So over a year ago (OMG has it been a year already?!) I posted this post on having and raising a baby with minimal stuff.
In short I'd like to say, I was right. But, there are a few things that weren't quite what I expected.
First, the crib. We used the co-sleeper in our room for the first 7 weeks, then I realized something. It sucked to breastfeed in bed. It wasn't at all easy or natural for me to breastfeed a very TINY baby by lying down. She can't get to your breast very easily and you have to really figure out how to hold her head, plus you have to change the diaper and the whole bit and you kind of need light for that, so in the end it was way easier for me to get up, feed her in the living room with light on where I could read a book (without having to figure out some kind of complicated book light and sit up in bed with my husband sleeping next to me). We also left the changing pad in the living room, too, so night time changes were MUCH faster that way.
After 7 weeks, I started having serious insomnia (related to my post partum depression, which you can read lots about on this blog) and it made more sense for Amelia to be moved to her own room. That transition really worked fine. We could easily hear her if she cried in the middle of the night (without a baby monitor, thank you very much) and it was nice to have my room back (I could go in and get clothes in the middle of the day without disturbing her nap!)
I suppose if you were brave you could just let your baby sleep on the bed, but ours is very high off the ground and it really terrified me to try that. When we went on vacation when she was 2 months old, though, we did just put a small mattress on the floor that she slept on without issue. When she got to be about 5 or 6 months, though, she rolled around a lot and that wouldn't have worked any more (nor would the bed). We put a crib in her room when she was about 7 months old (borrowed from a friend).
The changing pad on the floor has been fabulous for so many reasons. We could move it all around the house. Now that Amelia is mobile and wants to squirm out of her diaper changes, I'm SO glad it's on the floor. I wouldn't want her squirming around from a high place. Friends of mine got a changing table that is also a dresser for their baby and it fit neatly into a sliding-door closet, so that's another way you could do it.
We did end up using regular wipes, for convenience sake. However, we do still use home made ones from time to time, especially when her little butt is red or seems irritated. Cloth diapers have been fabulous and I love them!
And now, for the toys. I thought they were useless. I resisted. I hated them and their bright colors. And then I saw how much she loved them. And it was suddenly fun to watch her play with them. She loved the activity play gym (I resisted this one, but she LOVED it and it was SO CUTE!). She loved the bouncer (and it was a Godsend. We both loved it. So nice to help her see out a bit when she's small without having to constantly hold her or put her on the ground. I have to admit, she also really likes ones that make noise. I can put up with ones that make a *little* noise and that's all she's going to get. Too bad, so sad. But she really does love them.
The swing was not my favorite, but my husband swore this worked for getting her to take naps (he took care of her while I worked during the day). Personally, I think it's unnecessary.
* Excersaucer. It helps. It was kinda fun. She liked it. But, it's huge and we could live without it. Although it IS good now that she is mobile for putting her in for a few minutes while I do something else so I don't have to chase her the entire time.
* Rocking/swing chairs. It's helpful to having something like that, but I had a Poang from Ikea and it works just as well. Those special rocking things are nice, but definitely not necessary.
* Decorations. We have yet to decorate her room. We still rent anyway. We have a few cute things hanging up that we got as gifts.
* Changing pad. Get it. It's worth it. Get at least 2 covers, 3 if you can help it. Okay, so you can live without this, but it's really, really nice to have.
* My Breast Friend pillow. Invaluable. It eliminates the need for fancy chairs and furniture and makes feeding tiny babies SO MUCH EASIER. Worth the extra money and saves on furniture and back problem costs!
* Burp cloths. No really. Doesn't have to be the cute, fancy kind, but it's really nice to have something designated as a burp cloth. We really did go through 4 or 5 in a day sometimes.
* Hard books. She likes to eat the other ones. And she loves playing with the thick ones. Good small space toys!
* Layering clothes - you have to change them a fair amount. It's nice not to have to do laundry constantly. You could probably get away with 5 onesies and 5 sleepers and that would be fine. You'll probably get them as gifts anyway.
* Nursing pads (reusable--it's nice to have at least 5 pairs, but you could definitely do well with less)
* Baby bath - doesn't have to be crazy, but you really will need something to bathe them in when they are small. We couldn't bathe her in the actual tub until she was 10 months old.
* Non-slip bath mat for the tub (for when she is able to sit up in the actual bath tub), but you won't need this for awhile.
I think that about covers it. Raising a baby minimally is totally possible, but some things are definitely more necessary than others. Mostly you really don't need much. Some are nice to haves. But overall, if you don't have most of the crap they say you need, you will be fine. We have! We bought only a few diapers, the pump, and stroller (with gift cards) and the rest were all gifts, borrowed, or hand me downs. Or, I made them myself. I'm proud to say that we have very little baby stuff because we gave it back or didn't buy it in the first place!