Bringing a baby into the world is undoubtedly a task that is equal parts delightful and demanding. Babies require a considerable amount of “stuff”, which can be overwhelming for parents keen on maintaining a minimal and sustainable lifestyle. However, throwing your eco-friendly values aside the moment you discover you are expecting is unnecessary. In this day and age, there are Green alternatives to almost every baby product you could possibly need.
So, with this in mind, here are the Top 10 must-have items for the environmentally conscious parent.
The first product that comes to mind when we think about baby essentials, is nappies. It is estimated that in the UK, around 3 billion disposable nappies go into landfill every year. That accounts for roughly 2% to 3% of all household waste. So no wonder more and more parents are opting for cloth nappies - a much more cost-effective and environmentally friendly option. These sustainable alternatives come in a wide range, typically consisting of an absorbent, washable inner layer (or disposable liner) and a protective, waterproof outer layer - often available in an assortment of colourful designs to suit your baby’s personality.
In tandem with nappies come wipes. On average, families will get through over 8,000 disposable wipes in their baby’s first year - wipes that take 100 years to decompose. Fortunately, biodegradable baby wipes are widely available, so it is easy to make the switch. These invariably PH-balanced, hypoallergenic and dermatologically-tested wipes will also be kind to your baby’s delicate skin.
Your baby’s feather-soft skin is around five times thinner than yours, so it requires extra care and attention to keep it supple and healthy. There are countless natural and non-toxic baby skincare products on the market, including nappy creams, moisturising lotions, shampoos, multipurpose balms and more; many are cruelty-free, vegan and ethically sourced. Your baby’s skin is unique, and taking the time to choose the right product for them is essential.
Glass Baby Bottles
There are many reasons for parents choosing glass bottles over plastic for their babies. The glass used to make these bottles is tempered, hard-wearing and withstanding of extreme temperatures, much like a Pyrex dish. Easy to clean and devoid of potentially harmful chemicals (such as BPA, formerly found in plastic baby bottles), glass baby bottles are a safe and worthwhile option.
Bamboo Weaning Sets
Weaning your baby is messy business! Bamboo is a great, biodegradable material for children’s crockery and cutlery and a fantastic food-safe alternative to single-use plastic, which is severely damaging to the planet. Bamboo baby spoons typically have a soft silicone head - great for sore, teething gums. Bamboo baby bowls often come complete with a food-grade silicone suction cup, so no matter how determined your baby is to tip their food everywhere, their bowl will stay put.
Natural Rubber Dummies
The use of a dummy is a choice that is very personal to each parent. Suppose you decide that one would be beneficial to your baby. In that case, the good news is that there is a non-toxic, chemical-free and environmentally sound alternative to the widely used plastic pacifier. Natural rubber dummies are made from moulded rubber tree sap and are durable and easy to clean.
Toys With Longevity
If the idea of having a home bursting with mountains of garish plastic toys fills you with dread, then you may want to consider the many small businesses offering beautiful, hand-crafted toys that are made from sustainable materials such as wood and encourage creativity and open-ended play. Many of these toys have multiple uses and therefore, appeal to a wide age range.
Organic Cotton Cothing
Organic cotton is sustainably grown, ethically sourced, durable, breathable and kind to your baby’s skin. In the world of organic baby products, this material is a hot topic. By wearing clothes made of organic cotton, your baby is less likely to develop skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.
Natural Fibre Blankets
Although it is never guaranteed that your baby will sleep through the night, a soft and cosy blanket made from organic cotton or bamboo fibre will surely help them drift off. Lightweight and breathable, these materials help to regulate your baby’s temperature while they sleep whilst also having a low impact on the environment.
A sturdy, enduring pram is a necessity. Fortunately, many companies offer sustainable strollers made from recycled materials - some of which are convertible, therefore, built to last from infancy to toddlerhood.
Organic Cotton Baby Clothes - Populr
Ethical Kids Clothing - Taiga
Reusable Swimming Nappy - Hope
Reusable Swim Nappies - News.blog