For many of us, one of the most daunting aspects of preparing for baby is knowing what items you need--and what you don’t. The idea of a minimal baby registry is exciting because it means that others who want to shower you with love will gift you many of these minimalist newborn essentials, but the question remains: what should you include and what is a waste of money and space?
It won’t surprise you that our approach to Baby Registry falls right in line with our philosophy on all other things parenting, deliberately minimal.
There are so SO many amazing products out there to consider, and SO many people who want to tell you what you need and what you should buy. But just like everything else in life, what works for one family isn’t necessarily what will work for yours.
Minimalist Baby Registry Questions to Ask Yourself
What considerations should you keep in mind when registering for your minimalist newborn essentials?
- The size of baby’s room (or space in your room that they will be sharing)
- The amount of storage space you have (from room to store future items like a high chair to where you’ll keep your stroller when you’re not out and about)
- Space you’re willing to dedicate to baby items (think baby swing footprint and Manhattan apartment)
- If an item can be repurposed for another use (Can it grow with my baby and be used in another way?)
- Where you live (Walking city? Driving town?)
- Your lifestyle (Are you a runner? Trail walker?)
- Your primary mode of transportation
- Your plans/hopes for feeding (Formula and bottles? Breastfeeding?)
With so many considerations, and a million places to turn for recommendations, this process can go from exciting to overwhelming very quickly.
Thankfully there are tools and resources to help you focus on just what you need, to make life easier, and help you to minimize your stress and your stuff.
Minimalist Solution to Your Baby Registry
Our Deliberately Minimal hearts rejoiced when we discovered Poppylist, a baby registry platform, and parent-curated product catalog that helps you navigate this process and simplify it right from the start. *Note: This is NOT an ad or paid placement for Poppylist, we are truly just obsessed.*
Poppylist is a revolutionary baby product recommendation engine that is powered by a quick (and fun!) quiz based on your lifestyle. The idea is that moms and dads-to-be can answer a series of questions and create an account to generate and keep organized a curated list of baby registry recommendations. Their goal is to become the most simple place in the world to prepare and register for your baby.
Another reason their approach to baby registries is unique and tailored to those of us who aspire to simplify and minimize all the stuff? Instead of registering for items, you can register for “funds,” and request monetary contributions to services like a diaper fund, a postpartum fund, or a general fund to create one best suited for your needs.
Plus, you can even opt to delay delivery or get “cash back” in the form of a gift-card instead of an item you registered for but have found you don’t want/need once baby arrives.
We sat down with their founder and self-proclaimed deliberate minimalist Sarah Hollingsworth to learn about the inception/ethos of Poppylist and all that Sarah has learned along the way, including her top minimalist baby registry picks.
Tell us about you!
Hi Everyone! My name is Sarah Hollingsworth and I’m the Founder & CEO of Poppylist. I live in Austin, Texas, with my husband, Scott, and my two-year-old daughter, Amelia.
When I’m not mapping out Poppylist strategy with my co-founder, creating content, talking with customers or building relationships with brands, I’m usually enjoying a cup of coffee, catching up on a podcast or on a long neighborhood walk with my family. I’m so happy to meet you!
How did you come to launch Poppylist?
When I was pregnant with my daughter three years ago, I had a time-consuming and overwhelming experience researching baby products. I accidentally bought a mini-crib (who knew such a thing existed), and that was the first of many costly purchasing mistakes I made, even after having spent well over 25 hours on research.
I considered myself a minimalist and didn't understand why a simpler, more modern way to build my baby registry didn't exist. I knew I didn’t want my home to ‘scream baby,’ but every site was telling me I need hundreds of products.
After returning to work from maternity leave, I had severe postpartum depression that eventually led to suicidal ideation. I had to commute and travel for work and was expected to produce at the same level as before my daughter arrived. I loved my job, but at what expense?
After seven long, painful months back at work and away from my daughter, I quit. It felt like a life or death situation. I'd planned to take a few months off for self-care, but I found myself enrolled in classes at the Entrepreneur Center of Austin two weeks later, and the rest is history. I knew someone would build my vision, and I wanted that someone to be me.
How is Poppylist different from other baby registry sites?
We’re different for a few reasons:
1. Poppylist is the first baby registry platform where a gift-giver is never re-directed to shop for a loved one. We’re also the first and only baby registry site to give complete control to the parents. This means that after a gift has been purchased from your baby registry, moms and dads will decide exactly what baby products they want delivered, and when. We call this "delayed delivery."
2. Every single product that we recommend has been sourced directly from a parent. People want less advertising and less influencer marketing. We’re doing just that, and establishing immense trust along the way.
3. We’re the only baby registry site that recommends minimalist nursery essentials. We are not pushing products. On average, we recommend ~51 items. We know non-essential purchases are down, and we have a unique opportunity to help expecting parents make informed purchasing decisions for their families.
4. Our co-founder is a father. With his perspective and experience, we are positioned to serve all parents, not just mothers. This is a major gap in the parent space, and we’re excited to lead and fill this effort for dads everywhere!
Do you consider yourself a minimalist?
Yes. I consider myself a minimalist of not only tangible things, but also tasks and time. It’s important to me that each day feels attainable. If it’s too much or too overwhelming, I will take things off my plate.
Not paying attention to these daily ‘tasks,’ is how I ended up in deep PPD, and now it’s an area of my life that I protect with everything that I have. If I know my husband can’t stop working at 4 pm to help me with dinner, then I’ll simply pick something up that’s pre-made. If I have meetings that aren’t helping us move the needle with Poppylist, I cancel them. If I have a ton of errands to run, I schedule them for the same day.
I don’t always excel at this, but I’m proud that I’m able to prioritize my time, which improves my mental health and overall well-being, my family, and Poppylist.
How should a minimalist think about building their minimalist baby registry?
This is a great question, and I think there’s a few ways to think about this.
First, minimalists don’t like waste. So how can you register for something that’ll also have practical use beyond just the short infant/baby stage?
For example, the 4 oz mason jars that you may use to store breast milk. Those can also be used for snacks, vases, salad dressings, seed starter for herbs, etc. The glass can also be recycled. Nipple pads. Those make for great makeup removers after you’re done nursing/pumping.
The Kibou bag is another perfect example. The changing pad is removable, and the fanny pack grows with you for years. And the best part is, it won’t go out of style.
Secondly, consider each item and ask yourself the following.
- Do I need this now, or in a year?
- Can I borrow this instead?
- Where will I store it if I’m not using it?
- Can I buy this second-hand?
- As we just described, how can I reuse this time when my baby no longer needs it?
Top 5 Minimalist Baby Registry Products
- Mushie stacking cups
- Black Kibou fanny pack diaper bag
- Gathre midi play mat
- 4 oz. mason jars for breast milk freezer storage
- Gerber 10 pack organic cloth diapers. We used these for burp cloths, washcloths, and now we use them for cleaning around our home.
Photo courtesy of @sidneyhollingsworthphoto
Want the right stuff (and not more stuff)?
Build your registry with Poppylist today.
Interested in reading more of our thoughts on the minimalist parenting lifestyle?