Minimalist Baby Registry (Baby-On-A-Budget Shopping List)
If you’re a regular reader of Living Chirpy, you may catch the occasional life update in our recipe blog posts, but now, for the first time ever, I’ve decided that it’s time to do a complete post dedicated to the “Living” part of “Living Chirpy”. What could be so important that it needs a post of its very own you may ask…? It’s our baby of course!
This December, Cody and I are expected out first - a bouncing baby boy! Yay! If you follow us on on any of our social media accounts, you might also be aware that we are in the process of building a Tiny House! (Go check out the instagram where we post build updates).
So, you can imagine it was quite a stressful situation going from from “omg, babies need so much crap! where are gonna put it all??!!” to having that AHA! moment of “wait, don’t babies just eat, sleep and poop?”.
Being the kind of person that I am, I spent countless hours (and when I say countless, I MEAN countless), researching everything there is to know about babies and baby gear. I probably read a hundred blog posts, asked every family member that had babies, and also used my own common sense to come up with what I think is a pretty decent minimalist baby list.
Of course, since I am definitely not an expert by any means (“completely clueless” sounds more like it), I will do a reevaluation of everything on this list and let you know how it is or isn’t working out for us after we've had our little one for a few months.
Not only do we not have a ton of space for the baby, I also didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on stuff I would only use for a short while, or not use at all for that matter. So, on that note, this is my personal minimalist baby registry slash baby-on-a-budget shopping list, and my own personal opinion on everything. Also note that this is kind of my newborn must haves for our baby's first half year.
PS. Everything on this list we’ve bought with our own money and did so after doing our own research 🙂
What clothes does a newborn baby need?
- 10 x Onesies/Sleepers: This one was just common sense in my mind. If all babies do is sleep, why not make things easy on yourself AND comfy for the little one. Onesies are warm and are easy to take on and off, so no struggling with diaper changes, etc. After shopping around I’ve noticed that onesies come in all shapes and sizes and most are adorable not only for sleeping, but also for daily wear. So, my baby will mostly live in onesies for the first part of his life. Also, apparently you change babies 2-5 times a day (Poop explosions I hear?). Ten onesies/sleepers should be able to keep you for a whole weekend without needing to do laundry.
- 10 x Vests, Socks, Beanies, Mittens: The vests are like underwear, and since I’ve read that a baby should always have on one more layer of clothes than you, we’re gonna put vests under his sleepers. Apart from an extra layer of warmth, I’ve heard that it also helps protect the nicer clothes from diaper leaks. Then, of course, you need socks to keep those toes warm, and mittens to keep little nails from scratching those cute faces. Beanies keep their heads warm, plus makes them look extra cute!
- 10 x Bibs: Bibs to help catch any drool or puke. I really love these funky bandana bibs that are all the rage right now.
- 2 x Warm Sweaters: To keep your baby extra warm if you’re going outside.
- Cute Outfits- Boy and Girl: This is something, in my opinion, that you don’t *need*. Whenever you get a gift for the baby, it will most likely be a cute outfit. So, you’ll probably have more than enough cute stuff before you know it. Of course, even I can’t resist buying something super cute when I come across it, but I try to restrain myself for the most part.
What are breastfeeding must-haves?
Breastfeeding is free and I plan to give it my best shot!
- Bobby Pillow: I knew this would be a must for me, because my mom used a similar one with my younger sister and loved it, and also because of the multi-functionality of it. It is perfect for nursing, to lounge the baby, for tummy time later on, as a sitting aid, and in the case of my younger sister, a "donkey" to ride on and play with.
- 10 x Burp Cloths (Gerber Birdseye Flatfold Cloth Diapers): These plain cloth diapers are perfect to use as burp cloths and for anything else that need wiping. It's similar to what most people in South Africa use, and thus I will as well.
- Philips Avent Comfort Breast Shells + Lansinoh Breastfeeding Salve + Nursing Bras: These silicone breast shells were recommended by a family member. Apparently they are awesome because the keep moisture completely away from your nipples, unlike the cotton disposable kind. Meaning less nipple cracks, which is great, because just the thought of that makes me shudder. Plus nipple cream, because I really don't want any weirdness with my nipples ????.
- 4 x Chicco Natural Fit Pacifiers + Braided Pacifier Clips: I know there’s big debate about pacifiers these days, but I decided to get some just in case. If the baby doesn’t like them, oh well, we’ll make due without them. I loved the look of these clear silicone ones, and they also had good reviews. I also absolutely adore the look of braided pacifier clips, and you can make it yourself too! Get these Marywindix Pacifier Suspender Clips, some suede string from Joanne's Fabrics, and follow along with this tutorial.
- Breastpump, Lasinoh Breast Milk Storage Baggies, 4 x Comotomo Bottles: My aunt, Deidré, that had kids most recently in my family offered to give me an electric breastpump that she hardly used. Since I will be at home with the baby, I'm not sure if I technically *need* one, but it will be useful to have in case I do. My mom mentioned that if you’re going to be at home taking care of the baby full time, you really only need it when you’re going to have someone else look after the baby. So with that in mind, I'll also get 4 baby bottles to start with - you know, for whoever happens to babysit.
Where does a newborn baby sleep/co-sleep?
- Graco Pack 'n' Play with Newborn Napper Oasis: After going back and forth about between buying a mini-crib or a basinette, or both - we ended up choosing a Pack n Play. It has a higher basinet setting and then a crib setting for when baby is over 15lbs. It also comes with a nifty napper and a diaper changing station, hello! It’s a perfect multifunction solution for our small space PLUS it has the convenience of a safe, familiar sleeping spot for the little one if we use it when travelling (another tip from my aunt, Deidré).
- The First Years Close And Secure Sleeper: Since we are planning to co-sleep the first couple of months, we also decided to get this little sleeper for our bedroom loft. It was a tough choice, because there really isn’t any co-sleeper products with amazing reviews across the board. We liked this one because of the price tag and because it folds up really small. We’re sure it will satisfy our needs, but we’ll let you know once we’ve actually put some miles on it.
- 3 x Pack n Play Sheets: My mom always told us “een aan die bas, een in die was, en een in die kas” which literally means “one on the butt, one being washed, and one in the closet”, but of course it sounds less cute in English. Anyway, that’s my philosophy with things like sheets, towels, etc. You have the one you’re using, a dirty one in the process of being cleaned and a backup in the closet. Sounds perfect to me.
- 3 x Muslin Swaddle Blankets: I got a pack of these, because I see them everywhere and I want to give the swaddling thing a try. If I end up liking them a lot when baby gets here, I will probably get another pack, but only if I really need it. For now though, the “3x” rule applies.
- Snuggle Buddy: I read that if you sleep with a little snuggle toy before your baby is born, it will absorb your smell and be an awesome comfort item for the baby!
- 3 x Flannel Receiving Blankets: Since our baby is a winter baby, I decided to get some flannel blankets as well, since I feel they will be warmer for situations like taking the baby in and out from the car, etc. Other: Although not strictly necessary, we also bought a cute "decorative" blanket for our “nursery” area and will have another cute one knitted by my grandmother 🙂
Bathing a newborn baby:
- Bath Sponge: Instead of getting a bulky baby tub, we decided to get this bath sponge to use in our regular tub instead. Not only is it really cheap, but the reviews are great! We originally planned to get a little sling seat to use in our tub, but couldn't really find anything we like. With using this sponge, it seems we'll need to put less water in the tub than with a seat and also, since the sponge soaks up the water, it will be warmer too! (I read that in one of the reviews!)
- 3 x Hooded Bath Towels: We love these cute animal ones from Luvable Friends.
- Aveeno Baby Wash&Shampoo, Lotion, Sunscreen, Calming Comfort Bath: We are going to start out using the Aveeno Baby products and see how it works for us. I like the fact that it’s a more natural option, but as with nearly every baby product on the market, it’s impossible to find something with great reviews across the board.
- 6 x Washcloths: I’ve ignored the “3x” rule with this one, because little washcloths are useful in other situations apart from bath-time!
- Digital Thermometer: We wanted to get a digital forehead thermometer, but because of all the mixed ratings we decided to go a little more old-fashioned with it.
- Nosefrida Nasal Aspirator: Seeing as this is one of those rare products with all over amazing reviews, it went on my must-have list right away.
- Nail Scissors: After reading a bunch of reviews on a bunch of different products for declawing those little fingers, we decided to do little scissors instead of clippers.
- Brush/Comb Set: Keep that fluffy baby hair looking cute!
- Other: We’ll probably get a few bath toys and such when baby gets a little bigger 🙂
Diapering a Baby:
- Pamper Swaddlers: After going back and forth for a really, really long time between cloth diapers and disposable, we decided to go with disposable. To start we’ll use Pampers, because of the high ratings, but since all babies are different, we’ll once again see how it works out for us and try a different brand if we need to.
- Pampers Sensitive Wipes: Because butts need to be wiped.
- Aquaphor Baby (Butt Cream): Try to prevent that cute little butt from getting diaper rash, eeek!
- Hand Sanitizer: To keep our germs off the baby butt.
- Small Trash Can: We originally planned on getting a Diaper Genie, but the idea of keeping an unnecessary amount of gross poopy diapers inside a tiny house for days at a time just sounded very unappealing to me, especially since a Tiny House is, well, tiny. Since we’re already in the habit of taking out the trash every day, we’ll just see how it works using a regular little trash can with regular liners and take it out as needed. We don’t have far to walk anyway haha.
Heading Out and About With A Baby:
- Graco Modes Travel System in Downton: I spent a lot of time researching strollers and in the end, this is the only one that did exactly what I envisioned. Not only does it look super cute, but it also has 10 ways to arrange the seat (and a very decent price tag). It also comes with a Graco 35 Click Connect Infant Car Seat. Score!
- Infantino Fusion Flexible Position Baby Carrier: I looked at all the different brands of baby carriers and I liked this one the best, mainly because of the price and the fact that is has good reviews. I was scared of spending over $150 on a baby carrier that my baby maybe wouldn’t even like. So, I thought this would be a good place to start.
- Graco Gotham Smart Organizer System Back Pack Diaper Bag: Even though it’s definitely not the cutest diaper bag on the block, with something like this, function trumps looks. As with nearly every baby product on the market, the reviews are usually a mixed bag and it’s the same with diaper bags. This specific one is one of the rare ones with a majority of good reviews.
- Aautoo Portable Changing Mat: We got this plain black one, because we like plain haha. We will also use this changing pad up in the loft for the night-time diaper changes.
- Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Bag Dispenser: For dirty diapers and dirty clothes when you're not at home!