After three kids, I'm pretty well versed on what you actually need and what you think you need for baby. Trust me, those lists with a million things listed on them are the most absurd things ever. I remember feeling like I wouldn't be ready for baby if I didn't purchase EVERY. SINGLE. THING. on that dang list. Mommy guilt starts before your baby is even born. It's ludicrous. Your baby just does not actually need all of that STUFF. With each birth of one of our children, we bought less and less. I have it down to a science now.
We are fans of the minimalist lifestyle and are moving towards it more and more each day. We are praying and planning on a fourth baby a couple years from now. Whether this is a biological child or adopting, we don't really care. We are just excited to be adding a new baby to our family sometime in the next couple of years. With the addition of a new family member, we are even more aware of the amount of things we accumulate. Keeping everything in check, this is the Real Deal Baby Must-Haves. You can just ignore those superfluous lists. Trust me. I've bought everything on them.
I stayed gender neutral, so yes, all of these things I will use whether we have a boy or a girl. You want whatever you get to be functional, useful and not cluttering up your zen space. Each baby is different. Ours never took a pacifier. However the hospital gave them to us for free. Buy extra if you want or if you need to try a different style. Each of our own babies were so extremely different, however these things listed are generically the same for all of the babies. Also, you might have some of this already!
NOTE: there are ZERO affiliate links in this blog post. No one is paying me. I put this list together to help other parents because, I feel ya. But don't forget to subscribe to blog for post updates. No one wants be left out of awesome things. [scroll to bottom of page, enter email at : never miss a post]
1. A place for baby to sleep.
Let's stop the nonsense here. You don't need the world's most expensive crib. My second kid slept in a pack-n-play for the whole "crib" stage. She's completely normal. Our youngest, a boy, slept in a frilly bassinet thing we got for FREE. He totally survived it. We bought him a crib because, mom guilt. He didn't even sleep in it until he was 6-8 months old. He was closer for breast feeding when he was in our room = MORE SLEEP. Because getting sleep is sexy. I'm too scared to co-sleep, but if you're into it, totally feel no guilt about doing it. I think you're awesome by the way. For us, I'm going with this nifty option: Hanging Crib built to last from birth to 18 months. Why? Because it's kind of a two-in-one. All of our kids practically lived in the baby swing. The hanging crib does it all. It's a bed. That naturally swings. Boom.
2. A way to feed baby.
You do not NEED a breast feeding pillow. You have bed pillows, right? Or blankets you can roll up? They work. And you already own them. If you're bottle feeding [breast milk or formula, I did both, no judgement], buy like 6-8 of the short glass bottles. Rent a pump from the hospital. Yes, I've bought one before. Just borrow or rent one. If you're breast feeding, check out an app for remembering which side you fed your baby on last, or wear a bracelet you switch or whatever works for you. Want to know what works best for catching spit up?! Towels that you already own. No cloth diaper, spit up rag or receiving cloth comes close. Especially if you have a baby with reflux. All three of my kids had reflux. I giggle at those little burp clothes. My kids could spit up enough to soak a pack of those and then some. Towels.
3. A way for baby to get around.
I have bought fancy strollers. I mean the ones that are like a bassinet and fold into a regular stroller and twist this way and that and boy did it get some gawking because-hey-it was a pretty rad stroller. It was also completely unnecessary. Save yo' money. Get a carrier. Baby wearing might all the rage now-a-days, but it's been around longer than strollers. There's a reason it's still kicking around as a viable way to carry a baby. It works. It's cheaper. Baby is happier. Try a
wrap-a-ma-jig thing wrap carrier or an Ergo. I can vouch for these.
4. A carseat.
Whichever one you want. You can't leave the hospital without it. The one pictured is the Maxi Cosi Bohemian Blue.
5. A way to calm baby.
There are three things I love that work well: A cotton/gauze/muslin wrap, white noise, and/or a swing. You can buy fancy Aden + Anais wraps, I did previously, or you can get these snazzy awesome things in every color. Guess which way I'm choosing next time? Mmm-hmm. Also, white noise is fantastic at calming down a baby. I'm sure there's an app for that. I love womb sounds, fan sounds and ocean waves best. I have some tracks on Spotify and I'll probably just put them on CD for baby. For the swing department, I recommend borrowing one to see if your baby likes it. All three of ours LIVED in it. Other peoples kids hated it. If you purchase one and your baby hates it, donate to a women's shelter!
6. Simple clothes for baby.
I'm one of those that buys simple onesies, kimono snap shirts/onesies, pants and socks. You can get scratch mitts or you can use baby socks. Both work. Those baby gowns are simply amazing. When you are half
dead asleep at 2am trying to change a newborn's diaper, you'll be so glad your baby is in a sleep sack gown. Just get a bunch of those and socks, really. I might add one pair of moccasins that go with everything. We all wear and love moccasins. They're the best shoe ever invented. EVER.
7. A place to rock baby.
You might have this already as we did with our first kiddo: A rocker/recliner. You want it to do both. You also want it to not be
a piece of overpriced baby store furniture that only decoratively works in the baby room ugly and uncomfortable. I'm begging you to trust me on this. You've come this far. It should be functional. We are going with a grey or blue rocker recliner that is so comfy you don't want to leave it. Why? Because you're going to spend a ton of time and likely fall asleep in this chair. Babies get fussy and like to be rocked. It's actually soothing for mom and dad, too. So get something that makes sense.
8. A baby care kit.
Nail clippers, infant tylenol, baby brush, thermometer, nasal bulb syringe, etc. Just get one of those kits that has it all together or you can put one together yourself. Also, baby doesn't need his or her own laundry detergent...or even baby wash. We all have very sensitive skin. What works for us, works for baby! #MoneySaved
9. A way to diaper baby.
Cloth, disposable, paper, plastic [I kid] whatever you use, it doesn't matter. Whatever works for you, is what you get. I want to try cloth diapers but I haven't yet. They're so cute. Instead I covered their bums with diaper covers. They're cute and can crawl around nude with a diaper and cute cover. And, oh, for baby girls ruffled bums are adorable. I don't care who you are. My favorite disposables, since I've tried every name brand and every off brand is : Huggies Pure and Natural. Use whatever works for your kid and get some diaper cream. It was trial and error on diaper cream, so don't feel bad if something isn't working. Try natural remedies first, then try the commercial stuff.
10. A non-diaper bag, diaper bag.
This one is really for us moms. So back away slowly from the ugly baby diaper bag section. I know diaper bags have come a LONG way. But it's a false necessity. I mean really. You want to carry a purse AND a separate bag for your baby? I have too many kids for that. I go with a bag I already have that is a larger purse or go with a tote that you can drop your wallet and keys into. The ones below are just random bags from etsy. CHECK OUT our new Best Non Diaper Bag Post so you can snag something cool!
Things you don't realize that babies don't need: fancy clothes [where are they going?! Prom?!], 12 pairs of shoes [babies grow faster than you can blink], toys [they like your face and whatever is on the floor], a wipes warmer [stop it.], exersaucers, jump-a-roos, floor play mat or majority of the things listed on the Target must buy list. Or Baby Center...or any baby site that also sells baby crap. Don't get sucked into the trap. I've bought all of these things a couple times. They're overkill. You are going to feel SO much less stressed when you're not drowning in tons of junk. As your baby gets older, you can get a walker or doorway swing or whatever. It's just not a necessity when you have a newborn baby. Or even for the first few months. Stress less mama.
Baby still need a name?! Check out our baby names book!
Bohemian Minimalist Mama
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