"one thing i've been wanting to know from you is your list of baby "essentials". i so (SO!) admire your family's goal of living simply. we are expecting our first kiddo in about 7 weeks...& are trying hard to stay "minimalist" in the 'stuff' that seems to accumulate just for the pooping/screaming little squirt :) anything in particular on your "baby essentials" list (& seriously now, let's get specific...not like "onsies"-because obviously i'm not going to keep my baby unnecessarily nakie...)"
My response to her turned into a post of it's own. So, this here post is dedicated to j and any other expectant mothers out there. Other than love, love, love, attention, devotion and the grace of God, here are some suggestions....
Waiting for Miriam...
Dear Sweet j,
When our son was born (9 years ago), I didn't have as much of a "living simply" attitude. To be honest, I got caught up in all our culture told us we needed to have a baby. As you can imagine, our small home was a bit over run with baby goods- as most expectant parents' homes are in this country!:-) With three kids under my
1) Forget the standard behemoth of a high chair. We used and love (and are still using) a feeding seat that straps to a regular chair. Some have backs that tilt back for when they are young, most are portable and the tray can be taken off so it can be used as a booster seat (just pulled up to the table) when they get older. When they outgrow them, they can be easily stored in a closet for when guests come with little ones. I HIGHLY recommend these over big high chairs.
2) Don't be tempted to buy lots of toys. Our kids favorite things were pictures of baby faces (I cut them out of magazines and glued them to a piece of construction paper and laminated it), empty yogurt cups (they loved knocking down the towers- and then they could be recycled when they outgrew them) and books, books, books! Standard rattles little fists can grab and shake are precious, too.
3) Use a sling/baby carrier for when they're small, then an umbrella stroller for when they're a little older/heavier. Big, huge strollers are such a pain (to move, store, and buy).
4) Breastfeed. You may be choosing to do otherwise, but breastfeeding simplifies so many things (in my opinion). It forces you as a mom to slow down and sit and spend time with your baby. I loved disappearing into a quiet room in the midst of a house full of people with the excuse that we had to nurse. It gave us one on one time that we both needed. I had the luxury of staying home- I know that working/pumping can be a pain- but I still think it has so many benefits including the money saved and the lack of bottle paraphernalia. I did find that lanolin, sports-type nursing bras (the next size up- for cup size changes) and a boppy were helpful. Here's a post I wrote on why I loved it.
5) When they're ready, make your own baby food. In the side bar you'll find a link to my Homemade Baby Food posts. It doesn't take much work at all, but gives you peace of mind and saves you money.
6) The biggest one is to resist the urge to buy everything BEFORE the baby comes. All you really need is: the car seat, some diapers and wipes, a bassinet/cradle/crib, some warm sleepers (caps and socks) and receiving blankets, and a thermometer (assuming you're breastfeeding). Once you're living it, you can make purchases as you see fit. It's easier to add them than make them disappear or feel guilty for not using them:-).
Oh, my. I hope this is helpful. If you have more questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm so excited for you to meet your baby!!! Both my sisters are expecting right now so I have babies on the brain, too.
Who am I kidding? I usually have babies on the brain anyway.
Jane Pin It