Now that our baby is a month-and-a-bit old, I am back with a list of items that we just can’t do without. We’ve tried to be as economical as possible because baby stuff is $$$ expensive $$$, let’s face it. It seems the tinier the person is, the more astronomical the prices become! I have a feeling the companies are charging more for the adorable factor, but I digress… Being minimalists, we try to gauge whether we actually need the items we’re eyeing, and if we do, we try to search for ones that serve multiple purposes. Et voila! The indispensable things needed during and past those first few weeks with baby!
1. A baby tub
Our second week with baby, we propped him up in the bathroom sink (lined with a soft cotton towel) and held onto him as we tried to give him a bath. He didn’t seem very happy, and I was terrified of a squirming, fussy baby in the water. We were trying to juggle cleaning him, holding him steady, and trying to make sure it was comfortable… which it wasn’t.
I don’t know why we didn’t think he needed a tub, but there it is. Infants do need a tub. I remember my mum went the route of buying those small Rubbermaid bins instead of those expensive baby tubs, but we decided we wanted the Skip Hop Moby Softspot Sink Bather because it’s soft, malleable, and will be less quick to grow out of than a tiny plastic seat/tub. You can flatten it once your child is bigger, and he/she can sit on it, stretching its longevity a little bit.
Also who could resist the shape of a darling bright blue whale? Not this minimalist!
2. A bath rinser
It’s really hard trying to rinse off a sudsy baby with just your hands or an odd-shaped plastic container/water bottle retrieved from the recycling bin; I know this first-hand. I’m sure you could use a regular ol’ pitcher to rinse off baby after his/her bath, but the Moby Waterfall Bath Rinser channels the water in a way that won’t let the water get in baby’s eyes. It’s really amazing! Also, must continue the fun blue whale theme, naturally… I never said I was a minimalist who didn’t like pretty things…
3. A diaper clutch
I didn’t find it necessary to buy a diaper bag at all. There are such cute and stylish ones on the market these days that emulate designer bags, but why emulate them when you can use the real thing? I rely on my trusty, large Longchamp tote bag to carry everything I need, both mine and baby’s essentials. Trust me, they will be taking over the contents of your bag, even when they are out of diapers. Might as well start in early! To keep baby’s items together, I bought a diaper clutch. My favourite is the Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station which can fit four diapers (though I squeezed in six), a baby wipes case, and has pockets for other items you will need, or even your phone and keys. It also has an in-built cushioned changing pad, how handy! It also comes with a case for baby wipes, although I find it to be rather poorly made (think the less sturdier incarnation of those slim baby wipes cases that Huggies used to make in the 90s), and bought a separate wipes case by Skip Hop to bring along. I swear I’m not sponsored by Skip Hop, but they make such useful products that are adorable!
4. Water Wipes
I’ve tried a few natural wipes, but my favourite is Water Wipes. From a company in Ireland, there are only two ingredients — water, and grapefruit extract. Simple, and yet effective, I never have to worry about what those ingredients with Latin names are or do. Runner-ups would be by Honest Company, Aleva, and Natracare.
At some point, I would like to try making my own with distilled water and grapefruit extract, but for convenience, you can’t beat Water Wipes!
5. A newborn lounger
Or… anything your baby will happily sit in awake. Our baby didn’t like the portable bouncer that came with his crib, and Boppy’s Newborn Lounger came to the rescue. He will sit in this, preciously cooing away for an hour. Bliss, and a lifesaver!
The cuteness factor is also off the charts. It’s his very first “couch”!
By the way, I swear we didn’t have this whale theme planned…
6. The Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Baby and Child Care Book
This covers everything you may have thought to ask, and even subjects that never even crossed your mind. Seriously. This book was a godsend when I found it on Amazon, that first midnight when baby was crying and I was panicking about my ability to figure out the reasons why. I only wish I had found this before I went into labour. This, my friends… this is the manual you wish came alongside the baby you gave birth to.
7. A baby carrier
While he is still a relatively lightweight newborn, toting him around in a carrier is so much more convenient than a stroller when going places. Even if you’re not going anywhere but need to get things done around the house, this helps to keep your hands free. Just be sure to keep an eye on where baby’s legs and feet are dangling over when going about your tasks! The one we got was the Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier. It has really high reviews, was $37.00 at the time we purchased it, is easy to slip on and hasn’t failed us so far.
8. A wireless nursery light
We started out by leaving our salt lamp on all night. It was dim but still too bright for two individuals who like pitch black darkness come sleepy-time. It also was fixed to one spot due to the location of the power outlet, and so it was difficult to place it strategically or move it around. Amazon came to the rescue when I found this wireless Smart Chicken night light. You can take this everywhere, even on the go, and adjust the brightness as needed, all without waking anyone up. I especially love how there are no batteries — simply recharge it with the USB cord.
P.S. Husband would like me to add that it is incredibly fun smacking the chick on the head to turn it on or off, and makes this $20 purchase absolutely. worth. it.
What were/are your newborn essentials?