Trying to stay minimalistic when a baby joins the family can be challenging. They seem to need SO much stuff to keep them comfortable and parents sane! But, it’s possible to keep it simple and still give your baby everything they need. A minimalist baby registry is a good idea when you don’t want baby clutter to build up unnecessarily.
Since I’m a minimalist, it was a pleasure to give this topic quite some thought. I decided to add items that are space-saving, long-lasting, and, where possible, are made with sustainable materials. My list of 20 baby gift ideas is by no means conclusive. But it gives you somewhere to start when planning what to put on your baby registry.
Why Do I Need a Minimalist Baby Registry?
If you’re a first-time parent you may not be aware of what your baby needs to be comfortable and safe. What’s more, there’s so much to choose from when you start exploring the world of baby products! And, even more so for the parents.
It can become quite agonizing when you’re trying to live a minimalist lifestyle. This could be because you’re living in a small home with limited space. Or, you detest clutter and the thought of piles of toys drives you insane. For me this mindset started when I went backpacking for 6 months – I couldn’t take many things with me.
Maybe you’ve decided you want to live a minimalist lifestyle for financial reasons. You’ve made a conscious decision to own fewer items especially when you really don’t need them. You’re cutting down on debts and unnecessary spending. And, you’re getting rid of junk that’s been accumulating in the attic, cupboards, and garage.
But, now you have a baby on the way and you want to be wise about how you spend your money and on what. You also want to cut down on friends and family sending things your way that’s only going to end up in the attic. By minimizing the baby clutter, you’ll not only feel mentally saner but you’ll also save on space, time and money.
Benefits of a Minimalist Baby Registry
Having a minimalist baby registry will help to reduce your anxiety about receiving gifts from friends and family. But the other benefits include:
- Lowers the stress levels: Not only for you but also for your friends and family who know how important it is for you to live a minimalist lifestyle. But if they don’t know what to get you, it can get stressful for them. A list of minimalist gifts will help them make the right choice when picking a gift for you and your baby.
- Saves money: This works both ways. It saves money for the person giving the gift. But also saves you from having to go out and buy the baby gear you really want. So, make sure you list the essentials on your registry.
- Sustainable practice: Most of us are trying to do our bit by reducing materialistic consumption. By making sure you list baby gear that’s long-lasting and if possible, made using sustainable practices, then you’re doing your bit for the environment.
- Space-saving: By keeping baby clutter down to a minimum you’re saving on space. But, also picking essentials that have a dual purpose will go a long way to saving on space when it’s limited in the first place.
So, if you’re stressing about putting together a minimalist baby registry, know it’s all worthwhile in the end.
Quick tip! If your friends and family don’t think it’s possible to be a minimalist, tell them to watch this video.
My Checklist of Minimalist Baby Registry Essentials
My list of 20 gift ideas is what I consider every minimalist parent should have on their baby registry. These are the essentials and I’ll explain why each one is not only essential but minimalistic too:
- Mini crib
- Changing pad
- Diaper caddy
- Laundry bag
- Diaper bag
- Diaper wipes
- Muslin burp cloths
- Rompers / Jumpsuits
- Swaddle blankets
- Silicone bibs
- Health care and grooming kit
- Sound machine
- Travel playpen / crib
- Playmat / toy
- Infant car seat
- Travel system / stroller
- High chair
- Baby carrier
- Baby memory book
- Gift card
1. Mini Crib – Babyletto Origami Portable Baby Crib
If you’re looking to save space because your baby will be sleeping next to your bed in your bedroom or their nursery is extra-small, a portable mini baby crib is very useful. You want to look for one that can fold away for storage and have wheels for easy moving from one room to another.
The Babyletto Origami Portable Baby Crib does all of this and can be used from when your baby gets home to when they’re over 18 months old. It’s been made with sustainably sourced pine wood and treated with non-toxic paint to ensure it’s safe for your baby. Two adjustable mattress positions also make it easier for you to use and include a mattress.
Plus, the design is elegant and will look good in any modern minimalist home.
2. Changing pad – Keekaroo Peanut Changing Pad
The right changing pad can make a big difference to diaper changing time when you’re short on space. You also want to get one that’s easy to clean, lightweight and compact.
I’ve already reviewed the Keekaroo Peanut changing pad here. It’s designed to be comfortable for even bigger babies. In fact, it’s so comfortable some parents let their babies nap in it! How’s that for a dual purpose item?
It’s great for diaper changing and is easy to clean after serious messes. The changing pad is made from strong, durable material and doesn’t crack or puncture. This item will stay with you for a long time, saving you from having to make another plan when it comes to diaper changing.
3. Diaper Caddy – Ooki Baby Large Diaper Caddy
I can’t stress enough the importance of being organized when it comes to being a parent. Most minimalist people understand this. But if you’re still new to parenting, a diaper caddy will help you maintain your minimalist lifestyle.
I love this nursery organizer from Ooki. It can store all your necessary diaper changing items neatly while not taking up too much space wherever it’s kept. It has plenty of storage space plus removable dividers if you want to expand the storage space.
It’s also very nifty for taking on trips with you and made with double layers of felt on all sides. This means you have a long-lasting and durable diaper caddy that can be converted into storage space for other items when your baby outgrows diapers.
4. Laundry bag – KEEPJOY Hanging Laundry Hamper Bag
You’ll be amazed by just how much dirty laundry your baby will accumulate! Instead of piling it all up on the floor, you could use a laundry bag that hangs neatly on the back of the door. This will give you more space in the room too.
The KEEPJOY Hanging Laundry Hamper Bag is big, measuring in at 30 x 20 x 0.5 inches. It can go in the closet, on the bathroom door or even on your baby’s crib. The bag includes adjustable steel hooks and 4 adhesive hooks.
It’s made with durable and waterproof Oxford material and has a zipper at the bottom for easy unpacking of the dirty washing. You can use it for the whole family too so minimize the dirty clothes being scattered in various rooms.
5. Diaper bag – Skip Hop Diaper Bag
A versatile and strong diaper bag with many compartments combined with a changing pad makes a useful item to have especially if you’re on the move with your baby often. What’s more, one that looks elegant will only make you feel more like a super mom (sorry dads, but you could check out my article about other diaper bags if you find this one is too girly for you!).
The Skip Hop Diaper Bag is smart, functional, and works well as a changing station. It has enough compartments for storing up to 4 diapers and all your other diaper changing essentials. Plus, a side pocket conveniently lets you store your mobile, keys, and other personal items.
The bag is made with high-quality, durable materials so you’ll be carrying this one for a long time to come.
6. Diaper wipes – OsoCosy Baby Flannel Wipes
I can tell you right now, diapers are going to be very much part of your life when your baby arrives. So, while diapers are essential, something else you need to think about is diaper wipes. If you’re using disposable baby wipes you can expect to use up to 1 200 wipes per month in your baby’s first year!
For a minimalist parent, the thought of using and disposing of so many baby wipes can be quite stressful. Which is why you may want to consider using reusable baby wipes instead. The OsoCosy Baby Flannel Wipes are made with 100% cotton, easy to use, easy to wash and dry, and can be used anywhere at any time. Plus, they’re soft and gentle on your baby’s skin.
Not only will you be saving money with reusable baby wipes. But you’ll be putting less onto the landfills which means you’re doing your bit for the environment.
7. Muslin Burp Cloths – Sunshine & Poppy Burp Cloths
Burp cloths are another item you’ll need in abundance, especially if your baby suffers from acid reflux, colic or even just the occasional oops after feeding. To make your life easier (and your clothes cleaner), having some good quality burp cloths on hand is always useful.
These Sunshine & Poppy Burp Cloths are thick, made with four layers of organic muslin cotton so you know they’re safe for your baby. They’re large and super-absorbent too. So, you can use them when your baby burps, for cleaning up drools, wiping dirty faces and hands, and even as an emergency diaper if you run out of them.
By using these reusable burp cloths you’re saving on disposable baby wipes. And, protecting the environment while spending less money too.
8. Jumpsuits / Rompers – Kuriozud Infant Unisex Romper Jumpsuit
Where does one even start with baby clothes? With so many to pick from and so many exciting designs, you want to buy them all. But, that defeats the object of being minimalist. Of course, you can have pretty and cute baby clothes, but using all-in-one rompers are perfect for day-to-day use.
The Kuriozud Infant Unisex Romper Jumpsuit comes in sizes from 0 months to 24 months. They’re made with a cotton blend and are easy to use with buttons down the front. Dress your little one in these rompers and know they’re comfortable while playing or sleeping. And, when it comes to washing, it’s minimal loads without all the extra bits and pieces.
9. Swaddle Blankets – aden+anais Essentials Swaddle Blankets
For some reason, everyone wants to buy blankets as a gift for babies. They’re certainly very useful but you could end up with most of them sitting in the cupboard. Getting the right blanket saves on spending money on blankets you’ll never use.
Swaddle blankets are a parent’s answer to the perfect blanket. The aden+anais Essentials Swaddle Blankets are made with 100% cotton and are great for swaddling newborns, to use for tummy time, and even make your toddler feel safe when wrapped up in one.
These muslin cotton blankets come in beautiful designs that will fit any nursery theme. They’re machine-washable, getting softer after every wash and they dry quickly.
10. Silicone Bibs – Ullabelle Silicone Bibs for Boys and Girls
Bibs are synonymous with babies. And, you could end up with more than you need if you’re not careful! In fact, I did an exercise recently where I calculated how many bibs a baby needs and I figured 10 to 15 bibs would be sufficient. Now, you could simplify this by using silicone bibs instead. Then you won’t need as many.
Ullabelle Silicone Bibs for Boys and Girls are great for the modern, minimalist parent (and baby). They’re designed with an extra-wide pocket to catch any food spilling. And, all you have to do is wipe them clean after use. Plus, they can go into the dishwasher too. This saves you on laundering piles of dirty bibs.
Adjustable buttons means you can fit them onto your newborn and adjust the size as your baby grows. It’s made with food-grade silicone which is safe and lasts for a long time.
11. Healthcare and Grooming Kit – Safety 1st Deluxe 25-Piece Baby Healthcare and Grooming Kit
Some parents may argue this is not essential. But, having your own baby’s brush and comb is useful. Plus, as your baby grows they’ll need their own toothbrush. Another essential you’ll always find useful is a thermometer.
This Safety 1st deluxe 25-piece Baby Healthcare and Grooming Kit contain the following essentials:
- Brush, comb, cradle cap comb and toddler toothbrush: I must tell you having a brush and comb designed specifically for babies means it’s gentler on their skull.
- Nail clippers and 5 emery boards: Baby’s nails grow very fast and if not kept in check, your baby could scratch their face when exploring with their hands.
- 3-in-1 thermometer (plus case): When your baby feels feverish, being able to take their temperature will give you peace of mind knowing if they do have a fever or not.
- Nasal aspirator, bottle medicine dispenser and alcohol wipes: I can’t tell you how many times I wish I had a bottle medicine dispenser when my daughter refuses to take her medicine from a teaspoon.
All of these items are kept in a smart, deluxe zippered bag so you’re not cluttering tabletops or shelves with these items.
12. Sound Machine – Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine
Creating the ideal sleeping environment for your baby is important if you want to get a good night’s sleep too. A sound machine that includes a whole lot of other features is one way of ensuring your baby is happy when it comes to bedtime. I always used a white noise generator to put my daughter to sleep when she was a baby.
The Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine not only has a minimalist design but it’s multi-functional. You don’t need to go and get separate items to perform different tasks. This machine can be a calming night light, play soothing sounds, and has a time-to-rise feature for your toddlers getting used to a sleep schedule.
Best of all, it can be operated remotely with your smartphone so no need to disturb your baby while they’re sleeping. I’ve reviewed it in another article if you want to learn more about it.
13. Travel Playpen / Crib – BABY JOY Foldable Travel Crib
Even if you don’t intend to travel a lot with your baby, a portable playpen and crib is extremely useful. You can use it at home when you go out to visit the grandparents or even when spending a day in the park.
The BABY JOY Foldable Travel Crib is designed for babies from newborn to 3 years old. It folds and sets up quickly and can be placed into a carry bag when not being used. It includes a removable and washable mattress pad. A zipper door on the mesh side makes it easy for your baby to crawl in and out when open.
This is the solution for minimalist parents who want a playpen and a crib without having to buy two separate items. And, it folds into a neat, compact bag that can be stored out of the way without being a nuisance.
14. Play Mat / Toy – Skip Hop ABC & Me Grow & Play Baby Play Mat
Baby toys can accumulate easily and before you know it, you’re sitting with a pile of toys your baby simply doesn’t need. Babies can easily be entertained with items found in the home such as your pots and pans in the kitchen. Minimalist parents prefer not to have too many toys around.
But, the Skip Hop ABC & ME Grow & Play Baby Play Mat is useful when you need to get on with tasks around the house. Your baby will be kept fully entertained when using this playmat. It gives them 17 developmental activities plus a padded pillow. The toys, ABC tune and padded mat and pillow mean your baby can have playful tummy time, overhead play and seated play – all with one item.
This neat activity gym keeps all the toys in one place and keeps your home neat and tidy at the same time.
15. Car Seat – Maxi Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
Now, here’s an essential you simply can’t get away with, whether you’re a minimalist parent or not! By law, your baby needs to travel in a baby car seat right from the word GO. This includes their first trip home from the hospital.
What you can do is select a car seat that’ll be with your baby from day one to 10 years old. The Maxi Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is an option and you can’t go wrong with safety or comfort with this product.
Buying a high-quality car seat that’ll be with you for a long time means you’re saving on money and avoiding over-consumption of materials. And, you’ll have peace of mind your child is safe whenever traveling in the car.
16. Travel System / Stroller – Doona Infant to Stroller Travel System
The debate is open as to whether you need a stroller immediately after your baby is born. But, if you do decide you want one then a minimalist solution would be to get a travel system. This includes both an infant car seat and a stroller.
What makes Doona Infant to Stroller Travel System unique is its all-in-one without any part coming apart. In one quick step, the stroller folds into a car seat. It meets all the strictest U.S.baby safety requirements so you know your baby is safe when using this product.
But, it’s only suitable for babies up to 35 lbs. so you’ll need to look for a new car seat once your baby outgrows this one. But, if you’re looking for a space saver solution for the first couple of years, this one is a good one to consider. And, you won’t need to get a separate stroller for a while.
17. High Chair – Toogel Hook On High Chair
You would love to take grandma’s antique high chair but your kitchen is simply too small for it (plus there may be some safety issues to consider as well). But, feeding your baby at the table can become a mission if you don’t have the right chair for them to sit in.
The Toogel Hook On High Chair is ideal for keeping your baby restrained during feeding time and takes up little space. Plus, it’s portable so you can take it with you when you go on holiday or your child spends the night at the grandparents.
Not only is it designed to be comfortable for your baby (from 6 to 36 months old) but it can fold and be put away when not being used. How’s that for a space saver?
18. Baby Carrier – Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Infant Carrier
I can’t tell you how fantastic baby carriers are and I’ve used one with my own daughter on many occasions including when cooking dinner. A baby carrier can also be used instead of a stroller for the first few months of your baby’s life for hands-free convenience.
The Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Infant Carrier is perfect for your newborn and babies up to 32 lbs. It’s been ergonomically designed to be comfortable for both the parent and the baby. This one is also ideal for both the smaller and plus-size parent with its adjustable waist belt.
These carriers are not bulky so you can easily store them in a cupboard or on a hook without them taking up space in your home.
19. Baby Memory Book – Peachly Minimalist Baby Memory Book
Sure, you can capture and keep all your baby’s memories on your computer. But, sometimes it’s nice to pull out a book and share your baby’s special moments with others. But, keeping piles of albums can become messy when you’re trying to keep your home neat and tidy and you’re short on bookshelves.
The Peachly Minimalist Baby Memory Book is great because it allows you to capture the first five years of your baby’s life all in one book. It’s divided into 4 sections – your baby’s arrival, their first 12 months, milestones and firsts, and then the 2 to 5 years.
It fits photographs of all sizes which means you won’t be storing photographs untidily in drawers or on your study desk. All materials used to make this book are of the highest quality too so it’ll last a lifetime.
20. Gift Card – Amazon eGift Card
Sometimes, when someone doesn’t know what to get you, a gift voucher option is a good idea. This then gives you the flexibility to buy what you really want. It can also be used to contribute to an expensive item you can’t afford completely on your own.
Including the Amazon eGift Card on your baby registry is a smart idea. Amazon even has its own special “Welcome Baby” gift card.
Another benefit of a gift card is you can buy all the absolute necessities such as diapers, bottles, and more without having to add them to your minimalist baby registry.
What Not to Include on Your Minimalist Baby Registry
From my own experience as a father, I can tell you there are some baby items you would prefer to buy yourself. And, some of them you only need when your baby is older. Something else to also be aware of is you’re going to get plenty of items not listed on your registry.
Here’s my take on what not to include and why:
- Diapers: You’re going to get plenty of them, believe me! Friends and family will add them to any gift they buy so don’t bother to list them on your registry (unless you’re very fussy about the brand). Of course, a minimalist approach to diapers is using cloth diapers. So, you could include these or experiment with the different options available before deciding which one is best for your baby.
- Baby clothes: The same applies here as diapers. You’re going to get more than enough baby clothes gifted. So, instead of putting them on your baby registry (besides the useful “onesie” romper), leave it to your friends and family to decide if they want to buy your baby clothes. And, if you do end up with too many there are many charities who’ll gladly accept them.
- Breastfeeding/bottle feeding paraphernalia: Okay, some moms may disagree with me here. But I do believe this kind of baby gear is a personal choice and one for moms (if they’re breastfeeding) and their partners to decide what they want when feeding their baby. What I can tell you, though, you’ll get plenty of bottles anyway whether you include them on your list or not.
- Baby monitors: This is definitely a must-have if you’re an anxious first-time parent or your baby will be sleeping in another room from you. But, I’ve spent hours and hours researching these products and you may want to do the same before deciding to put one on the baby registry.
- Toys: This is a bone of contention for minimalist parents wanting to bring up minimalist babies. Whether you like it or not your friends and family are always going to buy your baby toys. But, if you don’t include them on your baby registry, the chances are you’ll minimize the amount being given at your baby shower.
Another way to ensure you’re living a minimalist lifestyle with your baby is to accept second-hand baby items. Of course, you want to make sure they’re safe to use and not tacky in any way. And, if you’ve already got kids in the family, you can re-use some of the items instead of including them on the baby registry.
Planning your baby registry is exciting and fun. It’s no different when you want a minimalist baby registry. But before you decide what items must go on the list, give my recommendations some thought and consideration. It’ll save you a lot of time in the long run.
Once you’ve settled on a list, the next step would be putting together a baby registry greeting message, then sending it out to family and friends or other guests.
Last update on 2021-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API