modern minimalist baby gear besotted blog

I have taken the same sort of approach to researching baby gear as Madame Curie must have when figuring out techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes. My research has been both thorough and massive and has left me feeling spent and even more confused than when I started the process.  I have multiple concerns about baby gear, after the obvious ones of safety, I need to make sure the gear is actually needed and then of course there’s a major aesthetic component that is near impossible to find. I need to shop where the Swedes do, I never see their nurseries with garish gear which is what seems prevalent in the American market-for shame.  We are on an obvious tight budget since I was sick, but we have been very careful on purchases so we figured we could have a few investment pieces.

Being in 526 square feet has also helped in decision making, I don’t want a ton of ‘things’ (never) but I do want to be prepared.  We decided to forgo the stroller for these first few months, I don’t know if that’s a wise decision but we are going to try. It’s coming upon Winter in the Pacific Northwest so we didn’t think we were going to be doing much stroller pushing in the cold + rain, we are going to wear her as much as possible which is where the Baby Bjorn Miracle comes in (it’s a new and improved Bjorn). We looked into many, many carriers, Ergo’s  were high on our list and had amazing reviews but not so great reviews for newborns.  We are also looking for a non-tie sling option, but haven’t being able to decide on one (I am open to suggestions).

We got hooked on trying the techniques laid out by Dr. Harvey Karp in ‘The Happiest Baby on the Block’, he suggests a swing, have you seen the current swing options available?  Firstly, we don’t have room for a traditional behemoth swing, who does?  Secondly, most are so hideous that my eyeballs would melt before I could put my baby in one.  That’s when I found 4 Moms. Do you know about this amazing company?  Beautifully designed pieces both aesthetically and functionally.  They are basically the Apple of baby gear. What really sold me on their swing the Mamaroo (and I won’t sugar coat it is at the upper end of the price range) is that at my hospital it is the only ones they use in the NICU that actually calm the babies and put them to sleep–SOLD!  You need to watch their video to get a grasp on how crazy cool this swing is. It also happens to look great in our modern abode, so there’s a double thumbs up on that. You should also check out some of their other offerings as well, the Origami stroller will blow.your.mind. even the tub had me at hello.

I am obviously no expert on anything baby, in fact my husband and I feel a bit like bumbling idiots and she hasn’t even arrived yet, but I do know a thing or two about being clutter free and living a fairly minimalistic (‘stuff’ free) life. Btw, there are other color ways available for the above items, we are most likely going to go with the grays, there were no white options which I am sure was done for pragmatic reasons, but still…

P.S. And I am super open to any and all suggestions from those that have come before me and actually know what they are doing. Thank you to Paige for suggesting this sleep book! And thank you to Kate for introducing me to 4moms!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they are expecting a baby girl in December (possibly November). Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.


  1. Awesome choices…we would have gone with the Mamaroo if we hadn’t needed two, ugh. We used the Bjorn Bouncer and loved it (as did they)! We have the Miracle carrier and have used it once, seriously. They are always in the Bugaboo…let me know if you want to buy ours for a steal! (we have the Air one, very nice)

  2. My sister-in-law was (group) gifted a Mamaroo when my nephew was born. She felt that in the first few months it saved her life and sanity. She simply placed him in the Mamaroo and the screaming turned to snores within minutes. Despite her love for it, she was afraid that he would get used to the rocking motion and then only be able to sleep when being rocked (creating a vicious cycle for her) so she limited the Mamaroo time and even sometimes placed him in it without it being on. Hope that helps….

  3. I’m going to preface this with a note: I’m not a mommy, just a very proud auntie. That said, I worked as a personal assistant for my sister when she was first pregnant with my niece, and handled all of the research for anything baby – from car seats to playpens to the actual car they bought. Then I was there with her for a few months after, helping take care of my niece. So, I feel like I’ve got some personal real world experience without actually having the baby, but you feel free to take this with a grain of salt!

    I think it’s smart to wait to buy a stroller because you don’t know yet how a stroller will fit into your life, or what kind of stroller you’ll need. Case in point – my sister insisted on a very expensive stroller that ended up being a nightmare to unfold, pack up, AND maneuver (this thing was huge). She used it for a while, because she paid good money for it, but once she had my nephew, she ended up getting a side-by-side stroller because it was easier to maneuver and collapse. It just worked better for her.

    That said, you probably don’t want to carry around a car seat for a few months. No matter how tiny the baby, those seats get heavy FAST. Instead of a full stroller, look for the stroller bases that you can snap the car seat into – there should be one for your brand of car seat. It’s basically wheels with a frame on top. Because it’s smaller and lighter, the price is lower, too. Bonus: you don’t have to disturb the baby if she’s sleeping when you lift her in and out of the car.

    I only mention that because with a carrier, you’d have to unbuckle her from the seat each time (assuming you’re driving anywhere). But we found out really quickly that neither of her babies cared for carriers (or swings, bouncy chairs, or binkies, lol), so I’m a little biased about them! Also, since you’re getting a carrier, spend some time, both you and your husband, practicing how to get it on and get baby in. I know that sounds silly, and you might feel silly doing it, but it’ll help you later, promise.

    Then, once you’ve had baby for a few months, you’ll know what kind of stroller you need. My best friend swore by her jogging stroller, while another loved a simple umbrella type. And my sister used her little frame stroller for months until she had to switch car seats.

  4. My main suggestion to new mamas is to skip the infant seat all together. I know, I know– Convenience. That’s the only argument I ever hear for them. With our twins, we went straight to the convertible seats for babies 5-65 pounds (and our twins were both barely over 5 pounds). There are MANY reasons to skip infant seats. One: we were able to buy some really great convertible seats instead of having to buy twice the number of infant seats (and then store for next babies; because no one will buy a used seat or even take it as a donation even if you personally guarantee it was never in an accident). Two: I wore the girls together in a Moby wrap until they were over 6 months old. It was perfect in the cold winter– no unsafe inserts or bulky coats, as well as keeping the girls happy and sleepy close to my body. Three: I was never tempted to leave the girls in their seats to sleep which is unsafe. When we left the nursery with our tiny babies, several of the nurses actually THANKED us for not having infant seats saying they had seen too many parents leave their kids in infant seats for hours of “nap time” and the babies would have breathing problems because infant seats not in the base in your car cause them to have poor posture and closes off airways. Fourth: not even a chance of the flat head issue that more and more babies have now because of napping in seats. THis is not even mentioning the space saver of not having to deal with the seat and the extra stroller situation.
    I know I might sound a little crazy, but I am super passionate about wearing babies and how important it is for bonding and development in general. And I really think these infant seats hinder that because it really is so easy and convenient to leave them in there to sleep. Take this from a twin mom who had to wake her babies up every 3 hours to feed them– Don’t be afraid to wake a baby– they will fall back to sleep much more easily than you think!

  5. I don’t know much about infant seats we decided not to get one because it seemed like an extra expense as I couldn’t imagine carrying one of them around. I was terribly sick for almost all of my pregnancy and loss a tremendous amount of weight and nearly all my muscle which I still have not gotten back, so I didn’t even trust that I could carry one with a baby in it! We do plan on wearing her often and actually keeping car rides to a bare minimum (I am terrified of driving with her). We got a convertible seat that actually stays in the car. I looked at the Moby, but I would rather have something that is no tie, any suggestions on that front?

  6. Brandi, thank you for this thorough list! I am feeling better about the no stroller purchase, so many people are gasping at the choice but I really don’t think it will be that bad when she is tiny to just wear her everywhere, I’ll let you know if that was a dumb idea or not, lol!

  7. I’m trying to remember what was important when I had Hudson (and of course we were in a tiny NYC apartment, so I feel your pain). I used a Baby Bjorn, which was great, but I will warn you – babies get heavy after awhile, even when they’re newborns. We didn’t use the heavy duty stroller for the first few months, but we had a base that you snap the car seat into and that was a lifesaver. Like a stroller, but without all the extra bulk and expense. The rocking seat was completely useless for us. We were one of the lucky ones with a child who would accept no substitute other than his parents’ arms. But maybe we just needed the Mamaroo. Another thing I had which was really wonderful was a Moses Basket (basically a basket with a padded interior). He slept there during the day while I worked and wasn’t wearing him. I liked that it was portable and I could keep him close by without having to hold him. It was also attractively neutral.

  8. You are going to get loads of advice but every baby is different so take it with a grain of salt.

    We had both the eye bleeding swing and the mamaroo. Agatha didn’t care for the mamaroo at all and the swing was the only thing we could put her down in those first few weeks. So as gross as it looked and as much room it took up, it was worth it.

    I liked the Bjorn when she was very small but they grow pretty quickly out of it. We did get the Ergo too but I never even used it – she just hated being in it and my back was always killing me anyway so I didn’t push. But if you dont have a stroller, she is going to get used to being carried very quickly so Im sure that wont be a problem.

  9. I personally don’t have experience with a no-wrap infant carrier (the tying wraps are really the only ones that can fit 2), but I have a baby-wearing friend who used the Baby K’tan and loved it. Another friend used the Loopix, but I’m not sure if that one is available in the US. I used the Ergo for one baby when they were one. I agree it isn’t ideal for newborns. I will add that when my husband would wear one of them, he greatly preferred the Bjorn. A little bit more manly than our lavender Moby ;)

  10. Like in the rest of our life there are pros and cons to every child care decision along the way and ultimately your choices will be made as you figure out what works best for you . I have never been a great non fiction reader so when my husband brought home Brining up Bebe for work ( he is a psychologist ). I picked it up out of mild curiosity and couldn’t put it down . Many confirmations of things I had done , and many things I wish I had tried ?I recommended it to every new Mom I come across now !

  11. Tristan, please be careful with a carrier. Don’t buy it until you try it on your baby. I had Baby Bjorn carrier and although it is great and I wouldn’t buy any other – your baby may not like it at all. My baby Gabriela, screamed like crazy ever time I tried to put her in the carrier, until she was one years old. I tried many times, because I bought one (and it was expansive) and I wanted to use it and look like a mom from the magazine poster. But no! My baby didn’t let me. She cried a lot – it scared her. I know many babies like it, but try it first in the shop or lend one from a friend – and than buy it. My friend had the same problem. Also, carriers are not comfortable and heavy after sometime. If you are shopping for yourself or seeing friends in the cafe for a chat than you have nowhere to put your baby, even for a second. You cannot try shoes or clothes and you have to hold your baby on a lap all the time. If you are alone, out there in the big city, with a baby in the carrier, you cannot use toilet :) Also you always have to take a bag full of dippers and other items, which means you will be caring additional bag (believe me, it is heavy too) – so with a carrier you will have “two” babies to carry :)

    One general advice, don’t buy too many things before the baby. You will have time to go to shop when SHE arrives and she will “tell” you what SHE needs :)

  12. Karolina, thank you for this sage advice! I actually have thought about this a lot and where to put her if we go out to eat, my rationale for right now is that I probably won’t feel like going anywhere for the first month, but if we do my mom will be in town to watch her. After that first month though I guess if she is in a sling type carrier she will just sleep. I have seen many mom’s here (there are SO many babies in Seattle!) that swear by the slings. I went to look at a couple that were suggested but they didn’t look too secure, maybe I am being crazy (which I most certainly am), but I also don’t want to spend good money on something that will fall apart after one wash! I wish there was a place to test out carriers, that’s a brilliant idea!

  13. I had your same mind set during my pregnancy and have been able to stick to it most of the time and my son is now 10 months. I completely agree that you won’t need a stroller. I love baby wearing and have tried several. My son is pretty heavy and I’m pretty small and I was able to wear him with quality carriers. My two favorites are the solly baby wrap (similar to moby but cuter colors) and my favorite soft structured is a tula. The tula is 10x better for your back than the bjorn or ergo. It is more expensive but a much better, long lasting product as your little one grows. It’s also incredibly easy to put on by yourself and quickly. I would also recommend all of the Aden & Anais products especially their bibs/burp cloths that are amazing! I suggest checking out Craigslist baby section. I found several top brand products (bugaboo stroller, boon highchair, etc) at half the cost and some brand new. I also cloth diaper and absolutely love it (which I can’t believe). Nature baby booties and giggle brand burb cloths are two other essentials. You don’t even need bibs if you buy several quality burp cloths. And those booties stay on unlike all the other socks and shoes. You really don’t need more than a few pairs of socks if you have those wonderful tie booties. My son was born in January so we had to keep him warm too. Footed sleepers and the bear fuzzy one pieces from baby gap are perfect for a winter baby. Also restoration hardware has the best monogramable hooded towels! They are so plush and better than the pottery barn towels, promise. I loved the book the baby whisperer by tracy hogg. It really helped establish a routine and get our little one sleeping thru the night quickly. I hope this is helpful as I remember those pregnancy days researching and wondering. Congrats! Being a mother is beyond wonderful!

  14. I think a stroller would be awesome for NY since it’s such a walking city! I love that you got the bleeding eye swing, now that’s love;) I am sure if the mamaroo is a bust I too will be looking for an alternative, lol. I also read all your posts on bringing up baby, super helpful, so happy that you are around as an honest resource on all this!

  15. Okay, I am so dying to get a Moses basket, but we ended up with a mini crib on wheels and I am hoping that is going to work with room-to-room moving around, it’s tiny, but those Moses baskets are sure good looking, especially the ones from RH Baby & Child, all I can think of are the photo-op’s, is that wrong?

  16. Breanna thank you for being so thorough! I actually have not heard of the two carriers you mentioned and I am totally going to do research! We did get the Aden & Anais swaddle blankets, a friend sent one and I LOVED how soft it was, I looked at other brands, but it feels so amazing! I would trust they have quality bibs as well. I have been looking on CL here but not a lot of quality products for sale (yet). We got some of the baby Gap sleepers, one to bring her home in (seriously I don’t know if it gets cuter). And I will also look into the booties! Thank you!!!!

  17. Julianna, I have ordered it for my Kindle, thank you! I have been enjoying it so far, MUCH better than the sleep book that keeps putting ME to sleep, lol!

  18. I read about babies getting used to the swing, I will take that into consideration for sure, thank you Lauren!

  19. There is a store here in Columbus called Sprout Soup where you can rent the carrier for a week and try it and the cost of your rental can be put towards the purchase of a carrier of your choice. Surely a much larger city like Seattle would have a similar store?

  20. What lovely pieces of advice. My youngest baby is 12 & so much has changed. I fell into the trap of ‘needing’ everything. Three children later our home looked like a children’s retail outlet. Although bittersweet once we were able to get rid of most of those items it was very freeing. I think you are choosing wisely. There is no item, book or method that will perfectly suit you & your baby. Listen to your heart & know without buying a single item you already have everything you need to be a great mom. You will be wonderful! Allow yourself to feel the plethora of emotions & know it’s an emotional roller coaster ride & that is OK! Best wishes to you & your husband on this most amazing adventure!

  21. Tristan! IMO – no stroller necessary for the beginning. I wore both Violet & Milo almost exclusively the first six months. At six months, you can reevaluate the stroller necessity (I highly recommend the UppaBaby GLuxe – we have it in black and after owning a bunch of strollers, including Bugaboo, Maclaren and Baby Jogger, the UppaBaby GLuxe is versatile, stands up on its own and is a breeze to use). As far as a carrier, your research is right – Ergo sucks for the first 3-5 months, depending on the baby’s size. With Violet I used a Beco Butterfly carrier and a Moby…with Milo I finally conquered the challenge of the ring sling. I got an amazing Sakura Bloom and got some help with how to use it and IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER for the first six months. So many different ways to use and once you get the hang of the ring sling part, it’s super easy. Not bulky and great for wearing under a warm winter coat. At six months, we switched to Ergo, but there’s so many options out there nowadays. As far as a swing, Milo didn’t use one for a second. He hated it. Violet loved the godawful things. xo

  22. Hi Miss B, I found for the newborn stage a sling from was the best thing! I find a babies are generally of two types. Ones that like to sleep like they are in a cocoon and the others like to sleep with their arms free. My son has always loved being snuggled into a tight space. He lived in this sling for the first 6 months of his life and whenever unsettled was very happy to be comforted in his ‘cocoon’. Hope this helps! x

  23. P.S. I agree with Birgitta that the Ergo was the best thing AFTER six months of age. He lived in it! And it keeps both your hands free. x

  24. Uppa Baby Vista is all the stroller you need. We love it. I was going to buy the Cali Bumbleride but the folks at Baby on the Hip in Toronto let us test drive strollers. Funny thing , the majority of mamas in Toronto use Uppa Baby-it is AMAZING! It’s not cheap but worth every single nickel. It comes with a bassinet, which is very very important so that baby’s hips are ruined by sitting in a car seat. After that, you transition to the regular seat that can be positioned to face you (great at the start) and then flip to face the world. Now that we have two (our second only born 2 months ago) we only had to buy a second seat instead of having to buy a whole new stroller. LOVE IT! SERIOUSLY!!

    A baby swing is an absolute necessity! We have a fisher price jungle theme, which is so not lovely in our living room, but the kids love it! Bright colours are awesome for them developmentally.

    I had a sling, never used it. It was awkward and stressful. Got rid of it. I would never recommend it.

    I have a Beco Gemini baby carrier. Our first baby girl didn’t really like it. Thank goodness it was a gift! Baby boy and I haven’t used it but once. I need to read the directions and figure it out again but I never used it much the first time around. I want to say this might be last on your list. Unless you have to take the bus or something. I see the Toronto mamas that like to use the street cars and public transit using carriers all the time. I don’t.

    Hope it helps!

    All this baby stuff is crazy to figure out! Hope it helps!! Hope you are feeling great too!

  25. Oh-I had to add that both of my babies are the active types. They kick blankets off and never liked to be swaddled (that’s how you tell at the start that they will be active) so perhaps that’s why they didn’t like the sling or carriers.

  26. Yes! Listen to your instinct! I was surprised that many times I did that in the first year to only discover the same advice was written in the dozens of books that I bought! Good to know that mommies do know best! XO!

  27. I’ve been following all your baby posts! Thanks for sharing about the mamaroo! I’m also all about non-clutter and minimalist baby stuff! Hope you are doing well! I can’t wait to see your baby girl!!

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