babies and minimalism

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

So far, everything we've bought, received or made for the baby fits into two small drawers. Actually that's not true; I bought a pram from gumtree and that definitely doesn't fit in a drawer. I was feeling ok about this, until I had a minor panic attack a few weeks ago when I realized that I would be holding a baby in my arms in 3 months time, and we've hardly prepared for his/her arrival.

Actually, that's not true either; it's just that my preparation has mostly involved reading what feels like every book under the sun on the topic of birth and doing lots of prenatal yoga. It's the logistical and material things that have been put on the back burner. I think perhaps what made me worry about this was looking around at other soon to be moms and seeing that they have nurseries set up, names chosen, and carseats installed.

But that's not really how the husband and I roll. We're more fly by the seat of our pants (read - disorganized), and we're also trying to keep baby things to a minimum. I truly think that those lists of what your baby needs are ridiculous. This resolve was only reinforced when I stumbled upon The Minimalist Mom. I bought her e-book immediately and finished reading it the next day, at which point I breathed an even deeper sigh of relief. Her list of must-have baby items has 6 things on it. No joke. And I nearly have all of those 6 things!

So for now, I'm repeating to myself, "reduce, reuse, recycle." Our pram is second-hand; we'll borrow a bassinet from a friend when the time comes (no crib for now); I'm buying a baby carrier from craigslist; I will do my damned hardest to cloth diaper etc. Finally, we won't be setting up a nursery because babies don't need much space and we need our spare room to remain a spare room so my mom has somewhere to sleep.

I know that our baby doesn't need much, and everything that needs to get done will. We still have 12(ish) weeks...

p.s. Photo of my friend's newborn, because that's what this is all about, right? Babies. Not stuff.


  1. so very sensible. i bought the flashest crib imaginable, so expensive, first time around, and claud refused to ever sleep in it so we (safely) co-slept. she also hated the pram and so we didn't use it until she was about 1 1/2-we carried her instead in an ergo.
    with baby two we are just concentrating on researching for and spending on the safest car seat (they can be a pain to install (you might need anchors fitting) so do do this well in advance of babys due date!

  2. Absolutely picking up that book... I have felt so frazzled this time around! It's almost as if Erick and I are too relaxed because "we've been through this" before. Who knows! These next 12 weeks will fly by, I'm sure! x

  3. So true Gaby!

    I'm so glad you've figured this out on your first baby...when we had our first I think in moments of panic we went and bought things we barely used because it's 'what you buy' when you have a baby. Simple is best, and borrowing, buying second hand and making stuff just makes tons more sense :)

    Can't believe you only have 12 weeks to go!


  4. I like you started to get in panic mode but it wasn't until around the last month. I didn't prepare AT ALL. Friends who have had babies and family will give you a bunch of things. To this day the only thing we have bought was a couple of outfits, a crib, diapers & breast pump. Don't sweat it! Babies just need love, sleep, a clean bum, and milk. Easy Peasy! Oh and if you can track down one of those bouncy chair things you put on the ground get one of those. We borrowed one from a friend and my baby lived in it for the first 3 months :)

  5. so true! some of those list are ridiculous indeed!
    good for you, babies don't need much thats for sure :)

  6. You're spot on Gaby! They need somewhere to sleep, milk, nappies and a few simple clothes to keep them warm. Other than that all the rest can just completely overhwhelm you. Yay for you figuring this out first time around. :) x

  7. Loving your philosophy Gaby and I couldn't agree more. I've always been very minimalist in my life and I don't see the need for babies to have a ton of stuff, to me, it just doesn't make sense. And oh my gosh, eeee, you'll be holding your baby in 3 months. How very exciting!! xo

  8. I literally just had a baby (11days old!) so I'm a little over enthusiastic on the subject... But all we really use is those Aden + anais swaddles ( magic I tell you magic) and Carter's kimonos and socks. He sleeps in his pack n play bassinet. And that's about it. We also cloth diaper. And so far, so good. I'm using wool covers and fitted diapers and couldn't be happier.

  9. it's kind of like the wedding industry where they SAY you need all of this stuff to have a perfect wedding, but you can ACTUALLY have whatever you want who cares what the industry thinks. good on you guys, and when we have a little one, that sounds like the perfect pre-baby read.

  10. Amen!! Regan got the carseat and got it fitted and also got the cot while I was in hospital with bubs about to come home! There is so much overkill these days and you will get presents after your bubs is born too xx

  11. Wonderful post, Gaby. I laugh now at all the stuff we bought during our first pregnancy. Honestly, newborns don't need much. Bodysuits, nappies, a few wraps, baby wipes, a dummy (if you plan on using one) and some socks or mittens for their hands to keep them from scratching their faces. That's probably about it, apart from a place to sleep, a carseat and a baby carrier or pram. 12 weeks is plenty!! :)
    Ronnie xo

  12. I love your attitude. Preparing for the arrival of a baby does not mean rampant consumerism. You need: somewhere for baby to sleep (cot/moses basket/bassinet/crib), a car seat, a pram or buggy of some kins, clothes and nappies. You can buy anything else later. You baby is going to have everything he or she needs. :-)

    Gillian x

  13. Babies need so little in the first few months. Truly. You'll get everything you need figured out. xo


  14. I took the minimalist approach too and still do. Since I breastfeed, EC and Co-sleep, my essentials ended up being: a nursing pillow, baby carrier and a baby bjorn potty. Most of the clothes for the first bit of his life were hand-me-downs from my sister's or gifts. The same for blankets and cloth diapers. In terms of cloth diapering, I ended up trying a few different types before figuring out and buying what worked for me. I really recommend taking a cloth diapering workshop if you can. I think the key is to start with the essentials, and then go from there. The reality is you often discover what you do and do not need during the first couple of months.


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