Minimalist Baby Gear

20 October 2010 at 4:58 pm Leave a comment

Last week I was at a friend’s wedding, and another friend, who is pregnant and due in February, asked if I would sit down and look at a list of baby “must-have” items with her and give her my input. I warned her that I was probably going to have the opposite take from Big Box Baby Store on this, as I tend to be somewhat minimalist about baby gear. She said that was fine, she just wanted to hear what I thought, so we grabbed a quiet spot at the reception (my two-year-old was sleeping in a sling on me at the time, actually) and pored over her print-outs.

Well, wow–just, wow. Our conversation went something like this:

Wipes warmer? [Uh, we skipped that.]

What kinds of bottles and how many? [We never did bottles–we used a combination of open cup and sippy cup for daycare starting from five months.]

Sterilizer for bottle parts? [Personally I think unnecessary, but we are the wrong ones to ask about that.]

Bottle warmer? [We would’ve skipped this even if we’d done bottles.]

Video or audio monitor or both? [We skipped all monitors–baby co-slept in our bed.]

How many pacifiers and what kinds? [We skipped those too. I just popped a breast in his mouth if he needed to suck.]

How many crib sheets? [Uh, we co-slept from birth.]

How many baby dishes and bowls? [Uh, I guess we skipped those too–baby just ate off of my plate, sitting on my lap, and he still pretty much does.]

Jumper, swing, bouncer, exersaucer, or all of the above? [We skipped them all–we held baby, wore him a lot, and then put him down on a blanket on the floor to crawl and play when he was interested.]

It was kind of eye-opening for me. When she was done, I suggested my own list: two or three (or more, if you like the colors/fabrics) nicely-made slings or wraps, something soft and cuddly and easy to wash in case they get spat up on; a bed rail for your bed for safe co-sleeping, unless your mattress is right on the floor; ten or so cotton nursing tops with easy-to-access openings–enough to get you through the week, even if you get spat up on (again), and wearable even for nursing while baby’s in the sling or wrap, without having to do lots of adjusting of clothing and slings (in fact, I’m still wearing mine everyday, two years later).

So what do you think? Are midwifery proponents naturally more minimalist about baby gear, or do you not see a corrolation here?




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