Putting together a baby registry can be overwhelming, especially if you live in a small space. Here are my top minimalist newborn baby registry essentials, and some tips for choosing your own.
I can still remember the excitement I felt when we found out we were pregnant with our first born. Soon, I began researching everything baby. I started to put together my registry, but quickly became overwhelmed with how much stuff I supposedly “needed.” So I began asking around for what everyone considered to be their “baby essentials.”
After lots of time tweaking and changing my registry, I finally had it finished. I thought for sure we were all set. Then our baby came and I quickly realized I was mistaken.
No essential list is going to look the same, because each of our lives are very different. Therefore, I am simply going to give you some suggestions for how to decide on your own essentials, and give you a glimpse of my own.
Choosing your Minimalist Baby Registry Essentials
Everybody’s lifestyle always looks a little bit different, so it is important to take this into consideration. Are you a working mama? Will you stay home? Do you love to jog and hike, or do you do most of your walking indoors? Do you travel a lot, or are you a homebody? It might be helpful to make a list of everything you do on a typical daily basis.
Because we live in Ohio, we get bombarded with all kinds of weather, sometimes all four seasons in the same day. You just don’t ever quite know what to expect. Therefore, my baby must haves might look very different from someone who lives in, say, Florida.
Asking yourself if you can live without an item is another great way to make your registry fit a minimalist lifestyle. Every time you see something else you can add, just ask yourself if you and baby could survive without it. For example, do you actually need a baby swing? Or could you just pop your baby in a carrier and keep her with you as you go throughout your day? Do you really need that fancy play mat, or could you just lay a blanket down on the floor?
My Top Ten Essentials
Hopefully you now have an idea of what questions to ask yourself when putting together your registry. I will now share with you my top 10 minimalist newborn baby registry essentials for 2023. Keep in mind, I won’t be discussing obvious needs like a car seat and diapers. Just about everyone needs those in one form or another. These are simply items that I have found to be necessary for our lifestyle.
Make sure you also do your research and confirm that everything listed here is still considered safe for baby at the time of your purchase. Safety recommendations change all the time!
This post contains affiliate links. For my full disclosure, click here.
Minimalist Baby Essential #1: Sleepsack
There are all kinds of swaddlers out there. You could go with a regular swaddle blanket, a weighted sleeper, or one that keeps your baby’s arms in an upright position. The problem is, you never quite know how your baby will prefer to sleep.
Both of my girls despised having their arms swaddled. I would wrap that up all snug and tight, and within a matter of seconds they would somehow manage to force their arms right back out of my cocoon creation. That is why I love the HALO sleepsack swaddle. The design allows me to swaddle my babies with their arms in or out, so I can ensure they are comfortable. Trust me, if they are uncomfortable in any way they will make sure you know it, probably at 3 am.
Minimalist Baby Essential #2: Sleepers with Zippers
For the first several months of my babies’ lives, I pretty much exclusively dress them in sleepers. There are several reasons for this. However, the primary reason is that they were both born during the winter. Sleepers were simply the easiest and warmest clothing option for a newborn.
When I look for a good sleeper, it must have at least three features: Footies, mittens, and zippers. My friend, trust me when I tell you that socks never stay on your baby. Never. They are literally pointless. Perhaps I am mistaken and you are a baby sock lover. I have just never met a mama who has been able to keep socks on her newborn. The same with mittens. Having built in mittens on a sleeper will help keep your precious little angel from clawing her face off with her sharp little talons. Baby nails are dangerous ya’ll.
It seems obvious to me now, but you may not realize just how many diaper changes you will be partaking in during the middle of the night. You do not want to mess with buttons or snaps at 2 am, because you will never get it buttoned up correctly on the first try with even a full night of sleep. Just get the sleepers with zippers. It is well worth it. Burt’s Bees has some adorable options, but I have also found the Target Cloud Island brand to be a little more affordable.
Minimalist Baby Essential #3 – Baby Wrap
I wish I had started baby wearing with my first, but unfortunately I did not learn about the wonders of baby wearing until my second pregnancy. I have found it so much easier this time around to care for a newborn and get stuff done around the house. She is almost three months old at this point and is still perfectly happy and content whenever I put her in her baby wrap. This has truly been a game changer. My personal favorites are the Boba Serenity wraps and the Solly wraps.
Minimalist Baby Essential #4 – Diaper Bag Backpack
A good diaper bag is a must for transporting baby items. I could not imagine using a regular tote bag. I want lots and lots of pockets and compartments so I know exactly where something is when I need it. When you have a screaming baby, you want to be able to find what you need ASAP.
Backpacks are amazing because you can easily carry your diaper bag around while having your hands free to hold and care your baby. I don’t think I will every have any other style of diaper bag. This is the one I use in case you are interested.
Minimalist Baby Essential #5 – Wipeable Changing Pad
Because you will be changing oh so very many diapers, having a good changing pad is a game changer. You can of course get the fabric ones with washable covers, but that is an extra step of laundry I would rather not have to deal with. Instead, we invested a tiny bit extra into this changing pad, and it has served us well for over two years now. While many parents prefer the Keekaroo, we found this option from Skip Hop worked just as well for a much lower price.
Minimalist Baby Essential #6 – Pack ‘n Play
A pack ‘n play was one of those items I did not purchase in the beginning and ended up investing in later on. Because I had a crib and a bassinet, I didn’t see it as a need in the beginning. However, it became very useful once my baby outgrew her little bassinet and became more active. It is a great place to have baby sleep when traveling or staying at relatives’ homes, and was also a safer place for her to play (with me supervising of course) when I had things I needed to do. We just got this basic one from Graco and it has served us well.
Minimalist Baby Essential #7 – Diaper Caddy
Since our home is so small, I did not appreciate the value of a good diaper caddy until baby girl #2 made her appearance. It is so nice to have a place to store extra diapers, wipes, and other necessities so that I can easily change baby’s diaper while my toddler is sleeping in their shared bedroom. For those of you with bigger homes, having a portable changing station makes it so you do not have to always climb stairs or travel across your entire home simply to change a diaper.
Minimalist Baby Essential #8 – Silicone Bib
These silicone bibs are just amazing. They will not be a necessity right away, but whenever you are ready to start introducing solids you will be ever so grateful for their existence. Most can be cleaned in the dishwasher or simply wiped clean and the pouch catches all kinds of food and other treasures that would otherwise end up all over baby or the floor. We only own one for each child and just let it drip dry over our faucet between meals. This is the perfect bib to add to your minimalist baby registry essentials!
Minimalist Baby Essential #9 – Dishwasher Basket
This was yet another item I did not realize I needed! If you do not have a dishwasher, you will probably not find this useful. But for those of you that do, I highly recommend! Whether or not you intend to bottle feed, you will still probably have small items to wash, whether it be sippy cup parts, straws, medicine droppers, pumping parts, etc. Having a dishwasher basket ready at the top of your dishwasher to contain all of these tiny parts is a must!
Minimalist Baby Essential #10 – Bath Tub
This last item seems pretty obvious, but we found this bathtub to be such a game changer. It fits inside our kitchen sink so we can save our knees in the early months, and then works equally great in the bathtub as our children get older. When finished, we simply hang it up on a hook to drip dry.
So there you have it! I hope you found this list of minimalist baby registry essentials to be helpful. Be sure to share your top essentials in the comments below!