Second Baby Checklist
I’m pregnant with our second! My daughter will be 2.5 when our second baby is born.
As we still have a lot of the baby essentials from my daughter, my first thought was – we’ll be covered. Her things might be a little worn, but they’re definitely usable!
As I do research and speak to second-time and third-time moms, I’m realizing I might not be as equipped as I think.
Dealing with 2 small kids will have a new challenges like:
- They might not be in the same room at the same time. While I’m putting one down for a nap, the other one might be getting into trouble!
- While I can use some things from my first child, I know I can’t reuse everything. I’ll also need to get duplicate products for the things I need for both children now.
- My toddler could wake up the baby or vice versa!
It’s going to be go-go-go when we transition from 1 to 2 so we have to be prepared!
What do you need for a second baby?
How do I prepare for a second child? If you’re having a baby shower, what do you include on your second baby registry?
I asked 18 mom bloggers who have had second or third babies about their recommendations for a 2nd baby checklist.
With their help, here’s my second baby checklist.
Before I share what to buy for a second baby…
Here are 2 important tips to save money:
1) Don’t forget to create an Amazon Baby Registry.
Even if you’re not planning on having a baby shower with your second baby, it’s still worth creating for 2 reasons:
- There’s a completion discount: It’s 10% (15% if you’re an Amazon Prime member) on select items from your registry, 60 days before your child’s arrival date.
- You can also get a welcome gift box filled with free baby samples if you’re an Amazon Prime member and meet certain requirements like a minimum spend. Here are the specific eligibility requirements in the US. Here are the eligibility requirements in Canada.
If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you can try it for FREE for 30 days here. You can cancel at anytime.
The best part about Amazon Prime is: 2 day FREE shipping and FREE access to movies, TV shows, music and books. You can cancel your other subscriptions! Amazon Prime also comes with 20% off diapers and baby food when you have more than 5 Amazon subscriptions.
There are also FREE 90 day returns on baby store purchases.
One surprising thing I’ve liked about having a second baby registry is that it keeps me organized. You have everything you’re potentially looking for in one place. You can monitor price changes easily.
2) Before purchasing any items on Amazon, go through Rakuten (formerly Ebates) first.
Companies pay a commission to Rakuten for advertising on their site. Rakuten then shares that commission with you. Depending on the rates, you could get up to 40% of your purchase price back!
Rakuten is FREE to sign up.
For U.S. residents, Rakuten will give you a welcome bonus of $10 after making your first online purchase of $25 or more.
For Canadians, it’s a $5 welcome bonus for signing up.
Okay now onto the items needed for baby number 2…
Second Baby Must Haves
I like the idea of this type of versatile playpen with a changing area, an infant seat, a full-size bassinet and a playard so it grows with your little one.
If you have 2 floors in your house and your crib is on the upper floor, I can see this as a separate safe space in the living room.
This is going on my second baby registry checklist!
2. Swing or Bouncer
Elizabeth also mentioned one of her second baby essentials as “the mamaRoo so I had a nice place to put baby while I tended to other kids.”
Other moms mentioned a swing or bouncer as a second baby must have.
“A swing or easy place to set baby down that they like is essential when you need to chase your oldest around. My second baby basically lived in her swing and would even put herself to sleep sometimes.
Since some babies don’t like swings, you could try a bouncer or doc-a-tot but you absolutely have to have something around to set baby in when things get chaotic.” – Kaeleigh at The Faithful Help Meet.
As a second time mom, Debbie at Mother and Baby Love shared, “My baby had mild acid reflux and she needed to be propped almost all the time to avoid constant spitting up.
We used our baby bouncer for her naps (as we watched her of course) and it saved me many tears. I never used one with my first but it turned out to be the best gift we received for our second.”
I actually have a bouncer.
It’s a Fisher-Price chair. It’s average price for bouncer chairs and you can use it immediately up until the baby is 40 lbs. It’s good value for its lifespan. This one is both a rocker and a stationary chair (immovable with a kickstand).
I like how the toys hang low enough for a baby to touch and that the toy bar is easily removable for naps.
There is a vibration feature, but our baby didn’t like that feature so we never used it.
The chair is portable. We kept ours in the bathroom because we wanted to have a place in the bathroom where we could safely put the baby down. I honestly don’t know how I would have been able to brush my teeth or take a shower without this chair!
3. White Noise Machine
“I am the mom of 4 daughters ages 9 through 1-year-old. When my 2nd daughter was born, I needed a white noise sound machine to help her sleep while I was playing with older sister around the house.
Each of my kids still sleep with a sound machine to this day. At first, I bought the cute baby sound machines, but they kept breaking down quickly! I find the adult ones work best.” – Christen at Best Money Mom.
This is a product I used to be on the fence about.
My husband used to sleep with a fan. He needed it to sleep through the night. I thought it was a dependency that couldn’t be corrected. One night, he decided not to use it and now we only use it intermittently during the summer.
I was concerned for no reason. Habits can be changed.
I also realized daycares use sleep machines too during nap time so children are exposed to them anyways.
One challenge that I’m really concerned about is my toddler waking up my baby or vice versa.
I actually spoke to a sleep consultant about this.
She told me that I should get 2 white noise machines – one in the toddler’s room and the other in the baby’s room. It’s not so much to help them go to sleep as it is to protect their sleep from unanticipated noises like crying from the other child.
For everyone’s sanity, a sleep machine is a product I’m definitely adding to my second baby registry checklist.
4. Swaddle Blanket
A lot of moms mentioned that a swaddle blanket is an essential second baby must have.
Here are some of the different branded swaddle blankets fellow moms mentioned.
2. “The Ollie swaddle was the only thing that soothed our colicky baby.
It has Velcro sides so it’s easy to strap in wiggly babies and strong enough so it stays tightly wrapped. The bottom unties so you can do late night diaper changes without undoing the swaddle.” – Devon at U Ready Teddy.
3. “Merlin Suit – Comfortable and super cute (baby looks like an astronaut). Keeps baby calm without restricting movement too much but doesn’t let baby turn before they’re ready. Extends sleep by hours.” – Maria at Parent on Board.
I don’t have these types of swaddle blankets that have fasteners like velcro and zippers.
I can see the benefits – how it more so resembles the womb. With 2 little ones, I can imagine any additional sleep would be amazing!
This is going on my second baby registry checklist!
5. Light Carseat with Caddy
Maria also mentioned that her second baby must haves included:
“Chicco Key Fit Magic – lightweight carseat, so it’s easy to carry. The magic has extras like a waterproof cover for the feet and extra long canopy with mesh for airflow. Easy install into the car.
Chicco Caddy – super lightweight, easily stored in the car, easy open and close, car-seat just pops-in.”
I can see how a lightweight car seat and caddy is a second baby must have.
You want things to be as light as they can be if you’re managing a second child.
Caddies are usually less expensive than getting the adaptor and stroller that fits your infant car seat.
If your first car seat is expired, it makes sense to get a light infant car seat.
Luckily, mine has not expired yet. The one we have is a Graco infant car seat. It’s actually quite light and cheaper than most. The infant car seat made it easy for us to bring her in and out of the car without waking her. We will be reusing this one.
I actually also have a caddy. I use the Universal Snap and Go stroller. It’s designed to fit most strollers.
I used this stroller a lot in the first few months of baby’s life, especially when I took my baby on a plane.
It’s significantly cheaper than my regular go-to stroller so I didn’t mind if it got a bit banged up in transit (It didn’t in the stroller protector bag.).
If you need a car seat for your older child because you’re using the infant car seat with your second baby…
I recommend the Graco Convertible Car Seat. Technically, you can use this convertible car seat from 4 pounds to 120 pounds – it can be the only car seat you ever use.
It’s more expensive, but if you consider all of the different car seats you have to get at each stage, it might end up saving you money in the long run.
It’s also one of the safest car seats on the market according to Consumer Reports.
6. Diaper Bin
“As a mom of two, who has also survived two under two, my second baby must have is definitely a Diaper Genie.
With my first baby I thought they were silly and a waste of money but when you have two in diapers, the diapers pile up much faster and its also that much harder to get the trash out every day. Even if your children aren’t as close in age as mine, it’s so worth it for your house to not smell like diapers!” – Audrey of Two Pink Peonies.
I totally agree!
I have the Ubbi Diaper Pail. It’s one of the most expensive diaper pails on the market, but we’re so glad we got it!
There are NO EXPENSIVE REFILL BAGS like other diaper bins. We just use regular garbage bags.
If you do have a leak in your bag, I highly recommend cleaning the pail immediately because otherwise you might get rust.
We’ve had it for well over 2 years and it still traps in the odor. The odor hasn’t been absorbed like what I’ve heard can happen with the plastic pails.
You can open it using just one hand. With its tall and thin frame, it’s a space saver and is large enough to hold at least a week’s worth of newborn diapers. There is a child safety lock feature, which is handy for my curious older child.
As it has a classic steel design, we might just keep it after our diaper days are over and use it as a regular trash can in the house.
7. Sterilite Bins
“Sterilite Bins To Fill With Special “Quiet Time” Toys For My Toddler When Nursing Baby.
Hands down prepping some bins with special toys that only came out when I needed to put the baby down for a nap helped the transition immensely for us!
My girls are two years apart and there was only so much screen time I could utilize. Having these quiet time bins prepped was almost as important as having freezer meals. I definitely recommend coming up with a few ideas like this for your older children before baby is born.” – Jenny at Welcome to the Circus.
I love this idea to prepare for a second baby and will be using it!
8. Diaper Backpack
“Having two children with different needs (different size diapers, changes of clothes, bibs, different milk requirements etc.) a decent diaper backpack is a must.
They have enough space to pack all the different things you need for an outing, and it’s much more practical to swing into your back than try to carry a shoulder bag.” – Amy at Amy Most.
I couldn’t agree more!
My first diaper bag was a messenger bag, which only had a few compartments – only 1 of which had a zipper. It worked fine for trips to the doctor’s and play dates.
When you have 2 kids, you need to be completely hands-free!
I switched to this Ferlin travel diaper backpack within her first year and I’ve been very happy with it.
One thing though…
If I were to pick now, I would instead select this diaper backpack. This bag is very similar to the Ferlin backpack – even down to the comfortable ergonomic straps and large number of compartments, BUT it also has a laptop/tablet specific pocket.
During my maternity leave, I often found myself carrying both my diaper backpack and my laptop bag. Having an all-in-one would be ideal!
9. Muslin Cloths
Amy also noted that muslin cloths are essential.
“Muslin cloths are super versatile – from a nursing cover, to swaddling baby, an extra layer for baby to be wrapped in, a capsule cover, burp cloth, change mat or even a face cloth for your toddler. I would always carry one or two for just in case!”
I love muslin blankets! I have 4 of them and still use these to this day!
They get softer with each wash! They’re breathable, which was reassuring when you’re constantly checking your baby’s breathing.
Christen also mentioned, “Also, I really needed a wagon to pull my daughters in when they were toddlers & preschoolers.
I don’t have a double-stroller, but instead prefer to walk with my baby in a front baby carrier and pull my younger girls in our STEP-2 wagon. It is a great way to get exercise when you are a new mom.”
It’s interesting to hear Christen’s perspective on this. I’m not keen on getting this much exercise. I can see this working well for active moms.
11. Breastfeeding Pillow
“One of the many things I learned from my first experience in the hospital with a new baby was that propping up pillows to support the baby while nursing is not fun!
My Boppy pillow was essential to my breastfeeding journey and it was the item I made sure to bring with me for my second delivery.
It made holding and feeding my baby so much more comfortable while we were in the hospital and for the next 18 months.” – Christina at Troubleshooting Motherhood.
I’m a big fan of breastfeeding pillows too!
In the first 3 months of baby’s birth, I used this nursing pillow with EVERY feeding.
It has firm cushioning and a clip. This helped me attain and maintain the ideal latch and comfortably supported my upper body and my baby.
It even has a small pocket that I used for spit-up cloths and to store the vitamin D supplement. I have a boppy pillow as well, but I prefer this one because I found it more supportive.
12. Breast Pump
“My second baby must have is a good breast pump! Most insurance companies will provide one for free, and there are several 3rd party vendors like Aeroflow who will work with your insurance company to get one.
Even if your first child nursed like a champ, you never know if your second won’t latch on well, or if something happens that prevents you from nursing (like being given a medication that isn’t safe for breastfeeding).
If nothing else, it’s nice to pump once a day and put it in the freezer for dad or the babysitter to help with feeding on occasion. If you start it right away, you’ll be able to have enough milk to do it.” – Tiffany at Saving Talents.
I have a breast pump. I can see with a second child, pumping will give you some free time away from the baby that you can spend with your older child or just to get some needed self-care.
For those who can’t get a breast pump through their insurance company, we purchased this Ameda Purely Yours pump directly from the hospital with our first. A nurse said it would be the cheapest way to get a high quality pump and she was right!
We ended up paying 40% off most listed prices.
13. Baby Carrier or Wrap
A baby carrier or wrap was by far the most popular second baby must have from moms.
“I would highly recommend a Moby Wrap.
It is something that you can customize anyway you want! It is by far the most comfortable wrap and it’s comfortable for baby while being easy to clean.
Getting things done around the house, breastfeeding on the go, and chasing after a toddler while keeping baby happy is so easy with this! My absolute must have! It also grows with them! I can’t believe I didn’t have one with my first kids!” – Megan at The Henderson House.
“A quality baby carrier for sure. For newborns, a MOBY wrap is an amazing way to keep baby close while tending to older kids.
For older babies, an ERGO is a great one to grow into. Or if you only want to buy one, the ERGO has a newborn insert, although the MOBY wrap worked better in our opinion.” – Charlene at Hess Un-Academy.
“I like wearing my babies because it allows me to do other things around the house. We have the Lillebaby baby carrier and both my husband and I use it so much. I cannot imagine what our lives would look like without it.” – Debbie at Mother and Baby Love.
“A baby carrier helps keep the infant cozy and close to you while allowing you to have your hands available to help your toddler.” – Marissa at Mommy Knows What’s Best.
“Second baby must for me was definitely a carrier or wrap! I absolutely love my moby wrap and infantino carrier! It allows you to cuddle your newborn while keeping your hands free for your other children. It also keeps strangers’ hands off baby while out in public! A must have during this pandemic.” – Ashley at Mid West Mama.
“A Baby Bjorn or other front carrier was extremely handy for snuggling with my 3rd child while pushing my 3 and 5 year old on the swings and otherwise hanging out with and tending to them.” – Jen at Three Kids Three Cats and a Husband.
I’m grateful that I already have a carrier I can use with my second baby.
I love this ergonomic carrier. After reading about hip dysplasia and the importance of using a baby carrier that has a supported seated position, this carrier became my #1 choice. Of course, you should always do your own research on the topic before making a decision.
What I like particularly about this carrier is that it can be used with a newborn right away at 7 lbs (no additional infant insert required) up until the baby is 45 lbs. It can be adapted for all carry positions including facing the baby inwards and outwards, carrying on the hip or back.
You can even breastfeed your baby in it. Sometimes I found the carrier easier to use than a stroller when I was out of the house. For example, when I was going to a restaurant with tight spacing.
Related: If you’re looking to save money on a baby carrier, here are babywearing on a budget tips.
14. Double Stroller
Jen also mentioned another second baby checklist essential is “A double stroller! I regularly took a 3 mile round-trip walk to our library and it was great for both my mental and physical health.”
I can see a double stroller as being particularly handy when the baby gets heavier and you still want to keep your older child in a stroller.
Holding a heavy baby in a carrier will become too uncomfortable. My toddler hasn’t been in a carrier since she was between 1-1.5 years old.
If you only have one seat in the stroller and you also have the diaper bag etc., it’ll be challenging keeping track of the second kid.
15. Balance Bike or Stroller Board
“A balance bike or stroller board for your older child (think 3-4 year olds who are too big for a double stroller, but too young to keep up on walks).” – Cindy at Living for the Sunshine.
With a stroller board, you have to get the matching board for your stroller.
I can see this being an essential for my second baby registry checklist that I’ll use in the future.
16. Cleaning Service
Jen also said that “2-4 visits from a cleaning service” is an essential for your 2nd baby checklist.
“My in-laws got this for us and it was the perfect gift. Vacuuming and scrubbing tubs were the last things we wanted to worry about with a newborn and a 23-month old in the house.”
This is definitely a must have for second time moms.
If you can’t get a cleaning service, you could get a robot vacuum. This was a game changer in our house!
The idea of a robot doing the vacuuming for you seems too good to be true. It works! I’ve used it on carpets, tiles and hardwood. It also knows to avoid stairs.
One thing though:
Sometimes it misses spots and cleans the same areas multiple times. It occasionally gets stuck on something and you have to reposition it. It also doesn’t always pick up all of the cat hair.
If you don’t have pets, this robot vacuum will probably be perfect.
If you do have pets, you might be better off with a cordless vacuum.
I have one of these as well. It’s quite high in price, but it’s made my life so much easier. Now I can just pick up the vacuum and quickly clean up places the robot vacuum won’t clean well like the:
- Areas our cats frequently sleep and lounge in
Between the 2 products, I know we’ll be equipped when we welcome our second baby.
17. Belly Bandit
I actually have the belly bandit. I was all set to wear it.
I had heard great things like it helps put all of your insides back into place and slim down your belly. It eases back pain and offers support while nursing.
Then when I went to our baby’s first doctor’s appointment. My doctor said she doesn’t recommend it. She said forcing the compression is unnatural. Everything might not go back exactly the way it should have.
I didn’t use the belly bandit. I ended up getting severe diastasis recti (when your abdominal muscles separate during pregnancy so you still look pregnant many months after giving birth).
At some point, I started seeing a physiotherapist. It improved slightly, but never went back to the way it was.
Since the belly bandit is only effective in the first few months postpartum, I couldn’t even try it 1 year later to see if it would work.
With this second pregnancy, I might reconsider the belly bandit and get a second opinion. A nurse I spoke to used it and said it worked well.
18. Double of Some Baby Products
“It depends on the gender of your children. If you have two kids of the same gender (like I did) then you really find a break in not having to buy a ton of things. I passed down clothes, shoes, toys, furniture etc.
I did buy new bottles, some new organizing bins etc. (to keep kids items separate) and doubles or just about anything else. With two girls, when you buy something for one, the other has to have it too or this leads to a ton of little cat fights! So double of everything (treats, toys, gifts, etc).” – Hannah at Marked Life Blog.
This is a good point. Buying double of some baby products for the second baby makes a lot of sense.
There are certain baby products you just can’t reuse with a second baby like…
It’s difficult to fully sterilize many of these items so it’s best to buy these new for your 2nd baby.
There are also items you’ll just need to buy new for a second baby like:
- Bath supplies like bath wash if you use it. This is one thing I won’t be buying because my baby is doing the no poo method. I plan on washing my second baby’s hair just using water and no shampoo. This method worked well with my toddler. Her hair always looked healthy and clean and she’s never once used product in it.
There are also products you might need more than 1 of, especially if your older child is still using it or your second baby is sleeping in a different room:
- Night light
- Clothes if you’re having a different gender and traditional pinks for girls or blues for boys are important to you. You could also get gender-neutral clothes, especially if there’s a possibility you might have a 3rd baby. Related Post: Baby Clothes Essentials from the First 3 Months to 12 Months
- Baby wash cloths
- Baby hat
- Crib mattress
- Crib sheets
- Mattress cover protectors
- Baby Monitor, a child unit or camera to add to your original baby monitor, or a new baby monitor with 2 child units or cameras
I’ll certainly be adding many of these to my second baby registry checklist.
Other Second Baby Essentials
In my research online, I also came across these additional items to include on a second baby registry checklist.
I’m not sure if I’m going to get these. They’re on my second baby registry, but I’m not sure if they’re a must have.
In case they fit your needs, I’ve included them here.
19. Cushy closer
With this cushy closer, you no longer have to turn a doorknob. It allows for quiet opening and closing of doors so you don’t wake sleeping kids and they don’t wake you.
What I like about this product is that it’ll allow my daughter to open and close certain doors, which she can’t do right now. She can’t accidentally lock herself in a room.
When she’s older, she also won’t be slamming doors with these on.
20. Second Car Mirror
If your older child is still in a rear facing car seat, it’s helpful to have a second car mirror so you can see both children.
My older child is still in a rear facing car seat. It would be great to have that peace of mind of seeing both children, and having them see me. It would also be helpful to know if they’ve both fallen asleep.
Additional Second Baby Items for Mom
In case you don’t already have these items, here are additional second baby essentials.
I already have or need to purchase more of these items for the second baby.
These were essential with my first. In case you don’t have them, I’ve included them below.
21. Postpartum underwear
With postpartum bleeding, I’ll be getting pull-on underwear. You can easily slip it on while you’re on the toilet and it’s comfortable.
I highly recommend not getting adult diapers with the sticky tabs in front. They’re just a bit more difficult to put on yourself.
When you’re looking at the sizing, go with one size up from your pre-pregnancy size. For example, I’m usually a size S and I went with the size S/M.
Everyone will require different quantities. I ended up purchasing 3 packs of postpartum underwear. I thought one pack would be enough, but I ended up bleeding up until I was 2-3 months postpartum.
22. Water bottle
My water bottle will be an essential tool with my second baby, especially with breastfeeding.
When I was breastfeeding with my first, I was often dehydrated. It was only after constantly drinking water that I could feel more sane and keep the baby full.
Having a water bottle with me is a great reminder to drink water throughout the day.
This Voss water bottle that I’ve been reusing for a few years has been a lifesaver! It’s extra large and made of glass so there’s no unwanted flavoring from the package.
If I didn’t have this bottle, I would probably get this water bottle. My friends swear by this! They have multiple!
This water bottle is also made of glass, but has this silicone sleeve for easier gripping. It has an opening that’s large enough to put ice cubes easily in if you overheat and just need to chomp on cubes.
When you’re a new mom, you’re weak. There’s hardly enough time to make food, let alone eat it.
That’s why I will be ensuring that freezer meals are ready for at least the first few weeks postpartum.
I will also be getting a lot of snacks when I inevitably get hungry in between meals.
Additional Preparation for a Second Baby
After hearing about how older kids often get jealous when a new baby comes into the picture, I’m going to try to be proactive about this.
Several of my co-workers with 2 or more children said that what worked for them is getting books to read to their toddler. That way, he or she will better understand what’s happening and what to expect when the baby comes.
Ideally, your older one will be guided to take on a helpful, nurturing and loving role with his or her sibling.
Here are some of the books I was recommended to get.
Caroline Jayne Church Books
These two books prepare toddlers for what life will be like when the baby is here.
My daughter is already a big fan of Caroline Jayne Church’s other book Goodnight, I Love You that goes through a kid’s bedtime routine. I’m excited to see if these work!
Rachel Fuller’s baby series:
What I like about this series is that it addresses all of the stages an older sister or brother goes through during these confusing and anxious times for kids.
This book is focused on building the anticipation and excitement for a big sister for when the baby comes.
It shows the big sister how she can interact with the baby before the baby comes.
Final Thoughts on the 2nd Baby Checklist
Congratulations on your second baby!
While you might have anxiety to re-enter the baby stage, it’s going to be exciting to go through all the milestones again. Kids grow up so fast!
If you haven’t already gotten your hospital bag in order, here’s my hospital bag checklist PDF for reference.
If you’re a friend of family member looking for present ideas, here are gifts for second-time moms.
Recap of Second Baby Must Haves
- Swings or bouncers: mamaRoo, doc-a-tot, Fisher-Price chair
- White noise sound machine
- Swaddle blankets: Miracle swaddle blanket, Ollie swaddle, Merlin Suit
- Car seat and caddy: Chicco Key Fit Magic, Chicco Caddy, Graco infant car seat and Universal Snap and Go stroller
- Diaper pails: Diaper Genie, Ubbi Diaper Pail
- Sterilite Bins with toys for older child
- Diaper backpack
- Muslin cloths
- STEP-2 wagon
- Breastfeeding pillow: My Boppy pillow, mybrestfriend pillow
- Breast pump: Aeroflow pumps, Ameda Purely Yours pump
- Carriers: Moby Wrap, Baby Tula, Lillebaby, infantino carrier, A Baby Bjorn, Ergo
- Double stroller
- Stroller board: piggyback board
- Cleaning service or robot vacuum or cordless vacuum
- Belly bandit
- Double of products depending on your situation
- Cushy closer
- Second car mirror
- Pull-on underwear
- Water bottle
- Meals and snacks: energy bars and almonds
Related Second Baby Essentials
- What I actually used from my hospital bag checklist
- Best Tips for flying with a baby
- Free Baby Things
- Baby on a Budget: 18 Tips You Need to Know
- Pregnancy Products I Couldn’t Live Without
- Practical Gifts for Baby Showers
- Daycare Must Haves for your Infant or Toddler
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