Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Can you be a minimalist with babies?

I'm fast realising that not everybody thinks like me.

Well, I've known that for a long, long time :) but this baby business has made the whole thing glaringly obvious once again.

Let me tell you what's been going on...

1. There's a baby expo happening in Jhb soon (I think it's within the next week or two) ... and the ladies at work have been very keen for me to go because "you get all this FREE STUFF" LOL

I'm really not into getting stuff just because it's free. If I need it and don't have to pay, great. But I don't just take things because they're free.

They looked at me like I was cuckoo :)

Please tell me there are more of us out there!

2. Then my sister (who is so excited) wants to know what we've bought.

Um, nothing.

"but you do know what you want?"

Um, no. Not at all.

"Okay, have a look at all these websites"

No, thanks, that's not our style.

You see, I believe that when you look at too many things, you (1) get overwhelmed and (2) start thinking that you need all those things.

But they're not needs, they're desires.

So my thinking is to first consider carefully what we actually need, and then make a list and go shopping.

Am I crazy, or is there method in my madness?

P.S. We received a baby bag from our medical aid (insurance) and some more free stuff from a Multiples Seminar we attended which is why we have a few things.

P.P.S. We have bought them matching "what happens at Granny's house stays at Granny's house" babygrows (onesies) in green because they were cute and not expensive!

Oh, by the way, am 16 weeks now and at the doctor's on Wed, one baby showed us what we wanted to see ...and one didn't ... so we wait for the 20-week scan. If that one is naughty again, I'm going to "cheat" on my doctor and go see others until I know!


Janelle said...

You do need some things. Car seats. Receiving blankets. Diapers and wipes. Diaper rash cream. If you're breastfeeding you'll want to either have a pump (don't open it or you can't return it) or know where to rent one. If you're going with formula you'll need a few bottles and make sure you have the low-flow nipples for newborns. Be careful not to buy a bunch before the babies arrive as you don't know what nipple shape they'll like. Some are picky.

Controlling My Chaos said...

Nope, I agree with you. It's kind of like planning for a wedding. The expenses spiral out of control and you lose focus on what's really important. Plus, for me, the environmental guilt kicks in and I ask "why is this necessary?"

Anne Alagna said...

=D minimalist is the only way to go. We learned early on that most of the stuff we received as gifts or items we were told were necessary were not used or not used enough. It seems like every kid we had, we scaled down more and more.

With my fourth, we had jammies, onesies, receiving blankets, a pack and play, a high chair, and a swing.

The receiving blankets were used instead of sheets and were often used as burp rags. A rolled up receiving blanket works well to prop baby on its side.

I had a pack and play that made into a basinet and attached to our bed in the master bedroom. Since I breastfeed and tend to sleep with my babies, this was a perfect solution and had extended duty into toddlerhood when I needed to corral the baby (hardly used it for this).

My babies all loved the swing. Make sure to get the quiet one and buy extra batteries.

The high chair doesnt come into play until they are feeding themselves, so 9 months? It is just nice to have your dinner plate to yourself. And it is also good during the day when you can sit your baby in with some lunch while you do the dishes.

With my oldest 2 I used cloth diapers. With the youngest 2 I used disposables. Long story.

Dont worry about the fancy smancy stuff. You dont need most of it. Think about what your grandmother used. Not much... It doesnt take much.

Still dying to know girls/boys/one of each...


Anne Alagna said...

PS, I breastfed all 4 of my kids through toddlerhood. I never once used a pump. I did use a ton of pads in my bra to control leaking.

Marcia Francois said...

Thanks for weighing in, everyone.

I will definitely get car seats and a pram (you call them strollers). It's the other things I'm not sure about.

We went to a multiples seminar and all the experienced twin moms said to definitely get a pump if you're b/feeding, and an electric one at that :)

Military Momz said...

Didnt breastfeed so... no advice on that! Very excited for you!

Laura said...

I think it's a great idea to just get the basics now and then wait on some of the other things until after the babies arrive. Play it by ear and see how it goes. All babies are different so what works for one family may or may not work for another.

Are you going to tell us the sex of the babies or keep us in suspense? :)

libby said...

Well, I for one, think you're a very wise woman. I wish I'd had your approach when I first had kids 10 years ago. With shops open almost all the time it's not hard to go buy something if you decide you need it.


se7en said...

Hay I'm a minimalist mum!!! And it is astonishing what you are told is essential for parenting...

We in fact had a camp cot - we got it to appease the grand-parents that told us babies had to have their own beds and their own rooms - ummm most people round the world, certainly in Africa, only live in a house with one room!!! We kept soft toys in it for eight years before the light dawned and I sold it for cash and Christmas presents!!!

Otherwise I am still waiting to use baby food - I had dozens of ideas for those cute jars... but alas, we have never had a need to push yucky slush down their throats!!!

Stay away from baby shows - they are a marketers dream and a consumers nightmare!!! Get the very least you think you need because you will be gifted - trust me on this, people love and adore babies.

Janelle said...

I needed the pump to relieve engorgement when I first started out. Never used it much beyond that.

se7en said...

Here's a link to a potentially useful site for you and mom's of multiples... I enjoy it... and today's post is about expecting twins, kind of topical!

princessmomma said...

I am a minimalist too. I am now at 32 weeks pregnant with baby #3. I haven't bought anything but some yarn for baby knits and a baby blanket. We have received a few gifts of clothing, both new and hand-me-down, and have more people asking what they can get us. I'm really not sure, because other than diapers and onesies I think we've got the basics covered.

Mrs. Bick said...

You absolutely can be minimalist with babies. Although it took me a while to reach that kind of thinking. And the process of having three children.

There are some things you MUST have: a supply of diapers (and if you consider cloth for the "green" factor and the cost effectiveness there are some amazing options out there now!), wipes (there are disposables, and great options for reusables!), clothes, a place to sleep (bassinet, crib, pack-n-play, cradle), diaper bag, bottles/nipples if you need that option, a breast pump if nursing/pumping is on the agenda (rentals can rock!), a car seat, and a versatile stroller.

Beyond that I highly recommend visiting the local kids resale shops, asking friends to keep their items for you, or holding to the standard that we all really need very little to get along in this life.

Congratulations on the twins, BTW!

Kate Davis said...

Goodness you are thinking about buying things early. We didn't start until at least after 30 weeks. Our reasoning was that once we started it was likely we would keep buying, but if we stalled on the purchasing we would only buy the really important items.

Consider what you already have that you can use, for instance we are using an old desk for our changing table. It is wide enough for a changing mat, has glass on the surface so is wipe clean and has plenty of drawers for storage.