When I first found out I was pregnant, I started checking out baby gear. WOW, there are so, so many things for babies and kids. I created a registry (mostly for ourselves - sign up everywhere you might want something! Most offer discounts for “completion”!), and then took a few months off of looking in my second trimester and started panicking in my third - the analysis paralysis was overwhelming to me. So many moms I had spoken to said, “You don’t need much.” One even said forgo the changing table all together and just change them on the floor. While that sounded like a great money-saving trick, I wanted a changing surface, and, with a huge Labrador retriever, floor changes weren’t going to work for us.
While I’ll go much deeper into this in posts down the road, here are a few items that I would highlight that make a great “starter set” of baby gear, while also trying to keep the clutter to a minimum. We knew that we wanted to have two or more kids (the more is still a maybe, ha!). So we bought with multiple kids in mind.
Nice to Haves
So if you want to go REALLY minimal because you have limited space, I suggest using a Pack And Play as your child’s bassinet, crib, travel crib, and “docking station” for the first few months of your child’s life. You’re able to move it around the house, use it for sleep and also have a place to put the child down while you get a few things done. Some Pack + Play’s come with a bassinet and changing area option.
An infant carseat isn’t technically necessary, but is nice to have - most snap in and out of stroller travel systems with ease, and if kiddo happened to fall asleep on the road, it’s great to just pick up the seat and bring it right in the house. Usually weight limits for these are about 35 lbs (up to around 1-2.5ish years old), but the child will usually outgrow the seat based on height first, vs. weight. When you are researching convertible carseats, spend the extra money to get one that will last until the child doesn’t need a carseat any more. We bought one that converts to all different types of seats, beginning with a 5lb baby and ending with a booster seat for a 10 year old.
HIGHLY recommend a wipeable, foam changing pad. I have had both the mattress style and a foam pad, and having a wipeable pad is SO much easier. I stopped using changing pad covers with the mattress style pretty early on, as even the “wipeable” covers had fabric edging and would become pee and poop covered with one accident and need to be washed. Too much extra laundry!
Remember, baby gear comes in all price points and quality levels. You could spend as little or as much as you want on the gear above. Check local consignment shops, Facebook Marketplace and other sites to buy gently used baby gear way cheaper than new. You’ll only use the gear for a few years (but that doesn’t mean you can’t love what you buy and get what works for you). They grow too freaking fast!
Check out my Amazon List - “Fave Minimalist Baby Gear” to hopefully help you figure out what gear will be best for you!