Bare Essentials for Baby by a Minimalist Mom

If you’re pregnant with your first baby, I know you’re feeling that urge to shop and shop and shop. It’s beyond tempting! There are so many what-ifs with a new baby coming that you feel like you need to buy stuff for every scenario, just in case.

In preparation for getting pregnant with baby #2, I’ve started reflecting on what we really, actually need for a baby and what I’d like to do differently next time.

So, if I had to completely start from scratch and only buy the bare minimums, this is it.

Remember, Amazon Prime is your friend. If it’s not a necessity, you can get any unexpected necessities within 2 days. There’s no sense in over-buying. Clutter begets clutter.

*This post contains a few affiliate links which help me keep this blog afloat through a small commission at no extra pennies for you. Thanks!*

That being said, I can’t recommend ENOUGH creating a baby registry on Amazon! I only registered through Amazon and it allowed relatives both near and far to shop for me. Plus, you get a welcome box with some necessities, extended return dates, and a discount to purchase anything on your registry that’s not gifted to you from someone else. Holllaaaa!

The Simple Minimalist List for a New Baby

I’m going to lay it out there, plain as day. Here are the only things you NEED for a new baby.

  1. A safe place to sleep. I recommend a simple crib.
  2. A stroller & car seat.
  3. 10-15 simple outfits, appropriate for the time of year.
  4. Swaddle blankets and burp cloths.
  5. Diapers and wipes.
  6. Diaper rash cream.
  7. A few pacifiers.
  8. A bottle and formula (even if you plan to breastfeed).

A Simple Convertible Crib

According to the AAP, baby should have a firm surface to sleep on to help prevent SIDS. So, a crib or bassinet is a must. No need to get fancy, here! Here’s a beautiful, simple crib for just over $100. Plus, it’s convertible so it will grow with baby! We actually bought our crib used on Facebook Marketplace and touched it up with some white paint.

nursery essentials for a minimalist - crib

Stroller with Connecting Car Seat

Being able to transfer Griffin from the car to the stroller without waking him was a game changer. I would 110% recommend finding a car seat/stroller duo that works together – we’ve loved the Chicco Bravo system. We found a Chicco Bravo stroller locally for about half the retail price and it’s served us well!

We also found a used Chicco car seat and 2 used bases (one for each car), so the car seat easily clicks into place without having to install it each time. For our next baby, I’ll buy a brand new car seat instead of buying one used.

using a stroller and car seat as a minimalist

Simple Outfits

I recommend getting 10-15 simple outfits appropriate for the season. So, don’t get a newborn winter jacket if your due date is in the summer! I also stress simple because babies are 1. messy and 2. like to be comfy. Find a pack of gray or colored onesies like this that you can have on standby and dress up or down. White onesies get stained easily and you don’t want to spend extra time getting stains out of white clothes.

Of course, pick out 2-3 cute outfits you LOVE and are still super comfy, but remember: Those first 3 months are all about healing and acclimating to this new life. You’ll thank yourself by having simple outfits that are OK getting soiled often.

Swaddle Blankets & Burp Cloths

Mama. Don’t overdo it here!!! You only need a couple swaddle blankets (2 for $12) and a few burp cloths (5 for $25). If your baby is a spitter, then you can always order more burp cloths so you aren’t doing laundry every day. We went through burp cloths like CRAZY with Griffin!

Diapers, Diapers, Diapers. And Wipes.

Obviously, this is so crucial. However, if your needs are met with baby stuff and there are more people asking you what you need, say DIAPERS! Ask for newborn, size 1, and even size 2 diapers. You’ll use them all.

If you’re on a budget crunch, consider Parents Choice diapers from Walmart. They’ve served us well and cost about 66% less than Pampers when I last checked (June 2019).

We’ve also been happy with the Parents Choice Sensitive Wipes from Walmart, which cost about 15% less than Pampers Sensitive. When you go through a lot of wipes, it adds up!

Diaper Rash Cream

I include diaper rash cream on the essential list because almost all babies are bound to get a diaper rash at some point, and when you need it, you need it.

We’ve used both Boudreaux’s Butt Paste and Earth Mama Angel Baby Diaper Balm. The diaper balm was better in the extra-tender and sensitive areas, and the butt paste was better for the… butt. LOL. The butt paste is also VERY thick and hard to wipe off, so we alternated based on needs. You don’t necessarily need 2 diaper rash creams to start, but just make sure you have something when the time calls.

out favorite diaper rash cream as a minimalist

A Few Pacifiers

Some babies take a pacifier, some don’t. However, the pacifier literally saved my sanity. I originally was planning to wait until we had established our breastfeeding relationship (lol, that’s a story), but instead I caved after about a week. You may not need a pacifier, but if your experience turns out to be anything like mine, then it’s one of the few just-in-case items I believe you should have on-hand.

using pacifiers as a minimalist

A Bottle & Formula

Hear me out, mama. Even if you are 110% committed to breastfeeding, anything can happen. I wanted to breastfeed for the first year, but it was pretty much the hardest thing I have ever done and negatively impacted my mental health. Breastfeeding hormones also contributed to my postpartum depression.

If you plan to breastfeed, I sincerely hope you have an easy, amazing experience. However, it’s like planning for a vacation – you could have terrible weather that’s completely out of your control. So, I want you to be prepared in case you’re desperate to feed your baby and breastfeeding isn’t an option at the moment.

Many registries (like Amazon and Target) will send you a welcome package which includes a free Avent bottle, so just keep one on hand! Then, if you sign up for the Enfamil Family Beginnings program (completely free), they’ll send you an entire box of formula samples for free, which is more than enough to get by in case of emergencies.

If you plan to use bottles at all, we swear by Dr. Brown’s! It has a few extra parts that ensure baby doesn’t swallow extra air, so it helps reduce gas pains. Plus, they’re dishwasher safe so they’re super easy to clean!

essential baby supplies for a minimalist

Ending Thoughts on Minimalist Baby Essentials

So, that’s honestly all you need for a new baby. Of course, every mom is different and every baby is different, so think about your situation. However, you don’t need the wipe warmer, or the extra bassinets, or even the Diaper Genie.

At this point, we throw all diapers in our regular trash that has a lid. Sometimes we’ll put the poopy diapers in their own bag or take them out to the garage trash, but despite having a Diaper Genie, the nursery smelled like poop, so we stopped using it.

A diaper bag? Any bag (or old purse!) will do, honestly. I’ve hated my diaper bag and honestly, any sturdy bag would be better than the dedicated diaper bag we have!

Anything beyond this list can be bought as-needed, so don’t clutter up your home now with all the what-ifs!

And remember, if you’re on a budget, think about shopping locally for the as-needed extras. We bought a Bumbo and several toys used for half the price of retail. Think savvy, mama. You got this!

Pin this Minimalist Baby Essentials List for later!

what a baby needs when you're a minimalist

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