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The Minimalist Baby

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
ok, so if this isn't exactly the right place for this question, mods please redirect me

My partner & I are curretly ttc & I am thinking long and hard about not wanting to get bogged down by "stuff" like we did with our son... I just gave away !!!!19!!!!! bags of clothes/ baby soft goods that only covered from birth to 12 monts... plus a bunch of other stuff like toys and gadgets.... needless to say WE did not buy most of this, but since it was here I TRIED to use as much as possible, but for this baby I want to start from scratch...

I have all of DS's cloth diapers, although my BG one sizes are a little leaky... DC2 will be breastfed & cosleep, so that gets rid of needing a crib or bottles n stuff... although I did keep my pump in style from my son just in case...

What would you say you absolutely HAVE to have for a baby? I dont want to get over run with clothes or "stuff" to the point where I cant enjoy my baby... I feel like I had a hard time with that with DS.

So how many outfits do you feel are the bare minimum? Any items you feel you couldn't function without? Anyone try to do it bare bones& then have to run out & get something you completely forgot about in planning?
post #2 of 32
With baby #2 I really enjoyed using/having less stuff. It is a lot of work to try to use all the nice things people buy - so many tiny clothes and toys that are great but more than one baby needs.

I found that the cloth diapers, a potty (we did EC), those newborn gowns, a couple of sleepsacks, and a few little outfits were really all we relied on. I did buy stuff with DC#2, but it was stuff I WANTED, not stuff I NEEDED. Like I enjoy babylegs and think they are adorable and versatile, so I bought them to use with DC#2.

I can't think of one thing I am upset that I donated after DC#1, or that I had to run out and replace.

post #3 of 32
Just found out I'm having my third and I'm actually getting RID of stuff in prep for the arrival, instead of acquiring. Well, OK. I got two Moby's off of CL yesterday but that was cos it was a great deal and I had gotten rid of my Mobies.

I'm going to have:

- A Pack and Play set up even though we're going to co-sleep, but I like to have that for nosy people, like "of course we have a place for baby to sleep, duh" etc.
- One tote of gender neutral clothes, one tote of boy clothes, one tote of girl clothes - they're big totes but they go up from baby to toddler size, so it's not that much - this is my last child so if it's a boy I will donate the girl clothes at birth or vice versa - so in all, two totes of clothes, one for the first year and one for the second, supplemented by thrift store finds
- My Mobies and the Mai Tai's
- A few of those snuggly burrito wraps with velcro, both my other babies loved those
- A tote of books/toys/lovies etc.

We don't CD so we're not going to have any of those, I know, I know. I might get some flats but probably not.

That's it. When he/she gets older I will probably find a high chair and eventually he/she will get one of the kids' toddler beds when they graduate to a twin. I'm not really concerned one way or the other.
post #4 of 32
The outfits is a hard thing to decide. Do you have laundry that you do daily or every other day? Another thing to consider is how juicy your baby might be. My friend has had 4 children and 2 of them have always drooled like there is no tomorrow. She would seriously go through a ton of bibs and tops because her babies would just soak them. My girls were not like like at all. There is not much you can do to change or predict it either. While a few bottoms might do most days, one virus can bring you to your knees with blow outs and such. I'd probably say a dozen of the little stuff as a minimum.
post #5 of 32
Since I'm in Chicago, having hats and booties were the most important things during the cold months. I also knit my son a wool sleep sack (full sleeves and the bottom went well past his and was grateful for that on cold nights. I knew he was warm without having to put a blanket on him and that made me feel good. I also knit him a double thick wool blanket that I knew kept the chill off him when moving from house to car.
post #6 of 32
Well we're having our third. I had in mind to be as simple as possible, but then the women at my church want to throw a shower. (Registering was SO hard for us because I know what I do and don't want and the crazy lady told us to put at least 100-150 items on the list )

But for me this is my plan and all I have:
- Moses basket so she can hang out when we are out and about
-Clothing is about a dozen items per size with a few extra onesies in NB-3m
-Nursery is Crib, Rocker, Changing Table/Dresser nothing more or less
- One wrap and One Mai Tai
- 8 Blankets for swaddling
-I have just in case 6 bottles (just for an emergency if I'm sick or something comes up and I can't nurse).

But like I said the ladies I go to church with have blessed me, and I have gotten a PINK baby tub and towels so far...and a shower to come. But I am praying that many remember how simplistic I am and things don't go crazy!
post #7 of 32
You know, I wanted to be a minimalist, but this baby likes to be put down. Actually cries to be put down from time to time. Took me so long to figure out because my oldest never wanted to be put down. So I am finding I like a variety of safe places to put her down. Stuff I never used with my older dd is getting use this time. Like the swing and the bouncer. I only used the bouncer with my older dd to shower, but this baby loved it. I liked having a safe place off of the floor where I could put her to run to the bathroom, etc.. My older dd is great, but she makes me nervous when she runs around when the baby is on the floor.

I have a bunch of carriers and have used them all, even the bjorn in the very beginning was my favorite carrier until she got big enough for her legs to dangle. I'm glad I hung on to it for just a little longer and can now get rid of it. I also expected to cosleep more, but it didn't work out. I had her crib in the nursery, expecting to use the cosleeper until she was 1 or so, and we ended up moving the crib into our room.

I had a bag of baby toys that I was ready to donate. Most of them were stuffed rattles and dolls and things that can be thrown in with the wash. I ended up forgetting about the bag and never took it to the donation site. Well, I have taken out more than half of those toys. My older dd didn't really need many toys, but my younger dd loves them and I love having enough to throw 3 or 4 in the wash regularly.

I guess my point is that I'm glad I hung on to things because things with my 2nd are nothing at all like things with my first. It's a short amount of time, and I am already preparing stuff to get rid of since we are done having babies at this point.
post #8 of 32
Here's what we really used for the first 3-4 months:

1. We went ahead and bought a crib, which we sidecarred for co-sleeping. It's actually one of the ones that converts to a toddler bed and then to full-size as your child grows. It was more expensive than a basic crib, but worth it since you only have to buy a bed for your child once.
2. Ditto the car seat - we spent a little more and bought a convertible one that will do for as long as DD will be in a car seat.
3. We didn't buy a stroller - we've been babywearing. We got a couple different styles of used carriers for cheap; I like the Moby the best.
4. We did buy a second-hand bouncer for those times when you need to sit the baby down for a few where the floor or a bed isn't an option, and I'm glad we did. Very handy.
5. We did fine diaper-wise with 3 dozen prefolds, 4 Thirsties, and a couple Imse Vimses. We used an old backpack for a diaper bag. I got a few of those flannel-like changing pads and they were indispensable for putting under the kiddo when changing.
6. A breast pump and a few bottles. DD nurses 98% of the time, but I usually try and keep a bottle or two in the fridge so that DH can take over for a while occasionally and let me sleep.
7. We stocked up enough clothes so that we didn't have to do laundry more than a couple times a week. DD was born in October, so we had mainly sleepers, the kind with feet, some in cotton and several fleecy ones. There were about a dozen that we actually used. We had 6 long sleeve baby undershirts and 6 short sleeve tees that we used to put under her sleepers for extra warmth. We had a couple sleep sacks and blanket sleepers, but didn't wind up using them that much, though they're nice to have on hand. Same with socks - we didn't use them much since we could not keep them on DD's feet, but we did use a couple pairs. She had a coat and a couple cold weather hats.
8. About 6 blankets of varying heaviness.
9. A couple towels, a few baby washcloths and a bottle of California Baby Super Sensitive body wash.
10. 2 or 3 crib sheets and a couple mattress pads.

Now, at 6 months, we've added a small basket's worth of toys/books and a couple dozen bibs, which have been indispensable since DD is a major drooler. We bought a Jumperoo, also second hand, which DD loves. She's super energetic, so it's been nice to be able to put her in there and let her burn off some of her "go juice." The one thing I was really surprised at how much I've liked and used was a Boppy. I never would have thought it was necessary, but we got one as a gift and it worked so much better for nursing than a bed pillow, and as DD has been learning to sit alone, it's been great for that, too.

We did just fine without so much of the stuff people swear you need. We didn't have a changing table - we don't even have a nursery yet since we've been co-sleeping. We just change her on the bed or couch or floor. Also, we didn't get a baby bath tub - honestly, all they need for a good while is a sponge bath, and after that we've just used the sink.
post #9 of 32
we were minimalist with our first. we didn't have too much. i think we had a number of newborn shirts and baby legs and we EC'd too so that kept diapering down quite a bit.

hmm. i'm trying to think about what i used most. yeah, t-shirts and baby legs and diapers for back up and a few blankets when he needed to be swaddled for that short period of time. he had those night gown-y things with the elastic around the bottom--those were quite good for night time ECing.


yeah. ididn't use much. LOL baby wrap, uhm, i did use his sheepskin quite a bit, can't think of much else.
post #10 of 32
My "baby" is 3 yo so its been a while but I really, really could have used a Moses basket. I ended up making something similar but it really would have been handy and cuter to have the basket.

Loved my Mei Tai - I used that for a year until I switched to the Ergo.

Really loved the Boppy. Nursed with it forever. I have fond memories of DS as a toddler bringing me the Boppy when he wanted to nurse.

I had a stroller/travel system but it was helpful for two reasons: 1) because I was a recovering C-section and because I lived only a few blocks from shopping and it was a convenient way to carry both groceries *and* baby without a lot of strain. 2) I really like to exercise and lived next to a great park with miles of walking paths. Although I did a ton of baby wearing I liked the option of being able to walk with the stroller too.

I used a crib but not for a long time. If I had to do over I would have just had a Pack-N-Play. I used the built in changing table all of the time since I had hard floors and didn't like the potential mess of changing on the bed. I think the Pack-N-Play is great - it can be a sleeping place, a play pen, changing area, you can travel with it, etc.

Things I didn't need: bouncy chair or swing. Bumbo (yuck, I think I used it twice). Also didn't need anything related to baby feeding: high chair, make-you-own baby food books, etc. We went straight from breast milk to table food with a few commercial jars here and there for travelling. I was given a high chair and gave it away quickly. Later I used a cheap $10 booster seat that secured to our regular dining chair.

I also think baby toys are just about worthless.
post #11 of 32
I found we needed quite a lot of clothes for the first few months, DD was a very dribbley baby and we ended up changing her several times a day.The first few months she only wore sleepsuits, with maybe a sweater if it was a cool day. I think it was probably 6 months before she was regularly wearing outfits for daytime and sleepsuits at night.

I used the bouncy chair quite a bit but we have hard floors which I didn't want to lay her on, otherwise a blanket on the floor would have been fine.

Some kind of sling/carrier.

Car seat

I love our tripp trapp, we got it when she was 6 months old (with the baby set) and have used it daily since. Now at 5 1/2 she still eats better when using that rather than a normal dinning chair.

I also used the pram a lot, we got one which DD could comfortably sleep in and a walk outside did often send her off.
post #12 of 32
Our second is on the way, and I'm trying to organize what we need and what we can give away that we've saved. I gave away all of DS's newborn clothes, so I'll need a few things, but I mostly only dressed him in t-shirts, babylegs and sacs. I have some nice recycled cashmere yarn that I'm going to use to make some leggings, hats and what-nots. I'd like a moses basket. I never had one with DS and I think it would have been very helpful. I'd also like a lightweight wrap. I used a Moby with DS, but that was in February. I can't imagine using one here in September. Plus I already got rid of the one I had with DS.

I'm not going to cloth diaper this time, so my stash will help pay for new things for baby. I'd like some nice muslin swaddles, but only because I bought some for a friend and fell in love with them. I don't really need them.

I'm going to go through DS's newborn toys and save or give away. I don't think we need a lot of it. I'm going to pack up his clothes to save if we have a boy or donate if it's a girl. I'm WAY more relaxed about it this time around, now that I know how much stuff babies don't need.
post #13 of 32
My "baby" is 3 so I'm trying to remember. My absolutely had to have, used every day items and things I would do if I had a do-over:

baby carrier (pouch, mei tai, ring sling)
blanket for bed or floor. If I were to do it over, I'd have about 10 organic flannel light blankets and 1 or 2 really nice thick quilted organic cotton blankets.
cloth diapers, of course
a nice, functional, baby bag that is cute, versatile, and quality made
a nice stroller (I really liked my Combi)
a pack n play. A safe place to put baby when I'm in the shower.
Dr. Sears baby book
Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter
organic bamboo velour and hemp nursing pads
Some really good quality multivitamins w/DHA

That probably about covers the essentials.

Also one cute baby book to store mementos.
post #14 of 32
I think the stuff you need totally depends on the baby and your situation.

With babies 1 and 3 I used the 'gear' a lot more. Baby #1 hated being held and was always more content on her own. She prefered the swing, bouncy seat, etc to being carried. She spent a lot of time in a pack-n-play as an older baby while I was on bedrest with #2. With baby #3 I was suddenly a single mom. I needed the bouncy seat to take a shower, I used the stroller more because I used it to carry stuff in the basket, I used the pack-n-play when we traveled. Baby #3 only co-slept a few months - I met DP and felt weird co-sleeping with baby and BF. Babies #1 and 3 also used bottles. #1 was a preemie I pumped for and added HMF for 6 months. With #3 I went back to work when he was a few months old, I pumped for a while.

Baby #2 used no baby gear - except baby carriers. She was an easy baby to wear. She nursed until she was about 18 months - for 14 months exclusively. She never took a bottle. I was a SAHM the whole time. She was such an easy 'minimalist' baby that I gave away all my baby gear. She co-slept until she was 2 or 3, then moved into the bottom bunk bed.

Now with #4....he is only a few weeks, but shows a clear carrier preference. So far he likes the bjorn and will tolerate a becco, but freaks in a ring sling. I use the bouncy seat still to shower, and the swing is a good place to put him down - with a toddler running around the floor isn't a great place for him to chill out when I'm cooking dinner. The pack-n-play will be necessary for travel (we travel a lot). I haven't gotten a double stroller yet - since I barely used/needed one with the other 3 kids, but we get out of the house A LOT more than I did as a SAHM when #1 and #2 were babies.

I have a crazy huge diaper stash from #3, so I could be all set - still use disposables with #3 and #4. I did move from pockets and aios (babies #1 and #2) to covers, wool, prefolds and fitteds - simpler.

Clothing...hard to say. I've always had way too much, but I didn't buy much for #4 - we didn't know the gender until he was born, and I had tons of boy stuff from #3. I do recommend buying the best quality clothing you can. Babies #1 and #2 wore out, stained, ruined most of the clothes. Baby #3, we had more $$ bought nicer quality and the clothes lasted.

It's hard to say what you will really need when it comes to gear, etc. As long as you have some clothes, diapers/wipes, food and a carseat, the rest can all come later. Those are the essentials to bring the baby home. A baby carrier would be great too, but you could manage to live without one.
post #15 of 32
My little guy is almost 7 mos, and I've been working on cleaning out the nursery lately, and it's amazing to me how much stuff we have that we NEVER used. We CD and during the early days I was doing laundry every day - so that meant I'd toss his clothes, his bibs, whatever else needed it in with the CDs. When he started fitting into smalls, we went to every other day, and still we did mixed loads. Only now as we're getting into Meds do we have enough dipes to go 3-4 days, and the machine is so full that his clothes usually go in with ours. Which is a long way of saying that until recently, his clothes were getting washed daily or at most every other day, so 12 shirts is a ridiculous amount, and he NEVER wore pants, since we use fitteds and wool. So we have at least a dozen pairs of pants he never wore. Of all the tees, he maybe wore half a dozen - he spent the first 3 months exclusively wearing a wool/silk tee. He's still wearing NB tees, but I much prefer the snap front tees to the pull-overs, so all the pull-overs are going unused. So of all the clothes, he's worn half a dozen tees, the long sleepers, and 1 or 2 full-length rompers. The rest is sitting in there still brand-new.

Washcloths - we have a ton of these also, and half a dozen towels. We've used 1 towel (the plushest), and 2-3 of the washcloths. He rarely gets a bath - our house was too cold during the winter, and it wasn't really necessary.

Bibs - we have way more of these than we need also, but most of them were hand-me-downs.

For equipment - the moses basket bassinet was barely used, he hated it. The changing table was used the first week or two, and then not since. We got a convertible car seat, and bought a second hand stroller (infant-toddler), and a used bouncy chair. We picked up a booster seat that attaches to the dining room chair, and just last week I went out and got a pack & play since he's decided falling off the bed is great fun. Other than that, a Moby, a RS and a Mei Tai.

I knit him a wool sleep sack that he's still using at night, and Aden & Anais swaddling blankets are the other essentials on my list. So, far less than most people would have you think.
post #16 of 32
I haven't read all the posts, but there were some things I actually had to buy with ds2 that I hadn't needed with the other two. Seasonally appropriate clothing, mostly, because of when he was born and how big he was.

And, he was such a puker. My other two occasionally spit-up, but ds2 was constantly leaking spit-up. Like every couple of minutes. So I did use a lot of bibs on him, hadn't had any for the other two until they started on solids.
post #17 of 32
DS was baby # 2 - We had.

- Flat cloth diapers (30) and Kushies covers (5)
- Cloth washcloths (30)
- Sleepers and clothes (1 drawer full)
- Sling
- Car seat
- Stroller
- Baby front/back carrier
- Swing for a few months (he hated it and never wanted to be in it)
- Bouncy seat (so I could have a shower but he hated it and we barely used it)

* DD had a crib which we only ever used as a change table so for DS we gave it away.
post #18 of 32
I needed my sling! I wouldn't ever want to have a baby without one (or two)

Cloth diapers, wipes, some blankets large enough for swaddling.

For clothing it depends on how often you wash. I liked having 10-14 sets of clothes.

post #19 of 32
Love the name of this thread!!

My advice would be to wait to get stuff until you need it, where possible.
post #20 of 32
I could get by with 5 or 10 outfits for both boys, easily, though they both have at least 2 or 3x that many (their drawers are stuffed..). Honestly, I feel like we've done pretty good keeping the baby 'stuff' to a minimum. We never used a bouncer for either, and the swing was a gift (and only out for a few months - its been re-regulated to the basement... and i have plans to give it away here shortly. If I can rmember to throw it in my trunk tommorrow morning!!), as was our crib (which we do use atm side-carred for a bit extra space in bed... even if ds2 only very, very, very rarely sleeps in there...). DS1 admittedly has *way* too many toys but, what you gonna do? He's a kid. Lots of toys is just part of the territory, I think any how. Good luck!!
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