9 Things Every Second-Time Mom Needs
Despite everyone saying you “don’t need anything” for a second baby, every second-time mom has a specific list of common things that she truly, really, desperately, needs.
I’m fresh off maternity leave with my second little girl as I write this, so I know firsthand!
But let me start from the beginning so this has a bit of context.
As some women can relate, my pregnancy experience the second time around was just about as opposite as it could have been from my first.
My first pregnancy was amazing: I was rarely sick and sported a lovely glow that made more than one woman roll her eyes at me.
My second pregnancy was not so amazing: I felt like I had the flu for months and sported constant heartburn that I swore came from the very depths of hell.
I was pale. I was tired.
And I was lonely.
With my first pregnancy, people fawned over this new life we were bringing into the world. We got tons of cards from friends and family to fill her baby memory book, and we even celebrated with these sweet people at three different celebrations.
Enter, the second kid.
We got like four cards. There were no gatherings, no parties, no excited phone calls…
I did get a nice, “Well you don’t need anything for this one,” from a few people after announcing the pregnancy. (Which was awkward because hey, I was simply announcing the pregnancy – not my registry list.)
And, upon announcing this baby’s gender via yet another underwhelming text message (that not everyone even responded to), the initial reaction was, “Well good, it’s another girl. You really don’t need anything now.”
That phrase met me almost everywhere I went.
But “You don’t need anything!” is simply not reality as a second-time mom.
We need a lot, actually.
Whether you think baby sprinkles for second-time moms are “tacky,” or you’re just not “into” diaper drives, there’s something on this list for you to consider gifting if there’s a second-time mom in your life!
Just to clarify: A baby sprinkle is a toned-down baby shower that boosts existing reserves of baby staples for second+ parents, and a diaper drive (or diaper shower) is a casual gathering where everyone brings a pack of diapers as a gift while celebrating the new little life arriving soon. Either would be so welcome for a second-time mom!
Regardless of baby’s gender, most – if not every – second-time mom has a specific list of common needs.
Not sure what to get a second-time mom?
She’ll be so thankful for any combination of the below.
1. Every second-time mom needs an excited support network.
Text her to see how she’s feeling. Text her about how excited you are for her. Or just text to let her know you’re thinking about her.
(I say “text” because let’s face it: she’s a second-time mom and doesn’t want to take a phone call while her first kid screams about poop in the background.)
Especially if she doesn’t have family close by, she’ll need someone in her corner cheering her on when she feels like death warmed over while her older kid bounces around the house in a dizzying flurry of I-need-I-need-I-need…
After all, she still matters, and the second kid is just as important as the first. Show her you’re here to celebrate! Or just reassure her she’s not alone.
2. Every second-time mom will need items that her oldest kid hasn’t outgrown yet (or won’t outgrow).
Not surprisingly…these are the more expensive items that a well-timed gift card or good ol’ cash will help with beautifully.
“But you already have that from your first kid…”
K thanks Jane, but you can’t put two kids together in the same convertible car seat.
Or the same nursery furniture if it’s still being used. (Convertible cribs are a thing, y’all!)
And so on.
3. Every second-time mom will need DIAPERS and other essentials.
If nothing else on this list makes sense, diapers will always win. Always.
That’s followed closely by bottles, which she’ll need whether she’s breastfeeding or formula feeding.
And that’s followed closely by formula if she’s not breastfeeding!
This category alone is why babies are just so darn expensive. So help a sister out.
4. Every second-time mom needs clothes for the new baby in the right season (and gender).
It’s easy to assume that the second-time mom has it made if her next kid turns out to be the same gender as the first.
Think with me for a moment, though: will the kids be born in the same season?
Well then, she’ll need clothing in the correct season.
For example, I didn’t want to put my November baby in a teeny spaghetti-strap onesie with a flamingo wearing sunglasses on it.
It was 26 degrees outside and flurrying.
Most of my first (summer) baby’s wardrobe was of similar cut and theme, so that meant buying a number of new wardrobe essentials the second time around.
And if the new baby is the opposite gender from the first, then obviously the mom could use some help filling out the new kid’s wardrobe too…unless you think she’s cool with putting her baby boy in a pink tutu onesie.
5. Every second-time mom will stress at least a little about meals for her family postpartum.
Help take that worry off her shoulders!
But here’s the deal: it’s a drop-and-run situation.
Don’t expect to deliver the meal and then stay for a long visit – or worse, expect to eat with the family.
Your gift should not be for this flustered household to host you for dinner.
Meal drop-off is also as hands-off as it can be: bring take-out. Or make something homemade, but put it in dishes that do not need to be returned.
The point is…drop and run! No strings attached! No dishes to remember to return!
If the mom wants a longer visit than that, or if she needs someone to hold the baby while she portions out the meal for her family, she’ll ask you to hang around – I promise.
6. Every second-time mom will be desperately behind on housework.
She likely won’t want a friend or family member washing her panties or noticing just how dirty her air vents are up-close, though. So consider purchasing a professional house-cleaning visit by a reputable business as a gift for her (rather than offering to clean it all yourself).
7. Every second-time mom could benefit from…money!
I said it. Many think gifting money is tacky – especially to a second-time mom – but hey. That’s another mouth to feed. It’s another kid to send to college one day.
Money is good. Money is welcome. Money is amazing.
And best of all, it doesn’t require a gift receipt or a return to the store.
One note though: don’t open a savings account for the kid and tell the parents you’ll be contributing regularly as your gift.
Trust the parents enough to just give them the money so they can actually count it within their savings for the kid!
Or better yet, reach out to the family’s financial advisor for ways you can contribute directly to accounts the parents are already hosting for the children’s future (like 529 college savings plans!).
8. Every second-time mom would welcome free babysitting for the older sibling (or both kids!).
Don’t just say, “If you need it,” though. She’ll think you’re just offering out of obligation. (And of course she needs babysitting.)
Offer with specifics, and stress that it’s a gift so she knows you mean business (and you’re not expecting payment or strings attached!).
“I’m available any Saturday this month, day or evening, and I’d love to watch the kids while you get out for a bit as my gift to you. Let me know which day works best by this upcoming Wednesday, and we’ll set it up!”
9. Every second-time mom could use a pampering gift or outing.
It’s easy to let momlife consume you…especially when you’re parenting more than one kid. Help a second-time mom out by reminding her that she matters, too.
Ideas include luxurious shower gel that she can use during her one-minute showers, hypoallergenic hand cream that she can slather on as she crawls into bed for her first one-hour stretch of sleep that night, and even the holy grail of pampering gifts: a spa day with free childcare involved.
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Any or all of the above would be incredible helps to the second-time mom in this frazzling (but blissful!) season of life.
What did you need as a second-time mom?
Do tell in the comments below!
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