Babies and minimalism: the newborn essentials list
Forget the wipe warmers, feeding pillows, scented nappy bags, sterilisers, moses baskets and all the other baby paraphernalia. If you are a minimalist here is my list of twelve newborn essentials.
- a really good sling: my son was born in autumn and loved snuggling into the Sleepy Wrap;
- large swaddle cloths: get some that are large and have a bit of give in them like the Aden & Anais muslins which were great;
- a baby capsule, if you have a car: in Australia you can hire these through your local council;
- a cot: we bought one that converts into a toddler bed and will last him until he’s 4, if you are co-sleeping then your list is a bit shorter;
- a baby bath: we lashed out and bought a little plastic Ikea baby bath, although a sink will do nicely or, even better, jump in the bath with them;
- clothes: for the first 5 months of my son’s life he lived in little all-in-one Wondersuits by Bonds (with a singlet beneath); if he’d been born in the summer then I would have used little cotton ones instead (I also bought him one little outfit, but that was more for me than him);
- a hat or beanie: make it yourself or you can get some really sweet ones on Etsy;
- wipes or washable cloths for wiping dirty bottoms: if you are using wipes use non-scented, alcohol-free ones, such as Clearly Herbal Wipes (they are more expensive, but seem worth it as my son has only once or twice experienced nappy rash);
- barrier cream for the occasions when nappy rash appears, Bepanthen Ointment cleared up any rash in 24 hrs;
- a change mat: we used to change Jasper on the floor, on the bed, on the sofa, and out and about; ours was the Tushy Baby Change Mat by Built NY who don’t make them anymore, which is a shame, as ours had a little pouch to store a wipes and nappy or two, I would just fling into into my handbag and hey presto you have a nappy bag; and
- a little blanket: you don’t need a huge one as it will engulf them; if you have a Granny who likes knitting set her to it, I didn’t so I bought a Lambykins merino wool blanket, which my son still loves cuddling into.
Is that all? Yes, pretty much. You can argue that there is a lot missing like infant nail clippers, burp cloths, nappy bags, change tables, mittens, baby bath oil, rattles, soft toys and the list goes on, but we really didn’t need or use them. I found I could improvise using things I already owned. Of course, if you are giving your baby formula then there is a whole lot more stuff you need. So not only is breast feeding best for the baby’s health and yours, but is also ideal for us minimalists.
What about a pram you might ask? We didn’t use ours until Jasper was 10 months old. Since then it is the single MOST used item we own.
What is on your newborn essentials list?