Welcoming a new baby into the world is a joyous occasion, yet those first days can be a stressful time for any parent. Seen through the eyes of a newborn, the world can suddenly feel like a dangerous place, filled with chemicals, pollutants and wasteful habits.
To help give you some peace of mind, we’ve explored the best ways to care for the environment while caring for your new bundle of joy, ensuring you have a happy healthy baby today, and a happy healthy world for them to grow up in tomorrow.
The Diaper Doldrums
Death and taxes may be the two certainties in life, but when it comes to babies, dirty diapers are an honorary third! Diapers don’t come cheap, which makes the idea that we toss billions of them into landfill every year that much crazier.
While biodegradable disposables are available for those that are pushed for time, washable cloth diapers remain the best option. Just make sure you’re smart with how you wash: run only full loads, use cold water, and stick to environmentally friendly cleaning products.
As many new moms also know, accidents aren’t just limited to newborns. Incontinence during pregnancy is actually far more common than you might think, though the lack of discussion on the topic can leave many women feeling too embarrassed to talk about it. The truth is, it’s natural, and nothing to be embarrassed about.
Thankfully, there are many discrete options available that are not only good for your confidence, but the environment too, from biodegradable products through to new washable alternatives that will leave you with one less thing to worry about. Goodness knows that list is long enough already!
Clean & Green
From stains to smears, all play and no fine motor skills make babies a messy bunch. When it comes to cleaning up after the little rascals, regular cleaning products like detergent are known for their harsh chemical ingredients. So where to from here? While there are natural, albeit pricier, alternatives, you’d be surprised at just how effective natural home cleaning recipes can be. It’s amazing what a little baking soda and vinegar can do!
Plastic Free Zone
Addressing your dependency on plastics throughout your home is a smart move for the entire family, baby included. Many plastics, including those that are used in food containers and water bottles, contain BPA which can be harmful for you and your baby’s health. Even some BPA-Free products can still contain other harmful chemicals.
Your safest bet is to look into wood, metal or glass alternatives like Pyrex. There are even biodegradable plates and cutlery available, made from natural materials like Bamboo. How’s that for innovation!
Natural Om Nom Noms
The joys, and health benefits, of home cooking are well known, and those extend to your baby’s first meal too. Even if going entirely organic is too costly, taking the time to make your own baby food from any of the wholesome recipes available on the web is a great step up from pre-packaged foods full of artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.
Upcycle, Recycle, And Put An End To The Waste Cycle
A new baby doesn’t have to cost the world. Financially or environmentally. All those flashy toys are exciting, but they’re also expensive. And look at all of that plastic packaging!
A newborn is the perfect chance to explore your creative side, and a great activity to get older kids involved with too. Make some finger puppets out of old egg cartons, or maybe set about knitting a new toy from the hundreds of free patterns available. Get creative with everyday items, and see what you and your kids can come up with!
Better yet, arrange a toy or craft day with other parents through a Facebook group or similar. And the same applies to clothes! Some parents may save old clothes for later embarrassment (not looking at anyone in particular, mom…), but if you’re about to toss them in the bin, stop. Just because your kids may have grown out of them, doesn’t mean they don’t still have a purpose.
Instead, set up a clothing swap day, or get together with other parents to donate items you no longer need to family support groups or single parents who might be doing it tough. The world will thank you for it.
Do you have any tips of your own? How do you balance baby care and care for the environment? We’re eager to hear your thoughts, so let us know in the comments below.