In today’s world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the baby products available. From bouncers to sound machines, our society has created everything a baby could ever wish for and then some. However, many new parents are starting to ask, “What the true essentials items are for my baby?” For those wanting to save on space or simply wanting to live a minimalist lifestyle, we’ve put together 20 “essentials” items for your minimalist baby registry (plus 10 items to skip!).
A List of the 20 Must-Have Items On Your Minimalist Baby Registry
Cribs are a must have because your baby needs somewhere safe to sleep. We really love the babyletto Gelato 4-in-1 Convertible Crib because it is the only bed your baby will ever need. Not only does it have a modern and sleek design it goes from being a crib to a toddler bed, a day bed, and finally a full size bed.
Luckily, cloth diapers have come a long way since handkerchiefs and baby pins. Today, you can find all kinds of reusable or eco-friendly diapers. Our favorite cloth diaper is the Mama Koala One Size Cloth Diaper these diapers grow with baby. We love Mama Koala because of the adjustable snap closures which last much longer than Velcro ones.
If you’d rather go for a disposable diaper, Dyper Sustainable Diapers and Sprouted Diapers are great options. Not only are they made from sustainable plants, but you can also sign up for the subscription service to get the diapers you need monthly without having to stockpile.
Diaper Bag and Changing Pad
If you plan to travel with your baby, you’ll need a place to carry your bottles, diapers, and wipes. But you’ll also want a changing pad for at home and away, enter the HappyLuoka Diaper Bag Backpack. This was a game-changer for us, it’s a very stylish backpack with a built-in changing pad/bassinet. Honestly, it was one of the best baby products I bought and it let us get rid of our changing table that was just taking up space in the nursery.
Diaper Rash Cream
Diaper rash cream is a must for most babies and you will want it around from the start (just in case!). We love The Honest Company Diaper Rash Cream because it’s gentle but effective and made without parabens or preservatives.
If you try going without wipes, you’ll soon discover getting your baby clean is a long process. This doesn’t mean you have to traditional baby wipes. The OsoCrozy Flannel Baby Wipes are reusable and washable. They are gentle on baby and can be washed with your laundry, saving you money and helping the environment.
If you’re planning to breastfeed and go back to work full-time, you’ll need a breast pump. Most insurances will pay for your pump, so make sure to look into that. I would recommend using a hospital-grade pump if possible.
The Motif Luna is a great option, it’s a powerful but quiet pump. Many pumps will come in kits which leads us to our next item, baby bottles.
Most breast pumps, including the Motif Luna, come with two 4-8 oz. bottles and newborn nipples, but you may want to buy a few more. If you plan on formula feeding, the Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle Newborn Starter Pack has everything you need; five bottles, two newborn nipples, and a bottle brush.
The great part of the Philips Avent system is that you won’t ever have to purchase bottles again, just upgrade the nipples as your baby grows.
Baby Bottle Brush
You’ll want to purchase a specialized baby bottles brush that comes with a larger brush and a smaller part for cleaning nipples. These are pretty common and easy to find.
Breast Milk Storage Bags
Getting the right breast milk storage bags is very important. You’ll want to make sure it can withstand the freezer and keep your milk supply fresh. The best bags are the Lanisnoh Breastmilk Storage Bags. Super strong, pre-sterilized, and BPA/BPS free, these bags are the go-to for many moms.
This is a must, required by law. They won’t even let you leave the hospital without securing your baby into an infant car seat. If you also plan to buy a stroller, I recommend looking into a complete travel system. The Britax B-lively Travel System is one of these options. The B-Safe 35 car seat accommodates infants from 4-35 lbs. who are less than 32 inches tall. This seat features several easy installation features. It also has the “click and go” system allowing it to be used easily with any Britax stroller.
If you travel a lot, a stroller is a must. As mentioned above, planning ahead and buying a system together will save you time. We love the Britax B-Lively system because the stroller is lightweight and folds compactly. In addition, its weight limit is on the higher side for strollers at 55 lbs.
Baby Carrier/ Ring Sling
If you want to skip the stroller, a baby carrier is a great option for traveling with baby. The Infantino Flip 4-in-1 carrier will be the only one you’ll ever have to buy. It adjusts from a front newborn carrier to a back 32 lbs. toddler carrier.
Swaddling Blanket/Sleep Sacks
You’ll need around 5-10 swaddling blankets when your baby first comes home. Newborns like to be swaddled and safe while they sleep so these are essential.
After your baby starts to roll around, you will need to move onto the sleep sacks. These help keep your baby safe and warm while they sleep. Also, sleep sacks keep the toddlers safe in bed after that age (about a year) when they start trying to put a leg over the edge of the bed to climb out.
Depending on what level you need your piece of mind is the level of baby monitor you should buy. A simple baby monitor is like a one-way walkie-talkie that lets you hear what is going on in the nursery.
Check out this one from VTech.
Looking for something a little more high-tech? Check out the bestselling Infant Optics DXR-8.
Then there is the most detailed type of baby monitor which is a baby movement monitor that tells you the baby’s movements, oxygen levels, and heart rate. Our favorite is the Owlet Smart Sock which can be bought with an HSA/FSA.
Onesies + Easy to put on clothing
Obviously your baby will need clothes. The very basics you’ll need:
- 5–10 onesies
- 6-8 footie pajamas
- 6-8 pairs of pants
- 10 pairs of socks.
Baby oil is essential to keeping your baby’s skin soft and moisturized. My favorite is Johnson’s Baby Oil with Shea and cocoa butter. It’s hypoallergenic and contains no parabens, phthalates, or dyes.
Newborns suck as a way to soothe themselves. I consider a pacifier essential for parents’ sanity and baby happiness. The Bibs Pacifier is a favorite among many moms.
If your baby starts to feel warm or acting lethargic, a forehead thermometer will save you time and effort. Plus it won’t disturb your baby to use. Check out the iHealth No-Touch Thermometer.
Baby’s skin is often very sensitive and can’t handle the same soap you use. Buying baby soap and shampoo is a must to make sure their skin stays moisturized and healthy. We love Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo. You get both your body wash and shampoo in one and it’s tear-free!
In the first month, you’ll need to physically remove any drainage from your baby’s nose. A nasal syringe will help get rid of drainage that your baby can’t extract on their own. If you give birth at a hospital, they will likely give you one, keep it! Medical grade nasal syringes work the best!
Optional Registry Items
The items below are what our Rookie Mom Squad mamas find to be great, but can definitely be skipped.
A baby swing can really help soothe your baby to sleep. We even compiled a list of our favorite baby swings because we find them so useful. However, that being said, it definitely is an item that is not completely necessary
If you decide to co-sleep then a co-sleeper is a must have, however so many moms purchase these co-sleepers before the baby comes and then never use it.
Infant Bath Tub
An infant bath tub is something that is great to have, especially when trying to give a bath to your little one on your own. That being said, you definitely can manage giving a bath in your sink with the little one, it just takes a little more work.
A glider chair is wonderful, don’t get me wrong. You can sit back with your baby and nurse him or her while you rock them back to sleep. But, a standard chair or couch works fine as well.
10 Registry Items to Skip
You probably won’t be needing toys of any kind for awhile! I would recommend sensory flashcards and a tummy time mat instead.
Just put those dirty diapers in a bag and tie it off. Maybe get a trash can with a lid if the smell is really bad. You don’t need a specialty trash can (with moving parts liable to break and specialty supplies to be purchased at regular intervals).
This huge piece of furniture sounds like a brilliant idea, until you realize that it’s easier to change your baby on the bed or the floor. Also, there’s the risk of your baby falling while you’re are distracted getting a diaper or looking for extra wipes.
Crib accessories can be dangerous in two-fold. 1: if you are adding bumpers your baby could suffocate. 2: Whatever you put in the crib, be it lights, nursery rhymes, mobiles that is what your child will incorporate into their nightly routine. Meaning if you travel, you might have to take it with you. Or worse, you forget it and they can’t fall asleep until exhaustion over takes their tiny bodies.
Any normal bed pillow will work. You don’t need to spend money on a specially designed one.
Pack N Play
These take up space and aren’t used very often.
Baby Teether Beads
These look fun and nice but they are choking hazards.
Baby Food Blender
You can use your own blender- this will be the cheapest and best option rather than spending unnecessary money on a baby food blender!
You can warm water on the stove, in the microwave or an electric water kettle if you already have one!
I hope this minimalist baby list has helped you narrow down what you really need to gather up before your little one arrives and has taken away the overwhelming feeling of looking through list after list of baby gear. When it all comes down to it, the one thing your baby needs the most is… you!
If you enjoyed our minimalist baby registry, check out more of our baby registry lists below!