When you’re planning on receiving a baby, there’s a never-ending list of things advertised as a “must-have,” but is it all necessary?
The truth is that a lot of those things are designed to make your life easier, but some of them you can live without and are not essential.
However, there are various things intended to keep your baby safe and secure and your life as a parent more comfortable. These are dubbed minimalist newborn essentials.
Remember that taking care of a baby requires a budget, and for those who need to watch their wallets closely, it’s better to focus on what’s really important.
So let’s dive into exactly what minimalist newborn necessities mean.
Minimalist newborn essentials
When talking about minimalist baby essentials, we refer to those items that cannot be substituted by other ones and provide the basis for at least the most basic care practices.
These include clothing, feeding, transportation, sleeping, hygiene, and playing.
Baby onesies are one of those baby staples you can’t just live without. They are comfortable and practical because they offer the necessary coverage and stay in place no matter how much the baby moves around.
They’re a fan favorite on the minimalist baby registry checklist because they can be as simple as the plain white onesie or have adorable patterns that show more style and another level of cuteness. This is another baby item you’ll want to stock up on.
Usually confused with onesies, sleepers offer full coverage, sometimes even covering the baby’s feet, and instead of having buttons on the crotch area, they have a zipper or snap buttons on the front.
They are designed to offer more warmth to the baby, and that’s why they’re usually only used to sleep, although they can also be used during the day.
Socks and hats
No one wants their baby to get sick, so during those first few months, you’ll want to cover your baby’s feet to keep them warm and prevent them from catching a cold.
Feet are very sensitive to temperature, and since babies can’t regulate their body’s temperature too well at first, it’s best to cover their feet and keep them warm. The same principle applies to newborn hats. Keeping their heads covered helps them to remain comfortable and toasty.
Also, you can use socks as mittens to cover the baby’s hands and prevent them from scratching their faces.
Onesies usually don’t have legs, so if the temperature feels too cool for your baby, you can put some pants on top of the onesie to cover their legs.
You won’t be needing as many pants as onesies because unless there’s a blowout or diaper leak, the pants won’t get as dirty as the onesie, but it’s a good idea to have some pairs as your baby essentials.
Transportation baby items
Not only is the infant car seat required by law when transporting a baby in a vehicle, but they also offer a secure and practical way to carry your baby in a car.
Car seats prevent your small child from seriously injuring themselves during a car accident, so it’s essential to have one, and it’s vital to follow the guidelines of the correct car seat according to your baby’s stage and size.
Stroller or baby carrier
As your baby grows, you will notice that carrying them may get uncomfortable and tiresome, so you will want to help yourself by using a stroller or a baby carrier.
A stroller can be handy as taking a leisure walk around a park can calm down your little one, and fresh air is always good for mom and baby alike.
A carrier allows you to walk around with your baby held close to your body but in a way that distributes the weight and makes it more comfortable. You can even do chores and work with your baby in a carrier if you need to, as both your hands are free.
Breastfeeding moms sometimes need to rely on a pump to either relieve themselves from over-production or build up a stock of breast milk to use when they’re not able to breastfeed directly.
The pump also helps in boosting milk production if needed, so it’s a good idea to include it in your baby registry.
Sometimes breastfeeding moms will notice that they may leak into their bra and stain it. This can occur from overproduction, or you skip a feeding session or feed your baby from one side and the other leaks.
To prevent damaging your clothes use nursing pads to catch the excess breastmilk. You can choose disposable or reusable pads.
The nursing pillow allows you to position your baby comfortably to be breastfed without the need to hunch over them or cramping your arms.
Also, most nursing pillows can be used for tummy time and help your baby sit once they reach the appropriate age.
Breastmilk storage containers
If you pump or express breastmilk, you’ll need to feed it to your baby right away or store it somewhere.
There’s a selection of breastmilk bags and food-grade storage containers to choose from; make sure you have enough and that you can label them with the date and amount in each one. Also, avoid glass because as breast milk freezes, it expands, and glass containers may break.
Bottles and nipples
If you’re feeding your baby formula or expressed breast milk, you’ll need enough bottles and nipples to achieve this task. There’s a wide variety of bottles and nipples to choose the one you prefer that fits your needs; make sure you always have clean ones on hand.
The baby needs a safe place to sleep, so whether you go for a traditional crib, a pack n play with a crib mattress, or a bassinet, this needs to be included with the minimalist baby essentials.
Swaddles and receiving blankets
The multipurpose receiving blankets are the first piece of cloth that a baby wears, and you will find that they work for everything from covering your baby to keeping them warm, as a changing pad, play area, bib, and even as burp cloths babies can use it.
Swaddle blankets have a more limited purpose because they offer snugness and security to the baby, so they sleep better and longer. Muslin swaddle blankets, traditional swaddles, or sleep sacks help make babies feel safe and secure.
Crib Fitted sheets
One of the baby-safe practices to always keep in mind is that there should be no loose cloth inside the crib or around the baby, so fitted sheets hold tight enough to cover the mattress safely.
Hygiene and care baby items
Diapers and wipes
You will need a lot of diapers during those first few years of a baby’s life until they are potty trained, regardless of whether you decide to use disposable diapers or cloth diapers. Diapers come in different sizes according to your baby’s age and weight, so stock up because you can never have too many.
If you prefer to use cloth diapers, then something to keep in mind is that you’ll need to have enough to keep up with the rotation while you launder the dirty ones.
Wipes are also baby essentials that you’ll want to buy in bulk because you will be using them for many things (likely other purposes beyond caring for your baby). Baby wipes not only make changing your baby’s diaper easier and faster, but you’ll want them on hand for meals and snacks, if your baby has a runny nose, or if you need to clean an area to allow your baby to play, and so on.
Diaper rash cream
Some irritation on your baby’s skin and bum area may be unavoidable, especially when the weather is too hot or your baby has an upset tummy. Diaper rash cream is designed to prevent diaper rash and treat it if it appears.
Diaper rash, if left untreated, can be very uncomfortable and painful and can lead to other more serious complications.
When dealing with a baby, especially a newborn, being prepared and organized is vital, so you don’t have to be running around looking for things you need during the middle of the night or with a crying baby.
Diaper caddies allow you to have most of your baby items organized and handy. There are many different types and styles to fit not only your personal preferences and needs but also your budget.
So you’ll want to add this to your minimalist baby registry checklist.
Dresser or changing table
Having a dedicated dresser or changing table for diaper changes can help not only by having a comfortable position and height, but it also serves as a place where you can keep items such as a wipe warmer, diaper caddy, breast pump, toys, and so on.
Some even double as a table to place the baby’s portable bathtub until the baby stands up (or splashes around so much that you’ll prefer doing it in the bathtub or shower).
If you can’t afford to get a dresser or a changing table or simply prefer not to, then get yourself a changing pad that you can use to protect the area where you will lay the baby to change their diapers.
This avoids accidentally wetting or soiling the area and helps you clean up any spillage way easier.
A diaper bag will be one of your best friends when venturing out of the house with your little one.
In a diaper bag, you can hold everything from disposable diapers (or cloth diapers), diaper rash cream, baby wipes, burp cloths, bottles, and even your breast pump and wallet, among other things.
You will notice, or already know, that going out with a small child requires taking a lot of items, and you’ll need to keep them in a way that allows you to carry everything while also caring for the baby.
So choose your diaper bag wisely and remember it can hold all you need and is comfortable to carry around.
If you don’t want your house stinking of dirty diapers, then you should get a diaper pail. They are designed to trap the smell inside for longer than an ordinary trash can would.
However, there are other alternatives to deal with the smell of dirty diapers, like throwing the baby’s stool in the toilet (if possible) and then placing the diaper in the trashcan, or wrapping those diapers in individual plastic bags and tying them up.
Baby shampoo and baby wash
When bathing your baby, you need to understand that their skin is more sensitive than an adult or an older child’s. So to protect their skin and eyes, it is recommended that you use products designed for babies.
Baby shampoo and baby wash (or baby soap) are gentle on their skin and tear-free, so if the baby touches their eyes with suds in their hands, it won’t burn them and make them uncomfortable.
Good hygiene practices include brushing their hair, clipping their nails, and cleaning their gums and teeth. You can get the items of a baby’s grooming kit individually or in a set that includes all the baby essentials in one box.
Your baby’s nails can be very sharp so clipping them is essential to prevent them from scratching their faces and eyes. If you don’t feel comfortable clipping them, use a baby file to keep them short and blunt.
Having your baby with a fever can be a scary situation, so if you suspect that your baby is sick, you’ll want to check the baby’s body temperature before doing anything else.
Nowadays, there are a lot of analog and digital thermometers that allow you to measure your baby’s body temperature in a fast and efficient way and are very easy to read.
This is an item that is a must on your baby registry checklist.
Playing and toys are an essential part of a baby’s development, and they play an important role in meeting their milestones. Also, it’s an activity that the whole family can enjoy.
You will find that most toys, as many other baby things, come with the age level it’s intended for, so pick the ones that target the area you want to focus on or the skill you want to encourage your baby to master.
Floor mats are very practical because they prevent your baby from hurting themselves on a hard floor and keep them off floors that may be dirty. You will want to include a set in the baby registry. Also, rattles, mirrors, and textured toys (some have multiple textures and make sounds to stimulate them) are among the best choices.
Minimalist baby registry
Besides everything we’ve already mentioned, some other items that you can add to the minimalist baby essentials include:
- Hooded towels and washcloths
- Medicine dropper for baby medicine
- Nursing cover
- Baby swing
- White noise machine
Although the list in this article seems quite long, these items are the minimum you’ll need to comfortably navigate life with a newborn.