclothes, but burp rags do have a gap.

Our Picks- No more Gerber. Ever. Thirsties or Responsible Mother

A Few Toys that We can Hook On

 We never went that route with our first, but our second baby is apt to wait a little longer when they need something. We had one toy that had a bracelet, but I am looking at clip on things too.

Our Picks- Baby Jack Sensory Blanket, Feltman and Co, Bannor Toys, The Teething Fairy, and Paci-catchers

A Coming Home Outfit

 I know this one is probably wasteful (and if you could find something used, that would be awesome), but I feel like the new baby deserves to look fresh when he heads out of the hospital and out into the world. I bought him his own little outfit so he looks cute and I can put it in his memory box.

Our Picks- Bramble and Bough, Little Beans Baby Shop, and Jolie and June

A Few Special Clothing Pieces All His/Her Own

 When the Big Bub was born, we were gifted lots of fox stuff, so foxes feel like him.  We kept some foxes (gave a good number away), but I have bought two onesies on Etsy (one 0-3 and one 3-6) so far so this baby isn't just a mirror image of his brother at the same age. There will be a lot (mostly) that, but a few new pieces, hats, etc. will hopefully fit his individual identity.

Our Picks- My Baby Bee and Me and Urban Earth Co

Season-Appropriate Clothes

 Every time the Bub grew out of a size, we split the clothes into an A team and B Team, and we gave the B Team away, so we have a little more than half of his clothes left in every size (the most gender-neutral stuff made the cut). The new baby won't need a ton of new stuff, but we reviewed what we had so we could be strategic in filling the gaps.

 Even though our kids' birthdays are only two and a half months apart, that means the first two sizes have warm clothes when we need more breathable things and lighter weight stuff when we need winter pieces. When we go to the baby consignment store for the Big Bub, I always look quickly through the teeny sizes for his brother.

Our Picks- Used, all used. doing the seasonal math and shopping at kids' consignment and Goodwill. New to us is just fine with me.

A Gift from the New Baby for Big Sibling

 I used to think this idea was just the worst, but I kind of like the idea of something new to explore in that first week or so when everyone is getting adjusted. No "Big Brother" or "Big Sister" shirt, something that you know your toddler will find fun (and time-consuming). I am thinking about some sort of train set or puzzley things. If I go big, I would want to do a little play tent, so the Big Bub could have his own space, but those are an investment.

Our Picks-All About Kraft, Kid Puzzles, and Berkshire Bowls For a play tent- Southern Blush,

What We'll Buy Later

Car Seat

 No, we are not getting a new infant one. The OG infant seat isn't expired, and I resent the amount of pressure people put on parents about this. We bought the next size up car seat to fit for a very long time, so it won't be ready to be passed down. So we will get a new one for the new bub when he is around that size.

Our Picks- Evenflo and Safety First. Both sell Made in the USA car seats! Neither make all of their car seats in the States, so you have to check, but this is a great way to get a spot on product and support American businesses and manufacturing! Why give another company your money if these ones are doing the right thing AND make completely loved car seats? Browse these car seats before you look elsewhere.

Double Stroller

 I know it is inevitable, but I will avoid it as long as I can. As long as the Little Bub is amenable, we will baby carry until he is older. When we reach that six month mark, we can reassess and probably shell out for a double stroller. I am not excited for this day.

Our Picks- Hopefully used. My hope is that this six month cushion gives me time to find a good used option, either at consignment stores or on Buy Nothing (joined your local Buy Nothing Project yet? It can save parents hundreds of dollars). I haven't found a Made in USA double stroller yet, but when I do, I will share the info with you!

What to Skip

Anything You Can Reuse

 Bottles (if you have glass, not plastic, which will start leeching chemicals over time), Pack n Play, Stroller, Baby Carriers, Baby Clothes, your Swing, Bassinet, Baby Monitor, and all your Baby Furniture (glider, changing table, dresser, etc). If you don't still have these, I highly recommend tracking them down used. You know how this goes now, and you know better than lusting over a "perfect" swing to match your nursery decor or whatever. All that matters is that it works and it is clean, so why waste money on something brand new?

A Second Crib

 Oy, No way. We figure the baby will sleep in our room for at least six month (the Big Bub stayed in our room even longer) so there is no reason to shell out for a second crib if our toddler will be about ready for his toddler bed when it is time to make the switch. I know it totally depends on your children and their age difference, but I would hold out until its time to use the crib before you decide what you want to do. We may get a pack n play mattress pad to make it a little comfier, but that's it.

A High Chair

 Our kids will be about 20 months apart, so I figure when the Little Bub is ready for the high chair, the Big Bub will be ready to pass it down. High chairs are expensive and slightly unwieldy in a space, so even though we love our Oxo Tot high chair (great chair, but buy it open box!), we don't need another one. If the Big Bub isn't ready to move into a regular chair, we have a booster/ high chair we bring with us to dinner parties that can become a regular fixture in our house.

A Sound Machine

 We have one, and we will reuse it, but I imagine mostly we will just use apps on our phone just like the first time. Yes, having the noise can make the day smoother, but there are so many ways to make this happen without spending the extra money.

Sheets and a Mattress

 Really? I have seen the good point that a non-organic mattress could be emitting some chemicals (why don't we all buy organic mattresses?), but otherwise, this seems crazy to me. Wash all the sheets. Otherwise, it should be fine.

Those are my ideas! What would you add to the list? Be sure to check out the 2016 Baby Registry for more ethical baby goods and the Giant List of Lists for all kinds of green shopping ideas!

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