Having a baby is such a time of joy. Even from the very beginning we want to have the best for our children. But I’ll gladly let you know, that there is a lot of stuff we don’t need for our babies!
1. You don’t need a nursery.
First off, as a parent, who is also a minimalist: you don’t need a nursery. You don’t need a separate bedroom for this baby. Even if you don’t share a family bed, it’s recommended that you keep baby in the same room as you. Studies have shown babies sleep better and have reduced risks of SIDS when baby is in the same room as their parents. <source>
How long you keep your baby in your room is up to you. Once mine sleep through the night, I move them into a shared room with their older siblings.
Let’s talk about the items you need: Each person’s needs are different, and some babies are higher needs than others, so this list isn’t an absolute. As you spend more and more time with your little one, you will see items you don’t use and items that could be helpful to you. Trust your gut and only keep/get things you know you will use.
My minimalist baby equipment:
- Bouncy seat. I typically set the bouncy seat wherever I am working and let babe watch me. Or sit on the floor near where siblings are playing, so babe can watch them play. My favorite bouncy seat is this one, but any will do. I avoid getting any with plastic toys hanging in their face.
- Dresser. This is helpful for holding clothes, blankets, burp clothes and all diaper needs. A smaller 3 drawer dresser is really all that’s needed and it should be able to hold everything a baby needs. Get one that is as tall as your waist so it’s a comfortable height to change baby on top of. (See below.)
- Changing pad. Changing pads like this one, sit right on top of the dresser, which means you don’t need to purchase a changing table. When your little one is potty trained, you are only left with a dresser, which your child will still use.
- Co-sleeper, bassinet or crib. If you have a family bed and keep baby in your own bed, then you can avoid this altogether. We just have a double bed, so I like to have a co-sleeper on my side of the bed. To avoid all the production chemicals and off-gassing of new materials, put your baby on an organic mattress.
- Wrap or carrier. This takes the place of a stroller. Half the time babies don’t want to be in a stroller and parents end up trying to hold a baby and push a stroller, so let’s just keep it simple. My favorites are Moby wraps and Tula or Ergo carriers.
- Swing. A swing is the only way I was able to cook dinner when my oldest kids were little. Now that I have teenagers, I just ask them to occupy the baby while I cook, so I don’t actually need a swing.
- Carseat. Quality car seats are one of the best investments you can make. I recommend this infant one and a Britax transitional one.
- Diapers. If you are able to do cloth, it is seriously the best choice; for the environment and for baby’s skin as well. I recommend GroVia covers, wipes and these prefolds. I keep these disposable diapers for times when I need them.
- Diaper Bag. Mine is small, it fits one change of clothes, 4 diapers, wipes, burp cloth and toy.
- 6 sleepers
- 12 bodysuits
- 6 pants
- 6 socks
- 1 jacket or sweater
- 1 pilot hat (for outdoors/windy days)
- receiving blankets, how many you need depends on what season baby is born in. For winter, I used about 8, for summer, I used 4. I like these and these.
Things to note:
Hats on infants. I only put one hat on the clothing list on purpose. When outdoors, it’s best to keep baby’s ears covered, but indoors, it’s important keep your little ones head uncovered- so in the hospital or at home, keep those hats away from baby. Click here to read why.
Plastics. If you’ve been to any baby section of big box store, you will see an overwhelming amount of brightly colored plastic stuff: plastic toys, plastic seats, plastic plates, cups, utensils… everything you can imagine and more!
But plastic is ruining our environment and poisoning our children. <source> To avoid this from the beginning, let family members know about the dangers of plastic and why you are trying to avoid them. Give suggestions on plastic free options: buying natural wood toys (like these), wooden high chairs, etc. Etsy.com is a great place to shop quality made baby items.
Toys. Currently, my 6 month old son has 4 toys. 1 plush, 3 teething toys. This is a perfect amount! We keep one in the carseat, one in the diaper bag and have 2 for around the house.
Things I don’t have
At this point, I’m not even sure what is considered “normal” versus what I live without. So instead of having a list of unnecessary items, I just gave you a list of all the items that I use and find helpful.
How about you? Do you live with less? Are there other items that you feel you can’t live without? Leave me a comment below and let me know.