For many moms and dads, growing their own food or making organic baby clothes for their baby is the ideal way to go. But, it’s a tiny bit hard to pull that off, especially with a newborn to care for.
But you still want to do everything you can to protect your baby from harsh chemicals and care for the environment at the same time, which makes registering for baby gear a bit of a challenge given that many of the products out there are made of plastic and harsh chemicals and those that are not are often, well, as expensive as they are desirable.
The good news though, is that staying green while stocking up on baby supplies isn’t impossible, it does, however, mean navigating labels knowing what solvents, materials and ingredients do what and whether they are safe to us. Choosing the right green products can be challenging and expensive if you go by trial-and-error. The key is to focus on what’s important and not buy into all the fads.
Our curated eco-registry has the earth-friendly baby gear that’ll cover your newborn needs and help you stay aligned with your eco lifestyle.
Reusable Nursing Pads
Because they’re made of natural fibers, cloth nursing pads provide better air circulation and are more soothing for sore nipples. Rather than disposing of these pads after use, you wash, dry and reuse them – most can be washed easily with your baby’s clothes. Not only will you be saving the environment by reusing your pads, but you will save money as well.
These washable nursing pads from Apple Cheeks (found at Toronto-based Snugglebugz) are made of plush rayon from bamboo/cotton blend.
Sustainable Nursery Furniture
Many cribs these days are coated in toxic finishes, not to mention made with some not-so-pleasant chemicals and glues. There are all sorts of VOCs in both the construction of the wood as well as the stains and finishes. Thankfully, there is a large selection of cribs that are sustainable like the Babyletto line that’s available at WestCoast Kids.
Chemical Free Mattress and Pads
Mattresses and pads are typically treated with toxic pesticides and fertilizers that are damaging to the environment and your baby’s health. Opt for an organic one like the Naturepedic mattress instead, which is made of organic cotton fabric and filling, and non-toxic fire protection.
Disposables create significant harm to the environment. Reusable diapers are typically made from all-natural, biodegradable materials, making them easier on both the environment and baby’s sensitive bum. The misconception is that cloth diapers cost more and will be a hassle to wash, but it’s quite the opposite. There are cloth diaper services like Comfy Cotton in Toronto that make the process so easy that you would never have to worry about supplies, laundry or damaging the environment. They launder in large quantities using less water, gas, energy, etc. compared to laundering at home.
Eco-friendly Baby Carrier
By choosing organically grown cotton, you are playing an active role in keeping toxic conventional cotton growing chemicals out of our environment. Choosing organic cotton keeps the insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers out of the rivers, it doesn’t kill off the good insects, and instead of taking all of the good stuff out of the soil, it actually enriches it. Check out Boba Organic Baby Carrier Collection found at Toronto-based Ava’s Appletree.
Yes, even strollers can be eco-friendly! The Bumbleride Indie‘s fabric is made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles—each single stroller recycles 28 bottles. Bumbleride also works with eco-conscious factories to minimize water use and pollution. And you don’t have to compromise on features as the lightweight all-terrain stroller comes with all-wheel suspension, all air-tires, and an SPF 45+ retractable canopy, and is very comfortable even for infants, as the backrest reclines to a flat position and the fabric can enclose the footrest area.
Organic Bedding Set
Eco-friendly doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish! The selection of organic and eco-bedding for babies used to be limited, but luckily even big box stores now offer beautiful organic bedding set design like this one from Pottery Barn.
Soft organic cotton is a dream for baby’s sensitive skin—the natural fibers are highly breathable, which helps keep baby cool, and they’re produced without the use of chemicals, meaning you don’t have to worry about impacting the environment, and any unpleasant smells and uncomfortable skin reactions. With all the super cute options out there like the Endanzoo line at BabyJoy that’s designed and printed in Canada, finding baby clothes that match your style will not be a challenge. Plus, 10% of their net profits are donated to various organizations that support the cause for endangered animals!
Natural Skin Care
Newborn skin is much thinner than ours, so it absorbs more chemicals—which is why it’s so important to choose baby-safe products that are free of parabens, dyes and other irritating and toxic ingredients. You’ll find listings of low hazard items (as well as high hazard) on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database. Toronto-based Baby on the Hip has a big selection of natural and organic skincare products for baby.
Conventional wipes contain a variety of ingredients that we already try to avoid including parabens, phthalates (fragrance), PEG’s, propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol and a variety of other chemicals you might not want to be rubbing all over your precious newborn. And the chlorine process of creating them is pretty hard on the environment and our landfills. Try a more natural version like Aleva Bamboo wipes found at Diaper-eez in Toronto.
For babies 6 months and up, choose a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30. Look for mineral-based sunscreens with formulas containing natural, plant-based ingredients that can be gentle and nourishing for baby’s delicate skin than a product containing chemical filters like avobenzone and oxybenzone.
Well.ca has a great section on their website that features the top-rated sunscreens for kids based on the EWG’s ratings. Our personal favourites are ThinkBaby and Badger sunscreens.
Organic Hooded Towel
Organic towels are affordable, accessible, and reduce your baby’s exposure to pesticides and preservatives used in manufacturing. Since bath towels and washcloths are used so often and directly touch your baby’s skin, it’s best to choose organic. Gently wrap your baby after a bath with an organic terry cotton hooded towel like this one from Baby Joy. They’re soft, thick and highly absorbent. Look for the GOTS certification to make sure the clothing is organic and non-toxic from field to finish.
Green Diaper Bag
Lassig Green Label Urban Style Diaper Bag is made from recycled PET bottles and is, therefore, a sustainable companion – even after you’re done with diapers. Being made of recycled pet in addition to PU and polyester, natural resources are consciously spared.
Glass Baby Bottles
Glass is the healthiest choice for your family as there is no chance of any chemicals leaking into liquids. The entire LifeFactory glass bottle line, including all components, available at ByNature.ca in Barrie is completely free of known toxins including BPA, phthalates, polycarbonates, and PVC. The bottles come with colourful, protective medical-grade silicone sleeves for a tactile non-slip gripping surface and to help prevent breakage.
Are there any eco-friendly baby product that you love? Share with us!