Babies honestly do not need much; diapers, clothes and somewhere to sleep. Read on for 5 natural baby essentials to simplify your life.
I was in for a surprise when I had our first baby. I was told that our house would be taken over by baby gear and that babies are so expensive. And I was shocked to learn that it does not have to be that way!
Sure, there are a ton of baby products out there for any and all situations you may encounter. And some babies just naturally need more than others for various reasons. Some babies are sick and need additional things or some babies are picky and want different things. But aside from that, we have put a lot of emphasis on convenience items.
After having Ila I found that most of what people recommended I did not like, use or need. Of course the next baby could be totally different but until then, I know what I like and I am sticking with it.
What are the necessities for baby?
This is not an exhaustive list. Obviously you need things like carseats, diapers, and food. A baby prep list is a post for another day. Instead, I wanted to share 5 natural baby essentials you may not have thought of or natural replacements for things you already use.
Things change week by week. A newborn needs different things than a 6 month old. These are also posts for different days. These 5 items I have used from newborn- 8 months. They are truly important for any baby in our house and have simplified our baby gear immensely.
Tips for baby essentials
- Buy less than what you think you need. Yep, I said it. This is not what most people would suggest. But, I found that as a first time mom, I had no idea what I needed and what was worth the money. I did not just buy less diapers, wipes, no carseat or anything like that. But I did not buy a lot of extras. The baby had diapers, clothes and somewhere to sleep. We waited until after she was born to think about things like monitors, extra clothes, toys and other gadgets. We also had a lot of these things from gifts.
- Your life (and baby) is different than mine. What I swear by may not work for you and your baby. Use what works and simplifies YOUR life.
- DIY if you can. There are so many products that are expensive to buy but can be made so easy. Lotion, baby soap, diaper cream, blankets, burp cloths, etc.
- Find products that do more than one job. We use blankets and swaddles as blankets, burp cloths, and nursing covers. This less to wash, carry and buy.
5 Natural Baby Essentials:
Organic Sleepers and Onesies
Now that Ila is older, we have more clothes for her but when she was 4 months and younger, she pretty much stayed in sleepers/gowns and onesies. Partly because she was so small that nothing else fit her but also just because I was tired and these were easy. It was also the dead of winter and she needed footsie sleepers to keep warm.
The basics are really all you need. We don’t have a ton of each either which I have found works fine. Yes I do laundry more often but honestly we have a ton of clothes and I still cycle through the same 5 sleepers. I have found I like to wash them more often anyway to treat stains as well as just get them clean. Babies poop, pee and spit up on their clothes and I don’t like just leaving that to stew in a laundry basket.
Quilts, blankets, and swaddles
Quilts, blankets, swaddles: We love a good quilt which is great because we have so many that people have gifted. A quilt or thicker blanket is great to lay down on the floor, grass or couch just to let baby lounge. Ila was also born in the middle of winter so they were great to snuggle her up in.
We also keep several swaddles. This is a more obvious item but we use thinner blankets for several different things. Swaddling, burp cloths, nursing covers, etc. They are versatile and help manage the amount of different items needed.
Wrap and Carrier
Some days this is the only way I get anything done. When Ila was a newborn I used the Solly or Moby more. I still use it on the days she is extra needy but I use my Infantino structured carrier more these days.
A wrap cuddles baby so tight. They are close to you, nap well and feel like they are being held. Yet, you have both hands. A more structured carrier does not hold them as tight and is better for an older baby. I love the Infantino because I can wear her so many different ways and she can see the world around her. She is on my back as I write this post.
DIY Baby Soap
Bath soap is an obvious necessity but try a DIY version with castile soap. Safer for baby skin and easier to keep on hand. I use castile soap for several other things in our home so it is always on hand if I run out of baby soap.
This is probably my favorite “essential”. Even though it is such a simple item, it has been so useful and replaced so many products! We tried every diaper cream under the sun. Ila had a few bad rashes while we were figuring out diapering. After every store bought diaper cream failed, coconut oil was the only thing that would completely clear her rash and it worked fast! I used it on both cloth and disposable diapers with no issues.
I also use coconut oil for nursing, as lotion for baby and myself, and I am even using it to fight cradle cap right now! Anytime a skin issue comes up, I immediately start with this oil before trying anything else. I usually do not have to try anything else.
As a side note, we always have this oil. We cook with it too. It is so useful! Can you tell I love it?
Bonus baby essential
This is a bonus for the nursing moms- I despise pumping. I had to for a short period while I worked but after becoming a stay at home mom and nursing exclusively, I never pump. However, we do keep some frozen milk and bottles on hand for the rare occasion we need to do a bottle.
When my milk came in, I had a major oversupply. It doesn’t regulate for a few weeks so having the Bumblebee to catch letdown was great. I was able to build a freezer stash of around 100 oz with milk from my let down. No pumping required.
While we use many other things for Ila, these 5 natural baby essentials created simplicity in our lives while we figured out this new time in our lives.