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The Only Ten Things You Need for a Baby

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Posted on : 11:27 AM | By : Nic | In : , ,

Every time I go to the grocery store, I have to laugh at the people carrying these massive car seats with their baby tucked away inside, hefting it by the plastic handle with both hands.  They lean it up against shelves, boxes, fruit, because they get so tired.  It seems so inefficient to me.  I also have to chuckle at parents who have a very tiny baby in a gigantic stroller that can barely make it through tiny aisles and around tight corners.  


Parents buy SO much stuff and when the get ready to go places they fill the car with piles of equipment.  My goal with both my babies was to have as little as possible, because the baby doesn't need it, and he will be much happier without them.

1. Slings - Not Car Seat Carriers.  Any kind of sling will do.  I made my own sling out of polar fleece (I would post links but if you type 'make baby sling' into Google you will find hundreds).  I recommend the simple tube/pouch sling for nursing and quick in-and-out, and also a wrap or Moby style sling for use on the back (and they grow with your baby).  Obviously you still need a car seat, but keep it where it belongs - in the car.

2.  Shower Sling - Not Plastic Bathtubs. There are several water wraps available (such as Gypsy Mama's).  I have heard so many moms complain that they can never shower anymore.  My own babies hated the plastic bathtub, the sink, the big bathtub, everything.  But then they equally hated the shower when they were babies.  Instead, put the baby in the sling and wash with them.  Start this habit young and they will love it.  Then you can go swimming too!

3.  Hammocks and Sheepskin - Not Cribs. I can understand not wanting to co-sleep, but I don't understand putting the baby in another room.  They wake up so often, who wants to go trotting through the house when it would be so much easier to just reach over and scoop them up.  One easy solution is one of those side-beds, but you could also try a hammock bed such as the Moffii or Amby.  Another great thing is a baby lambskin.  If your baby becomes used to sleeping on a moisture-resistant, antibacterial, soft lambskin, they can learn to sleep just about anywhere because you can take that lambskin everywhere.

4. Cloth - Not Pampers.  I know, it's a bit hypocritical that I used Pampers with both my kids.  But only because I lived in an apartment and the cost to do laundry far outweighed the cost of the diapers!  Now that I have access to free laundry right in my own home, it is now a different story.  And I do have experience with cloth diapers, because I was lucky enough to change my cloth-diapered-brother's bum when he was a baby, right down to sloshing them in the toilet.  Having a few backups is ok, but you will save TONS, never have to run out for diapers late at night, and will be helping the environment monumentally - and most importantly, keeping toxic cancer-causing chemicals off your child's skin.

5. Wool Covers - Not Plastic.  Rather than the old-style plastic pants and wraps for your cloth diapers, try using wool wraps or soaker pants.  Not only are these easy to make, you only need a few because they are so moisture-resistant and antibacterial you can reuse them.  When you do have to wash them, you simply use a lanolin wash to keep the wool soft and waterproof.  Plus, you don't need pins or fasteners for the diapers. 

6. Diaper Pail - As much as I hate plastic, probably this is a time when it is necessary.  Any kind of large plastic bucket, trash can, or pail will work as long as it has a lid.  It will need a bit of ventilation.  You also need a couple of washable washable nylon bags to line the pail with.  Then you simply dump the diapers in the washing machine along with the bag.

7. Flannel - Not Wipes!  Baby wipes are awesome and convenient, but if you want to one-up the wipe system, get cloth wipes that you simply throw in with the cloth diapers.  Many cloth diapering stores (such as Cloth Babies) offer kits that include the wipes, a wipe warmer, and the wipe liquid spray.  But you can make your own wipe liquid like this:
1/2 distilled water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 aloe vera gel
1 tablespoon calendula oil
1 drop lavender essential oil

8.  Diaper Ointment - You should be putting baby bum cream on your baby every time you change a diaper.  There are lots of natural diaper creams on the market today... I've found (even in the case of the wipe liquid above) that getting essential oils is quite expensive, even more so than buying the actual mass-produced product.  The best cream is the one with the highest zinc content.  Also, if you avoid diapers as much as possible then that is the best prevention for rash (look up Elimination Communication).  

9. Cabbage - Not Pumps.  Really this should be Breast - Not Bottles.  But really if you experience an overproduction of milk, simply breastfeed more and put a cabbage leaf on there until it reaches a reasonable level.  Bottles aren't necessary either, nor are soothers.  Once your child is introduced solid foods after 6-8 months, eventually they will stop needing the breast at all and can go directly to a cup.

10. Baby Clothes - Not Accessories.  I see so many shopping pages and stores that say 'Baby Accessories'.  It sounds a little too close to 'Barbie Accessories' to me, lol.  If you are already using natural soaps in your house, and non-toxic products, then the last thing you need is baby clothes, some blankets, and a much bigger purse.  I currently use a large cotton bag with a natural print to carry all the pens, handkerchiefs, extra panties and misc. art supplies that I need, but I think with three I'll need a slightly bigger one.  Any bag works, but dividers are nice. 

That's all you need for a baby.  We also have a stroller that we found used for $60 and it has lasted us for everyone, but we usually put stuff in it rather than children.  It is especially useful for book sales.  Invariably though we expect our children to walk, and they do. :)

Comments (2)

Great article! You can make it even simpler - boobs, cloth diapers,baby sling and clothes. Everything else is extra.

For apartment dwellers there is now a more environmentally friendly diaper than pampers - the gDiaper. No plastic and the insert is flushable. Only the outer gpant needs to be washed and it can be washed by hand. It's a great alternative.

Erin
www.momandbabyboutique.com

Shower sling, Brilliant! If only I would have known a year ago!