In preparation of our second baby’s arrival, I purchased quite a list of things I knew we’d need to make our lives as parents of a newborn easier during the very first phase. But even with a second baby, you often find out which are the handiest things to have and discover new ones as you go. So here’s a list of items I didn’t have the first time but that I have found to be especially helpful these last couple of weeks…
- babywarmer : Back with Henrik, we were required by the nurse who comes to help the first week to have hot water bottles to pre-warm the crib. And not any bottles, but a type made of metal, which was safely lockable but got crazy hot and untouchable without their cover. This time around, I have found the electric option a handy alternative, and as I bought it some time before Stella was born, I can tell you that it’s also a comfy item for grown ups who get chilly. Also very handy if you tend to be clumsy – no hot water involved anymore, big plus for me! I now use it to pre-warm her bed, but with the colder days I also put it in the bassinet of her stroller to keep her warm.
- Ringsling and this baby wrap: As I mentioned in a previous post, our baby girl sleeps best when as close to us as possible. So to have her sleep well but still have my hands free (which you need to e.g. build a solid duplo house with your toddler :-)), I carry her around in a baby carrier. As I do this so often, I have added these two options to our collection, to have some alternatives to the Ergo carrier that I used with Henrik and am still happy to have. The ringsling is easy to put on when Stella is already asleep on top of me and I don’t want to lay her down. I find it handy around the house or if I just have to run a quick errand. As you carry the baby in an asymmetrical way and the weight lies on just one shoulder, I don’t find it comfortable for longer walks though. The ByKay baby wrap is a very comfortable alternative to the Ergo carrier. If I feel that Stella is agitated, this is a good option, as she is really all wrapped up and settles down in her little cocoon.
- Hydrofilic diapers in a dark colour: Before Henrik was born, I was told that “you can never have enough hydrofilic diapers!” Once he arrived, I quickly found out that this was so true. We use them for nursing, when changing diapers, at bathtime, as a cover on my shoulder after feeding.. In short, it’s handy to have lots of them. I have also continued using them once Henrik wasn’t a baby anymore. For diaper changes on the go, as hankies etc. So by now, they’re grey and stained rather than their original pure white. So when I ordered a stash of new hydrofilic diapers for Stella, I bought some in dark grey. I can wash them with the coloured laundry and they don’t look old and stained as quickly as the white ones.
- Swaddles (basically a hydrofilic diaper in a much bigger size): For Henrik, I bought one swaddle from Aden and Anais. Not that I knew what I’d do with it exactly, but mostly because I had seen so many moms around the city with it, using it as a blanket or cover on the stroller. And because they had a lovely print with big stars and well, you could basically sell me anything with stars printed on it to be honest :-). But oh my that swaddle has been used so well, it’s all sad greyish and with stains all over it. One main function for me is drying the baby with it after a bath. It absorbs better and is softer than a towel. so for Stella, I bought a couple of these swaddles from Jollein to use as towels and blankets for the warmer days (even though Aden and Anais are great, they are a bit pricy if you want to buy multiple). It’s also handy as a cover when breastfeeding outside, or of course when you want to swaddle your baby. We never did with Henrik, but with Stella, we’re fans of swaddling. She likes to sleep all cuddled up. If you just lay her down, she wakes herself up with the sudden movements of her arms. Swaddling her helps with that. For swaddling, I am using this one from Lodger. Its material is more stretchy and soft than the normal hydrofilic swaddles and makes swaddling easier for me.
- Weleda Wecesin sprinkle powder: I didn’t actually get this for Stella in time as I only got the tip once she was born (if you want to use it, it’s best to have it beforehand and use it from day one). I got the advise from the nurse and the midwife, as it’s apparently very effective for the healing process of the umbilical cord stump. It heals much quicker and doesn’t get smelly. We survived without it, but the less smelliness argument would definitely be a reason for me to buy it :-).
I am sure I’ll think of more things I found useful – lucky baby stuff industry, new mom hormones are the best boost for the economy :-).