Baby Essentials – The Second Time Around

I know every mom that blogs probably has a list like this, and everyone and every child’s needs and wants are different. I never made a list like this with B1, but after having another baby I feel like I have a grasp of what was essential to our family for the babies.

I will say that there were some major differences with my two babies. When B1 was born we lived in a condo, that was on the third floor of our building and no elevator. With B2 we live in a multi-level home with a garage below the house. Obviously with B2’s birth B1 was a consideration when figuring out what items we needed to have the second time around.

Comfort Items

ComfortMustHaves

 

I left out the obvious things like a crib, changing table, sheets, etc…

1. Summer Infant Classic Comfort Wood Bassinet – $140

Nick and I got this last-minute before B1 was born. Our crib wasn’t going to be available before his due date, so we knew we needed something. I knew I wanted a bassinet because co-sleeper beds freaked me out. I liked that this one was lightweight but sturdy, had a shelf, and was on wheels. I was able to roll B1 around the condo when I needed to get things done. I also kept the bottom shelf stocked with clothes, diapers, wipes, etc… That way at night I didn’t have to go into his room and get anything. It made nighttime wakeups much easier.

With B2, I love the height. B1 can see into the bassinet, but he can’t pick her up. Perfect. The downsides this time around are that it isn’t something that I can roll her around in, as it is her bed at night (until she moves into her crib) and so it stays upstairs. B2 has already grown 1.5 inches and is almost too big to be in the bassinet anymore, and so we won’t get too much time with her in it.

2. KACY Collection Morgan Nursery Swivel Glider - $450

We were supposed to get a glider when I had B1, but that never panned out. After Nick walked and sang B1 to sleep for the first 2 years of his life we decided we were going to make room in our budget for a glider this time around.

B2’s room is on the smaller side, so we needed something that wasn’t going to take up a ton of room. This one is super comfortable and the color matches her nursery perfectly. It’s small enough that Nick was even able to move it into our room while B2 is sleeping in there.

I cannot say enough that all new moms should get some sort of chair for the nursery. Your back and feet will thank you!

3. Graco Pack N Play Bugs Quilt TotBlock – $120

If you don’t need a Pack N Play that your baby can sleep in, I would recommend this one. Once B1 was more alert I would put him in this so I could cook, clean, do laundry, etc… but he would be container so I could turn my back for more than 20 seconds.

This would also be great to put out in the yard. Now that more of my friends have kids, or multiples, spending time outside happens a lot, but it is hard to chase after toddlers and watch babies. This will be super helpful for that.

4. Graco Pack N Play Yard with Cuddle Cove Removable Seat – $180

This is something that we got for B2, well my MIL graciously purchased for us. She was going to stay and help out for a good chunk of the summer. Unfortunately, due to some unforseen circumstances she had to leave early, and she bought this to assist me. The bed part is high enough that again B1 can’t pick the baby up. It also has a changing area and since B2 isn’t using the bigger sleeping area, I put extra clothes, blankets, and burp clothes there for easy changes. It also has pockets for diapers and wipes. It has been one of the most useful items we bought this time around.

Honorable Mentions

Bright Starts Bouncer – $30 – Both my kids LOVED this bouncer. Many people have a very strong preference for what type of bouncer or swing they love, and I swear by this one. We also have a swing, but neither of my kids really loved it that much.

Boppy Pillow – $30 - I use this every day. For nursing especially. I like that there is a gap between the pillow and the body, I think adds more skin-to-skin contact.

Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets – $50 - FYI You can find these for MUCH cheaper at TJ Maxx or Marshalls! I didn’t really use these for B1, and B2 doesn’t love being swaddled, so I only do it overnight. They are great for the summer time in general though, because they are so lightweight. I drape them over both kids car seats when I am parked in the sun, to avoid the seatbelts getting super hot. I also use it to drape over B2’s lower body when she is in the car seat or stroller.

UppaBabyVistaUbbi

5. Uppababy Vista Stroller System – $850

I know, this stroller system is extremely expensive, but I don’t regret it one bit. We were able to get ours for about $250 cheaper because it was a store model. It wasn’t actually used in the store, although you can buy those for a discount usually, ours was the window model, which means it was basically brand new, it just sat in a window for a few months. Also, it is still in great condition after 4 years of use.

What I love about this system, you can use it from birth until the toddler years. This system comes with a bassinet, but you can also buy an attachment to put your car seat in it (more on that below). It has a toddler seat that can face toward the parent or away. You can also buy an extra seat so you can put two kids on the stroller. There is also a ride along board, so if your kids doesn’t want to sit in the seat they can ride on it while you push the other child, or you can have two seats and a ride along board!

Other pros: A huge basket, I can do a ton of grocery shopping just using the stroller. The core rubber wheels which are puncture proof, that was essential for me living in the city. When you fold the stroller, it can stand making it easy to store. Super easy to fold, adjustable handlebar, easy to manuever, and a very easy click tight system. When you put in the adapter, bassinet, or seat the area where you click those items in shows a green sign when you’ve done it correctly and red if it is incorrect. It is very easy to get those items in and out.

Cons: It is big, it takes up a lot of space in the car when it is lying down. You can’t fold it when the bassinet is attached, you have to detach and attach whenever you use it. You can fold it when the adapter is in place but you can’t unfold it. Only when the seat is attached can you fold and unfold it. The tires are big, so it takes time getting used to those.

6. Ubbi Diaper Pail – $80

Again, not cheap. We originally registered and received a plastic diaper pail that took regular garbage bags. Registering was overwhelming to me and finally I was like F IT, I don’t need a fancy diaper pail. It lasted about 3 months, even with taking the bag out every other day, the pail STANK. We did some research and found the Ubbi diaper pail. You can use regular garbage bags and the smell doesn’t escape. We’ve had B1’s since he was 3 months old and haven’t had any issues. We bought B2 her own because B1 still wears a pull up at night, and we only empty his pail every few weeks. Plus I don’t have to go into his room at night to throw a diaper away. I mean honestly these kids can just use them as garbage cans when they get older.

Carriers + Nursing

CarrierFavs

7. Ergobaby 360 Front Facing Carrier – $160

I haven’t used this a ton yet, some girlfriends gifted me one and I am super thankful and excited to use it. B2 is too big for the infant insert but too small to be in it alone, so I have used it around the house, but that’s about it. I can say it is very comfortable but does take some getting used to with all the buckles.

8. BabyBjorn Baby Carrier Original – $90

I have the mesh carrier, which is actually cheaper now since it is an older model. The mesh is super breathable for a summer baby. I use it now since B2 can be worn in this carrier now. The downside is that it does put a lot of pressure on my back. It is easy to put on, put the baby in, and take off.

9. Medela Symphony Breastpump – 

Most insurance companies should comp a rental of a breast pump. The Symphony is a medical grade pump, which you do have to get a “prescription” for from your doctor. Because of milk issues, I was able to get that prescription for both babies. The downside, this pump is a beast, if you have to carry it around just be aware!

Bottles & Bottle accessories

DrBrownFavorites

When Nick told people at work that I was pregnant, a lot of his coworkers told him about the Dr.Browns Bottles. They are great for babies that have gas issues, as both of ours have. They may have a lot of parts but they are easy to put together. We have both the standard bottles and the wide mouth bottles.  A 3 pack goes for about $15.

Bottle Warmer – $45

You can get this for a bit cheaper on Amazon. I like to make a few bottles at once, so a bottle warmer is essential. I also usually put a bottle in the warmer, change the baby’s diaper, and then usually the bottle is ready. I like that it remembers the length of heating that you used for the previous bottle. You do need to make sure that you follow instructions and keep the warmer cleaned out, because if you don’t it will get moldy. We had to through the one we had for B1 away due to this.

Formula Pitcher – $17

Again, I like to make multiple bottles at once, and this is how I do it. It helps to eliminate the bubbles from the bottles, aka so the baby doesn’t get gas. You can make up to 4, 8 oz bottles at once.

Drying Rack – $18

I had a different drying rack for B1’s bottles but it had layers and water got trapped, and it got moldy. I like that this one is slanted so water gets collected in one area nad you can easily dump it. It also folds for easy storage when you aren’t using it or you have guests.

Car Seat

ChiccoUppaBaby

11. Chicco Keyfit 30 Car Seat – $210

A car seat was something Nick and I spent A LOT of time on. The chicco keyfit was at the top of the safety list for Consumer Reports, and it fit into our ideal stroller. It is lightweight and easy to install. It is also very durable as we used it for B1 and we are now using it for B2.

12. Chicco Keyfit 30 Uppababy Vista Adapter – $45

Honestly, I didn’t use this for B1. I just used the bassinet seat, but the bassinet seat takes up space in the car, and also doesn’t allow me to use as much of the stroller basket as I’d like. I have been using this for B2 ever since I dug it out of its storage area. It was super easy to attach and detach, and it was easy to snap the car seat in. Life with two kids is more on the go than when I had just one, so this has been perfect for our busy schedules.

Now that I’ve shared a few of my essentials, what are yours? Anything you were surprised you absolutely loved or hated?

 

B2’s Birth Story & Updates

As of today B2 is officially six weeks old, six! It feels like this time has flown by. But let’s go back to the beginning, shall we?

When I posted my last pregnancy update, I was about a month out from my due date and on modified bed rest. It was not easy, luckily my mother-in-law and my mom have summers off, so my MIL came and stayed with us for 5-6 days, she’d go home for a day or two then come back, and my mom would fill in the gaps if she could. This was super helpful since most of my meals would get made for me. I didn’t have to do any grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc… On top of it all B1 got a ton of one-on-one time with his grandmothers and Nick. I think that really helped the transition, once B2 arrived.

At every single appointment with my OB I was miserable. I basically kept asking them to induce. The baby was so low and so big, I had a few more ultrasounds and she was still measuring a decent amount ahead of schedule. those ultrasounds have a 10-15% margin of error, but that can go in either direction. I was also feeling nauseas again, and my swelling was out of control. Everyone kept telling me to drink more, but I was already at 120 oz a day! Unfortunately, since I wasn’t showing any signs of preeclampsia (like with B1) they could not induce, the hospital I delivered at recently changed its policies and they no longer allow inductions just because the baby is measuring big.

During my 38th week appointment, the protein in my urine and blood was elevated, which can indicate the start of preeclampsia and is one of the bigger symptoms to monitor. I had to do the 24 hour urine test, again. That test came back elevated, but they wanted to repeat it a second time to see if my levels were steadily increasing or if they were stagnant.  The second test we scheduled to coincide with my next appointment so that we could make a plan if the levels were elevated even more.

The day before my appointment for my 39th week appointment I started feeling even worse than usual. I was having spotty vision, which can happen due to swelling, and can be normal, I also had a massive headache that wouldn’t go away even after taking Tylenol, my last complaint was my heartburn. I hate taking lots of medication, even when I am not pregnant, so taking meds to combat the headaches and heartburn was worrisome. My OB decided to have me go to the hospital, I did an NST, and was monitored all afternoon, at about 7 pm my OB decided to have me admitted. I had started the 24 hour test over again in the hospital and had my blood routinely taken. They also had me do another ultrasound. It was so weird to be in the hospital alone, and because both labor & delivery and the mother & baby units were so busy, they never were able to move me to a non-labor room, and I had to try to sleep on one of the beds in my L&D room, not comfortable!

The next morning my OB came in and based on my labs they decided to induce, everything except my blood pressure was elevated, and I was far enough along (3 days before my due date) that they were comfortable with inducing. I started with the Cytotec which is a pill that dissolves under your tongue, it is used when a woman hasn’t made it to 3 cm dilated, I had experience with this when I was induced with B1. Each pill works for 6 hours, I took two doses and was checked. I was close enough to 3 cm, that they decided to start Pitocin. I started the Pitocin around 7 pm, I told the nurses and the on call OB that with my last delivery, once I got the Pitocin and Epidural it wasn’t long until B1 was born. I don’t think the nurse quite believed how fast things went when I had B1, but she and the OB listened to me and took note that it could happen fast.

At 10 pm I received my epidural, no shame. I don’t do well with pain and the epidural allows me to rest while my body does a lot of work. My nurse came in about every 90 minutes to reposition me and see how I was feeling. Around 2 am, I started feeling pressure, I hadn’t been checked since they started the Pitocin, so I just wanted to make sure things were progressing. The nurse did a check and I was at 10 cm already, time to get ready. Nick got up from his bed and got ready to welcome B2 into the world. The nurse had me do a couple of practice pushes and once again B2 was ready and we needed the OB to get into the room right away so this baby could make her appearance. After 5 pushes B2 arrived into this world at 2:36 am. Not only was my labor and delivery almost identical to my experience with B1, down to getting only one stitch, my babies now share a birthday.

B2Birthday

They are almost exactly 4 years apart, B2 was born 3 hours and 8 minutes before B1 was born. So crazy!

Now, I constantly complained about the fact that my belly felt extremely heavy, and that I was in a lot of pain. B2 was 10 lbs 1 oz! Part of me wanted to scream “I TOLD YOU SO” to anyone who would listen. Many thought I was crazy and that my body soreness was because I never made it past 37 weeks with B1, and also that I was being dramatic. Turns out I had a giant baby! At first I thought Nick was kidding when he told me how big she was, but the nurse confirmed it. I am still in shock that I was able to birth her naturally without tearing or any other complications.

I really wanted to go home after one night in the hospital. It felt awful to not be able to celebrate B1’s birthday with him, even if he did think his little sister was the best gift ever. However, like B, B2’s bilirubin (aka jaundice level) was borderline. With B1 we were discharged and then we had to be readmitted to pediatrics. I told Nick prior to delivery that if she had borderline levels we were staying so that she could be in the Maternal unit, I did not have a great experience in Pediatrics, plus in the maternal unit the nurses take care of mom and baby, and since I would be in recovery also, that was a must. Since we had asked to leave early they checked her bilirubin level early, and that second night she was under the photo therapy lights all night, except for when she needed to eat. We were discharged the following morning and the day after that we went to the pediatrician and she was already doing much better, she had even gained 2 ounces from when we were discharged to our pediatrician visit, which was about 24 hours apart, amazing.

We are now home and into a groove, some days are incredibly hard, and I wouldn’t expect anything different, but for the most part B1 is doing amazing, He adjusted relatively well and wants to spend so much time with her, he doesn’t understand why she sleeps so much.

B1andB2

For me the biggest adjustment is the lack of sleep. Thankfully, she started giving us 3-4 hour stretched pretty much right away, but when she gets up for her second feeding, usually around 4 or 5 am, by the time she is ready to go back to bed B1 is ready to get up. When he was an infant I was able to get another few hours sleep after that feeding, and now I can’t, so the exhaustion is definitely a little harder than when you just have one. I am breastfeeding a bit, but that requires a separate post, especially for anyone else that is living with PCOS.

B2 has already had her one month check up, she’s already back up to her birth weight +1 pound and she has grown 1.5 inches, this one definitely got the height from her daddy! I had received an ergo from friends for this baby, and she is too big for the infant insert but too small to go in it without the insert. I have been using the BabyBjorn for now, and once she can hold her head up I will move to the Ergo. The Bjorn is very breathable, but it kills my back after she’s been in it for a while. She started holding her head up the second day we were home, and she is increasing the amount of time that she can hold it up every day, so I think we will be able to move into the Ergo in the fall!

Anything else you want to know about B2? 

I have posts coming about breastfeeding, recipes, my fitness goals, and adjusting to motherhood!

I’m back (and she’s here)!

I finally feel like I am above water now, at least most of the time. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that B2 finally arrived. Two days before her due date, and on B1’s birthday. It’s kinda crazy that we have two kids, with the exact same birthday, and not only the same day mere hours apart.

B2birth

Ever since I had a biophysical ultrasound, and she was measuring 2 weeks ahead, I was nervous. Sure enough she was born at 10 pounds 1 ounce, naturally. I have had two pregnancies that were awful almost the whole time, but my laboring and actual delivery were pretty great, I mean as great as they can be, I was birthing a baby after all.

Life with two kids has been interesting. There are some great ups, B1 thinks that she was absolutely the best birthday present ever, and adores her. He also gets frustrated when he can’t be as loud (and crash cars all around the house) whenever he wants now, and has definitely noticed that the change is because of B2’s arrival.

B2

As I wrote in an earlier post, breastfeeding was something I hoped to be successful at this time around, and while it hasn’t been a home run, it has been much better than last time, and I have a post coming up with all that information, as well as some tips and recipes.

I think I’ve found my groove and I am back to a more regular blogging schedule!

Tell me something interesting about your summer!