You've done everything right and bought everything you need to welcome your newborn. There are tons of shopping checklist online and you've got the best, the bare minimal, because you're a minimalist and plan on raising your newborn with only the bare minimum but with a truck load of never ending love. And then the day comes and while you're overwhelmed with feelings of happiness and love, you're also finding yourself trying to stay ahead of the baby's schedule. You've got this!
7 days later, you explain to yourself that the mess is ok. Your baby is so new and you are so new to this too. No routine has been formed, but it will be ok. You and your partner, you've got this. It's not before long when you've now finally figured out a routine that works and you have everything under control again. But when you take a look back at what you have, you realise you may have created a mountain on unnecessary plastic and off material things lying in your house, all because in your slightly stressed, sleep deprived state, you may have accidentally hit the "buy now" button to something you thought would be absolutely paramount to have. "oh dear"… is what I secretly thought. Because saying it out loud would translate into, "Sorry dear. I've not only spent our hard earned money on things we don't use, but there are still a ton of cute things out there that are in my cart, waiting to be paid for."
Hi, my name is Seetal and I'm pleased to meet you. Growing up I was always so proud of owning less things and being able to see my room or space completely free of clutter. For as long as I remembered, I loved owning less stuff. I moved countries after marrying my husband, and all only with one suitcase that weighed 15kg. For me, that was enough and plenty. When I got pregnant with my first born, our families were so happy and shopped a whole lot for my yet to come daughter. They were happy I get it, but it made me super stressed. There was just so many things and clothes. Did I really need 12 blankets? Sure they're all cute and all, but aren't there too many? Also, how do I try and fit in my specific minimalism style with all these mismatched items? My questions were soon seen as being ungrateful. Hiding my stress and trying to be happy soon led me to secretly shopping online for things that I liked only to buy more mismatched stuff as I tried to proof that we can raise a child with muted colours and an all matching wardrobe all too easily. The reality would prove otherwise. I woke up one day and said, "that's it. No more!" I went for a lovely walk with my daughter and just enjoyed having her with me. Of course, never leave home without snacks and a drink bottle! Other than those two things, I realised my 3 month old baby needed nothing else.
This is when I started my journey into being a minimalist again and I successfully raised my second born 2 years later, being a minimalist too. And it is doable! It is easy and not at all stressful if we understand what is truly important to us. As a minimalist, I can say that all minimalist need structure, they need less things to feel calm and they cannot bear to see things go to waste. I did just that. I stopped buying clothes for my children because they were both gifted with so many. My son wore a lot of pink frilly onesies that belonged to his sister once and it was ok. They had mismatched clothes and blankets, but rest assured, they were never cold.
The one area I could not bring myself to ever owning though was a diaper or nappy bag. Target sold a reasonable priced bag but it just looked like a diaper bag. I didn't want a bag to say diaper bag or nappy bag and I definitely didn't want one that said feminine diaper bag. Try getting my husband to carry that bag! My husband being the ultra alpha male he is, would refuse to carry a diaper bag if it looked feminine. And as luck would have it, I could not find a male bag that he was happy to carry. So I bit my lip and sulked at the weight I had to carry around, but I stuck to using my fashion tote bag as a baby bag. And wow I carried so many things! The damn checklists that I found were not minimalist friendly at all. It had way too many things that I wouldn't even get a chance to use. But I carried them anyways…. After all, they were the experts.
Two kids later, a minimalist at heart, tons of read books, I am now an expert minimalist parent. "Yeah baby!" I hope the checklist below comes in handy to you as a minimalist parent to have packed in your baby/diaper/nappy/parent bag. Thank you for reading all this way. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.
The Minimalist Diaper/Parenting Bag Checklist:
- a change mat (or simple muslin cloth to keep the weight down)
- one diaper for every hour your plan to be out (double for twins)
- biodegradable plastic bags for dirty diapers
- reusable zip lock bags for soiled clothes
- diaper rash ointment tube (make sure the same ointment can be used for all sorts of other skin rashes too).
- 2 bibs
- 2 full sized burping muslin cloths (use these often to ensure the bibs don't get as soiled).
- 2 set of onesies (stick to onesies to save space in your bag)
- DON'T carry any blankets. Remember all those gifted ones? Always ensure there's one or two spare ones in your car/stroller. Keep it in a nice bag so its always clean and dry.
- clean bottles and formula if you're bottle feeding (I did both but my boobs wouldn't fit in the bag).
- sunscreen and hat if baby is old enough (always pick travel size tubes/roll ons)
- a pacifier (or try the self soothing method)
- a water bottle and a snack for you (because the parent matters too)