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So you’re having a baby… or had a baby ! Either way CONGRATS & welcome to parenthood .
Your zero waste journey doesn’t have to stop here . In fact it needs to continue .
We need to raise our kids to know how to take care of our planet !
Our kids pay attention .
They need us to lead by example.
A while ago I was at the grocery store putting broccoli in my reusable bags .
My son asked me why everyone else was using plastic bags .
He was watching . He saw that what I was doing was different .
I took that moment to explain to him that plastic makes our planet sad.
These are lessons I will continue to teach him each and everyday . Our planet needs us to show our kids how to take care of it properly .
Obviously your new baby doesn’t understand this yet but they will .
They will watch and copy every little thing we do .
They will learn to do as you do.
We need to continue to live eco friendly lives to protect our children’s future , to give out children a future.
5 Tips to for Raising an ECO Friendly Baby
1. Only Buy What You Need
Yes this is a title in almost all my blog posts… Thats because it’s a HUGE deal.
Society tells us to have a baby we need this and we need that! We have to buy, buy, buy or we will fail as parents .
This is far from the truth.
A huge factor in being zero waste is learning not to be a part of that consumer culture.
Yes there are items that you do need but there are a lot you don’t .
Before buying something always ask yourself :
Can I buy It used or sustainably?
Will it last ?
Do I NEED it ?
Can it be donated or resold after ?
Developing a minimalist mind set can really help you to figure out what is necessary and what is not .
2. Avoid All Disposables
You don’t need disposable nursing pads ,diapers , or wipes.
There is a reusable product for everything !
Cloth Pads are a great option when dealing with postpartum bleeding. They are easy to use and are way better for the planet and you!
If your curious to give them a try take a look at my Zero Waste Period post for more details.
I never needed nursing pads but I know they are a necessity for some mothers. Washable breast pads are just as easy as disposables except you throw them in the wash and not the garbage. You can find lots on amazon.ca and amazon.com.
Disposable diapers stay in the landfill for 500 + years ! Think about all the diapers !
If that isn’t enough to make the switch check out Why I Switched to Cloth Diapers.
Cloth diapering can be easy and a lot of fun!
It‘s so rewarding not having bags and bags filled with diapers to throw away at the end of the week .
My Favourite cloth diaper brands are :
You can even buy reusable snack pouches for kids. Don’t let yourself get into the habit of one time use food pouches , I did and it’s hard to stop. I now use and LOVE them.
3. Breastfeed / Avoid unnecessary Single Use Packaging
I was just going to call this one breastfeed because obviously the most zero waste thing you can do is breastfeed .
It requires no plastic pieces , no packing , & no waste .
BUT I couldn’t call it that because I’m a mom who struggled to breastfeed her first and I know sometimes no matter how hard you try it’s just not a possibility .
& I’m here to tell you … It’s OKAY!
If you have the supply and your baby latched properly then breastfeed ! This will save you money , time , and waste!
If you have the supply but your baby just will not nurse it is going to be okay .
That is what happened with my first .
We struggled , I cried , he cried , we were miserable for 3 months .
Eventually for my sanity I switched to pumping .
Pumping is a great option If you can do it .
All you need is a pump , the pump pieces , and some bottles .
Breastmilk can always be stored in glass jars or bottles.
If you just don’t have the supply or if pumping is beginning to make you a little crazy ….
Then make the switch to formula .
No it’s not the most zero waste option but your baby needs to eat and you need to be sane.
Ps. It’s okay to make the switch even if you have the supply .
Your sanity is important .
If you are using formula try to buy the largest containers you can . Avoid using the single use packages and bottles . Those are unnecessary and create a lot of waste .
There are tons of amazing glass , silicone, and stainless steel bottles on the market these days so it’s easy to avoid plastic .
( I always used plastic with my son because I hadn’t started my journey yet. My daughter breastfed and used a stainless steel bottle )
4. Make Your Own Baby Food / Baby Led Weaning
You do not need to go out and buy a bunch of packaged cereals and food for your baby .
It‘s easy to make your own.
You can either blend up food for your babe or start baby led weaning .
We did a mixture of both depending on what we were comfortable with .
Lots of parents start their babies on infant cereals due to the high iron content .
You can easily give your baby enough iron without these cereals.
Foods like black beans , spinach , chickpeas , peas , lentils are all high in iron .
( I would throw them in my blender with some breastmilk)
To ensure you and baby are getting enough iron pair it with foods high in vitamin C to maximize absorption .
If you are making purees you do not need a fancy blender any blender will do. Check what you have before going out and buying something else.
5. Buy Quality Toys
Toys aren’t something you will need for the first little while but eventually they will be a necessity.
Try to buy quality toys that are going to last you for all your children and can still be handed down to another family later. Wood toys and toys made out of recycled materials are a favourite at our house.
Lovevery are my favourite brands right now.
IKEA and Mastermind Toys also have a great selection of wooden toys that last!
Of course shop for second hand toys just be sure to give them a good clean and check them for any safety concerns.
These 5 tips are easy and will help you to reduce your waste with a baby .
Remember your life just drastically changed . Take things slow . If you can’t start cloth diapering right away , it’s okay.
If you don’t make all your babes food , it’s okay .
Do what you can when you can and it will change the world !