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I am officially in my 3rd Trimester, which means that it’s time to start preparing for baby’s arrival. Baby #2 will be sharing a room with Sebastian and I need to get creative with the space I have. We already have the beds set up in the room, but now I’m starting to think of storage space and how to accommodate both kids in the one room.
I have one dresser in the room, that doubles as a changing table. In this dresser, the top drawer is all diapering stuff, the second drawer is socks, underwear (since we’re now potty training) and pj’s. The last drawer is full of t-shirts, shorts, bathing suits and pants. I also have a tall drawer that I was using for storing things like any disposable diapers or first aid supplies. This is all going to have to change because I need to be able to fit more clothes in this dresser. So I went through the dresser today and got rid of clothes that no longer fit and got creative with my storage, so now I have a “his” drawer and a “her” drawer.
As you can see, her drawer is still basically empty. The few clothes I have right now are packed in the hospital bag and other pieces are hanging in the closet. His drawer is packed. I used a clear shoe bin to store his socks and underwear to keep them from getting lost under shirts and stuff. It’s basically what I had on-hand and fits in that space.
I’ve decided I need to purchase storage cubes for the wall above the changing table where I can store diapers and free up space in the top drawer that is currently full of cloth diapers and accessories like diaper pail bags and reusable wipes. I already have that drawer pretty much split up between her newborn diapers (on the left) and some of his diapers and the accessories like doublers, inserts, wipes and bags.
If we keep going as good as we have with potty training, I will be able to store Sebastian’s diapers until the baby is old enough to fit into them, and that will also free up a lot of space. I’m looking at something like this (thanks Pinterest!), but without the frilly top. Just cubes so that I can still use the top for more storage if I need.
I also need to work on the closet. I need to free up some shelf space as well as hanging space, which means I need to move stuff into storage. Thankfully, Sebastian has a lot of storage space under his bed, so with some underbed storage boxes, I can use that space creatively and free up closet space. As is, his closet is a disaster. There is stuff everywhere and a lot of it really doesn’t make any sense. I just kind of threw it in there to get it out of the way, but I need to be a little more organized now so I can fit both kids in that room. This is where storage baskets will come into play. I have already been using some, but I will need to start using the space more and creatively. That will be a work in progress because as I accumulate storage boxes and bins, I will be able to move stuff out. Right now I can’t.
Preparing for Baby
On top of organizing the room, I’m also starting to think of things I need for this baby. Since she is a girl, I am going to need clothes. I’ve already purchased a few starter newborn sets since there is a fear of preterm labor, and I’ve also knit a blanket, some booties, a hat and a headband for her, so all of that is already in the hospital bag in case we need to go. I’ve also decided to make life a little easier this time around and purchased Playtex Nurser with Drop-in Liners bottles.
These bottles feature a drop-in liner, which for me means less cleaning. They are closer to natural breastfeeding because it simulates the same suck, swallow and breathing patterns as breastfeeding and the drop-in liners gently collapse like the breast does when breastfeeding to prevent air from mixing with the milk, which means reduced colic. This is big for me because Sebastian had horrible reflux so I want to have bottles on hand that will help prevent any kind of issues with feeding, in case she also any reflux issues. I do want to try breastfeeding my baby, but I know there will be times I will have to use a bottle (so I can rest for one) and I will need bottles that are as close as possible to breastfeeding as possible. Since these Playtex bottles also have the Most Like Mom® NaturaLatch® Nipples, we could avoid nipple confusion as well as have her take the bottle easier when we need to bottlefeed. The bottle also is able to tilt so it will make feeding more comfortable.
I really like this feature, because when you tilt, you are able to go more vertical with the bottle while not making the baby lay down flat and it helps the baby avoid sucking in air when the milk is reaching the end. These bottles have so many great features that will make for a better beginning with my baby that I decided they may be a good fit for us.
Another product I’ve decided to purchase that I didn’t have for Sebastian is the Diaper Genie Complete. Even though I do plan to cloth diaper, there are times that I use disposables diapers and at the very beginning, I may be using disposables more out of convenience (less laundry) than cloth. I had just a regular little basket in the room that I would throw the diapers away, but if I didn’t get the opportunity to throw them in the outside trash in time, the room would develop a funk. In comes Diaper Genie! The new Diaper Genie Complete has the Ultimate Odor Lock system that features a 7-layer refill bag with double Air-Tite® CLAMP, a carbon filter to absorb and lock in strong odors, and a foot pedal so there is no need to actually touch the pail. I’ve been using it now with Sebastian the times we’ve used disposables, and I am in love with it already. It was very easy to assemble, it’s very easy to use and most importantly, there is no stink in his room.
I did have to do some creative arranging (as with everything else in this room) to get it to fit, but I got it to work!
I was able to fit both the Diaper Genie, my disposable diaper stork, the cloth diaper pail and my stroller in this corner of the room and it is all easily accessible from the changer/dresser.
Because this isn’t my first time around, there really isn’t a lot of items I need for this baby, but I do have a few things on my registry of things I learned the first time around that would be useful. Here’s a list of items I use and things I learned the first time around.
Since my first was a boy, I don’t have many hand-me-downs that I can use for my daughter. I also don’t have very many newborn items, with the exception of a few things I just purchased and a few items that were given to me. What I did learn from Sebastian is that you don’t need all that many newborn clothes. The first year they grow so fast that if they wear an outfit once, consider yourself lucky! Don’t go crazy buying too many clothes and save receipts for items that were given so you can exchange them if needed later on.
Do yourself a favor and get a carrier of some kind. When they are newborn, I prefer a wrap even if there is a learning curve to that, but if your child is anything like Sebastian was, the baby will want to be held constantly and you will not be able to get anything done. The wrap is very versatile in how you can wrap it, which is why it’s my favorite, and also because when they are really little they just fit so much better than in a structured carrier. My solution for the needy baby was to wear the baby or use the swing. He wasn’t overly fond of the bouncer so we didn’t use that as much, but this is where you’ll have to see what you’re child likes more.
An activity mat will also be good for tummy time. They will hate it first, because it seems like all little ones hate tummy time at first. Once they’re older, the activity mat with all its colors will capture their attention and they’ll have tons of fun on it.
Anything else, like the bouncy activity centers and stuff like that, they will only take up space because they can’t be used until they are at least sitting up on their own. If you have space, no worries, but if you are like me and space is at a premium, I suggest asking for gift cards for those items so you can just purchase them later on.
Whether it’s disposable or cloth, you’re going to need lots of diapers at first. For cloth, it’s recommended you have about 24 to be able to launder at least every other day. For disposables, a few boxes of newborns and size 1’s will be needed at first. Again, keep receipts because they will outgrow these quickly and you want to be able to exchange the boxes for the next size if you have too many in one size.
You’ll need plenty of wipes (whether disposable or reusable) and I personally love using a diaper area wash, which normally comes in a little spray bottle that helps make poopie clean up easier.
I also have a wipes warmer. You will hear a ton of people telling you how they are not necessary, and they really aren’t, but I like it because it gives me somewhere to store my reusable wipes and keep them moist.
I found that bathing in the sink was super easy for me. I don’t have a lot of space in my bathrooms and I really don’t want to be bent over washing a baby in the tub, so I decided to forego one of those big plastic tubs. With Sebastian, we had gotten foam sink insert that was collapsible so it was also easy to store and hang to dry. Save your back and bath the baby in the sink.
If you’ve followed my blog at all, sleep is a huge issue for me. I need it, plain and simple. As much as I would like to be a Wonder Woman and do it all, I can’t and I need my sleep. So I had to do what I had to do to get my sleep. With Sebastian that meant bedsharing. I was all kinds of prepared with a bassinet by the bed and all that, but he simply never used it. He never liked it and just wanted to be with and on top of mom or dad to sleep. For this reason, I didn’t get any use of swaddlers because I wanted him to be able to smack me if I was restricting him in any way. This is one of those things though that is very personal and you will only be able to judge what you will be able to do once the baby comes. Make your plans, but be flexible, and again, keep all your receipts. I will again try to go the route of using a bassinet next to the bed, but I am fully prepared to bedshare this baby as well.
I have her crib all set up, but I’m prepared for the crib being nothing more than storage for months before it actually gets any use. I know part of preparing for the baby is setting up the nursery with a crib, but if you are financially tight, the crib is not a necessity, at first, so save your money there.
A stand alone changer will be a waste. It’s better to invest in a dresser if you’re going to invest in anything because that has multiple uses and can last throughout the years. A changer will only last you maybe a year or two at best. If you don’t have space, changing the baby on the bed works just fine.
If you plan on breastfeeding, I can’t stress enough the necessity of getting a good hospital grade pump. I had a pump with Sebastian that was not hospital grade (given to me by my insurance) and really was not pulling as much as it should. Then I purchased one that was and it made a world of difference with my supply. My supply with him was never enough to be able to exclusively breastfeed, but I felt better knowing that I would give him as much as I possibly could, with the help of a good pump to help my supply.
You will need 6-10 bottles, nipples of various flows, a sterilizer (I have a microwave one because I don’t have tons of space in my kitchen), a bottle warmer, formula (if you plan to formula feed), bibs, burping cloths. You can also use prefolds for burping cloths, but I like to have pretty ones on hand as well. A cover for breastfeeding in public, if you prefer, or to try and remain discrete, layers of clothes (nursing tank with a button-down shirt) and nursing bras. Things like high chairs and supplies for when the baby starts solids are not necessary at first and will only take up space in your house. For this reason, I ask for gift cards instead of those items so I can buy them later when they are needed.
On the Go
For Sebastian, I purchased a travel system and that’s what I will be using as far as the infant seat goes for this baby, but I also want to get a sit and stand. Sebastian will be 3 a month after the baby is born, which means that he will basically be close to being out of the stroller already and will want more independence than being strapped into a stroller. He’s basically already there and I use my light weight stroller more than the Britax, but we like to travel to places (like Disney World) that will require a lot of walking, and I think that will be too much for him. In comes the Sit and Stand where he can do both.
I have a pack and play for Sebastian, but the truth of the matter is that we didn’t use it but a handful of times at first. At the beginning, I actually kept it set up in my family room because it has a diaper changer on top. That was really more out of convenience than necessity and I found it was just as easy if not easier to carry the baby to his room and change him there because that’s where I as set up to change him. You can keep multiple set-ups for diaper changes, but my house isn’t so big where I needed multiple setups, so I just used his room or my room if it was late at night. I didn’t get any actual use out of the pack and play until after he was older and we started traveling, so this is another item you can forgo at first and save your money on something that is necessary, or ask for a gift card instead to purchase it later. The only caveat is if you will use the upper portion of it as a bassinet in your room, then it will fall under the “must have, but not sure if it will work” items.
Caring for Baby
The absolute must have’s in this department are some kind of nasal aspirator, nail trimmers, thermometers, baby wash (most are shampoo and body wash anyway, so one bottle and you’re done), and hair brushes. I also keep on hand a nasal saline spray and infant Motrin, because you never know when you’re going to need it, and I would rather not have to run out to purchase these items when the baby is sick. Also, a humidifier works wonders. I may be the only weird person in the world who likes warm mist humidifiers, but I swear by them! I swear it opens up your nasal passages and helps you breathe easier, and with a little bit of the Vick’s liquid, it’s the only thing that would get me by when I have a cold while pregnant and helps my son out too when he has a cold. I also live in a humid climate, so I feel that a cold mist humidifier does nothing. When the baby is older, then you will need other first-aid items things like band-aids and things for cuts and scrapes, but at first, it’s not necessary. The biggest threats to infants are colds and anything else your pediatrician will prescribe for you.
Where to Buy
Both the bottles and the Diaper Genie were purchased at Target, because what mom doesn’t love Target? They make shopping so easy and convenient and everything in their baby section is accessible and easy to find. When you’re shopping while pregnant and with a 2-year old in tow, ease and accessibility are very important traits and Target just makes it easy for moms. The bottles were easily found on the shelves in the feeding aisle (and they were on sale too!) and the Diaper Genie was very recognizable in the diapering section.
Check out Playtex line of bottles at Target! Let me know what you think of them and which one you would pick and why.
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