Going from childless to one child completely turns your life upside down in a wonderful yet chaotic way. Every day is a new experience–some of it incredible (the first hint of a smile!) and some of it exhausting (remember cluster feeding?). As much of a life shift it is to welcome your first baby into your family, I’m told that it’s a whole different level of upheaval when you bring home your second baby.
I’m currently pregnant with my second and will be tackling two under 2 when this little one makes their appearance. My home feels fairly well stocked with all the newborn necessities, but that doesn’t make me feel any more prepared for having two small children to care for. My older child still feels like such a baby to me and certainly can’t yet care for herself.
To better prep myself and my home, I asked some seasoned mothers of two moms what products help in the transition. While common answers included coffee, wine, and grandparents nearby, there were also a handful of practical items I’ll be considering before the second baby arrives.
Though you don’t need to go overboard with new baby gear (most items from your first baby will be totally sufficient for the second), there are some products that may make life easier for everyone, including your older child who will be going through their own new experience. And even if you are buying a few new items, there are a variety of price ranges to choose from, whether you want to splurge or stick to budget buys.
Here are some products to help with the transition from one to two kids.
For when you’re on the go
My favorite activity with my newborn was long walks around the neighborhood. I intend to keep this going when the next baby arrives, so having a good stroller that can comfortably accommodate both kids is important. The Mockingbird Single to Double Stroller allows for a variety of set ups, just order the second seat kit or the bassinet attachment in addition to the basic stroller and you're set.
If you already have an Uppababy and your first child is a bit older and no longer interested in riding in the stroller, you can get a ride along board that attaches to the back of the stroller. Select one for either the Cruz or Vista stroller.
Having your hands free is important when managing two kids. The Solly Baby Wrap is said to calm newborns and increase bonding, plus it allows your hands to be free to help out with your older child.
As your newborn becomes bigger and heavier, you may want to switch from a fabric carrier to a more structured option for better back support. The Ergobaby is a mom and dad favorite that you can begin using around 4 months (or 12 pounds).
For pumping moms, being attached to a pump and outlet for 30 minutes at a time isn't ideal. Instead you can opt for a wearable pump, like the Elvie, allowing you to move around freely while pumping at the same time.
If you aren't ready to commit to a wearable pump, make sure you at least have a good hands-free pumping bra. You might not have the freedom to move around the house, but at least you won't be stuck holding your pump in place.
Sterilizing pump parts and bottles is one of those annoying hassles that should be made as easy as possible. You can sterilize these parts in a boiling pot of water, but it's so much simpler to toss the parts into a bag and into the microwave. Save yourself the time by opting for these quick clean bags instead.
And as a mom taking care of two kids, you deserve to be comfortable. Make sure you have nursing-friendly clothing, which will make it easier to nurse on-the-go.
New moms require a lot of coffee, so a Nespresso machine might be your best friend in those early weeks and months. Think of this formula machine as a Nespresso for your baby. For formula feeding, the Baby Brezza allows you to mix the perfect bottle at the ideal temperature from your phone. With two kids all of your time is incredibly valuable, so not using any of it to mix and warm bottles can be a game changer.
For at-home rest and play
When you're tired of bouncing and swaying, let a machine take over for you. There are plenty of options to choose from, the MamaRoo is a popular one, though you truly never know what your baby will love or hate until you try it.
While you may spend a lot of time holding your newborn, you will also need plenty of options around the house to place them on the ground. Having soft spots for them set up around the house where you or their older sibling can play with them is a great way to focus on bonding. The Allswell oversized playmat is a soft spot that is big enough for two.
You can never have enough safe places to put the newborn down when juggling two kids at once, and this Boppy lounger is a good go-to.
Easily keep an eye on both kids at the same time with two cameras and a split screen display.
For your older child
An adorable picture book to help parent-child bonding as a family anticipates the birth of a new baby.
Older children may have a tough time when they realize all the attention is no longer on them. A kid-friendly digital camera is a fun gift for older kids to get them involved as they document life with their new sibling.
Sometimes you just need to contain your kids to ensure they stay safe and in your eye sight. If you're a two-under-2 mom, a safe spot for your toddler can come in handy when you're dealing with newborn diaper changes and feedings.
So many seasoned moms recommended play kits and activities to keep older kids occupied during the hectic newborn days. KiwiCo offers crates and kits based on your child's age and will keep them entertained for hours.
Use code EVERYMOM at checkout for 30% off your first month’s subscription with KiwiCo!
OK, this definitely isn't a necessary item, but it's so adorable that I had to add it to the list. Grab a matching Solly Wrap for your older child so they can hold their baby dolls while you hold their new sibling.