Parenting is incredible and such a beautiful journey. And yes, you can do it sustainably without a bunch of hassle. From nappies to wipes, lotions and potions, to clothes that bub seems to grow out of as quickly as you can bring them home, there can be waste and chemicals abound. You need to know your stuff!
Fear not, this article is here to help. By opting for sustainable and reusable options rather than purchasing single-use, disposable, or mass-produced items for your little one you can drastically shrink the amount of waste produced and reduce the number of toxics your baby is exposed to. Whether you’ve tried these options before, or are new to the world of sustainable parenting, here are some of our favourite items to add to your toolkit, guilt-free.
GOTS-certified organic cotton Wipes
Why They Are Better?
Wet Wipes are one of the most commonly used disposables in raising a little one. They are traditionally made from a plastic mesh and can come with a suite of chemicals to boot! They are disposed of in landfills where they lay to rest forever, and sometimes even flushed - even though they aren't flushable (a massive cause of sewage blockages!). They have serious eco cred, are multi-use, organic, are a one-time purchase, and chemical free/low-tox.
Tips On How To Use Them:
With a reusable version, you just wet the wipe with water or a natural Wet Wipe Spray and use as normal. They are perfect for newborn bottoms right through to toddlers' faces and hands. You wash them on a hot machine cycle and can even compost them at the end of their life cycle! The dispenser bag is a super handy addition, keeping your wipes organised and ready if you leave the house.
Unbleached and undyed, these machine-washable organic baby Changing Mats are the most natural option that we could design!
Why They Are Better?
Say see-ya to those blue disposable changing mats and plastic against your baby's skin. They give you a beautiful, soft surface for changing, whether at home or on the go. Super soft and made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, they also have a handy stash pocket in the corner.
Tips On How To Use Them:
Use as you would a disposable changing mat. Consider getting two packs so that you have 4 mats total in case you need to wash them. Doubles as a playmat that is gentle on sensitive skin. Perfect for you or as a unique, useful baby shower gift.
Have you heard of Elimination Communication (EC) before? It is an option for families to potty babies (0-18 months) by responding to their signals, natural rhythms, and parent/caregiver intuition. Their pees and poops are 'captured' in a potty, toilet, or out in nature, as opposed to relying solely on nappies - it’s what we used to do generations ago before nappies came onto the scene.
Why Is It Better?
With EC, nappies are used as a backup as there will be 'misses' but this option allows you to cut down on cost, waste, and exposure to chemicals from disposables. Curious to learn more about this process? We have a series of blog posts all about it here.
Tips On How To EC:
Like everything else, practising EC is easier to do when you have the right tools. One of our go-tos is the Top Hat Potty, easy to use this potty is perfect for bubs 0-12 months and won't take up too much space. Here’s how it works:
- Place the Grip Band around the neck of the Top Hat Potty, where your legs will go.
- Place the cotton cover on the top of the Potty.
- Sit down and place the potty between your legs.
- Place your baby on top of the potty. You may need to gently hold down the genital area if you have a boy.
- Follow the EC process When your baby has finished, you can use a Reusable Wet Wipe to clean their bottom.
- Empty the Top Hat Potty in the toilet by removing half of the cotton cover and pouring the waste. Clean with hot water and soap as you would a regular potty.
The Top Hat Potty is excellent to keep handy in the living area during the day or by the bed. It is perfect for taking out of the house or when you need to potty in the car and on the go. For more detailed instructions visit our blog, here.
Hand-in-hand with the Top Hat Potty and other EC tools, we offer a complete handbook to get started with Elimination Communication. Learn the signals to watch out for, holds to use, and learn from other parents in Aotearoa practising EC with their little ones. This guidebook is the perfect starting point for any parent curious about EC and makes a great gift!
Sustainable parenting involves a little bit of thinking outside the box and learning new ways to look at everyday items - but it’s achievable, even if you are just working on a few things at a time. These options prioritise your baby's wellbeing and reduce the chemicals that they are exposed to.
We hope you learned something from this starter blog. We have a lot of resources on the Baby Section so have a read-through and let us know what you like best!
Other great baby products: