Living Simply

Babies: Simply and Easily

Everyone loves babies, but not everyone loves all the stuff that goes with babies -- do we really need all those toys and gadgets?  Yes, some of them you do and some of them you don't really need but will really want because of how they simplify your life.

A few things everyone with a baby (birth - 1 year) needs:
     * A rocking chair -- one that is comfotable for you to sit in.  I use it at least twice each day, often more.
     * An infant swing -- works great to calm a crabby baby while you make supper or at night when you need to sleep!
     * An exersaucer -- a blessing to entertain my busy, inquisitive, but not yet mobile baby.
     * A good diaper bag -- one that is big enough to hold all you need it to hold but attractive enough that it looks like a purse!
     * A diaper changing station/system -- especially necessary if you use cloth diapers (which I recommend using it least some times); my system is a changing pad and a laundry basket that hold all the necessary supplies.
     * A way to easily sort the various sizes of baby clothes -- I use small, clear bins labeled with each size.  As my baby grows I can quickly and easily find clothes that will fit.
     * A good stroller -- one that will push easily on the roads where you live.  (This may mean a jogging stroller if you live on a gravel road).
     * A front pack/sling/wrap that is comfortabel for you to use.  I carried my baby in one often until she was 6 months old.  It
        keeps your hands free while keeping your baby close and content.
     * A sturdy and safe backpack baby carrier -- I have used this so often to carry my baby (6 months +).  She loves it and it
        works great where a stroller cannot go -- hiking!
     * Board Books that you enjoy reading.  Reading to your baby is so important for her language develpment and her furture
        love of reading.
     * A few good, safe, brightly colored toys -- Get a few good ones for each develpmental stage and rely on the things you
       already own to be good extra toys -- plastic food storeage containers, pots and pans, spoons, etc.

Obviously there are a few more things that you need -- clothes and diapers.  But these are the things that I didn't realize would be so helpful until I used them (and no one told me they would be so helpful).