Eco-friendly Baby Products New Parents Need.by Claire Chircop
As new parents, we’re bombarded with masses of information. It's hard to know what the right thing to do is. Now as a mother of two (and somewhat experienced) I’ve come to discover that quite often the simplest of options works best. This is both for us as parents as well as the environment. Here are 5 eco-friendly baby products you need if you’re a new parent or parent to be.
Eco-friendly baby products.
It feels like disposable nappies are the only option for new parents out there. For as long as I can think of, they've been marketed to us as being the most convenient option. But in reality and in simplistic terms they create waste, cost a huge amount of money and can be a complete faff when we run out... Which is of course always at the most inconvenient time.
I think it’s common knowledge that disposable nappies take a long time to break down. 500 years to be exact! But alongside environmental issues, disposable nappies can also be deemed as being more uncomfortable for your baby. Reusable nappies however are mostly made from natural materials including cotton, hemp and bamboo which is much gentler for small bottoms.
I understand that making the switch from disposable to reusable nappies can be quite daunting. Especially with the mess! But they’re actually really simple to use.
When changing your baby, you do it in exactly the same way you would a disposable, but instead of putting the nappy in the bin, you pop it into a wet bag or specific storage system. As for poops, newborn poops are water-soluble so they can go straight in the wash. Once you’ve started weaning the process will be different as you can tip the solid poop straight into the toilet or use toilet roll/wipes to clean the majority of the nappy before washing. From here nappies simply go straight in the wash and should be air-dried afterwards.
I think once you get into a routine with things, you’ll quickly become confident with reusable nappies. If you’ve used reusable period products before there isn’t a great deal of difference.
If you’re using reusable nappies, it’s only natural to use reusable wipes too. The two go hand in hand together. Reusable wipes are pretty self-explanatory and can be used in the exact same way a disposable is. After usage reusable wipes go in the same storage system as reusable nappies and both can be washed together. The process couldn’t be simpler.
Just like reusable nappies you’ll be saving yourself money in the long run and you won’t be putting any harmful chemicals onto your baby’s skin - All you need to use is water.
A great thing about reusable wipes is that they don’t have to be anything fancy. Sure there are fancy ones out there, but flannels or hand towels work perfectly fine. As long as they’re soft and gentle they’ll work perfectly for your baby's skin.
Reusable breast pads.
Disposable breast pads are very commonly used. They’re also very commonly uncomfortable. Reusable breast pads are not only eco friendly but they’re much comfier too. They don’t get stuck, fold over (most annoying thing ever) or leave sticky residue on your bra.
Similar to the previous two suggestions they can be washed and reused, preventing waste and saving you money in the long run.
Ditching nappy sacks in my opinion is one of the easiest ways to be eco friendly with your new baby buys. The thing about disposable nappy sacks is that they serve very little purpose when it comes to disposable nappies. For something which is going to go in the bin anyway, it seems stupid adding to the plastic problem with something else which goes in the bin.
A wet bag is a waterproof bag that is designed to hold items such as reusable nappies, wipes, dirty clothes or swimwear. They secure with a zip that keeps all smells and messes contained until you get home and they can be popped into the washing machine. The wet bag itself can also be thrown in the washer and used time and time again.
A wet bag is a fantastic eco friendly alternative and will serve you from the newborn days right up until nursery age when they need to take a spare pair of pants to school.
Reusable coffee cups.
Finally and more jovially a reusable coffee cup is an absolute must for new parents. Instead of opting for a disposable coffee cup why not go out prepared with a reusable one? You could even invest in a flask and fill that up before you go out anywhere to save money.
2.5 billion coffee cups are being binned every year in the UK. For something that isn’t a necessity, it seems a shame to add to that number.
Have you thought about eco-friendly alternatives? Will you be making the switch?