Having kids is certainly a blessing, and brings lots of laughter and fun. But parenthood is also full of challenges, with sudden changes, needs, and endless baby items to choose from. How can a new family stay sustainable, when diapers are made of plastics and few things are meant to be reused? Whether you’re looking for a gift for a baby shower, or filling your cupboards in anticipation of your new baby’s arrival, there are plenty of sustainable options available. Our founder, Sarah, started Marley’s Monster’s when she was pregnant with her first child, and originally specialized in baby products, so you are in the right place. We certainly know all about the hunt for good sustainable baby items. So, here are five products every new and expectant parent should invest in.
1. Cloth Wipes
Baby wipes are actually made of plastics, and therefore cannot be recycled and are not biodegradable. Plus, some bad habits like flushing baby wipes leads to clogged pipes and costly plumbing bills. Some baby wipes even contain fragrances or chemicals that can be irritants to sensitive skin. Avoid all of this by making the swap to reusable Cloth Wipes. Each single ply Cloth Wipe can be used as baby wipes with water or another DIY solution, as face wipes, washcloths, or toilet paper. They are great to have around for any application and a perfect gift for the expecting mama. Find Cloth Wipes in a variety of prints and colors, or in natural, organic cotton. Store your dirty reusables like cloth wipes or cloth diapers in a Wet Bag, complete with a waterproof PUL lining to protect against leaks and for easy clean up. When laundry day comes, toss your cloth wipes and your wet bag in your load, and wash normally. Additionally, for easy clean up of spills or messes, try Cloth Wipes in a Jar. They act just like wet wipes, but are plastic free and reusable.
2. Nursing Pads
Nursing can come with some natural, but unexpected leaks. Avoid the surprises and stains by trying reusable Nursing Pads. Our nursing pads are made with 4 layers of protection including flannel, cotton terry cloth and anti-pill fleece. The fleece goes against your clothes to create a barrier between the absorbent cotton and your clothes. These pads are very soft and absorbent without creating excess bulk, and naturally form to the shape of your breast after being washed and dried. Disposable nursing pads contain absorbent chemicals that sit right on your skin for hours, and are not breathable, which can lead to infection or irritation. Investing in reusable nursing pads is good for your wallet, and the environment, and can be saved for your next kiddo.
3. Swaddle Blanket
Swaddling a newborn is a common way to comfort your baby as they get used to life outside the womb. It makes them feel safe and cozy, and keeps them from flailing limbs that could wake them up. We have the perfect light-weight blanket for swaddling, traveling, or nursing. Our Swaddle Blankets are 36 square inches, and are useful long after swaddling. They are machine washable, and dryer safe. Available in some of our favorite prints, your baby is sure to fall in love and fall asleep when wrapped in these cozy blankets.
4. Baby Body Care Products
In keeping with the spirit of avoiding harsh chemicals, we partner with Urban Oreganics to offer gentle and safe personal care products and baby items. The Urban Oreganics Baby Wash Bar is a mildly scented calendula oatmeal 2-in-1 shampoo and wash bar. It contains anti-inflammatory and moisturizing ingredients, no harsh chemicals, and will leave your baby’s skin feeling clean and soft. The oils and butters in this wash fully moisturize, so no need to lotion up afterwards. Plus, it will keep your little one smelling fresh all day long.
We also offer the Urban Oreganics calendula infused Baby Oil, the perfect non-toxic alternative to commercial products. Use it as a full body moisturizer, cradle cap treatment, and also for the growing trend of baby massage. Massage has been shown to stimulate your baby's central nervous system and helps to reduce crying and fussiness, allowing your baby to sleep more peacefully. Massages also cause your baby's heart rate and breathing to slow down, leaving them instantly more relaxed! Not only does massage have physical benefits for your little one, but touch is the most powerful form of communication for babies.
If you or your baby are struggling with skin irritations, Urban Oreganics' Baby Butter is perfect for combating your little one's diaper rash, comforting and protecting sore nipples, and even soothing stretching bellies. Plus it's safe for ingesting (only food grade ingredients were used), so no need to wipe off before nursing. It’s multi-purpose for moms and babies alike, and cloth diaper safe!
5. Bamboo Burp Cloth
Burping a baby is a necessary, but often messy task, making burp cloths a baby essential. Try a sustainable Burp Cloth made of two layers of super soft, absorbent bamboo heavy fleece. The bamboo fleece is natural in color, incredibly gentle on skin, dense and very absorbent. It is made of 70% viscose bamboo and 30% organic cotton fibers. It cleans easily in your standard load of laundry, and is naturally antimicrobial. The cloth measures approximately 16 inches long and 6 inches wide, perfect for any mess your baby might make.
These are just a few examples of ways that expectant parents can practice sustainability with a sweet new baby in the house. Of course, there are always more options, like trying cloth diapering, or making your own baby food. But this takes time and intentionality, especially when caring for a newborn! So, practice and experiment to see what sustainable habits you can implement into your routine, even if it seems small. It’s all about making simple swaps along the way, and continuing to gain awareness. Remember, sustainability doesn’t stop once babies grow older! Visit our blog post here to learn more about the best sustainable products for older kiddos. Congratulations, you are now set to start practicing green parenting!