When I gave birth to my son 6 months ago my life changed in the most amazing way and now I can't imagine life without him. If you're a parent, you know exactly what I mean. Our kids ARE. OUR. WORLD.
As part of our world, they need things (and if you're like me and millions of other parents, you want to buy them things because you love them and want the best for them). Now, since I call myself a minimalist, I tried to be as selective as possible about what I added to my registry (quality over quantity!). It was important that I felt equipped to take care of my little guy but at the same time walk that fine line of making sure I didn't have too much or too little. Naturally, I didn't want to forget the essentials.
I was methodical about what I thought we'd actually use. I read, researched and studied. What did I find out? Just about the same stuff that everyone else was telling me and I felt like in the sea of items "that are necessary" I was coming out even more overwhelmed. You've seen the lists: minimal must-haves or the top things you need for a minimal nursery. The problem with these lists is that while they've curated beautiful, high quality baby items, they left me feeling like I needed to add a lot to my registry.
Fortunately, I'm happy to note that after all was said and done, I felt like I had crafted a very manageable registry and 6 months later I can say I've used everything except just one item (and I found a purpose for it just last month).
So, how did I do it and what's the trick you ask? I'll tell you. It's about defining and using your best judgment to predict how much you or your child will use something. Sure, you may want to also consider things like the quality of the item and aesthetics of it but at the foundation, I suggest you try to guesstimate how much use it will get. This can be applied to apparel, toys, baby dishes, strollers and equipment, etc. To get a comparable estimate, consider how much use it will get per week.
I'll use my son's clothes as an example. If I want to buy him something because I think it's too adorable to pass up, then I'll factor in how many times he's going to wear it before I purchase. This applies to items of all price-points - be it expensive or cheap. If your child is going to wear it every week -- maybe even multiple times, then you know the item is worth it.
On the flip side, I've eyed a few "items for convenience" during the occasional trip to Buy Buy Baby and I swear like 95% of the time those things aren't necessities. So save yourself time and money by estimating your child's usage of stuff you're considering buying and I really believe you'll be better off for it in the long run.