The Minimalist List of Things You Need For a New Baby

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Enthusiastic dad-to-be, J$’s post (over at in which he wondered what exactly he and his wife will REALLY need before they bring home their new little guy got me thinking about those mile long “must have” lists new parents are encouraged to use to register, shop, and plan for a baby. Just how much of that stuff do most of us actually need and use? What if you’re on a super tight budget, or if space is very limited, (or you just don’t want a lot of junk!)…what would a minimalist list of things you need for a new baby look like?

Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Place for baby to sleep (crib, co-sleeper, bassinet, or pack n play.)
  2. Sheets and blankets for the place to sleep.
  3. Diapers – either cloth or disposable.
  4. Wipes or washcloths for diapering.
  5. Car seat (if the baby will be travelling by car.)
  6. Onsies
  7. Blankets, sleep sacks, or swaddlers.
  8. Infant thermometer
  9. Baby book with infant care, first aid, and medical information.
  10. Infant soap or shampoo.

If I was to add a few things you could get by without, but I think make life a lot easier they would be:

  1. Baby monitor
  2. Stroller
  3. High chair
  4. Pacifier (if you want your baby to use one)

My thinking was that this would get the baby through the first 3 months or so.

I looked at the lists provided by a few major baby stuff suppliers and they ranged from 75 items to 135 items! I was amazed that out of all that only 10 made it on my minimalist baby list. And of course there are lots of wonderful moms all over the world that do a great job raising babies without even these “essentials.”

What do you think about the minimalist list? Did I miss something important? What was the baby item you couldn’t do without, or one that was a total waste of space and money?

Anna Platz is an Editor at, a leading mortgage rate research website, as well as the Lead Contributor to, a blog about budgeting and personal finance. Anna is immersed in the world of real estate, mortgage, and home financing and is here to provide valuable resources for homeowners and soon-to-be-homeowners on buying and selling real estate, researching a mortgage broker or lender, and securing a home loan. Check back often for news, updates, and remember that you can find today's current mortgage rates at My Google Profile+

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