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              1. Le Scoop
              2. Child Development
              3. Baby
              illustrated baby registry items from bassinets to bottles

              Just The Essentials: Our Guide To A Minimalist Baby Registry

              Putting together a baby registry is one of the best parts of being pregnant—for some people. If you’re not one of them, it can be overwhelming to think about all the gear (and laundry) that are about to invade your space. You can’t avoid the laundry, but you can manage and minimize the gear. A minimalist baby registry of necessities that are simple, stylish and hardworking will set you up for a sweet start. Not sure where to begin? Let us help. Stylish, simple and durable is our forte.

              Written By
              Elyse Moody
              Louise Lockhart

              A minimalist approach is perfect for first-time parents. You can’t know what you and your baby will truly need until you’re in the thick of it. You also can’t predict what your baby will and won’t like. (Your friend might have held her LO in a carrier 24/7, but yours might scream until you take her out.) Plus, you’ll encounter baby stuff at the pediatrician’s office, at friends’ homes, and at the park. You might like what you see in the wild better than the things you research online. It’s also ideal if you live in a smaller space, prefer a minimalist design style, or just aim to buy less stuff in general. PS. If you're looking to leave no stone left unturned, check out our ultimate baby registry checklist.  

              If you’re adding another baby to your family, it’s likely there are pretty minimal baby items you don’t already have. You may want to replace things that have gotten better (the baby monitor, the breast pump) or expired (the car seat) since your firstborn arrived, though.

              Our advice: Start with the minimalist baby essentials you know you’ll absolutely need during the first six months of your child’s life. You can always add, but it takes effort to subtract. Follow these three steps, then check off our minimalist baby registry list.

              1. Choose the best minimalist baby registry website.

              There are tons of websites you can use to create a minimalist baby registry. A universal registry is the most streamlined way to go because it lets you organize finds from different retailers’ websites in one place. Babylist is a popular choice. Amazon is similar to a universal registry because it houses so many retailers under its umbrella, and it’s extra convenient since its registry is tied to your Prime account. The only downside? Amazon may not have all of the indie and niche baby brands you want or as big a selection. Just be sure the site you choose extends a completion discount, or create a separate registry for staple items well in advance of your due date or baby shower. Afterward you can buy any items still on it for a reduced price. Amazon and Babylist offer a 15 percent completion discount. Register for things you’ll need in bulk, like diapers and wipes, to take full advantage.

              2. Stick to your home’s color palette.

              A minimalist atmosphere starts with cohesive color choices. Choose hues for your baby’s nursery and gear that coordinate with the rest of your home. That way, those items will look like they belong wherever they end up. No need to be matchy-matchy; just be mindful. I don’t regret springing for a Morris & Co. Dock-A-Tot cover that coordinated with the wallpaper in our sunroom, where we spend most of our time—that little bit of cohesiveness made me happy. It helps dial back the overstimulation that comes with being a new parent. This goes for baby clothes, too. If they’re all in the same palette, you (and anyone else who pitches in) can put together a cute outfit easily.

              3. Think outside the nursery.

              Minimalism isn’t just about less; it also means thinking about simplicity, ease and functionality. Picture where you’ll be spending time at home with your new baby and equip those spots. At least, you’ll want a second changing zone where you hang out during the day. A second bassinet might also be worthwhile if you have a multistory home.

              Maisonette’s Minimalist Baby Registry Essentials

              For Sleep

              Relax: There’s absolutely no rush to assemble a full-size baby crib. For the first six months (at least), your babe is going to be sleeping in your room in a bassinet. It’s okay if her nursery isn’t picture perfect from the start. Neither she nor you will be spending a lot of time in there.

              You might want a carrier for wearing your baby. You’ll find that there are a ton, and it’s all about what style you prefer. I ended up using the Solly most with my baby because I loved how soft and lightweight it is.

              It’s also nice to have another safe, secure place to put baby down for naps or just to take a break. That’s where an infant lounger comes in. Unfortunately, Dock-A-Tot is discontinuing its loungers in the U.S., but SnuggleMe is another great choice. It’s not as easy to wash, but it’s cozier.

              This may be controversial, but hear us out: You don’t really need a baby monitor. You’re never going to be far enough away from your baby that you don’t hear her, and tracking her oxygen levels might give you unnecessary anxiety. (In a pinch, if you want to hear her in case she wakes up, you can call your partner, leave his phone in the nursery, and keep yours with you on speakerphone and muted.) What is useful is a sound machine with a built-in nightlight, like the Hatch. You’ll appreciate the gentle lighting now when you go in for a late-night diaper change.

              Later on, you can program it to illuminate in the morning to give your toddler a subtle wakeup call.

              If you already have a cozy chair, you might skip the rocker or glider. But it is nice to have a dedicated place to feed, pump and snuggle. Chairs designed for nurseries also tend to be easy to machine wash, which might not be true for your living room sofa. Keep that in mind for the pillows you use to support your arms for feeding too.

              What you need:


              • 3 bassinet sheets

              • Cotton flannel swaddle blankets 

              • Infant lounger

              • Soft baby carrier 

              Sound machine/nightlight 

              Rocker or glider (optional) 

              What you can skip for now: Crib (choose one that transitions to a toddler bed), double-sided crib mattress (we like Naturepedic), 2 waterproof crib mattress covers (a spare is nice to have), 3 crib sheets (Pehr for crisp percale; LouLou Lollipop for soft brushed cotton)

              What you can skip, period: Baby monitor, muslin swaddles

              For Dressing

              At first, no matter what season it is, all you really need are one-piece zip-up pajamas made of a stretchy material, like bamboo viscose or pima cotton. Those materials are best for regulating hot and cold temperatures and gentle on delicate skin. Spare yourself snaps or buttons; zippers are loads easier to deal with, and the two-way kind is key for easy diaper changes. Pick ones with fold-over mittens attached to the sleeves so that you don’t have to try to keep mittens on your baby to stop her from scratching her face (it’s impossible).

              People always go off-registry and give you clothes. To help guide them, be mindful of the timing. Consider when your baby will arrive and include a note about it on your registry. That way you can avoid having a whole drawer of adorable newborn-size bikinis your child will never get to wear. For example, if your baby is born in May and you live in the northeast, she’ll need newborn and 0-3 month summer clothing, 3-6 month fall clothing, and 6-9 and 9-12 month winter clothing. Any special occasion outfits should be size 3-6; you’re probably not going to be going very many places before then.

              Note that European sizes run much smaller; my 7-month-old babe is wearing 12 month clothing in Jacadi and 9 month in Petit Bateau.

              What you need:

              • 9 pima cotton or bamboo viscose long-sleeve pajamas with fold-over mitts

              • 3 newborn hats 

              For spring/summer newborns:

              • 1 sun hat 

              • 1 swimsuit (3-6 months or larger; your babe won’t go swimming before then)

              For fall/winter newborns:

              • 3 sweaters

              • 6 socks 

              What you can skip for now: Sleep sacks, pants, shirts, shoes

              What you can skip, period: Scratch mittens

              For Diapering

              You don’t need a special changing table. We’ll even go so far as to say you don’t need to screw a changing tray into the top of a dresser you already have. Just get a really good changing pad or basket that you can use on top of a dresser or put on the floor with you. Leander Matty changing pads don’t budge, come in great neutral colors, are easy to wipe down and are large enough that you can use the same one through potty training. Prefer to wash a liner rather than wipe it down? An Olli Ella changing basket and pad is a great, attractive and long-lasting option.

              It may sound anti-minimalist, but a diaper wipe dispenser is actually extremely useful. It keeps pricey wipes from drying out and makes them easier to grab one-handed. This may be obvious to most people, but it wasn’t to me before I saw my babysitter do it: Snip the side of the wipe pack and take the wipes completely out to put them in the dispenser for the easiest setup. We have the Ubbi and Oxo dispensers, and I prefer the Ubbi one because it’s slightly easier to open.

              The Ubbi diaper pail seals in odors and takes any garbage bag; it also comes in a ton of colors so you can buy one that blends into your room. We had one and ended up getting a second one for downstairs.

              As for the diapers themselves: Diaper sizing varies widely from brand to brand, so there’s a chance your child might never wear newborn size diapers. If you want to stock up, go for size 1 in a brand a friend or family member recommends. You may find that certain diapers just fit your baby better or don’t irritate her skin, though. We’ve tried them all, and we mostly use Pampers Swaddlers, which are by far the most popular among our family and friend group. When our babe is transitioning from one size to another, we use Honest because they seem to tend to run a little smaller.

              I’ve also tried about a thousand diaper bags and still haven’t found the holy grail—one with enough space and compartments for everything (but not too many), and a spillproof pocket for bottles. I’d recommend waiting until you see what other moms have and get feedback; you’ll see what you want and need and avoid buying a bunch you won’t use.

              What you need:

              • Changing mat or basket and liner

              • 1-2 diaper pail that takes universal bags

              Diapers (don’t go nuts)

              Diaper wipes 

              • 1-2 Diaper wipe holder

              • 1-2 Diaper caddy

              What you can skip for now: Diaper rash cream, dedicated diaper bag

              What you can skip, period: Changing table, diaper wipe warmer, changing pad, changing pad covers, changing pad liners

              For Bathing

              If you have a deep kitchen or bathroom sink, it’s a lot easier on your back to bathe your newborn in there instead of the bathtub. When she’s a little bigger, the easiest option is to just put her in the tub with you. Babies also don’t need that many baths. Once or twice a week is plenty for most babies; more than that can dry out and irritate their skin.

              What you’ll need:

              Baby bath sink liner 

              Baby wash/shampoo 

              Baby lotion 

              What you can skip for now: Baby manicure supplies, bath toys, baby hairbrush, baby toothbrush

              What you can skip, period: Baby bathtub, baby washcloths, baby towels, bath thermometer

              For Feeding

              This looks different for everyone. You won’t know how it’s going to work for you until your baby is here. Your baby may never touch a bottle, or she may take one from the moment you get home from the hospital. You’ll hear this a lot: Whatever works for your family is what’s best. Still, it’s smart to be prepared for any scenario, so you’re not scrambling when you’re at your most sleep deprived and frazzled. Do yourself a favor and sterilize the bottles and breast pump supplies well before your due date. It isn’t fun to figure out a breast pump when you’re exhausted. It’s also a good idea to have some formula on hand at home in case you need it.

              A note on bottles: Resist the urge to stock up. There’s a good chance you might end up trying a few different brands if you bottle feed your babe.

              What you’ll need:

              • 9 burp cloths (this is one thing you actually can’t have enough of IMO; Little Unicorn is my favorite because they’re extra large)

              • 6 cotton muslin or terry cloth bibs (Pehr’s are my favorite)

              • 3 bottles and nipples (sterilized) 

              • Bottle cleaning brush

              • Breast pump and supplies (these are covered by health insurance)

              • Formula (just a box, to put your mind at ease)

              What you can skip for now: Bottle sterilizer (you might want this if you end up exclusively pumping), breast milk storage containers, formula mixer, nipple cream, nursing bras, breast pads, baby spoons, silicon bibs

              What you can skip, period: Bottle warmer, baby-specific dish soap

              For Health/Safety

              The most important thing you can do is take an infant CPR and first aid course. You can find in-person and online classes via the American Red Cross. If you just need a refresher or a quick reference, the National CPR Foundation lists the basics.

              Sometimes the splurgier seeming devices can be the more minimalist choice. Trimming your baby’s nails so that she doesn’t scratch herself is one of the more nerve-wracking things you’ll have to do. In the beginning, it might be easy to peel or bite away any bits that snag or feel sharp. When they really get long, I’ve found that a battery-powered buffer is so much easier to use than clippers. We have the Haakaa one; I bought it after I clipped my daughter’s nail a tiny bit too close and nicked the skin. I wish I had gotten it from the start instead of clippers and nail files. The electric Nose Frida is also worth the splurge compared with the manual one because it’s easier to use and more durable; we’ve gone through a bunch of manual Nose Fridas, but once we got the electric one it has held up a lot better.

              You’ll need:

              • Battery-operated nail buffer

              • In-ear digital thermometer 

              • Baby fever reducer

              • Nasal aspirator

              What you can skip for now: Pacifiers (the hospital will have them; see if your babe likes it before you load up), pacifier tethers, teether toys, baby proofing supplies

              What you can skip, period: Nail clipper, nail file, cotton balls, cotton swabs, bulb syringe

              For Playtime

              For your newborn, playtime means tummy time. They’re not going to be doing much else for months, and they’ll probably be doing a good bit of tummy time on your chest. You don’t need piles of toys to keep them busy; in fact, they can be overstimulating. This is yet another area where it’s better to keep it simple.

              A well-designed playmat, like the Lovevery play mat, will make tummy time more fun and easier to do, though. You’ll also want a safe place to lie baby down when you need to do other things with your hands. Our physical therapist and others recommend the BabyBjorn Bouncer Bliss because it keeps baby’s hips in good alignment and grows with her; it also has different toy bars you can swap in and out to keep her entertained. Toy-wise, things that make gentle noises, like a soft rattle and a few crinkle books, cover it.

              What you’ll need:


              Bouncer with toy bar

              • Soft rattle 

              • Crinkle books

              What you can skip for now: Motorized swing, blocks, stuffed animals, battery-powered toys

              What you can skip, period: Doorway bouncers, seated activity centers, baby walkers, push toys

              For Travel

              The car seat is the most important thing on this list because you’ll need it to come home from the hospital. The child safety experts I’ve interviewed remind me that all car seats are equally safe; the differences come down to user convenience and style (and name brand). That said, weight really matters for infant seats because you’ll probably be carrying your child around in it for their entire first year, and perhaps a bit longer depending on her height and weight. A 15-pound child in a 15-pound seat is a lot to hoist. Nuna seats are the lightest on the market.

              I also wish someone had told me that you don’t really need a travel system. It’s not vital that your car seat snap directly into your stroller frame. Babies aren’t supposed to sit in a car seat for more than an hour at a time. That means you shouldn’t really be running errands with them in the seat, taking them on walks in it, or letting them nap in it; you should take them out. You’ll really only be carrying your baby in and out of the house in the seat.

              That opens up a lot more stroller options, including ones that have the profile of a travel stroller but can accommodate a newborn in a lie-flat position. (Most travel strollers are for babies six months and older.) UppaBaby Minu and BabyZen Yoyo2 are popular options, with the BabyZen stroller being slightly more compact; it also includes a travel bag. The Minu has an advantage in that you can position the seat or bassinet so that it faces you.

              If you plan to fly anywhere with your baby within her first six months, register for a travel bag from the brand. It’ll cover any damages that might happen in transit.

              And if you live somewhere cold, go ahead and register for a footmuff or bunting. Like a Canada Goose down coat for your baby, it’s a big-ticket item, but it is a winter necessity. 3AM Enfant’s universal footmuff grows with your baby from birth to two years of age or older.

              What you’ll need:

              • Infant car seat 

              • Infant car seat travel bag


              • Stroller footmuff aka bunting (if you live somewhere cold)

              What you can skip for now: Convertible car seat, seatback mirror

              What you can skip, period: Travel system, car seat cover for winter

              The 30 Minimalist Baby Registry Essentials


              1. Bassinet

              2. Bassinet sheets (3)

              3. Cotton flannel swaddle blankets

              4. Infant lounger

              5. Soft baby carrier

              6. Sound machine/nightlight

              7. Rocker or glider (optional)

              8. Footie pajamas with fold-over mitts

              9. Newborn hats (3)

              10. Changing mat or basket and liner

              11. Diaper pail that takes universal bags (1-2)

              12. Diapers (don’t go nuts)

              13. Diaper wipes

              14. Diaper wipe holder (1-2)

              15. Diaper caddy (1-2)

              16. Baby bath sink liner

              17. Baby wash/shampoo

              18. Baby lotion

              19. Battery-powered nail buffer

              20. In-ear digital thermometer

              21. Baby fever reducer

              22. Nasal aspirator

              23. Playmat

              24. Bouncer with toy bar

              25. Soft rattle

              26. Crinkle book

              27. Infant car seat

              28. Infant car seat travel bag

              29. Stroller

              30. Stroller footmuff aka bunting (if you live somewhere cold)