Thursday, February 3, 2011

Go Green - Baby

I started my Go Green series while I was still pregnant so there were things I didn't think of until after The Good Daughter was here to be more green.

I will say, right off the bat, that the hardest thing for me and everyone in my family, is to resist the urge to buy everything and anything for the new baby and only buy new stuff every time.

~Don't buy everything Babies R Us says you have to have
What I did need:

Infant Car Seat OR Convertible car seat

Booster car seat

Travel System OR Full-size stroller OR Lightweight stroller


Burping cloths

Breast pads, shields & cream

Breast milk storage


Bottle brush

Training cups

High chair

Gentle shampoo & body wash & baby lotion

Stand alone potty seat

Nail Clippers

Grooming kit


Brushes & comb

First aid kit

Digital thermometer


Pain relief products

Ear thermometer

Gas relief drops


Diaper pail

Diaper ointment

Baby wipes

Cradle, bassinet, portable crib OR crib

Cradle, bassinet, portable crib OR crib sheets


Crib mattress pads

Crib bedding


Clothing hangers


Outlet covers

Safety gates

Smoke & carbon monoxide alarm

What I did NOT need:

The other 80% of BRU registry checklist. Seriously. I didn't buy a changing table so I didn't need a changing pad or covers. I didn't buy a monitor since TGD slept in our room and still sleeps with us. I didn't buy any carseat toys or highchair toys or a gym or bouncer or walker. While I did have a swing, TGD was never in it. She also only used her pack and play once. She got far more clothes than she needed and since she was a summer baby, spent most of her days in just a diaper anyway. I didn't get a bottle or wipe warmer. So just rethink the impulse to buy buy buy.

~Shop consignment and yard sales
I love going to the store and buying new clothes for her but I have to remember that it shouldn't be my first option. I told you here, I was able to get a ton of clothes for cheap for TGD by shopping yard sales. But I have also had some success with places like GoodWill and consignment stores. Luckily there are two great consignment stores for children in my area so, I will check those places out first when TGD needs new clothes, which is still about every 3 months.

~Buy wooden and earth friendly toys
Another major snag is finding toys that are not plastic. I had requested no presents for TGD's birthday but she still got toys from everyone. I plan on donating the ones that require batteries once she (and the next babies) outgrow them so they won't end up in a landfill but eventually they will and that does make me upset. I love Plan Toys. TGD has the activity blocks, the shape and sort it out, the xylophone, the stacking ring  and animal memory. There is not a day when she doesn't play with one of them.

We also have some stacking cups from Green Sprouts, which also offers clothes and feeding products for your baby but we haven't tried any of those. We also bought 100% organic plush fruit and veggies (grapes, green bean - TGD's fav-, banana, strawberry) from Under the Nile. We also bought two rattles - happy caterpillar, cherry tree rattle - from Sassy Earth Brights. And finally we bought two teething toys from Vulli, makers of the famous Sophie the Giraffe. We bought the Chan Pie Gnon Soft Chew Toy, which was nicknamed Obi Won and a teething ring that has been since discontinued. To complete our hippy list of toys, TGD also got vintage letter blocks, which I totally saw on Mad Men this season (baby Gene was playing with them).

~Cloth diaper
 I talked about that here, here and here.

~Use chemical free body product

sI love the California Baby line of products. Their diaper rash cream is cloth diaper friendly and I have used about everything in their baby line and love them. I can find them at my local Target and Babies R Us.

~Use an organic mattress pad, sleep contour and/or sheets
We have this organic mattress from Serta along with this mattress cover and sheets. It was important for us the place TGD spent most of her time in the beginning was free of chemicals and pesticides. Even though we have a full crib for her, she slept in an Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper until 7 months (I found some organic sheets and a mattress at my local Target). After that, we put her to bed and naps in her crib and bring her to bed with us when we go to bed. Yes, she sleeps in the bed with us now. I told you we are crazy hippies, who also sleep on an organic mattress and sheets.

~Use organic swaddling blanks and regular blankets

We swaddled TGB for almost 7 months as well, since she loved it. We also swaddled her all day for about 3 months. Again, I picked up some organic cotton swaddling blankets from Target. There are also sleep sacks that are organic but we never used those.

~Buy books from a used book store or library

Twice a year our library has a used book sale and I have gotten a ton of books there. No they are not in mint condition, but they were only 50 cents each and TGD doesn't care about a bent page.

~Use gender neutral clothes, accessories and bedding

This harder for clothes since once everyone knew we were having a girl we were flooded with pink shit. Now if the next babies are boys, we will have to buy mostly new clothes. We did go gender neutral for the nursery and the car seat, high chair and travel system so they can easily be used again.

~Feed your baby organic food

I talked about making homemade food here. If you don't or can't make your baby food at home Earth's Best, Ella's Kitchen, Plum Organics, Happy Baby and Yo Baby are all great products. I used the Earth's Best glass jar baby food for meals containing meat. TGD also loved all the puffs and yogurt bites. I also love the pouches of organic food since they are super easy to take with us when we are out and since TGD can squeeze them herself, she can feed herself mess free. She still loves them now at 19 months and it is a good way to get her to eat a wide range of foods. With the exception of the Yo Baby, I found all the organic food at my local Babies R Us.

~Use wooden or BPA free feeding tools

We use the Tommy Tippie line of products and like them.

~Use glass bottles

We used Born Free glass bottles for 15 months and only broke 3. The only down side is they are heavy.


Since this is the most controversial one, I saved it for last. You might not want to breastfeed or find that you can't and I sympathize. The first night in the hospital when I sent TGD to the nursery so I could sleep, only to be woken up every 3 hours to nurse her, I thought then it would be so much easier to formula feed her. But I stuck with it, even with latch issues and breastfed exclusively for four months. Then I switched to pumping and feeding her expressed breastmilk until she was 11 months old. I pumped every two hours for 8 months to maintain my supply until it crashed at 11 months out. So I understand how much of a pain it can be. However, it was cheap. I got a free used pump from my cousin (I know you aren't supposed to do it, but there is no way I got the milk into the pump, which is the main concern of sharing, so I didn't think she did either. I did buy new tubing, bottles and shields). Other than buying fenugreek to keep my supply up, a nursing bra and milk storage bags were the only other investment I made.

~Use reusable nursing pads

What are your favorite green baby items or tips?
Please note that no company I linked above paid me for this post. It would have been sweet if they did, but I bought all this stuff on my own.


Raegan said...

I love these guitar rattles made by fabric remnants

Jen said...

I found that the BRU list was way off with the recommended number of thing. Like the number of sheets and towels required.

I buy almost all of B's clothes at a consignment shop.

In Canada the hospital won't let you leave unless you have an infant carseat. We used ours for 6 months before he outgrew it and we bought a convertible seat. Thankfully it will be good for many many years. But what I hate is no one buys used infant seats (for safety reasons). So WTH do you do with them? I have seen recycling problems in the US but nothing up here!

The Good Wife said...

They won't let you leave the hospital here either Jen, until they look at your seat and make sure it is safe.

I don't know if it was just the brand of the convertible car seat we bought, but it came with an expiration date. 2016, I believe.

I wonder if the manufacturer would have any suggestions?