One of the great debates in the motherhood community is which transition is more difficult: zero-to-one or one-to-two children. I strongly fall into the one-to-two camp and have found the transition to be a steep learning curve for our whole family. In order to help preserve our sanity and keep our whole home running as smoothly as it can with two kids under age two, we needed to think ahead!
Before my second baby Oliver’s arrival, we tried to get ourselves organized by setting up subscriptions for household items, auto-paying bills, and simplifying wherever possible. To ease into the first month, we set up a Freshly food delivery for us and increased the amount of our normal Little Spoon delivery for our toddler to ensure we had easy, fresh, and healthy food on hand. We filled all dog food and medication orders via Chewy auto-ship and even stocked up on wine for home delivery.
Even with all of the advanced preparation we did, we were thrown for a loop when our infant came home in a pandemic and suffered from painful reflux and colic. We quickly saw the holes in our plan and were placing orders for some key products that really helped ease some of the stress for our family and get us all through the newborn stage. Here are a few of my favorites.
For Baby Brother
When I found out I was expecting another boy due in the same season as my first son Zach, we were delighted that we’d be able to reuse so many baby items that we had saved. I also knew of certain items we’d need to get a second of or that we would need to upgrade due to excessive use or for the ability to accommodate two kids.
In an effort to cut back on spending and waste on the larger items I needed to upgrade, I turned to Facebook Marketplace—where I was able to sell our single jogging stroller and upgrade to the double version for $140 (a total steal!). I highly suggest checking out local mom’s groups, buy nothing pages, and Facebook Marketplace, as it is a great way to source higher-cost baby items at lower prices and limit your waste.
I wouldn’t wish a fussy baby on my worst enemy, but this has really helped us get things done and play with our two year old when the baby refused to be put down. It is structured enough that the baby is secure in the carrier but flexible enough to be comfortable for hours of wear a day. Both my husband and I use this carrier, and it is really simple to adjust to each parents size and put it on/take it off yourself.
We had the first generation model of the Baby Brezza for Zach, but decided to upgrade to the newer model for Ollie when we had to abruptly switch to formula feeding very early on due to a severe milk protein allergy and reflux. This machine has made our lives so much easier because know we have a perfectly warm and mixed bottle available on demand. It also eased our mind when we needed to ask grandparents to make a bottle, as they didn’t have to be familiar with the specific preparation of his formula.
We didn’t have the car seat attachment for Zach but decided to invest in it for Ollie so that we could get out running/walking as soon as I was able. We have been using this daily since the first week of his life and we all find that we benefit from daily fresh air.
In a very desperate moment after a 6+ hour crying spell, I ran out and purchased this incredibly large swing after reading about the success parents of colicy babies had with this item. I can say that during some of our most challenging moments, this swing was able to give us a few moments of relief while it calms the baby without being held.
With two kids, the gear has gotten a bit out of hand. I sold our previous bouncer and upgraded to this seat because it folds completely flat and is lightweight to move throughout the house. All I can say is that I love it so much and wish I would have invested in this for my first baby. Being able to store this out of sight and sit baby more upright are big win-wins in my book.
I first heard about this gadget from co-founder Alaina Kaczmarski who swore by it for her second son. Ollie loves the shush-ing sound, but after 15-20 minutes of making that noise yourself, you can be exhausted. I think the voice sounds just like my husband and it really does work to help instantly calm him down. We leave it on next to his bassinet as he falls asleep and it auto shuts off after a certain time period. It is battery operated, it's so great for bringing with you in the car or on the go.
Having another winter baby, I knew that we’d need to be prepared with some serious cold-weather gear because staying indoors for 6+ months sounded extremely unappealing to me. This cocoon is so much warmer and easier to use than the previous one I had for Zach. I am able to keep Ollie safe in his car seat without bulky layers underneath and still ensure he doesn’t overheat in the car.
This toy line was one of our favorites with Zach and we added some additional items including the playmat for Ollie. We love the versatility, durability, and portability of these toys, as well as all of the great developmental benefits.
Use code 20EVERYMOM for 20% off your first order!
Some other key items we hadn’t originally planned to purchase a second of, but eventually caved and bought include:
We purchased the newest model with the time-to-rise function and placed this one in the toddlers room, giving the baby the older model. While he isn’t quite ready for that function yet, we think it will be helpful when he transitions to a big boy bed later this year.
We stuck with a simple waterproof pad as we already had (and love) the fancy changing pad with scale.
We started out with just a Ring security camera, but really missed the notification functionality and the constant on-mode of the Nanit—so we invested.
After I retrieved our old bottles out of the attic and cleaned them, they still didn’t feel particularly clean. The filters were off-colored, and I felt safer just refreshing these as well.
These were our go-to savior with Zach; instead of just having two on hand, we added an extra four so we were well stocked. I am so grateful for this decision because I find them so helpful for keeping both us and Ollie spit-up free.
For Big Brother
My mom generously gifted this to us, while I originally deemed it unnecessary, I am happy to admit that I was wrong. With a more challenging infant and the ongoing pandemic, I needed to resort to screen time more than I liked those first few months. Zach loved the preschool program that AILA provides and so do I! It really got him excited about words and letters, and the songs and storytimes are incredibly valuable. I was thrilled by how it grabbed his attention and its durability with a toddler using it independently.
Getting outside when we brought Ollie home was one of the few things that helped us all stay sane in those crazy early weeks. The scooter was a great introduction to some supervised but more independent outdoor play. I was able to help Zach with the scooter while wearing Ollie. The price tag was very appealing and I thought the quality was great.
I live my life in a sea of cars and trucks, and this sticker playset is another screen-free activity that is very engaging, small to store, and that can be used independently. I love watching the little scenes he comes up with and he asks to play with this quite often.
We have adopted the motto “No bad weather only bad clothes” since COVID hit and these pants are a big part of how we can practically apply the theory. With the baby all bundled in my coat we were able to really extend our outside time into winter and eliminate increased laundry from messy outdoor play. I pop these over his regular pants and then take them off to throw them in the wash after without having to stain treat all of his clothes. Anyone who has a child that loves to get outside will love this line!
For Mom & Dad
Exercise has always been something that my husband and I enjoy for both mental and physical health. We invested in a Peloton after Zach was born because we no longer had time to get out to gym. We both love the classes but have found that we are often stuck choosing between work, family time, or squeezing in a workout. While not a solution I suggest daily, we have both been able to squeeze in workouts we would have otherwise had to skip since we can multitask by catching up on emails while doing a free ride (AKA not a guided spin class). Can’t recommend enough if you are in a pinch and need to be able to do as much as possible at once.
Both of my kids were reflux babies, which means that everything I own was and is covered in baby puke. Ensuring you have a handful of washable but more put-together tops is really helpful in those early months when your body is transitioning and you just want to physically feel a bit more like yourself.
I am a light sleeper, so having a baby in my room with night lights while switching-off getting up was really causing the little sleep I was getting to be terrible. Adding an eye mask really helped me maximize the sleep I was getting, and it was comfortable and soft enough that I hardly noticed it.
My breastfeeding journey came to an abrupt end when my son was put on a prescription diet for a food allergy, so I was able to work my CBD routine back into my daily schedule. It helped with my shoulder aches and pains from hunching over to feed the baby and also helped set a calming routine for bedtime. My husband and I use both of these products with different but positive results.
Use code THEEVERYMOM for 20% off your first order!