Green Baby: Save time, money and the environment!
So you’re pregnant and now everyone is telling you that you need all this stuff. But, in my opinion, that’s all b.s. You actually don’t need anything except your body and the baby (a dad person is a good call too, if you have one around 😉 No need for diaper genies and crib frills. Here’s the basics that will keep you and your family sane and in awe of your smiling sweet baby.
Small Baby, Small stuff– or really, small amount of stuff. Like any tiny human born into a world that it can barely interact with, everything is basically intense stimulation. What does that mean?! It means that your new baby doesn’t need something that makes a lot of sounds and noises- it just needs you and your sweet, gentle, noise-making face. Your finger, your nose, your eyes, your hair, your shirt are all the first ‘toys’ that a baby ought to play with. Those are all pretty much free since you have them already. As they get older, introduce them to your household items like wooden spoons, anything they can hold in their hand and leave the plastic, loud stuff for the grandparents house.
No Diapers, Cloth Diapers- Many cultures around the world don’t even use diapers. They start potty training from the age of immediately and don’t even bother with cloth diapers. For our plush American carpets, cloth diapers are a reasonable option. They are much cheaper and much safer for Earth. Also consider environmentally friendly disposable diapers if you must use them (I used them with my daughter, and I don’t regret it. But I also potty trained her by two) so, just work with what you can and try your best. Don’t stress too much. Here’s some more information about reusable diapers!
Hand Me Down Clothes– I’m of the opinion that babies don’t need new clothes at all, at any point until they are older. There are so many lightly used childrens clothes that purchasing brand new ones that are made in poor conditions by poor workers in other countries with unsustainably treated cotton or synthetic materials that eat up the environment. Why would you do that when you can probably find a box of free clothes at your friendly mom-acquaintances house- or check out the local thrift store.
Share a Bed- This is a semi-controversial stance that I hold strongly. It is also called co-sleeping, and is the godsend of parenthood. Many people believe that an infant child should be placed in a crib in another room away from the parents. However, this is totally shocking to a newborn infant and results in several wake-ups per night. Plus, cribs are expensive and made from unsustainably sourced wood (there are alternatives, of course). Snuggling up in bed with your newborn is the warmest, safest and cheapest way to get a good nights sleep.
Nature Not Toys- As your children grow into curious beings, encourage them to explore the divest of sticks from outside rather than plastic made baton things. Show them the curvature of a flower petal, rather than the plastic of a whistle that will fry your nervous system. Show them the spiral dance of the honey bee, the elongation of the sprout and the desires of the ground for water. Check this great guide out for eco-friendly products that mom’s really need.
Kids are easy, it’s adults that are difficult. Show them how to do it in the just right, just enough sustainability for all kind of way and we’ll turn the earth/human situation around in a jiffy!
Photo from Shutterstock