Looking for a minimalist baby registry features simple, chic and eco-friendly items for your baby? We have put together a comprehensive list for you.
When we decided to have a baby, I worried about collecting too much baby and kid stuff all over my house. I then started to research what we needed and looked at those registry checklists, and I was utterly overwhelmed.
Over the last 30 weeks, I have scoured the internet for intentional and eco-friendly goods as well as quizzed every mom I know for what we need. Finally, I was able to put together our minimalist baby registry. Minimalist-enough that my mom and aunt both commented that there wasn’t enough on our registry.
I am one of those people that doesn’t like to have a whole lot of extra stuff around my house – it gives me anxiety, plus it is just more items to clean, pick up and take care of. I don’t fall into the sentimental camp – I choose only to keep things I use, or that make my space beautiful. I plan on using the same two criteria when selecting baby essentials for my registry. Will I use it? Do I love the look of it/will it enhance the space?
Desiring a minimalist approach when it comes to a nursery isn’t just for those that live in small spaces; it is merely a way of consciously focusing on what you genuinely feel you need.
A couple of notes:
- I don’t like anything plastic, so while plastic might be easier to wipe down and keep with a baby, I opted to stay away from it anywhere that was possible.
- Any place you can get hand-me-downs that are in good condition or buy used that will be much better overall for the environment.
- We strongly believe in buying high-quality items that will last.
- Almost everything will be in natural tones – I didn’t do a whole lot of color.
- I am not including clothing in this list.
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The Crib – We knew we need a crib eventually, but we toyed with the idea of a bassinet for a while too. After a ton of discussion, we decided we could fit the crib in our bedroom for the first couple of months and that the baby would get familiar with his bed right from the start. We opted for this one from PB Baby because of the GREENGUARD Gold certification and the fact that was it was a Fair Trade product. We also can easily convert it to a toddler bed, which equals longevity and future savings.
Crib Mattress – We found this organic crib mattress that is certified GOTS and GREENGUARD and doesn’t have any harmful chemicals. These mattresses are quite firm for the babies but can be flipped once your baby progresses into toddler-hood. This, again, makes it possible to elongate the use of this item.
The Bassinet – If I had gotten a bassinet, I would have ordered this one several months ago from Australia. There is no other bassinet on the market that is as beautiful and chic for an adult space. The rattan bassinets are made from grade A natural rattan and have no harmful stains or chemicals.
Dresser/Changing Table – We decided on a dresser/changing table combination. One, I didn’t feel like I needed extra furniture in the room and two, when he is potty trained, we can just remove the changing table part, and he will only have a dresser. While I very rarely do any matching furniture, I did do the matching dresser to the crib here. It is simple, modern, and has a lot of longevity potential. Just like the crib, the dresser is GREENGUARD Gold, and Fair Trade certified.
Rocking Chair – This item was funny because initially, it was on my list of “probably don’t need.” One evening, we were just browsing for baby furniture and we sat in this rocker. It definitely became the thing we didn’t know we needed. It is called the Dream Glider, and it is literally like sitting on a cloud. I know I am going to find my husband asleep in this chair all the time. It is again GREENGUARD Gold certified, and we did it in the linen fabric, which is one of the cleanest materials you can select without going organic.
Stroller – We did a ton of research on this topic, read a bunch of reviews, and asked friends about this one. We then went to stores and played around and tested them out for ourselves. In the end, we went with the Uppababy Cruz stroller. This is the step-down from the Vista but has much of the same functionality. The Vista is definitely your go-to if you know for sure that will you will having more kids because you can use the adaptors to make it a double stroller. This was the one area we didn’t necessarily consider green options because functionality, ease-of-use, travel-friendliness, and longevity of this item was more important to us.
Car Seat & Base – Naturally, when we decided on the Uppababy stroller, we went with their Mesa car seat at well. The ease of snapping the car seat in and out of its base and into the stroller is fantastic. Our family can just get the base for their car to be able to pick up and drive the baby, and in the worst-case scenario, there is a way to secure the Mesa with just seat belts.
Bedding and Bath Essentials
Crib Sheets – The main goal here was to find organic sheets for the crib. There are so many options in this category. Since we were registered with Pottery Barn Baby, we ended up going with theirs. They also had a good selection of simple organic sheets in different grey/white prints, so that is what we decided on.
Swaddles/Burp Cloths – We have decided that these swaddles can be double duty, really they can probably be even more than that. Rather than get individual burp cloths, we have a selection of swaddles that we will just keep with us for any unexpected messes. We went organic here, as well.
Changing Table Pad – So this item was given to me by a friend, but it still falls into the category of good-to-have, whether you have a changing table or not. It will provide you with a comfortable place to put the baby down while you change them.
Baby Bath Tub – Here is the one and the only thing on my entire list that is made from plastic. There are so many options in this category, but I wanted something simple that I could use in the sink or the tub and would have some longevity to it. It is super inexpensive and is easy on the eyes, which can be hard to come by in this category.
Shampoo/Body Wash – I have used Honest products off and on throughout my life and my pregnancy, so I knew that when selecting baby care products that I would be going to Honest. They are gentle and safe. I went with the unscented shampoo and body wash duo. I also love their subscriptions because it is just one less thing that I have to remember to buy or send my husband out for.
Wash Cloths – If you have washcloths, you might just be able to get away with using those if they are soft and gentle. We didn’t have any washcloths in our house, so we snagged a couple of these simple, gentle, and soft ones from Burt’s Bees. Plus, they are organic!
Baby/Toddler Towels – All the towels in my house are white. While it might seem counterintuitive to go white for anything involving a baby, we make the whites and neutrals in our housework with the right cleaning supplies. We currently have a dog and a cat that regularly throw up on our white rugs, and we have the tools to make it work. So we went white with grey accents on the baby towels too. While these towels are not organic, and I wish they were, they are OEKO-TEX certified and part of the Better Cotton Initiative.
Baskets – We decided to get a couple of baskets for the baby’s room to keep some of the toys, stuffed animals, and blankets we were beginning to collect. These seemed easy to grab and gave me something to contain the eventual mess. A minimalist’s dream!
Bookshelves – I am a pretty big book nerd myself, so I knew I would have a collection for the baby. We also came into a ton of children’s books left by my husband’s grandparents. All over my house, my book collection doubles as decor, and I knew we could do the same thing in the baby’s room. So on one wall, we put in some white bookshelves and filled them with baby and kids books.
Artwork – For wall art, I easily could have gone overboard. There are so many options. After debating wallpapers and different treatments, we just decided on vertical paneling in white and these super cute photos of baby animals. We stuck to animals from Africa because it holds a special place in my heart. The room really didn’t need much, and like everything else, we wanted to keep it simple. Eventually, he will grow up and probably want something different than we picked for him.
Mobile – Since I went mid-century modern with the furniture, I knew I wanted a mobile that would work back into that style. I also wanted something clean and pretty and again not made out of plastic. I found this mobile through DWR, and I am always excited to have some warm wood tones to work back against all the white in the room.
Plants – Plants always liven up the room in my mind. I have them all over our house for their purification purposes, but also because they bring me so much joy. I love the outdoors, and the more I can bring the outdoors in, the happier I am. While we will move our purifier into the baby room, I also plan on finishing the space with a plant or tree that will double those efforts.
Glass bottles – This was kind of a no-brainer for us. I know there are concerns about them breaking, but everything we have in the house is glass or ceramic, so we aren’t going to change with the baby. We got a couple of sleeves to potentially help with potential glass shattering situations. While plastic might work for some, I can’t stand the idea of dishwashing or heating plastic.
Breast pump – I work full-time, and while I will be taking time off in the beginning to be with the baby, eventually, I will be going back to work. I did some research in this area because I knew I would probably spend a good amount of my life pumping. Obviously, skip this if you don’t plan to breastfeed. I decided to try one of the new styles that, in theory, will allow me to pump with fewer inconveniences, but we will see.
High chair – I probably would have put this on my “things I am keeping an eye on for later list,” but someone so graciously already got a high chair for us. Wood, white and neutral tones is the name of the game in my house, so when I found this Charlie Crane high chair, I knew it was the one. It doesn’t scream baby, which is my main goal in those whole process.
Play Mat – Our main living space floor is tile, and I knew I wanted to have a beautiful space for the baby to roam around, so I would probably be getting a play mat. Again, in the same vein as most everything I selected, I didn’t want it to feel too baby because it will be sitting in the middle of our living area for the next couple of years. I also wanted something non-toxic since the baby will be rolling around on it. I found these Little Nomad play mats that had all of the features that I was looking for. Since they are rubber tiles, they are expandable and customizable to your space.
Rattles & Teethers – For these little guys, we are most excited about a small company called Desert Baby Goods. All of their items are simple and chic and, most importantly, safe for babies. They are BPA free, use food-grade silicone, and 100% organic.
Lovevery Play Kits – Ever since social media found out that I was pregnant – yes, that is a thing – I have been targeted by Lovevery, and I am so excited about their play kits. The play kits are a subscription box that is specially created for each stage of the baby’s life. So rather than trying to go out and find the ideal toys for development and keep up with all of the research, they can just send it to my door. I gave them a good look over and I am finding very they have a sustainable focus as well. All the wood used in the toys is FSC-certified, their fabrics are organic, and they make sure that everything is baby-safe. Plus, you can’t go wrong with their carbon-neutral shipping practice. I love that I can get just what I need without the excess, and it comes only at the right stage.
Other Baby Gear
Diaper Bag – I have had my eye on this bag for far longer than I even knew I would be a parent. As soon as we were pregnant, I knew which diaper bag I would be getting. The FEED diaper bag is simple, clean, and minimalist. It isn’t so girly that my husband needs to have a separate bag. I have loved FEED products for a while now and have several bags from them. The bag has all the pockets and dividers you could need, a wipeable changing pad, and the best part – it provides 1 year of micronutrients to a mother and a child in need.
Baby Carrier – We love to hike, go for walks, and spend every Sunday at the beach with our pup Miller. So naturally, we knew we would need an excellent carrier for the baby because you better believe we are bringing him along on all of it. In this category, we studied reviews and did a ton of research. It is was most important that it was easy, safe, and comfortable for all our future outings. This one seemed to be the winner.
Baby Wrap – I decided to get a separate wrap for wearing the baby around the house and on short dog walks, etc. I also didn’t want to be constantly adjusting the carrier as we switched it back and forth between us. We figured that for the bigger trips out and about where a stroller doesn’t make sense, Jeremy’s would probably carry the baby. I imagine I will have him more for short trips, maybe dinners, hanging with family and friends, and around the house.
Baby Monitor – When we first got Miller, our pup, I used to check him hourly to make sure he was breathing when he was sleeping. Armed with this information, I knew I was going to want some sort of monitoring on our baby. I didn’t want anything the baby had to wear, or that would be on him while he was sleeping. Luckily, there is new monitor on the market called the Miku. It tracks breathing, as well as sleep patterns and nursery conditions from above. The technology doesn’t have to be attached to the baby, but it will still tell us if anything is off. I don’t want a lot of technology anywhere near the baby or in his room, but this one thing seemed worth it to me.
Baby Rocker – This is certainly not essential and something you can do without, but it fell into the category of something beautiful for me. If I had to have a baby seat somewhere in the living room, this was the only one that was going to make the cut. I love beautifully-made pieces, and this rocker is no exception.
Lounging Pad – This again might be an optional item for you. We went with the Snuggle Me Organic lounging pad as another optional spot to put the baby down or do some tummy time. As you can tell from the name, it is organic, and I got it in the natural color to mesh with our decor.
Diaper Bundle – There are so many options to get diapers delivered to you now. If cloth is not an option for you (it will be challenging for us as daycares often don’t allow it), you can still find great diapers that will be gentle on the Earth and your baby. Since we will be having other items regularly delivered from Honest, we decided their bundle is probably the best for us. Of course we love that there are no chemicals and they are plant-based. Plus, you can get a wipe & diaper bundle in one. Just as an aside, many diapers will tout being compostable, but if you don’t have a compostable system that allows for diapers, it is not really a reality. If you have a compost pick-up, definitely check to see if they take diapers.
Cloth Diapers – We have decided that we want to include some cloth diapering in our system so that we aren’t throwing away so many diapers. We found this system that keeps it super simple, which is what we need. The best part is that the covers are made from recycled water bottles, and their inserts are organic. They are also free of dyes, parabens, and other harmful chemicals.
Baby First Aid & Care Kit – This is simply a must. So many people have recommended the Frida products to us, so we just went with their box of goodies. This isn’t an item, but if you can take an online course or in-person course on Infant CPR, it could be a life-saver. We found this class with Tinyhood.
Things I am Keeping an Eye on For Later:
Bibs – Since I am planning on breastfeeding exclusively for the beginning, I figure we can do without bibs. As soon as we start to introduce foods, we will undoubtedly be in the market for these.
Feeding Bowls – Again, we will probably not need these until he starts to get into the solid foods, but these are the best looking things I have seen, and I love that they are made from bamboo, and the silicone suction is genius.
Play Gym – This item looks like it would work nicely over the baby rocker. Not 100% sure we are going to need it, but we will keep it as an aside in case we do decide he needs something like this.
Wooden Blocks & Toys – While I am convinced that we will probably be good with the Lovevery subscription, this is something that I will have to circle back around with time to see if we need something different.
Jumper – I imagine we will get to the point where he will want to be jumping and building those leg muscles for walking, but we will cross that bridge when we get there. We have a little time until he will even be crawling.
So there you have it. Even though I consider this pretty minimalist in comparison to what I have seen out there, you still need a ton of stuff for a new baby. There are also probably things we decided on that you might be able to do without and things we decided against that might work for you. This is designed to be a starting point.