Fabric and breasts are all you need!
So lately I've been thinking of writing a blog post about what you actually need to have at home in order to be ready for your baby's arrival. The Baby industry really abuses parents and carers into thinking they need to buy so much crap and spend so much money that it really is offensive and actually stops people from having kids! I often hear people claiming that they don't have enough money to have a baby, that is not true! It's not like bringing an adult into the world or even a child. A baby is different and you might already have everything you need right where you are, if not, then you can get it for cheap or free somewhere else. You'll see that all you need is pretty much breast milk and a load of fabric!
|Good quality Muslin, 100% cotton|
I am going to do a comparative list. I will take a popular baby list and describe the alternative next to it, to show you how simple it can be to have a baby. I am not a professional baby-ist (lol) and this list might not work if the baby does not have a mother or a female carer and it might not be for everyone, of course, since each family is different and each child is different but here is a list and a guide for families who want to go green and natural. I am not listing mama's essentials, this is just a baby's essentials list.
1) Car seat. It's actually a good idea to get a car seat because even if you and you're partner are not drivers, it is likely still, that you'll be driven around somewhere or take a taxi... Even if you never usually take rides from friends, it is likely that once you have a baby, you'll be quite glad to have someone offer a ride rather than take the bus everywhere. Think about it. If you think you won't then sure, don't get a car seat, that's fine too. If you do decide to get one then make sure it's brand new and research the brand first. Otherwise, if you're a walker and bus-taker then a sling is enough for you and will be perfect. Check out the massive range of slings or use a long piece of strong fabric, lying around your house and find YouTube videos to teach you how to turn it into a sling.
2) Newborn diapers. Expensive and so harmful for the environment! You could make your own cloth nappies or just buy some cheap, good quality muslin squares. You can use these through out your child's nappy life. I made a tutorial right here for you. They can be used for newborns and up to all sizes. Awesome! You may want to use newborn store bought nappies to avoid the "hassle" at the beginning as your settling in to the rest of your changes, but really it's no hassle... up to you! (you'll need 2x 70 cm squares for a strong nappy, maybe just 1 for a newborn Changing about every 2 hours. So get 50 squares to be sure. They are on average £1 each, so it might sound like a lot but trust me this is cheaper than buying ready made cloth nappies, and it is WAY cheaper than the overall single-use diapers you would buy over the next 3 years! and what a hit you'd be saving for the earth!) You can easily make a wet bag for your nappies for at home and on the go.
3) Baby wipes. Again grab a muslin square or any fabric, cut it to the size that suits you. If it's a fraying fabric, double fold the edges and sew. I have a tutorial for these here. Just use water. Please don't start intoxicating your baby already with a load of chemicals and 'natural' creams! Nappy rash cream? Use your own breast milk! Use your breast milk to heal all your baby's ills and booboos. If that doesn't work, try coconut oil.
4) Cot/crib. Why not co-sleep? If you're bed isn't massive or you don't feel comfortable/safe to sleep as a couple with a baby then get dada to sleep on the couch or on the floor while mama and baby sleep safely together on the bed. Or better still? Leave dada on the bed and make a safe place to sleep on the floor for mama and baby.
5) Push chair. Sling. Use the sling indoors and outdoors, no transferring, heavy lifting or awkward "stuck with a push chair" situation. Easier to use, cheaper, safer, your child is happier AND you get a constant cuddle, is there anything better? You're hands-free to get on with anything you want to do and baby can still nap, and if she's awake then she can enjoy the world around her with you. Make a sling or buy a good one, and watch YouTube videos for tutorials.
6) Changing table. You can change your baby on the bed or sofa or floor, or anywhere. You do not need a designated changing space. Get a PUL sheet or even just a towel because Baby is likely to pee or poop even without a nappy on! You could also learn the signs your baby makes when she needs to go, and then just lift her over the loo. Why not? Look into it.
7) Clothes. Either get the simplest newborn clothes, 100% cotton or bamboo, white, will be the comfiest. But you might get these as gifts if you ask nicely or you could ask for hand-me-downs from friends and family or go to second hand shops. You don't need to invest in clothing that your child will only fit into for a couple of weeks. You could also just swaddle your baby, which you should do anyway. You can easily make extremely, simplistic clothing for your newborn out of fabric you already have at home or can find easily. You could make comfy baby kaftans out of sheets or pillow cases, to wear over their nappy for example.
8) Bibs and burp cloths. Again just grab any fabric or some cloth kitchen towels = very absorbent, and wrap them where you need them. Tie string to them to make bibs or simply get some bib clips to attach to your kitchen towels.
9) Baby creams, oils and lotions. As I mentioned before, you can squirt your breast milk on all your baby sores, and it should heal them. If not, try some coconut oil or shea butter. Either way stay completely natural and stay away from all chemicals and chemical based products. Read the labels and ingredients lists. You can also find plenty of ideas for homemade baby lotions online.
10) Baby bath tub. Use a bucket. Seriously! You'll use less water, your baby will be covered in the water better, the risk of drowning is almost impossible and it's easier for you too! Check this purposely built bucket But you can use any bucket as long as it's not broken anywhere or has sharp edges. And enjoy extra tummy time with your baby too! You can easily make a hooded towel, and a hooded poncho towel for your baby rather than buying one! Tutorial coming soon!
11) Swaddle blanket. Any cloth! that isn't too warm or too cool: Muslin.
12) Infant swings etc. Your sling will fulfill all these options already. Walking around the house with baby on front or back as you're washing up or cooking will be plenty bouncy for Baby.
It might be nice for you, every now and then, to put baby down to have a rest, so either lie next to baby in your co-sleeping arrangement, even during the day, for a nap or get a baby bouncer like this maybe without the mobile. Strap baby up and you can just sit/lie her in there and bring her next to you in the kitchen or living room (or toilet), on the floor while you do whatever it is you gotta do. I do like these, my sister has one and it's very useful when you want/need to put baby down.
13) Milk formula. If you can breast feed then please do! For your sake and your baby's sake! It's so much better than milk formula. If you can't then there's no problem, because it's better than nothing at all obviously and I wish you the best and lots of love to you for your efforts! Also do research to find the best one for you and baby. Breast milk is really the perfect food/drink for your child. As long as they're breast fed they don't even need water, that's almost magical, think about it... If you adopt then you can also breast feed! Women do not need to have gone through a pregnancy to produce breast milk! The human body is just incredible!!! So look into that too!
As you can see, all you really need to buy is a load of Muslin squares, like maybe 100 so there are always some lying around somewhere for you to grab and use any time you need them.
There were so many other things on the lists I found online but I didn't find it useful to list here because they were such useless things. Check out the tutorials on my Natural Kids page for more baby stuff.
If you can think of anything else, please leave a comment so I can add it to the list!
Thanks for reading and I hope you found this useful!
Lots of love to you and your wee babaz!