The Minimalist Guide to Baby Gear

I really hate clutter. I don’t mind mess, my years working with small children and growing up with two younger siblings made me immune to mess. But too much stuff? Drives me crazy? It almost makes me a bit stressed out seeing things that are just hanging out unused with no purpose.

When it was time to create a baby gift registry, I was way overwhelmed by the HUGE amount of baby products out there. There is seriously a product or gadget for EVERYTHING. And it seemed like everything was a necessity. I still hear things like, “What do you mean you don’t have a swing? You NEED a swing.” or “Don’t you have an infant car seat? What do you do with him when you are out of the house?”

Instead of relying on the lists of hundreds of items that I needed, I decided to make my own based on what a baby needs. I didn’t want tons of stuff that I either hardly used or was left sitting in a corner and I wanted to save money for all of the items I knew had to be purchased in the future (bigger clothes, more books, etc.) So here is my minimalist guide to baby gear, broken down by basic subjects:

If you are breastfeeding:
-Reusable/washable breastpads (the softer the better, and at least enough to last a week)
-5-6 nursing tank tops (I found the bras to be less useful, tanks can go under anything)
-boppy pillow (multi-functioning pillow of awesomeness… can be used later to prop baby up)
-breastpump (check to see if your insurance covers it, I got mine for free)
-2-3 small bottles and 2-3 large bottles

If you are formula feeding:
-7-10 small bottles
-5-6 large bottles
-bottle brush (because cleaning bottles is a pain)

-Baby bath tub (Some just say to omit this and bathe with baby instead, but I had a tricky recovery and was not allowed a bath for 8 weeks)
-Gentle soap like Dr. Bronner’s (Johnson’s is filled with nasty ingredients, plus baby doesn’t really need soap until they start crawling around and getting dirty)
*you do no need extra baby towels, they are so thin that they really don’t work anyway. Just use the same towels and washcloths you use

-2-3 newborn size outfits (you may not even need this size, so wait on it. Dominik was too big for newborn sized clothes)

Spring/summer baby:
-5-6 onesies
-4-5 long sleeve pajamas (if nighttime is cool enough)
-1 hat (one that will protect from sun)
-5-6 pairs socks
-2-3 pairs of pants and/or shorts
-1-2 jackets
-swim diaper

Fall/winter baby:
*same as above just take away swimsuit and shorts and add:
-3-4 more hats, beanie style
-3-4 long sleeve onesies
-2-3 more pants
-If needed: a few heavier coats/jackets

*You do not need shoes yet. Unnecessary and prevents baby from experiencing touch and movement with their feet. Also, a ton of hats are also not needed. The smell of your baby’s head helps you to release the proper hormones for milk production and bonding. Plus, leaving their head bare inside will help develop their temperature control. Most of the time, Dominik is in a onesie and that’s it.

-Changing pad
-2-3 changing pad covers
-5-6 cheap prefolds to protect changing pad (sooooo much easier to switch out that the whole cover)
-1 diaper bag (one that comes with a changing pad is a bonus!)

If using cloth diapers:
-24 prefolds, 5 covers, 3 snappies OR 24 pocket/all-in-one diapers
-40-50 cloth wipes
-2 large wet bags
-2 small wet bags

If using disposable diapers:
-1 box of diapers
-1 container of wipes
-any trashcan for diapers (maintaining airflow actually helps with smell)
*The reason I advise only 1 box of diapers/wipes is your baby may need a different diaper for these reasons: that brand may cause a rash, they may need a different size, or it may leak because of a poor fit. I know it’s hard, but wait for baby)

-Some sort of bassinet so baby has a safe place to sleep (Co-sleepers are great!)
*If you are bedsharing, the crib really isn’t necessary

-1 diaper bag (one that comes with a changing pad is a bonus!)
-Convertible car seat (Because it’s not safe to leave baby in a car seat for too long, plus convertible car seats last longer and are safer)
-baby carrier (wraps, slings, and other carriers are used instead of toting around a heavy carseat. Waaay safer and more developmentally appropriate for baby)
-Stroller (more useful when they are older, but nice for longer outings when babywearing gets hot and uncomfortable)

-5-6 swaddling blankets (Aden + Anais blankets are worth every penny)
-2-3 heavier blankets
-7-8 burp cloths (prefolds work perfectly)
-Activity center for play and tummy time
-3-4 pacifiers (even if you swear you’ll never use them…desperate times call for desperate measures!)
-a rock and play type seat (for times you need a safe spot for baby so you can use the bathroom or eat. I like Tiny Love’s Rocker Napper)

That’s it! That’s really all I use! It still seems like quite a lot, but it’s the bare minimum to care for a baby comfortably in my opinion. 🙂
Happy baby shopping!

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