A Minimal-ish Guide to Newborn Essentials
We live in a small bungalow with two adults, a baby, a dog and a cat. We don’t have a lot of space or storage and I am not a fan of clutter or having things in my home that don’t serve a purpose! When planning our baby registry and deciding what we actually needed for our baby I tried to keep things simple and easy, only bringing the necessities into our home. I did not want our home to be overrun with baby items and this was even more of a challenge because of our tiny home!
To make this kind-of-minimal baby list, I envisioned life with baby using the following questions:
· Where will baby sleep?
· How will baby be fed?
· How will baby get from point A to point B?
· Where will baby go when they’re not being held?
· What will baby wear?
· How will we keep baby clean/tend to baby if they’re sick?
· What extras or special items do you want to purchase for baby?
The first few months of a baby’s life are actually pretty basic (besides that whole keeping a tiny, fragile human alive thing.) They spend most of their time sleeping, eating and snuggling!
Thinking about these questions and about the things we used on a daily basis, our registry looked something like this.
Where will baby sleep? Our baby slept with us in our room for the first few weeks and then moved into her nursery. She first slept in the Rock and Play (because #terrifiedmommy) and then slept in a bassinet with the Dockatot inside of it. At 5 weeks she began sleeping in her own crib. Swaddles and (the right) pacifiers were everything in the beginning.
· Bassinet or a co-sleeper
· Swaddles/sleep sacks
· Sound machine
· Rocking chair
How will baby be fed? I totally planned to breastfeed but those hopes and dreams were crushed when I had extremely low supply. We had to supplement when Lou was 5 days old and my supply never recovered. I was so glad to have both sets of necessities for breastfeeding and bottle feeding at hand in the beginning.
· Breastmilk storage
· Breastfeeding accessories (nursing pads, nursing bra, nipple cream, etc.)
· Bottle scrub brush
· Burp rags
How will baby get from point A to point B? Definitely get a stroller/car seat combo to save money. I used a baby wrap all the time for calming a fussy baby around the house or when we were somewhere that the stroller wasn’t convenient to use. If it’s cold where you live, get one of those covers that go around the car seat and keep baby nice and toasty warm (so they don’t have to wear a jacket!)
· Baby wrap
· Carseat cover (if it’s winter)
Where will baby go when they’re not being held? Yes, you will have to put your baby down once and awhile! Lou loved the playmat and her bouncer. She did not like the swing and we sold it after a few months!
· Boppy pillow
What will baby wear? Babies spit up and poop on themselves A LOT. Somedays in the beginning we had to change Lou multiple times a day. Consider how many times a week you will do laundry when thinking about how many clothes you need. Personally, I like having a pair of pajamas and a onesie for each day of the week (I do laundry every other day.)
Make sure you have mittens for baby when they come home from the hospital because their little nails will be sharp and you won’t want to cut them! Honestly, in the beginning Lou only wore pajamas; do you know how hard it is to get a newborn in and out of a pair of pants? LOL! We did have a few dressy outfits for special occasions (usually a dress with knit tights).
Keep in mind, you don’t really know how fast baby will grow. Lou grew so fast and was in 3-6 month clothes by 8 weeks old. I had bought/received lots of 0-3 month clothes and she didn’t even get to wear some of the outfits.
· White onesies
· Few special occasion outfits
· Knit hat or bonnet
How will we keep baby clean/tend to baby when they’re sick? Someone gifted us changing pad liners (you just place them right on top of your changing pad cover) and it was one of the greatest gifts we received. In the middle of the night when there is a major diapering accident, you can just toss the dirty liner into the hamper instead of having the change the entire thing. Genius.
It’s also really nice to have items handy in case baby gets sick (because these things can happen in the middle of the night!)
· Changing mat
· Changing pad covers
· Changing pad liners
· Butt paste
· Diapers + wipes
· Baby bath
· Towel/wash clothes
· Baby soap
· Nail clippers and nail file
· Baby Tylenol
· Nose Frida
· Scent free detergent and dryer sheets
What extras or special items do you want to purchase for baby? We purchased a few nice items for her nursery and an heirloom blanket. We also bought 2 or 3 toys (Sophie the Girafe!), a few special books and lots of baskets for hiding all the stuff!
It’s pretty hard to be minimal when you’re bringing home a baby, but this is a great basics list to either expand on or pick and choose what your personal necessities are! Keep in mind, every baby is different and some will like things and some won’t. This parenting thing is really so much trial and error, but these items truly made motherhood so much easier!