Do you know that feeling when you have a box of clothes that are too small for your baby and you need to get them out of the house ASAP? For me it’s a little bit like hair, I love it when it’s on my head, but the moment a strand is on the ground or in the tub, it’s suddenly revolting. (As you can imagine, this was a bit of a problem for me, post baby when I was shedding more than usual!)
But back to my point about stuff, I really cannot stand having it around any more once I don’t need it. Of course, I always endeavor to find a good home for my stuff. But the best solution is not to have the stuff to begin with! The problem is that when you have a baby, people will give you tons of stuff, and books will provide pages and pages of things that you supposedly “need” for your baby.
How To Be A Minimalist When It Comes To Baby Gear
Well, for minimalists, like me, I have come up with the following short list of things I was glad that I had with a baby in the house. Everything else just gave me a headache and eventually became like one of those strands of hair in the tub– a nuisance at best, and gross at worst.
So here’s my list of what baby gear you really need. In my new book, The Zero Footprint Baby, I also have lists of what toys you’ll really need, what you need to make your home most efficient, questions to ask your child care provider, the low carbon footprint ways of feeding a baby, giving birth, and more! Most of these baby items can be gotten in a thrifty, green way as well. I hope you find this minimalist baby gear guide helpful!
The Baby Gear You Really Need
1- Car seat (if you need it to get home from the birth center or hospital and will use it later)
2- Carrier for infant to leave the house (I has a used Moby wrap for the first four months and then got a used stroller)
3- Bouncy chair or blanket (to sleep/hang out in during the day)
4- Clothes and burp cloths (I used ThredUp to get used clothes and had stacks from friends as well– who were desperate to unload)
5- Thermometer (this is the only item we could not find used)
6- Nail clippers/file (you can always bite them when they are long enough too)
7-Diapers (we got used cloth diapers from Craigslist– much more detail on this in the book!)
8-A breast pump (for mamas with low supply or who need to work outside the home)
9-Eight 4-oz glass bottles and a slow flow nipple (I pumped directly into the bottles and put them in the fridge with the date marked)
10-A bassinet or crib (if you don’t end up co-sleeping for longer than intended)
This is my relatively minimalist kit for year one, and as you can see, not even all of this is necessary. What are your tips for minimizing?
Guest post by Keya Chatterjee, author of The Zero Footprint Baby: How to Save the Planet While Raising a Healthy Baby (affiliate link below). Keya Chatterjee is a Senior Director for Renewable Energy and Footprint Outreach at the World Wildlife Fund. Her commentary on climate change policy and sustainability issues has been quoted in dozens of media outlets, including USA Today, the New York Times, Fox News, the Associated Press, The Washington Post, and NBC Nightly News.