Your Guide to Green Baby Products
September 27, 2018 • 7 min read
This post has been written by our guest contributor: Christabel Homewood
Since learning of the harmful effects of certain ingredients commonly found in cosmetic and household products back in a high school chemistry class I’ve been conscious of what goes in and on my body. During pregnancy I was particularly aware of this and it was important to me that we use green baby products for our daughter after birth as well. Here are some of my favourites:
You might also like: Sustainable Maternity Wear: Pre and Post Baby
Green Skincare Products for Baby
“Biodegradable in 21 days, vegan, organic, no bleach or chlorine”
“The cream is scented”
“Recyclable packaging, works in cold water, unscented, breaks down milk/formula proteins easily”
“Easily recyclable or reusable packaging”
I attended a Waldorf school from the age of 18 months to 18 years and as children most of the toys we played with were made of natural materials such as wood, wool, cotton, beeswax, stone, glass, metal, etc. with an emphasis on different textures (not just plastic). At the time these sorts of toys weren’t very popular outside of the Waldorf environment but nowadays with the growing concern for sustainability (and a return to slow living, making more things in the home, supporting artisanal craftsmanship, and the success of platforms like Etsy) they are more common and readily available. Here are some of my favourite green baby products and brands:
Green Baby Toys and Food
“Made from recycled milk bottles and has minimal/mindful packaging.”
“Made from recycled milk bottles and has minimal/mindful packaging.”
“Organic, simple ingredients, no artificial flavours or added sugars.”
“Soft, natural nipples that are easy to latch onto and easy to clean bottles. Phillips also makes accessories so you can add handles and a sippy-cup spout so your bottle can grow with your baby.”
“No-slip, all-in-one mat, easy to wash”
“Far more absorbent than other big brands, no bleach, latex, parabens or perfumes, plant-based fibres, responsibly sourced cotton grown in the USA, sustainable sourced chlorine-free fluff pulp, reduced environmental footprint, produced with 100% renewable energy, no production waste ends up in landfills, 99.35% of all materials entering the manufacturing plant are reused, recycled, or recovered in the last year.”
“We’ve tried so many soothers and my daughter truly prefers the natural rubber and shape of these.”
“The best teether we’ve tried by far. Easy to grasp and the spikes allow for an easy bite”
“Adorable bath toys.”
“Durable plastic toys that are recyclable and made from recycled milk bottles.”
“Play based learning, buy less and get WAY more, sustainably harvested wood, organic cotton, baby-safe plastics, recycled paper, and soy inks.”
“Eco fabric, naturally antibacterial, quick drying, machine washable!”
“Natural fibres and no batteries required.”
“For every doll sold, Cuddle + Kind gives 10 meals to children in need.”
“Customizable dolls with skin, hair and outfit options.”
I find that many ethical and/or sustainable baby clothing brands produce quite impractical designs (tricky to put on, delicate, require hand washing or dry cleaning, etc). When it comes to baby clothes my main concerns are fuss-free design (simple to get on and off), durability, and machine washable. Here are a few I love:
Sustainable Clothing Brands for Baby
“So soft, easy to care for, and just the right size for swaddling a newborn and later on as a snuggly stroller blanket.”
“absolutely stunning swaddle blankets and bibs available on Etsy – real keepsake/family heirloom quality.”
“So easy to dress newborns in these well-crafted and cozy pieces that wrap around baby rather than going on over the head.”
“Socks fall off little feet so these footed leggings keep baby toes toasty.”
“Huge selection of top rated sleepwear, ethical sourcing practices, works closely with the safe sleep charity the Lullaby Trust.”
Our little one is 6 months old now and has been interested in picture books since she was about a month old. Here are some of our favourite books (we haven’t gotten to the second half of the list yet):
Books for Baby
- Mrs. Peanuckle’s Alphabet Books by Mrs. Peanuckle
- My Soft-and-Cuddly Animals by Xavier Deneux
- Usborne Baby’s Very First Black And White Library
- Maud Lewis 1,2,3 by Shanda LaRamee-Jones
- Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers
- Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram
- I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love by Nancy Tillman
- World Of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
- The Complete Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem
- The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
- Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
- Winnie the Pooh Complete Collection by A.A. Milne
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
- The BFG by Roald Dahl
- The Boy in the Dress by David Williams
- Usborne Illustrated Stories From Around The World
- Usborne Illustrated Stories From Shakespeare
- Usborne Illustrated Stories From Dickens
- Usborne Illustrated Stories From The Greek Myths
- Atlas of Adventures by Lucy Letherland and Rachel Williams
Some of my favourite stores and online resources
Tips from one new mom to another
During the first few weeks I preferred sleepers with zippers as opposed to poppers as they’re so much easier to undo for quick diaper changes during the night. I found myself fumbling to do up poppers properly without much light. Once our daughter no longer required diaper changes at night I switched to sleepers with poppers because you don’t have to undress/expose their upper half to cold air while changing diapers in the evening before bed or first thing in the morning. I feel like they keep our daughter warmer.
Wraparound newborn clothing is so much easier than pullover pieces in those first few weeks.
Ensure you don’t lose favourite toys (teether, rattle, cuddly toy, etc.) when out and about by looping a pacifier clip through or around a part of it and clip the toy to your baby’s clothes or seatbelt.
Taking a shower with your newborn can be so much easier than trying to bathe them until they have proper head and neck control. It’s lovely skin-on-skin bonding time as well. My husband would hold our daughter while I lathered her up and then I’d rinse her off and pass her back out to him. She loved the snuggle time and the water massaging her back.
Music can work like magic to get your little one to sleep (but of course there are always those times when absolutely nothing works). My parents used to play me A Child’s Gift of Lullabies and The Rock-a-Bye Collection by Tanya Goodman and now I’m listening to them with my baby. Babies love her soothing voice but the lyrics are guaranteed to make mamas and papas tear up. These are really special and inspired songs.
Gently sweeping a clean tissue or square of silky fabric in a downward motion over your baby’s eyes can encourage them to close those peepers. It doesn’t always work but sometimes it’s just the thing our daughter needs to drift off peacefully (often in a matter of seconds).
Muslin squares/burp clothes are an absolute essential at home and in the diaper bag. Marks & Spencer makes wonderful ones. I opted for the colourful ones (as opposed to white) as stains are less visible. However, you could buy the white ones and dye them on your own. rebeccadesnos.com is an awesome resource for natural dyes.
Don’t soak or wash stained clothing in hot water. Hot water sets the stains. Soak stained items in cold water with a bit of Seventh Generation Free and Clear Laundry Detergent (which contains the necessary detergents to break down milk, formula, and spit proteins) and Nellie’s Oxygen Brightener. Works like a charm.
If you like to have gendered coloured items for you baby and plan to have more than one kid it can make saving things for hand-me-downs a bit tricky. You can opt to buy certain things in gender neutral colours though to save having to purchase the same items in different colours again next time around. Fewer repeat purchases can mean less waste. I tried to be mindful of this when selecting things like burp cloths, bibs, dishes and utensils, bottles, a stroller (fabric colours), some clothes, and most toys.
Helpful resources for parents
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About the Author
Christabel Homewood is a new mom living in Toronto. She’s eager to have open and honest conversations with parents about the realities of pregnancy and postpartum life.
She is also interested in personal and intuitive development. She is passionate about helping people embrace sensitivity, cultivate their ability to be self-aware and self-reflective, foster consciousness, and gain confidence in their abilities by guiding them as they explore their inner world. Heart intelligence is our superpower and this work empowers us to recognize our purpose, see the possibilities/choices available to us, and act/respond from a more grounded place.
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