Now that our second baby is getting close to a year old, It's become much clearer what items we really used and which ones collected dust during her infancy. The funny thing is, the list is completely different than the one I would've given to you with our first daughter. It just goes to show you that every baby is different. Nonetheless, here is my list of our most and least utilized baby items this time around:
1. Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddles: These were a complete lifesaver for us when our Lucy was an infant. We literally used them constantly - both as swaddles and lightweight blankets for our spring baby. With our first baby we had receiving and swaddling blankets, but nothing even compared to these. They are larger than your average receiving blanket, the perfect weight (especially for warmer weather), just the right amount of stretch, and oh-so beautiful.
2. A structured carrier: Our Ergobaby carrier has been a lifesaver on so many occasions. Even with the infant insert, Lucy wasn't quite comfortable in the first few months, but since then she's practically lived in the thing. It was one of the only ways we could get her to sleep, it allowed me to continue to go to the grocery store and take my older daughter on our normal outings without hauling around (or purchasing) a heavy, expensive stroller, and let me get things done around the house on those days when she wouldn't let me put her down.
3. A smart phone: I didn't have one of these with our first daughter (it took me a while to get with the times - we like to pinch our pennies), but now I have no clue how I lived without it! We used a white noise app to help lull her to sleep on the go, it allowed me to take so many amazing photos of my girls without lugging around a huge camera, and kept me sane during those many many night wakings by allowing me to peruse my Facebook feed or hop on the internet.
4. A pacifier: This really completely depends on your baby - my niece and nephew absolutely were not interested in any way in a pacifier and do not suck their thumbs, but both of my kids definitely liked to soothe themselves this way.
5. A co-sleeper: They attach to your bed and allow you to have your babe at arm's reach during those first few months when you're constantly waking and feeding at night. I didn't feel comfortable sleeping with my baby directly in our bed so this is the next best thing. I loved not having to get out of bed a million times a night and being able to glance over at her during those crazy hormonal postpartum moments to see if she was still breathing - it gave me such peace of mind.
6. A wrap-type carrier: During the first few months, this is seriously the best way to cozy up with your babe. I would pop her in and she would go right to sleep. In fact, she slept the whole way through my older daughter's third birthday in one of these. It takes a little bit of practice to figure out the wrapping, but once you get the hang of it it's a snap.
7. A video monitor: We were gifted one of these with baby number two, and I can't believe how useful it's been. I could set it up anywhere and it made me feel at ease when my daughter was sleeping in another room, helped us to figure out (after we moved her to a crib) if she was fussing because her little leg was caught/she had lost her pacifier or if we should let her go for a few more minutes, and allowed me to take a few moments to gaze at her while she slept while I played with my older one.
1. A baby bathtub: It was such a pain to lug one of these out and store it in our little house. This time around we just bathed her in the sink - easy as pie.
2. A bouncer/swing/pack n play: While we owned these items, I found we just didn't use them this time around. She was perfectly happy to nap in her co-sleeper, crib, car seat, carrier, or wrap. She had absolutely no interest in the swing or bouncer, and the pack n play was useful for maybe a month at most. I so wish she had loved a swing (my niece would snooze in one for hours), but we could've saved some serious money here.
3. Fancy stroller: If we lived in a more urban area this probably would be more useful, but I rarely use our stroller. The wrap or Ergo carrier were much more practical for us.
4. Changing table: Being a second child, taking her upstairs for every diaper change would have been a huge pain. I just used our travel changing pad on the rug most days so that I could stay close to my three-year-old.
5. Burp cloths: Neither of my kids really ever did the spit-up thing. I think this one totally depends on that one factor.
6. Nursing pillow: I used a Boppy all of the time with my first daughter, but this time around it just didn't feel comfortable. I preferred just holding her sans pillow.
7. Diaper pail: We used a diaper pail for maybe a month with each of my kids. Then we went to a normal trash can. Pee diapers went into the regular trash can. The other kind went straight outside. It just wasn't worth it to keep buying those expensive bags.
So what about you? Does your list look anything like mine? And were your must-have lists different for each of your kids?
(Image credits: Lauren Hufnagl)