Deliberately Minimal: Baby Registry Edition with Poppylist founder, Sarah Hollingsworth

For many of us, one of the most daunting aspects of preparing for baby is knowing what items you need--and what you don’t. The idea of a baby registry is exciting because it means that others who want to shower you with love will gift you many of these essentials, but the question remains: what should you include and what is a waste of money and space?

It won’t surprise you that our approach to Baby Registry falls right in line with our philosophy on all other things parenting, deliberately minimal. 

Deliberately Minimal: Baby Registry Edition

There are so SO many amazing products out there to consider, and SO many people who want to tell you what you need and what you should buy. But just like everything else in life, what works for one family isn’t necessarily what will work for yours. 

What considerations should you keep in mind when registering for baby items?

  1. The size of baby’s room (or space in your room that they will be sharing)
  2. The amount of storage space you have (from room to store future items like a high chair to where you’ll keep your stroller when you’re not out and about)
  3. Space you’re willing to dedicate to baby items (think baby swing footprint and Manhattan apartment)
  4. Where you live (Walking city? Driving town?)
  5. Your lifestyle (Are you a runner? Trail walker?)
  6. Your primary mode of transportation
  7. Your plans/hopes for feeding (Formula and bottles? Breastfeeding?)

With so many considerations, and a million places to turn for recommendations, this process can go from exciting to overwhelming very quickly. Thankfully there are tools and resources to help you focus on just what you need, to make life easier, and help you to minimize your stress and your stuff.

Our Deliberately Minimal hearts rejoiced when we discovered Poppylist, a baby registry curator and search engine that helps you navigate this process and simplify it right from the start. *Note: This is NOT an ad or paid placement for Poppylist, we are truly just obsessed.*

Poppylist

Poppylist is a revolutionary baby product recommendation engine that is powered by a quick (and fun!) quiz based on your lifestyle. The idea is that moms and dads-to-be can answer a series of questions and create an account to generate and keep organized a curated list of registry recommendations. Their goal is to become the most simple place in the world to prepare and register for your baby. 

Poppylist quiz

We sat down with their founder and self-proclaimed deliberate minimalist Sarah Hollingsworth to learn about the inception/ethos of Poppylist and all that Sarah has learned along the way, including her top registry picks. 

Tell us about you! 

Hi Everyone! My name is Sarah Hollingsworth and I’m the Founder & CEO of Poppylist. I live in Austin, Texas, with my husband, Scott, and my two-year-old daughter, Amelia. When I’m not mapping out Poppylist strategy with my co-founder, creating content, talking with customers or building relationships with brands, I’m usually enjoying a cup of coffee, catching up on a podcast or on a long neighborhood walk with my family. I’m so happy to meet you! 

How did you come to launch Poppylist? 

When I was pregnant with my daughter three years ago, I had a time-consuming and overwhelming experience researching baby products. I accidentally bought a mini-crib (who knew such a thing existed), and that was the first of many costly purchasing mistakes I made, even after having spent well over 25 hours on research. I considered myself a minimalist and didn't understand why a simpler, more modern way to build my baby registry didn't exist. I knew I didn’t want my home to ‘scream baby,’ but every site was telling me I need hundreds of products. 

After returning to work from maternity leave, I had severe postpartum depression that eventually led to suicidal ideation. I had to commute and travel for work and was expected to produce at the same level as before my daughter arrived. I loved my job, but at what expense? After seven long, painful months back at work and away from my daughter, I quit. It felt like a life or death situation. I'd planned to take a few months off for self-care, but I found myself enrolled in classes at the Entrepreneur Center of Austin two weeks later, and the rest is history. I knew someone would build my vision, and I wanted that someone to be me. 

How is it different from other registry sites?

We’re different for a few reasons: (1) Every single product that we recommend has been sourced directly from a parent. People want less advertising and less influencer marketing. We’re doing just that, and establishing immense trust along the way. (2) We’re the only registry site that recommends the essentials. We are not pushing products. On average, we recommend ~51 items. We know non-essential purchases are down, and we have a unique opportunity to help expecting parents make informed purchasing decisions for their families. And (3) Our co-founder is a father. With his perspective and experience, we are positioned to serve all parents, not just mothers. This is a major gap in the parent space, and we’re excited to lead and fill this effort for dads everywhere!

Do you consider yourself a minimalist? 

Yes. I consider myself a minimalist of not only tangible things, but also tasks and time. It’s important to me that each day feels attainable. If it’s too much or too overwhelming, I will take things off my plate. Not paying attention to these daily ‘tasks,’ is how I ended up in deep PPD, and now it’s an area of my life that I protect with everything that I have. If I know my husband can’t stop working at 4 pm to help me with dinner, then I’ll simply pick something up that’s pre-made. If I have meetings that aren’t helping us move the needle with Poppylist, I cancel them. If I have a ton of errands to run, I schedule them for the same day. I don’t always excel at this, but I’m proud that I’m able to prioritize my time, which improves my mental health and overall well-being, my family, and Poppylist.  

How should a minimalist think about building their baby registry? 

This is a great question, and I think there’s a few ways to think about this. First, minimalists don’t like waste. So how can you register for something that’ll also have practical use beyond just the short infant/baby stage? For example, the 4 oz mason jars that you may use to store breast milk. Those can also be used for snacks, vases, salad dressings, seed starter for herbs, etc. The glass can also be recycled. Nipple pads. Those make for great makeup removers after you’re done nursing/pumping. And the Kibou bag is another perfect example. The changing pad is removable, and the fanny pack grows with you for years. And the best part is, it won’t go out of style. 

Poppylist Sarah Hollingsworth

Secondly, consider each item and ask yourself the following. (1) Do I need this now, or in a year? (2) Can I borrow this instead? (3) Where will I store it if I’m not using it? (4) Can I buy this second-hand? And (5) Like we just described, How can I reuse this time when my baby no longer needs it? 

What are your Top 5 favorite minimalist baby registry products?

  1. Mushie stacking cups
  2. Black Kibou fanny pack diaper bag
  3. Gathre midi play mat
  4. 4 oz. mason jars for breast milk freezer storage
  5. Gerber 10 pack organic cloth diapers. We used these for burp cloths, washcloths, and now we use them for cleaning around our home.

Top 5 minimalist baby registry picks

Want more tips on how to deliberately minimize your baby registry? 

Click below to read more:

Day 1 Essentials: What you absolutely need for Day 1 with baby According to Poppylist Founder, Sarah Hollingsworth

Kibou picks: Registry items that make your life easier from Nell & Steph

Photo courtesy of @sidneyhollingsworthphoto

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