Mira, being the second child, gets a lot of hand-me-downs. She has Lili's old car seat, old stroller, old clothes, old diapers (cloth ones, before you get all grossed out), old toys, you get the picture.
BUT, there have been a few things we have purchased especially for Mira. Things we have learned about from other parents, things that promised to make our lives easier. And we'll take all we can get in that department.
Of the new things we've tried, these are the things that passed the "magic" test. Mira liked it immediately, or it really did make our lives much easier, and we continue to use it. As in, it's cost-per-use has decreased significantly. You know what I mean... you spent $50 on it, and only used it ONCE = $50 per use (or pretty darn expensive). But if you spent $50 on it and used it 100 times??? $0.50 per use (or, pretty darn cheap!). I'm all about the math. So see here, the good value items that we have purchased for baby #2 - tried and true!
Teething oil, otherwise known as "Lindsay's Magic Stuff", from a local essential oil apothecary, is amazing stuff. It's mostly organic, and works wonders on Mira (and several other babies we know. Sometimes I wonder if it is just a placebo effect, but either way, it beats pumping tylenol into her system if we don't need to!
Zutano booties. Wonderful. They're cute, and they stay on. And they're cheaper than Robeez. If I had known about the fleece version before winter started I totally would've bought those too. But I only endorse these for way pre-walker. As in... 0-9 months. Because they don't have any tread on them, so they're just for warmth (and, you know, fashion).
OMG, the pacifiers! A total godsend. Mira uses hers very appropriately when she needs to, and also uses it as a teether toy when she is particularly fussy about her teeth. The ones we have are extra cool because they are encapsulated and have no grooves to get all gross and wash up really easily. Plus you can see her tongue sucking through it, which is pretty neat.
The food sock! We just discovered this, and Mira figured it out right away. It's really cool because you can tell she really wants "real" food, and this way she won't choke on it while she's figuring out the whole swallowing thing. Plus, it keeps her occupied (sort of) while we try to eat (aka scarf down our food).
I love the Moby wrap. After the initial learning curve of figuring out the best way to put it on, it has been fabulous. It's WAY more comfortable than the baby bjorn, and continues to distribute the baby's weight really well over my back and shoulders. It packs up small, washes really easily, and is easy to wear even then the baby isn't in it. Even Keith prefers this one over the other carriers we have. And that's a big endorsement!
The Phil&Ted stroller is definitely my must have for 2 kids. Even though Lili can walk on her own, a lot of the time it is easier just to stroller her. Plus, this way I can get a real walk in - instead of walking at a 3 yo's snail pace.
And I must add - I might've paid almost anything for the items listed above, because they really work, and they really have made our lives easier. But luckily for me, many of these items were from craigslist.