I’d like to think of myself as striving towards minimalism, or on the path to becoming a minimalist. When you have a baby it sure seems hard to keep your belongings to a minimum. If you were to google “baby registry”, there are endless sites that you can compile a list of what you think you need before your little one arrives. I made two registries – on one Babylist.com because of the ease of adding any item I could find online, and one at Target for those friends and family members who prefer to shop in person rather than online.
Looking back on my registries, I would narrow some of these items down and get rid of others completely that I thought I needed but aren’t using at all! A couple of examples that come to mind are the wipe warmer I wanted and the infant bathtub I thought we’d need. I’m sure many moms and dads can say the same about the items they received before having their first baby, so I thought I would post about the items that I love and would recommend to others in the hopes it may help future parents keep their baby stuff to a minimum. Of course you will probably receive items you didn’t register for and had no intention of buying, and in that case I’d suggest returning those items to get what you actually want, instead of holding on to the items “just in case”.
Baby equipment – So I’m a big advocate of not putting your baby in a lot of baby equipment (rockers, bouncers, swings, walkers, bumbos etc.) because babies really thrive when they are allowed to move in ways that are developmentally appropriate for them. (For a very well-written article about this click here.) We’ve made a few exceptions with what we feel are more appropriate equipment, like our Mama Roo and carriers. Maisie is just at the point now where she enjoys looking at and grasping toys so I’ve included links to the activity gym (BPA-free, PVC-free, Phthalate-free) and the wooden Montessori inspired non-toxic wooden grasping toys we’ve purchased.
Cloth diapers – This may not be everyone’s jam but if you are looking to cut back on waste, and to save money in the long run, I would definitely suggest trying out cloth diapers. There are SO MANY different types/brands that you are highly likely to find a kind that works best for you and your baby. We waited until Maisie was about 3 months old to start using our cloth diapers when we felt like we had a better grasp on this whole parenting game, and still use non-toxic disposable diapers when we are out and about.
Here are some of the cloth diapers we’ve used so far:
Co-sleeping – I have to admit that before I got pregnant, when I heard about people letting their kids sleep in bed with them I thought that was weird. But then when I actually looked into how babies sleep, the thought of co-sleeping became more appealing. Traditional societies always kept their babies close to them when they slept, and it was only in the last century or so we decided to establish a separate room and sleeping space for a baby. I know everyone is different and you will do what works best for you and your baby, but for me that meant having Maisie next to me at night. She started off sleeping in the SnuggleMe next to me in bed, but after a week or so it became too much work to feed her when she woke up through the night and put her back without waking her back up. I also love the feeling of her little warm body on my chest and against my side as we sleep. We still use the SnuggleMe for her naps, and we use the muslin swaddle blankets to cover her since we stopped swaddling after the first few weeks. They have a ton of uses beyond sleep as well (burp cloths, nursing cover, car seat cover, etc).
As Maisie grows I am sure we will be in search of more “stuff” to accommodate her so this list will be growing along with her. I hope it is helpful in terms of finding the best and most useful baby stuff!