• Home  / 
  • Happiness
  •  /  Baby and Minimalism: What do we really need to prepare for a baby?

Baby and Minimalism: What do we really need to prepare for a baby?

How to Practice #Minimalism Wih a #Baby, on the blog This Parenting Thing. Click to read now, or pin on your boards to read later!

Our Western culture really makes it big about stuff to have when you have a baby. And when it’s your first born, it’s easy to get stuck in the materialist trap. Not good for the earth… or our budget.

baby minimalism baby minimalism blog article minimalist lifestyle blogger best book

Since I got “Mommy Brain” this late in pregnancy, not feeling up to philosophical posts, and I’m in the midst of making sure we have what we need for baby girl, I think it’s a good idea to share what we frugally, really really need for a newborn.

Surprise, not much.

Baby and Minimalism: What do we really need to prepare for a baby, baby necessary, having a baby, zen baby, continuum concept, newborn, baby things, anthropology, sociology, zen parent, pregnancy, stuff, consumerism, volontary simplicity, blog of author Marie-Eve Boudreault, family living, natural 2015/01/img_1801.jpg

In fact, most of the inhabitants of our earth go with what, a piece of clothing? And we are “sold” to go with much, much more, it’s saddening…

So if you’re in between total minimalism and eco-consumerism, here is what from my experience we need, or not. We can ask around if someone has it for us, or make it ourselves.

Baby and Minimalism: What do we really need to prepare for a baby, baby necessary, having a baby, zen baby, continuum concept, newborn, baby things, anthropology, sociology, zen parent, pregnancy, stuff, consumerism, volontary simplicity, blog of author Marie-Eve Boudreault, family living, natural 2015/01/img_1802.jpg

1. What you probably need

I take into consideration that breastfeeding, baby-in-hands at least for the first 6 to 8 months, and cosleeping are proven to be best (I recommend to read books in the Resources section below before attempting cosleeping to do it safely). So you can put your bed on the floor, away from furnitures, and it’s a great start. What you could need too:

  • A few change of clothes. People like to give newborn gifts, so you may not stress about it much. And here we have usually 3 of each items, washing every day or two. When not on the go barefoot is best, following our natural evolution.
  • Cloth diapers, a bag when on the go, and cloth wipes. Best for the environment, and we get used to it. We’ll use them here in pair with Natural Hygiene, being on the watch when the baby needs to go and put her over the toilet.

  • Cloth nursing and hygienic pads. For the first postpartum weeks.

  • Nose pump. The hospital or midwife can give the one they use to clear up your baby’s nose. Breastfeeding is not great with a full nose.

Baby and Minimalism: What do we really need to prepare for a baby, baby necessary, having a baby, zen baby, continuum concept, newborn, baby things, anthropology, sociology, zen parent, pregnancy, stuff, consumerism, volontary simplicity, blog of author Marie-Eve Boudreault, family living, natural 2015/01/img_1804.jpg

2. What you may need

  • Ebook The Continuum Concept. The only parenting book you could really need. It explains what the baby needs to thrive and be happy, such as why carrying them full-time. John Holt, a leader on the wellbeing of children, said this book could change the world. If you need a book, I recommend this one first and foremost.
  • Nursing bras and tops. Not mandatory, since if you want to breastfeed with intimacy in public you can put two pieces of clothing and lift the outer layer to cover-up. But it facilitates breastfeeding, and if like me you’re due for new clothes anyway and want to breastfeed for years, it’s a good choice. You can easily make some yourself too.

  • Baby blankets. Light adult blankets could do, or making him wear appropriate clothing instead.

  • Baby thermometer, nail clipper, hairbrush, and the like. Adult ones that you already have would work just fine. But you might want another thermometer because they’re usually not used in the same end.

  • A crib with mattress, a side mattress, or bed rail for your bed. If you have a small bed or you’re not exclusively breastfeeding for example, you might need a crib. For the small bed problem, some put another mattress next to it, but make sure that it’s secured and the baby can’t become entrapped. There are good second hand ones. I use a bed rail because it’s reassuring for me; having rainbow babies makes you extra careful I believe. If you really want to invest, use your money for a king size mattress.

  • Baby and Minimalism: What do we really need to prepare for a baby, baby necessary, having a baby, zen baby, continuum concept, newborn, baby things, anthropology, sociology, zen parent, pregnancy, stuff, consumerism, volontary simplicity, blog of author Marie-Eve Boudreault, family living, natural 2015/01/img_1798.jpg

    • A sling or wrap. It can help with your mobility and the baby’s confort. I like the Mei Tai model, comfortable, easy to make, and we can pratice skin-to-skin at home with it.
  • Baby seat. When ready to eat, though other arrangements can be made like eating sitting on your laps.

  • Car seat. If you have a car… Make sure for a second hand one that it hasn’t expired (usual legal life of 10 years in Canada) or hasn’t been in an accident.

  • Sealed container for soiled diapers. If you don’t wash them right away or throw them in the washing machine, a container with a bit of water facilitates washing and keeps odors away.

  • Baby and Minimalism: What do we really need to prepare for a baby, baby necessary, having a baby, zen baby, continuum concept, newborn, baby things, anthropology, sociology, zen parent, pregnancy, stuff, consumerism, volontary simplicity, blog of author Marie-Eve Boudreault, family living, natural 2015/01/img_1796.jpg

    3. What you probably don’t need

    • Pacifiers and the like. Wear and breastfeed on cue, that’s usually the secret for calm, happy babies.
  • Bought change stations. A blanket can do just fine to change diapers.

  • Baby bathtub and accessories. A thorough washed kitchen sink does great. Also, taking a bath with your baby or a bit of water in the regular bathtub, in a warm bathroom. Regular towel and washcloths can be used as well as household items for toys. Adjust right temperature with the soft skin of your inner arm.

  • Baby and Minimalism: What do we really need to prepare for a baby, baby necessary, having a baby, zen baby, continuum concept, newborn, baby things, anthropology, sociology, zen parent, pregnancy, stuff, consumerism, volontary simplicity, blog of author Marie-Eve Boudreault, family living, natural 2015/01/img_1797.jpg

    • Strollers. Usually a waste of money, earth, and bonding time when you can use a baby wrap or sling.
  • Nursing pillow. We can use regular pillows.

  • All the stuff to make baby food. All cultures supplement breastfeeding. When the baby is ready though, I find that puree just makes more work and doesn’t prepare to enjoy the texture of food, leading to food problems later on, probably. We’ll go with the Baby-Led Weaning technique this time, using appropriate bits of food for the baby’s age, eating mostly like we do. A cup could be useful, but then again this time we plan for her to drink preferably from non-toxic-plastic adult cups we have.

  • Baby monitor, play pen. Make him sleep with you, in arms, during the day. Extra conditioning for you, and people will wonder at how calm and rested he is.

  • Daycare ou nanny. If it was initially thought of, see if you can scale down even more. If you can, plan before the first baby to live on one income or work from home. A baby does best with breastfeeding the first years and his primary caretaker.

  • Scheduling vaccines. I worked as a vaccine inspector and researching a lot about it I completely changed my perspective. I kind of always have to make sure people know what’s with vaccines, so they can make a true choice. Most sickness were already on decline when vaccines were introduced, probably due to better living conditions and hygiene. Vaccines contain harmful chemicals, like aluminium or mercury, shot through multiple doses directly in the blood where they have access to major organs. Not mentioning human error, mold, fetal human and animal cells, or other contamination that can occur, the best is to focus on a lifestyle of health through sport and organic food.

  • Tons of toys and baby DVDs. We are our babies’s toys. They love to learn and watch us do stuff, over other stimulations, studies show. So if our baby seems bored, we are better to be more active. I kept the toys we had with my twins, but we can go without. Except maybe hilarious short episodes of Baby Jumper, my luxury. The house or apartment, and its items and normal activities, as well as the outdoors are amazing toys.

  • Baby and Minimalism: What do we really need to prepare for a baby, baby necessary, having a baby, zen baby, continuum concept, newborn, baby things, anthropology, sociology, zen parent, pregnancy, stuff, consumerism, volontary simplicity, blog of author Marie-Eve Boudreault, family living, natural 2015/01/img_1799.jpg

    More, or less?

    I hope these thoughts can help you make a great choice for your family and the earth, because, as I discovered, a family life with less is definitely possible.

    Is there something else you use, or don’t use? Thanks for sharing around!

    The Continuum Concept: In search of happiness lost Our Babies, Ourselves How to Raise an Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor Sleeping with Your Baby 2015/01/img_1724.jpg

    Resources, recommended books

    • The Continuum Concept: In search of happiness lost

    • Our Babies, Ourselves

    • How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor

    • Sleeping with Your Baby

    Follow Us

    Marie-Eve Boudreault

    Mom of 4, write, blogger since 2009, with a bachelor's degree in sociology and a passion for childhood anthropology, I share my latest stories, inspiration, blogged books, and research on natural parenting blogs I founded, mainly on my other baby, This Parenting Thing.
    Follow Us
    10 comments
    birdiegray - a couple of years ago

    Love this! I loved all your recommended books, too! I make wool belts and tuck a flat diaper into them; it’s the cheapest and most simplistic diaper solution I’ve found and great for elimination communication. Have you used one? Here are mine that I sell on Etsy if you’re interested, or if you knit or sew, you can make one yourself: https://www.etsy.com/listing/204895720/hand-knitted-wool-prefold-diaper-belt?
    Take care!

    View Comment Reply
    Julie @ HappinessSavouredHot - a couple of years ago

    This is an important topic! I’m surprised so few people really tackle it. Our consumerist society wants to make parenting so complicated: not only do we “need” all those pieces of equipment, we also “need” all those books. Enough already! My children are a little bit older, but if I had to start all over again, I would keep it very simple.

    View Comment Reply
      Marie-Eve Boudreault - a couple of years ago

      You’re right, there is so much pressure to do the “right” thing that we literally try to buy the consumerist “right” way if we don’t know any better. Simplicity is key!

      View Comment Reply
    Bébé et Minimalisme: Quel matériel devons-nous vraiment préparer pour un nouveau bébé? | Marie-Eve Boudreault - last year

    […] et traduction de mon article anglais BABY AND MINIMALISM: WHAT DO WE REALLY NEED TO PREPARE FOR A BABY? Section bloguée de mon livre Journal d’une maman à la maison. Droits de publication […]

    View Comment Reply
    Bill - 11 months ago

    Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this website.

    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appearance.
    I must say you have done a great job with this. Also, the blog loads super fast for me on Firefox.

    Superb Blog!

    View Comment Reply
    Kiersten - 11 months ago

    Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone
    during lunch break. I really like the knowledge you present here
    and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my phone ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, excellent blog!

    View Comment Reply
    John - 10 months ago

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It
    is the little changes that will make the greatest changes.

    Thanks for sharing!

    View Comment Reply
    Kassie - 10 months ago

    Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.

    View Comment Reply
    property management costa del sol - 10 months ago

    Highly descriptive article, I enjoyed that bit. Will there be a part 2?

    View Comment Reply
    Click here to add a comment

    Leave a comment: