I put together a minimalist list of needed items. As a natural minded person, my list is made up of organic and non toxic options.
What we put directly against our newborns’ exposed genitals 24/7 matters. Standard disposable diapers contain chlorine (which is a known carcinogen), dyes and fragrances, and other harmful chemicals such as dioxin.
According to the World Health Organization, "Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer”.
If you're not choosing cloth diapers, consider non toxic disposable diapers which are often available on Amazon and can be delivered to your door in bulk with free shipping (subscription is necessary). Some good brands include Honest, Bambo Nature, and Babyganics.
That's it. You don't need a belted changing pad, wipe warmer or petroleum based diaper creams.
Depending on your climate and when baby will be born during the year, a couple cozy organic pieces will do.
H&M carries a Conscious line of baby clothes that are affordable and mostly made of organic and recycled materials.
Keep in mind, skin to skin regulates baby's body temperature. I didn't dress my girl in anything but a diaper for an entire week after she was born. This practice helped to keep her the perfect temperature, aid in establishing my good milk supply, and I got to breathe in her precious baby scent 24/7.
Britax brand carseats are one of the only seats that provides both safety as well as a low chemical environment for baby while in the car.
As of 2013, Britax required all of its suppliers to eliminate certain chemical flame retardants containing bromine, chlorine or other halogens, from all components used in its car seats and all other products — while still ensuring their ability to pass federal government standards for flammability.
In a recent report, the Ecology Center (healthystuff.org), tested the chemical composition of leading car seats to discover the presence of harmful chemicals. The Britax seats tested were by far the safest of any brand, leading HealthyStuff.org to designate Britax the “Best Overall Child Seat Company” as the gold standard for chemical compliance.
Hopefully baby will not be napping or carried around in their carseat. Read this article on why carseat carrying is not healthy for your baby's growing body and should be limited to time in the car when it is necessary for safety.
I loved bathing with my baby girl in plain warm water (We don't need to wash baby with soap). This provided special bonding time while we were skin to skin and sometimes nursing right in the bath.
For baby's solo bath time, the Puj Tub is a great tool to have on hand. It is made of non toxic, PVC and BPA free material and helps with hands free bathing.
The practice of holding off on baby's first bath is becoming more common, thankfully!
Removing vernix and good bacteria from the skin, and/or putting anything on in its place (this includes natural products, essential oils, etc), is discouraged immediately postpartum by studies one which states: "avoid bathing baby for at least 24 hours after birth, and then only use plain water for at least 4 weeks".
Each mother may find different nursing bras provide better comfort and support for their new milk-filled chest. Here are several good options.
As your milk changes from colostrum to mature milk and regulates, your breasts may leak a little (or a lot). Having nursing pads on hand to place inside your bra can help to prevent leaks through your clothes. These organic cotton nursing pads work well and are machine washable, saving you money and trips to the store.
Warmth and Comfort
Holding baby is essential to their development. Babies don't just want constant physical contact, it is biologically normal and needed for their physical and emotional wellbeing.
I am an advocate for the fourth trimester extending about nine months or more. Human mammals are one of the only mammals born so immature, which explains the need to continue gestating after birth.
Read this article on exterogestation and the need baby has to be held.
Our arms may get tired though. Ring slings and wraps are very helpful for wearing baby throughout the day. Baby wearing not only offers health benefits, but also enables you to nurse and hold baby almost always hands free.
A favorite ring sling of mine is the padded shoulder Maya.
Little Unicorn make beautiful AND SOFT soft cotton blankets great for spit up, blankets to lay on, or to keep baby warm.
The list is short, needed items are few:
Of course, I am not saying that you CAN’T get a breast pump or a crib or a swing to hold your baby while she naps. You can. These three specific items, however, make room for opportunities to be away from baby. Life provides enough of that.
My heart is to live simply; to have LESS so we can focus on baby MORE. And who doesn't want to save some money?!
Total cost to buy all items new: Less than $500.00 (this includes a month of diapers and wipes). Keep in mind, making a no-sew ring sling, buying clothes and blankets second hand, opting out of the tub option, and making your own wipes will lower this total cost even more!
Neither are expensive routes and both ways you will have what you need.
There is something special about using what you have, accepting what is offered from others, and forgetting all the gadgets that fill up your home and take your time away from baby.
Fun OPTIONAL extras: