Ah, babies. They’re such a joy to have around, but there’s no doubt that for someone so little, a ton of resources are required to ensure that they are happy and well. Pregnancy and parenthood present some huge changes into your lives, but care for the environment can still remain a constant!
With the onslaught of information online regarding what you need to purchase for your baby, there is definitely a challenge in discerning how to incorporate a zero waste lifestyle within it. Well, we’re here to help you get started with some fuss-free, eco-friendly alternatives to traditional baby products.
We mentioned this when we talked about fashion, we mentioned this when we talked about maternity clothing, and we just have to mention it again now.
Buying secondhand is one of the easiest ways to help you save some money, while also reducing excessive consumption. With babies growing so quickly, they also cycle through clothing at a rapid rate. That’s good news for you, because it means that the secondhand market for baby clothes is definitely booming.
Baby clothes are also one of the top gift ideas for new parents, so if you’re expecting a child and you’re concerned about your friends getting you brand new baby clothes, do reach out to them and explain your stand. Hopefully, that sparks a healthy conversation regarding the topic and inspires some change in others as well!
Alternatively, you can opt for clothing made from organic materials if you wish to purchase brand new. When possible, give away or donate these clothes when your child has outgrown them too! If you’re expecting more children in the future, it’ll also be great if you can keep these clothing.
Source: Cottonytail SG
We know, we know, babies go through a ton of diapers and it can be a hassle to use reusable cloth diapers over disposable ones. But it’s also because of the sheer amount of diapers babies go through that we just have to advocate for these.
There are many different types of cloth diapers out there, so do your own research and find the one that is best suited for your lifestyle, and for your baby. We found this article extremely useful to get started with. The article also provides links for where you can find some different types of cloth diapers!
One of the greatest concerns parents have when it comes to cloth diapers is washing them, but this isn’t as difficult as you might expect. Simply rinse the dirty diapers after they’ve been soiled, and throw them into a laundry basket for thorough washing later on.
Source: Cottonytail SG
If you find it too difficult to jump onboard completely, or you simply lack the time to wash and dry cycle after cycle of diapers, perhaps consider a part-time approach to cloth diapers. You can use cloth diapers only while at home, and disposable ones when you’re out. Alternatively, you can also switch to cloth diapers when your babies are a little older and go through less diapers in a day.
We know having a child is not easy, but doing your part, however small, can make a huge difference! This Singaporean mama approves as well, and provides some extra incentive and tips to make the switch to cloth diapers as easy as possible!
Source: Jordan Whitt on Unsplash
When it comes to feeding your child, there is nothing more all-natural and waste-free than breastfeeding! While direct latching would be ideal, we know that it’s not always feasible for all mums, be it due to biological or situational reasons.
For those who are working full-time or are unable to be with your child all the time for feeding, we would highly recommend getting reusable storage bags or reusable glass bottles to store breast milk over disposable sachets.
Source: Pampered Tot
Even if you’re doing formula feeding, you can consider opting for glass bottles over plastic ones! We understand that breakage might be a concern but rest assured that borosilicate glass (which most glass bottles are made of) are pretty durable and can survive a few knocks and falls. Of course, we still recommend caution and ultimately, do what you feel is best for you and your baby!
Walk into a toy store these days and you’ll be greeted with shelves upon shelves of plastic toys galore. From toy cars to dolls, all the toys we are used to buying for our children are made of plastic. This, however, does not have to be your normal.
Plastic toys are light, colourful, can take a good tumble, and are all-around just fun for your children. Their one huge drawback? Plastic can be terribly damaging to our environment. If you’re looking for an alternative that has all the same perks and yet, remains environmentally-friendly, look no further! Wooden toys are your best bet.
Source: Educational Toys Planet
Wooden toys are available in most major toy or baby stores like MotherCare or Kiddy Palace, you just have to do a little digging. If you’re daunted by the idea of sifting through aisles of plastics galore, we find that The Better Toy Store and Right Brain Babies provides a great variety of wooden toys. A quick search of ‘wooden toys’ on Google should also turn up plenty of results!
Of course, wooden toys also vary in their quality, so do be sure to ensure that they are non-toxic and FSC-certified before purchase. If you care for these wooden toys well, they will most definitely be able to last you for years, and perhaps even until the next generation.
Source: Isla & Olive
Another way to go zero waste when it comes to play time is simply to reuse materials that you have at home. You would be amazed at children’s ability to entertain themselves even with the simplest materials! Kitchen utensils, mirrors, leftover bottles or tins -- all of these can be made into toys for your babies. Mama OT and Pathways provides some fantastic ideas for you to try out! This not only allows you to consume less, but also helps to improve your child’s creativity and imagination.
These suggestions are by no means exhaustive! There are tons of reusable and eco-friendly alternatives out there like using cloth over reusable wipes, natural coconut oil over packaged baby lotions, and the list goes on and on. We urge you to go on and do your own research beyond this post, and make decisions that is best for your family, and the environment!
Instilling into the value of caring for our environment into our children can start from the time they are born. Children learn many things through mimicry, and as they grow up and watch our consumption habits and how we treat the environment, they will learn from us as well.
It is our responsibility to preserve this planet in as pristine a condition as possible for our children, and also to teach them to do the same for future generations.