DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS (AT NO COST TO YOU). I WILL ONLY RECOMMEND PRODUCTS THAT I’VE PERSONALLY PUT TO THE TEST AND DEPENDING ON THE COMPANY, YOU MIGHT EVEN GET A COUPON OR DISCOUNT FOR USING MY LINK. WIN-WIN!
Are you expecting a little bundle of joy? Congratulations! Preparing for a new baby can be exciting, but overwhelming, especially when it comes to deciding which items are essential. Worry not, parents-to-be! I’ve put together a list of minimalist baby registry must-haves, so you can spend your early days as a new parent focusing on the important stuff – like learning how to take care of a tiny human.
Gone are the days of cluttered nurseries and never-ending shopping lists. When planning for the arrival of our son, Parks, I did my best to stick with a minimalist baby registry, but it quickly grew and before we knew it, we had a lot of stuff that we didn’t need or use. I made this mistake so you don’t have to. I’m here to help you embrace the minimalist lifestyle and ensure your baby only has the essentials they truly need. A decluttered space is a decluttered mind. And with everything you’re going to learn as you welcome your new baby into the world, having an organized space with a place for just the essentials is going to serve you well. Trust me.
With this guide, you’ll be well on your way to welcoming your little one with ease and confidence. So, let’s dive in and explore the best baby gear for the ultimate minimalist baby registry!
- Where To Start With Your Minimalist Baby Registry
- Diapering Essentials For Your Minimalist Baby Registry
- Feeding Must-Haves for the Ultimate Minimalist Baby Registry
- Sleeping and Safety Essentials for Your Minimalist Baby Registry
- Clothing and Bathing Necessities for Your Minimalist Baby Registry
- Travel Essentials for Your Minimalist Baby Registry
- My Recommendations for Your Minimalist Baby Registry
Where To Start With Your Minimalist Baby Registry
First, I’d like to start with which baby registry service I used and why I loved it. Babylist is the only registry you need. And no, they aren’t paying me to tell you that.
Instead of having separate registries at a dozen different places, Babylist allows you to add items from any store–even if the stores don’t support registries themselves. That means that you can add items from the cute little baby boutique you found online even if it doesn’t have its own registry service.
Babylist will also update you as people shop from your registry, but instead of spoiling surprises, it gives you the option to see what someone bought or keep it a surprise.
Diapering Essentials for Your Minimalist Baby Registry
When it comes to diapering your little one, cloth diapers are an excellent option for any minimalist or sustainably-minded parent. Not only are they a more eco-friendly choice, but they can also save you money in the long run. Cloth diapers come in various types, including prefolds, all-in-ones, and hybrids, so it’s essential to find the right fit for your family. My favorite way to learn about all the different types and what would work best for me was by following Hey Shayla on YouTube.
One of the best things about cloth diapers is that they are highly customizable. You can choose the absorbency, size, and design that best suits your baby’s needs. They come in a variety of adorable colors and patterns that will make you want to show them off to everyone. If you’re having a summer baby, the cute cloth diaper designs and colors make it possible for them to replace pants altogether.
Sustainably Sourced Diapers (That Aren’t Cloth)
If you’re not up for cloth diapering, that’s totally OK! If you are looking for a disposable diaper, but still want to keep the environment in mind, I recommend Coterie diapers. They are high quality and made of 25% plant-based materials, which is more than other brands, and they don’t have the dyes, fragrances, or chemicals that other diapers do. This is so important. My 8-month-old has never had a diaper rash as a result!
Pro Tip: I don’t recommend buying any diapers in a newborn size until after your baby is born. You might not need them. The hospital will send you home with a few newborn-sized diapers to get you by until you’re able to pick some up if needed. If you want to buy diapers in advance, buy Size 1 because you know you’ll need them eventually. Newborn-sized diapers can be purchased in smaller quantities if and when needed.
Diaper Pail or Wet/Dry Bags
A diaper pail or at least two wet/dry bags are essential items for any cloth-diapering parent.
If you’d like to go the diaper pail route, you’ll want to find one with a tight-fitting lid and a washable liner that will keep odors at bay. Some diaper pails require special bags, so be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations before making a purchase. When it comes to choosing a diaper pail, you’ll want to consider the size and how frequently you plan on washing your diapers. If you’re washing every other day or so, a smaller pail might suffice. However, if you plan on washing less frequently, you may want to invest in a larger pail to hold more diapers.
If you’d like to use wet/dry bags, it’s a good idea to start out with at least two bags. When you wash a load of cloth diapers, you’ll simply throw the bag in with the load, so you’ll want a second bag to use in the meantime. Personally, I prefer wet/dry bags to pails because they’re reusable, you can take them anywhere with you, and they’re so easy to clean. They’re also inexpensive, so you can have a few different bags to keep at your changing station, as well as in your baby’s diaper bag to take with you on the go.
Cloth wipes are available for those of you who don’t mind doing laundry and are excited to save some money. However, I recommend adding Water Wipes to your minimalist baby registry.
Water Wipes are made with sustainability in mind. They’re free of plastic and biodegradable. They’re made of 99.9% purified water which also makes them great for your baby’s skin. Say goodbye to unnecessary chemicals and plastics.
Overall, cloth diapers, a diaper pail, and cloth wipes are excellent additions to any minimalist baby registry. They are eco-friendly, customizable, and will save you money in the long run. They are just as effective (if not more so) than disposable options.
Feeding Must-Haves for the Ultimate Minimalist Baby Registry
Nursing / Breastfeeding Pillow
Finding the right nursing pillow is key to making feeding time comfortable for you and your little one. A nursing pillow is designed to support your baby’s head and neck while feeding, which can help prevent back and neck pain for you. My top pick for a nursing pillow is the Boppy Nursing Pillow. It’s versatile, easy to clean, and can be used even as your baby grows into a toddler. Don’t forget to buy covers for your pillow. I recommend having two on hand in case one needs to be tossed in the laundry.
When it comes to bottles, there are so many options out there that it can be overwhelming. For a minimalist baby registry, I recommend choosing a few high-quality bottles that are easy to clean and can grow with your baby. My top pick is Dr. Brown’s glass bottles. They come in a variety of sizes and they’re dishwasher safe.
Whether you plan to nurse or not, an electric pump will be helpful when your milk starts coming in. And even if you plan to use formula, creating a small breastmilk stash in those early days to use when your baby gets sick or in the bathtub if your baby develops a skin condition like eczema, is a good idea. A breast pump can usually be covered by your insurance.
In my experience, the fancy pumps that you’ll pay extra for like the Willow or Elvie are good in theory but don’t produce the results of the tried and true pumps like the Motif Luna Double Electric Breast Pump, which is my personal favorite and what I use on a regular basis.
Pro Tip: When you buy your pump, it will come with the essential pump parts that you’ll need. However, you might need to order a special size of flange once you’re able to try it on. Ensuring a proper flange fit is critical to pumping properly and efficiently.
As your baby grows and starts to eat solid foods, a high chair becomes an essential piece of furniture. But you don’t need a bulky, expensive high chair to get the job done. And you certainly don’t need to buy this item right away.
Your baby won’t start using a high chair until they can sit upright unassisted. My top pick for a minimalist high chair is the Inglesina Fast Table Chair. It’s lightweight, portable, and can attach to most tables, making it perfect for small spaces, the kitchen counter so Baby can watch you cook, or dining out.
Sleeping and Safety Essentials for Your Minimalist Baby Registry
Bassinet, Crib, or Pack N Play
Choosing where your little one will sleep is one of the biggest decisions you will make as a new parent.
A bassinet, crib, or Pack N Play is a must-have item for your minimalist baby registry. Whether you choose a bassinet for its portability, a pack-n-play for its versatility, or a crib for its longevity, make sure it meets safety standards. Don’t forget that you’ll also need a crib mattress, a waterproof mattress protector, and a set of crib sheets that fit whichever option you choose.
Pro tip: A crib, bassinet, and pack-n-play all use a different size of crib sheet, so be aware of that as you you begin researching options. My favorite crib sheets are from Honest Brand. My favorite Pack-N-Play sheets are very inexpensive and came from Amazon.
Swaddle blankets are versatile and can be used for many purposes beyond just swaddling. They can double as burp cloths, nursing covers, or even a makeshift changing pad. Look for blankets made of soft, breathable fabrics like muslin or bamboo that will keep your baby cozy without overheating.
All of that being said, I highly recommend a swaddle that doesn’t require a Master’s degree to use. The Happiest Baby Sleepea Swaddle was our saving grace when our baby kept busting out of his blanket swaddles.
A baby monitor is an essential item for any new parent wanting to keep an ear (and eye) on their sleeping baby. There are many different types of monitors available, from audio-only to video monitors with Wi-Fi connectivity. Consider your lifestyle and budget when making your decision.
Audio-only monitors are affordable and provide basic sound monitoring for your baby’s room. If you happen to do a lot of camping, I highly recommend splurging on the Roar Baby Monitor. It can be used in your nursery, and it’s also rated as the best monitor for camping with your baby. In this blog, I detail the reasons why.
Video monitors allow you to see and hear your baby, and some even have pan, tilt, and zoom features. My favorite is the HelloBaby Travel Monitor because it’s inexpensive, allows you to view the whole crib with tilt/pan features, and has a good range.
Smart monitors can connect to Wi-Fi, allowing you to access the video feed from your phone or tablet. Some even come with features like room temperature monitoring and lullabies. A popular choice is the Owlet, which comes with a little sock that fits over your baby’s foot and shares readings related to oxygen levels, stage of sleep, and amount of movement.
When it comes to safety, make sure your monitor is placed at a safe distance from your baby’s crib or bassinet, and that all cords are secure and out of reach.
Clothing and Bathing Necessities for Your Minimalist Baby Registry
Onesies and Sleepers
First things first, your baby is going to need clothes. Onesies and sleepers are essential items for your baby’s wardrobe. They are comfortable, easy to put on and come in a variety of colors and designs. Consider purchasing onesies and sleepers with magnets or zippers rather than snaps for easier and more efficient diaper changes.
Before buying anything, consider the season you’re baby will be born. If you’re having a summer baby, I recommend buying short-sleeved onesies for the daytime. If you’re having a winter baby, consider long-sleeved onesies and pants. For nighttime, consider their sleeping environment. We keep our baby’s nursery between 68-72 degrees, which is what’s recommended by experts. In these temps, we put our baby to sleep in a footsie onesie and a light sleep sack. But if you have a newborn, swaddled will serve you better than sleep sacks for the first few months.
When it comes to how many of each you should buy, it’s totally up to you and how much laundry you want to be doing. Buy at least 3-4 of each to accommodate blow-outs and spit-ups, and go from there. You might find that it’s the perfect amount for you. Or you might find that you need a few more of a certain type. Don’t overdo it right out of the gate though. It’s inevitable that your friends and family will gift you baby clothes even if you tell them not to.
My favorite onesies are from HonestBaby. They are inexpensive, sustainably made, and come in variety packs of multiple colors and types whether you’re looking for short sleeves, long sleeves, or footie pajamas.
Pro Tip: When it comes to sizing, I recommend buying a few pieces in the next size up. Babies grow quickly, and you don’t want to be caught without clothes that fit.
Washcloths and Towels
Bath time is an essential part of your baby’s routine, and you’ll want to make sure you have the right supplies. Washcloths and towels are a must-have. Look for soft and absorbent materials that are gentle on your baby’s skin. If you have super soft towels already, those will work.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to wash your baby’s clothes, washcloths, and towels before using them for the first time. New clothes can contain irritants or chemicals that may cause rashes or other skin irritations. Also, I found that those precious little towels made for babies with fun animal hoods were always a little too small. Regular, soft towels will do just fine.
Travel Essentials for Your Minimalist Baby Registry
Infant Car Seat
I highly recommend the Doona Car Seat Stroller. It is less expensive than most of the highly reviewed and recommended travel systems, and it’s more versatile, lighter, compact, and it’s all-around everything you need. The Doona comes with a base that can be installed into your vehicle for easy loading, but it’s also certified to be used without a base in the car and on an airplane, making it the best option for traveling with your new baby. My son is 9 months old and still fits in his Doona car seat. We like that we can stroll him through the airport and either pack it up and check it planeside, or strap him into a seat next to us if one happens to be available. Best of all, it won’t take up all the space in your trunk the way a typical stroller does.
As a minimalist, you are probably looking for ways to simplify your life. A baby carrier can help you do just that. It allows you to keep your hands free while going for a walk or getting things done around the house while still keeping your baby close. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your little one. There are various types of baby carriers to choose from, including wraps, slings, and structured carriers. Choose one that you feel comfortable using and that fits your lifestyle.
Pro Tip: Make sure to follow the safety guidelines for using a baby carrier.
My Recommendations for Your Minimalist Baby Registry
In wrapping up, the key to maintaining a minimalist lifestyle while having a baby is by buying the essentials and then waiting to see what you might need once your little one is born. It may feel scary to be preparing for a new baby and not having or buying a lot of stuff. The truth is that if your baby has a safe place to sleep, clothes, diapers, food, and loving parents, they have everything they need. Once you get into a routine, you’ll quickly figure out the items that might make your lives easier. But trying to predict what you’ll need before you’re in it will result in excess. Trust me.
My mistake was having a huge registry filled with things people told me I needed only to find out we didn’t need most of it.
Here is everything I recommend adding to your minimalist baby registry:
Cloth diapers by Grovia: These are super soft, come in great colors and designs, and are very absorbent.
Coterie disposable diapers: If cloth diapering isn’t your style, these are made with sustainability in mind, and are very gentle on baby’s bum.
Water Wipes: Made with sustainability in mind, and are very gentle on baby’s bum.
AlvaBaby Wet/Dry Bags: These are inexpensive, so you can buy several and rotate them while keeping one in your diaper bag as well.
Boppy nursing pillow: We love and use our Boppy pillow so much that we ended up buying more than one. Buy one, and then you can decide if you’ll use it enough to justify buying a second for the second level of your house or to keep it in your car for nursing on the go.
Dr. Brown’s glass bottles: We’ve found that glass bottles are easier to get clean, and we try to avoid plastic when we can for environmental reasons. Start with 4-ounce bottles for your newborn, and you can graduate in size as your baby begins eating more.
Inglesina Fast Chair (high chair): This high chair clamps onto your table or countertop, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space. It’s lightweight and easy to pack up to bring with you to a restaurant. Click here to see it in action! We take ours everywhere.
Maydolly Bedside Bassinet: If you know you’ll want to keep your baby close, I recommend the Maydolly bassinet. There are a lot of features that make it easy to roll over and pick your baby up in the middle of the night if needed. It rolls smoothly, and it’s big enough that your baby won’t grow out of it quickly, which happened to us with the first bassinet we chose.
Happiest Baby Sleepea Swaddle: We tried a billion swaddles! We could never get them tight enough, and Parks kept busting out of them. This swaddle was our answer! He was swaddled tightly and very comfortable. He started sleeping better once we discovered this one. I recommend buying at least two swaddles so you have a back-up option in case of a blowout. There is nothing worse than a baby who won’t go back to sleep because the swaddle is in the laundry.
HelloBaby Travel Monitor: If you’re looking for a video monitor that is simple and inexpensive, this one is our favorite. The video is clear and it pans, allowing you to follow your baby as they roll around the crib. It’s small enough that packing it up and traveling with it is possible. We love it.
HonestBaby Onesies: Whether you’re looking for short-sleeved onesies, or long-sleeved, HonestBaby has them all. They have a variety of colors, too. They sell their onesies in packs of 5+ and they’re inexpensive and sustainably made.
Doona Car Seat / Stroller: The Doona changed our lives in all the best ways. Regardless of whether you travel a lot, I want to shout its versatility from the mountaintops. This is the only car seat and stroller you’ll need for the first year! It makes running errands a breeze and saves room in your trunk because it simply folds into itself when you need to secure your baby in the car. Our son is a big dude, weighing in at 23 pounds at 9 months old. We’re still using the Doona and plan to use it until he grows out of it.
Remember, minimalism is about simplicity, functionality, and sustainability. Embrace this mindset when creating a baby registry, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a clutter-free, organized life with your newborn baby.
One of the best ways to prevent people from gifting you baby products you don’t need or want is to make sure your friends and family know you’re subscribing to a minimalist mindset. Make sure to include this information on the invitation if you’re planning a baby shower. It’s unavoidable that you’re going to receive a lot of baby stuff you didn’t ask for, but being proactive and letting people know your intentions is a good idea.
Keep in mind, some people will scoff or give you unsolicited and unhelpful advice, which usually starts with something along the lines of “Oh, just you wait,” or “You have no idea…,” but brush them off. I’m speaking to you from experience, and when it comes to your baby, less is more. There is so much “baby stuff” out there and different brands’ marketing is so good that it’s easy to be convinced that you need it.
When you have an excess of stuff, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Feeling overwhelmed due to something that is in your control adds unnecessary stress at a time that’s already stressful–yet magical.