One of the most exciting things about preparing for a baby is picking out things for your baby…aka SHOPPING. I was so glad when I reached some undefined point when I felt like I could start preparing my baby’s room and not feel completely silly for having a space ready for a little person we still wouldn’t see for several more months. We all get anxious to meet our babies so seeing their stuff is probably the most satisfying and real thing we can do while waiting to see them.
However, as much as I love shopping, my husband and I learned that we really didn’t need as much stuff as we thought we did, and we didn’t have to own everything we thought we needed all at once.
We got all-the-things we thought we were supposed to get for our first baby and made her space one of order and function and baby-ness, but life happens. We moved from Wisconsin to Texas 3 weeks after she was born leaving most of her things and ours behind to keep the house staged and our small moving trailer light. I was disappointed to not have her in her cozy, all-prepared space, but then I started feeling a freedom in leaving behind the non-essentials. Less than two years later when our son was born, our apartment didn’t have space for all-the-things, but we didn’t need it to. Personally, I did find it was harder to stay minimized than it was to have everything because there’s always the “what if I’ll need this someday” question (and I still struggle here), but I always feel fresher with more room to breathe without all-the-things. This is what worked for me, and I found freedom in it.
I wish I had had some advice on how to start off parenthood with the minimum because that is what would have made the most sense for us. Maybe you have been waiting for this baby for years and you want, and can get, all-the-things. Get them, by all means, get them. Maybe you want all-the-things but are on a budget. Maybe you have friends that want to buy you all-the-things. Maybe you aren’t having a baby shower or creating a baby registry at all, and you want the minimum like me. We have baby registry recommendations for all of you. We have compiled a list of our favorite registry picks so you can find the right one for you. No matter which registry list suits you, we know that you will receive the same amount of joy seeing the clothes and blankets and lovies that will soon belong to you little one. Get ready!
Minimalist on a Budget – Baby on a Budget: What Do You Really Need? from Eco Baby Steps
Minimalist without a Budget (and honestly this isn’t very minimalist, but these items will make your Instagram look amazing.) – The Minimalist’s Baby Registry: What You Actually Need by MOTHER
The ‘Everything’ Everything List – The BEST Baby Registry List Ever by Mint Arrow
A Lot But Not Too Much – The Baby Chick’s Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist by Baby Chick
All the Way Organic – Green Baby Registry by Growing Slower
Not Your First Baby – What to Put on a Registry for Baby #2 by Mommy to Elodie
The perfect marriage of minimal, budget-friendly, and baby shower-free – Hand-me-downs. And then Craigslist.
Here’s a very small personal tip for registering: My husband really, really didn’t want to find out our first baby’s gender at that long awaited 20 week ultrasound, but since she was a surprise on her own I argued and bargained, “I need to feel some control over my life again; I need to know for this one. But any other we kids we have we’ll save it for a surprise.” He gave in under one condition – we register before we find out what we are having so that we will have gender neutral baby items for this baby and any more to come. He’s pretty smart that husband of mine. We found out we were having a girl, and I know I would have gone nuts over the soft, floral pretties.
Fast forward 13 months and we found out we were having another baby, and I held up my end of the bargain. Getting through the ultrasound was the hardest part, but after that the time flew. 9 months later we got The Moment; “It’s a boy.” And I was beyond grateful for all of those gender neutral baby items sitting in our apartment.