Minimalist Baby Items Checklist: 25 Natural Essentials for Baby
What does a newborn need?
Warmth, mama, nourishment & a toxin-free environment.
That’s it! Keep it simple, newborns are very easy to “over-buy” for, but they’re needs are quite simple. I don't know about you, but we didn't have a lot of money when we had our first child, so I had to get very creative with used items. Plus I never wanted to spend too much time collecting lots of things that we had no use or room for. We lived in a small apartment (less than 500 sq. ft.) when my son was born and had very limited space for extra, unnecessary baby items. We're expecting Baby #2 and I thought that First-Time Mamas would like some help choosing from the dizzying array of baby gear out there. Read more of my checklist on NaturalNews.com.
If you're not sure about car seats, (believe me,I know how complicated it is!) I found Reviews.com has a very good article about safe car seats and their different pros and cons. They've also consulted with child passenger safety technicians and pediatricians! Check it out here:
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Here is my list of:
Baby Essentials for 6 Months & beyond
1. Cedar wood crib - make it yourself! Just make sure the slats are very close together (3-4” apart) and that the mattress fits in the crib tightly so that baby’s head doesn’t get stuck between the mattress and side of the crib. You can wait 6-10 months to make or buy one, as they can sleep with you initially. But if co-sleeping isn't working out for you (and many families struggle with it), then try lots of other ideas before switching to separate rooms: put your mattress on the floor and have baby nearby but not so close they can smell Mama, try having Dad sleep with Baby separate from Mama for 1/2 the night or if Baby is older try the whole night. I highly recommend "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. But believe me there is no judgement here if you need to do a blend of cry-it-out and gentle no-crying techniques. I can tell you from experience that I know how hard it is to not get more than an hour of sleep at a time for over a year!
2. Crib Mattress if you are using a crib. I recommend using a wool, latex, or rubber mattress given that typical mattresses are treated with carcinogenic flame retardants and other nasty chemicals.
3. Crib sheets (2) with a mattress protector for accidents.
4. Stroller – you won’t need this for 6 months – 1 year as they can ride in the carrier/sling for a long time (until they’re too heavy!). But this is up to you, some people love the convenience of a stroller.
5. Baby food containers – wait to get these until Baby starts solids. Try to get glass containers, or use mason jars to store baby food in the freezer. I never felt the need to freeze my son’s food, we just gave him some mashed up version of our food. You can make casseroles and soups ahead of time and freeze them, then put them in glass containers in the freezer. The trick is to keep the food only ¾ of the way up to the top of the container, otherwise it will crack your glass because it’s overfull and expands in the freezer.
6. Highchair or a chair that hooks to your table. My husband made one out of cedar wood for my little one so I don’t know brands, good ones, etc. I found that my son hardly ever used it, however. He preferred eating on my lap and picking bits of food off of my plate, or getting fed with a baby spoon while sitting on me. I highly recommend getting sterling silverware spoons for Baby, as they are softer than the typical metal used for utensils. We have an old set from my grandmother and I prefer using them over store-bought utensils. They just have a better feel in the mouth. Can’t really explain it, and perhaps it’s not worth the extra expense, but if you have a relative with some family heirlooms try to get a few.
7. Toys? Wait until 4+ months. They don’t need any stimulation other than Mama and Dad’s faces and hands. Once they get older, some spoons, bowls, and Tupperware will make them happy. Buy some high quality wooden toys (like this wooden rainbow: http://amzn.to/2wgKIN9) and don’t buy more than about three toys. You will have plenty of time to accumulate toys when they are older, trust me! With an almost 6 year old, it is the hard reality that we have accumulated some junk toys. So, ask your family to get wooden toys only, or just an experience like a trip to the zoo/local farm/music festival.
DON’T need bath ponchos, adult towels are plenty big and warm.
DON’T need Bumbos, bouncers, motorized rockers, special baby chairs or jumpers, etc. A motorized rocker is a “nice to have” in my opinion. I loved having a wooden cradle that rocks with my foot, it was safe, low to the ground, and gorgeous. Some people do swear by rockers and special fancy electronic chairs for babies, but I’m a simple gal. What worked for my grandmother will work just fine for me! Plus some of those Bumbo-type chairs and jumpers can mess with Baby's neck muscle development. Let Baby learn to crawl and sit up by starting with laying flat on her belly on a soft surface. Then encourage Baby by gently pumping her legs for her.
DON’T need Baby hair brushes. Baby won't have long enough hair for this.
DON’T need baby shoes until they start crawling, etc. I recommend soft leather shoes after crawling/walking as they will not interfere with foot development.
Stay away from plastic teethers, they can have really harmful chemicals in them to soften the plastic. Get untreated wooden teethers or frozen wash cloths (organic). Even an organic cotton sock with ice cubes in it tied tightly would work!
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products that I've personally used & Good Resources:
My favorite Medela Breast Pump http://amzn.to/2whdH3w
UPPABaby Mesa Henry Car Seat (the one with no flame retardants):
The Baby Monitor that we used with my 1st (still working after 5 years!): http://amzn.to/2xEI0QP
Rubber Pacifier: http://amzn.to/2viNeoO
Sleep sacks, wool clothes, womby bags (swaddle bags), natural wool mobile toys, felt toys, organic teddy bears and other toys, organic baby blankets, organic socks, silkwool clothing (pajamas), natural teething toys, and so much more!
Bibs, changing pads, crib sheets (sateen), cloth diaper inserts, baby blankets, bath ponchos, nursing pads for Mama, and teethers
Canadian online store selling organic cotton fabric if you want to save money & make things yourself.
American company selling wide variety of organic cotton fabric. I’ve ordered from them before, came beautifully wrapped.
Pillowcases (for toddlers), crib duvet covers, blankets, quilts, bibs, and hats, all organic.
Organic baby bedding, wool comforters, lamb fleece, bassinet pads, etc. Featured in Oprah Magazine