Having three boys to take care of and mad organizational skills, I’ve become obsessed with downsizing our stuff. It started when I pregnant and I realized the only way I was going to stay sane during my “in the trenches” years with the boys was to adapt a minimalist lifestyle. I spent my frantic nesting hours throwing out anything and everything we didn’t desperately need, keeping only the essentials for the next babies. And it worked! Turns out, you don’t really need much at all. Here are ten things you need for baby…
1. Feeding Supplies. You might breastfeed your baby, or you might use formula. You may choose a combination of both. But whichever method suits you, your baby will need to eat. Buy bottles, buy formula, buy a couple of bras with a fancy clip for whipping out your hoo-ha’s, but you’ll need some aid.
2. A Crib. At some point, I promise, your baby will sleep. And when that happens you will want to put them somewhere. Why not put them in a crib? Then crawl under the covers with a delicious bucket of ice cream and pass out before the spoon ever reaches your lips.
3. A Camera. Your baby will do remarkable things. Just watching your baby sleep will take your breath and you’ll want to remember each rise and fall of their chest, every flutter of every eyelash, the way each of their tiny fingers gently curl around yours. You’ll need a camera, and you’ll need to use it. It takes dedication but you won’t regret it.
4. A New Favorite Shirt. You need a new favorite shirt because your old favorite shirt isn’t going to fit, and when it does fit again it won’t be the same. It’s ok, get a new one. You deserve it.
5. Help. You’re going to need help. It doesn’t feel good to need help, and you won’t feel good asking for help, but when someone isactually helping you and you are actually laying on the couch doing nothing, that will feel good.
6. Yoga Pants. Honestly, I didn’t understand yoga pants until my third baby. I didn’t want to be “that” mom, I thought I was too good for yoga pants. I was wrong, no one is too good for yoga pants. You need yoga pants because they are the only piece of clothing that you can sleep in and continue to wear for the entire day and still feel amazing. They are slimming, they are comfortable, they are perfect. Don’t be too good for yoga pants.
7. A Doctor. Your baby will go to their pediatrician often, and you’ll need a good one. You want a doctor that respects you, bonds with you, and loves caring for your child. Essentially, you’re going to be in a relationship with your baby’s doctor for the next 18 years, so trust your gut, choose a great one, and rest easy knowing that your baby is well cared for.
8. Diapers and Wipes. My dad likes to describe the life of a newborn with the phrase “eat, sleep, and poop.” We’ve already covered eating and sleeping, but what about pooping? You’ll want to contain and dispose of it, and much like number one on this list, you get to choose how to do that. Just don’t feel let down when friends ignore your adorable baby registry and buy you hordes of baby wipes instead. A good stockpile of baby wipes is the BEST gift you can receive.
9. Boundaries. You have a new baby and you need boundaries. You need boundaries when your boss asks you to work late again, or when a friend asks for a favor that you simply don’t have the time for, and when little old ladies in the grocery store try to touch your baby or tell you the only teething remedy you should ever use (and it involes whiskey) you’ll need boundaries then too. Don’t ever feel guilty about setting your boundaries. They are your boundaries and they will do great things for your confidence as a mother, use them often.
10. Confidence. There’s that confidence word again. Turns out, what you do need for a baby isn’t all about the stuff you buy. Confidence in your mothering is a learned skill and if you’re like a lot of us, it won’t come naturally. The old adage “fake it ’till you make it?” Do that, and one day you’ll realize you aren’t faking it anymore. You’ll be a vibrant, confident, loving mother. And that is the most important thing that you do need for your baby.