What’s on my newborn baby essentials list?

In this post I’d like to talk about the very basic needs of the baby and what I’ll need postpartum. Here is a list of what I feel are baby/post partum essentials. I’ll go into further details about what else we have purchased (new and second hand), been given or already had in a separate post.

  1. Cloth nappies.  We didn’t use cloth nappies with our son for very long. I was a first time mum and for some reason they caused me anxiety. I decided at the time to focus on breastfeeding as I was a little bit anxious about that too if I’m honest. We’ve chosen close pop in for the newborn stage and bought second hand flip system for afterwards. We also have cloth wipes.
  2. Organic baby clothing
  3. Nursing bra x 2
  4. Baby carrier. Oscha organic cotton ring sling is pictured.
  5. Reusable postpartum pads
  6. Reusable breast pads
  7. Topponcino
  8. Sleep sac from Ergopouch (not a swaddle)
  9. Floor bed (Japanese futon and sunoko) + organic cotton sheets. We chosen to also use a baby box for the first few weeks/months. More on that later.
  10. Baby soap

Most of the list is self explanatory but I wanted to go into a little more detail about the Topponcino. This is a Montessori material. I don’t believe she designed it herself, but rather observed mothers using similar flat cushions with a round edge at the top during her time in India. The purpose of the Topponcino is to provide a familiar, comfortable space for the newborn. It is usually used until 8 weeks (but can be longer depending on the baby!). The baby will spend most of his or her time on top of the Topponcino. Whilst breastfeeding, being held by family members, in their movement area and when being or down to sleep.

I bought our Topponcino from an individual in Japan. It’s made from organic cotton (the batting as well as the covers) grown, processed and woven here in Japan. This ticks a lot of boxes with regards to being ethical and eco friendly. This was bought for my son and we’ll be using it again this time for our new arrival.

If you’d like to learn a little more about Topponcino’s I’d recommend these blog articles:

  1. http://www.howwemontessori.com/how-we-montessori/2017/06/where-can-i-find-a-montessori-topponcino.html
  2. http://www.thekavanaughreport.com/2016/12/montessori-baby-week-1.html?m=1

As you can see, I haven’t included a crib, a stroller, a bouncer or any other large purchases. For us, these things aren’t necessary, especially at the newborn stage. We do have a stroller now for our son since he is too heavy to carry regularly, but sometimes needs to take a nap whilst we are outside. He’s also unable to walk for very long distances without getting tired. I would say we probably didn’t need one up until about a year old.

In the future I’m also going to be writing about the Montessori environment we are creating for our baby and a little more about why we like to “Montessori from the start”.

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What does our toddler’s Montessori capsule wardrobe look like?

Since I like to keep my son’s wardrobe to a minimum size, we tend to do seasonal capsule wardrobes. Of course for now this is mainly due to the fact that he outgrows his clothes within one season. I tend to split the year into two and order spring/summer and then autumn/winter clothes.

My current preferences for toddler clothes;

  1. Simple in construction and easy to take on and off.
  2. Comfortable to wear.
  3. Good quality (washes well and doesn’t pill or seams split).
  4. Natural fibres, organic if possible.
  5. Ethically made.
  6. Scandinavian design.
  7. Gender neutral colors and design.
  8. Regarding footwear, barefoot compatible shoes.

Most of my preferences come from a Montessori or environmental perspective. For example, special care should be given to choosing clothes for a toddler in order to maximize independence and learning. There is nothing better than seeing my toddler grinning with joy when he is able to successfully take off, and put back on, his own underwear after a trip to the toilet. Regarding environmental considerations, organic cotton is my preference due to the reasons listed in this Organic Trade Associate (OTA) post HERE. Natural fibers are preferred over synthetic due to the recent studies showing microfibers found to be ingested by deep sea organisms in the ocean. You can read more about that HERE.

Of course, my preferences are just that, preferences. It isn’t always possible every season to buy articles of clothing that adhere to all of the above.

Okay so let’s take a look at what my son will be wearing over autumn and winter.

  • 3 Long sleeved t-shirts. Two from Smafolk and one is from Duns Sweden.

  • 3 pairs of trousers all from Uniqlo. These are elasticated-waist, legging type trousers. I chose these since my son is 30 months old and is now pretty much potty trained but still struggles a little with getting undressed. These are to make it easier for him to remove independently.
  • 1 cardigan and 2 sweaters. One of the cardigans is from Uniqlo and the other two are from Joha (ecolabel merino wool).

  • 2 sets of pyajamas from Uniqlo.

  • 4-8 pairs of underpants. Organic cotton. A combination of Muji, Hanna Andersson organic cotton trainers and two pairs from Maxomorra.

  • 4 vests. Organic cotton. From Muji.
  • 4 pairs of socks. 2 pairs are fine merino wool and 2 pairs are organic cotton. All from Grödo.

  • 1 coat from Disana. 100% boiled merino wool. We had the same brand coat last year and it was brilliant quality. I’d really recommend them. The buttons are large and I feel it will help him practice fastening them himself.

  • 1 hat from Pickapooh. Merino wool fleece with a brushed organic cotton jersey lining.
  • 1 scarf from Disana. Bought last year. 100% merino wool.
  • 1 pair of mittens from Disana. 100% merino wool.

  • 1 pair of barefoot friendly shoes from Bobux
  • 1 pair of barefoot friendly wellingtons from Melton.

In the next post I’d like to show you how we store and organize our clothes in order to make them accessible to our son.



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Welcome to Help Me to Help Myself

Welcome to Help Me to Help Myself!

My name is Nicole, I am almost 30 years old, and from the UK. For the past three and a half years I’ve been living in Japan with my husband and we have a 2 year old son together named Hugo.

We are currently living in Sendai, a 6 hour drive north of Tokyo. We decided to make the move from Tokyo at the beginning of November because I am currently pregnant with our second son and we wanted to be closer to family before the new arrival.

As a family, we are interested in, and try to apply: a minimalist, zero waste lifestyle and I am personally trying to move to a more plant based diet. We also adhere to the Montessori philosophy at home with our son. I’d like to blog a little about how we do this and how these lifestyle choices complement each other. I also want to do this from the perspective of living here in Japan.

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