We are born minimalists. No stuff and no expectations. But the world we are born into… that’s a different story.
I have two kids. My daughter is almost 2.5 and my son is a little under 4 months old. She was born before I discovered minimalism. He was born in the midst of it. This is reflected in their wardrobes.
But, to be perfectly honest, I owe the minimalism of his wardrobe partly to chance.
He was bigger, way bigger than I expected and most of the clothes I prepared were too small. I had to make do with that I had on hand and to my surprise I didn’t have to buy almost anything else.
My 4 Month Old Son’s Wardrobe
- countless socks
- 9 bodysuits (Long sleeves. I used short sleeves in the summer. They’re gone now.)
- 5 pairs of trousers
- 4 sleepsuits (but he doesn’t sleep in them)
- 3 pairs of footed but sleeveless rompers
- 3 jumpers
- 2 outdoor suits (moderate and cold weather) and something to keep his head and fingers warm
- 1 woombie/swaddle up (size changed on the way).
And, to be honest, that’s too much. I used the trousers in the summer. Now I mostly use the rompers and sleepsuits.
2 pairs of trousers would be perfectly enough. We have a terrible excess of socks given that he barely wears any. And we have 1 excess jumper.
I know this may seem scarce. But let me deal with some issues that may come to your mind:
Beginning with so little in the summer was easier, mostly psychologically. It’s easier to accept a risk of not having any clothes for the baby when it’s hot everywhere you go.
But we have now entered autumn, with some really cold and gloomy days and the truth is, you only have to add several items and exchange several to keep it simple through the winter.
Different kids and families have different needs and preferences. We are dealing with just one pyjamas perfectly well. For you, it might be easier to cut in another department (socks?).
Dealing With Laundry
This would be tricky if it weren’t for my other kid. We wash their clothes together so I have no problems filling up the machine.
BUT I also throw my nursing pads and some white stuff with the baby clothes. You could do the same.
And all contemporary washing machines have special programs for small loads or just adjust water and energy usage to the load size.
All in all, no excuses, minimalism IS for babies. (If it’s all too cute to resist – I get it and I’m not going to talk anyone into it!)
But a toddler, and a toddler girl… now that’s another pair of shoes.
My 2.5 Year Old Daughter’s Wardrobe
It gets so much harder!
The kid does much more. She gets dirty in so many creative ways. She attends a variety of events and places and the social (and family) expectations grow with age.
A baby could wear a bodysuit all summer, regardless of the occasion. But a toddler should be dressed properly. And if it’s a girl it’s even harder, with all the glitter and tutu skirts.
But these are, in fact, excuses. Just as the following:
One of the problems (and blessings) many parents experience is… gifts. We get so much stuff for our daughter from family & friends that we barely ever get to buy anything.
We don’t spend money (or time) and that’s wonderful. But it’s so easy to fall victim of the need to satisfy all givers and to dress your child in ALL THAT STUFF.
I am still learning to reduce that oppressive impulse.
Some Work Is Needed
Have a quick look at the photo above. All these coats and jackets are fine for this time of year. She wears almost all of them.
But most of all, she got all of them from our family. This is the scale of the phenomenon I’m writing about. These are just coats. Can you even imagine what’s happening in the trousers department?
By the way, one less glamorous problem is that of getting from diapers to the potty. You actually need lots of trousers and socks for that. And shoes.
And so, my daughter doesn’t know it yet, but her wardrobe is in line for a revolution. I will share my thoughts when I’m done.
But I am sure that we are not going to get anywhere near the minimalist perfection of my baby boy.
I’m not sure if anyone of us, even the most dedicated minimalists out there, can ever get down to the level of a new-born child, one that’s only hours away from the safe and lovely floating world of no possessions.