Baby Necessities {A Little Bit of Minimalism, A Little Bit of Fun}

Notes from the Newborn Daze at lifeyourway.net

While I was on maternity leave, I made lists of the things I wanted to share with you about life with a newborn, and I’m excited to do that now through this series: Notes from the Newborn Daze. Because I know not all of our readers are at this stage or interested in reading baby tips, I’ll be sharing those just once a week over the next couple of months, with plenty of tips, stories and encouragement for other stages in between.

Baby Necessities

It’s funny, but having our 5th baby four years after our last baby was a lot like having our 1st!

Even though he was our first boy, which definitely made it more exciting, there are also so many new baby products on the market this time around. Not just gimicky things like baby wipe warmers but things like the Aden + Anais muslin blankets, which I wish I would have known about with my girls.

I’ve been asked by several friends to share my baby necessities list now that we’re out of the newborn stage, so I thought I’d share it here too. We are definitely minimalists in this area compared to when our older girls were babies, in part because our house is small and we already have so many people in our family. But we’re not minimalists just for the sake of having less stuff, and we buy extras of some things (like burpy bibs) to be sure we have enough so that we’re not having to do laundry every day!

That said, here’s my necessities list:

  • Bed (crib, co sleeper or rock and play)
    Even if Jackson was sleeping in our bed at night, I’d want some place for him to sleep during daytime naps. He’s outgrowing the rock and play, so soon we’ll be transitioning him to the crib that my dad handmade for our oldest daughter!
  • Seat (bouncy seat, Bumbo or swing)
    Similarly, we’ve found that having a place where he can sit and take in the world is helpful when I want to jump in the shower, cook dinner, etc. We’ve opted for the bouncy seat as his throne this time around because it’s comfortable and easy to move around.
  • Toys (execauser, mirror, mobile)
    We’re not big on baby toys, but Jackson has loved his mirror and mobile from the start. These days, he hangs out in his exercauser a couple of times a day, and we’ve found that laying him underneath the exercauser is just as exciting for him as any activity gym!
  • Eating (high chair or booster)
    Our girls have always used booster seats that strap onto a chair as babies and toddlers, but our picnic table is starting to feel small with all of us around it, so we’re excited to have a real high chair this time around.
  • Clothes (7-10 onesies, 6-8 sleepers, 6-8 outfits, 2 sleep sacks, 10 socks)
    Even though I try to be fairly minimalist in the clothing department, I still end up with too many clothes in each size because they’re just so cute! But I’ve found that he doesn’t really need a ton of clothes and we end up putting him in our favorites most of the time anyway.
  • Burp cloths (burpy bibs or old-fashioned diapers)
    I really love the Aden + Anais burpy bibs, which can be used as a burp cloth in the early months and then big full-coverage bibs for table food. We also have a few old-fashioned diapers that I use as changing pads, especially when he’s had an explosive diaper!
  • Swaddling blankets (cotton for swaddling, bamboo for nursing)
    The Aden & Anais swaddling blankets are my absolute favorite baby find this time around, and they get more cozy the more I wash them. I also have a pack of bamboo swaddling blankets that my mom got us. Those aren’t as great for swaddling because they don’t have the same stretch and I find he can “escape” more easily, but they have a cool feel to them which makes them perfect as nursing covers.
  • 4-6 teething bibs
    Holy drool, batman! Jackson drools buckets all day every day, so we keep a small teething bib on him almost all of the time, and we easily go through 2-3 a day.
  • 2-3 blankets
    When our oldest was born we received so many blankets as gifts. Enough blankets, in fact, that I could match her blanket to her outfit and we could go many many days without using a blanket more than once. This time around, we only have 4 blankets, in different weights, and I’ve found that that was plenty, even in the winter.
  • Slings (ring sling, Boba Wrap, Boba Carrier)
    I’ve always had slings and baby carriers, but this time I’ve been very intentional about using them often, and I don’t know where I’d be without the Boba Wrap and Boba Carrier. I love them so much that I signed up to be a Boba Ambassador, but the truth is I tell everybody I know about both of these anyway. I also have a handmade ring sling, which I used more in the beginning than I do now.
  • Car seat (infant or convertible)
    A car seat is probably obvious, but what may be less obvious is that you don’t actually need an infant car seat. We were fortunate to get a Britax car seat to review this time around, and it was handy to be able to carry Jackson to and from the house in his carseat during the coldest winter in a long time, but I’m anxious to switch him to a convertible seat because we rarely use his car seat as a carrier (they’re so dang heavy, and I’d rather cuddle him in a sling anyway!).
  • Gas drops
    Because they’re a fairly benign “medicine”, we keep gas drops on hand all the time. We’ve found that not only do they help him clear the bubbles that get trapped in his tummy, but when he’s having a hard time for any reason, the taste of the gas drops is often enough to snap him out of it, at least temporarily.

Questionable:

I know many people also use the following items, but we’ve found them to be unnecesary:

  • Nursing pillow
  • Monitor
  • Baby towels & washcloths
  • Activity gyms
  • Stroller (we did use a stroller during The Color Run)
  • Breast pump & bottles

What’s on your baby necessities list?

Mandi Ehman is the blogger behind Life Your Way. She and her husband have four beautiful girls plus one baby boy, and together they live, work and homeschool on a little slice of heaven in wild, wonderful West Virginia. Mandi loves coffee, chocolate, easy meals, beautiful things and minimalist spaces.
  • Crystal

    I’m so thankful for this series. We are expecting baby # 2 after many, many years. In fact our daughter just turned 18! Man have baby items changed since the mid-1990′s. It definitely feels like it did when we had her.

    • http://lifeyourway.net/ Mandi @ Life Your Way

      Oh, wow, Crystal — how exciting! I know how much things have changed since our oldest was a baby, so I can only imagine the difference after 18 years!

  • lemonfluff

    I look at some of the ridiculous things out there that didn’t exist when I was a baby, i.e. wipe warmers, bathing pods (they look like buckets you sit your baby in to bathe–why not use a bucket???). They make it seem like my mom threw me to the wolves by today’s standard of what you “need” for your baby.

    • http://lifeyourway.net/ Mandi @ Life Your Way

      Hehe — and somehow we survived! :)

  • Katie Engebretsen

    Gas Drops. Amen.

    • http://lifeyourway.net/ Mandi @ Life Your Way

      Right?!

  • Tiffany

    We have a 5 month old and I exclusively nurse and stay at home and I could NOT live without a breast pump!!!! I use it often as I produce LOTS of milk (and then donate it to a local milk bank for premie babies!)

    • http://lifeyourway.net/ Mandi @ Life Your Way

      That’s great that you donate your excess milk! I put it on the questionable list just because I’ve never used one and I don’t necessarily recommend buying one ahead of time unless you know you’ll be going back to work or will need/want to pump since it can be a pretty big expense. :)