Soon-to-be moms – this one is for you!!
When I was pregnant with Sonny, we were lucky to get connected with so many amazing professionals that help guide us with what we needed (and didn’t). As I am sure you have started to experience, it can be really overwhelming with ALL of the baby products out there! And if you are are first time mom, I am sure you are scared too! You want to make sure you are completely prepared so you have one less thing to worry about once you bring your new babe home. Well, I don’t have too much advice on this, so I bought Diane Boden to the site to help you minimize your registry! She has some great tips.
A little bit more about Diane…
She is the voice behind the top-rated podcast, the Minimalist Moms, where she spreads her ideas and interviews others in regards to living a life in the pursuit of less. Her goal is simply: think more and do with less. Diane has been featured on other popular podcasts: Find the Magic, With Intention, Pure Nurture and many others. She was featured in 614Magazine in August 2019. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and three children. You can follow her at @diane_boden on Instagram or “Like” Minimalist Moms page on Facebook. You can also follow the podcast at @minimalistmomspodcast on Instagram for weekly motivation and encouragement.
I hope you find this helpful!!
Creating a Minimalist Baby Registry by Diane Boden
It’s official. There are two lines on that handy little test: you’re pregnant. A rush of thoughts floods your brain: I’m going to be a mother. Wait, how do I do that? Will I be any good? I’m not sure if it’s the right time? How will we afford a child? And, of course, you eventually land on the question: what will I need? If you do a quick Google search for “baby registry”, you’ll come upon list after list detailing everything you’ll need when it comes to having a baby. The crib, diaper changing station, washcloths, bath toys,
faucet cover, waterproof mattress, fitted sheets, swaddling blankets, sleep sacks, hats, bathing suits, shoes, diaper pail, diapers, wipes, wipe warmer, rocking chair, bassinet, baby monitor, noise machine, baby books, bins, baskets, swing, bouncer, activity mat, blocks, books, lovies, teethers, car seats, strollers, diaper bags, changing pad, portable changing pad, travel crib, baby carrier, stroller bunting…I could go on and on (but, as to not overwhelm you, I won’t).
My question for you: what is essential?
The definition of essential will shift depending on who you come into contact with – plenty of well-meaning parents will mention things you never knew existed (‘pee-pee tee-pees’ and ‘nose frida’), let alone knew you needed. It is countercultural to challenge the idea that you need a room full of possessions for your newborn babe but the benefit in doing so will set you up for motherhood in the right direction.
I typically wouldn’t take such a strong stance, but I feel strongly when it comes to overconsumption in early motherhood. The weight (literally) of carrying a thirty-pound diaper bag is unnecessary. Shed the excess. The problem with baby gear is that it’s useful but temporary.
There are various purchases you’ll need to make when pregnant but it’s time to consider the areas in which you can simplify.
The other thing is this: stores will always remain available to you, post-baby arrival. If at some point during those initial weeks you’ve realized that you’ve forgotten something, don’t worry. You can always run out and grab what you need. The advantage to this approach is that you aren’t cluttering your home as you are preparing for your new arrival. You are keeping only what you’ve deemed essential to you and are preventing items that are never actually used from taking up space. Buy things when they actually reach a milestone, not before!
As you’re crafting your list, remember to call to mind the necessities: what necessity will you use for longer than a couple of months? Invest in those things (some examples from my life were the pack ‘n play, baby carrier, stroller.)
I want to end by saying this: if you’ve done something (or choose to do something) that seems counter to what I said, that’s okay! As with any area of life, there will be various opinions and voices speaking to what we should or shouldn’t be doing (albeit I’m one of them – ha!) Condense the voices you’re listening to and make the best decision for YOU. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be prepared with “all of the things.” YOU are the most important thing that your baby needs. After he or she arrives, spend time taking care of yourself and baby. In my experience, people were happy to lend a helping hand so if you’re finding that you’re missing something, ask for help.
I won’t say that it’s easy to condense this area. It takes deliberate decisions and clear boundaries communicated to those around you. Don’t compare the decisions you’ve made to other pregnant mothers.
Living with less provides you with more time, space and money. These are three things you’re going to be thankful to have as a new mom. I would never suggest following the health plan of a stranger while you’re pregnant. Just because you see another pregnant woman/new mother beginning a new meal plan and doing Crossfit, doesn’t mean you should 1) compare yourself to what they’re doing or 2) begin such an extreme change from your norm. Give yourself grace and remember that health is all relative. The same goes for parenting. While wise counsel has its place, the decisions you’re making for your child are personal and can only be made by you.
You’ve done the work in seeking out information, informing yourself and showing investment in this little one. It is my personal belief that anyone that shows this enthusiasm for motherhood is already a great mother. Continue to navigate the voices and trust yourself.
Author Note: I expand in further detail on ‘The Essentials’, ‘Nice to Have’, ‘Take It Or Leave It’, ‘Items to
Invest In’ and ‘Ways to Save’ in my recent book, Minimalist Moms: Living & Parenting With Simplicity.
Product Recs From Diane