I went to one a few months ago where they made us play FOUR painfully stupid games before we got any cake. That's total crap.
And I have definitely ranted against people feeling like we should give big ticket gifts all over again because the family is having a baby of a different sex. I'm sorry, if you were idiot enough to buy your swing, carseat, playpen, nursery decor and 87 outfits in pepto-bismol pink the first time around, that baby brother is just going to have to deal.
But I digress. I'm not having a shower since we don't need big stuff, but everyone wants to hang out and bring me a few little things because "every baby deserves to be celebrated", even a second baby. I was the oldest in my family so this revelation has been a surprise for me, my younger sister was actually the first to point out that baby sisters are important and deserve new stuff too. Go figure. We have already bought this baby a brand new stroller, rocking chair, and cosleeper, because with the first one we tried to be as cheap as possible and learned the hard way that sometimes you get what you pay for... I figured we were set. But the more I think about it and there is a list of stuff we will need for this kid, because lots of normal baby stuff just doesn't last through multiple babies - by design, not because we're cheap! And I decided to post the list up here in case anyone else is every wanting to celebrate a second baby, you'll know what us un-new parents need... it was a longer list than I thought, to tell the truth. Without further adieu:
Stuff that gets used up
Diapers - duh
Soap - and some would mention lotion, but I have summer babies when the air is humid so we never used lotion. Unfortunately I got enough at my first shower to moisturize an army of babies... it went into donation bins.
First aid - like baby tylenol
Washclothes, and maybe even towels, they're so thin they totally wear out
Socks - I still wish there was a baby sock subscription service where they just send new ones in the correct size to your house every week. Between being outgrown and just vanishing into thin air, there are never enough socks
Stuff your first kid drooled on, or otherwise just made gross
Baby bottle nipples
Sensory Books - Even my own mom always said: Every baby needs her own "Pat The Bunny"
Those nose sucker things - Marc and I call it "the schnozelator". Who wants to re-use those? Ewe.
Spoons with the silicon outsides that get gnawed on
Celebrating a family's transitions
Scrapbooking supplies or a baby book
Books about older sibling-dom for the other kid
Stuff new moms need
Tucks/witch hazel pads
Dermoplast numbing spray - in the blue can
Breast pads - holy crap, why does milk have to come in with a VENGANCE when all you've got is a tiny sleepy four day old?!
Milk storage bags for heading back to work
And finally... the last "second baby" shower I went to I knew for FACT that the mom had way too many friends and family members giving her stuff, because I was at her first shower! So rather than add to the pyramid of diapers I made a charitable contribution... in her case, I went to the alternative gifts international site and made a donation to Hugging Grannies, to help get bus tickets to volunteers willing to provide personal contact to Chinese orphans. I also love Doctors Without Borders and other organizations helping improve the status of maternal health around the world, but since I'm already monthly donor there I didn't know how I could make it look any more "gift-y". And if you're looking to go local, you can't beat a donation to Planned Parenthood - I can't think of a better way to celebrate the uterus that's bringing a baby into this world than to support an organization that's all about women's reproductive rights and care.
So that's my list, it's simple, lots of small cheap things so you can take part in this new life without making it another Ode to American Materialism. I will gladly take suggestions too, I'm sure I can add to the list and make it perfectly complete for everyone.