Hey, ya’ll! If you’ve been with me for a while you may remember seeing my minimalist baby list when Baby H was a tiny one. I decided to update this with new links and new items since the baby world changes so quickly!
Mama’s I want you to keep something in mind while you are preparing for baby, our culture has become very materialistic and it is easy to get caught up in all the baby items. I know, I had 10 of everything when my oldest was born and guess what? We didn’t use 90% of it. By the time I had my third baby, I decided I was going to shop around, buy items that could do multiple tasks and wait to buy things until I needed them. The list I am going to cover today contains mostly organic items. If you can afford organic I promise you won’t be disappointed but if you can’t afford it you can look into buying used or you can stick with quality cotton items. Your baby will never know! But let me say this quickly, I do not recommend Gerber clothes. I found them to run very small and not hold up well in the wash. Besides the Amazon brands I will be linking below, we love Target and Carters! Just be careful to only buy what you need and not get carried away.
Without further ado, here are my 20 must-have baby items!
First up on my list is a place for baby to sleep. I like to keep my babies in my room for the first few months. It has varied for each of my babies from 4-8 months. I tend to give them their own space once they are only waking 1-2 times a night and when their loud sleepy noises start to keep me from sleeping soundly. The best decision I have made thus far is to wait to make a room for the baby until right before they were ready to move into it. Having everything in my room where I needed it was wonderful. Baby can sleep in a co-sleeper, a pack and play or this super groovy bassinet from Fisher-Price. Fisher-Price Soothing Motions Bassinet.
I really love that this bassinet sways if baby moves or if mama rocks it. I also like that it has built-in vibrations which I found really handy with my third baby. It also has a night light which is helpful for the middle of the night feedings.
While we are talking about sleep, let’s take a look at a baby lounger, baby monitor and sound machines. These can all help set the stage for a restful night sleep for mama and baby. The Snuggle Me Baby Lounger was seriously the best purchase I made with my last baby. She slept in it in the bassinet but I could also bring it to the couch, on vacation, etc. We loved it and she slept like a rock in it.
A baby monitor is also a must have for me. I want to be able to see and hear their every move. We have had many different monitors over the years but the Hello Baby monitor has held up the best and is actually the least expensive one we have had. We have the one that is static because the pan/tilt wasn’t an option when we bought ours but for the next wee one we will definitely be taking advantage of this feature as I miss it from our old monitor.
Another key feature in baby sleep is having a sound machine. DO NOT underestimate the power of white noise to keep a baby sleeping!! I have not personally tried this sound machine but a sleep coaching group I am in (from when I was a certified child sleep coach) swears by it! The Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine is a machine that will grow with your baby from newborn through childhood and turns into an okay to wake alarm clock by glowing when it is okay for them to get out of bed. I also like that it can be controlled by an app on your phone. For a sound machine on the go, we have loved the Baby Shusher! It has put both of my youngest right to sleep and we have saved it for the next one.
Besides having a place to sleep in your bedroom I also find it helpful to have a swing in our living room for those moments when I just can’t hold the baby, I need a break or they just need an assisted nap. I also like having a bouncy seat that can come into the kitchen, bathroom (while I bathe other children), etc. This was not an option I was aware of with baby #3 but that I now have saved to a wishlist for any future babies. The Graco Duet Glide Gliding Swing with Portable Rocker is a great two in one option. You get the gliding motion that I loved with the Mamaroo and it also doubles as a rocker/vibrating seat for your around the house needs.
I also really like the soft, muted colors. I think a lot of baby items can be too bright and overstimulating. The rocker portion of this swing also has several recline positions. I think this lends it to be a great replacement for the rock and play’s that we used with our babies that had acid reflux since those have since been recalled.
I do try to limit the amount of time my babies spend laying flat on their little noggins. Plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) is a real thing. It can be reversed with chiropractic care or a helmet but it is better to just avoid getting to that point! To keep my babies upright and close to me, which also helps with milk production, I like to have a baby carrier. The Tula baby carrier and a good ring sling are my favorites with newborns. They aren’t overly complicated and they are relatively lightweight.
This particular Tula does not need an infant insert as the panel can be adjusted for both height and width! It will cover your baby from the newborn stage all the way to toddlerhood!
Ring slings do have a bit of a learning curve. I found it helpful to find a local Babywearing International group to help me out and when all else failed and I needed assistance and didn’t have a group, Youtube was there to help!
Now to the section of the post that was so hard for me as a first-time mom, clothing! Babies really don’t need as many outfits as you think they do. I typically do a small load of laundry every day. It keeps me in a routine and keeps the laundry monster at bay because once he shows up I lose all motivation to do any laundry. So, these are the must-have items if you are going to do a load of laundry every day to every other day. I am going to make these pictures linkable to Amazon just because there are too many all in a row to name haha! So, if you like what you see, click or tap the picture and it will take you straight to it!
Friends, you might think I am crazy but I promise you, this is all you need! The gowns are for bedtime! Your tired self will thank me at 2am when you don’t have to find a zipper, mess with snaps or figure out any other craziness to change a diaper. Just pull it up, change and pull it back down again! My babies basically live in footed sleepers unless we are going out and I saved the onesies and pants for outings. The baby mittens are a must too if your baby has razor-sharp claws, I mean fingernails, like my babies did. See those bibs I snuck in there? They are how you will be able to make so few outfits last! put a bib on the baby to catch all the spit up so you don’t have to change their outfit 500 times in 5 minutes. If you feel your baby needs socks or shoes, don’t! Socks never, I mean NEVER, stay on! Grab yourself a pair of Zutano baby shoes and call it a day (those aren’t part of my 20 items but just thought I’d throw it out there!)
We have now covered 14 items (a few more if you count actual clothing items and not packs but hey!) If you are still reading along with me, thank you! I appreciate you!! Now, let’s dig into swaddles! You need a pack of the muslin swaddle blankets but I don’t love them for actually swaddling my babies. I use them in the car seat, on the couch, to cover the baby lounger, swing, etc. I sometimes even use them as burp clothes, they are very versatile, so grab a pack! You will also want a pack of the swaddles with velcro because it will keep baby Houdini in their swaddle for more than 30 seconds. Although you can use the swaddle blankets as burp clothes I do recommend grabbing a set of dedicated burp clothes because babies are messy! I really like the feel of the soft muslin so that is what I linked here in the 5 pack.
I am going to briefly touch on toys, we are minimalists over here in the toy department too so I will make another blog post on that later. What does a baby actually need? Nothing! However, I always like to get them a few things that might keep them entertained for just a few minutes or make tummy time a little more enjoyable.
I like the play gyms over a playmat because I feel they are more visually appealing and less stimulating. I lay down a swaddle blanket and let my baby enjoy. Wooden toys follow the Montessori/Waldorf philosophy and honestly, they are just beautiful and I like beautiful things! If your baby will take a pacifier I would also grab one of those. I have yet to have a baby that will take any until they are like 18 months old and find one laying around somewhere *insert facepalm here*
Last, but certainly, not least on my list are the items you will need to feed and transport the baby. I cannot sing the praises of a nursing pillow enough. I nurse my babies until they wean and I am still using our boppy pillow with my 18-month-old. They are amazing! I did think I needed an extra cover in the beginning but honestly didn’t use it. If it needed a wash, I would wash it and put it back on. Mama will also need a breast pump. I loved the Freemie pump, it is my third pump and my absolute favorite. I got more milk with that than any of my other pumps and its hands-free! Make sure to check with your insurance as it should be covered. I was able to get my pump and storage bags for free until my baby was 18 months old. My insurance did send a few bottle storage containers but they were prohibited from providing actual bottles. I had the Comotomo bottles with baby 3 but I added the Boon bottles here because I like that they came in a set of three. If you are washing after each use you really shouldn’t need more than three.
The very last item I am going to talk about is the car seat. I saved this one for last not because it was the least important but because it is the most important. Please, please, please do not take my word as gospel or anyone else’s. Do your own research. Car seats for the littles is an amazing resource online and on Facebook. We have had many brands and Graco has been my favorite. The car seat I listed is the one I feel we will use for our next baby (if we have one) It is a new version of a seat we have had in the past.