minimalism, parenting, simplify

What Do I Really Need for Baby?

Well, I’m pregnant again!

With Aiden only just having turned 1 in July, lots of people are asking me if this pregnancy was planned. So nosey.

I get it though. To have kids this close together has to be an accident right? Well, actually no. I wanted another baby.

I have had people tell me to my face that I’m essentially crazy. HA! If only they knew…

In response to their mean comments, I’ve just decided to tell them I’m choosing to adopt this quote as my motto: “It’s better to run through fire than walk through it.”

On a less dramatic note, I see a lot of benefits of having kids closely spaced together. Built-in playmate and friend for life!

Just look how excited Aiden is!

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One other advantage of having closely spaced kids is there is no need to break all the baby gear out of dusty storage! I hate storing things.

Since I’m in this mode of preparing for baby number 2, I thought I’d offer insight to what I’ve learned since last time we went through this whole process.

One thing that I found difficult when I was pregnant the first time around was figuring out what exactly we were going to need.  I remember scouring Pinterest and every blog post I could find with lists of baby “must-haves” and “can’t live withouts”. As a parenting noob, I feel like I definitely fell prey to the trend of overpreparation.

Over a year laterI know now that babies don’t need that much. Most of the things we end up buying are advertised for the convenience of the parents, yet I’d argue that sometimes that ends up being a total sham. More stuff, more fuss. That’s what I’ve found.

Here’s my list of what baby needs, whether you’re expecting your first baby or even if this isn’t your first rodeo and you just want to pare down on all the baby gear.

 

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The Basics

Part of keeping a tidy home is not buying too much stuff. It’s very tempting to purchase, purchase, purchase when it comes to babies. Here’s a list of the bare minimum that babies need (in my opinion and experience):

  • a place to sleep
  • clothes- I try to avoid fancy baby clothing. It’s cute. But expensive! And they only wear it for a few weeks! Onesies are versatile and more comfortable anyway.
  • diapers
  • baby wipes
  • swaddling blankets
  • burp cloths
  • feeding items: bottles, breast pump, etc.
  • thermometer
  • comb and brush
  • baby nail trimmers
  • mild soap and shampoo
  • baby lotion
  • infant Tylenol

I know that seems like a short list. There are a lot of other things that parents swear by, and even some things we were glad to have. The trick is limiting these extras and not overdoing it.

 

Don’t Waste Money on Things You Don’t Need

In reality, babies don’t need that much. We are the ones that feel like we need all the extra stuff. Sure, some of that other stuff makes life easier, but some of it doesn’t.

We never used our wipe warmer because it was a pain to refill and I was scared of it starting a fire. There were cute outfits and baby shoes that never got worn. We even have one of those fancy Mamaroo baby swings and Aiden hated it!

If I had to calculate the total money spent on things that we never used or worn, I would probably have a meltdown. I hate wasting money!

This time around, we are basically reusing everything we bought or were given for Aiden. I’ve gotten rid of things that I know we won’t use.

We probably won’t even have a baby shower. Well, maybe if it’s a girl. Even then, I cringe at the thought of more baby toys and gadgets that will never be used. So maybe we won’t after all.

The only things we are buying new (or used):

  • double stroller
  • baby carrier wrap but I might just make my own like this
  • digital baby monitor-this is not a necessity at all, but I am one of those paranoid moms that need it for peace of mind

 

Determine Your Needs

The best way to make sure that you don’t over-buy for baby is to determine what you and your family need. Be very selective and think about what’s important to you.

Some people splurge on certain baby items and are willing to spend less on others. It’s okay to splurge on something you know you’ll be using a lot and will last long enough. Especially if you’re planning on having more kids.

If you’re having a baby shower, give people a link to your baby registry so they know what you need. Even so,  many people will still end up buying you what they think you need. If they ask you in advance, you have the opportunity to say,  “No, thank you. But we could really use help with finding a ____”.

Chances are, you’re still going to end up receiving gifts you don’t want. In case they don’t leave a gift receipt, keep boxes and packaging and don’t take tags of clothing until you are sure you’re going to use them. Don’t feel guilty for taking things back or exchanging it for something you really do need or want for your baby.

Chaos Ahead For the Markham Clan

I have to admit that even with my plan to keep it simple and minimal with the purchases, I’m still very uncertain how things are going to be with two littles. I expect there will be some challenges.

One of the big questions on my mind is how to keep everything from falling into total chaos with two under two? I’m sure we’ll discover the answers in our own time, but for any of you parents out there, any tips?

Thanks for reading and for being patient with me as I try to keep up with the posting. Have a happy weekend wherever you are!

 

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