5 minimalist tips for baby essentials
When you are expanding your family, you are also expanding the stuff in your home. A baby needs special care and specific baby essentials and all the lists with baby essentials combined with the well known ‘nesting urge’ tends to result in a babyroom full of stuff that you don’t even really need. At least, that is my personal experience. All those ‘baby essentials’ lists are designed to make you insecure and buy more than you actually need and although some items are really useful, most of them you can do without. Today I will share some minimalist tips on baby essentials. Which items are actually handy to have at home and which items can you do without?
Baby clothes deserve to be the absolute number one when it comes to something we can stock up less on. I speak from personal experience: especially with my firstborn I couldn’t stop buying cute clothes that I absolutely needed (yes, I really mean me, not the baby). I just kept buying new sweaters, rompers and socks, regardless of whether he actually needed it. After just a few months I noticed that he didn’t wear half of what we bought him, and since he was growing so fast he outgrew most of the items within a month or two. We also had a preference for the ‘easy to remove’ clothes, since ‘accidents’ happen on a daily basis with babies. And we had to change outfits several times a day because of all the stains and general wetness. In the end, convience turned out to be the most important thing with baby clothes, not how cute that specific pattern or those ruffles are. Most baby outfits aren’t even that easy to put on or take off (who even though of putting buttons on the back of a baby outfit?!) or comfortable for the baby. So, when you go shopping for the little one, just make sure to keep convenience, for yourself and the baby, as the highest priority and don’t invest too much in clothes for those first few months. They grow out of it so fast. If you do like to play dress up, just ask everyone that comes to visit to gift clothing instead of toys or stuffed animals. And have you ever considered secondhand babyclothes? Just ask your family and friends for it, or shop at a local secondhand store or the internet. There is so much quality stuff that you can buy for just a fraction of the original price. And especially since most parents make the mistake of buying too much, there are whole packages that are sold with clothes that have hardly been worn at all. Help another parent out and shop secondhand.
This biggest and most expensive waste of money with our firstborn was, without a doubt, the nursery furniture. We bought a whole set, consisting of a crib, a dresser and a wardrobe, because we thought it would look good to make it all match. It was incredibly expensive and turned out to be completely unnecessary. That cute wardrobe was too large for our taste, it wasn’t practical at all storage-wise, the drawers are too deep to be functional and the dresser had those little shelves at the sides that didn’t actually fit any of our stuff. Sure, we still use it, but, looking back, we had much rather bought some furniture that was more practical for storage and actually could be used after the baby turned into a toddler. Don’t be seduced into buying one of those unpractical sets, just choose a crib that is safe and buy a wardrobe and dresser that are practical in use and will look good in the room of an older child. You can also look for furniture secondhand to save even more money. The baby won’t notice or care.
#3 Care Products
I don’t care what they tell you on all those ‘baby essentials’ lists that go around: you really don’t need a whole shelf full of baby care products. Again, I made this mistake myself with the firstborn. I atleast wanted a shampoo, soap, baby oil and hair lotion. So I bought a whole set of one of the most popular brands for babies. Little did I know that when it comes to skincare for babies, less is actually more. I only used the soap and all the other products were given away eventually or used by me. A baby is so soft and the skin us so delicate that you really don’t want to use too much products on a baby. Besides the occasional explosive diapers, they don’t really get all that dirty. Actually, washing babies too often and using too much soap can cause eczema and other skin problems. Just save yourself a lot of trouble and money and simply buy soap and cream and let that be it. Make sure to choose those products from a natural brand that you trust and that doesn’t use all sorts of scary ingredients that you don’t want on your baby’s skin.
Well I don’t know about your kids, but mine weren’t all that active when they were newborns. They could hardly keep their eyes open and when they were just a few months old, their hands turned out the be the main attraction in the crib, not those stuffend animals and toys that we so carefully selected. And when they eventually reach that phase that they get interested in their surroundings and in grabbing things, they usually go for the basics: daddy’s nose, mommy’s hair, the socks and a spoon. After these interests lessen, you can usually entertain them for hours by giving them cups with lids, spoons and other (safe!) kitchenware. From the age of 1 they get more interested in toys and that is the time that you can start to invest in educational toys. Just skip all those rattles, stuffed animals, baby gyms and other crib toys or limit this to the gifts that you will most definitely get from people that come to your baby shower. When you do want to buy some toys, just make sure you buy something that is sustainable and safe for babies.
#5 Bottle Warmer
I am sure there are some people that will disagree with me, but the bottle warmer that we bought for our little ones turned out to be unnecessary. Sure, we used it with our first to heat up the bottles, but it was so incredibly slow that it was borderline torture waiting for it to be at the right temperature with a crying baby in the room. We were sure not to make that mistake with our second one, so we started making bottles by mixing in boiled water with cold water from the tap. The tapwater here is safe to drink, so that was no issue. The bottles were made much faster this way and we didn’t have to use that bottle warmer once. Now, I am sure that there are bottle warmers on the market that are much faster and better than the one that we had, although we did invest in getting one from a good brand, but I can strongly advice you to just leave it and use a combination of hot and cold water to make the bottles. Don’t use the microwave though.
More minimalist tips for decluttering your house:
- 5 minimalist tips for decluttering the bathroom
- 5 minimalist tips for decluttering the fridge
- 5 minimalist tips for your wardrobe