Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Minimalists Bare Basics for a baby.

I am working on a slow process of minimizing our house. With 6 people thrashing around the house, I find that we have little room to move and stay organized with the amount of "things" we "need" to have.

I have had 4 babies. And I know how tempting it is to get all kinds of gear for your baby, and I have succumbed to the hype more than I like to admit. If I could do it right the first time around this is what I would limit it to.
We started fresh with baby #4. I wanted to keep it simple, but quickly found that I want a bit out of my plan. 
I should have wrote myself this outline prior to getting ready for baby.
So instead, I am writing up an outline, for those who want to start simple and get the rest as they need.

If I could do it all over again these are my essential bare basics that I would need to get through the first several weeks/months.

1. Clothes: 
You will need a variety of bodysuits/gowns/footed playsuits, caps, mittens, booties or socks to keep little feet warm. We ended up not using baby mittens, as our bodysuits and gowns had fold over cuffs.

2. A safe place to lay baby down; 
a crib, playpen, even a box or laundry basket with a fitted mat placed inside. 
Some people opt for a bouncer or reclined seat to keep baby safe while in the living areas (I eventually got an infant seat that transitioned into a toddler rocking chair. I prefer to buy items that will be used for long periods of time, rather than a few months)

3. Something to take baby with you. 
A stroller, baby carrier and/or a car seat. Depending on your living and traveling situations you may only need 1 or 2 of these things.
I did use all 3, but that was my preference. Living in a rural area, a car seat is a must, I used a carrier and stroller for walks and when shopping.

4. 5 or so large baby blankets blankets to swaddle. 
I liked the 42" square gauze style. The Smaller receiving blankets were outgrown quickly. Get the larger size for longer life. My son still snuggles them at 20 months.

5. A pillow for breastfeeding is helpful at first, but does it really need to be a special nursing pillow? No!

6. Feeding a newborn. 
breast fed and stayed home to no bottles or pumping was necessary. 
You may need formula and bottles if you are not breastfeeding. 
You will need a  pump if you breastfeed and plan to go back to work.

7. Baby essentials:
Diapers and wipes (whether cloth or store bought), a diaper cream (my babies tend to rash, no matter how often or quickly I changed them)
Believe me you will need to change the baby a lot! 
i also likes to have a gentle baby wash, baby thermometer, baby nail clippers (some moms bite the nails off, but I can not bite nails, if gives me the willies) and aspirator on hand. 
But really less is more.

8. Diaper bag.
You can get away with a standard tote, if you are not picky,
My nemesis...Diaper bags will be the death of me. They are my biggest weakness. I have an obsession with finding the perfectly functioning bag. I go through several withe every baby. 
i had a great one with number 2 & 3. Huge, but it needed to be with 2 in diapers, it had loads of pockets. I was able to stay Very organized. I got rid of it, thinking we were done. Unfortunately, it is no longer made. :(

9. The rest. 
Most of your needs can be found around the house!
Standard washcloths or hand towels work for bathing, burping, washing gums and teeth, your standard towels will be fine for baby as well. Lay a hand towel in your sink or tub with a little water for a bathing mat.
A comfortable chair to nurse or rock in is nice. I use an old rocking recliner, the steak and creak seem to soothe baby to sleep on fussy nights.
Pillows for proving baby up when learning to sit up.

There is definitely a lot out there that I find ridiculous, such as wipe warmers. If wipes are cold, ball them up in your hand for a few seconds, it does the trick.

Remember: You can always get some thing as you feel you need it. Walkers, highchairs...

My must have, when coming home from the hospital.
1. Infant carseat.
2. Newborn clothing essentials. Also prepare for seasonal needs.
3. Large gauze receiving blankets.
4. Diaper bag or tote.
5. Baby bed/place to sleep.
6. Diapering essentials. Diapers & wipes.
7. Aspirator, nails clippers.
8. Stroller. I have a travel system/larger stroller. After 18m I switched to a mountain buggy nano for compact storage. 4 kids in the car, limits space for a large stroller.
9. Carrier. I liked the baby ktan.

What I got later on. Get second hand to save money.
1. Highchair. I opted for a clamp on seat for our table.
2. Infant to toddler seat. Found a deal on a brand new one & paid $10 with using reward dollars.
3. Walker. We got a good deal basic walker for around $25, the. Later sold it for $20
4. Push walking toy for assistance when learning to walk on their own. We got a push wagon, as it grows with baby for playing. Splurged on this, using the $20 from the walker and then some. But we have been using it for last 8 months and still going strong with daily use.

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