From child-free to freaking out

Avoiding the Baby Crap Tsunami: Is it possible to have a minimalist baby?

September 10, 2018

Avoiding the Baby Crap Tsunami: Is it possible to have a minimalist baby?

5 Comments

The other day I went to Target to pick up some home essentials. I had some time to kill, so I wandered into the kid’s section. You know… just to see what I’m actively trying to get myself into.

I took one look at just the sheer size of a stroller and felt my heart drop. And then I rounded the corner and saw a wall of car seats — how does one choose? And then it really hit me…

I suddenly realized the massive scope of how much baby crap we’re going to need.

And I don’t want ANY of it.

I don’t want car seats, and strollers, and cribs, and blankets, and bottles, and diaper bags, and diapers, and socks, and onesies, and pacifiers, and snot wipes, and formula, and maybe a swing, and oh yeah toys! Fuck! Noisy-ass toys. Literally, eff that noise.

And what if you buy that crap and your baby doesn’t like THAT particular piece of crap, it prefers this OTHER kind of crap. And then maybe you need two craps — one for your home and one for, I don’t know… the car? And then it outgrows that crap in a minute and you need even bigger crap to replace your smaller crap…

Is it possible to fit ALL the baby crap into just a bag like this?

There’s just WAY TOO MUCH BABY CRAP.

I’m staring at a future that looks like an episode of Hoarders. I don’t want all that junk in my house. I don’t want it in my car. I don’t want it in my purse. I don’t want it on my body. I just… ugh.

I’m the type of person whose ideal way of traveling is with JUST a carry-on. And a carry-on that can go under my seat, so I don’t even have to fuck around with an overhead bin! All I want is to have one super-portable and efficient bag. Now I’m imagining checking the stupid stroller, and fighting for bin space for the car seat, and a diaper bag, plus my sad little carry-on, oh yeah! All that plus a human baby! This is a nightmare out of one of my anxiety fever dreams.

How do minimalist have babies?

I’m not necessarily a minimalist, but I like to trend that way. I’ve Kon Mari’d my fair share of living spaces. I have a “one in one out” policy when it comes to clothing. And I’ve thrown out and donated more things that I’ve bought for the past few years. And right now I’m standing on a nice and tidy childless shore and I can see the Baby Crap Tsunami heading my way, and I’m wondering…

Is it possible to somehow avoid it? Can you have a minimalist baby?


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5 thoughts on “Avoiding the Baby Crap Tsunami: Is it possible to have a minimalist baby?”

  • Heya, it’s totally possible to have a minimalist baby – babies don’t care about stuff and toddlers love playing with real things (wooden spoons and clean recycling eg). There is some stuff you do need (car seat, if you have a car, safe sleeping set up, basic first aid kit) and stuff that will make your life a lot easier (a certain number of clothes, a way to tote the baby (sling or buggy), a few toys etc) but generally not so much. If you wait until after the baby is born, and try stuff out at other people’s houses with your actual baby you can dodge most of it.

    Although people will buy you stuff. Lots of stuff. Random stuff, useful stuff, useless stuff. Haven’t solved that one!

    And you can still travel carry on only. The only time since having kids (4 & 1) we didn’t was when we spent 6 weeks taking trains around Europe this summer as we needed comfortable backpacks, one of which was larger than cabin baggage. Otherwise, 2 kids, 5 continents, cabin baggage. Doesn’t fit under the seat though, sorry!

  • I am a minimalist, and I don’t think you can truly have a minimalist baby. At least not the way I would prefer in a perfect world. You do absolutely need a car seat – it is the law. If you have trouble breast feeding you do need bottles (or if you want to be able to pump so your partner can help). You do need a stroller, crib, bedding, etc. I think where you can pare down is on the amount of these things and duplicates. Well-meaning people will give you hand-me-downs. I accept them and choose what I like and donate the rest. People will give you toys- again, I only let my kids have a few well-loved toys (too much choice and it overwhelms them). Unless you want to do laundry 24/7, you’ll need a decent amount of clothes and bibs. They spit up constantly, they poop through their clothes, their diapers leak, they get food everywhere, they soak through shirts with drool when they are teething and yes, you need to change their clothing. There are a number of different ways to keep in manageable which you have to discover through your own journey. I am a working mom and I do not have time to hand wash bottles, so I bought more bottles than I initially thought. But on the other hand, I keep their toys to a minimum. You live and learn, and see what works best for you. Start with the bare minimum, and buy what you need as you go. The first few months with a baby are a lot of work. I would not recommend letting the idea of minimalism mean that you are handwashing bottles because you only bought 3 and buy the time you’re done its time to feed again. You will drive yourself crazy. When the time comes, figure out what works best for YOU.

  • Be calm. There is nothing you need for a baby. If you have a car, a car seat, by law, otherwise not. If you live in a climate other than tropical, you need to keep the baby warm somehow; people will gift or lend you stuff you can give back or pass on later, some people might even want to make your baby something to wear but you really don’t need very much, think layers. I assume your home is heated, so… You can use the towels and bedding you already have, you don’t need anything special, a particular colour or a particular design. If it did turn out you had trouble breast-feeding, you will address the problem but you most likely won’t. Unless you find you need a babywrap, carrier, stroller, crib and all the rest of it, you don’t. Use a random box or basket or just take your baby to bed with you for the first year or longer. You do not need a single thing that baby store sells, believe me. You will figure it out as you go along, don’t let anyone tell you different, and above all, trust your instincts!!

    I was very fortunate when I had my first baby as a young single mom. My mom and dad didn’t have a clue about anything and my dad tried to help by buying me a book… incredibly, it had a wonderful chapter about what you don’t need!! It was a coincidentally serendipitous find back in the 80s and served me well through three wonderful daughters who are now adults, one has four babies of her own and thankfully, also hasn’t bought into the industry and hype, yay :).

    Check out Reading my tealeaves blog for simple ideas or just use what you have, like all minimalists!

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