Bare Minimum Baby Essentials

simplify life Oct 24, 2023
Bare minimum baby essentials image of basket full of new baby stuff

Welcoming a new baby into the family is so exciting, but the thoughts of adding another to your family can also be overwhelming. How will you do it all? Some days are already rough! However, if you have simplified life, your transition should be much better. One way you can simplify is by having less baby stuff. What essentials are needed for a newborn? We honestly don't need so much stuff, although some things are quite helpful. Let's jump into the bare minimum baby essentials you will actually need.

What is the Bare Minimum You Need for a Baby?

What baby items do I actually need? What are the essentials? Basically, you need a plan to feed and clothe your baby, along with a safe place for baby to sleep. Yes, there are many options you could buy and other items you will probably need to purchase later, but keep reading to find out the bare minimum baby essentials to start out with. Babies grow so quickly and nothing is used for very long. It's easy to make do with minimal items, especially until they get a bit older. Now, if you still have a bunch of baby stuff from your last baby, then you can either pare down or just use it.

Minimalist baby essentials

Let's cover some essentials you will need to take care of your baby. These are in no particular order and some of them you may not deem a necessity. If there are some items you feel I've missed, definitely let me know in the comments. I'm basically going for minimalist baby essentials versus items that are helpful or nice to have but not necessary for your baby's survival.

  • Diaper Bag or Backpack. You will want some kind of bag to put diapers, wipes, nursing cover or blanket (if nursing), and other necessities for your outing. You could use a large purse and throw them in, or have a separate bag or backpack. If you have a toddler as well, you will need a bit more space to add snacks and sippy cups.
  • Diapers and wipes. You will want to decide if you will use disposable diapers or cloth diapers . . . or a mix of both. You may choose cloth wipes as well. Whatever you choose, you will have to have something!
  • Muslin blankets for swaddling, using as a nursing cover, lightweight baby blanket, and more. These are definitely multi-use and I wish I'd known about them before my last baby.
  • Boppy pillow or another nursing pillow. Some mamas find this absolutely essential while others could take or leave it. I honestly didn't have one for my first, but I did really come to enjoy it with my others. Besides helping with positioning your baby while nursing, but it is also great for setting your baby in or using it as a support or protection when they are learning to sit.
  • Sleepsacks for newborn and older infants. You can definitely use one of the muslin blankets and swaddle your baby, but the newborn swaddlers are nice as well. I really like the sleep sacks for when they get a bit older.
  • Sleep and play outfits. When I had my first baby, I would dress her up most days, but after that, I realized the convenience of just keeping them in cute sleep and play outfits a majority of the time. They're comfortable for baby, plus easy to hold them in and change them. You may want a couple of other outfits in each size, but they're definitely not a necessity. If it's hot where you live, just swap these out for onesies.
  • Baby Wrap or carrier. You will want something to use to wear your baby. Babywearing is so good for your newborn, plus you often need your hands for other things. These are a must-have baby essential!
  • High chair or booster seat. You won't need this right away, but eventually you will need a place for your baby to learn to eat food. I did have a high chair, but if I could do it all over again, I'd probably just have a booster seat with a tray.
  • Baby hat and blanket if your baby is born during a cold season. Etsy is also a great place to find newborn baby essentials.
  • Portable baby swing or similar item. This is another item that you don't have to have, but it is nice to have a place you can safely put your baby when you're cooking or doing other tasks that make it hard to wear your baby. I loved having a portable swing.
  • Breast pump and/or bottles. You certainly don't need these if you plan to exclusively breastfeed and never pump, but a manual pump is nice for date nights, road trips (pump and then feed a bottle while still driving), and little things like that. If you plan to pump often, you will want an electric pump. And, if you don't breastfeed, you will need lots of bottles and formula.

Big-ticket items for baby

There are a few items that cost a bit more, but are a necessity . . . or at least very nice to have, depending on your lifestyle or parenting style. Also, if you want a high-end baby carrier, wrap, or diaper bag, then obviously they could turn into big-ticket items as well. Now, for the few big-ticket baby items you will want to consider.

  • Car Seat. Okay, this is not a consideration item, but for sure a necessity in today's world. You can save by just buying a convertible car seat if you don't mind taking your baby out every time you get somewhere. Personally, I loved having the infant seat and then getting the convertible car seat when they're older. Make sure you are following car seat safety guidelines.
  • Somewhere for baby to sleep. If you're planning on co-sleeping, you may be able to skip this one. You totally could just get a pack and play, but if you want something more permanent, go for a crib. Some cribs can even be converted later to a toddler bed, a day bed, and a full-sized bed.
  • Stroller. Okay. This is not a must-have item, but many moms love to have a stroller for long days out and about. Alternately, you can wear your baby, but sometimes a stroller is really nice! A stroller is also great for storing all your other gear.
Minimalist Baby Essentials checklist picture

Cheap baby essentials

Some baby items don't cost much at all, but are necessary to have. You will save so much money if you just get these baby essentials, and you can save even more if you get some of the items used.

  • Breast pads. Some women need these more than others. While I didn't leak much milk, they were still nice to have to protect my bra from every little drip. You can choose cloth or disposable.
  • Toys. You won't need any toys right away, but it's not long at all until a few small teething toys are great to have. Also, have some books to read to your baby.
  • Burp cloths. Some babies don't spit up much, but others spit up a ton! I always had a burp cloth sitting around.
  • Basic grooming tools such as nail clippers, brush, and towels, and washcloths. I love these baby body cloths by Norwex. You can wash your baby with just water!

Now you know the bare minimum baby essentials you really need. Once you have these items, you'll be ready to welcome your new addition! Are there any baby items you feel are essential? Please comment below. Also, be sure to download your minimalist baby essentials checklist linked above.

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