And here we are, eleven [or less!] weeks away from meeting our third lovely. There are certainly some things different with the third pregnancy. There are “oh, I remember that / am not panicking because I know that feeling” thoughts. There’s the difference in how quickly time passes when you’re taking care of two toddlers [really, it’s already time to go back to the doctor!?] there are things that don’t change – like the emotion that surges when you hear a heart beating or see that beautiful babe dancing on the ultrasound monitor.
So I thought I’d put together a list of things I’ve deemed essential the third time around [and wish I’d known the first time!]
1. Aden + Anais Swaddling Blankets. I thought these were over-hyped and far too expensive for blankets but I found a pack on sale at Kohl’s [you know, on sale, with a coupon and Kohl’s cash… Kohl’s!!]. Let me tell you why I love them. First. They’re huge. Anyone can be swaddle champion with these guys. Second, the muslin is the perfect weight. Babies are for bundling but, like adults, you want layers of defense so you can easily adjust. Third, they’re adorably cute. Fourth, throw one in the diaper bag and you’re covered. It’s a nursing cover, it’s a blanket, it’s a burp cloth, it’s a strangers-don’t-peek cover for the carseat. Versatility is king. Fifth, it’s soft. It’s so soft you’ll find it’s getting stolen for snuggles by siblings. I left one of these in a cabin while on vacation and cried. No, seriously. And then I promptly tracked it down and begged to have it shipped home.
2. Hooded Towels. I feel like some people think “babies can use adult towels” but they’re a hot commodity around here. I like that they’re thinner and so soft, and the hoods are great. The kids are convinced they’ll freeze after a bath without the “hat”. While still in the bath, they’re calling towel dibs [the dinosaur and the duck go quick!]. We just added to our stash to accommodate baby number three. I usually find mine at places like Marshall’s or Ross for a lot cheaper than Target.
3. Lightweight Gear. While you’re out there scoping out patterns and safety ratings, keep an eye on that weight listed with the other dimensions. Because, here’s the truth, babies get heavier. Like, every day. And you have to carry other stuff. And push and pull and load and unload. You are your baby’s mule. You thought carrying them for nine months was hard but now you get to carry them and a hundred and fifty [hyperbole] more pounds. So we’ve gotten a lot of use out of our Maclaren umbrella stroller and our click ‘n go skeleton stroller but less use out of the ghastly heavy all-terrain stroller I was confident I needed. That stroller, actually, became nearly obsolete when I had two children twenty months apart.
4. Dollar Store Lotions. Yes, really. That Dollar Tree sells some fabulous stuff but the thing that keeps us coming back are the random lotions they supply. Because our kids have always had sensitive skin we’ve needed medicated, thick lotions without added fragrances [which, surprisingly rules out most of the baby lotion aisle]. But the Dollar Tree regularly stocks a creamy version of petroleum jelly [recommended by both our dermatologist and allergist]. And then they’ll randomly have Dermasil or Udderly Smooth for a buck. A buck!
5. Ergobaby. I think just about every one of my friends has converted to the Ergo. We started out with the typical “pop your baby in or out” Baby Bjorn style carrier but it wasn’t super comfortable for us or the baby. On a bit of a whim [encouraged by a Black Friday sale] I bought one. I thought it was too expensive but the fact that I could use it up to 45 pounds swayed me. We like to go hiking and I knew the kids would love a piggy back ride long after the carrier was retired from every day use. But, really, I’m not sure I would’ve survived Landon’s babydom without it. He was a heavy guy. Pretty immediately. And he didn’t learn to walk until 15 months. Actually he wasn’t sitting on his own until 9 months and he flopped around without the carseat [that I couldn’t lift with him in it] supporting him in the stroller. There’s no ergo hype. If you buy nothing else, buy one of these. They put baby in a natural sitting position and protect their growing hips. They’re crazy comfortable for mamas and daddys. Go Ergo. [p.s. We have the performance version and are big fans. It’s breathability is probably the only reason we can wear it hiking in the summer.]
6. Cloth Diapers. Okay, I almost didn’t put this one on here because cloth diapering is definitely not for everyone. However, I’m insanely grateful for the amount of money we’ve saved by our investment into cloth diapering three and a half years ago. We initially invested $150 and we’ve probably matched that in adding to our stash but I’m going to be cloth diapering my third kid soon and most of those diapers are still in play! We are big fans of Cotton Babies and love the combination of bumGenius and Flips that we use.
There you go. I just wrapped up baby purchases in six or so items. I tried to skip the obvious stuff most people know like don’t stock up on a ton of newborn sized clothes. And some stuff will just be different for different mamas, but these things sure did work for us. I will say that normally I’m a “brands don’t matter” kind of girl but that doesn’t seem to be the case with baby gear. Any seasoned mamas out there have an essential, can’t-live-without item to add to the list? Have I mentioned lately how much I love babies!?