Minimalist Baby Must-Haves

With the arrival of our second daughter, I found myself sorting through our first daughter’s old things and taking stock of what we needed for baby number two. A lot of things I realized we never used and wouldn’t use. With that in mind, here is my list of minimalist baby must-haves.


Sleep is a precious and important thing for both you and your baby. We must have tried six or seven (not exaggerating) different sleep sacks, swaddles, etc for our first daughter. With our second child things were much easier.


One splurge I had for our second daughter was the Halo Swivel Sleeper. We bought the Luxe, the fanciest model including the newborn insert.

Honestly I would buy the basic Premier model if I were to purchase one again as it is almost $200 cheaper.

The luxe model boasts that it can unattach and you can carry the baby around for napping anywhere. The thing is, it weighs so much and is so big I would never do it.

It also comes with the “soothing center” that has lights, sound, and vibrations. The lights do come in handy at night. The sound, however, isn’t nearly loud enough to be effective. The vibrations on the lower level can’t be felt at all in the bassinet and the second level is so loud it keeps me up.

The Newborn insert I think was worth the $50 additional as it just makes the space a little more snug for them in those early months.

Overall I LOVE this bassinet. The mesh is easy to see through and you can adjust the height so your baby is right level with you. It also swivels so you can easily get in and out of bed without disturbing your baby.

So to recap, I’d buy the Premier model with the newborn insert and call it good.

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Sleep Sack

We had good luck with the Nested Bean swaddle for my first daughter. Even then we only got short stretches of sleep.

My second daughter hated being swaddled from the get-go. After doing some digging I decided to try the Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack. I don’t know if it’s the sleep sack or just how Louisa sleeps on her own, but it is incredible. Louisa goes to sleep around eight, wakes up once around 3:00 a.m., then sleeps until about 7:00 a.m.

They aren’t cheap and they often don’t have the prettier colors in stock. Still, this thing seems to have worked a miracle and we won’t be without it.

Shop this Post

I always encourage shopping local but sometimes getting all your minimalist baby must-haves is just easier with ol’ Amazon.



Summer or winter, some nice organic cotton short sleeve onesies are pretty much always on my babies. Nothing fancy here.


I honestly see little reason to dress babies in anything but their pajamas for the first few months, and even beyond if you want.

We’ve had just about every type of pajama. Zip down, zip-up, buttons, snaps, pullovers, you name it.

At the end of the day my favorite type of jammies for babies are ones with decorative but functional buttons on the torso, and simple snaps around the legs. These also allow you to easily unsnap them around their feet so they can have their toes on the floor for tummy time.

My second choice would be ones that zip up from the toe.

Bandana Bib

My first daughter was incredibly tidy. Rarely spit up, didn’t drool at all. My second daughter, Louisa, is a big ol’ spit fest. She LOVES to stick her fist in her mouth and suck on everything.

Most days she is dressed like a little outlaw in bandana bibs. I really like the Nuby ones made from cotton muslin. Or better yet, you can make some yourself from old swaddles!


baby nail scissors rough and tumble farmhouse


We tried a few different baby tubs and even used the sink. What I ended up liking best was the standard Fisher Price. I like to fill it in the tub, then set it up on the counter top.

The sink always felt too cramped and the tub was too low and uncomfortable to work with.

Cradle Cap Brush

Most babies will go through a sort of “molting” phase where they shluff off a bunch of skin. This super soft rubber brush helps to loosen the dead skin on baby’s head.

Nail Scissors

Those teeny tiny fingernails are just about impossible to cut without pinching their little fingers. I found that nail scissors made for babies work incredibly well. They have a rounded end to prevent any pokes and the blades are curved to prevent cutting the nail too far.

If your babe’s nails are long, I advise sticking the scissors in your pocket at the beginning of the day. Then when they are napping in a good nail snipping position you are ready to go.


Little pumpkins really can’t do much with toys for the first few months. There are a few things that I do use in the early months.

  • Lovey (or whatever you call them)
  • Baby Safe Padded Mirror
  • Crinkle Books
  • Easy to grab shakey toy
  • Floor Activity Center
  • Something good to chomp on


Baby Wrap

When it comes to baby carriers I like something soft and comfortable for in the house and something utilitarian and highly function for on the farm.

Around the house I’m a fan of the Solly Baby Wrap. I got the rhubarb wrap and it is absolutely beautiful. The fabric is incredibly soft and lightweight and my daughter loves it.

Solly also has the Loop carrier which is made of a woven fabric and you can use for kiddos up to 45 pounds.

For newborns and the first few weeks I like the softer wrap. After you hit around that three month mark, the woven wrap offers a lot of support that I prefer.

solly baby loop rough and tumble farmhouse

Baby Carrier

We were gifted a Lille baby carrier for our firstborn and this thing is a lifesaver. There are seven different ways you can wear your baby/toddler with it. It has wide padded straps and a wide padded belt that carries most of the weight on your hips.

I traipsed all over the farm the last two summers with my daughter strapped in the forward-facing position or on my back. I could not live with out this thing.

Nursing Gear

Rather than reinvent the wheel on this one, I’m going to send you to my breastfeeding must have’s post. Breastfeeding is no small venture and there are a few really useful tools I’d highly recommend.

breastfeeding rough and tumble farmhouse

Easy Car Seat

There are about a million car seats a person can choose between. Personally I like one that can click in and out easily. It’s an added bonus if it can also click into a stroller. We went with the Chicco bravo travel system. I’m not saying it’s the best one out there, but we certainly like it.

Random Items

Book Light

I bought my husband a book light for father’s day when Jane was a few months old and we use it for baby stuff all the time! Clip it on the end of the changing table for low light changing. Snap it on the visor fo the car seat so you can still see your baby when driving at night. The ones we have are USB rechargeable so we will have them for years.

Food Pacificer

These are amazing. You can give your babies fruit or heck even vegetables to chomp on and there is no fear of them choking. They are also excellent when teething time comes. Pop a frozen strawberry in there and everyone is happy.

Things Not on the List

When it comes to minimalist baby must-haves there’s a lot of baby gear we got for our first daughter that we simply didn’t use and probably won’t.

  • Swaddles – There are so many other types of swaddles, sleep sacks, etc. we rarely used a swaddle.
  • Pacifier- It’s important for me that my babies learn to self soothe with their little fingers if need be.
  • Long Sleeve Onesies– I avoid pants on babies as long as I can and that’s really all they pair with.

Final Thoughts

Really, a baby needs something to keep them warm, something to eat, and lots of snuggles.

What are some of your baby must-haves? Let me know if the comments below!

For more of my thoughts and resources on babies and kiddos please check out some of my other blog posts.

Watch and Learn

If you want to see some of my minimalist baby must-haves in action, check out the video below!

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must have baby gear rough and tumble farmhouse

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