Welcoming your baby into a simple, clutter-free space is a gift. During a time where life is full of physical and emotional changes–the last thing you need is to be tripping over an unused baby swing that you bought just in case you might need it.
As an American, I am blessed with choices. When it came to having a baby, I found this out very quickly. Choices can be a blessing, but they can also be a curse.
If you have had the experience of choosing a bottle at Babies”R”Us, then you know this well. There are at least 50 different varieties from which to choose.
Nothing can make me break into a cold sweat quicker than a trip into Babies”R”Us. Unless of course, it’s a trip to Buy Buy Baby. I found out quickly that I do not need to choose between 50 different types of baby bottles. I also don’t need to touch and compare 12 different baby bath tubs.
Have you seen the stroller section? It’s akin to a full-sized car dealership.
The truth is that the world is full of inventions that have changed our lives. Among them electricity, the telephone, and the internet.
Do you know what has not changed our lives? The wipe warmer, the temperature test-duck, and the singing potty chair.
The Baby Industry is full of useless innovation. This innovation is targeted towards making new parents feel like they need to fill up their homes with useless $hit (excuse my language, but there is no good way to say it). I beg you–please don’t fall for their tricks, you DON’T need this stuff.
But you do need some stuff. Therefore, I am here to help you sort through the useless gear and the good stuff.
I am going to give you two important tips to consider before building your simple baby registry. Then I will show you exactly what I have used and loved in my own home.
How to Build a Minimalist Baby Registry
Don’t start in the store
Snuggle up in the comfort of your home with a big mug of decaf coffee and build your registry online–little by little. Don’t expect to do this all in one sitting. You may want to research and consider your options, therefore the registry should be a work in progress. After you have built the online registry, make a trip into the store to see the items you have already chosen. This is when you can test drive the stroller and see the crib in person.
If you narrow it down first, your trip to the store more intentional. You will be less likely to point that registry gun at the wipe warmer (which you absolutely don’t need, BTW). If you plan before you go, you won’t be overwhelmed with testing 450 different strollers choices. You are just going to look at the one you picked out.
Get in the know about the resale market
When I had my first child, we registered and bought most things brand new. After all, the whole experience was new and exciting. We have a large amount of family and friends who wanted to give us gifts for the baby–so the registry was necessary to some degree. But if I did it again, I would have worked the resale market. Here’s two ways to make this happen.
- Choose items with good resale value. There is wide-range of price for baby gear. You might be hesitant to buy more expensive items–because after all, babies grow fast. I encourage you to buy the better quality items when you can because they will have good resale value. But also because these items will have less waste and lower environmental impact–because they will be passed from family-to-family and used for many years.
- Buy used. The baby resale market is incredible. One of our favorite pieces of baby gear, the Bjorn Bouncer, was purchased on Craigslist for $70. We used it through two children and loved every minute of it. The best part? When we were done we sold it for $70. Cost of ownership? $0.
I encourage you to start with a small amount of baby gear. If you are blessed with family and friends who want to shower you with gifts–leave the tags on anything you aren’t absolutely sure about. Don’t be afraid to exchange and return what you don’t need. Even if you registered for it–you are entitled to change your mind.
I want to share with you the recipe for a great minimalist baby registry. The following books and gear are things that I have chosen based on hours of research, years of experience, and a doctorate degree in child development.
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