Simplify: Baby Items

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**Post by guest blogger Gretchen Kingsley**

As I’m writing this post, it’s July 4th – Independence Day. And today really has been a day of independence and freedom from *more* stuff. Yesterday and today have been filled with purging. How many trips can I possibly make to Goodwill and how many posts can I make to Freecycle before I’ve pared down to what is truly needed and wanted? And the boxes…oh, the empty boxes. In the past 2 months, I have ran to the recycling center with oodles and oodles of cardboard boxes.

Today, one of the greatest purges was a trash bag full of CD cases. Who needs them? You really can’t sell C.D’s any more like back in the good ol’ days. With all this new fangled technology there’s no need to keep those cases. And really, I probably don’t even need my C.D.’s if I would just upload them all to my computer. But that’s a trust issue that I’m not yet comfortable with. And the worst…or best…part was that I held on to 10 smaller cases for those times when you just need a case. What?! Fortunately, I came into my right mind after 2 hours of making that decision and threw those last 10 away as well. And I deleted my post to Freecycle for a set of coasters as I realized, “Oh, I could make these into really great repurposed gifts with photos or something else mod-podged on top!” Another step back into my normal way of thinking but I quickly realized the stupidity in that comment and actually followed through with the post. Aay!

With 2 ½ weeks until my due date, I’m in nesting mode. The toothbrush has come out and I’m scrubbing places I didn’t know existed. I’m also getting out all of the baby essentials. Every family has their unique list of baby essentials. What one family thinks is absolutely necessary isn’t for another family. My pledge to never (NEVER!) have an exersaucer enter my home was soon eagerly an accepted daily used item as I realized that I could now get dishes washed or cook supper while my little one bounced and played happily in it. Is it necessary? Definitely not. Do I love it and am I storing it for the next child. YES! It made it’s way on to my essential list whether I wanted it there or not.

I don’t want to share a list of my baby essentials since we all know children really don’t need a lot. Diapers, clothing, car seat. Those are necessities. Everything else, really isn’t. But there are other things that are essentials for each family. We each have our unique list of essentials. Slings/wraps/carriers, types of strollers, swings, bouncers, or exersaucers. Those ever-important items that help make life with children work well within each of our lives.

But I do want to share a list of baby items that I have found that I don’t need large quantities of. Have you ever seen the list that Babies R Us has on their “Must Haves Checklist”? Does a baby REALLY need multiples and multiples of sheets, changing pad covers, mattress pads, pacifiers, and every other baby item imaginable? As a first time parent, you can easily get sucked in to thinking they know best and buy those 6 sheets they say you should have. But with a baby, you are doing laundry ALL the time. There is no need for 6. You will have already done 4 loads of laundry by the time you would get through that many!

So, as I’ve noticed with other items I own (sunglasses, chapstick, etc) the fewer quantities that I have of them, the better I take care of them. I always know where they are and I’m not prone to leaving and forgetting them if I take them outside of the home.

I also take better care of these items. If they need washing, I wash them right away. The dishes and laundry doesn’t even have a chance to pile up. And we all know how helpful this is when all we really want to do is forget about loading the washing machine or washing those dishes piled next to the sink.

This is my list of those everyday items that I’ve found that I need very few of :

  • Bottles
  • Sippy cups
  • Silverware
  • Bibs
  • Washcloths and towels
  • Crib sheets
  • Waterproof mattress pad covers
  • Pacifiers

I have 2 of each of these items and all of them, besides the crib sheet and mattress pad cover, I could easily do with only 1.

Are there other baby essentials that you have cut back on or no longer find necessary? We can all use help with downsizing and the first step is to think about things differently than our culture (and Babies R Us) would like us to believe.



This post was linked to Your Green Resource at Live Renewed, Simple Lives Thursday at Gnowfglins,  The Welcome Home Link Up at Raising Arrows, Better Mom Mondays at The Better Mom, Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, The Homestead Blog Carnival at the Morris Tribe,  Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, WLWW at Women Living Well

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6 Responses to “Simplify: Baby Items”
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  1. Beckie

    With my baby shower for my first baby I ended up receiving 2 boppy pillows. I eventually got rid of one. We did use it some with our kids, but I would not consider it a -must have- item for another baby…..but I would consider it a must-have item for ME! We still have a boppy pillow (even though our youngest is 2) because I use it for me. It cradles my neck and back when I am needing more support and my 6- and 4- year olds will occasionally use it for comfort. It has also been used as a bottom cushion on our glider rocker that only has a 1/2 inch of foam on the bottom. (and it also made me sit higher so that when I nursed the baby’s head would not hit the arm rests.)

  2. gingerskeeper

    I could do without the baby bumpo seat. I bought one for our first, but we hardly used it. We went through at last three bibs a day once she started eating solids, so I have tons of bibs. I’m due in three and a half Weeks. Sounds like you have more energy than I do! Good luck!

  3. Beckie, I love how you are using baby items long after baby has grown. All of our swaddling blankets are coming in handy these days as Isa loves to play with dolls and of course she needs blankets to go with them. Hopefully, she’s willing to share once the real baby comes. 🙂 And I can imagine that I will cut them up into rags once we decide we’re done having children.

  4. I feel the same way. I could take or leave it. BUT, it is one of those “must have” items for some families and that’s great. I realized after my first that we all have ideals and differing opinions and whatever works for a family is great. The bibs I use can easily be wiped off after my daughter eats…I should have mentioned that…they aren’t the cloth ones. And I was fortunate to never have to use the cloth bibs because my daughter was never a drooler. Congratulations on your baby!

  5. I totally agree. Many can go overkill. One tip I learned about the sheet and mattress pad though that convinced me to get two of each was putting both sets on the bed to start with…mattress pad, sheet, mattress pad, sheet. Then, if the baby has an accident in the middle of the night and you don’t want to do laundry right then, you just take off the top layer and the clean layer is already underneath ready to go. I have been so thankful for this tip many times when a diaper has leaked or a baby has spit up in the middle of the night. It gave me more time to sleep and I didn’t have to stay up to make the bed again or start the laundry. Is it absolutely necessary…probably not…but for me, pretty close. 😉 Congrats on the baby! Thanks for linking up to Titus 2 Tuesday. Hope to see you there again this week!


  6. That’s a great idea. We actually have 2 mattresses…funny, but long, story so i won’t share…and so i essentially do the same thing. i keep the other mattress under the crib and ready to just pull out and pop in if we have a blowout or spit up. fortunately, we haven’t had to use it too often, but it’s worth it when you do.