We haven't really bought anything new for her yet (apart from 2 sleepsuits that i bought straight after finding out that she was a girl) and I don't think that we will be buying much for her to be honest. It's not because I don't want to, but because we just don't need as much this time around. Not only do we have most of the essentials left over from when Henry was a baby, but we are also a lot smarter in terms of the difference between what you actually need when you have a baby and what the shops, books & magazines tell you that you're really going to need. We bought so many things when Henry was tiny that we hardly used because we thought it was essential, we could have saved a small fortune if we had known just how unessential these items were! The only things that we really need are:
- Clothes for the baby (obviously)......but instead of the cute & every expensive Baby Gap outfits that we had in newborn sizes when Henry was born, this time we will just be stocking up on plain sleep suits, vests & cardigans. Cute looking clothes were all well and good & they make your hormonal heart melt when you're shopping at 8 months pregnant, but they are a pain to put on the baby! Clothes need to be easy to put on & get off because they get covered in baby poo & sick several times a day!! We have been so lucky this time as work colleagues & friends have recently had babies and we have been given lots of clothes for her to puke & poop over to her hearts content! :)
- Somewhere for her to sleep. We have a cotbed & Moses Basket that she will inherit from her big brother, so the only thing we need to get is a new mattress (although this does pain me slightly as Henry always preferred to sleep in with us so the mattress that we have is practically unused). We will probably co-sleep a lot again, just because it is so much easier when you are breastfeeding, but I think we will be turning the cot in to a co-sleeper this time as i really don't think there is enough room in our double bed for 2 adults, a baby and a toddler who somehow manages to take up 90% of the bed by himself!
- Muslins!!! You can literally never have enough! Henry was a very sicky baby& he seemed to take enjoyment in returning half of his feed back over us on a daily basis so we needed lots of muslins to protect us from the post feed explosions for quite some time. However they came in handy for so much more too! Until Henry was about a year old we never went anywhere without a good stash of muslins on us. They were used as breastfeeding covers, changing mats, sun shades, blankets, bibs & floor mats when we started weening, and general cleaning up. I LOVE these large muslin blankets from Aden & Anais! I bought about 10 of them when Henry was tiny & although they aren't cheap they are one of the few things that I can honestly say have been worth their weight in gold! If you are expecting or know somebody who is these would make a great present!
- Sling/Baby carrier. Last time we went through quite a selection of slings and carriers before we found ones that we liked, were easy to use and comfortable for all of us. When I was pregnant I bought a Baba Sling convinced it was perfect for me.....it wasn't! I hated it & Henry hated it so it was only used once & then promptly sold on eBay. I also bought a more traditional carrier from Mama's & Papa's that was very similar to the BabyBjorn style that you see a lot. However once again this just wasn't right for me, I didn't like all of the straps & buckles and Henry never felt secure against me & I needed him to be secure as I was often bending over to pick up the dogs ball or his mess too! In the end we found the Moby Wrap & it was perfect! Henry loved it & I finally had my hands back. I could carry him around so comfortably that we used it a lot....when i was cooking dinner, hoovering or out walking! It was invaluable during those first 6 months & I intend to use it again this time, especially as I'll be needing my hands free to entertain a toddler too this time! We also have a Ergo Carrier that we used once Henry became a bit too heavy for the Moby Wrap. We have only just stopped using this now, and that's only because our independent toddler wants to be free to roam rather than in a carrier now.
- A Breast pump & a few bottles: I used my breast pump a lot in the early days with Henry as i had some supply issues, but I must admit that I got a little lazy with it once we had an established routine. I wish i hadn't done this because a 3 months old Henry decided that he hated bottles of any kind and refused to feed any way except straight from me! This meant that I had very little time away from him until he had weaned enough to give me a few hours off without him screaming the place down in hunger. This time I will be returning to work much sooner so will need to keep up the pumping and hope that little lady is much happier with the bottle than her Brother was! I bought 2 pumps last time, an electric one and a cheap manual one. The electric one was rubbish! I never got a good amount of milk out using it & it was always very slow. My cheap manual one was excellent though and I could get a bottle of milk expressed very quickly with it. Lesson learnt that expensive & fancy is NOT always better! The pump i used was the Phillips Advent manual pump. I also bought their storage cups that were great for freezing milk, and also for storing baby sized portions of food once we weened Henry.
- Carseat & Pushchair. We bought our beloved Quinny Buzz pushchair & Maxi Cosi Carseat second hand (In excellent condition!) and I'm so glad that we didn't waste the extra £500 buying new, even though some people were a bit snobby about it! It lasted us for years and we recently sold it to put some extra pennies towards a new double pushchair. We have opted for the Britax B-Dual pushchair & matching carseat as it can be used as a single or a double, and it's really easy to use (A must when you've got two children in tow!). Once again though we bought the travel system second hand. We were very lucky as it literally has never been used so is in perfect condition!
So as you can see most of the essentials we either still have from last time or we have been lucky enough to have been given second hand by friends or family. The only new things that we needed were the pushchair which we have now bought and we need a new mattress for the Moses basket. Obviously we will be buying nappies etc, but they have become part of our day to day life as we still need them for Henry so I don't really think of them as a big purchase. However I don't claim to know it all just because I've had one baby already, and I'd love to hear from some other 2nd or 3rd time Mama's to find out what they couldn't have survived without whilst trying to raise 2 or more little ones!
The great thing about not having to shop much for little lady is that I have been able to focus my energy on making things for her. I have been knitting and crocheting up a storm lately making little things for my winter baby to keep her warm! I know that being a second child can be tough as you get so many hand me downs so I hope that making all of these one off handmade items for her makes her feel special. I also love the idea of keeping all of the things that I made for my children to pass on to them if they have children. There is something so special about something that has been made with love especially for your family isn't there?
I must admit that my knitting & crochet got off to a very slow start thanks to a mixture of my sickness and the extreme heat that we have had this summer! Knitting in 30 degree heat just feels a bit strange even for me! However now that the weather has cooled down i'm on a roll. She has a selection of hand knitted hats, like the one below:
Not one to be left out either I'm also making myself a new pair of slippers & a lace shawl to use whilst Breast feeding in the colder months. Mama needs some presents too!! :)
If any of you are interested in knitting something similar to the baby clothes pictured here there are still some places left on August's & September's Baby Knitting Classes. (sorry for the shameless plug, but I'm really excited about these classes for obvious reasons!).
I hope you all have a lovely weekend & I'll be back with more baby and craft updates soon!