When I was pregnant with my twins last year, I decided that I would be a minimalist parent. I didn’t like all of the toys that blinked or made noise. I just wanted my twins to be imaginative and play with classic toys (or the measuring cups from the kitchen!). I learned to quit buying all that baby gear, and you can too using these tips.
Of course, when you have children, people give you a ton of gear. Then, you feel pressure to have certain things because your friends have them. When you’re a minimalist parent, sometimes you feel like you should be doing more, even if you believe in less. All I can say is, stay strong. It’s worth it.
My twins are now 10 months old. My husband and I made it through nearly an entire year with just buying them each a stuffed animal on their first trip to New York City and a few wooden blocks for their first Christmas. We haven’t gone overboard, and so far, the kids seem just fine.
Decide What’s Important to You
Some people really believe in giving their kids the best toys because they never had them themselves. I completely get that, and it’s really all about priorities. Melissa & Doug makes great toys for kids, and I know a ton of parents who swear by them. When you use Wherewithal you can even get 10% cash back at Melissa & Doug.
On the other hand, some people believe in extracurricular activities and put their children in a library class, mommy and me class, and music class. That’s awesome, but for us, the most important thing is safety.
We spend a considerable amount of money on safety. Our children were born prematurely, and we were very nervous taking them home. We put breathing monitors under each of their mattresses, which set off an alarm if they stopped breathing for more than 20 seconds. We purchased the top of the line carseats as well. We were able to afford these things because we didn’t spend money on new clothes or brand new toys for our children.
Essentially, you have to decide what’s most important to your family and invest in that. You can’t have it all, but you can have what’s most important to you.
Try Before You Buy
Before you purchase a bouncer, borrow one that belongs to a friend and see if your child likes it. My daughter loves to bounce, but my son hates it. Before you purchase a exersaucer, see if your child likes it. Before you purchase a wrap, wear a few of them and see which one your baby likes best.
I know many moms try several different bottles and sippy cups before committing to the right one. However, I can’t emphasize enough that you should utilize your network of friends and colleagues and try some things out before shelling out the cash yourself. You truly don’t need everything. My sister still can’t believe that I survived without buying a baby swing (or two), but I just didn’t want one in my small 800 sq ft apartment.
I’m telling you; they grow so fast. Before you know it, they’re too big for whatever gear you have for them and they’re onto the next thing. Spend wisely. Your children can be happy even if they have far less than others. I know ours are, and we don’t regret it for a second.