At 8 months pregnant now, some serious nesting urges have kicked in (as in I may or may not have stayed up until 3 am last night looking at check lists and doing baby laundry… I’ll never tell, and you can’t make me!). I’ve been going through shower gifts and getting things sorted and put away like crazy, and have found myself grateful for the fact that even though what I have is a bit overwhelming, it’s not really that much stuff.
See, I decided a few months ago, back when I was figuring out what to register for, that babies don’t really need THAT much stuff. I mean, they just eat, sleep and poop, right? And I was developing hives at the sight of all the possible plastic baby stuff that manufacturers were telling me I “needed” to bring into my house. (Both the expense and the plastic stuff, did I mention I’m not a huge fan of plastic stuff?).
Here’s where we’ve landed on the baby “stuff.”
- Some clothes, a minimum of 4-8 onesies, 4-5 pair of pants to pull over said onesies, 4-5 jackets or something to wear on top, especially if your baby’s coming in the winter time, and 4-5 pair of socks and mittens.
- Swaddling blankets (see Happiest Baby on the Block DVD): 4-5 or sleepers. We’re planning to swaddle for about 3 months, then do the sleepers.
- Food. But fortunately, I’m equipped to handle that need 😉 (Awesome book on breast-feeding, Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers, I loved it!), added to that, I got a manual breast pump and am using BPA-free hand-me-down bottles from my sis-in-law so Husband can feed baby too.
- Receiving blankets: 3-4 for warmth to cover a stroller or carrier
- A carrier. We’re doing the Moby Wrap for the first few months exclusively, and then may use an Ergo when he gets bigger, tho the wrap is good up to about 30 pounds, so close to a year.
- A car seat. We lucked out with a two-year-old Graco Car Seat as a hand-me-down. Awesome friends!
- A place to sleep. We got a Arm’s Reach Mini Co-Sleeper Bassinet.
- Diapers. We’re going cloth, and after much research have settled on the Thirsties Duo Wraps and a combination of prefolds and the Thirsties Duo Inserts.
- Wipes. I’m making them. I had a stack of hand-me-down flannel receiving blankets, and I received a bunch more that were more my colors at my shower. So I’m cutting up the hand-me-downs into 7 inch squares and will be top-stitching them together (two squares per wipe) to make reusable wipes (I’ll post on this later so you can see them!).
- A diaper/wipes pail. Since we’re doing cloth, I’m getting 2 5-gallon paint buckets from the hardware store with lids to make decent sized wet pails. If we decide we don’t like the wet pail route, I’ll buy some Bummi’s Waterproof tote bags to use as pail liners and go from there.
- A place to set him down downstairs where he can see us and sleep. We’re getting this great baby seat by Baby Bjorn that moves with the baby’s movement. But you don’t even have to have this, you could get a Moses basket or something else that fits your lifestyle to set baby into sleep with you if baby’s room isn’t convenient.
- A baby monitor. This is one modern, plastic invention that I’m a big fan of
- Safety stuff: as in outlet guards, cabinet locks, gates etc, but you don’t even have to do this before they’re born as they’re not going to get into stuff right away.
I honestly think everything beyond this is a matter of convenience or preference, and while neither of those is bad, I think this shortened list is much easier on the budget, and is much simpler. Plus, your house doesn’t get overwhelmed with plastic baby stuff!
Now, here’s a few more things I want to add as he gets older:
- A stroller
- A high chair/booster chair
- A futon mattress for his room (we’re doing a Montessori child bed when he gets bigger)
- A low bookshelf or bench like this one.
- A dresser
- Some shelves for his room
His room is nearly done being painted and somewhat decorated, but there’s still nothing it in. But you know what, that’s okay, cause he’s not going to sleep in there yet, and he doesn’t need everything in there ready the minute he comes out.
I filtered and filtered recommendations to get through this list, wondering if I was already a “bad” mother somehow as I created registries and the stores gave me lists of seemingly hundreds of items I “needed” to try to get for baby. And you know what, I think he’ll have plenty. Parents through history have so few of these things when raising their kids and yet somehow these kids turned out just fine. Looking at that, even my self-proclaimed minimalist list seems like so much overkill compared to what some people didn’t use to have and still managed to raise their babies (somehow there are 6 billion people in the world, folks!).
So I’ve taken a deep breath and since we’ve got pretty much everything on the initial list, I think we’re pretty well set in the stuff department (and I might add that thanks to the generosity of family and friends we’ve got more like 25 onesies). Now, admittedly, we haven’t had him yet, so I may find that there are things on this list that I didn’t actually need, or that there are some things that are dang convenient that I didn’t think of now. However, I’ve talked and read a bunch of different folks that said they didn’t need as much as they thought they did, and their minimal lists look a lot like the one above.
My two cents.