My husband and I have been trying to be more minimalistic since we moved to California and have a small two bedroom apartment. With a baby, it’s been especially challenging! We try to not buy too many unnecessary things, and use things we already own, but it’s hard to know what we will need. My husband thought it would be interesting to see how much baby stuff we have and put it all in the crib, and here is what we ended up with:
On the left is the Tripp Trapp chair, and on the right is the Babybjorn organic bouncer. The main things not pictured are our Orbit car seat and babyjogger stroller. I also have prefolds and a few toys and blankets in my car and at my dad’s house. Oh, and I forgot to include the Moby wrap because I was wearing it! It feels weird not to have it on nowadays!
Here are more specifics about our stuff (click for larger picture):
If we were more minimalistic, there are a bunch of things we could have done without:
- The changing pad (I change him on the bed 90% of the time anyway)
- The manual breast pump (I had no idea beforehand, but hand expressing is just as fast and more comfortable for me)
- The bouncer
- As many books (but they were all gifts…)
- We could have used a couple fewer diaper covers since the sizes overlapped
- Obviously we didn’t need the compostable diapers! But they were nice to have during some long car rides and events
- We could have probably gotten a smaller umbrella stroller instead of the city mini
Some things I’m really glad we bought even though I was unsure at the time:
- Two baby carriers (I wear the Moby most of the day, and the Beco sometimes so that I can wear the baby on my back while cooking. My stepmom wore the baby in it today, since everyone is scared of tying the Moby)
- This wool wash works amazingly well at getting out newborn poop stains from wool covers as well as clothes and our bedsheets (yikes). I just used soap or shampoo at first, but that left stains on my wool covers that I can’t get out now.
- I’m in love with our wood high chair which is so easy to clean, and conveniently adjustable
- I also use the potty every day. I wish I had found a more eco-friendly version in recycled plastic though
I have always wanted to use cloth diapers to avoid putting all those diapers in landfills and exposing my baby to chemicals. My husband and I live in an apartment where we have to pay for laundry, so we decided to try a local diaper service. The service is $20 a week, so I think buying the cheapest diapers possible would have been cheaper, but we are likely breaking even if we compare to using Whole Foods brand diapers or some less toxic one.
We had to use prefolds and covers because the service provides organic cotton prefolds. I looked into all the adorable cover options and settled on using mostly organic wool ones because they don’t have the polyurethane layer. I also got a couple of Imse Vimse diapers as backup if I’m washing the wool. They are organic cotton on the outside but PUL on the inside.
Wool diaper cover pros:
- Really cute, and look adorable in picures
- No chemicals at all if you get organic
- Something in the wool neutralizes urine, so you only need to wash if poop gets on them
- They can absorb a lot naturally
- I only lanolize mine every 2 months or so, and they’re fine
- You need fewer because you don’t wash them as much (we are fine with 3 plus 2 cotton backups)
Wool diaper covers cons:
- Need to wash by hand. I’ve found the best is to wash immediately if they get poop on them with this which is way better than normal soap. Otherwise, the stains seem hard to get out.
- Are more expensive (but you need fewer)
- Are a little more bulky, but that could just be the size we have
- Can’t get as many design options
Our method with using the prefolds (which is basically just a square of cotton) is to be lazy and just lay it flat on the cover and put it on, and then tuck the extra into the leg holes. If I think the baby will be pooping soon I’ll fold over the sides to contain it more. I honestly think that the cloth diapers are just as fast to change as disposables, or faster. I always have trouble unsticking the tabs on disposables. The few times we used disposables I also noticed how much worse they smell too (I guess the chemicals react with the urine).
Now that Jack is 6 months old and just starting solid food, we are considering stopping the diaper service and washing the diapers at home. I’m hoping his poop will get less liquidy and easier to put into the toilet, and maybe stain less? We’ll see… I’ve also looked up biodegradable liners which we could use in the mornings when he mostly poops.
I’m so glad we chose cloth diapers! Jack has never had a rash (and he has really sensitive skin). We just use coconut oil on him a couple of times a day. The cloth also looks so much more comfortable, soft, and breathable than disposables. Oh, and you can sell back cloth diapers for a pretty good amount, or use them for your next baby!
My husband and I decided to register on amazon because they had so many organic options, and you could link to items from other web pages as well.
Here are the things we found most helpful:
- Organic wool diaper covers- this company is one of the only ones I found that has organic wool in cute colors. They are adorable and worked well with organic cotton prefolds from our diaper service. We had mostly velcro ones because they are easier to remove for EC. We have 3 in each size which is usually fine, and two backup Imse Vimse organic cotton ones (that have PUL on the inside)
- Once Jack got older and we stopped the diaper service we started using Bumgenius pocket diapers which are really easy to put on. They are not organic, but are made in the USA and keep the baby feeling dry like a disposable diaper. We found that snaps worked better once Jack was older because he couldn’t pull them off
- Baby carriers! At 6 months I still use my organic moby wrap for hours every day, and it’s so comfortable. We also like the organic Beco (my husband and parents find it easier to wear). Carriers were the only way to keep Jack happy and let me get things done (or even eat) so they are one of the most useful items I got!
- A few bottles if you’re pumping. We liked the Lifefactory glass ones
- We have 8 organic cotton bibs which seems like a lot, but helps up be able to have fewer clothes because they get less dirty with drool or spit up. Some days Jack drools so much now that we go through multiple bibs! I liked snaps because the velcro irritated his skin. Non white colors also are better because they look less dirty.
- Since we are doing elimination communication, we prefer separate tops and bottoms to make using the toilet easier. Burt’s bees has cute (slightly small sized) things, as does Under the Nile and baby soy on amazon.
- We had about 5 swaddle blankets. My favorite because they were a little bigger and cheap (and organic) was the Hudson brand. We had one with the velcro which was easier for a few weeks, but then can’t be used after your baby grows.
- I love this organic nursing/sports bra. I got some organic clothes for myself because Jack got some red spots on his face after sleeping on me while I had synthetic fabrics on. This bra is really comfortable and easy. I used organic cloth wipes as absorbent pads inside.
- I got the Lansinoh manual pump because I’ve only ever been away from the baby for a few hours at a time. It was ok, but I found that hand expressing is actually easier, just as fast, and doesn’t involve any clean-up.
- I used threads for thoughts tank tops because they are organic and cheap. Jack stretched a lot of them out now, but that’s ok as I’m usually wearing them under something else or under the Moby.
Since we co-slept, we didn’t really need a crib although we did get one and use it more like a play yard. I think the list above is really all our essential items!