Our (Kind-Of) Minimalist Baby Necessities List

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Hello! So Little Lady is now nearly FIVE MONTHS (whaaaa??). We are finally out of the first-weeks- survival-camp-mode, and I can think a little more objectively about that oh-so recent new baby phase. I recently wrote about having a baby in a small space and mentioned a couple material items we use. Everyone has their own ideas about which things they need to welcome a new infant; some lists are longer than others. I think we’re somewhere in the middle. You see, infants don’t take up much space, but all their accessories can certainly crowd an already tight home. We’ve hit a good groove with the things that we generally use for that first year of babyhood. Click through for our kind-of minimalist baby necessities list.


There’s really no way around this one if you live in a country that has strict car seat laws like the U.S.

What sort of tote or bag you use for this necessity is really wide open, but no one wants to be out-and-about without wipes and a change of clothes during baby’s first blowout.

We like to all have separate places to crash. That’s just our personal preference. (I threw the mattress part in there for the same people who cause hair dryer warning tags to read things like, “Do not use in bathtub.” Not that any of those idiots read Smallish, but you know. I figured I’d better be safe than sorry). πŸ˜‰

Our kiddos sleep in a Pack ‘n Play until they are sleeping through the night and old enough to graduate to the kid room. We do actually put it up each night and tear it down every single morning, but it’s a system that works for us.

Duh again. Unless you’re going with the potty-train-from-infancy method, you’ll need diapers. Sposies, prefolds, all-in-ones, oh, my!

Another duh. That is, of course, unless you live in a nudist colony. Whatever.

Walking for exercise and entertainment is very important to us, so we are never without a stroller. Even now, I still push the two boys around and wear Little Lady because I can go at my own pace instead of the “Mom! I found a bug!” pace. Moms of toddlers, you know what I mean.

Baby wearing is a wonderful thing. It’s comfortable for you, comforting for baby, and convenient for pretty much everyone. We use a Moby Wrap and a Baby Bjorn, but there are a lot of other great carriers out there.

The Shoebox doesn’t have a built-in bath tub. We’ve never bathed our babies in the sink because frankly it is almost always full of dishes. So we use a simple Primo plastic bath tub. It works great even for Red who is now almost four.

Our play mat is one of my favorite baby items. Each one of our children has loved it. The kiddos truly own it as their safe spot, and I like that it collapses to hide away when not in use. Win-win!

There are times when you just don’t want to put the baby on the floor for their own safety. Usually those times are around 10 a.m. when the boys have converted the house into a Grand Prix for their various trucks. For this reason we also love to borrow a bouncer seat for the first 12 weeks or so. I especially like that they are small enough to move them from room to room with you, so you can always keep an eye on baby.

We have so many. So many. We still use them for everythingβ€”quiet time targets, forts, cuddling up in, burp cloths, reading time nests, etc. They are so versatile and comforting!

Whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding baby, it is really nice to be able to get a couple hours break sometimes. Bottles and breast pumps allow that break, and for that they are awesome.

That’s it. There’s our most basic list of what we like to have for a new baby. Did I forget something? Is there anything you’d add to the list based off of your experiences? Comment below and start or join the discussion! πŸ™‚ Know anyone who has a baby on the way? Feel free to share… πŸ™‚


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  • Jenifer
    July 14, 2014

    Cool list. This is what we had for our boy:

    sheepskin (this was for sleeping anywhere other than in bed with us);
    2 bankets;
    5 onsies and 3 overalls (he was skinny), socks, one hat, and one warm cover-all (it was a bear suit for the snow!);
    12 cloth diapers (we did EC, so diapers were back up; 12 was the perfect number for us);
    baby wrap;
    metal spoon (his favorite toy).
    car seat;
    “diaper bag” which was really a jessica simpson tote that I got at the thrift that fit the wrap, the change of baby clothes, a book, a notebook, pen, and my purse needs — I still use this bag today, but as my yoga bag which carries a block, strap, towel, jar of water, my mat (which folds), a change of clothes, and my purse needs!

    We didn’t use much, honestly. Cosleeping, breastfeeding, and ECing made for a lot less stuff. πŸ™‚

    • Evelyn
      July 14, 2014

      I always love your perspectives, Jenifer! How did Elimination Communication work for your family? It intrigues me but I don’t have the capacity to do “potty training” with more than one kiddo at a time! Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

      • Jenifer
        July 16, 2014

        It was so easy for us. We started when DS was 1 month old because it took us a bit to get breastfeeding sorted (so, we had a lactation consultant. does that go on the list? πŸ˜‰ ).

        Because he was a boy, we did it by “timing.” Basically, we pottied him every 45-60 minutes whether he needed to or not (that is, without a signal), and any time we transitioned (i.e., we’re about to leave the house, potty first; arrive at destination, potty first; etc).

        In about 5 or 6 months, we usually used one diaper per day (one miss), and were ‘catching’ everything in the toilet. DH and I made it a game and competed against each other: “I caught 13 pees and 2 poos today!” And when we missed, we “lost” points. So, it’s a rather hilarious way of approaching it, but it meant that we were never upset with DS for not going in the right place/not signaling (which can happen with boy parents).

        Now, girls tend to HATE to be wet, so once they get the rhythm of it, they’re happy to signal. DS’s bestie was a squawker! She would make this very loud, very obvious squawking noise when she needed to go. her parents never missed because she was so obvious. So, if you wanted to start with your daughter, you could right away.

        And, your older kids can potty her too. You could probably create a chart and keep real score. LOL

        Anyway, of all the “parenting decisions that don’t matter in the long run” — which is most decisions — this one was our absolute favorite. It just made our lives *so much* easier.

        DS was basically “potty learned” — ie, taking himself to the toilet — by about 1 yr/14-16 months, but he couldn’t manage his clothes. We got cloth pull-down diapers that worked great (busy bees, I think they were called — and we only got 12), so that helped him become independent, and he was fully independent by age 2.

        It’s really a completely different process from potty training. And we really enjoyed it.

        DH interjects: “Jenifer always won because she was with DS most of the day.” But, DH caught most of the poos (which earned more points) because DS usually pooped twice a day — in the AM when daddy took him potty and in the PM when daddy returned from work.

        Seriously, I can talk about EC all day. πŸ˜€

        • Evelyn
          July 19, 2014

          Ohhhhhhhhhhh very interesting!! And very appealing at this point. πŸ˜‰ Ours have still mostly trained early so far though, so I don’t have much to complain about. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing Jenifer.

  • Jayleen Zotti
    July 14, 2014

    I definitely used a baby backpack! That’s how the laundry, housework and anything else got done! We went for lots of walks too!

    • Evelyn
      July 14, 2014

      We have a baby backpack, but we use it for hikes only. Great add to the list, Jayleen! πŸ™‚

  • Michelle
    July 17, 2015

    Just found your site. Due date with #2 is in 4 weeks. I figure at the bare minimum, the baby needs a place to sleep, a place for diaper changes, and a place to nurse. We have one closet in our whole house and its in our room. Converting part of it for a baby space with a pack and play that has the newborn nest and the changing spot. Room for a couple baskets to hold clothing and a sound machine. Besides that I have a rock and play bought used that folds up when not in use. This will be our portable bassinet if we want the baby to sleep by the bed or near us in the house during the day. Borrowing a swing too, so we can give it back if we don’t need it. While somewhat minimalist in gear, I am not that way in baby carriers! By the time this baby comes I will own a Tula (backpack style), 2 ring slings, a stretchy k’tan (like a Moby but easier), and a woven wrap. To many other baby wearers out there, this is actually a minimalist list. Lol.

    • Evelyn
      July 18, 2015

      Hi Michelle,
      You’ve got a great list! I sometimes thing that I want to switch to a bassinet because it takes up SO much less space than a big pack-n-play, but the pack-n-play works for us… also, it’s sturdy enough that I don’t worry about the bigger kids pulling it over. I think I’ll worry about that with a bassinet. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing!

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