I can be a very opinionated person, mostly to a fault. Here's proof of this. Before Emmett was born, I told my mom that I didn't want my house overrun with baby things. How's that for insane selfishness?! Just keeping it real.
Seriously though. Go to the baby section of any store and you can become completely overwhelmed with the endless things our culture says are NEEDS when it comes to raising a little person. This guide is our attempt at a minimalist lifestyle in regards to all things baby. Please know that each family and newborn is different and what may work for one will not work for another. Hopefully this can be helpful for those who seek freedom from the materialistic lifestyle of our culture.
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Baby Care Items //Cherish the First Six Weeks: A Plan that Creates Calm, Confident Parents and a Happy, Secure Baby To be really honest, we didn't do the good first-time-parent thing by reading every book in the baby section of Barnes and Noble. But we did happen upon this book a couple weeks before Emmett was born and it was such a godsend. It is a super balanced approach to newborn schedules, sleeping and overall care. It became our Baby-Bible for Emmett's first six weeks and now I want to give a copy to all my soon-to-be-mom friends!
Lavender essential oil + the Kidscents collection of essential oils // Click here to see what we use
Burp Cloths : I am pretty sure these basic burp cloths have been around since my mom was a baby and we still have them today because of how versatile they are. The simple, pure cotton make them perfect for wiping Baby's face, on the shoulder for burping and even for catching diaper messes.
Swaddle Blankets : If I had to pare down my baby things to a single item, I would choose our Aden and Anais swaddle blankets hands down. These cotton blankets are soft, versatile and so big! Emmett is still able to be swaddled in them at a whopping 18 pounds at four months. Some friends gave us a four pack as a shower gift and within days after Emmett was born, I had purchased another pack from Amazon. They are used everyday, all day in our house from swaddling at bedtime and naps to being used on the floor for tummy time. They have been used as a nursing cover, burp cloth, and as a sunshade with the car seat and stroller. Don't even waste your money buying any other receiving blankets because these will be worth every cent you spend.
Butt Paste : Emmett is almost five months old and has yet to experience diaper rashes. *knock on wood* We use a little of this paste at the end of several diaper changes throughout the week and I believe it has been such a great prevention tool and it lasts forever.
Relax Melodies App: We gifted the popular Sleep Sheep for Emmett and we found it to work wonders when we put him down to sleep in those first weeks. Then one day when I was at someone's house and needed to put him down for a nap, I downloaded the Relax Melodies App on my Iphone and it's been a lifesaver ever since. There are 44 different sounds you can compile for hundreds of custom sleep sounds. And the best part is that this app is free. . . unless of course your sleep needs require 45+ sound options. Then you just might want to upgrade.
Rock n' Play : The Rock-N-Play was something I didn't think we would really use. Until it was given to us and Emmett didn't sleep in anything else for the first two months. We loved this portable sleeper for taking to Grandmas for naps, sliding into the living room when we wanted to have a movie night in those early newborn days and it was where he slept next to our bed until moving into his bigger cradle. The curved structure of the Rock-N-Play gave me a lot of peace of mind in the beginning as he spit up a lot and had some mucus problems as a newborn. This sleeper elevated him enough to help prevent choking.
Soft Bristle Baby Brush : After reading the aforementioned book, I learned that using a soft bristled hair brush at bath time could prevent cradle cap. I started using it with a little of my favorite baby shampoo at every bath. It was until I forgot it on our recent trip to California, that I realized how it actually works!!
Mama Care Items //
Nursing Bras: A couple weeks before Emmett was born, I went to a maternity store and purchased several nursing bras. It wasn't until a couple weeks ago that I decided to try one from Target. Now I wish I bought these from the beginning. They are super comfy and much more reasonably priced than many alternatives.
Lanolin for nursing : This lanolin was amazing for my early nursing days. It helped prevent cracked, bleeding nipples and was safe for Baby so no washing off before feedings! I also used it for Emmett's dry lips in his newborn days.
Breast Pump : The best piece of advice I got when it came to breast pumps was from a very wise friend. She said to start out with an inexpensive version first and then upgrade as needed. The benefit of this is you may find you don't need to multi-hundred dollar pump and then you saved yourself a lot of money. To be used on new, post-baby clothes for example. For my pumping needs, I discovered I was able to get by with this $35 single pump. It works great for my occasion pumping needs for date nights, errands, etc. If you plan to exclusively pump, you may find a double, more efficient one works better.
A Few Extras //
Double Stroller : When considering our stroller purchase, I knew we wanted something that could be used when more babies come down the road. My only bone to pick with most double strollers is that the cheap ones are as large as a train and the sleek are the price of a small car. When my sister-in-law found the Kinderwagon Hop, I fell in love. The tandem style seating makes this double umbrella stroller compact and easy to maneuver. Definitely worth spending a big chunk of shower-gift-money on!!
Graco Swing Some friends were moving out of town and passed a similar Graco swing like this on to us. While we don't use it enough to merit the expense, I have found it handy for a safe place for Emmett to sit while I shower or make dinner.
Chalkboard Baskets: I registered for several of these baskets on both our wedding and baby registries. They are some of my favorite pieces in our home. I love the asthetically pleasing way they store diapers, baby care items, toys, books, dirty baby clothes and more.