Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How much stuff does a baby really need?

I've seen gobs of lists on Pinterest claiming to be the ultimate list of what you NEED for a baby.  Maybe some babies have higher needs than our because we've found that Luke really doesn't need that much.  We have a small house and don't want it completely overrun with baby stuff.  Here's my list of the gear we have.

As far as absolute needs there isn't much.  A car seat, somewhere to sleep, some way to eat, diapers.  I've talked about our cloth diapering before.  We bought this travel system which covered us for a car seat:
It came with a base and we never purchased another one because Luke never rode in the Jeep.  Then we sold it anyways.  But in different circumstances I can see how a second base would be very helpful. 

We bought a crib from Target: 

And we have 3 of these sets of bottles:
I would think if you breastfeed you wouldn't need as many bottles but since Luke is all bottlefed, we go through a lot.  Sometimes we run the dishwasher just to get clean bottles and we have 12. 

That's the big stuff that you NEED (and clothes and wipes and a bunch of little things).

WANTS (or things that are nice to have)

Luke enjoying the travel system stroller
We admittedly probably have too many strollers (3).  We have the one that came with the travel system (we use that one the most), a jogging stroller (better for grass and ideally for running which has never happened), and an umbrella stroller (smallest so best when the car is full).  If we just had one I'd probably pick the travel system stroller since it gets the most use but it is nice to have options.  (Matt would pick the jogger.)  And the jogger and umbrella were both registry items we received as gifts.

We opted not to ask for a jumperoo, swing, or anything like that but instead registered for a johnny jump up.  Again, we have a small house and didn't want something that would take up a lot of space, both now when Luke's using it and when we have to store it.  And Luke LOVES the jump up.  He goes crazy jumping in it.  It's also a great way for him to play with toys sitting up since he can't do that on his own yet.  We started him in the jump up at about 3 months, packed in with blankets.  He's still in it almost every day and loves it.  It's even compact enough that we can take it to the lake, which we have every single time since he's been using it. 

We also decided not to register for a full high chair, instead asking for this "Deluxe Reclining Feeding Chair".  Again, space was an issue here.  I didn't want our attic to be completely overrun with things that Luke would only use for a short time.  He's been sitting in this chair already and it can transform into a booster seat when he is ready for that.   Luke joins us for supper now (if he's awake) and seems to like his chair enough.  His favorite part is eating the straps; he goes straight for those every time we put him in.

There are some things we have for Luke that we don't need.  One of those is this tub.  We use this almost every day but I know we could bathe him a different way if we didn't have it.  Luke does love his baths though so it is worth it to us.  His tub is a penguin.  Which is pretty cute.  For now we just store it in the big bathtub for the 23 hours and 30 minutes a day it is not otherwise in use.  He's been able to sit up in it since he was a month old (although just this week he figured out his feet can reach the other end so he props himself up and won't relax in it, which is kinda funny).

Another thing we could have lived without but still used frequently was a pack n play (I've had ours so long it's no longer sold but it is similar to this one).  Until we got the storage ottoman last week the pack n play was set-up downstairs for diaper changes, naps, and storing various baby things (diapers, wipes, blankets, etc.).  Luke did nap in it daily for the first month-ish he was home and we used it for 75% of diaper changes until last week.  Not only is it helpful for those things but it's also really nice for traveling.  Luke slept in one the second half of the summer at the lake, on our family vacation, and will on our family camping trip.  It's been very handy to have and even folds down to store pretty compact (although we didn't put all the pieces it in for storage since we won't need those for camping).

We have also been lucky enough to borrow things from various family members.  Matt's sister-in-law lent us this playmat which Luke likes a lot too.  It's our best bet for keeping him off his belly right after eating (jumping is also out).  He's spent hours under this thing and still seems amazed with the bugs hanging down every time.   And he usually doesn't nap under it.  This was when we first started sleep training.

My sister lent us her changing table for Luke's room but we recently gave that back since she has had her baby now.  Which means for the time being Luke's clothes are stacked on the floor in his room while we look for a suitable dresser. But we really appreciated it for the 5ish months we had it!!  Being able to borrow saves us money and space, both of which we value. 

As for all the little stuff...we've been lucky to get a lot of clothes as gifts.  So much that before this week the only clothes we bought specifically for Luke were sleepers to come home in, mittens, and 2 pairs of pants.  I'm just now having to fill in his wardrobe (mostly warm clothes like pants, jackets, etc.).   It's really exciting to just pull his next size box from the attic and refill his clothes as he grows!!  We have enough that we're usually able to go 2-3 weeks between laundry for him, depending on when we run out of clean sheets, onesies, and washcloths.

Luke has a lot of books, most of which are on this bookshelf in his room.  There are also blocks made at a shower and extra bath toys in the bins at the bottom.

We keep a basket of books and a basket of toys downstairs for Luke.  He's at a perfect stage right now for not having a lot of stuff sitting out.  The ottoman hold all the diapers, wipes, baby blankets, burb cloths, etc.  The baskets have his toys & books.  Then there is just his jump up hanging in a doorway, the playmat behind the couch, and his car seat in a closet.  I find it exciting to fit all his things in with ours.  I'm a big fan of everything having a place and everything going in it's place every time.  I know this won't last forever and that eventually he will need more things, bigger toys, etc.  But for right now...I'm happy with how little he really needs.  He's happy with a handful of toys that he can grab and put in his mouth (everything he can grab goes in his mouth).

I've written a few times about our attempts at simplifying our lives, something I am continually working on.  It only makes sense that we would do the same when it came to Luke's things as well.  And really, besides the real basics (food, clothing, shelter), what he really needs is our love and attention (I know that sounds incredibly cheesy).  People can have all the gear imaginable and be great parents.  We are just trying to do it with less.


Lauren said...

Good for you! We actually had 4 strollers in the garage at one point (was borrowing a "sit and stand" one but it wasn't working for us, and found a nice double stroller at a garage sale). Back down to 3 now. Ha! I am itching to start getting rid of baby stuff right now... Walden is getting big!

diana said...

That makes me feel better about our 3 strollers!

Pam said...

I also have 4 strollers (travel system, umbrella, single jogger and double jogger). One of my favorite "wants" is a moby wrap. I LOVE this and it is so comfortable to carry the little one in. I also have lots of love for my bouncer/rocker and Bumbo seat. Not needs but since both were garage sale finds, I am very glad I got them :)

diana said...

I'm borrowing a Moby wrap and know lots of people love them...but I've never figured out how to do it! That's a lot of fabric to deal with!

We borrowed DD's bouncer for awhile and Luke took a lot of naps in there for a few weeks. I totally forgot about that.

Pam said...

I will give you wrapping lessons :) Once you figure it out, it is so comfortable. I have already used mine with Vivian. I made it a whole 1.5 days being home before I broke it out. Love being hands free!

diana said...

I know, the whole hands free thing would be awesome but I am just overwhelmed by the fabric! Haha. I'll take you up on that lesson when I come visit. =)