When I found out I was pregnant with my first baby I was a complete disaster, a wreck of a human spiraling out of control like a human tornado because I had no idea what to expect or what to do. When I found out I was pregnant with my second I had the, “been there, done that,” complex and totally was over confident because hey, I’d already had one little spawn, I could do it again, right?
Well, that was half true, I HAD already done it before but let me tell you what. When they say every child is different, they mean it! My pregnancy was different, my delivery was different, and you bet your two front teeth that Emilia is a very different child than Sydney!
In fact, even the products I used were totally different! It was so crazy to me because I went out and bought a bunch of the “baby essentials” that I had with my first baby because I loved them so much, but I hardly needed them and I ended up using a bunch of different products this time that became my absolute must-have baby essentials! So today, I thought it would be fun to do a list of what all my favorite baby essentials were and how they differed with each baby! Maybe this list will help you guys decide what products to get and what might work for you based on these experiences 🙂
An absolute essential with my first! I used it for breastfeeding, to set the baby down, and for her to sleep in during naps. With my second, I didn’t use it AT ALL. I had a recliner instead of a rocking chair and just used a pillow to prop up my arm because it was closer, and I had so many other options to set her down in (bouncer, blankets, etc.) that I never really needed the boppy, even though I was SO sure I’d use it because I would not have survived without it the first time around!
Carters Knit Wrap Swaddles
Sydney was born in late November so it was really cold, but I hated swaddling with big thick blankets because they felt so bulky and she’d get sweaty! I loved the carters ones because they were stretchy and it’d actually keep her swaddled so she wouldn’t wriggle out, plus she was warm but I didn’t worry about her overheating. With Emilia, I discovered the muslin quilts which became my number one choice for blankets, though I do still really like the carters knit wrap blankets for a light carseat blanket.
With Sydney, she HAD to have a swing. It was an absolute sent-from-the-gods gift to have. She loved the movement and it was the only way I got sleep those first few weeks! Emilia hated to be put down, ever, for any reason. Ever. Especially for extended periods of time, so we almost never used it.
Little Unicorn Muslin Quilt
This is one of those things that I’m sure would have been an essential with my first baby if I’d known about them, but I’m not sure they even existed at the point when I had Sydney? At least I didn’t know about them. They are the PERFECT blanket, breathable but warm, easy to maneuver, large enough to grow with them- I can’t sing enough praises about them. You NEED one. I need one. For me. Because they are the best.
Nipple cream- Medela vs. Bamboobies
When I was breastfeeding Sydney, I was obsessed with the Medela Lanolin cream because it was soooo soothing to those cracked, sore areas. It’s fairly inexpensive and you can find it basically anywhere, and accessibility is a big deal to me! When I had Emilia though, I discovered Bamboobies Boob-Ease cream which is all natural and organic product, which means it is totally safe for baby and you don’t have to wash it off before feeding! Since laziness wins above ALL, I absolutely preferred this one. It was just as soothing as the Medela, and while I’m not totally all-organic products at this point, I do very much like using products that ARE all organic because I feel like I’m making a healthier choice for both my baby and I. You can read more about my thoughts in my Breastfeeding Essentials and Tips post here. 🙂
Onesies- Gerber vs. Carters
My line of thinking with Sydney was WHY wear a boring, plain onesie when you can have a cute one? I loved carter’s onesies because they were inexpensive and ultra cute, and the snaps were so easy. I also love the carter’s sizing because they run slightly larger than a lot of other brands, which meant baby could fit into them longer. With my second baby though, I got tired of prints. Crazy, right? But I just LOVED the plain, simple white onesie and thought it was just so, so sweet to see Emilia in a plain white onesie. Gerber white onesies were my pick.
Solly Baby Wrap
I have loved, I repeat, LOVED, my solly wrap! I didn’t do much babywearing the first time around, and I’m not really sure why! I don’t think as many options had come around at that point and I really hadn’t looked into any kind of carrier because I just figured I always had a stroller when I had Sydney, but afterwards I discovered the Solly wrap and knew I wanted to try it out with my next baby and when I got one with Emilia, my expectations were beyond surpassed! I could gush about this forever but I’lll spare you the sap haha, if you want more, you can read my full review here.
This was another essential item for my first baby that completely surprised me! I used it every single day with Sydney, she sat in it, ate in it, played in it.. seriously she loved that thing. With Emilia, she used it MAYBE once? I don’t think we ever put her in it again after that because she just didn’t like being in it.
Other Essential Resources
It’s crazy to me to think that I had changed my mind about so many products with my second pregnancy, which just goes to show every child is different, every mom is different, and even moms like me are different with each child. Something that I wish I would have done a little more of is researching products before buying them. Recently I discovered ThinkBaby.org and they have such amazing articles related to pregnancy and babies, and they have TONS of advice about different brands and baby products to try! If you’re still thinking about what essentials you might need, they’d be a great place to start researching, and they have tons of other great advice for new (or veteran) moms, too!
Unfortunately I wasn’t blogging when I had Sydney, but I was when I had Emilia so I made up a full list of my favorite newborn essentials for both mom and baby at that point, which you can find HERE if you want to read more! I also have a post specifically on products that really helped me with breastfeeding, so if you’re considering breastfeeding that would also be a great place to start. You can find that breastfeeding essentials post HERE.
Obviously these are all of the things that I loved based on my own experience, but I’d love to know what products you guys just couldn’t live without! If I end up having another baby at some point, I’d love to try out some of your essentials, so let me know in the comments what they are!