Minimalist Baby Essentials – what you really need
New mum? First baby? Feeling overwhelmed with everything baby related out there? Been there, done that. In this post, I am going to share a minimalist baby essentials checklist or, in other words, what you really need for your newborn.
We all know that a tiny little baby doesn’t need a lot of stuff, but because we are women and like shopping, especially if it’s the first pregnancy, most of us tend to overdo it. But, when you’re on a budget and/or don’t have the possibility to buy the entire store, it would be more than convenient to know the basics and what you really need for your new baby.
From the beginning I wanted to shop smart and not overspend on baby stuff, well at least I tried to… But because I am who I am and love shopping I went a bit over budget.
Believe it or not, things were purchased and not used as often or at all. That’s why I wanted to share my version of minimalist baby essentials. This will cover essentials for newborn and up to 3 months, so let’s dive in!
If you are on the go and don’t have time to read all this, scroll down to the end to view my essentials at a glance – you can also pin it or save it to your device.
Let’s start with the nursery, shall we? To be more specific, here is where I’ll mention the things you might get for your baby’s nursery room.
We didn’t arrange to have a nursery for our baby, mainly because we were moving at the time and figured that he’ll be sleeping with us for the first 6 months anyway, so in my opinion, I found it pointless to start decorating or even think about a nursery at that stage.
I’m perfectly aware that many mums to be out there are preparing their baby’s room months before they’re even born. There’s a whole trend developing around this, and maybe I would have liked to prepare one as well, but we just didn’t have much of a choice given that we were moving.
You’ll need a cot, mattress, sheets, and liners. This is the one we’re using. One of the many reasons we chose this cot is because we could connect it to our own bed, and if I am completely honest with you, we are barely using the cot because our little one doesn’t sleep in it during the night. We use it as a protection, so that baby wouldn’t fall out or for his mobile., which by the way, he adores.
Changing mat or if you have the budget you can go for an entire changing station/unit. Again, if you are really on a tight budget, this one’s totally optional in my case because you could change your baby’s nappy or clothes literally anywhere. Because of the reasons stated at the beginning, we have decided to go for a changing mat. It’s way more affordable, plus you can put it on any table you want, or move it around your house. We have just a plain white one, similar to this one here.
As far as clothes go, I would say to focus on vests, sleepsuits, hats, socks, some warm clothes and maybe a jacket or some kind of outwear for going out. You won’t be needing anything else really. But who can avoid buying more clothes than your baby needs when there are so many cute clothes everywhere. I have to recognize that I went a little overboard with his clothes, but I simply couldn’t resist, they are too cute!
Next up, you’re going to need blankets, swaddle blankets and muslin/burp cloths. You can use these while in the hospital or home, for your pram, for whatever you want really. These are extremely useful and believe it or not, you never have enough. We have these ones, but you can always find really cheap ones online as well.
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If you have decided to exclusively breastfeed your baby, you don’t really need much from this category. I’d take that back, actually 🙂 some women decide to both breastfeed and bottle feed their baby with expressed breast milk. In this case, you would need a pump, baby bottles, milk storage bags and maybe a dribble bib (not necessarily). In terms of breast pumps, I’ve used an electric one of which I was very happy.
If you have decided to exclusively bottle feed your baby, besides baby bottles, you will need the baby formula milk of your choice.
These are more for you, a total must-have in my opinion, are breast pads. They are a godsend and will be extremely helpful especially in those first 3 months until the milk will start to adjust.
The most important thing in this category it’s a baby thermometer. Fever can be extremely dangerous for babies, so you have to have a way to monitor it at all times. The market has quite a variety of them, and I recommend finding the one that is the best for you and your baby. We have 2 digital ones, one that can be used in the armpit area or rectally and one that can be used in his ear. We never used the thermometer in the rectal area. Personally, I prefer using the last one, that goes into baby’s ear.
In order to clean baby’s nose, eyes and ears (on the outside of course) I recommend using the physiological serum which I believe is just simple sterile water. You can buy them online and they will last you forever. It’s very gentle, doesn’t irritate and if it goes into baby’s eyes it won’t hurt him. You can also use saline drops, but you have to be very careful with it as it can dry out baby’s nose.
Next up, you’ll need some kind of nasal pump or aspirator. I had one of those regular hand pumps and didn’t like it at all. My baby was always crying and it wasn’t efficient at all. That’s when we decided to switch to an electric one, we use this one here. Since day one of using it, it was a total game changer: baby loved it, no crying and he even had a clean nose.
In case you didn’t know, babies nails grow very fast, so you are going to need baby scissors or nail clippers, whatever you prefer. It’s important to avoid scratching themselves, especially in those first weeks. We have this baby care kit.
Not sure if this next product will be essential for most of you, but for me, it was for sure. After a month or so, my son has developed a cradle cap. This amazing cream has helped to get rid of it. I would highly recommend it if your baby has cradle cap, I know that not all babies have it.
First, I’d like to share a short story with you. Before my baby was born, I bought a lot of baby toiletries such as shampoo, shower gel, baby cream and so on. I was silly enough to think that he would actually need all these. When he was ready for his first bath, of course, I have started using them. Big mistake!
The next day, my baby’s sensitive skin has reacted to all this abundance of products. He has developed some sort of a rash. I stopped using them and the only thing I used to wash his skin was baby soap.
Moral of my story: please be very careful of what products you are using on your baby’s skin! Babies are so delicate and gentle, they don’t need all these chemicals on their bodies. Even though the products are specially designed for babies, you will be surprised how harsh ingredients they all have.
Anyway, back to the baby essentials now.
You will most certainly need a towel and a baby bathtub or whatever else you prefer. You can even use your kitchen’s sink if it’s big enough. We ended up buying this one. At that particular point in time, I thought it was brilliant and love the fact that it will grow with my baby. Months later I have totally changed my mind. My little one is too active during bath times and he will most likely fell out of the bath if I were to be using this tub.
Now products wise, for bathing I am using just regular baby soap. It’s really good, washes really well, efficient and cheap, which is always a bonus, isn’t it?
This is pretty self-explanatory, but I had to include this category.
You’ll need nappies, cream or coconut oil and some sort of wipes. The last, can get a bit expensive, so if you are on a very tight budget, you can always use a soft cloth or cotton pads with warm water. That’s what I have used in the hospital for my baby when I ran out of wipes. Good thing that I’ve packed them. If you are interested in seeing what else I’ve packed for the hospital, I have a post on it. You can see it here and here.
You might already know this, but I’ll say it anyway just to be safe: you are going to need a car seat. 😀 In some countries, you cannot leave the hospital with your baby unless you have a car seat. That is so weird, what if you don’t own a car?!
Another baby essential for us was a buggy. It really depends on how you would like to carry your baby around. In case you were wondering, we have a 3 in 1 travel system.
Not necessarily a baby essential, but I loved it – babywearing. If this is something that interests you, I have this baby carrier. Please ensure that you use an ergonomic baby carrier. This is very important for their health. I loved the idea of having him close to me. I also knew that it was the safest place for him, but because of my back problems, I simply couldn’t wear him as much as I wanted to.
Other baby essentials
Another must-have is some kind of baby detergent to wash your baby’s clothes with. I don’t know how it’s in your world, but in mine, you shouldn’t wash your baby’s clothes with your own, especially in those first 6 weeks. Maybe this is just another old wive’s tale, but I followed that unwritten rule 🙂 We’ve used mostly baby soap to wash his clothes, in the beginning, but after a while (when he actually had laundry) we’ve used this natural baby laundry liquid for the washing machine.
I really hope I haven’t forgotten anything. I hope you’ve found it helpful.
Please leave down in the comment what your newborn baby essentials are.
Until next time, take care & stay beautiful!