When we became pregnant with our daughter, I found a lot of joy in planning her little space in our home. As we have a two bedroom house and our little one had to share a room with our office and pseudo guest room, I knew we would have to keep it simple but as the months passed the sheer number of baby products overwhelmed me and recommendations left me second-guessing my desire for simplicity and minimal gear.
Upon bringing our little one home and over the past year and a half, I have realized that many of those gadgets, gizmos, and “must have” products, while thoughtfully suggested were not as necessary as my new-mom mind worried they would be. For the most part as long as my daughter was fed, clothed, and able to sleep, she did not need a million objects to occupy her space.
In contemplating what I wanted to keep I did realize that somethings such as bouncers and swings may prove more useful with our second little one as there are more demands on one’s arms, but otherwise I found a much more minimalist collection developing as I delved into sorting out ‘needs’ versus ‘wants.’
Thus, I have put together a collection of sorts detailing what I have come to find to be necessary gear but truly it is dependent on your own situation, desires, and child.
- Breast pump: I just bought a manual hand pump (here) that I used solely when I just had too much milk. However, you may want to look into an electric option if you desire to work outside the home or spend longer hours away.
- Blankets: Excellent for being used for wrapping, nursing covers, burp cloths, laying on the ground, or extra warmth, I found that simple blankets such as this one from Aden+Anais or this one from Little Bamboo are excellent.
- Cloth or Disposable Diapers
- Dresser or armoire: We originally had a bookshelf with baskets but quickly realized the closing drawers of a dresser or armoire are much more practical.
- Storage bins: These are a necessity for outgrown clothes or the ones you receive from friends and family that are meant to be grown into.
- High chair: We have loved the inexpensive Antilop high chair from Ikea that is simple to wipe down and minimalist in the space that it occupies.
- Rocking chair
- Crib and/or bassinet: We had a bassinet and then co-slept for the early months but have since moved our daughter into her own crib in our room.
- Feeding: Basic objects such as bottles, and eventually plates and utensils
- Grass drying rack: So wonderful to dry out the collection of various baby feeding equipment.
- Small collection of books/toys for playing and reading
- Car seat
- Baby carrier, wrap, or sling: I personally used a Moby for the first six months and then an Ergo but I also have wistfully pined after the Solly Baby Wrap and the Wildbird Sling.
Following my baby shower I found that I had been blessed with so many gifts that I was able to sort through and pass on many items to other friends, family members, as well as donating a box to our local foster care support organization, Embrace Oregon, who puts together “Welcome Boxes” for foster parents of infants.