By: Sarah Ramirez (The Mindful Minimalist)
As an aspiring minimalist, I had high hopes of keeping a simple, clean nursery. Well, it’s been 19 months since the birth of my son, and I think I’ve done a relatively good job of achieving that goal. He definitely has more clothes and toys than any one child needs, but what we possess is still very minimal compared to the norm for most families today. As a first time mom, I had no clue what I truly needed or didn’t need, so I ended up with a lot of items that weren’t really necessary. Looking back, I wish I could have known what I know now. I would have saved a lot of money and time decluttering and organizing.
Here are my top tips for surviving newborn to twelve months in a minimalist fashion:
- Register for or specify your minimalist desires to friends and family members.
- Wait for the baby shower to buy anything.
- Be prepared to return extras or items you will not use. You may slightly offend some people, but if they truly care about what you will use and your wishes, they will understand.
- Keep tags on clothing until your baby is ready to wear it. If you never get around to using it, you can return or exchange if it.
- Buy gender neutral items (clothing, toys, decor) that you can use on future kids.
- Buy items that can mix and match well.
- Only buy a small number of newborn items. Most likely your baby will only wear them for a few weeks, if not less.
- Borrow or buy second hand anything you need after the baby shower.
Below I have created three categories of items according to their necessity, whether they are must haves, might needs, or don’t needs. These are all my opinions and from my own experience, of course. I know that each family may have different needs or desires, so take my categories as simple recommendations.
Place to sleep (bed, bassinet, crib) and a fitted sheet
Milk (breastmilk or formula)
Bottles (maybe not if exclusively breastfeeding)
2 Outfits per day (2 pajamas, 2 onesies)
7 Pairs of socks
Diapers (preferably cloth), wipes, wet bag
5-10 burp rags/swaddle blankets
Multipurpose bag (diaper bag/purse combo)
Grow with me car seat
Few newborn toys and teethers
Rocking chair or glider (does not have to be in nursery)
Personal care items: Clippers, thermometer, bulb syringe, soap, and lotion
Shoes, if they start walking before 12 months
White noise (ipad or phone)
Baby carrier (woven, not stretch, to last longer)
Coconut oil (for diaper rash, cuts, baby acne)
Gas drops/Gripe water
Baby monitor (if baby sleeps in separate room)
2 Swaddles (Halo brand is great)
Reusable nursing pads (If breastfeeding)
Excess nursery decor
Diaper Genie/Separate diaper trash can
Excess toys, games, movies, and books
Pack n play
Baby cologne, baby oil, and baby powder
Baby food (make your own at home or serve what the family is eating)
Nursing tank tops
Hopefully these tips and lists can help you in planning for a baby or even reevaluating what you already own. Remember that mothers have existed for thousands of years without the majority of the modern conveniences we have today. When you think about what a baby truly needs to survive, it’s really very little. Stick to the basics, and you will save time, money, and headaches worrying over things that will not even matter in a few months or years. Enjoy this time with your baby and focus on just that, your baby.
About the author
Sarah Ramírez, also known as The Mindful Minimalist, is a former Spanish teacher, turned work-at-home-mom, blogger, and YouTuber. She shares inspirational content related to anything motherhood, simple living, and healthy eating on her website sarahthemindfulminimalist.com and on her YouTube channel The Mindful Minimalist. She also creates e-books and offers minimalism and healthy eating coaching, in addition to her free resources. Follow her! Instagram/_themindfulminimalist_