Expecting a baby can be scary because you may not have any idea or frame of reference for what to expect. I know I didn’t. So when Andrew and I were expecting our first baby, we did a Baby Registry. (I also hadn’t heard of minimalism yet.)
We were the first of our friends and semi-extended family to get pregnant so we couldn’t expect a lot of hand-me-downs. Without knowing what having a baby would be like, we followed the big box store’s Baby Registry Buying Guide to make sure we had everything we could possibly need to care for our hypothetical baby. Two actual babies later, I’ve been able to see that we didn’t need a lot of what the store said we would.
- matching furniture – we were gifted a beautiful crib and glider that we use everyday. We got a secondhand changing table, bookshelf (for toys), side table (which we don’t really need, but is nice for holding a plant and a glass of water for me during nursing), and toddler bed. The closet attached to the room is more than ample for their clothes.
- matching crib bedding – we used a breathable crib bumper (only from 0-9 mo.) and just 2 sheets per baby. We were gifted so many blankets we donated a bunch. We kept only a lightweight and heavyweight blanket each (we like homemade crocheted blankets from family the best).
- waterproof mattress covers – most crib mattresses are waterproof anyway. Ours is. So we got rid of the covers and cut down on a lot of laundry.
- sheet saver – again, just another piece of laundry to wash. And I worried about it as a suffocation hazard.
- wearable blankets/sleep sacs/structured swaddlers – muslin blankets satisfied the purposes of all of those things. And don’t worry, with practice, you will get better at wrapping a swaddle.
- table lamps – our ceiling fan/light is extremely useful and out of the way; a nightlight is nice for late-night feedings or diaper changes; but table lamps can be a space-eating hazard
- any decor – babies don’t care. They want to see their parents’ faces, and that’s it… well except for some breasts or a bottle. We have decorated our boys’ rooms over the years with posters that have come with books or DVDs.
- mobile/white noise machine – yes, the mobile is very cute, but we only used it a handful of times and didn’t really need it.
- wipe warmer – superfluous
- wipe dispenser – extra-superfluous. Wipes have their own dispensing mechanism built-in. I’ve never had wipes in the pack dry out on me and I’m not even careful.
- changing pad cover – we used these because we had them, but the changing pad is waterproof so it is easily cleaned without the extra piece of laundry
- changing pad saver – again, just more laundry
- 6-8 baby bath towels – we have 4 (for 2 boys), but now I’m thinking we could have just used our regular bath towels.
- 10-12 wash cloths – we have 6 and don’t need that many.
- grooming kit – we only used the baby nail clippers
- air purifier – I believe that babies should learn to breath the same air as everyone else; it builds strong lungs
- baby bathrobe – cute on the hanger, but I don’t even know what it would’ve looked like on my babies… we never got it on them. Being wrapped up in a towel was always good enough. And just easier.
- dental care – wait until your baby has teeth, then your dentist will give you what you need for free
- tub faucet cover – I don’t understand why this would ever be needed. Because it’s cute? Look at your baby – I bet he or she is 1,000x cuter.
- car seat saver – I’m not even entirely sure what this is exactly, but it sounds like more laundry
- sun shade – We use a blanket with little babies and sunglasses for our toddler.
- mirror – We registered and received one, but it did not work out very well. First, it was hard to find a good place for it in our car. Then, it didn’t stay in the correct position so it reflected things like feet or just seat. Finally, it kept falling down. Much more hassle than it’s worth.
- bunting and foot muff – Infant carseats come with enough safety padding for infants. For warmth we just used blankets.
- booster seat – we will probably need this, but we didn’t need it in our pre-baby preparation. We will buy it when our boys outgrow the carseats they already have.
- car seat travel bag – Another thing to carry around more things? Definitely not essential.
- any stroller accessories – We just used blankets for extra shade and brought a toy or two from the house when needed.
- fancy expensive diaper bag – We’ve used backpacks, totes, and duffels we already had laying around the house. Keep your travel accessories simple and a simple bag will do. I like using my small canvas “gym” duffel the best.
- more than 6 bottles – that’s about 3 small bottles and 3 bigger bottles with 3 slow nipples and 3 fast nipples. I breastfed for the first 6 months with Wingnut and 10 months with Pigpen with some combination feeding before going solely formula (a little over 4 months with Mo and 2 months with Pigpen). Wash your bottles daily or twice daily — preferably without a dishwasher — and you’ll be fine.
- infant positioner – We used our laps and arms for the infant stage and the high chair when the babies could sit up on their own.
- 6-8 pacifiers – pacifying is a totally personal choice. We allowed it. We got buy with 2 to 4 pacifiers.
- bottle warmer – Used a mug filled with warm water.
- bottle sterilizer – A pot with boiling water.
- special bottle drying rack – Our plain drain board in the sink worked fine.
- dishes and bowls – we use our Corelle flatware for our children. Some times we let the baby eat off of his tray; we taught Wingnut to be careful and he has proven to be quite responsible with with porcelain and glass as early as being 1.5 years old.
- baby shoes – annoying and useless. I like getting shoes when the baby (toddler) is standing and starting to walk around — the shoes are good for outside when they want to be a part of the action and explore on their own.
- door jumper – we were excited for this classic piece, but our babies are small so the sizing never worked out. They were either floating and sliding around the big bucket seat, or old enough to walk around and very unhappy about being trapped in a hanging seat.
- play yard – We have a small house and let the babies explore most of it on their own.
- play mat – Replace with a blanket and toys.
- seat walker – Like the door jumper, it wasn’t a good size for our boys. They prefer(ed) the standing walkers. We were lucking to receive one that did not require batteries or have too many bells and whistles.
- DVDs – We limited screen time until Wingnut was 2 years old. Even when Wingnut watches now (we use a streaming service), Pigpen isn’t interested. He’d rather play with toys or people.
- a lot of toys – We keep the toys limited to 3 shelves on a bookcase in their room. We rotate the toys a few times a year to cooperate with the seasons and keep things interesting.
Wow. That was a lot of stuff. And I’m sure there’s even more stuff you don’t need out there that stores are trying to sell to you and your baby. Maybe I should have made a list of all the things I actually did need and find to be useful, ha.
But anyway, maybe some of my little stories and tidbits will help you decide you don’t need a few things you were considering after all. You’ll save yourself and/or your loved ones some money. And you’ll save the planet the cost of more consumerism and waste. It’s a win-win.