A Minimalist Baby Registry Guide

A great guide for all your must have baby items. Perfect for minimalists

Ok, so after having one tiny human and seeing what we used and didn’t use here are my thoughts on a minimalist baby registry list.  Everyone’s lifestyle is different and some things might make sense for you and your family that didn’t work for us.  My goal was to add items to this list that we loved, used a lot, and that held up.  I tend to prefer natural and sustainable products.  I also try to avoid plastic as much as possible, and although I know some have successfully kept plastic out of their homes, there are some things that just worked for us!

As a huge proponent of sustainability, we scoured craiglist, yard sales and even bought some items off our friends.  We registered at our local kids cloth diaper/ consignment shop.  This shop is so great, people were able to order specific “used: registry items.  We also used an Amazon Registry and commented next to almost everything saying that we would be so happy if people were able to find the item gently used!

Nursery

  • Crib  (We love our stokke sleepi and were able to get a great deal on craigslist) But really any safe, non toxic sleeping surface will work.  The ikea sniglar is a great affordable non-toxic option.  It costs $79.99.  Paired with a naturpedic non-toxic mattress at $249.99 you have a great option for under $400.
  • 2-3 crib sheets and a waterproof pad for the crib mattress
  • changing pad and 2 covers (we put our changing pad on our dresser, but a changing table would work fine too)
  • Mobile- our tiny bird LOVED this, and it was one of the only decorations we added to the nursery.  My talented sister made ours (per my request)
  • Swaddling blankets -I love the muslin swaddles that are greater than 40 inches by 40 inches.  I also liked having those traditional flannel blankets to use for a variety of miscellaneous things.
  • Sound Machine.  We have a dohm.

Feeding/Breastfeeding (if you plan to solely breastfeed- go mama!!)  but if not here are a few suggestions

  • Bottles/nipples (we loved our evenflo glass bottles with silicone nipples)
  • You can get these silicone sleeves for the glass bottles if you are worried about them breaking
  • Quality breast pump (I recommend the medela pump in style) My insurance company paid for my pump, so check with yours before you buy.
  • High Chair.  I HIGHLY recommend the Stokke Tripp Trapp and the additional baby seat. This was another great craigslist score!  We skipped the tray and just push the chair right up to our table.  We also really like the OXO tot sprout which we use when visiting my in-laws.
  • Baby utensils
  • unbreakable dishes!  We chose to get Corelle.  Our regular dishes are stoneware and aren’t quite baby/toddler proof.
  • some choice of sippy cup/cups
  • Bibs

Gear

  • We have the BabyJogger City Mini GT Stroller and LOVE it.  But depending on how close together you think you might have kids, it might be worth splurging for the BabyJogger City select so you can easily convert it to a double stroller.
  • Baby carrier.  There are SO many options out there these days.  I chose the Becco Gemini for 2 reasons.  The first it is “hip safe” and that baby can be forward facing
  • Pack n’ Play.  I know this might seem totally non-minimalist. But we really used this a lot!  We used it as a bassinet during the newborn phase.  Then we used it as a playpen around 6 months to 1 year.  And up until 20 months, we used it as a travel crib.
  • Carseat.  This is such an agonizing decision.  We went with the ChiccoKeyFit 30.  A consistently highly rated car seat.  I recommend it to all my friends for its ease of use.  We chose the Britax Marathon Clicktight for our toddler seat, but in hindsight wish we would have stuck with Chicco and gotten their NextFit.
  • A diaper bag.  We chose the skip hop duo diaper bag.  I know many people who use a regular backpack.

Toys

  • we loved the baby playmat/baby gym.  This is definitely something you could borrow or buy used.  But is definitely worth having.
  • Bouncy seat or swing.  We ultimately fell in love with the BabyBjorn bouncer balance.  It is lightweight, bounces on its own and folds completely flat.  We could fold this flat and slide it under our couch when we weren’t using it.

Diapers (i only have cloth diaper advice to offer!)

  • newborn or small diapers (a used set if you can find them!)  We used newborn g-diaper covers/g-tinies with green mountain diaper preemie prefolds for 4-6 weeks until the little bird was 7 lbs.  If you think you will have a large baby-skip these!
  • 24 diapers (all in ones,covers and prefolds or inserts)  I highly recommend checking out GreenMountainDiapers.com.  They have excellent descriptions of their diapers and fit, as well as only carrying the highest quality diapers.  Their prefolds are the best prefolds around.
  • Trashcan with pail liner for dirty diapers
  • wetbag for travel
  • any diaper insert that is NOT microfiber will hold up for years and many many uses!  We have had great luck buying prefolds and hemp inserts from ebay and craigslist.

Miscellaneous

  • baby bath soap and lotion.  I am a huge fan of Mustela (a little pricey but you use so little that it really does last a long time) and Cetaphil Baby.
  • baby wardrobe!  Depending on season, as well as your personal style and laundry preferences.  We were lucky to get TONS of hand me downs.
  • These are the BEST burping cloths ever.

Some of our personal (non-necessity) favorites

  • AngelDear Lovey.  We received one of these as a gift, and it soon became littlebird’s favorite.  We quickly went a bought 2 more so we would never be without.  But they sell them in 3 packs (a pair and spare!)
  • Aden and Anais Dream Blanket
  • Boppy pillow with organic cover
  • Fisher Price sit me up floor seat
  • amber teething necklace (I have friends who swore by these, we used it as well and felt like we had success too!)
  • This is a great website that I love referring to before making any large baby purchase. http://thenightlight.com/

What were/are your must-have baby registry items!

DIY Stokke Crib Sheet Update

stokke-crib-sheet

 

My DIY tutorial for a stokke crib sheet is one of my most popular posts!  I figured I would write a quick update and include some new photos.  See the original post here.

After 2 years of use, these crib sheets are holding up great!   The fabric does seems to have some wear. The ones in the picture were made from “quilters” cotton fabric. My “test” crib sheet was made from an old sheet, and that fabric seems to be holding up a little better.  But both options worked great.

I love that I was able to make these sheets for a fraction of the cost of Stokke sheets.  I also love that I was able to customize the fabrics.

About 6 months ago, we decided we wanted to add an allergy cover for the crib mattress.  I couldn’t find an option for the stokke sized mattress.  I ended up buying a traditional crib mattress cover.  I just fold the corners of the cover down and when I put the crib sheet on it seems to hold everything in place just fine.  I don’t know that this would be a great option for an infant due to the risk of SIDS, but for our toddler it works great.

I am curious if there is a way to alter or modify an existing crib sheet for it to fit a stokke mattress.  If you’ve tried something let me know!

Washing a Diaper Bag

 

 

This is one of those times I wish I had taken before and after photos.  I didn’t have much faith in my washing attempt, so I didn’t bother with before photos.  But trust me, the difference is amazing!

I have been using this diaper bag for about 2 years.  The past few months I have found us using the diaper bag less and less.  I was debating whether to save this for future children or donate.  The make or break was whether or not I could get this bad boy clean again.  This Skip Hop Duo diaper bag was one of the few brand new baby items we bought.  Over the past few years there have been some minor spills and stains, but most recently a major tea incident!  An entire travel mug of tea spilled all over the inside and seeped through and stained the exterior waterproof fabric from the inside out.  The manufacturer suggests spot cleaning.  I tried spot cleaning but then the bag started to smell from being wet.   I searched google/pinterest/etc to see if I could find any success stories for cleaning similar diaper bags.  No luck finding any advice.  So as a last ditch effort, I threw this puppy into the wash.  I did a hot/cold cycle.  Everything seemed ok, and then since I had so many issues drying it after the spot cleaning, I just threw this in the dryer with a few towels.  And BAM-it came it in like new condition.  I was super impressed.  And happy–I love this diaper bag, and am so happy I was able to get in bag into like new condition for future use.

So, if you have a diaper bag like the skip hop duo that needs rescuing.  A trip through the laundry might be the ticket!

**Wash at your own risk, as it is against manufacturers advice**

 

Toddler Cloth Diapers

ClothDiaperPost

Another, and hopefully the last update on cloth diapers.  Operation potty train will begin this spring!

There is so much information on cloth diaperings newborns and infants, so I figured I would write a post on our toddler cloth diaper experience.

Our current stash:

14 bumgenius elementals
14 thirsties hemp/cotton doublers
24 green mountain diapers red edge prefolds
5 thirsties duo covers size 2

**as much as I loved the bumgenius freetimes, I was tired of dealing with cleaning microfiber, and they weren’t as easy to add a doubler to as the elementals.  So in to storage they went!

So our little bird will mostly wear the thirsties covers with one padfold/trifolded prefold at home in the evenings and weekends.  I love these covers.  They hold up great!  The snaps and elastic are still going strong after a year of use.  They do require a little “finagling” to make them work/fit well.  So we don’t send these to daycare.  But if I were home with him all day, I would use them all the time.

For daycare, I add a hemp doubler in the bumgenius elementals. At nighttime, we have been happy with using 1 disposable diaper a month.  We buy a box of 70 diapers for $12.99.

At around 18 months we hit a stumbling block in cloth diapering.  Littlebird was wetting through his diapers so we needed to add some extra absorbency.  This is when we added the doubler to the elementals.

So the cost of the diapers that we have been using for the past year.

14 bumgenius elementals (21.95 each = 307.50) **We used these starting at 6months
5 thirsties duo size 2 (12.5 each =63)
14 thirsties hemp inserts (used for $2 each- 28)

My wash routine is pretty simple.  I shake out any solid waste into the toilet and toss everything in a trashcan with a wetbag liner.  If a cover is just wet and not soiled, I spray it with my DIY essential oil refreshener spray and let it air dry and use it again.  95% of the time I am able to do diaper wash ONCE a week.  I do 1 wash cycle (cold/cold) – no detergent.  Then a second wash cycle (hot/cold)- with Tide detergent.  I either hang dry or use the dryer.  Nice and easy!

I buy most of my cloth diapers at my local cloth diaper store The Nesting House, or from GreenMountain Diapers.

You can read my other cloth diaper posts here or here.  I think the moral or lesson of my cloth diapering journey is to get a few different options.  Not too many, but 3-4 so that you can learn what you love.  And hang on to stuff you don’t love right away, because you might love it in a few months!

 

 

 

Baby Steals and Deals

baby

I previously posted about my fabulous craigslist crib find for babybird.  Since then, I have continued to be more than satisfied with my craigslist adventure for babybird.  Here is a quick rundown of what I have found on Craigslist.

  • Baby Bjorn Babysitter | paid $60 | full price $150
  • Stokke Sleepi Crib | paid $300 | full price $1,000
  • Stokke Tripp Trapp | paid $50 | full price $250
  • 0-3 month wardrobe | paid $15 | full price $50+
  • 3-6 month wardrobe | paid $15 | full price $75+
  • Graco Swing |  paid $30 full price $70
  • Moby Wrap | paid $20 | full price $40
  • Bumbo seat free with clothes   full price $40
  • changing pad free with crib full price $20
  • Boppy free with crib full price $30

So doing some quick math I spent a little over $500 for $1,800+ worth of baby stuff!  That’s about 75% off.  And here’s the best part—I didn’t compromise on what I wanted at all.  And all of the stuff was in excellent condition.  I had been drooling over the design of stokke baby furniture but couldn’t swallow the steep price tags, but after scouring craigslist for months (about 4) I was able to find exactly what I wanted for the price that worked!

I totally lucked out in finding a gal who was selling her sons clothes for a steal!  He was born in November, and my little guy was due in November so the sizes and seasons matched up perfectly–this is something to definitely watch out for when buying lots of baby clothes.

Buying used on craigslist might not be for everyone.  I don’t mind having used baby items, some things I do prefer to buy new, but buying some stuff used allows me room in my budget for splurges.

A Journey with Eczema and a DIY cream


So our little bird has eczema, bad eczema.  We have tried oh so many lotions and creams.  We want to try to eliminate the use of steroid creams as much as we can. Because of his eczema is most likely related to allergic causes, based on our allergist’s recommendations we give him allergy meds once a day.  This has helped some, but he still has flare ups.  To help with flares up we use this homemade eczema cream (recipe below).  We also use a method called “wet wraps”.  Once or twice a week right after his bath, we take a wet/damp sleeper (onesie pajama) and put it on right after we lotion him up.  We then put a nice warm fleece pajama over the wet one.  We then snuggle, play, watch a movie–anything to distract him from being wet.  But

We also use a method called “wet wraps”.  Once or twice a week right after his bath, we take a wet/damp sleeper (onesie pajama) and put it on right after we lotion him up.  We then put a nice warm fleece pajama over the wet one.  Then we snuggle, play, watch a movie–anything to distract him from being wet.  But honestly, he isn’t bothered by it.  And then after 1-2 hours we change him out of the pajamas and into regular dry clothes.  This method has been such a game changer for battling his eczema flare ups.

Homemade Eczema Cream

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup raw shea butter (you can order from amazon or mountain rose herbs)
  • ½ cup coconut oil (could substitute almond oil)
  • 30 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops of geranium essential oil
    **I use young living essential oils and highly recommend them**

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt the shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler
  2. Blend the oils then add the lavender, tea tree and geranium oils.
  3. Slightly cool the ingredients so that it will begin to thicken, but keep it soft. You can put the solution in the refrigerator for a few minutes to speed up this process but not for long. You do not want it to harden too much.
  4. Using your mixer (either hand-held or a stand mixer), mix for several minutes until it has a frothy appearance, eventually developing the consistency of lotion. You can achieve this by continuing to mix about every 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer to the mason jar or other container.
  6. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. It will stay a bit softer at room temperature which may make it easier to apply.