“Less is more” is an adage true in many circumstances. Makeup usage, cookie eating, and finger paint when your kid is working off an 8×11 sheet of paper are all instances where it’s probably best to keep supplies to a minimum. When it comes to baby, however, less is more is not something oft uttered. There are baby showers driving us to give kids more stuff and the fact that everything looks so freaking cute on a baby. There’s the ever-growing beast that is the baby-having industry. It tells us we need this stroller, that our child will suffer without this particular brand of bottle and burp cloth. If we don’t buy them this pacifier it’s likely that they’ll have no friends later in life. Thanks for your advice amorphous corporate entity!
Lately the minimalist movement has persevered despite whatever the media or your mother-in-law tells you. Parents are opting to pare down to only the essentials. Whether you live in a sprawling ranch home or in a tiny shoebox apartment, the minimalist movement is worth taking a look at.
I’ve dabbled in minimalism — mostly by occasionally throwing out some of the unread magazines we’ve amassed but in reality, my husband and I are imminent hoarders and will some day die in a landslide of our own stuff. Our space is smallish and we’ve managed to furnish it pretty sparingly but we also have things like a Twins troll doll, a tiny gargoyle and everybody has a bronzed nomadic chicken, right? We realized when we moved in together that we both had coin collections. This is going to be bad for when we have kids, I thought and I made him promise that before we go off and have eleven of them that we live in a proper house first. But people raise kids in all kinds of places so it’s possible.
In June the BBC News introduced me to a kind of minimalism I hadn’t considered. In Finland, all parents, regardless of socioeconomic background are given a box. This box is like a baby starter kit. It contains diapers, bibs, formula, and a mattress. Guess where most Finnish babies sleep for the first few months of their lives? Yep, in the box, not in some fancy crib or bassinet but in a cardboard box.
Could we do it? Could we raise a baby in a box? Yes, yes, I know some of you veteran parents are knowingly laughing at my foolishness — or maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re like this woman or this one and have decided that it is possible to raise kids with a lot less stuff.
Clearing out the clutter spurs a child’s creative impulses and it also just happens to go perfectly with the cute mod styles we’re seeing in the baby-decorating world.
So what do you really need to furnish a nursery?
Let’s start with the obvious, the kid has to sleep somewhere and no, it need not be a cardboard box.
The first and only crib in the market to be made entirely of acrylic, the crib features curved edges and three mattress heights. It’ll look chic and won’t overwhelm a modern minimal baby room.
You should probably also put their stuff somewhere other than the floor.
This changing table epitomizes one of the tenets of minimalism: Items that serve two purposes rock, especially if one of those purposes is to store stuff.
The Two-Wide Changer stylishly keeps diapers and wipes within reach and when the little one grows out of diapers, the changing table, with its mod circle design can be converted into an equally mod toddler dresser.
A place to kick your feet up and take a load off is nice too; being a toddler is hard work.
The Dodo Rocking Chair from the Finnish Design Shop is a modern alternative to that boring old rocking horse. Or if the dodo isn’t your kind of bygone creature then perhaps a unicorn from Little Sapling Toys is more up your alley.
Another option we love is the sleek, stylish and oh so mod Offi Kapsule Chair (above). Like the Two-Wide Changer, it provides storage as well as seating so it’s great for small bottoms and small spaces. One more and then I promise I’m done and we can all go home and pretend I don’t have an obsession with rocking horses. There are a lot of great products with which to create an homage to the scooter (the 1960’s mod vehicle of choice) but the one I love most is #4 the Dotmaison Rocking Scooter.
The finishing touches…
Just because a room is minimal doesn’t mean it has to be boring. The clean lines and simple whimsical design of this Listening to Old Records print from Society 6 makes it a perfect addition to a mod baby’s abode.
Here’s one more just because I am as obsessed with Adventure Time as I am with rocking horses. The Minimalist Adventure Time poster is the best! Jake, Finn and their friends (including my favorite, Lumpy Space Princess) provide a nice modern nod to mod.
Indulging in even a few minimalist tendencies like forgoing the heaps of toys for a few favorites allows us to look at what it is really essential for keeping our babies happy and healthy and what they and we might be better off without.
Okay time to go clean out those magazines again.