Entering parenthood can be overwhelming on its own, but now new parents are bombarded with trying to figure out which gadgets to buy and what baby gear they need. I've tried to stick with a minimalist approach to parenting, acquiring only things I absolutely love or know I truly need. Here are a few of those baby items I adore and couldn't have done without these last 5 months.
Books: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
This book was my bible during the first month of breastfeeding and has continued to be useful up to today. Published by the worldwide organization, La Leche League, it's a god-send to new mothers, helping to normalize different breastfeeding struggles, encouraging you to trust your intuition, and gently guide you in bonding with your baby. Even beyond this book, La Leche League is an invaluable resource to help with breastfeeding. They have volunteers around the world to help guide you with any troubles or concerns you might have and I found they are so happy to help in any way they can!
The Tao of Motherhood
I keep this small book by my bedside and read a small excerpt from it a few times each week. Every short chapter brings parenthood back to the essentials, back to simple guiding values on the days when I might worry I'm doing something wrong or when I become overwhelmed by it all. It taps into deeper truths that I might tend to forget and it has helped me to trust myself and the unique relationship with my child.
Diaper bag: Moop waxed canvas bag
A diaper bag is one of those musts and for something you carry around all day, every day, you want something of beauty and high-quality. For a bonus, support a small business selling handmade bags - Moop is a Pittsburgh business selling waxed canvas bags. I received The Porter as a gift from my registry.
Song: Lullaby by The Dixie Chicks
You think the Dixie Chicks are so '90s? Check out their beautiful Lullaby and think again. I am in love with this sweet song and I sing it to Leo weekly. It's our song. Try singing it to your child without crying. Try.
Blankets: Embroidered knit cotton blanket
We were gifted this blanket by a friend when Leo was born. As someone whose love language is gifts, this one touched me. Embroidered with "lionheart," it's simple, beautiful, and meaningful, and the perfect blanket to wrap my little guy in. I secretly hope it will become his attachment object.
Handwoven cotton swaddle blanket
It seems every mommy blog insisted that the swaddle blanket from Aden and Anais was a must. I bought a pack for myself, but then I came across a group of weavers in Uganda and had them make me my own swaddle blanket. It's the same lightweight cotton and the design is stunning. It's handwoven from Ugandan cotton and can be used to swaddle your baby, as a burp cloth, a sun cover, or to put under their bum during an on-the-go change.
Bottles: Pura stainless steel bottles
These Pura bottles are the only bottles we have used. They are stainless steel and BPA free, but the best part is they grow with your child. Switch out the nipple with a sippy top when they become old enough and then switch it out again with a straw. Or even put a top on it and use it for snacks. Versatile, safe, and eco-friendly. This product checks so many boxes on what is important to me and Leo seems to like them, too.
Bassinet: Mugavu wood base with Moses basket and sheepskin
I found this Moses basket in a craft market in Uganda, which is hand-woven from palm leaves. Later, I came across this design for a bassinet and we had a local carpenter make it from Uganda's mugavu wood. It's been the perfect place to put Leo down for a nap so I can keep an eye on him while I do work at home. I love how it adds to our home decor rather than contrast with our aesthetic. I completed the set with a sheepskin, which we use all the time. I can take it out of the bassinet and place on the floor wherever I am, providing Leo a comfy, soft place to practice tummy time and providing my home with another piece of beauty.