I got rid of almost all our baby stuff while packing for our move. We didn’t have a lot—mainly outgrown clothes—and I debated whether I ought to lug it along for another couple of moves just in case we decide to have another baby someday, or go ahead and donate it now to save ourselves the trouble of moving unnecessary boxes time and time again. As a fairly serious purger, that inner debate didn’t last terribly long. I ditched the baby stuff (with the exception of one box of sentimental items—a few favorite outfits, handmade baby gifts, etc.).
If we ever decide to have another kid, we’ll basically be starting from scratch. But that honestly doesn’t feel like a huge deal to me, because I discovered that there isn’t a ton of baby stuff that I felt was vital. I know a lot of moms who accumulate lots of baby gear and use and love it all. I definitely walked the minimalist route and stuck to the baby basics, and never really felt like I was suffering.
Without further ado, my minimalist baby essentials:
Fabric-free high chair: I have to admit, high chairs with cushions and covers baffle me. That’s just more laundry to wash. Am I missing something? Comfort, I suppose? If my baby wants to be comfortable with a cushy upholstered seat, she’s welcome to wash it herself. We went the all-plastic route, and I love the convenience of just wiping the high chair down after meals. When it gets really filthy, I carry it outside and hose it off in the yard. Classy, eh?
Velcro Swaddlers: Forrest and Darcy both slept better when they were swaddled, and were also Houdini babies who could break out of even the tightest blanket swaddle. I loved using these lightweight velcro swaddlers on them—they would stay swaddled all night, and I loved that they were light enough to use even on warm nights.
Exersaucer: This isn’t the exact one we had, but gosh, they all look pretty fun. I loved being able to stick a baby in there and have the freedom to get things done without worrying that baby would get into trouble. With all the little doodads, I didn’t feel like they needed tons of other toys. And once they were old enough to stand, my kids loved walking around the outside and playing with it from a different angle.
Crib Mirror: Possibly the best money we ever spent on a baby item right here. I bought this exact mirror for Forrest when he was about 4 months old, hoping that when he woke up in the night or too early from a nap, maybe it would keep him entertained and happy until he fell back asleep. He loved it, and I can’t tell you how many times I heard him wake up, giggle at his reflection and play with the little toys on the mirror, and fall back asleep on his own. Darcy never seemed quite as entertained by it as Forrest was, but that’s not to say she didn’t like it, too—she just isn’t as obsessed with herself, I guess.
Papasan Cradle Swing: A friend let us borrow this swing when Forrest was born, and thank heavens because it was literally—and I really do mean literally—the only place he would sleep for his first 3 months. He spent so much time swinging, and it was one of the only ways to make that poor colicky child happy. After returning the swing to our friend, we bought our own to keep for future children. Darcy was generally pleasant and didn’t require constant swinging to feel good about her life, so we didn’t end up using it as often as I’d expected. But for angry newborn Forrest, it was a godsend. I loved the option of having the seat upright or fully reclined for sleeping, and that it could swing front to back or side to side.