tottini:  Less is More

Rebecca WoolfI find “less is more” one of the more irritating (and often nonsensical) phrases, especially when it comes to children because let’s be honest, kids need A LOT of stuff. And yet, here I stand (er, sit, with one sleeping baby attached to my body and one sleeping baby in her bouncer at my feet) with my third and fourth children reevaluating my stance on minimalism when it comes to infant requirements.  With my son, Archer, I thought I needed EVERYTHING! Diaper pails and wipe warmers and lap pads, oh my!

With my daughter, Fable, I thought I needed ALMOST EVERYTHING: Diaper pails and wipe warmers and lap pads, never again! And now, with baby three and four, I’ve convinced myself that there are actually very few things one really, truly needs.

Truth be told, there are plenty of places to cut back as you shop and/or register for baby items. This in turn allows you to splurge on the important items while cutting back on the things you won’t miss, quality over quantity style.


Cut: Changing Table

Splurge: Crib

Changing tables, especially new ones, are expensive unless you’re opting for a cheaper model, which in my experience lasts about four months before breaking down.  This time around we bought a massive dresser found for $180 at the local swap meet and a curved changing pad (belted) so we could use the dresser for storage and the top for diapering. This way, once the girls grow out of needing a changing table they have a great dresser that we can hold onto indefinitely.

Cribs, on the other hand, are best bought new, mainly because safety standards change so quickly. For instance, Archer’s crib is apparently illegal (it has drop sides) so recycling his crib was out.

Investing in a high quality crib (I recommend the kind that double as toddler beds, more bang for your buck) is something you won’t regret, and now that you’ve saved money by not buying a changing table, you can invest in something sleek and modern. Hooray!

Some of my favorites:

Oeuf Sparrow:

Oeuf Sparrow Crib in Birch


babyletto Mercer Crib:


babyletto Mercer Cribbloom Papa Crib:

bloom Papa Crib in Espresso








Naturepedic Crib Mattress

Cut: Fancy Bedding.

Splurge: Crib Mattress

Crib bedding can be way expensive. Hundreds of dollars expensive. I splurged on bedding in the past but this time around chose to splurge on mattresses instead. Naturepedic makes (according to my research) the best mattress on the market. Organic, non-toxic, naturally derived sleepy-goodness.



Cut: Diaper Pail & Liners

Splurge: Baby Carrier

If you’ve already chosen cloth diapers (gDiapers come highly recommended!) you’re already ahead of me but if you do plan to diaper disposables, one of the few pro tips I can offer is to can the diaper pail. I registered for a diaper pail with my first child but after several months of use found it easier (and a lot more sanitary) to use disposable diaper bags  (biodegradable) and take all poopy diapers straight out to the trash… outside. Where they aren’t sitting next to a sleeping baby.

On the flip, I couldn’t survive without my trusty baby carriers and recommend every new mom purchase at least one. (I like to mix it up a bit in the baby-wearing department. I’m just crazy like that.)

My two favorites:


ERGObaby Carrier

Baby Bjorn:

Baby Bjorn Mircle Carrier


Cut: Infant Stroller System

Safety 1st Clic It

Splurge: Car seats

When my son, Archer was a baby I had one of those humongous Graco travel systems, assuming it was the most practical way to roll around on the town. HA!  Now I know better. A universal carrier like the Safety 1st Clic it! is by far my #1 recommendation to new parents.


One, they’re cheap.

Two, they’re convenient.

Three, after six-months, you can upgrade to something more compact like an umbrella stroller.  See: Maclaren

Maclaren Quest




And with all those hundreds of dollars saved, you can splurge on a plush car seat from either Chicco or Maxi-Cosi:

Chicco Keyfit Car Seat






What are some of your “cut” versus “splurge” items? What couldn’t you live without as a new mom and alternately, what are some baby items you find most nonsensical when it comes to furnishing not only a nursery, but a newborn’s life?

We’d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment on this blog post about your must have nursery item to be entered to win a $100 tottini gift certificate!    Winner to be randomly selected on March 12th. 

Also, shop now through the end of March and receive 10% off your order with the coupon code “totstuff” (some brand restrictions do apply).


Rebecca Woolf & tottini

Rebecca Woolf of Girl’s Gone Child has been featured in the The New York Times, Time Magazine, Huffington Post, Angeleno and NPR, was recently named Blog of the Year by and was a finalist for Lifetime Achievement in the 2011 Bloggies.


Added by tottini on March 12, 2012:

Thanks to everyone for commenting on your must have nursery items! 

The winner has been selected using and Bonnie with entry #11 is the winner of a $100 tottini gift certificate.  Thanks to everyone for entering, please follow our totStuff blog for future guest bloggers and specials.

totStuff giveaway



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Melissa M. on March 5th, 2012 | 39 Comments -