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With our first baby, we went registry-crazy. Two different types of baby bathtubs, 18 sets of onesies. And “Oh yes, I can’t live without a wipes warmer. We’re not animals.”
It was ridiculous. Part of the problem was that as brand new parents we simply didn’t know what we needed. There’s a pretty steep learning curve for first-time parenthood. But another misguided aspect was that we bought into the idea that all these “Things” would be the things that made memories with our son.
We couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s not the cute striped blanket we never used that I remember about those early baby days with my son. It’s the way he fit perfectly on my hubby’s chest as they both took a much needed nap.
So since then, we’ve adopted a more minimalist approach when it comes to baby gear. I wouldn’t call us minimalist purists, but we’ve definitely come a long way since those stuffed closet days.
Well now, with baby number two in the way, we are (a bit) older and (hopefully a lot) wiser. Will my baby girl have everything she needs when she’s born? Absolutely. It’s just that we’ve realized she’ll need a whole lot less than we thought. Her most important needs just aren’t available on Amazon Prime. In fact, they don’t come in boxes at all.
Are you with me? Maybe with your first baby you got caught up in the registry-craze like us. Maybe you’re ready to embrace a more minimalist approach with your next child.
So what are the bare minimum essentials we will be buying (or receiving) for our new baby girl?
Here’s my list of minimalist essentials for the new baby:
- 2 pairs of fitted crib sheets
Yep, the only thing we’ll need for sleepy time is a crib. I’m not ruling out the use of a swing completely, but we learned the hard way with our son that early sleep habits involving constant motion are really hard to break later on. This time around I plan on keeping it simple and putting baby down to sleep in her own bed from day one. Also, you obviously only use one sheet at a time, so we quickly learned that those 4 sets of extra crib sheets just collected dust in the linen closet.
If you’re worried about baby sticking a foot through the crib slats, getting a crib bumper could be a good solution. Learn when and how to safely use a crib bumper for better baby sleep!
If you’re looking for a more in-depth plan on teaching your baby to sleep well, I highly recommend the book “The Happy Sleeper” by Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright. One of the techniques is called the Sleep Wave, which is the absolute perfect balance between attatchment parenting and cry-it-out techniques. This book is a mama-friendly, baby-friendly, science-backed, and practical guide for helping your baby sleep well at night. A friend of mine recommended it to me, and I’m passing on the favor!
- Nursing bra and pads
- Light muslin swaddle blanket like this one
- Phillips Avent bottles
- Cloth diapers (They make the best burp cloths and help keep your shirt dry during nursing sessions.)
When our son was born we had a whole cabinet full of bottles and milk storage bags. I wasn’t confident that breastfeeding would be successful, so I stuffed supplies for both nursing and bottle feeding on hand. Way too many supplies. After a full year of nursing I don’t think I ever used the last of those milk storage bags. And keeping 20 bottles and nipples organized? Forget about it.
For baby girl, I’m pretty confident that we will be able to nurse. We went through the nursing school of hard knocks with my son and lived to see the huge benefits and rewards on the other side of that rough beginning stage. This time though, I’m going even more simple. No pumping, no frantic milk storage feeling like a squirrel hoarding in winter. If I someone else needs to feed my baby, formula is just fine with me. This is going to cut down on a lot of the supplies usually needed for pumping and storage.
Bathing and Diapers:
- One baby bathtub
- Unscented baby shampoo
- Kirk’s Castille soap. We are playing it safe with eczema from the get-go with the new baby. No harsh baby soaps please!
- Coconut oil
For my little man, we didn’t have a clue when it came to diapers and hygiene stuff. I remember the shelf in our guest bathroom shower looked like a Babies R’ Us with all different scented shampoos and baby washes. Since my son developed eczema we had to drastically simplify his bath time routine. We realized we didn’t need all those fancy soaps and shampoos. Even the cute baby washcloths really aren’t necessary. And the adorable frog baby hooded towel? Used it twice in three years so far.
As for diapers, I’m still not brave enough to go for cloth diapering. But what we will use for baby girl is pretty minimalist.
- Store brand diapers
- Desitin Diaper Cream
- More coconut oil (you can never have enough m’kay?)
- No changing table, just a changing pad secured to a sturdy dresser.
- Basic diaper pail. No frills needed here.
Now as far as clothing goes, I don’t think I’m going to be able to stop the influx of adorable outfits from family and friends. We’ll be using a good bit of borrowed or passed-down items, and I’m sure I won’t be able to resist buying a few cute church outfits as well. With that being said, my philosophy is that once the dresser drawers are filled neatly (not stuffed to the brim) it’s time to give the rest away. Really my son lived in onesies and jumpers for most of the week while we were at home anyway when he was a baby. I’m predicting much more of the same idea with my baby girl, so dresses and special outfits will be reserved for church and other outings.
As I told you, we’re certainly not purists when it comes to minimalism. So as baby girl’s due date comes around, I’ll be stocking up on a few of the items below…
- Handmade art and Bible prints for her nursery. I loved creating a few hand-painted artworks for my son’s room. Now I get to unleash all the coral, yellow, and sunshine inspired happiness I’ve got to decorate my baby girl’s room!
- Books. If there’s one thing I’m guilty of splurging on it’s books. I give myself credit for shopping at thrift stores and bargain bins for great books and classics. I can’t wait to stock up my little girl’s bookshelf with a few of my girl-hood favorites.
Now I know buying gear and goodies for our babies is a pretty personal thing. We want to provide the best, show a little personality, and make sure our kids are well-cared for. Can I challenge you though mama? You don’t have to buy in to this whole culture of excess to care for your new baby well. I know I don’t plan to. Let’s me minimalist mamas together, m’kay?
This post is part of a virtual baby shower, so be sure to take a peek at the links below! Along with our own baby girl on the way, I have several blogging friends who have either just had a little one (Heidi from Grow Family Love) or are expecting little ones in the next couple of months (Jessica from Intentional in Life). As a way to celebrate these sweet new lives, a few bloggers and I teamed up to throw a virtual baby shower!Have a little one on the way? You need to read these posts!
- 15 Things You Should Not Do at a Baby Shower from Tiffany at Short Sweet Mom
- Are These Pregnancy Old Wives Tales Science or Fiction? from Leah at My Little Robins
- 50 Things You Really Need for a New Baby- and 10 You Don’t from Melanie at A Funny Thing Happened Today
- Buy This Not That Baby Gear Edition from Susan at Glorious Mom
- What a Postpartum Mother Wants from her Husband from Love, Life, and the Little One
- How to Save Money on Formula from Robin at Smashed Cereal
Let me know in the comments below! What do you think about going minimalist with your second baby? What are your essentials for baby care? We’d love to hear from you!