7 Earth-Friendly Baby Registry Musts
You don’t need to be vegan or an all-organic-all-the-time kind of person to care about the environment...or to care about how your choice of baby clothes, bassinet, and bottles, impacts the Earth and your precious bundle of love. In fact, it’s only natural for parents-to-be to start thinking about this kind of stuff. After all, you’re new to navigating the unfamiliar and oh-so vast world of baby products. (Why are there so many things to register for?) But don’t worry. Going green while expecting doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here, your easy-peasy, bit-by-bit guide to curating your perfect environmentally friendly baby registry.
Two-for-One Baby Items
There’s no doubt that babies require a lot of new things. But with a little forethought, some of those things can be twofers, or heck, threefers! For instance, instead of registering for both an infant and a convertible car seat, create less waste by just getting a convertible (or an all-in-one) car seat, that’ll take your baby from infancy to toddlerhood and beyond. Consider skipping the highchair altogether and registering for an adjustable booster that’s suited for age 6 months and up...and can travel. Instead of an infant carrier, look into one that’s suited for all ages. If you’re planning on having another baby, perhaps it’s smart to register for a single stroller that can convert to a double stroller. Need a nightlight and white noise machine? (Hint: You do!) Consider SNOObie, which is not only a pediatrician-designed white noise/sound machine and nightlight, it’s also an OK-to-wake alarm and a meditation teacher.
Organic Clothes, Sheets, and Swaddles
Baby’s brand-new skin is more delicate and sensitive than yours. In fact, it's actually up to 30% thinner than adults, making little ones more vulnerable to absorbing harmful chemicals that are sprayed on non-organic fabrics. And, of course, these chemicals are doing the environment zero favors! That’s why organic clothing and textiles are often top-of-mind for green parents-to-be. Not to mention that natural organic fibers are also super-breathable, which helps keep your baby cool. (Learn more about why organic cotton is a great choice for babies.)
But when registering for things like sheets and bodysuits, look for ones that are not only labeled organic, but GOTS certified organic cotton, which means that it’s made of at least 95% organic fiber. It also means that the product meets the very highest standards in terms of sustainability, ethics, social responsibility, and non-toxicity. (All of Happiest Baby’s swaddles, bodysuits, and SNOO soft goods, like SNOO Sack and our bassinet sheets are all GOTS-certified.) If you think you might want more children—and to push the green dream a little further—make sure all the organic wears you register for are gender-neutral (and we’ve got just the bodysuits for that, too!)
It’s true: All baby bottles sold in the United States are free of BPA, which is an industrial chemical used to make certain plastics that’s been shown to be hormone-disruptor. (Phew!) But a recent report in the journal Pediatrics notes that even today, microscopic plastic particles can shed into the contents of Baby’s bottle. While scientists don’t know if this impacts a baby’s health, we do know two things for sure: Plastic baby bottles are not the most Earth-friendly choice since, you know, plastic.
And the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests using plastic alternatives, such as glass or stainless steel, whenever possible. The good thing is, there are lots of light-weight options made of hard-to-break tempered glass. And many come with silicone sleeves to further ward of any breakage. But know that just because you like a particular bottle, doesn’t mean your baby will! Instead of registering for a potentially wasteful set of glass bottles, register for a few different single bottles. Once you know what your baby likes, buy more!
Since baby furniture is pricey and only used for a limited time, consider not buying your baby a bassinet, but renting one instead. SNOO can be rented month-by-month and—big news—with Happiest Baby’s new baby registry, SNOO rentals are an easy add to any baby wish list (your loved ones can gift you a week or month of sleep at a time!). Renting SNOO can potentially save folks major moolah, and it’s an environmentally sound way to go. The more baby items, like SNOO, that are refurbished and recycled to tip-top shape, the less that reside in landfills, which is A+ for the Earth.
Each rented SNOO that’s returned goes through a meticulous 5-step reconditioning process and, once certified 100% safe, it’s then sent out to a new family with brand-new organic soft goods. PS: While you might think that buying used is an environmentally smart move, know that for safety reasons, Consumer Reports advises against purchasing second-hand car seats, strollers...and cribs/bassinets.
Safer Skin Care
Since delicate newborn skin is more susceptible to chemicals, it stands to reason that the baby washes, shampoos, wipes, and more that you register for should be chemical-free. The AAP notes that it’s best to choose products that are fragrance-, phthalate-, and paraben-free and only contain a few simple ingredients. While reading labels is, of course, helpful, you may also want to take a gander at the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database, for a comprehensive list of baby items, like shampoo, soaps, and baby wipes, that are considered low-hazard.
Natural Toys and Decor
There are a lot of bright, plastic toys on the market just waiting to capture a new baby’s attention. Plastic, after all, is durable and washable, making it seem like the perfect material to create toys for little ones. But plastic is no friend to the environment for many reasons, including the fact that they stick around for eons. (It’s estimated that 1.3 billion tons of plastic will litter our world by 2040.) In addition, a 2021 report notes that more than 100 chemicals found in plastic toys may pose possible health risks to children. Researchers’ advice: Do your best to reduce your consumption of plastic, avoid soft plastic toys, and keep your kiddo’s room well ventilated. To that end, consider registering for toys and decor that feature all or mostly natural materials, like wooden toys, organic stuffed animals, and natural rubber.
Try to register at retailers that allow gift-givers to offset the carbon emissions created from making and shipping the products you wished for. And—drum roll, please—now you and your baby registry shoppers can choose to make all of your Happiest Baby purchases carbon neutral! With our partner EcoCart, shoppers can trigger an automatic donation to help fund wind, solar, and other independently-verified renewable energy projects...which is a practical and effective way to reduce the effects of climate change. Simply ensure that the EcoCart toggle option at checkout is set to On.
Ready to start your baby registry? Check these reads out first:
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.