Everybody kept telling me that going from 1 to 2 is no extra work and you might as well be looking after 2 as 1. Well…..I am reserving judgement on that for the time being, either that I just have particularly busy kids! This has prompted me to write a blog post about my top 5 products which have made my life easier. In some cases I would even say these were necessities (lagging behind food, clothes and shelter obviously).
1. Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine.
I bought this on impulse in the Amazon Black Friday sale for Stg£50. Well, I can honestly say it has been one of the best Stg£50’s I have ever spent!! The machine itself makes a fresh each bottle each time. HSE guidelines differed between my first two pregnancies and current guidelines I believe recommend making bottles fresh each time. This machine does that for you with little fuss. It releases an oz of boiling water first to sterilise the powder then once you add the powder it fills it to the required level. Many of the reviews on line complained about the loud beeping noise before it dispatches the water, I can honestly say it have never bothered me or the baby.
I can’t stress enough how brilliant this machine is, if you have ever tried making up bottles each feed at a time you will know exactly what I mean. Imagine a screaming hungry child while you wait the required 30 minutes for the kettle to cool. This machine takes away that wait altogether with a fresh bottle ready in a matter of minutes.
If you do purchase one, give yourself time for the initial preparation as that probably takes an hour or so between the initial cleaning of it and running the first batch of water through it. Also the smallest size bottle it makes is 4oz which isn’t ideal in the early weeks if like us you have a baby drinking a lot less.
This product is available on Amazon and most baby shops, have even seen it in my local Tesco.
2. A monitor
My oldest is crazy about his new little brother however sometimes a little too crazy about him in that he wants to kiss, cuddle and hold him all the time! While it is endearing and lovely to see the bond grow between them, I literally cannot take my eyes of them. For night time a monitor was essential as otherwise I couldn’t tell what was going on when the pair of them were upstairs asleep and us downstairs. They are in separate rooms but the oldest can be a little bit of a nocturnal wanderer.
We have a basic BT brand monitor which we received as a very welcome gift which is ideal but there are a huge number of them on the market with multiple features from temperature, video display to music.
Prices also vary considerably so my advice is to decide the features you want and shop around for the best deal.
3. Stair gates
This sounds incredibly basic but I have really seen the benefit of these since coming home with the newest man. I have one on the bottom and one at top of the stairs. The top is to prevent our nocturnal wanderer from injuring himself falling down the stairs and the bottom one allows me to escape up to the bathroom in peace for 5 minutes while the bigger man stays playing with his toys!
I received both from my neighbour whose kids are now teenagers and she hadn’t parted with them! One is Lindam brand and one is Hauck. There is no contest for me, if buying a stair gate go for the Lindam one. The Lindam one is far more user friendly with a baby in one arm and a toddler acting like spiderman hanging off your leg. I can easily open it with one hand. The Hauck one I cant and need to free myself from the grasp of one of the two of them to be able to do so. Being able to open with one hand is a deal breaker for me.
These gates are available in supermarkets and baby shops and prices don’t seem to vary too much.
4. Buggy Board
The oldest was 2 and 8 months when little man arrived so his buggy days were coming to an end but at the same time he still got tired walking longer distances. I decided to invest in a buggy board and I am certainly glad I did. He walks for the most part however it if does get tired he pops on for a bit until he recharges and off he goes again. I got a lascal buggy board for my icandy peach but there are other types on the market.
I liked the lascal as it clipped up when not in use which was handy as we weren’t using it consistently.
Again they are very readily available and you often see them second hand. Worthwhile rather than shelling out for a double buggy if your kids are of similar age gap to mine.
5. A distraction!
You might think I am mad but its true, in the early days of arriving home with the newbie, it is tough on the other child therefore a distraction or something they like is crucial. Well it was for us anyway. When I was caught up feeding the little man, the bigger man was allowed to watch his new Toy Story DVD. His brother brought him a Buzz Lightyear toy which went down very well. It meant until we established a pattern and both boys got used to each other the oldest man wasn’t upset and pulling out of mammy.
Thankfully 8 weeks in this is no longer as important as it was, he understands when need to feed his little brother or change him and ill be back to look after whatever he needs then.
Hopefully the above is of some help to parents expecting their second child.