If you’re a mum or dad who is trying their best to be a minimalist, you may come across a few hurdles. As a soon to be new mum or dad, it can be hard to navigate what is truly necessary for your baby and what is not.
Being a mother is not easy. Even harder is organizing your home after the kids are born! They seem to have a lot of stuff and us mums and dads end up spending a large part of our day in cleaning up their toys and books and organizing their closets. Sometimes I wish I had a magic wand which could just clean up everything at the end of the day. Being a minimalist myself, I am extra sensitive to clutter, and when there’s too much stuff lying around the house I get super claustrophobic. But how does a minimalist avoid the traps that plague parents nowadays?
Getting Basic with the Basics
Before the birth of my daughter, I had reached out to a few of my friends who had kids and they were kind enough to share lists with me and then take me through what I actually would need vs. what was not too critical. That was a very helpful exercise because I am not much of a shopper and I don’t go shopping unless I have something specific to buy.
Despite the massive nesting instinct we all experience during pregnancy, I tried very hard to control myself and bought only the basics and critical items before the birth. Turns out, you don’t need a million things, just a few basics are great to start with because babies anyway outgrow stuff very quickly.
Knowing What You Actually Need
If you are a parent who is expecting a baby soon and are exploring the minimalist approach, here’s some wisdom from experienced mums you should consider thinking about before you decide to go shopping.
- Changing tables, bassinets and cribs are only used for the first few months so it’s a good idea to try and do without these if you can. Save yourself the hassle of buying and disposing of.
- Diaper bags and wet wipe warmers sound great but these might be more gimmicky than necessary. Technically any bag can be a diaper bag, for example, a backpack. And given our tropical Singapore climate, we don’t really need wet wipe warmers, do we?
- Wet wipes are also full of chemicals and they mess with our children’s hormone balance so it’s best to be natural and use more baby friendly options like cotton pads or cloth.
Little Green Steps to Remember When Preparing
- #BuyLess – You don’t have to get everything in the store just because it’s on sale or you think you might need it. Make a list and stick to it. Talk to other friends who have similar tastes and ask them what they thought was necessary vs what was gimmicky and then make a decision to buy or not.
- #Declutter – It’s really great to have lots of floor space in the house for the kids. Avoid buying too many bulky items and look for things which fold easily, are slightly raised off the ground and are easy to maintain and clean.
- #ExperienceMore – Buy good quality and durable things which can last at least 3-5 years. Think cots which convert to cot beds, full-sized strollers, convertible car seats, high chairs with multiple angles and bathtubs which are newborn as well as infant and toddler-friendly.
— As published on Green is the New Black