4 Ways to Embrace Baby Minimalism


Babies don’t need much (or so my mama friend who has a toddler says).  As we embrace our firstborn child (hopefully there are more!) in a small one bedroom apartment, we have no choice but to embrace baby minimalism.  Actually there was a choice, to move and find a larger two bedroom place, but we are happy where we are right now and will be moving within two years anyways.

There are many benefits to embracing a lifestyle of minimalism with a baby, one of which is to keep baby costs down, since we know that the cost of babies can really add up very easily.

say no to baby showers

One way we’ve tried to keep ‘stuff’ from a accumulating in our small space is my gently saying no to baby showers.  Instead of a baby shower at my workplace, we had a ‘going away’ get together, no decorations, no gifts, and instead, guests could bring a small item of food for myself to freeze so I can easily heat it up in times of need (aka post partum).  It was great except for the fact that everyone was enjoying a glass of wine and I couldn’t haha.  It was a nice experience and I’m not one for baby games (you know, guessing the chocolate bar brand in the diaper?).

I know some people really like to give gifts or baby clothes (trust me, I was one of them) and that’s fine but you can get the person organizing your ‘baby shower’ to ask for food or something else in lieu of gifts.  When I organized a work baby shower for my colleague we collected money for a gift card to Baby’s R Us so they can choose what they want or what they need.

ask for a meal train instead

There’s a website that’s similar to Doodle in a way and helps you organize a meal train for your friend.  It’s called Meal Train and all you have to do is put in meal preferences and name and how to drop off the meals and days of the week, you can check out the link on how it works, and best of all, the basic option is FREE to do.  Then send it out to people and they sign up for the day of the week.  It’s great for new babies, people recovering from surgery, or other reasons people will need help cooking.

For inspiration, here are 10 Meals you should make for your friends with new babies from Pinch of Yum.  My colleagues gave me chilli, chicken pot pie, tuna casserole and to be honest, it’s better than any baby gift- the gift of time and saving energy.

Their home cooked meals and effort they put into the meal is to me, more heart warming than buying a pacifier or $35 diaper cream.

remind yourself that you don’t need to buy new

Craigslist, LetGo, Varage Sale are your friends.  Even better, your friends are your friends.  We basically didn’t buy any clothes at all for our new baby, we have some lovely hand-me-downs that are practically brand new since a lot of babies just wear something once and then can’t fit them anymore.

With buying something second-hand, when you have to search for something you really need for your baby it will increase your mindfulness about what you’re planning to purchase and decrease the risk of buying something for the sake of it.

avoid the baby stores if you can

Probably the easiest way to embrace baby minimalism is to avoid the baby stores if you can.  I’m not much of a shopper anyway but seeing the fancy boutique baby stores such as West Coast Kids makes you really want to buy everything in there.  It is always overwhelming when I see the array of options available for a diaper cream.

 “Oh isn’t this cute!!” is quickly going to manifest itself into purchasing something when you might not really need it.

Believe me, I’ve been in that store a few times and it’s really hard to walk out without purchasing something.

Of course, it can be hard to say no to free baby stuff in the pursuit of a minimalist lifestyle with baby, but you can always give stuff away to friends with babies too if you don’t need the things you get for free.

The Minimalist Mom has a great list of newborn essentials and Nourishing Minimalism also has a great list for a minimalist nursery.

Readers, did you have any ‘must haves’ that got you through your first year with a newborn?  Was there anything that you felt wasn’t necessary and that you could have done without?


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About genymoney

GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle.

10 comments on “4 Ways to Embrace Baby Minimalism

  1. Thanks for this! Although I am not a parent, my wife and I want to become parents soon. It’s really helpful to become informed about issues like these beforehand, so that we don’t rush out and buy (or get) lots of unnecessary stuff when the moment is upon us. I really like the idea of not buying new.

    • @Miguel- Yeah, it is very easy to get caught up, there’s so much cute baby stuff out there! I think getting things ready in 2nd trimester is good, when your wife will have energy 🙂

  2. We only had baby showers from both of our workplaces. I couldn’t imagine how we could have stored extra stuff if we had baby showers from our family and friends.
    Yes, second hand items are the way to go. We some of our cloth diapers through nextdoor.com where a family in our neighborhood were giving away. We also got many clothes and toys and even a baby stroller that were through nextdoor.
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    • @Kris- I haven’t heard of Nextdoor.com, thanks for sharing! Baby stroller, that’s awesome! Those things are expensive! I can’t believe you have cloth diapers, I’m amazed and kudos to you and your wife for using cloth! But actually after the first 12 weeks I think it can be doable, but the first few weeks I think it was like 10+ diapers a day!

  3. Good luck with minimalism. 1BD apartment will be pretty tight, but people have done it. We have a 2 bedroom and it worked out pretty well.
    My advice is to put off buying stuff until you really need it. People told us we needed changing table, diaper genie, stroller, etc… Some of those things aren’t necessary. Our kid refused to ride in a stroller as soon as he could walk. We just walked everywhere. It was fine. Enjoy. 🙂
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    • @RB40-We have a diaper genie and it’s pretty helpful but yeah I guess not completely necessary, it does keep the smell out though! But maybe once baby starts eating foods then the smell will be unbearable even with diaper genie haha… Wow, that’s great that RBJR likes to walk instead of using a stroller!

  4. We didn’t buy any of the big items new. I got lucky and a co-worker was selling all of his baby stuff (crib, stroller, high chair…) for close to nothing. We used them for all three kids!. Since we had no family in town, the baby shower at my work worked out well for us . They got us what we asked for! and there were no games involved:)

    • @Caroline- Oh that’s the most important, no games, lucky you!! Lucky for also getting all the big ticket items for almost nothing, strollers are so $$!

  5. This was hard for us! I had three baby showers and it was something that I didn’t expect. We were loaded with baby stuff and it didn’t help that we were stuffed in a tiny bedroom. The good thing was that there were enough supplies at both grandparents. The other good news, that all the extra baby stuff, my sister was able to use because she got pregnant a year later and I hoarded everything lol. But I agree with you, babies don’t need a lot of things other than diapers and wipes. They just need lots of hugs and kisses lol.
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    • @Melanie- Wow 3 baby showers, you are loved! Awe that’s so sweet that you shared your things with your sister, I’m sure she really appreciates it! My sister in law gave us so much stuff and we are SO appreciative. I can’t imagine how much everything cost, yesterday I found a 0-3 sleep sack that we almost didn’t use and I looked up how to use it (there were buttons everywhere, couldn’t figure it out) and saw it was $40.

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