Baby and toddler siblings - sanity-saving second baby must haves

Expecting your second baby?

Congratulations to you mama! Now that you have experience you’re, hopefully, feeling a lot more confident about having baby number two. 

Even though the pregnancy ups and downs may be familiar to you, its possible you’re a little apprehensive at the idea of having two kids to referee every day. 

You know how to look after one baby, but looking after a baby and a toddler (or older child) is a different matter!

To get prepared for your second baby, you’ll want to go through the baby essentials you already have from your first child. Hopefully you’ve kept the big items such as the car seat and smaller items such as clothing and bottles. 

While there are many items you can reuse, you will still need to fork out a bit of cash to get ready for baby number two. 

So this handy guide is here to tell you what items you need to buy – including advice on items to pass down to your second child and where you will need to buy something new for your older child. 

If you haven’t kept any of the baby gear from your first child, I suggest checking out my baby registry post with all of the essentials you need to care for a newborn baby. 


Related posts: 

Non-essential baby items seasoned mamas wouldn’t live without

11 brilliant ways to prepare your toddler for a newborn baby


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Baby essentialsNice to have baby productsDon’t bother buying these!
Car seatNappy binBaby bath
CotbedBaby carrierDesigner clothes
ClothesBaby bouncerTop and tail bowl
BottlesBaby play matShoes
Breast pumpSide sleeperFollow-on milk
Bath seatSwaddle bagsCot bumpers
MuslinsBaby car mirror
High chair
Bibs
Changing bag
Buggy

Baby bath seat

If you didn’t get one of these amazing seats for your first child, then make sure you definitely get one for your second!

There are various different baby bath seats you can choose from, but the Angelcare is my favourite for newborns. It features a line showing where to fill the tub to, so that your baby is safe in the seat. 

You will need to be next to your newborn at all times, but the baby bath seat means you have your hands free so that you can wash your baby, and your toddler at the same time. 

Not having to support your baby in the bath for the entire time means you can wash your kids one at a time. 

In terms of bath time for two kids, have a changing mat and your baby’s clothes ready in the bathroom. Get your baby out of the bath first, and get them dry, moisturised and dressed while your toddler is still in the bath. 

When you have a second child you have to start thinking about all of the practical ways in which to juggle two kids at the same time, while causing as few tears as you possibly can!

Part of it is about finding your own way, of course, but hopefully this and these other tips will go a long way to helping you figure that out. 

Buggy board

If you have an older child of around two-and-a-half to four then a buggy board will be a huge help!

A buggy board means you do not have to buy a double buggy – making a big saving for you as you can just adapt your existing stroller. 

Some boards, such as the Bugaboo buggy board, come with a comfort seat so your older child can stand or sit while holding on. 

Before you buy your buggy board, do double check on reviews and the product description that this buggy board will work with your stroller. 

Double buggy 

If your age gap is less than two years, then you will most definitely want to invest in a double buggy. You will not regret this purchase!

Many double buggies are made in a side-by-side format, but you can also get tandem strollers which you may find better for navigating around tight aisles in shops. 

If your age gap is less than four years, I would still thoroughly recommend a double buggy if you do a lot of walking. 

Children of this age still struggle with going long distances, and you don’t want to end up carrying your four-year-old for a mile while struggling to push your baby in a buggy. 

Choose your buggy based on the type of walking you do – is it more urban and involving public transport or do you do most of your walking in the countryside? Think about how hardy the buggy needs to be, whether it will fit in your car, whether it is a one or two-piece fold and what accessories it comes with. 

When you have two kids, a roomy basket underneath will be very handy for stashing all of the things you need to take out with you. 

I had the Baby Jogger City Select double and it was fantastic.

Cotbed 

This is an item where you may want to do a bit of juggling between your kids!

Depending on what type of crib or cotbed you had for your first child, you could pass this down to your second baby and get your older child a new bed. 

But, you will still want to buy a new mattress for the baby’s bed (even if you already have one that fits). Mattresses tend to sag over time, which is a SIDS risk for babies. The safest solution is to buy a new, firm mattress that fits the bed. 

On the other hand, you may already have a bed that is set to grow with your eldest child and you don’t want to disrupt their own sleeping arrangements. 

In this case you’ll need a new crib. A cotbed that adapts to a toddler bed is the most cost-effective option, although you may struggle to fit this in your own bedroom while sharing a room with your baby for the first six months. 

Hopefully you still have your Moses basket or side sleeper, which you could use in your bedroom while you’re sharing a room with your baby for the first six months. 

Car seat

This is another product where you may want to swap around with your toddler. So the baby could have the car seat your toddler has used since birth, and you buy a larger booster seat for your older child. 

This all depends on what type of car seat your eldest child currently uses! If they have had the same seat from birth and it’s still considered safe under today’s driving safety guidelines for car seats, then reuse that. 

In the UK, the law states all children should ride in an appropriate car seat until the age of 12 or when they reach 135cm in height. 

Many car seats will adapt with your child as they grow and last for years and years. You can get car seats suitable for the first year, seats that will be appropriate until your child is a toddler and others that last from birth to age 12. 

Here are some brilliant car seats, for newborn and for older kids, for you to consider: 

Newborn car seat:

Britax B Safe Infant Car Seat

A rear facing seat offering great impact protection and comfortable padding for your baby. 

All-round car seat:

Graco Milestone 

This car seat will stay with your child from birth to age 12. It doesn’t stay rear facing as long as the experts recommend for optimum safety, but it’s a great option and if you look after it you will get your money’s worth!

Best for budget:

Joie Elevate Group 1/2/3 car seat

This is a great option for your older child if you would like to pass your first child’s car seat down to your second child. 

It’s appropriate from age one to age 12, so you will really get your money’s worth. It’s easy to install and use. 

The only downside is there is no rearward facing option. It is accepted that the longer you can keep your child facing the rear of the car, the safer it is. However this is a sound option. 

Baby carrier

If you did not use a baby carrier with your first child, you may find it essential with your second!

With two kids you will constantly find yourself torn between the two, so being able to hold your baby and keep your hands free will be essential!

You could opt for a cloth sling, which may be comfier if you need to use it a lot around the home. 

But carriers such as the Ergo get amazing reviews and are great for going out with your baby too. 

Bouncy chair

You perhaps didn’t bother with a chair for your eldest, but now’s the time to invest in one. 

There will always be times when you just want the baby to entertain themselves in a safe spot. 

Putting the bouncy chair in the corner of the dining room while you feed your toddler, or in the kitchen while you cook, could be a real life-saver!

Changing station supplies on every floor 

The second you take your eyes away from one of your kids, that will be the moment they do something they shouldn’t!

Save yourself from traipsing up and down the stairs with both kids in tow all day long and get a changing station for every floor of your home. 

Buy a really cheap changing mat and stash it underneath your sofa to keep things tidy. You’ll be glad you don’t have to march up and down the stairs every time there’s a nappy to be changed. 

Second car mirror

If both of your kids are in rear-facing car seats you may want two car mirrors to keep an eye on what they’re both doing. 

Kids tend to have their best squabbles when they’re in the back of the car where you can’t quickly separate them! Having a mirror means you can monitor who is hitting who, and just make sure they’re both OK. 

Double breast pump 

A single breast pump was fine when you had one child, but you need to save time wherever you can now that you have two kids to handle. 

If you will be breastfeeding and want to build up a stash of milk in your freezer, a double breast pump will halve your pumping time. It’s a great investment!

Don’t forget to pick up all of your pump supplies, bottles and milk storage bags too. 

Travel cot

A travel cot set up in the living room can make a brilliant play pen for your baby. This keeps them separate from their sibling at times when you may not want them to play right next to each other. 

In general, your toddler will be totally harmless to your baby. But you know their play can get a little rough, so having the baby in the travel cot with a few toys means you know they are safe and your toddler can have the run of the living room to play. 

Toddler busy box

Pick up some new toys and books. You don’t have to spend an absolute fortune on this! Just a few things that you know your toddler will enjoy looking at and exploring such as figures of characters from their favourite cartoons and books about being a sibling. 

Put these items in a box for your toddler when you need to feed your baby. It’s so useful to have a handy distraction for your eldest child when you need it. 

Huge changing bag

Now is a good time to upgrade your changing bag.

For two kids, backpack will be easier to manage as it leaves you with your hands-free. Choose something that is lightweight but extremely roomy.

You’ll want to take out changes of clothes for each child, a drink for your toddler and snacks too, as well as muslins for your baby and maybe bottles for them too. For two kids, I thoroughly recommend this changing bag as something roomy, lightweight and easy to carry.

Thermos mug

Now that you have two children, the chances of you finishing a hot drink before it cools down to room temperature are slim to none. 

Get a Thermos and put your coffee or tea into when you make one. That way you can come back to it whenever you have a spare second!

This post should have given you a great idea of what you need for your second child. Don’t forget that really babies don’t need tons and tons of stuff. 

The most important thing really is getting the transportation and sleeping arrangements sorted. Everything else here is intended to make your life easier!

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