Minimalist Baby Registry Essentials
Congratulations! Having a new baby, whether it’s your 1st or 15th is an exciting time. Once you get past the excitement the panic of planning, preparing, and nesting set in and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Preparing for a baby is not near as complicated as society, influencers, and companies who want your money deem it to be. In all honesty, babies need very few things to survive and everything else just comes down to convenience, preference, and lifestyle.
I also want to note, when I use the word Registry in this post I am also referring to just a general list you may be making as a mother. I am on baby number 4, having a baby registry at this point seems completely unnecessary to me! We stopped having baby showers after the second child and I am certainly not asking friends and family to “help” buy things for any babies at this point. If you are, that’s totally fine, and if you aren’t you can still use this guide to make personal lists as well!
Why Go Minimalist with your Baby Registry?
Who benefits from a minimalist baby registry?
Personally, I think everyone could benefit from having a little less in their lives especially when it comes to baby stuff. It is so easy to plan for too much and even easier to become overwhelmed with the amount of junk “needed” for a baby.
Do you really want to be overwhelmed by stuff when you are already going to be mildly overwhelmed with taking care of yourself and a brand new human? Probably not!This post contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through a link I provide that I may be compensated. This does not change the price for you and I only recommend products and services that I believe in and trust.
1. Downsize your stress and anxiety with less baby stuff
Are you someone who is triggered by an overabundance of stuff? I know I am. Having a crisp, clean, uncluttered space is directly linked to my mental health. There is nothing wrong with that at all! It just means we have to push back against the consumerism culture we live in and be okay with having less.
There is no reason you need to take on the stress of having an overabundance of stuff just because you are having a baby. I can promise your newborn will benefit more from having a stress-free, no anxiety kinda mama than from having ALL THE THINGS.
Again, it goes back to need. Babies do not need most of the crap we peddle these days. Why tax our resources when we have absolutely no reason to? Caring about resources and the planet should not be a secondhand issue when it comes to taking care of your baby. You can love the earth and be the best mom at the same time!
2. Eco-Conscious Mamas love being eco-friendly with a smaller environmental footprint
3. Money-saving mothers will rejoice with a smaller shopping list for baby
Financial goals by choice or necessity can still be achieved even with a new addition to your family. Almost everything you need for a baby can be purchased used, or even borrowed or passed down, even diapers and maternity clothes! (Hopefully, it’s obvious I mean cloth diapers here, anything else would border on the extreme!)
Baby gear only takes up as much space as you allow! Remember you are in control of what you allow in your space and that includes baby stuff!
4. Short on space?
Spoiler Alert: I have 3 kids (and one on the way). Baby number four will not have a crib, changing table, or really any additional furniture in our home. I won’t be buying any special organizers, emptying any cabinets to make space, or even setting up a closet. Why? Because you don’t HAVE to have space for things you don’t actually need!
5. Travel Lovers and Nomadic Families depend on having LESS stuff for baby
Some days I dream of traveling full time! I follow lots of family blogs and Instagrammers who do and I’ve never once seen anyone complain about their family size and how it impedes their lifestyle.
It would be impossible to expand your family if your lifestyle depended on minimizing possessions yet you were convinced that children needed an overabundance of gear.
It is possible to have it all! You just have to prioritize what you really need vs what you don’t need.
If having minimal gear is doable with one it is doable for two, three or any other amount of babies you may be having (God bless you mama!)
6. Having Twins? (or gasp, Triplets?)
Top Tips For Creating a Minimalist Baby Registry
- Buy used when you can (Check buy, sell, trade pages on facebook, resale stores, yardsales etc)
- Reuse items from previous children
- Borrow from friends and relatives ( Most moms I know would love to unload some of their baby stuff on anyone who wants it!)
- Look for items that are multiuse – strollers that convert from infant to toddler, convertable car seats, shopping cart covers that also work as high chair covers and things like that!
- Don’t settle for things you don’t love
- Don’t register for things you aren’t sure you will use
- It’s okay to make stuff if you are handy! Sew your own burp cloths, cloth wipes and swaddle blankets! Make your own baby soap and laundry detergent!
When to Start Your Baby Registry
I think starting your registry in your second trimester is a great idea. Hopefully by then you have a little energy back, your morning sickness is gone and you aren’t completely miserable with a big ol’ belly yet!
It also give you time to tinker with, add and remove items well before the baby arrives. It gives you time to really do research on your big ticket items like car seats and strollers and gives you plenty of time to try things out if you want to.
Where to Create your Baby Registry
There are so many places to create a baby registry these days so feel free to create more then one.
When we had our first child we had just moved to Florida from rural North Carolina. While we had a crazy amount of choices to shop at where we lived, the folks that were shopping for us did not.
It is importatnt to take into account where your friends and family will be shopping and what their own budgets might be.
While you might be a Pottery Barn or Restoration Warehouse kind of shopper, your Aunt Mary might be a Wal-Mart and Target kind of lady. Be considerate. Yes, it is your baby and your taste but if you are asking others to buy things for you, try and make sure you accommodate them as well.
Make sure you put items at all price points as well, try to let everyone celebrate with you no matter their budget.
Best Universal Baby Registries
These registries allow you to combine your lists from multiple stores
Best Baby Registry for a Pandemic
Amazon is great for a ton of reasons but they specifically have an AMAZING Registry program!
- Universal registry
- 270k+ items in the baby store
- Fast shipping
- Free returns for a YEAR
- Huge discounts on baby basics
- Buyers can contribute to a diaper fund account
- Completion discounts
- Freebies for new parents
- Additional perks for being a Prime Member
Do’s and Don’ts When Creating your Minimalist Baby Registry
Let’s talk about what not to put on baby registry
- Don’t try and create a full registry in one day
- Don’t create multiple registries in one day
- Do add everyday items even if they seem silly, like batteries
- Do add personal items (I LOVE buying breastfeeding supplies for new moms so add all the nipple creams because someone like me will buy them for you!)
- Don’t be brand specific on items that your child may not tolerate like lotions, diaper creams and even disposable diapers and wipes. How sad would it be to have 400 boxes of Pampers only to discover that baby can only wear Huggies!
- Don’t register for blankets, bibs or clothes. These are the top items people will buy for you even if it’s not on your registry! The amount of baby blankets you will receive will blow your mind!
- Do check with your hospital to see what they will provide (If you are delivering in a hospital)
Must-Have Baby Items!
I’m going to be super annoying for a moment and speak a little bit of truth. Babies need to eat, be kept warm and have a safe place to sleep. The end.
Anything else a baby needs is purely based on your own lifestyle. You can chose to be as minimalist as you want but remember that the things you buy are not necessary for life.
You can breastfeed your baby for FREE. You can diaper your baby with literal dishtowels and safety pins (some women do this whole “elimination communication” thing and never even put diapers on their babies) and honestly, a crib is a luxury for developed counties. You can even argue depending on where you live your child may never even use a car seat.
This is not a realistic assessment for most of us but I just want you to go into the minimalist mindset before we begin. Do not overburden yourself with stuff just because my list (or any list) says you need it.
Minimalist Baby Sleeping Gear
I want to preface this category with a disclaimer. I have always co-slept with my babies. I have had doctors and medical professionals make me cry by repeatedly telling me I was going to kill my babies, and I have had other doctors and medical professionals tell me it was fine as long as it was done safely.
I am not going to dispute either way which sleeping situation you chose for your child (nor will I respond to any irate sleep safety advocate comments). This again all comes back to personal preference based on your lifestyle and choices.
I will put on this list several sleeping items I have used and found beneficial but again as far as ultimate NEED goes none are necessary.
Portable Sleeping Solutions
Since I got my first Docatot they have changed their tune on what their actual purpose is. It is now considered am infant lounger and not intended for sleep. Make of that what you will.
I love it for the infant stage because it is a wonderful little portable “lounging” space that you can move around your home with you and even take to grandma or even a hotel.
It is quite pricy but I have found so much success with it I had to include it on my list.
- Pack and Play
This is a great option for those that are short on space or need something to travel with. I did use a pack and play with my first two girls who actually slept fairly well in the the little newborn insert.
If you plan on using the pack and play for sleep you will need sheets. Start with two, add more if you find you need them.
- Moses Basket
I’ve not personally used one of these but I believe it goes along the same kind of portability as the Dockatot which makes me love the idea of it.
Permanent Sleeping Solutions
- Convertible Crib
If you do decide to go with an actual crib chose on option that will convert to a toddler bed and then a queen or twin size bed as your child grows.
Research your mattress! See what its made out of! Don’t let your baby breathe in toxins for the 20+ hours a day they spend sleeping on it!
Again I recommend two sheets, and also go with organic cotton when possible!
Wearable Sleep Sacks
Each hospital I have delieverd in has provided with me with a sleep sack. Not all my babies liked them so I wouldn’t buy too many of a single brand before you know what your child likes.
- Swaddle Blankets
Swaddling is not as complicated as you might think. Check out this video for a quick demonstration. I also love swaddle blankets because they are multi use! I use them for everything from a blanket, to a burp cloth and even a quick changing pad. Go for quality over quantity. I recommend 4 to 6 of these if you are using them as multi purpose.
- Baby Monitor
I used the Owlet at the recommendation of a friend with baby number 3. I will be using it again with baby number 4.
Just as a backstory, I have extreme anxiety and PTSD related to my 1st child having cancer. Anything that helps my anxiety when it comes to medical unknowns is like GOLD for me.
I love Owlet because it gives me peace of mind when the baby is sleeping alone OR when the baby is sleeping with me. No stress over one of my other kids messing with the baby without me knowing and no more irrational fears about me killing my baby while co-sleeping.
This is a very pricy device but one, personally, I feel like it worth every penny.
Angelcare is a monitor that your baby lays on and alerts our if anything is amiss. I have not used this personally but have heard great things about this one as well.
Minimal Nursery Items
- Rocking Chair
- Changing Pad
- Changing Pad Covers
Technically you can just throw a towel on your bed, table, the couch and change your baby but I prefer a specified pad for my baby butts!
What to Skip
- Mobiles – wait until you see if you actually need some assistance getting your little one to sleep before you buy these.
- Sound machines – I’ve always thought it makes more sense to “train” your baby to sleep with the background noise of regular life going on.
- Bumper pads – These do absolutely nothing
- Quilts, Blankets, Pillows – We can debate co-sleeping but there should be zero debate on the hazards of putting any possible suffocation hazards in a sleep space with your child.
- Stuffed animals – This is another one of those things people just love to give as gifts.
- An actual nursery – A safe space to sleep is all that is necessary. Your child doesn’t actually need their own room.
I only cloth diapered with baby number three but I absolutely loved it! Once you get the hang of it, it really can be pretty life changing from a minimalist perspective. Here is a pretty comprehensive video on all things cloth diapering if you are interested!
- Cloth Diapers – You must have a good wash routine and there are a few other things you will need like wet bags, and diaper pails so when I say “Cloth Diaper’s” just realize that it includes more than just diapers
- Disposable Diapers
What to Skip
- Changing table
- Wipe warmers – My best friend LOVES wipe warmers, however, her kids don’t love unwarmed wipes when she is out and about!
- Powders – These have been proven to be bad for human health so I can’t understand why they are still sold in baby bundles everywhere!
- Creams – You MAY need these but I wouldn’t get them until you need them for sure
Bare Minimum Nursing Supplies
- Heating Pads
When you milk first comes in and your boobs are horribly full and trying to regulate themselves heating pads are a must!
- Nipple Cream – I’ve used lots of brands over the years and have battled with excessively cracked and bloody nipples with all my kids and my favorite brand for healing is boob-ease!
- Soothies – These are glorious little sticky gels that your stick on and, well, they just soothe
- Nipple Shield – You may not actually ever need one of these BUT having had the need for them in the past I would not want to not have them on hand just in case! These help with poor latch and painful nips.
- Pump – Your insurance should provide this free of charge! Just give them a call!
- Hakka – This is a great little item for helping with an excess of milk or clogged ducts.
- Special Soap – Apparently you should use specific types of soap on pump parts because breastmilk has good bacteria that you don’t want killed by run of the mill soap.
Essentials Only Formula Supplies
- Bottle Brush
As far as formula, I would do research ahead of time and pick a few you might want to use. You never know that you baby will or won’t like so this is another thing I wouldn’t stock up on ahead of time
What to Skip
- Sterilizer – a boiling post of water or a dishwasher will work just fine
- Special Drying Stations – Just one more thing you have to wash!
Minimalist On-The-Go Items
- Car Seat
Check out safety information on car seats at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Babylist has a great guide for the best convertible car seats in 2021.
My personal favorite is the Baby Jogger brand. I have tried lots and lots of strollers and these take the cake! Amazing quality and the smoothest ride in town!
- Baby Wearing
I love baby wearing! I have found that one size fits all kind of carriers just are not realistic however! I love the Moby Wrap for the first few months, a ring sling for the rest of the first year, and I now have three (yes, I know, not very minimalist of me) full body type carriers I rotate depending on our activities. My favorites are Ergo Baby, Boba and LilleBaby.
I used to “brand rep” a lot on Instagram and I was fortunate to partner with this company who made a blanket specifically for car seats and strollers for infants. Basically its just a blanket with a single flat side but the concept is just really fantastic for snuggling your little one in on a cold day! These deserve a place on even the most minimalist of lists!
Must-Have Baby Clothing
The argument for organic and natural fibers.
Hopefully I don’t sound like a crazy lady here but if you are going minimal when it comes to baby you usually have little more wiggle room for quality and price. With that being said I feel like it’s important to talk about why going with organic and natural fibers matters especially for babies who should be protected from any unnecessary toxins and have their extra sensitive skin protected.
- Onesies – babies are messy. They poop, spit-up, and need changing constantly! Cute outfits are pretty pointless for the first few months. Go for convenience!
- PJS – Get ones that zip at the bottom!
What to Skip
- Socks – Footed clothing works better in the newborn stage
- Shoes – Your child won’t need shoes until they are almost a year old!
- Nail Clippers
- Minimalist baby tub
There are a few option here. A basic $20 tub is my favorite, but if you are super short on space you can get a little blow up tub that sits in your kitchen sink. Or even just stick them in a dollar store basket….
- Baby Soap – My favorites are Burt’s Bees, Cetaphil and Honest.
What to Skip
- Brush – your baby may not have any hair!
- Lotion – baby doesn’t actually need lotion as a newborn
- Special baby towels or wash cloths
- Baby Laundry Detergent – just switch to a clean and clear formula, you don’t actually need anything special just for baby
Healthy Baby Essentials
- Nasal Aspirator (My hospital always supplied these BUT they were always WAY too big for my babies nose)
- Thermometer (Always supplied by the hospital)
What to Skip
- Do not stock up on baby meds, you may never need any and if you do you’ll probably need to consult with a doctor on what is best to take anyways
Minimal Entertainment Essentials
- Vibrating Lounger – Perfect for lounging or sleeping. It’s very compact and can be moved around with ease!
- Boppy Pillow
I know not everyone agrees but I honestly don’t know how people function without a Boppy! I use mine ALL the time with a newborn! I use it for nursing, to help others hold baby comfortably, as a little nest for baby to rest in, and it’s great for tummy time!
I’ve tried several brands but Boppy is my go-to!
Make sure you have at least one extra cover!
- Swing – I have a little brand loyalty to Fisher-Price because they have outstanding customer service and their products last FOREVER!
What to Skip
- Anything over the newborn stage, why take up room in your house until you need to?
- Mamaroo (These barely move! I don’t understand why people act like these are such a wonderful invention)
- Bumbo (I don’t understand these either! Don’t force your baby to sit up until they are physically able to!)
- Toys – My kids’ favorite things to play with were empty water bottles and keys. I did team up with a company called Kleynimals with baby number 3 and they create an adorable set of stainless steel baby keys I do really love. It is my go-to baby gift for new moms, but it’s not a total “must-have”
Minimalist Stuff For Mom
Everyone seems to just throw mom on the backburner after the baby is born but there are still so many things that mom needs during her postpartum journey!
- Postpartum Clothing – I’ve been using StitchFix for my maternity clothes and I am obsessed! So nice to have someone else do the shopping for me and to be able to try on in my own home! I plan to keep on using them for my postpartum clothing too! Use THIS LINK and you can get $25 off your first Fix!
- A Robe – Seriously, sometimes people just come over unannounced and it’s so nice to be able to throw on a robe and not worry about having to full on get dressed!
What Will The Hospital Provide?
The hospital actually provides a ton of stuff you will need in the first few weeks to months so check ahead of time before buying.
- Brush and Comb
- Baby Sleep Sack
- Baby Blankets
- Measuring Tape
- Bowel Movement and Feeding Journal
- Nasal Aspirator
- Hats and Onesies
- Diapers and Wipes
- Formula Samples
- Samples of diaper creams, lotions and soap
Mom will also get lots of her own postpartum supplies so make sure you ask for extras before you leave!
- Mesh underwear – the amazingness of these should never be questioned
- Peri bottle
- Antiseptic Spray
- Nipple cream
- All the coupons and advertisements for random stuff you could ever dream of!
Sanity Saving Services to Consider
- Instacart will deliver groceries to your door! You even get to chat with our personal shopper so you can get all the green bananas your heart desires
- Doordash delivers meals from probably every restaurant in your surrounding area. Mine even delivers from Gas Stations now!
- Merry Maids or similar cleaning services are wonderful in those first few weeks! Or use our Hour a Day Cleaning Schedule for a Do-It-Yourself option that takes minimal effort!
- Amazon for everything!
- Target pickup for everything else!
- Check into cloth diapering services in your area if you don’t want to invest in your own stash or don’t want to deal with laundering.
Minimalist Baby Essentials Checklist
I hope this guide has given you the inspiration you can use when creating your own minimalist baby registry. Remember that you are in control of your life and you are going to be responsible for this new little life as well. Mom will always know best and if you believe less will be more in your situation don’t feel guilty for even a moment.
Happy Pregnancy Mama!
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