For most new parents, creating a baby registry is an exciting way to prepare for a new arrival.
However, if you live a minimalist lifestyle, the thought of filling your home with a bunch of crap you will only use for a short while can really induce some anxiety.
A minimalist baby registry is a down to earth perspective on what items you REALLY need to have on hand to navigate the newborn phase, without all the excess.
By forgoing the consumerist lifestyle you will save time, money, and develop a family intimacy that is only achievable when you spend your life living intentionally. Most minimalist can relate to this.
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How to create a minimalist baby registry
When we had our son, I was laser focused at keeping his things as non-toxic as possible. I did in-depth research on baby items and created an all-inclusive organic baby registry guide.
If you are interested in non-toxic baby items, you should definitely check out that guide!
We have spend the past year prepping and preparing to move into an RV. We are taking minimalism seriously and have already gotten rid of over half our personal belongings and have so many more to go.
In this process I realized that even though I was being intentional with my baby registry, I still had too many things.
It is hard to control what other people buy for you.
Even if you tell them you are a minimalist and to not buy you anything, they likely won’t listen and you will end up with a bunch of crap you don’t need.
On the flip side, if you give them a VERY specific list of 10-20 items, you stand to actually get those higher priced, but extremely useful products.
We got so many books from family members because we failed to understand what we actually needed. Children don’t need a lot when they are very young and often they have one favorite toy or book.
They are natural minimalists and will read and play with the same things over and over.
We are so grateful to have a family who loves us enough to buy us things.
But things just aren’t what brings happiness and meaning to our lives anymore.
It is hard to explain this concept to people who don’t see the value in minimalism and how many more doors it can open for you as a family when you aren’t weighed down keeping up with all that stuff.
You CAN practice minimalism when you become a parent. It takes even more intentionality in your daily living to swap out or donate the things you have outgrown. Yet it’s so worthwhile to commit to this practice right at the very beginning when you are creating your baby registry.
You DON’T have to own all the things your baby needs. Borrowing is key or waiting until you actually need the item before purchasing while simultaneously getting rid of things you have outgrown.
Here are my best suggestions for creating a minimalist baby registry:
Breastfeed. All you need then is your boobs.
Wait to buy bottles and formula. You can always run out and get these if you are having trouble but there will never be an emergency that you HAVE to have bottles in your home the day your baby is born.
Related: Breastfeeding tips for new moms
Skip the burp clothes, the reality is you will use whatever cloth you have on hand to wipe spit-up whether that be a baby blanket or kitchen towel.
Definitely get a breastpump and breastmilk storage bags. You can submit the receipt to your insurance and they will reimburse you completely. If there is anything you don’t want minimal of it is breastmilk!
The Medela Freestyle breast pump is very small and portable and comes with the freezer kit. I used mine for over a year and it still functioned perfectly.
I used my Boppy pillow for a very long time but if you are a strict minimalist then you could use any pillow in your home to prop your baby during breastfeed.
You will need at least 1 pair of a newborn long sleeve onesie no matter the season. If it is summer you can buy one pack of short sleeve onesies made from organic cotton. That will get your through the first 6 weeks of life.
If you live minimally you know that we don’t need to wash our clothes as often as we think. Most newborns spend a lot of time in their diaper skin to skin with their moms. Especially in the summer, clothing can be very simple for newborn babies.
You will also want to have some socks and a pair of pants if it is the winter time.
You only need two baby blankets, period. Have any more than that and you will never go through them!
I highly recommend checking out children’s resale shops for newborn and size 1 clothes. Your baby will grow so quickly and not be in these sizes for long.
Most of the items at children’s consignment shops in newborn sizes are hardly even used. Many local consignment stores have a rewards program so you can bring the clothes back when you are done and get a percentage off the next size up.
Related: Adorable Organic Baby Clothing Brands
There are so many ways to stimulate sensory development in babies using everyday objects. Toys really should be minimal, especially for babies.
I had some Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals that I saved for a long time and an infant play yard. I really enjoyed watching my son interact with the different objects and it was a safe place for me to lay him down as he got older.
A play yard is by no means essential but you could borrow one from a friend and return it once you are done. If you have a close friend who has an infant swing she isn’t using anymore, I highly recommend you ask her to borrow that.
You will only use an infant swing for five months tops. They are super nice to have but better to borrow because they are so expensive.
If you plan to cosleep, you could almost skip buying a crib entirely. I know plenty of families who ended up cosleeping with their children until they were school-age.
If you have never had a baby before and that idea sounds unrealistic than you could wait to buy a crib and honestly use a large basket that you could repurpose to hold toys.
You don’t really know the bond you will share with your baby until you have him/her in your arms. Cosleeping is a great way to sleep at night very quickly. I want to cosleep with my next baby. I have honestly learned a lot from making tons of mistakes.
Related: How we sleep trained our son to sleep through the night by 5 months old
If you plan to cosleep, you can skip the basket and the crib and try a cosleeper bed like the snuggle me organic or dock a tot. NEITHER of these are imperative to have unless one of you is a violent sleeper and are worried you will squish you baby.
Related: My brutally honest Dock a Tot review
I loved having a nursery chair. Rocking and reading to your baby is something you will do every single day. It is a safe place for both of you to learn and snuggle so this is one of the items that may not make the cut for you, but for me it was absolutely worth it to have.
The nursery chair in the above picture is from pottery barn because it is the only place I could find a chair made from all organic cotton.
You don’t need an expensive baby bathtub if you plan to take baths with your baby.
It is nice to have some soft baby washcloths but you don’t need a designated baby towel. Just use whatever towels you have on hand!
Definitely have a thermometer. I recommend an infrared thermometer so you can check their temperature without waking them up if you are worried about them in the middle of the night.
We make our own baby lotion and don’t use any other products on our son’s skin other than baby castile soap about once a week.
Related: My homemade baby lotion recipe
If you are a runner get a jogging stroller. If you are not a runner and plan to have more than one kid, ask every single person coming to your baby shower to chip in for an Uppababy Vista Henry stroller. It is one of the only strollers that can convert to a double stroller and isn’t sprayed with flame retardant chemicals.
They sell the Uppababy stroller as a combo with the car seat with is also not sprayed with flame retardants.
You will probably want to have some kind of baby wearing wrap. They are super helpful to have and you will use them a lot.
If you plan to use cloth diapers then you will probably need at least 6 shells and 12 inserts. This should get you through two days and then you will have to do laundry.
Related: Check out my homemade cloth baby wipe recipe
There is a hashtag on instagram #eliminationcommunication. Go check that out. You will find mamas who are putting their newborns on teeny tiny potties and teaching them the sign language for poop. That takes some serious commitment to offer babies ample pottying opportunities but it totally aligns with the minimalist lifestyle.
I am seriously considering taking the online course from Go Diaper Free before I have my next child to learn the methods to make this possible.
The biggest take away from this baby registry checklist:
There is honestly NO need to stress out about creating a baby registry, having the perfect nursery, or even being prepared with every single item you may need.
Does your baby have boobs? ✔️
Does your baby have the warmth of your body? ✔️
Does your baby have love? ✔️
These are the three essentials you need to have prepared for your baby when he or she arrives into this life. The rest you can figure out as you go or you can use these suggestions to create a minimalist baby registry.
This will give your friends and family the chance to honor your new family without encroaching on your values.
For more non-toxic baby registry suggestions, please check out my organic baby registry guide!