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Been There, Bought That

21 June 2010 10 Comments

Looking back at all the things I purchased for my first son before he was even born, I can’t help but think, “I wasted a lot of money!”

Heck, I don’t think I really wised up until he was a year old, insisting that he, of course, NEEDED all the toys and gadgets that promised to keep him engaged and occupied. All those empty promises, they helped me to hold on to the glimmer of hope that my demanding baby might keep himself entertained for 15 minutes so that I could read a magazine or check my email in peace. Not many of them delivered, at least not consistently enough to justify their price tag and footprint in my living room (although I will forever be indebted to the bouncy chair and exersaucer).

And clothes? He needed lots of clothes! He needed a special outfit for each remotely “special” occasion, along with matching accessories, which he never kept on for more than a minute once he figured out how to get his chubby hand up to his head and how to wrap his sausage fingers around the brim of the custom made, ridiculously adorable hat.

But, I recognize that that’s sort of the fun of being a first time parent, allowing yourself to get caught up in all the little details, trying out all the toys. The thing is, it’s not like nobody told me not to waste my money. I just didn’t care. I wanted all these things for me him. And now that I’ve got that out of my system, I feel like the next kid might sleep in a dresser drawer and wear a pillowcase every day.

Sure, there are some things I want to get for the second baby, but they definitely fall more on the practical side of things, like a cosleeper bassinet that attaches to the bed, and another Miracle Blanket (we only had one with my first and that thing didn’t get washed nearly as much as it should have for fear of being without it come naptime). I don’t find myself obsessing over all the “stuff” this time around, though. I don’t know, maybe it’s too early. Maybe that will come later, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t, and that’s okay with me. This baby will still have what it needs.

With my first pregnancy, I think I needed to focus on the planning and preparing, and the more I planned and prepared, the more I purchased. This time around, I don’t really have the time or the energy to focus on worrying about that stuff. I’m too busy keeping the toddler from playing in the toilet.

So I have two questions for you. What do you think is necessary for the second baby? And what do you think was the best purchase you made for your first baby?

Jill Krause is a BornFree Panel member and blogger.


  • MamaPhan said:

    I haven’t bought a thing yet. So far, the only things I feel I “need” to buy are more nipples for our bottles and more cloth diapers.

    Best thing, hands down, that I ever bought for the first one was a thermometer with three attachments for different spots to take temperatures (oral, rectal, and underarm) that also flashes and beeps when he’s got a fever. Plus it gives a reading in about 5 seconds.

  • Jennifer said:

    The best purchase I ever made for my first baby was the motion sensor monitor that I purchased for my “peace of mind” (according to my husband) that was probably just a gimmick (also according to my husband). Well it just so happens that little gimmick saved my daughter’s life. So yeah, definitely the best purchase I ever made. Even the ER doctor said so!

    As far as fun buys, maybe the jumperoo? I don’t know, I did a lot of spending on unnecessary stuff, just knowing that THIS was the product that was going to keep my daughter entertained for a while. ha. But she did spend a lot of time in that thing!

    As far as the second baby… not really sure since I’m not even pregnant yet, but I am already searching for double strollers…

  • Gloria said:

    A Moby Wrap, a Diaper Genie along with tons of refills, front snap shirts and pj’s, large swaddling blankets a couple of Miracle Blankets and a Jack Johnson CD.

  • Jennifer said:

    My first baby is 8 months old and the best purchase (well, it was a gift) was the rainforest bouncer. As a little baby, she would nap in it when she wouldn’t nap in the crib. As a slightly older baby, she would play with the parrot and monkey and it would keep her entertained. In fact, she is still kept entertained in it when she insists on not napping and I want to take a shower, although we are starting to use it less and less.

    As for a second baby, I’m not sure I will find it necessary to buy anything, unless it is a boy and I need some boy clothes.

  • Christina said:

    Best purchases ever:
    Miracle Blanket (we had 2, as my son would not sleep without it and was a spiter/vomiter due to his reflux)
    Bouncer, swing, exersaucer.
    Not so good purchases: Pack and Play (he hated it), highchair, Bumbo. He hated all 3.
    For the next one, I will 100% buy a cosleeper bassinet. My son slept with me for 16 months (always been a bad sleeper). Yeah…wish I had that cosleeper, LOL.

  • Christina said:

    Forgot my Sleepy Wrap. Seriously the best thing ever. I wore him a LOT.

  • Julia said:

    I’m appalled at how much money we spent getting ready for our first one – and I don’t think we even went that crazy compared to others. I tried really hard to be practical, but with no experience with a newborn (so wanting to be 110% prepared for anything) and living somewhere without a Craigslist or good Goodwill, it got out of hand.

    Necessary for second baby: video monitor, more miracle blankets / sleep sacks, better carriers (Moby and Lillebaby), Breast Friend pillow (I hated the Boppy)

    Best purchases for first baby (can’t pick just one): bumbo, swing, white noise machine, miracle blanket, jogging stroller (good for all of us)

    You should run a poll on what’s NOT necessary, because I learned a lot of lessons the hard way :)

  • Melissa said:

    The swing was my best friend. :) that and the vibrating chair, exersaucer, and play pen. Yup I think those were the musts. I missed them when I was away from them.

  • “I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!” | Baby Rabies said:

    [...] starting to happen that I didn’t think was going to affect me this time around. (No, really. I just blogged about this on BornFreeMom.com.) I’m starting to get antsy about STUFF, baby stuff. Mainly? Strollers. [...]

  • Rachel said:

    Best things the first time: his Taggie (still his lovey, two years later), the bouncer, Ergo, Snap N’ Go, mobile, video monitor, and play mat. We borrowed a swaddler from a friend and it was amazing.

    Most useless things: swing, Boppy, Bumbo, any number of teething rings he didn’t use to teethe.

    On the list for number two: more swaddlers (probably Miracle Blankets), a double stroller, new nipples for his/her bottles, and new breastshields for my pump.

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