Shopping for your new baby? The internet is full of lists of baby must haves that include hundreds of items. When I had my first baby I found that I ended up with a lot of items in the house that I never EVER used. Not to mention probably 50 outfits per size in all sorts of seasons and styles. I have been on a huge minimalist kick so I recently went through all of our baby and kid stuff and donated more than 15 trash bags FULL of stuff including some outfits that still had the tags on. Yikes. There has to be a better way!
I tend to prefer a more minimalist and “natural” lifestyle and having all of this clutter around drives me crazy. Now that I’ve purged our house and am on my third baby I have pared my baby items down to what I’ve found to be the bare minimum (for me).
Here my top 10 minimalist & natural baby must haves. These are items that I use daily or have found I can’t do without:
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, the number one thing your baby needs is to eat! I leaked a lot and my babies are huge “suckers” so breast pads & a pacifier (*gasp*) were definitely baby must haves for me. You might also want to have nipple cream, nursing bras, a pump, bottles, formula, etc.
A car seat is my number two baby must have because the reality of the Seacoast is that you can’t get very far without driving. If you want to be extra minimalist you could start out with a convertible seat that grows along with your child. You just won’t be able to bring baby inside in their seat if they fall asleep in the car (which is why I stick with a bucket seat for the first year).
Washcloths (or wipes)
Yup, my number 3 baby item is washcloths. And here’s why: I have only bought disposable wipes 2 times in the last 6 years. And that’s for 3 kids! I use these washcloths for EVERYTHING: baby wipes, paper towels, dishcloths, and even tissues. They have saved me so much money and saved so much trash from going into the landfill. Win-win. No need for special wipe solution 0r a wipe warmer, I just wet them in the sink as I use them. If washcloths aren’t for you you’ll need to stock up on wipes and lots of ’em!
Cloth diapers (or disposables)
My favorite diapers are bumGenius diaper covers stuffed with Cloth-Eez prefold diapers. As an added bonus, the pre-folds are awesome burp cloths (2 of my kiddos have had reflux so I NEEDED burp cloths). Don’t want to go cloth or spend extra for newborn sized cloth diapers? Disposable diapers in NB and size 1 are baby must haves you don’t want to be caught without.
A capsule wardrobe is a minimalist wardrobe with a limited number of pieces that can all be matched with each other. An example breakdown of how many items to purchase can be found here, although I personally skipped the gowns, mittens and all graphics.
Swaddle, blanket, nursing cover, burp cloth, changing pad and more, all in 1… need I say more? My 2.5 year old still uses one of these as her “blankie” every night.
Thinner and cooler than a moby, no annoying buckles, and easy to use once you get the hang of it, front or back. Hands free! Yay!
Because… shhhh. Fire alarm goes off, no problem. You sneeze quietly downstairs on the other end of the house, baby is instantly awake. You get the idea…
Let’s face it, this kid is going to eat you out of house and home and make a mess while they’re doing it. I love this seat that can be attached to a regular chair because it saves space and is easy to take with you.
It can be a regular purse but you have to have something to carry diapers in! Especially with 2 in cloth, a bag that converts into a backpack has been indispensable. Especially since I am often carrying the baby and chasing the other two.
So, there you have it! If I couldn’t buy anything else, these 10 baby must haves are what I could not live without.
Now here are 5 things I would not buy again. Lots of people probably find these items useful – but I didn’t. Here are 5 things I bought and never used:
- Bouncer & bassinet. My first 2 HATED to be put down so these adorable places to set them down were pretty much just storage places for toys. I found myself using the crib if and when they slept on their own. These items were not baby must haves in our home.
- Sleep sacks, gowns, baby bathrobes. I just didn’t use these. My babies wore footie jammies 24/7 until they started wearing clothes after a couple months.
- Bottle warmer. My kids rarely used bottles but when they did I just heated them up with warm water in the sink. I don’t need anymore stuff cluttering up my counters! If you plan on bottle feeding, this may be a baby must have for you after all!
- Moby wrap. That thing was so hard to figure out and SO much fabric. Plus it is thick and hot in the summer. I skipped it for babies #2 and 3 and used my woven wrap instead.
- Baby toiletry kit. I wanted to use the adorable little comb and brush and the special nail clippers…but I just didn’t. I ended up mostly using adult clippers. In fact, I just clipped my 5 month old’s nails with adult toenail clippers this week, because that’s all I could find, and she was fine.
These are the items I will forgo if there is ever a next time around. Comment below with what YOU find to be a baby must have. What items would you skip?