The Minimalist’s Baby Registry

The Minimalist’s Baby Registry

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It can be so easy to go down the rabbit hole, and end up with a truckload of baby gear. But if you live in a small space, are on a tight budget, or just want to keep it simple, there’s good news: you absolutely can have a minimalist baby registry. 

When considering a baby product with a minimalist attitude, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it multi-functional / will it grow with my baby?
  • Does it require extra pieces, batteries, etc?
  • How much space does it take up?

In this post, we’ll share our favorite minimalist baby registry products for parents-to-be who are committed to keeping it simple. 

Sleeping Space

You will need a safe, flat, independent sleep space for your baby. Safe options are a bassinet, crib, or mini-crib. Bassinets are space-saving, but only work for the first few months. Mini-cribs are also space-saving and can last until your little one is ready for a toddler bed around 2-3 years old, just like a crib. Cribs take up more space but many can convert into a toddler bed for years of use!

Bassinet top pick – UPPAbaby with bassinet stand

Mini Crib top pick top pick – Babyletto Gelatto 4-in-1

Crib top pick – Babyletto 3-in-1

Swaddle Blankets

We are firm believers in swaddling. Newborns are accustomed to the tight confinement of the womb, and swaddling is essential to settle their sensitive nervous systems. There are tons of swaddling products to choose from, from a simple muslin blanket to all the bells and whistles: velcro, zips, arms up or out options, and more. Muslin blankets can be used forever for so many things besides swaddling – stroller sun shade, nursing cover, impromptu changing pad… but they come with a bit of a learning curve. Swaddling products with fasteners are easier to get the hang of, but your child will outgrow them in a manner of months.

Muslin blanket top pick – aden + anais

Convertible swaddle top pick – Nested Bean

Arms Up Top Pick – Love To Dream Swaddle Up

Car Seat

If you plan on taking your little one in a vehicle, you will need a car seat. Your newborn can use an infant seat or a convertible seat. Infant seats are convenient as they can be quickly clipped into and out of a base in the car or a coordinating stroller without unfastening the baby. This is handy as to not disturb a sleeping infant or to be able to secure your little one in the warmth of your home in the winter months. However, babies quickly outgrow infant seats and will need to move to a convertible seat by or around their first birthday. Most convertible seats are designed for newborns through booster seat age, so you’ll get several years out of use out of them.

Infant car seat top pick – UPPAbaby MESA V2

Convertible car seat top pick – Diono Radian

Baby Carrier

Babywearing is a must for the minimalist parent. Wearing your baby in a carrier can make a lot of previously impossible excursions totally doable. Many devoted babywearing parents find that they hardly or never need a stroller, and canget a lot more done around the house while babywearing, too! There’s are a truly intimidating selection of babywearing options, from a simple woven wrap to soft structured carriers with buckles and snaps, all the way to structured hiking carriers. Woven wraps are the most versatile – you can even back carry your newborn with one – however they have a pretty steep learning curve. Soft structured carriers are also versatile, easy to use, and many are designed to be used with newborn through toddler age. However some people find them less cozy for newborns. Stretchy wraps are a nice in-between, while working best for young babies, they take some practice but are quick to figure out.

Woven wrap top pick – Girasol

Stretchy wrap top pick – Boba

Soft structured carrier top pick – LILLEbaby 6-in-1

Stroller

An absolute necessity for most families, the best stroller for you will depend on a few factors:

  • Are you mainly walking on city streets or rugged terrain?
  • How easily does it fold/unfold and how important is that to me? (i.e. does it need to easily fold and fit in the trunk of your car)
  • Does it work with the infant car seat I have chosen (skip if you’re going right to a convertible car seat)
  • How easy is it to maneuver? 
  • Can it grow with my family? (add second seat or stand board)

City Stroller Top Pick – UPPAbaby

All Terrain Stroller Top Pick – BOB Revolution

Diaper Bag

Your baby will need a few key items while you’re out and about: diapers, wipes, spare set of clothes. Add bottles, pacifiers, diaper cream, and toys and it becomes quickly obvious why most parents opt for a dedicated diaper bag. A minimalist approach to the diaper bag would encompasses two things:

  • Multipurpose: stores your stuff and your baby’s stuff = no need for 2 bags, you can still use your bag after your little one is out of diapers
  • Just the essentials: resisting the urge to pack all.the.things you might need and trusting that you’ll make do with the basics

Backpack diaper bag pros and cons – Ferskenciel 

Over the shoulder diaper bag top pick – Mominside

Diapers + Wipes

Now that you’ve got that diaper bag, let’s put some diapers in it! Your two main options with diapers are: disposable or cloth. Disposable and cloth wipes are two choices for your minimalist baby registry, too. Disposibles are convenient, but less green and more costly. Cloth diapers are more time-consuming, but more environmentally friendly. They require more up front investment in cost and education, but many types of cloth diapers can get you from newborn to potty training.

Disposible diapers top pick – DYPER Viscose

Cloth diapers top pick – Nora’s Nursery Pocket Diaper

Feeding supplies

Your baby’s gotta eat! If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you could technically not need any feeding products at all for the first few months. But many babies do bottle feed some or all of the time. You may also need an electric and/or manual breast pump, a nursing pillow, and breast pads. Later on you will need a high chair and dishware/cutlery for your little one. For this section we’ve listed our favorite minimalist baby registry items for feeding. 

Minimalist baby bottle top pick – Mason bottle

Silicone breast pump top pick – Haaka

Cloth breast pads top pick – Keababies Bamboo

High chair top pick – Abiie Beyond

Bath Time

Newborns are wiggly! You will want a newborn bath tub to help you keep your little one safe as you bathe them. The two main options are those that fit in the sink vs. those that are meant to be used in a tub, or even standalone. Sink baths are must easier on your back, but your little one will outgrow them more quickly.

Sink baby bathtub top pick – Puj

Collapsible stand-alone tub top pick – Boon

Tummy Time

Babies need daily tummy time for motor development. Of course, in true minimalist fashion you could just throw a blanket on the floor for your little one. It works! But if you’re looking for a product that will keep your baby engaged, there are tons of tummy time mat options. Our favorite has no annoying lights and sounds, promise!

Tummy time top pick – Lovevery

Must-haves for your minimalist baby registry

The key to a minimalist baby registry is to take your time. It’s so tempting to overbuy when shopping for an adorable baby! But if you goal is to keep it simple, take it slow. With each product you consider, really picture how it would look and feel in your home, in your hands, or against your baby’s skin. Consider space an item needs, longevity, and versatility. More longevity and versatility = less shopping down the road.

When you truly consider what you need, you may very well find that you don’t even feel the need to share your minimalist baby registry with friends and family. Instead of baby products, ask your community to send their favorite board or picture book, contribute to postpartum support services, or host a nesting party. Having a baby doesn’t have to mean your life is overtaken with stuff!