Newborn Baby Gear: Must haves for a city dweller.

What does a baby really need? : Gear (0-3 months)

Want just the basics? Don’t have room for much more than that?  Here is my list of things I bought, recommend,  or saved for our newest addition.  The bare minimum this mom of 4 would say you should get in preparation for your new bundles first few months.

Let’s start with the basics, which I have broken down into the following categories:
sleep- play- eat- travel-bathe-diaper
SLEEP

-Crib:  a place to sleep in your room… or theirs!  A crib/pack and play,  or co sleeper… whatever it is you use.  We used a pack and play or co sleeper for the first few months which each kid, then they went to their crib.
Everyone has their own ideas on sleep, but the most important thing is that the baby sleeps, can I get an amen, moms?
-Baby chair/swing : I think our babies used their baby chairs more than their actual cribs for the first 3 months.  I put them in the living room or wherever I was sitting/recovering for the first few months, and since the newborn life is the sleep life, they slept perfectly in it all day in between nursing and visitors.
-Binkys/pacifiers:  I think Jack may be my first binky baby, and I am pretty happy about it, because how cute is a baby sucking on a pacifier?!
-Blankets: I swear by these ones from Aden & Anais (only the bamboo ones!).  They are so soft, my husband jokingly says he wishes they made them in adult size.  I use them  also as a nursing cover, carseat cover, blanket to lay the baby on, and burp rag.   I also recently bought these Solly Baby swaddles and love them too!  Just as soft and heavier than the muslin, if you have a fall/winter baby.
-Swaddle:  We use these, and love them.
PLAY
-A playmat:  Anyone will do.  Just something to look at for those few hours they are awake as newborns. Jack is just starting to really want to stare at something while he is awake, and watching him kick and coo at the animals that hang from the top, is just adorable.  If you want a beautiful one, I had my eyes on this one , but never actually spent the money to buy and ship it here.
EAT
This is one of the most complicated and cluttery part of babies gear… Whether nursing or bottle feeding (or both), you need so many things to feed a baby well.
-Burp rags:  Something to wipe up the spit up…anything.  ha!  old t shirts. or something fancy, Lord knows we don’t want to be smelling like cheese from our kids spit up all over us.  I use little muslin ones I found in here, but also loved having my favorite thin swaddles around to use as well.
-Boppy/nursing pillow:  Save your upper back now, and invest in a good nursing pillow.
-Bottles:  I have used these bottles   based on the recommendation of one of my first mommy friends 10 years ago!  Lots of pieces to wash, but less gassy babies, so I’d say it’s a good return on your investment.
-Breast pump: handpump  or normal pump depending on you r budget and how much you will need to pump.  I have used both, but really like a good hand pump because you can control the pull/suck.
-Storage bags for milk
-Formula
-Bottles
-Bottle drying rack
-Bottle brush 
-Nursing cover:  a friend recently bought me this one and swears by it!  The other three babies, I just used one of the apron looking covers you get at Babies R us.
TRAVEL
-Stroller: This could be a dissertation if I wanted.  So many strollers, so many price points (from  the price of a t shirt to a new car!).  I am gearing up to try a couple, but I’d say this is a need. Our city is pretty bumpy and cobblestoney, so I don’t use one here unless we are travelling or I know we will be somewhere that is easily navigated with a stroller.  Like a mall, or a specific park.
-Baby carrier:  My two go-tos with Jack are the Sollybaby, and the Ergo.  With previous babies I used the Moby Wrap, and all sorts of random clip on carriers, but overall I would say I love the Solly and Ergo the best.
The Solly is my favorite for the newborn days, when they just are so sweet, snuggly and sleep on you for a long time.  This is particularly helpful for outings, when your baby just sleeps through it all.   I will say the Solly, or any wrap for that matter is an investment in your time to put on.  I can sling mine on in a minute or so after 9 years of baby wearing, but in that rush of a crying baby, or trying to get out of a car with other kids it adds some time.
The pay off of snuggling your baby though, that’s priceless.  The ergo, is fast, and you can carry a kid from newborn until they are about 3…so if I were you, I would get both!
-Carseat: It’s the law!  Even in Istanbul, where we don’t have a car and use metros, buses, trams etc…  we use our carseat if we are in a taxi.  This is the one we have used for the last 3 kiddos, and we really like it.
BATHE
-Washcloths
-Soap: something gentle, pure and delicious smelling
-Towel
-Bath:  I had the big invasive baby bathtub with our oldest, but when it comes down to it throwing this bath seat in a big sink or bathtub is much easier, and takes up way less room.  Also, if you travel much- it folds up perfectly for your suitcase!
DIAPER
-Diapers: My all time favorite, which I can’t get in Turkey 🙁  I used them with Nora, and I can testify they work!  Also, they are soooo cute!
-Booty creme: To keep the rashes away!
-Wipes

-Changing pad/area: Changing table, floor, pad etc. Somewhere to diaper the little love.

How To Capsule a Family

Capsule wardrobes may seem cool, but the organizing process can be overwhelming… and doing it for 6 people even more so!   Here are some simple tips or steps to follow to help you figure out the process.
1.   WHAT DO WE HAVE? ::       
Take an inventory of what you have in your closet- I prefer making it visual by laying it all out there.  You may be super surprised at how many clothing items you actually have!
Go through your piles (person by person is probably less overwhelming than every clothing item in your whole house).
Get rid of things that you don’t like, don’t fit, or your kids grew out of.  If you have a huge pile (which I hope you do) of old clothes… donate  them, sell them, or trade them in!
I literally wrote down every single item of clothing my family owns… Type A much?  As I was going through everything, I realized I have some items already that I had seen in the mall and wanted to buy.  I had just forgotten about them in storage.  For me, it felt good to have this all organized.
2.  WHAT DO WE WANT?::  
Ask yourself these questions as you decide what to keep::  What has inspired me ?  What trends do I want to copy?  Why do I want to  keep it?  Does it fit?  Does it make you happy?  Is it even my style, or it something I wish I could pull off?
Throw it in a pile if the reason to keep it isn’t good enough.
Thought’s on wanting:
From what you have:  Think about whether or not it actually fits, if you’ve worn it in the past year, or if you’re even keeping it for a realistic reason.  If not.. toss it!  The real reason you want to keep it may be silly or not even make sense when you actually stop to think about it.
From what you don’t have:  I actually keep Pinterest boards of things that i see that i think are cute, or I want to copy basically.  This could help you as you plan out your wardrobe/style and shopping for the next season.
See my Pinterest boards for my whole family here!
3.  WHAT DO WE NEED?::
          Is there anything that we just need to complete our wardrobe this next season?  Did you just tear your rain boots and need a new pair? Did you kids grow out of all their jeans or rip holes in them?
Did you lose your favorite jacket?  Figure out what you need, add it to a list…
 4.  SHOPPING TIME!!::
Make a list of what you actually need so you’re not just buying whatever catches your eye!  Simplicity  and not just buying crap will make you feel better, I promise 🙂
Take your pictures or ideas of looks you want to copy and  go online, in the store, or on one on one dates with the kiddos.. however you like to do it, Go get your goods so you don’ have to shop for a few more months!

Old Clothes: How to Part with them

So, you have piles and bags of black trash bags full of clothes, bags, shoes and worn out, or too small kid items.

You’ve gone through all The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up… and bagged up what doesn’t give you life.

partingwitholdclothes

What do you do with them now?  Here are some ideas I have had… along with ideas I am going to try!

  1. Donate them to be re-sold, and make a few bucks toward the growing stock by using Thred Up.  (I have purchased from here before, but just sent in my first bags to be sold, I’ll let you know how it goes!)
  2. If you have time and energy to re-sell them on e-bay, do it!
  3. If you had invested in quality clothes you can also try doing an Instagram sale.  (Tips on having an Instagram sale).
  4. Hand them down to someone your size, or with kids younger than yours.
  5. Send them to your local goodwill, or thrift store.  Someone will love them, and buy them for cheap!

 

Any other fun or creative ideas out there?

Nora’s Summer Capsule Wardrobe:: Toddler Girls

Baby girls clothes, they just about put me over the edge they are so cute!  Dressing a girl is fun, and while she has her preferences which can be quite strong, we have managed to only have a few small fights over clothes.  She’s 2 people.  2 years old and arguing with me about what she wants to wear.  Ok, counseling issues aside, here is what you can find my baby girl running around California in this summer.
Here is Nora’s Summer Capsule Wardrobe::
ToddlerGirl-Summer
13 t shirts or tank tops: 1.tulip striped pink tank 2.teal tank 3.popsicle tank 4.black graphic tank 5.black t strap tank 6.water color tie tank 7. blue anglaise 8. coral embroidery 9. striped henley 10. grey henley 11.  Istanbul t shirt 12. flower shirt navy  13. blue embellished tank
2 long sleeve shirts: 14. ballerina 15. chambray button up
2 swim suits:  23. red, white & blue stripes  24.teal ruffle swim suit
1 swim cover up: 25. swim cover up
1 sweater: 26. side zip sweatshirt
5 shorts:  27. pull on print  28. jean   29. pink denim   30.jersey shorts  31.bubble shorts
4 rompers:  32.. pink denim overalls  33.. neon coral   34. gauze romper 35. chambray romper
2 pants:   36. light grey leggings  37. pink coral leggings

 

 

Women’s Spring Capsule Wardrobe

Oh man, this was my first Capsule Wardrobe, and it was so hard to make!  Developing a fashionable, practical wardrobe for 3 months felt like such a hard task for some reason.  I had such a hard time making the decisions for what to buy and what to include.  Then trying to figure out if they items I chose would even work well together, and spending money on myself!  :/  I felt super stressed and non committal at times during the process, but now that I have been wearing these items for a couple months, and have a bit of a routine with clothes storage and laundry, I am absolutely in the Capsule Groove!  If I were an emoji it would definitely be the dancing red lady.

Some of my challenges in making this occurred when I realized, I didn’t even really know what I liked to wear, or what fit me well.  Do I even wear dresses that often?  It seemed silly to not include them with how beautiful spring can be.  How many sweaters do I need?  It can be pretty cold here in Spring, it snowed last March…What do I do about that?!

Well, I think I covered my weather bases, and threw together a decent capsule for my first one.

I’ll share more on my reflections posts, but for now, let’s get to my clothes this Spring.

 

 

Here is my Spring Capsule Wardrobe::

Kim-Spring

7 t shirts:  1. grey tissue t  2.  black solid v  3. white tissue scoop 4. navy tissue scoop  5.  grey stripe flowy  6. grey tissue scoop 7. white flowy boxy
9 shirts:  8. white pocket blouse 9. grey flowy back  10.  striped zip back  11. navy thick stripe  12. blue button up   13. peasant blouse  14 linen teal stripes  15. blue linen color block 16.  button back yellow flowy sweater
2 sweaters: 17. pink thick knit  18.  grey scoop
7 shoes: 19. hunters 20. black bootie  21.camel booties 22. silver slip ons  23.converse 24.birkenstocks 25.  gold sandals
4 dresses: 26. chambray  27. striped t shirt 28. grey t shirt 29. green t shirt
4 pants: 30.  skinny white 31. blue skinny jeans  32.  skinny distressed  33.black skinny jeans
 4 jackets:  34.  orange rain coat  35.  grey wool 36.  khaki green 37. jean
(Bold links above are exact or similar items).

Evan’s Spring Capsule Wardrobe:: Boys

 Evan is our oldest. Kind, sensitive, and always reading.  He is 7 and in first grade.
He wears a uniform to school, and those darn shirts are included in his capsule.  Also, they are white.  Whoever decided to give elementary school kids white uniform shirts should also have been required to supply bleach to the mothers of that school on their dime.  White is a no no in my rule book for dressing kids. If they are wearing white, there is a 98% chance it was gifted to them, or required for a social function.
Here is Evan’s Spring Capsule Wardrobe::
 Boys 37 Piece Spring Capsule Wardrobe
8  t shirts: 1.navy striped pocket -t  2. teal pocket henley 3. grey specked pocket -t 4.  weathered grey pocket t  5. space t 6. istnbul t 7. star wars t 8. palm trees
2 collared shirts:  9. short sleeve stripes  10.blue oxford 
5 uniform shirts: 11-15. White polo with school logo.
3 long sleeve shirts:  16. grey plain  17. grey surf  18. grey graphic
2 shoes: 19. nikes  20. blue sneakers
4 sweaters:  21.camo sweatshirt  22. blue quilted  23.light grey pullover  24. school uniform
2 jackets: 25. blue light jacket  26. fleece
2 shorts: 27. gap denim 28. grey
3 lounge pants:  29. grey waffle  30. lazy sweats  31.  camo sweats
6 pants: 1. blue pants 2. blue skinny jeans 3. skinny jeans 4.grey skinny jeans  5.slim black jeans  6.  dark grey
(Bold links above are exact or similar items.)

Is Capsuling more work? :: 1 month reflections

 

About a month in and maybe you are wondering,  Is capsuling more work?

While I was shopping for our clothes for Spring, taking pictures and figuring out what my family would be wearing and not wearing, I really wondered if capsuling was more work than just wearing what we used to was.
I figured it would be helpful to take a step back and reflect on why I even took on this project.  Starting this all felt like a lot of work, just for clothes.  It seemed maybe silly at time, but in the beginning any transition is more work. Starting a new diet- planning meals, putting a kid in a new school -paperwork, moving to a new home or city -logistics! stress!
 Really any change requires a decent amount of work, it is the long term result that should be the measure of it’s worth.

So far, in this transition, I have been happy with the result.  We are so early in the transition, just one month into our first capsule.  We have a lot to learn, and tweaking to do… but I will say so far- so good.  We like it!  I like it! The kids do too.  So while this has been an investment in time, effort and money,  it has definitely been worth it in the end.  I think after we have this system down it will be good for my family in many ways.

Less clothes all over, less impulse purchasing, more  planning and thought out clothes purchases.  Also, freedom from feeling like I never had anything to wear, but tons of clothes floating around in suitcases, drawers, hampers etc.
 Just at a months end, I have noticed:
-I personally don’t ever feel like I don’t have anything to wear.
-We have less laundry to do.
-I feel more organized and in control of the clothes situation (and our capsuling journey has just started).
-The kids are happy and I am learning what their personal style preferences are, (ex: Nora seems to almost hate most dresses).
-I feel more organized, and am!
-I am happier knowing I have a system to work in for storage, purchasing and planning.
Thanks for listening, I’ll reflect again at month two!

Eli’s Spring Capsule Wardrobe :: Toddler Boy

This is Elias, also known as Eli.  He is my 5 year old, and he is my most stylish kid.  Seriously, he always has a strong opinion on what he wears, and a compliment on others clothing.
 Toddler Boys 37 piece spring Capsule Wardrobe.He loves picking things out, and pointing things out and noting that people looked nice.  He really does have an eye for detail.  He is the first to notice when I am wearing a new item or have earrings on.  He has been so fun to do this project with.
For now, he likes to wear “stripes with stripes and stripes”  or “grey with grey and grey”.  He will sometimes come out in a red jacket, red shorts and a red hat and be so proud that he planned the perfect outfit for himself.  Red is his favorite color.  He actually specifically requested red shoes this Spring.
Here is Eli’s Spring Capsule Wardrobe::
 A Toddler Boys 37 piece Spring Capsule Wardrobe.
7 t shirts:  1.  short sleeve henley  2.  red pocket t-shirt   3. Detroit graphic T  4.  Blue solid T  5.  Istanbul T  6.  blue collared T  7.  Striped T
3 polo shirts:. 8. grey polo  9.  .navy polo 10.  hawaii print
4 Long sleeve shirts:  11.  blue stripes gap  12.   baseball  13.striped henley 14.  grey henley
4 collared shirts:  15.  white oxford 16.  blue and white gingham  17.  chambray
4 Sweaters: 18. grey 3   19.red striped hoodie 26. quilted grey hoodie  27.  fleece
2 shorts: 20. hurley khaki 21. seersucker stripes
2 shoes:  24. nike  25. red velcro shoes 
4 lounge bottoms:  28. nike shorts 29. lightening sweats  30. grey w neon sweats 31. camo sweats

6 pants:  32.beige jeans 33.grey skinny jeans  34. dark grey  35.slim black jeans 36. dark straight 37. blue skinny

(Bold links above are exact or similar items.) 

My Capsule Philosophy:: Kids

My general mode of operating when it comes to kids clothes is to purchase cute items as needed, or buy a load of clothes when there is a sale all completely done by feel. It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to load up my cart, online or in person with a bunch of cute items I found that I felt they needed.  Then I would add to their drawers, and eventually we would have clothes on the ground, clothes in the drawers, things that maybe didn’t match each other, and things they never wore because they didn’t really like.

This has lead my kids, to have a jumble of clothes that are mix and match.  Some random items have no match, and some are things I purchased on impulse to satisfy the wants of a kid asking,
 “mom can i have that Batman shirt…pahleeese??”
Call me cranky and mean, but from now on the answer is “No”.  They can have dress up outfits(more on that later), but as for the day to day, they will have 37 pieces, and that is it.

Here are some basic rules I’m using during this project:

Finalizing a season capsule for each kid, with only 37 pieces.  This may seem like a lot or not enough for kids, especially since they go through clothes getting them dirty so fast.  But this is what we will start with.  Maybe our summer capsule will have less, maybe more. I kept the kids at 37 pieces, like the adults this first time around since we live in a city with weird weather, and tend to travel a bit.

-Socks:  all matching all the time.  The boys share 20 pairs of the same exact sock.  Nora will have 10 pairs of the same socks.  This makes laundry, distinguishing whose socks are whose, and finding socks each morning easy.

-No white.  Unless it was required from someone else (school uniform, project etc), they will not own white.  It’s just a bad idea.  Heck, I don’t even wear white unless I am not going to be around my kids for the day.  It gets dirty so fast.  There will be a day when I wear white, for now I’m happy with grey.

-Color theme.  I had my boys fill out this capsule wardrobe planner with me.  They shared their favorite colors, how they wanted to look, and even things they did and didn’t want.  It was really fun, to hear them describe what they want.

-Shop together.  For my middle child, this was a really fun project.  He felt so loved that he got to go shopping with me, and pick some fun things out.  He really likes dressing up and looking good.

Why Capsule?

More time, more money, less fuss, less laundry.  Simplicity.

simplecapsulepic
image from: cocolapinedesign.com

Sign me up.

There are a lot of reasons I wanted to try this experiment.  A creative outlet.  Simplicity.  The reward of knowing I can say “no” to impulse buys.  Making choices easier for myself and my family.  Also, less clutter.  Way less clutter.

All the clothes, all the choices, and all the things thrown on the floor or piled up.  These are things I am hoping to say goodbye to.  Saying goodbye to feeling like I have too many choices, but nothing to wear.  The reality is, I probably only wear about 30 of the items in my closet anyway.  So I’m hoping to just channel all my love for those specific items into a creative 37 piece capsule.  No more wasted energy on trying to make that one shirt work.  All my time and effort, other places.

There are dreams of a beautifully curated, Instagram worthy wardrobe for each member of my family. Of course.  But the reality of the situation is… I want life to be less stressful, and more organized.  Less decisions for mundane, but important things, like getting dressed each day.

I want my kids to understand this as a life skill, less is more.  Creativity.  Thinking outside of the box (which I am horrible at)…  even if they don’t end up being Capsulers for Life…future daughter in laws- you’re welcome.

I want a method to this madness.  Soooo, let’s do this!

Would you ever capsule your whole family?

What would your motivation be?