Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Minimal Baby Year One: The Things We Haven't Needed

We're raising our baby on a tight budget in a small apartment in a town where we don't know anyone. The result: a minimal baby. No space, no waste. And not a lot of gifts, which was fine with us.

I also avoid plastics in my home because I look at everything in terms of its end state: Where will it be in 200 years? What will it do to our health in the meantime? Committing to a low-plastic life takes more effort, but I've gotten into the habit and actually enjoy the look of my home with very few petroleum-based possessions.

Here is an illustrated list of what we haven't needed in our baby's first year, for anyone who is wondering if babies really need all that stuff. Special thanks to some Renaissance moms and their babies for demonstrating no-frills mothering.

1. Feeding the baby Vouet Virgin and Child
My baby refused to drink from the bottle on her own. It wasn't something I planned. I know that not every mother can breastfeed; this is just what we ended up doing. Also, I happen to be self-employed so I can arrange my work schedule around her feedings. What we saved in the process was a lot of clutter in the kitchen: bottles, formula and its accessories, and a sterilizer (which I don't believe in for a healthy, full-term baby anyway).

At 7 months, I introduced solid food using baby-led weaning, further saving us the expense of jarred baby food and (plastic) utensils.