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This article discusses five newborn must-haves for everyday. These five items, apart from a car seat, food, clothes, and diapers, are the only five items you really need!
When I first became pregnant, my husband and I had long conversations about minimalist parenting. We wanted only the essentials for having and raising a baby from the get-go. This was especially important because our rental was only 700 square feet, so we didn’t have the physical or mental space for it.
Here are the five essentials we used daily.
1. Baby wrap
I researched different wraps before Baby R was born, and while it wasn’t my first choice, I found a Moby for $10 at a local consignment sale. There are plenty of amazing brands, but I couldn’t beat the Moby for $10, and it ended up being perfect for us!
I used my Moby wrap every day, multiple times a day from the time Baby R was 2 weeks old. I waited until she was 2 weeks to give my cesarean scar some time to heal. I wasn’t on my feet much the first 2 weeks, anyway. If she hadn’t been a belly baby, I would have wrapped her in it from day one.
I loved having her close to me while having my hands free. I was able to get some chores done while she napped, snuggled up against me. She also went on her first walk in the woods when she was 2 weeks old. The Moby kept her safe and secure.
She transitioned to the Ergobaby Carrier when she was 3 months old. I could have kept using the Moby, but I preferred the Ergobaby for our longer hikes. It also has a fanny pouch, so I could carry snacks, keys, and my phone wherever we went – all hands-free!
Baby R co-slept with us for the first 3 months of her life. Co-sleeping isn’t for every family, but it was perfect for us, especially after having a cesarean.
The DockATot worked wonders. She slept soundly between us every night. When she woke up to nurse, I could sit up, pick her up, and lie her back down, all without having to get out of bed. I LOVED co-sleeping.
We chose the DockATot because it’s a trusted brand. It has high sides so it acts as a barrier for babies and parents – they aren’t rolling out, and we aren’t rolling in. DockATot’s website says it’s not supposed to be used as a co-sleeper, but it worked nicely for us. When Baby R started rolling over, at around 3 months, we moved her to her crib in her room.
Apart from co-sleeping, we used the DockATot for lounging and playing. I hung a variety of hand-made mobiles and printable high contrast pictures above her during the first few months of her life. It also travels well. I felt comforted knowing that she was snug and secure during playtime and bedtime.
Swaddles are a must-have for any baby. Baby R has always slept well, and I attribute that to using swaddles from the beginning. We used SwaddleMe swaddles because they were given to us as a baby shower gift. They are easily adjustable with a Velcro strap.
We were able to wean her out of the swaddle using the SwaddleMe swaddles by practicing with one arm out, then both arms out. Because she started rolling over very early, she stopped using swaddles at night at around 5 months. When she outgrew the first size of SwaddleMes, then we bought her a Halo sleep sack.
I also highly recommend getting muslin swaddles, which can be used for everything. The only time we used them for her to sleep was during our hospital stay. They are light-weight and make the perfect car seat cover, burp cloth, and cover from the sun.
When Baby R was just a few weeks old and I wore her in the Moby wrap during the hottest, longest part of the summer, I draped a muslin swaddle over her instead of putting sunscreen on her. Of course, an organic muslin swaddle is ideal, but you can find an inorganic 3 pack at TJ Maxx for $12.
Oh. My. Goodness. We love our Baby Bjorn bouncer. Yes, it’s a bit pricey, but oh so worth it, especially if you are working towards a minimalist environment at home. I used the Baby Bjorn bouncer multiple times a day, and because it’s ergonomically shaped, she was completely happy.
There are dozens of bouncers on the market, but we weren’t interested in anything that had artificial lights or sounds. This simple bouncer is a nice addition to any living room because of the neutral color options. It’s quiet and peaceful so baby (and mom) can rest.
I absolutely adore this item! Because the cover is reversible, we will be able to use it until she is around 2. She’s 9 months now and has already learned how to crawl into it.
Earlier I mentioned that we used muslin swaddles as burp cloths; this might not be for everyone. Also, what if you only have one swaddle? Rags, washcloths, and hand towels are great for inevitable messes.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but I didn’t realize how often I would need one in the first few months – even today, at 9 months, I keep two rags handy for spills, drool, and spit-ups. Rags are especially helpful for mamas new to nursing. See more about nursing essentials here.
What five items could you not live without for caring for your newborn? Comment below!