Back to Checklists
- Once you announce you are pregnant or adopting a child, you can expect many offers for outgrown clothes, baby furniture, books, and toys. If you are having a baby shower, note the items you still need and ask the person organizing the shower to make those needs known to guests. You can even request used and organic items right on the invitation. Family and friends will generally appreciate knowing your needs and preferences.
- Once you have gotten hand-me-downs from your personal circle, examine the wider world of second-hand baby goods for whatever is left on your list of needs. Craigslist, Freecycle, Ebay, yard sales, and thrift stores will help you out wherever your friends can’t.
One exception: If you can’t find a car seat from someone you personally know and trust, buy it new. Like bike helmets, the safety of a car seat can be compromised after a crash and you should be able to verify its integrity.
- Stock up on cloth diapers. They’re almost always better for the environment, easier to use than parents expect, and cheaper than disposables, even when factoring in a diaper service. A supply of 30 to 36 diapers, a pail with a tight-fitting lid, and six or seven sets of nylon diaper covers will be enough for most babies, though your child’s needs may vary.
- Instead of buying disposable baby wipes, get a set of reusable cloths. They can be soaked in the same pail with the diapers.
- If you’re painting a nursery for your little one, choose VOC-free brands to reduce the chemical exposure to baby’s developing lungs.
- Stock up on gentle, paraben-free soaps, shampoos, and laundry detergents, such as Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap (which can be diluted for all three purposes), Seventh Generation, Ecover, and other natural brands.
- Strongly avoid anything made of PVC (and plastics in general, whenever practical). Many baby products will eventually get chewed on, and PVC products—marked as plastic number 3—have toxic components are not only bad for the environment, but may be unhealthy for your baby.
- If buying new baby furniture, buy only items with natural, non-toxic finishes.
Back to Checklists