One would think when you have the second kid, especially if they are the same gender as the first, you in theory shouldn’t really need anything when it comes to baby gear. While that was mostly true for us, the first baby always provides a nice learning curve and some trial and error, so by the time little Eva came around I had a better understanding of what I would really use, and had learned about a few products that have made my life much easier. These are a few things I added to our baby gear this time around, and a couple worth adding to the list again because they have been that important.
Fawn Design Diaper Bag
With Aubrey I had some sort of stigma against the big bulky diaper bags I had seen, and I was determined to find something that would serve the purpose but also be somewhat stylish. So I registered for this beautiful handmade backpack on Etsy. It was a nice backpack, but in reality it was far from sufficient as a diaper bag. It was too small, didn’t give at all, and was actually pretty uncomfortable with its woven cotton straps. We were traveling so much during that time my “diaper bag” usually ended up just being my carry on on our flights, or my leather backpack I bought in Turkey with an extra diaper thrown in it. This time around, knowing I would need enough room for supplies for two littles I decided it was time for an upgrade to a real diaper bag. I loved my little leather backpack purse so I searched for something similar in design and eventually found Fawn Design. As it turns out a couple of my friends had these bags as well and raved about them. Now as a proud owner I rave about them as well. They are made out of a high quality faux leather, provide plenty of room and pockets for anything and everything you could need, and they are beautifully stylish. You can also wear them as a backpack or over the shoulder. I still kind of wish I had been able to score a black one (the black, brown and gray all sell out really quickly), but I LOVE the brown I got, and have received a ton of compliments on it.
Portable Changing Pad
I included this little number on my last list, but it’s on here again because we seriously couldn’t live without one of these. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to change my babies in bathrooms, or random locations where no changing table is available. It has given me great peace of mind to have these pads to lay down and at least feel a little better knowing my littles are protected from whatever gross surface I am having to use as a makeshift diaper changing station. I keep mine packed with a few extra diapers and wipes, and I can grab it for a quick grab and go whenever needed. During our travels I often just brought this along and nothing else! We registered for a new one this time since our other was so worn out and I love how chic this one is! *They have a matching diaper bag that was my second choice if I wasn’t able to get one of the FD bags.
Silicone Breast Pump
I learned about this little life changer through instagram of all places. I hope I’m not the only one that becomes slightly obsessed with breastmilk and how much I can pump, but my obsession led me to perusing through instagram hashtags and ultimately led me to discovering these silicone breast pumps. All you have to do is suction this guy to the opposite breast when you are nursing and it works its magic to collect all the milk that would have otherwise been soaked up by a breast pad during your let down. I have been able to collect 1-2 ounces each time I feed Eva, giving an awesome boost to my freezer stash without any extra work or time spent with my electric pump. I cannot speak highly enough of these. They will be my new go-to baby shower gift from here on out! The original name brand one runs around $30, but I took a chance on a knock off on Amazon for $10 and it has worked perfectly.
Also in my instagram searches I found Euphoric Herbals. They have a collection of herbal supplements created to help boost your supply. I don’t really have a supply problem, but I always want to produce more to store in the freezer, and to have that peace of mind that Eva is getting plenty of milk. There are four capsule blends, and they require a little trial and error to figure out which blend, or combination of blends will be your magic cocktail. I am still in the trial period, but thus far I have seen an increase from only being able to pump 1-2 ounces between Eva’s feedings, to pumping more like 3-4 ounces. I have tried the Dairy Fairy and Dairy Diva so far, and have an order of Lush Leche and Milk Machine as well as the Milky Mama Tea on the way so I will report back!
With Aubrey I was so worried about her getting used to sleeping in the bed with us and not being willing to sleep in her crib that we moved her straight to the nursery and her crib when we returned from Germany. She was two weeks old and still nursing frequently during the night, and I dragged myself out of bed and down the hall and spent hours trying to stay awake sitting in the glider while she nursed. Like most babies she didn’t sleep great at first and sometimes in moments of desperation I would bring her back to our bed to nurse and would fall asleep, waking up hours later in a panic because she was in our bed. This time around I cut myself some slack. Most babies don’t really develop sleep habits until 3-4 months old, and if you are breastfeeding, life is SO much easier if you have your baby close enough to pull them over to nurse while you sleep or at least rest laying horizontally. So we got a co-sleeper to keep beside the bed for Eva. I can honestly say I haven’t felt the new mama exhaustion this time around. It has been a piece of cake to pull her over into the bed and nurse her, or to be able to reach over and put my hand on her when she is unsettled, or to just make sure she is breathing – because let’s be real, we all are freaks about that at first 🙂 We bought a used Arm’s Reach co-sleeper, but I would imagine any co-sleeper would be perfectly fine.
Portable White Noise
With Aubrey we used our phones and the Sound Sleeper app and a portable blue tooth speaker for white noise. It was great because we always had our phones with us, which meant we always had white noise (which Aubrey was super addicted too) with us wherever we went. We still use that app from time to time, but this time we registered for a small portable rechargeable white noise machine, and we love not having to tie up our phones to have white noise (which Eva doesn’t actually seem to care much about of course). It’s super easy to clip onto the stroller or crib, and we don’t have to worry about batteries.
Always Discreet Underwear
I won’t go into great detail here to spare you guys, but just take my word and get you some of these for after the birth. They are way more comfortable than the huge pads from the hospital, you don’t have to worry about ruining your underwear, and they even have a little bow on the front really upping the sexiness factor – says Will haha!
I think I may have included this on the last list, and it is making an appearance again because it was possibly even more important the second time around. Whether you are hoping to slim back down postpartum, want help with swelling, need support for diastasic recti, want to keep your insides from feeling like they are all jumbling around, or just need the core and back support, a postpartum wrap is very necessary in my opinion. I have tried the Belly Bandit and the Bellafit corset. I love how supportive the Bellafit corset was, but I have a short torso and even with cutting out the boning at the top and trying wearing it with the first couple of clasps undone, it still hit at a very uncomfortable place on my ribs so I’ve only worn it for a few hours a handful of times. The Belly Bandit is much more comfortable and easier to get on, however it has such a small piece of velcro it has become too big and ineffective within a few days have giving birth for me both times. If I had it to do over I would just buy one of the abdominal binders you can find at CVS or Walgreens. You just need something that you can wrap tight enough to be supportive.
I was very fortunate with Aubrey in that I never had nipple pain from nursing. This was SO not the case with Eva. I had some Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter, and some other lanolin cream I had received from the hospital with Aubrey, but neither gave me any relief. The only thing that worked was Lanisoh lanolin. It’s safe for baby so you don’t have to worry about washing it off prior to nursing, it’s thick and protective and healing. Once you experience cracked nipples you will understand the absolute necessity of this stuff!
The first time around I was so afraid of flashing a nip at someone I went to great lengths to make sure I was thoroughly covered every time I nursed Aubrey. Not only do I not give a flying flip about a little nip slip (like what I did there?) this time, I am also not subjecting myself and my baby to dealing with a cover all the time. It’s inconvenient, hard to see what you and baby are doing, and often it’s hot for mama and poor baby that is just trying to get a little something to eat. I didn’t get a single nursing cami last time, but this time I have gotten five so far. Being able to lift up your shirt and still have something covering your midsection is crucial for comfort and modesty while nursing in public, and in many cases, they make it so easy to access your boobs people can’t even tell you are nursing. It just looks like you are holding your baby. I didn’t have much luck with the much praised Target nursing tanks, but I have loved the H&M ones, and have ordered a few more from Amazon I will report on once I receive.
Multi-Use Nursing Cover
So to contradict my previous paragraph, there are some times when covering up is preferable when nursing. Last time I tried just about every type of cover I could find, but none were as great as these stretchable multi-use covers. You can wear them as a scarf if you want, stretch them around you and baby creating a little private cocoon, stretch them over the carseat to block the elements or unwanted onlookers, or even stretch them over grocery carts to ward off the public germs. I again went with a knock off of the popular brand on Amazon and so far I love it. I think if you had any sewing skills you could easily make one of these yourself as well.
We have had Boba Wraps and two kinds of Ergo baby carriers, and while I still love my Ergo 360, and of course I love wrapping newborn little smushes in the Bobas, but this time I wanted to try a ring sling because they seemed so much easier to use and less bulky. Since getting one I can verify they are in fact so much easier to use and less bulky. I loved the beautiful dupioni silk ones from Sakura Bloom, but the hefty almost $200 price tag seemed extremely unreasonable. After some searching I came across this one on Amazon and I couldn’t be happier with it. I chose the Rainbow Honeycomb color and it is beautiful. The material doesn’t give so it is very supportive, but it is also lightweight and breathable enough that I think it will be great for the summer months.