More and more people are adapting to a minimalist lifestyle nowadays. That includes new or expecting parents. Every minimalist mom of a newborn finds that sticking to the bare necessities when it comes to baby care is not only less expensive, but also less stressful.
Does a baby really need a lot of stuff as soon as it arrives? Milk for the belly, clean clothes to cover that cute little bum, and a safe and loving environment to thrive in are my personal picks in preparing for each of my little ones -that’s basically everything a minimalist baby needs.
The truth is, you only need a few fundamental basic necessities when preparing and actually caring for a newborn. Each baby is different. It is even scientifically proven that babies are born with their own personalities or temperament. Your baby which you’ve made and grown inside your own body is still a little stranger that you have to get to know little by little every day.
Once your baby arrives, that is the time when you can decide to expand your baby registry depending on what your baby seems to like. For example, you might later discover that your baby likes bouncing instead of swinging motions, so you can purchase a baby bouncer instead of a swing.
This list covers twenty of the top minimalist picks any new parent would consider essential. Some extreme minimalist parents would even do with less.
Feeding is one of those inevitable things that a minimalist mom of a newborn would have to consider. It is the most basic necessity of every baby.
One of the first things you will probably beeline for in a baby store is the feeding bottles. Unless you intend to stay with your baby exclusively breastfeed, you cannot do away with this.
Cleaning/ Sterilizing system
When you use baby bottles, you’ll need to clean them thoroughly. Having a cleaning and sterilizing system that works best and is most convenient for you can make life a whole lot easier.
If you do decide to breastfeed, a breast pump or at least a milk catcher will come in handy. You might need to express and stash milk for when you return to work. It also helps to have something that can aid you whenever you feel engorged.
Breast milk Storage
Don’t let all of that liquid gold go to waste. There are plenty of breast milk storage options available nowadays. You can go for the traditional pre-sterilized milk bags, reusable storage bottles, freezer trays, or you can simply store them in your feeding bottles if you do not intend to freeze or store a lot.
High Chair/Booster Seat
This may not come in handy for some time (about 4-6 months), but it is surely a necessity. You will need a safe place to put your baby for his (or your) meals.
Most minimalist parents prefer the booster seat since they are adjustable depending on your child’s height so your baby gets to use them longer. Also, booster seats are lower compared to high chairs so you minimize the risk of injurious falls.
Yet another minimalist baby essential is clothing. It’s easy to get tempted by all those cute little baby outfits at the baby shop, but buying a lot of them is usually a waste of money since babies grow terribly fast.
Stick to basic neutral clothes, and maybe splurge on one or two “going out” clothes. The basics are the ones your baby will be wearing all day everyday anyway. Besides it’s not really wise to expose newborns to crowded and public places repeatedly, so going out clothes aren’t that heavily used.
Smaller ones work great as burp cloths, or for wiping just about anything. The larger ones make wonderful swaddles, and can easily double up as baby towels. Additionally, they are also light and breathable while obscure enough to serve as nursing covers when you are out in public.
Muslins are great because they lightweight enough to carry around and to cover your baby when you go out. They come in various designs so you can have as many as you think you need in different colors. I cannot stress just how useful and attractive muslin cloths are. It’s a definite must-buy for any mon of a newborn.
For less temperate seasons when a muslin cloth is not enough to keep your baby warm, blankets or sleepers come in handy. Sleep sacks are popular because they are easy to use, they don’t easily come off, and they keep your baby warm without the risk of covering his face.
Newborn babies do not naturally come potty trained. Diapering and cleaning is an essential hallmark of newborn baby care well into toddlerhood (sometimes even beyond).
Your new baby will be using newborn diapers for approximately two months. Some babies upgrade to a larger size a month earlier or a month later. It would be safe to stock up on about two weeks’ worth of newborn diapers before birth.
How much is two week’s worth? You may ask. A newborn typically uses an average of ten diapers per day. That’s a hundred and forty diapers for the first two weeks of their life!
Another solution is cloth diapering. More parents have jumped into this option because it is more sustainable, environmentally sound, and cost effective in the long term. Typically, you need about 20 to 30 pieces of cloth diapers which will last you up until your baby gets potty trained.
Wipes are the automatic counterparts of diapers. They also double up as baby mess cleaners, and sometimes even all-around general house cleaners for extra busy and overwhelmed parents.
Only very lucky few do not have to deal with diaper rash in the first few months of babyhood. That is why rash creams (any brand of your choice) are always part of the minimalist baby checklist.
There may be several instances where you’ll need to bring your baby with you. Your primary concern with travelling with your baby is safety and comfort.
Depending on your preference, or depending on which one you and your baby find comfortable and practical, there are plenty of options for baby carriers. There are cloth carriers such as slings, soft structured carriers, and ergonomic carriers that have a seat base for your little one on your hip.
You Simply cannot do away without a car seat. You can’t even drive your baby home with you from the hospital. Unless your birthing place is just next door, you can’t go anywhere with your baby without a car seat unless you intend to walk.
The primary thing you need to consider when arranging your baby’s sleeping space is safety. Thankfully, you don’t need a lot to achieve it. In fact, too much stuff around your baby’s sleeping space is strongly discouraged by experts.
Crib, Napper or Co-sleeper
You will need a safe space for your baby to sleep. While a crib is a classic choice for many parents, a co-sleeper is practical if you want to keep your baby close with you while you sleep and breastfeed. A movable napper is also useful for when baby naps while you do things around the house. This way, you can keep an eye on your baby wherever in the house you may be.
Speaking of keeping an eye on your baby, if you do decide for a stationary sleeping arrangement like a crib, a baby monitor will help keep your anxiety levels in check. This gadget is especially useful if you have a large house with multiple rooms and lots of blind areas.
Play items in your baby registry probably won’t be used until your baby reaches at least a month old. However, if you do decide to buy ahead of time, these are the most practical ones to get.
A play mat is not only there for play time. It also serves as a safe cushioned space where you can put your baby down without them touching the cold floor or bumping into the hard wood or tile.
A play yard perfectly complements a play mat. You can loop it around your playmat to create the perfect space that is safe for your little one. Even if your newborn doesn’t crawl or move around yet, the yard protects him from pets or other siblings who might be curious about the little baby. An alternative would be baby gates. They can keep your little one safely enclosed within a room.
If you feel you don’t need an entire enclosure to safeguard your baby, you might still be left with hallways, open doors, corridors, drawers, high places, sharp objects, and other dangerous items. You don’t have to wait for your little one to start moving around before installing these. Begin with tackling fall precautions and move on with other potential safety risks at home.
Anticipating the arrival of a little one can take up so much time, preparation, and cost. Hopefully, this minimalist baby checklist will help you keep track of what is truly essential for a minimalist mom of a newborn.