Baby essentials I need this time around

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The wonderful thing about knowing we would eventually have another baby is keeping pretty much everything we got the first time round. Most of it is stored in labelled up plastic boxes in the eaves of our attic/bedroom. However, there are some things I didn’t have for the first few months with Mali that I could’ve absolutely used, so I’m going to share with you the things I didn’t buy but wish I had and will be purchasing soon, if not already bought and stashed away pending our new arrival.

First of all, if I still had this* book, I would 100% read it again. I was given it by a friend when I was expecting with M, then I passed it on to a friend who then passed it on so I don’t have it anymore but I think it’s one every expecting Mum should read. I’ve recently (since Christmas) started reading ‘The Second Baby Book’* by Sarah Ockwell-Smith, which also has some really good chapters on how to approach childbirth the second time round. Even though birth the first time round was everything I wanted, I know that this might not happen this time so it’s good to get different ideas on how the birth could go. Even though I’m still hopeful for a similar birth, I can start to think about what might need to happen should anything go not to plan.

A sling – I have the Ergobaby Omni 360 and a Baby Bjorn, both of which are excellent. I’d say the Baby Bjorn one is better for infants and the Ergobaby better for 6 months plus or older, as it’s a lot more robust but I found it not quite as gentle using it with a newborn. So this time around I’m opting for a sling for the first few months so I can hopefully get house jobs done whilst baby sleeps and also play with Mali. The Free Rider slings seem to have great reviews and I do know a couple of other Mum’s who have used these so I will be getting one soon. Just need to decide on which colour!

A dimmable light – I didn’t realise how bright and disorientating turning on a bedside light in the middle of the night actually was until I had to feed frequently with Mali which, reading more in depth about it, obviously knackers up yours and babies circadian rhythm. There are a couple I’ve found online but I decided to go for this one here* and I really love it. It’s a lot smaller than I expected but it’s perfect and an ideal size for taking with me if we need to go away for the night. Josh even said he wants to get one for the spare room for those nights he has to disappear and make room for Mali!

Another white noise machine – something we didn’t purchase for ages after Mali was born and I so wish we had got one sooner. All babies are so different but M is such a light sleeper, anything would wake her up. We use this* white noise machine at night for her and it stays on until we turn it off in a morning when she wakes. It just gives us that bit of grace on an evening or in a morning and we don’t have to tip toe around. Be careful how loud they are though and how close to baby you’re using noise machines. it shouldn’t be any louder than heavy rainfall, which is I believe, 50-60 decibels. My Apple Watch has a feature that tells me how loud it is, if I’m ever concerned it’s too loud and I have it on the other side of the room to Mali which is more than 3 metres away. I think, but don’t quote me, the recommended distance is 2 metres of more away.

A new baby monitor. Though this isn’t something we will expect to use for a little while, I do want another one handy and one that will flick between Mali’s room and new baby. A friend of mine has recommended me this one here* which seems like a really good one. I want one that doesn’t use Wi-Fi, as I’ve seen a lot of scary things about hackers.

Dummies! I was so adamant that my baby was not going to use dummies… but they were a life saver with M. We tried a few different ones, like the really aesthetically pleasing ones BIBS and FRIGG but M did not take to those. I didn’t like their rubbery smell either to be totally honest. We ended up getting these* MAM ones that come in a little box where you can add water and sterilise themin the microwave. Perfect in my opinion if they help you and baby. I already got some ready for when number 2 arrives but won’t use them unless I feel necessary.

Bottles. I thought about going for the Tommee Tippee ones again but I don’t think I will, even though I have the water steriliser for them, I hated it on the side and found cleaning it a pain. I am hoping to breastfeed for a year *fingers crossed* but would still like to pump to allow Josh and my Mum and Gran to feed the baby, so the plan is to still have bottles ready. A lot of my friends use these* MAM bottles which I am leaning towards at the moment. I would actually prefer to use glass bottles but I’m not sure on how safe they would be as I’m a little clumsy and would probably end up knocking them over and smashing them. What’s great about the MAM bottles is that they are self sterilising, meaning you can stick them in a microwave for 3 minutes and they are ready to use again. They also have a ventilated base, reducing colic in 80% of babies, so the more I read, the more I will probably just end up going for these.

This leads me on to breast pumps. Now I probably won’t buy a pump before baby arrives because I’m not sure how my breastfeeding journey will go. We only managed 4 weeks last time but I’m hopeful things will be different this time. We were kindly given a Haakaa manual breast pump which I passed on to a friend when I stopped breast feeding. I loved this, it was super easy to use and because I was producing a lot of milk I was able to collect a lot. I didn’t have the one with the lid or the suction base but now I’ve seen those are available I will definitely 100% be getting one of those. You can find those here*. With the basic one I did knock it over a few times, losing all that precious milk and I also found that there were times I couldn’t get it immediately in to a storage bag, for example when baby fell asleep after feeding and you didn’t want to move, so a lid and a suction base would have been ideal.

Obviously I have a LOT of things already for baby number 2, but the items mentioned here were things I didn’t have at the beginning and really wish I did have. If anyone would find it helpful for me to list every thing I found helpful during those first few weeks/months, then just pop me a message on Instagram or send me an email and I’ll be happy to put a little post together.