What to Buy: Minimalist Baby Registry Tips and a Helpful Checklist

Babies come with a lot of stuff, and it can quickly feel overwhelming. Follow these baby registry tips to minimize clutter and keep your sanity intact.

Eat, sleep, poop, and cry. That’s pretty much all a baby does. Why does it feel like they need a ton of stuff if their activity level is minimal?

The short answer: babies actually don’t need much.

If you’re looking for a minimal baby lifestyle, reading to learn my top six most important baby registry tips, shop my baby-registry must-haves, and download my baby registry checklist below.

baby registry tips

Your baby registry doesn’t have to be complicated

So, how have we overcomplicated and over-consumed in this category? Well, the fact is that the baby market has exploded in the last two decades and again in the last few years, with the rise of fast-growth startups entering the baby space.

The industry is booming with innovation but is also capitalizing on parental fears. These fears make all parents, particularly first-time parents, think they need so much more than they actually do. We are consuming to solve problems we don’t yet have.

These fears make all parents, but particularly first time parents, think they need so much more than they actually do.

Abby kalter, prepping for peanut

The industry, influencers, and other seemingly well-meaning parents offer many recommendations based on their own experiences that it’s nearly impossible to sort out what you personally need.

So what does an expectant mama do? She buys everything! And then what does she say at the one-year mark? “I bought way too much stuff that I never used.”

Shopping for a baby may not seem very important when you have so much else to think about. But the way we consume products, the amount we accumulate, and our space can play a role in our postpartum recovery and mental health.

Clutter can create anxiety, so keeping things simple may have an even bigger benefit than you anticipate. Consider how you can be a mindful consumer, even with a baby on the way.

  • You develop a strategy before beginning to build a baby registry.
  • You can feel prepared without feeling like your home is drowning in baby gear.
  • Follow a strategic approach rather than one built on crowdsourced recommendations.

Read next: Your Postpartum Must-Haves for Recovery

box of knit baby items

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Top six tips for a minimalist baby registry

Before you head to the baby registry checklist, read through the helpful tips below so you’ll feel organized and decisive when shopping for baby items. Also, this will help keep your registry items to a minimum.

1. Start with addressing your lifestyle

This might seem like an obvious step, but thinking about how you live, where you live, who you live with, and how you like to interact with the world is the first step.

This means evaluating how you do things in your home and then thinking critically about what you and your partner hope to continue/maintain after the baby arrives. 

2. Prioritize what’s important to you

What do you most care about, and in what order? I like to have clients rank the below qualities to understand better how they will make a product selection. Consider the below and rank in order of what’s most important to you.

1.) Budget

2.) Space

3.) Style

4.) Environment

Note: Safety isn’t listed because I assume that it’s a top priority for everyone already. 

3. Think multi-use and multi-phase

Planning your product assortment in phases can be really helpful. Babies’ needs change rapidly in the first year, so selecting items that can grow with your child can save you tons of headaches and clutter down the road.

4. Envision real-life use scenarios

Be aware of how you will use a product, how often you anticipate using it, and for what duration of time. This will help you decided on just how many strollers you actually need.

5. Weigh features and benefits

More doesn’t always equal better when it comes to product features.

Sometimes it’s marketing and market competition that drives product development rather than consumer needs. I recommend keeping this in mind as you look at the listed features.

Ultimately, make sure to ask yourself: does this feature actually add value or just cost?

6. Don’t forget about you, too

Creating a postpartum care plan, organizing a list of the recovery products you’ll need, and the support services that will make your transition into motherhood more manageable will be more important than any stroller, bottle system, or bathtub.

Postpartum doulas, lactation consultants, and therapists are the real MVPs of your checklist, so be sure to seek them out during the baby prep phase. 

What should be on a minimalist baby registry?

It’s true that babies don’t need much in their early months.

Check out my minimal checklist for your baby registry below. I’ve linked some favorite gender-neutral brands and products to help make your shopping easier.

Sleep and nursery

Pack-n-play or travel bassinet
Fitted sheet
Sound machine

Health and safety

Monitor
Grooming kit
Thermometer
Nasal aspirator

Feeding

Bottles
Pacifiers
Breast pump
Milk storage system
Formula

Diapering and bath

Diapers and wipes
Diaper cream
Bathtub with infant sling
Soap and shampoo

Out and about

Stroller and accessories
Infant car seat
Carrier or wrap
Changing pad
Packing cubes

Clothing

Zipper-footed pajamas (x3) with mittens and butt snaps for easy diaper access
Onesies (x5)
Pull-on pants (x3) with adjustable ankle cuffs for longer wear
Socks (x5)
Booties (x2) that actually stay on with convenient snaps
Bibs (x3)
Assorted swaddles

Download your minimal baby registry checklist

In addition to the baby registry tips above, the baby registry checklist for birth through three months will help you feel prepared for bringing home your baby.

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Baby registry items
Baby registry items
Abby Kalter

Founder of Prepping for Peanut

Abby is the founder of Prepping for Peanut— a personalized baby prep concierge service that makes nesting a stress-free, confusion-free, and clutter-free experience. Abby loves helping expectant families sort through the crowded baby market to find the products that are right for them, so they can spend more time enjoying pregnancy and less time shopping for the perfect stroller.

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