This is the ultimate minimalist baby registry for moms who hate clutter. Get real tips from a REAL minimalist mom on what baby “essentials” you will actually need – and what you should skip. (Also, don’t forget to grab your free minimalist baby checklist printable before you go!)
Are you a new mom who wants to avoid filling your home with junk you won’t use? There are so many baby products that are touted as “must-haves” and it can be confusing to wade through all of them.
In fact, you probably don’t need 75% of the things listed on a typical baby registry checklist!
Take it from a been-there-done-that minimalist mom of two – this minimalist baby list is a practical and no-nonsense guide to what you will actually need to live minimally as a new mom and raise kids that would flourish with simple living.
Make sure to save this list on Pinterest and share it with those you love early on to get them on board with your minimalism plans. (That way, you’ll be more likely to receive gifts you’ll actually use.)
*BONUS: Because I believe in saving money as well as saving shopping mindfully, I will share a few tips and tricks on how to get the stuff you need for a cheaper price.
FREE Minimalist Baby Registry Checklist
Grab your free printable minimalist baby list so you can follow along with this minimalist baby registry guide.
*Remember* the key to creating your perfect minimalist lifestyle is to only buy and keep what you use.
Some moms may need less and some more, but what matters is you have exactly what you need.
This minimalist baby registry checklist is based on my experience as a hoarder-turned-minimalist mom, so you can expect only the essentials are on this list.
Should you receive something but realize you are not using it you can either sell it or donate it to your local women’s shelter. It’s ok to admit that you thought you’d use something and end up discovering it doesn’t match your lifestyle.
Be gentle with yourself and don’t forget that minimalism is a journey.
How to save money on minimalist baby essentials
1. Create an Amazon baby registry
Before you begin, the best place to create a registry is Amazon, where you will receive a welcome box (valued up to $35 – keep what you like, donate the rest).
You will also be eligible for a “completion discount” up to 60 days prior to your baby’s arrival date, and with Amazon Prime, you will receive 15% off. Read more info here on the Amazon website.
2. Use Rakuten any time you purchase baby gear
Any frugal minimalist mom will tell you Rakuten is a safe and convenient way to get free cash back anytime you make an online purchase.
You can also refer your friends and family members who plan on buying for the baby to Rakuten and you will both get $20 free (don’t forget, you won’t get the money until you start purchasing through Rakuten.)
CLICK HERE to sign up for Rakuten for FREE and get $20 instantly as soon as you start using it to shop and save money online.
3. Use hand-me-downs or buy secondhand baby items
If you are okay with pre-loved baby items you can check and see if you have any friends or family members who may be looking to get rid of baby items.
Online resale websites such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace are also great places to purchase gently-loved baby items.
I know firsthand you can find amazing stuff at fantastic prices at eBay — at one point I was making $1,000+ a month selling my kid’s old baby stuff on eBay in between their naptimes!
Using preloved or secondhand baby items is a simple change to shop sustainably and save money on your minimalist baby registry essentials!
MINIMALIST BABY ESSENTIALS: SLEEPING
A well-rested baby makes for a happy minimalist family. Let’s start with things you’ll need for your baby’s sleep.
PACK ‘N PLAY & ACCESSORIES
Think you need a crib and mattress for your new bundle?
If you plan on bonding with your baby and want to keep them close, a Pack ‘N Play has everything you need for the first 2 years!
Not only did my FIRST son sleep in his PNP for the first few years of his life but when his baby brother came along he got to use it as well! We got several years of use, took multiple vacations, and loved our Pack ‘N Play every single step of the way.
As a minimalist mom, I recommend skipping the bulkier versions with the fancy bassinets and gadgets – get this ultra-minimalist On-the-Go PNP instead! It has everything you need for sleep AND traveling for a few years.
You will also need a Pack ‘n Play fitted sheet (this cuddly one is the bee’s knees) and buy at least 2 in case of accidents.
One of the best ways to help your new baby sleep is to swaddle them.
My personal favorite swaddle wrap was the Aden + Anais swaddle wrap – it’s a perfect size, easy to use, and is made of safe and breathable muslin.
We actually still own ours, even though my kids are now 5 and 7 years old. (Hey, what can I say? They make great superhero capes for dress-up play!)
As your baby gets older, they will start to roll over. This happens around 4 months of age, and it’s about the time you should transition from swaddle wraps to sleep sacks.
Sleepsacks make late-night diaper changes a breeze and also keep your baby’s legs warm without needing blankets that could potentially harm them.
WHITE NOISE MACHINE
This little device literally saved my sanity! I was practically a mombie trying to get my kids to sleep – let’s just say sleep doesn’t come easily to this family, since I had babies that would wake at the drop of a hat!
Enter this white noise machine.
We lived in very noisy cities and this helped my children sleep through even the most obnoxious noises, like:
- drunks breaking bottles & partying in the Chicago alleys
- noisy fireworks during Chinese New year in Shanghai
- soccer hooligans celebrating German wins during the World Cup
This machine comes with 20 sound settings (10 fan noises and 10 white noises). My boys prefer fan noise over white noise and still use this device every night when they go to sleep.
In the end, who am I to say you don’t need a crib?
Sure, we found our PNP more useful in the first few years but I can think of plenty life circumstances where a mom might need to have a crib.
If that sounds like you, put this on your registry if you or going to use it or have room to store it. Otherwise, you won’t need a crib until your baby outgrows the Pack ‘N Play or you want to put them in a different room.
We didn’t use a crib until our little one was just under 2 years old and then we purchased a 3-in-1 convertible crib (I’m sorry to say the exact crib that we used is discontinued but this new 5-in-1 crib is by the same brand that we used — we loved ours!)
CRIB MATTRESS (OPTIONAL)
Skip this until you need the crib, then invest in a high-quality mattress (this antimicrobial, water, and odor-resistant mattress was the one we used!)
Minimalist Baby Essentials: On the Go
You will need items to carry your baby when you take walks, travel, and to keep them safe in the car. These are my most-loved picks as a minimalist mom!
Some minimalist moms prefer to just use baby carriers and avoid strollers altogether, but as a mom who lived in a big city and did a lot of walking, a good and reliable stroller was non-negotiable for me!
Strollers come in handy for exercising with baby, small shopping trips, carrying bags to and from the store, traveling, etc. I personally loved and would recommend the BOB stroller, which I used with the Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat (you will need this easy-to-use adapter to insert the car seat in the BOB.)
You will definitely need a safe and reliable car seat for your baby. I used and recommend the Chicco Keyfit 30 (as I said before, you will need this adaptor to put the in the BOB stroller).
CARSEAT COVER (OPTIONAL)
If you live in a cold climate like we did and you will be outdoors with your car seat or car seat-in-stroller combination in the frosty winter months, you should consider getting a shower cap-style car seat cover to keep your infant warm!
It’s *very* important that you choose a car seat cover that does not interfere with the seat belts that hold your baby into the car seat — remember, safety is key! (This is the exact car seat cover we used and it was more than enough to keep both my kids toasty warm in the frigid Chicago winters.)
Baby carriers are super useful! They help free up your busy hands while still allowing you to keep the baby close to your body for skinship and bonding. They are also indispensable when you are traveling or taking short trips in your neighborhood.
(True story, my son was a difficult napper – around 5 months old he REFUSED to take his 5 PM nap unless I wore him in a baby carrier. So I did just that, often taking my meals with him attached to my body, napkin over his head, as he slept soundly.)
The exact baby carrier that I used is no longer available, but this BABYBJÖRN has all the bells and whistles mine did (it’s also half the price, what a steal!)
Minimalist Baby Essentials: Feeding
No matter how you feed them, babies need to eat! These are the essential nursing and feeding products that you should ask for on your registry.
Now, you might think, “I’m not going to need a breast pump – after all, I’m going to breastfeed my baby!”
I thought the same thing, but as it turns out there are a few good reasons you might need a breast pump even if you are breastfeeding, such as:
- insufficient milk supply (yep, I experienced this myself)
- your baby isn’t nursing well (your milk can dry up)
- you plan on going back to work
- your husband or caregiver wants to feed the baby
- your baby has latching or feeding difficulties
- travel or move to a different country (you may need to readjust milk supply timing – did this myself, too!)
If you ask for a breast pump, get a hospital-grade pump like the best-selling Medela breast pump pictured below. Not only will it last longer, but it will have the power to really be efficient and comfortable.
MONEY TIP: Your health insurance should cover the cost of your breast pump – check with them for guidelines and specifics.
BREAST MILK STORAGE BAGS
The best breast milk freezer bags will be tough, have an extra-tight seal, are BPA-free, and will have space for you to put the date on them – the ones pictured below are excellent quality.
HANDS-FREE PUMPING BRA
Can you say lifesaving?
A hands-free nursing bra will hold your breast pump in place so you can work or play with your baby with your free hands. This is the Medela hands-free pumping bra that works with the Medela breast pump.
NURSING BRAS AND TANKS
All breastfeeding mamas will need at 2-3 nursing bras or tank tops. As a minimalist mom, you need just enough so that when one bra or tank top is dirty (because let’s face it, boobs leak and babies puke) you have enough on hand.
I preferred nursing tanks over bras because in the winter I could just put a camisole over it and in the summer that was all I had to wear!
My favorite nursing tank tops were the ones that:
- had plenty of boob support for milk-heavy breasts
- were longer in the torso (so they didn’t ride up during nursing shenanigans)
- could be unhooked from the shoulder using only one hand
BOTTLE AND NIPPLES
Register for both bottles and nipples. If you don’t know whether you are going to breastfeed or bottle-feed, ask for a small set that you can have just in case you need it.
If you plan on having anyone else feed your baby or if you need to switch to formula, it’s important to have bottles and bottle nipples.
Dr. Brown’s was my personal favorite, and the gift set below comes with a bottle brush and nipples for your baby’s various stages of feeding.
Babys can be picky, however, and you might need to experiment and see what nipples they like best (besides yours, of course).
A bottle brush is essential. This cleans your baby’s bottles and helps clean the nipples effectively too. If you don’t get one with your bottles, just buy any brush separately.
These are relatively inexpensive but they are so necessary. Start with only a pack or two and get more if you find you have a very messy baby.
There is no telling whether your baby will be prone to getting an upset tummy, so it’s nice to have a bottle of gripe water in your medicine cabinet just in case.
There’s nothing worse than waking up to a fussy, gassy baby in the middle of the night and feeling helpless to make them feel better.
We always kept a bottle on hand due to my children’s allergies, and this gripe water helped us so much!
NIPPLE LEAK PADS
You might be surprised to hear that your breasts may leak milk. It can happen when your baby cries for feeding, when you lay a certain way, if your breasts become too full of milk, etc.
To prevent any wet milk leaks through your bras and clothing you can invest in silicone or disposable nipple covers – there are even brands that help you catch the milk to reuse!
If you are going to breastfeed, you will need nipple cream, at least in the beginning.
This will help soothe your sore nipples after they experience the rigors of breastfeeding, at least until your they have toughened up enough to not crack anymore.
My go-to nipple cream was Lansinoh, which has over 17,000 positive reviews on Amazon.
Even babies that aren’t eating solid foods may require a bib, as it also caches their drool and spit-up. You can ask for cute or funny ones – people will love buying them for you.
Minimalism is all about finding what works for you and what worked for my very messy babies (and saved my sanity) was having a silicone bib set for when they started eating solids and adorable organic drool bandana bibs during the day.
If you are unable to breastfeed your baby, you will need to use formula. Talk to your pediatrician and see what formula they recommend and experiment with yourself.
Minimalist Baby Essentials: Safety
Keeping your baby safe and healthy is your top priority – here are the essential baby safety items that will help keep your bundle safe and let you rest easier as a mom.
VIDEO OR SOUND MONITOR
Give yourself the gift of being able to use the bathroom or make yourself a cup of coffee. A video baby monitor will give you peace of mind.
Being able to check in on my babies visually not only helped to reduce my new-mom anxiety at naptime, but it also helped immensely with sleep training (below is the upgraded version of the one that we owned!)
You won’t need these for a few months, but they will be really nice to have when your baby becomes mobile – and they will, oh will they ever.
- Outlet covers
- TV & furniture safety straps
- A baby gate
- Corner guards
Okay, this may not be on the typical minimalist baby registry list, but this little device literally saved my sleep and my sanity.
My first son slept on his back nicely for months, swaddled in his muslin wraps. My second son was a little Houdini who not only broke out of his swaddle starting at 1 month but also started rolling to sleep on his stomach insanely early – like, two months old.
All medical sources say that to prevent SIDS babies should not sleep on their tummies, but I couldn’t stop him – he would always roll back over onto his stomach to sleep (he STILL sleeps like this!)
I was at my WITS END and could barely sleep, terrified I was going to wake up to every mother’s nightmare. I researched and researched and what I came up with was the Snuza.
This small device clips on your baby’s diaper and alerts you if your baby stops breathing. I found it incredibly reliable – we only had one false alarm, ever — and it allowed both my baby and myself to get the rest we so desperately needed.
Minimalist Baby Essentials: Health
Healthy babies mean happy and well-rested mommies. You really don’t need all the typical stuff that comes in those “baby health kits”, since you will probably receive a nasal aspirator and other goodies free from the hospital.
Every baby is different and may require more or fewer specialty items for health, but in general, these are the essentials.
- Thermometer – choose an in-ear or forehead thermometer so you can take your baby’s temperature while he or she sleeps. You MIGHT get one from your hospital, so you can wait until after your baby is born to get this. (We still have our Braun in-ear thermometer.)
- Nail clippers – your baby’s fingernails will grow really fast in the first few months, and they tend to scratch their face a lot as they can’t control their arms well. Protect them with some baby-safe nail clippers (this is the brand we use and love).
- Nasal saline spray – saline spray is great for clearing out your baby’s stuffy nasal cavities and it helps keep germs at bay.
Remember, you may need more or fewer products depending on allergies, sensitivities, skin conditions, etc! My sons had multiple allergies (peanut, egg, walnut, soy, milk) and we would buy items to treat accordingly.
Minimalist Baby Essentials: Diapering
The next category you’ll need to register for is hygiene and diapering. These are things that you most certainly use – every single day (and hopefully without any leaks).
Ask for either cloth or disposable diapers but know you might need to try different brands to see what you like best! I personally liked Pampers best for my first son (he was skinny) and Huggies best for my second son (he was plumpy).
Here are a few popular brands:
- Pampers diapers (here is the newborn size)
- Huggies diapers (here is the newborn size)
- Cloth diapers (here is an adjustable size)
PRO-TIP: Definitely consider signing up for the Subscribe & Save feature with Amazon Prime (they offer 3-month and 12-month subscriptions) and you can save up to 15% on your diapering diapers, wipes, vitamins, and more!
Smart minimalist moms-to-be know it pays to invest in high-quality pieces over cheap fast-fashion style items to reduce consumption and save money in the long run!
I absolutely adored my JuJuBe BFF diaper bag — in fact, even though my kids are 5 and 7 I am still using my diaper bag (I converted it into a camera bag for my blog!)
Here are all the reasons I love my BFF:
- plenty of pockets for storage
- two insulated bottle pockets for milk bottles (one on each side)
- spill and dirt resistant exterior for easy wiping
- machine washable (see how to wash it in your washing machine here)
- converts to backpack or crossover with adjustable straps
- metal “footsies” that keep it upright and off the floor
- on-the-go changing pad included (a MUST for nasty public toilets)
- dry crumb drains at the bottom
- and more (see more here)
ADDITIONAL DIAPERING ESSENTIALS
- Wipes – Even if you think you are going to use cloth wipes, it’s a good idea to ask for disposable wipes. They come in handy when you are out and need something to clean up your baby’s face or hands.
- A changing pad – Unless you really want to go ultra-minimalist and just used the one that will probably come with your diaper bag, a changing pad is a safe and useful place to change your baby — keep it minimalist by using it on the floor or dresser you already own, versus getting a special changing station.
- A changing pad cover – helps keep your changing pad tidy and clean; have 2 so you can change quickly in case of “accidents”.
- Butt cream – little booties can get red and irritated from all that pooping and wiping. Destin was our favorite butt cream (hey, over 10,000 positive reviews can’t be wrong!)
Minimalist Baby Essentials: Bathing
You probably need much less than you think to bathe your baby properly. Here are the only three items that are truly minimalist baby essentials for bath time!
MINIMALIST BABY BATH
Now, you could potentially just use bath towels inside your sink to cradle your baby and wash them, but this has three big drawbacks:
- not all sinks are well-configured to hold your baby safely and comfortable
- not all sinks have high enough faucets
- you have a lot of very soggy towels afterwards
In my opinion, the very best minimalist baby bathtub is the Puj Tub.
It is compact, foldable, easy to clean, and turns your bathroom or kitchen sink into a safe baby bathtub. It folds into your sink, curved just the right way to protect your baby during bathtime, and then you can hang it up on your wall or slide it in a crack or cabinet until you need it again.
We had the Puj Flyte and used it with both of my children at home and anytime we traveled (it’s a breeze to slide inside any luggage pocket).
2-IN-1 BABY WASH
Don’t forget the baby shampoo and body wash.
The pediatric allergist we saw for my son’s allergies swore by Cetaphil products, which we are still using as a family to this day. This is the baby wash that we used when my children were small.
If your baby doesn’t have dry or sensitive skin you can skip this, but most babies benefit from a little moisturizer.
Again, we are a Cethaphil-loving family so we used that brand.
Minimalist Baby Essentials: Clothing
Honestly, you probably don’t need to ask for clothes or buy clothes for yourself – people love buying baby clothes and they are probably going to do it even if you tell them not too!
As far as minimalist baby clothes go, the most versatile and functional pieces are bodysuits – my kids lived in their bodysuits and footsie PJs!
Here is a rundown of minimalist baby clothing ideas – remember, if you don’t use something or they outgrow it, you can always sell them online later.
- 3-5 bodysuits
- 3-5 footsie pajamas
- 1-2 jackets or cardigans
- 1 dress outfit for special occasions
- 4-5 socks
- 1 hat
- 2-3 mittens (these will help protect baby from scratching)
- seasonal clothing
It’s hard to give a complete list of minimalist baby clothing because temperatures and weather vary by location as well as what season your baby is born!
If you live in a very cold climate, don’t hesitate to get a good snowsuit for your baby. Likewise, if you live near the beach, a swimsuit or terrycloth beach outfit might be at the top of your list.
Remember, minimalism is all about what works for you and your family!
Baby Registry Stuff To Skip
As you create your minimalist baby registry, there are lots of items that you don’t need.
These are things that might seem kinda neat, but you probably won’t use them and they will end up wasting your valuable space, money, and time.
If you strive to be intentional with your purchases you will find navigating motherhood much less stressful, for you and for your baby in the future.
- Pacifiers – I have never used a pacifier with my children, so they are not a requirement. You will probably get a few from your hospital and you can use those to decide if you want more in the future
- Nursing cover – simply use the Aden + Anais swaddle wrap to cover yourself instead. I’ve even just used a baby blanket or layered a nursing tank with an oversized t-shirt.
- A breastfeeding pillow – just use any pillows. There is nothing special about a nursing pillow that helps with breastfeeding. Most moms like the Boppy just because they can use it for tummy time later – you can use any pillow or blankets for the same thing (put some spit-up clothes under your baby, just in case).
- A special bottle drying rack – just use whatever dish rack you have currently.
- Changing table – as I mentioned before, just put the pad on the floor or use a dresser that you already own.
- Baby bedding sets (ESPECIALLY the crib bumpers) – All you need is a sheet to cover the mattress; it’s better to layer your baby’s clothing than it is to put cute blankets and bumpers inside of a crib. Those are actually considered a SIDS risk.
- Special bath towels or washcloths – you can simply use the ones you currently own unless you absolutely MUST see your baby in a towel with ears. 🙂
- Diaper Genie – just use any old trash can with a lid. You might have to change the trash a bit more frequently, but it will save you space and money.
- A baby swing – You’ll discover yourself holding your baby more than you will use the swing.
- A rocking chair – This is nice to have, but you’ll end up walking around the room with the baby more than rocking it.
- Wipes Warmer – Not only do they not work very well (most of them dry out the wipes) but your baby won’t notice if the wipes are room temperature.
- Bottle Warmer – If you have to warm up a baby’s bottle, it is just as easy and efficient to hold it under the hot water faucet or boiling water and pouring it in a measuring cup with the bottle inside.
- Shoes – until a baby starts to walk (and perhaps we should say walk well) they aren’t going to require shoes. Baby shoes, while cute, are not really necessary.
- Toys – if you give a baby a choice between a cucumber and a toy, 99% of the time they are going to be more interested in the cucumber – stick will real items around the home, use mirrors so they can look at themself, and get creative – baby books are also an acceptable alternative.
MOM TALK: You will probably want to buy toys as your baby gets older and more curious, but there are plenty of great non-toy options that won’t clutter up your home. As a mom who decluttered 90% of my kid’s toys, trust me when I say kids are happier with fewer toys!
Start Your Minimalist Baby Registry
A minimalist lifestyle is about so much more than buying minimalist baby clothes or decorating your minimalist baby nursery a certain way. As you create your minimalist baby registry, ask yourself if something else on the list can be used in its place.
Cloth diapers can be used as burp cloths and baby blankets can be used as nursing covers.
Also, don’t be afraid of making mistakes.
Being a mom is tough enough without having to kick yourself over buying something and realizing you don’t like or need it.
If you happen to receive more than you will use or find you don’t like the item, you can always return, sell, or donate the item.
By the way, if you’ve ever wondered if it’s possible to be a minimalist with kids, I’m here to assure you that it’s totally possible.
If you are unsure how to get started living minimally, why not take the 30-day minimalism challenge? It will help you declutter your physical, mental, and digital space so you can make more room for what matters!