In general, I’m pretty pleased with how green we’ve kept things for baby. Choosing cloth diapers rather than disposables. Reusing so many things, both from things we still had from previous babies to handmedowns from family members, many of which have gone through more than one child already.
It’s quite the adventure doing all this so deliberately. So nice that I finally won some of the debates on green parenting issues with my husband.
But there are still some areas I haven’t gone over in relation to baby.
Baths are a big part of dealing with a newborn. We’re very fortunate in that our kitchen sink is a single basin, rather than two. Perfect for baths, and no need for an infant tub, just Mommy’s hands and full attention.
The right kind of soap matters too. I hadn’t even heard of BPA or phthalates with my older kids. Now they’re things I’d like to avoid where possible. Lucky me, California doesn’t allow phthalates in excess of 0.1% in products for children as of January 1, 2009. For the rest of the country, there’s a post on The Daily Green from last year that gets into how to spot phthalates in ingredient lists. The Skin Deep site has a Parent’s Buying Guide to help you find safer products.
California Baby Shampoo does well on their list, with a hazard score of 1/10. Dr. Bronner’s also has a lot of products listed with good scores. Lots of 0 and 1 out of 10 scores. I don’t know about you, but I like dealing with companies that are doing the right things because that’s just how they do business. They’re good to encourage.
For cleaning around the house or in the nursery when it’s set up, just my usual cleaning supplies, most of which are made from things like baking soda and vinegar. There really isn’t a need to get fancy. However, I would note that for washing cloth diapers I’ve seen people recommend Country Save HE Laundry Detergent. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet. I don’t have a HE washer, however. Might make a difference in how I use this product. I’m still figuring that out.
And of course, who can forget bottles?
Well, me, for much of the time. Except for the occasional outing with my husband once baby is old enough and I have enough of a backup supply pumped and ready for whichever grandparent.
We got rid of our old ones already, I think. I know the old nipples are gone, as those really don’t last through years of storage. I’m looking at BPA free baby bottles because I have too many relatives who will struggle enough with the whole cloth diaper idea. Buying glass baby bottles might be pushing things a bit far for them. It’s a bit of a balance sometimes.
That said, I’m just about in love with the Klean Kanteen baby bottle. Just so perfect for so many years! Pricey, of course, but when you consider that it won’t be outgrown it’s not so bad a deal. It’s the same size bottle as my daughter uses at school. That’s just much too cool.
If I had to buy a new crib, I’d probably be shopping IKEA first. Not only do I love their furniture, but they work hard at having safe and healthy products. I’ve gotten good deals there too. But I don’t need anything just now, soooo…
Give me a few months. We’ll be needing bunk beds and a new dresser. But I’m thinking thrift store for those. Hopefully no CPSIA problems by that point, as we don’t have the space to store these until needed.
Am I forgetting anything? How else would you green your nursery and baby’s first few years?