Diapers – Sleepwear – Bedding – Mattresses – Carriers – Strollers – Personal Care – Cleaning – Feeding – Toys – Dolls – Home
For Diapers/Training Underwear:
I love Little Beetles Learners. They are organic and fair trade and really cute! We got a pair from this store too. We also use and really like the pocket diapers by Blueberry Diapers. I will be honest and say that I am guilty of using some disposables.* I wanted to like G Diapers and Nature BabyCare because as far as disposables go, they are biodegradable, but they were stiff and a bit rough for my baby and gave him a rash. We tried Tushies brand also. They are mostly biodegradable with loads of cotton inside, but they were so thick between my baby’s legs he couldn’t walk. If you don’t want to go the cloth diaper route, then I recommend giving these brands a try. They are great companies and doing the planet good. Your baby may do just fine with them. I like Seventh Generation because they are chlorine free. For wipes I prefer Seventh Generation also. They don’t contain propylene glycol or fragrance containing phthalates. Nature BabyCare wipes are my new favorite in my diaper bag. They are super soft, 100% biodegradable and alcohol and chlorine free.
*I offset my carbon footprint in other ways. I haven’t eaten red meat or pork for almost 17 years! Some people may not know that factory farming contributes heavily to greenhouse gases.
I am a big fan of Sage Creek Organics. Their pajamas are organic and so soft and stay soft even after several washings. They have options without feet that extend the life of the pajama for tall babies. I liked Under The Nile for their footed pj’s when my baby was an infant. They are organic and really soft too. Now that my child is a toddler I prefer Hannah Andersson pj’s. When our baby was smaller we bought the all-in-one sleepers with the zipper. But, since our baby is very long we needed to switch to the 2-piece sets. Their pj’s are organic and soft and they have fun patterns. They also hold up to several washings and if you treat stains quickly, they actually come out! I adore their matching moccasin slippers.
My baby’s crib and our adult bed are fitted with sheets by Coyuchi. They use certified organic cotton grown with non-GMO seeds. Pixel Organics is another organic company with great patterns and color palettes for the baby’s nursery or toddler’s room. Their designs are fun and modern. We have the one with Lions, Tigers and Kittens.
When we were ready to evolve our baby from co-sleeping in our bed to his own room we got him an organic cotton mattress that was not treated with toxic flame retardants. There are many companies doing business today where you can purchase quality organic cotton and wool or latex mattresses. We purchased our crib mattress from Naturpedic. We recently purchased a latex and wool mattress for ourselves from Mary Cordaro’s company, H3 Environmental. We love it! (She only sells through Design Within Reach as of February 2009) The company,( Vivetique ) that makes her line also makes mattresses for Green Fusion in San Anselmo, CA – another fantastic, green store. We just purchased our toddler’s twin bed from them!
For Slings/Baby Carriers:
Different slings are useful at different stages of a baby’s growth and development, so I used several. I started with an organic New Native Carrier. It cradled my baby perfectly, kept him in the natural reclined position for his age and I could lull him to sleep and get things done around the house. My husband really liked our Mei Tai carrier. This is a one-size-fits-all Asian style carrier that we both could use. They are reversible and you can customize your fabric, so we each got to choose a pattern we liked. We loved this one! Once he could sit up and hold his head up for longer periods I got a ring sling Maya Wrap and an Over The Shoulder Baby Holder. I preferred the latter. Although I loved the cool pattern on my Maya Wrap and the ease of use, I found the fabric a bit scratchy. I realize women used these ring carriers for ages, but since I found the OTSBH and discovered how soft it was, I was hooked. The carrier I have used the longest is my coveted organic Ergo Baby Carrier. It’s the only one I use now. You can wear your baby on the front at first and when he’s old enough, you can put him on your back. I use this when he is tired from walking, to go on hikes, to the farmer’s market or just needs to be close to Mama. I got the matching backpack so there is no need for a diaper bag. It holds all your essentials while your baby catches a ride on your front. I can’t say enough good things about this carrier! I stayed away from carriers that force the baby’s legs apart, like the Bjorn-type carriers. They are not good for their growing pelvis. They also force your baby to face forward without being able to look back at you for reassurance. It’s a big, scary world for a baby (even for adults) and I feel that babies shouldn’t have to confront strangers and stimulus without having the freedom and reassurance of a parent or caregiver’s face in view.
We were completely sold on the STOKKE Xplory! We got the turquoise one. Everything about it made it an obvious choice for us. My baby sat up higher to see my reassuring face, long after other babies outgrew their infant car seats and were forced to sit low and forward away from mom. He is almost 20 months old now and can still face me. I can turn him outwards to use as a high chair at restaurants and for short durations to face the interesting world. I didn’t use the bassinet attachment much since I wore my baby most of the time at that age. My husband is very tall so the Stokke helped his posture and eased his back pain. We did purchase a Peg Perego lightweight stroller for quick outings where I could use one hand. (Usually my diaper bag sits in it (it weights more than he does!) and my child walks now. The Stokke is a bit unwieldy, but still worth it.
For Personal Care Products:
I love the coconut hand sanitizer and baby hair/body wash by Nature’s Paradise Organics. They smell like Hawaii and are so natural they have only a few ingredients. I also love the body wash and oil and lotion from Earth Mama Angel Baby. These smell like vanilla-orange, a scent I adore. They work well too and are so gentle. My favorite items from Terresentials are the bum balm – it really protects to prevent diaper rash and lasts and lasts and their deodorant, for myself. It protects without toxic aluminum, parabens, triclosan or other junk that’s found in conventional deodorant. Baby Bear Shop has great all natural body oil and lip balms. These are the only lip balms I will buy because they are in tins. No plastic lip balms, even organic for us. We buy our foaming hand soap from Ballard Organics. It’s very concentrated, so it lasts a long time and smells wonderful. But now, I only use bar soap to avoid the plastic packaging. In the summer months I used a little Badger sunscreen on my baby’s ears and face if he was spending a lot of time outdoors, either swimming or at his sand/water table. It has a very safe rating from The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Database, which I use religiously. (I believe in getting adequate exposure to direct sunlight without sunscreen for vitamin D3 synthesis.) Most of these products are not found in stores. You can find some Earth Mama and Badger products and, I think, Terressentials at Whole Foods. If you are like me and don’t want to order several things from several different companies and pay shipping on each one, then go to the Green Cradle’s online store. We frequented Edward’s shop in Sherman Oaks, CA when we lived there. It’s how I learned about half of these companies. He sells just about everything I have listed under personal care products and bedding. He is well-versed in all things green!
With all the concern over PVC and BPA-free bath toys we sometimes forget that the bath mat our baby is sitting on can leach chemicals into warm bath water. Vita Futura was the only company I found that sold phthalate-free rubber mats. We got one but it molded quickly. I finally found some fun fish bath appliques by Alex Toys. They are grippers made of rubber and can be pulled up each night to dry. I give them a cleaning every so often and they have held up to the mold test. The packaging doesn’t advertise that they are phthalate-free but I spoke with a rep from the company and was assured that none of their products contain this chemical.
Vermont Organic Soaps makes a non-toxic, pure cleaner called Liquid Sunshine, free of parabens and sodium lauryl sulfate. I also love their Produce Magic Wash. For laundry detergent Charlie’s Soap works great for diapers and everything else. Sometimes I also use Seventh Generation.
The Soft Landing carries all of the non-toxic choices for bottles and sippy cups, like Born Free, Kleen Kanteen and Foogo stainless steel straw drink bottles. I love Bambu brand utensils and the Oneida Paul Revere 3-Piece Child Set or the even smaller Baby Set of stainless steel utensils. The fork actually works! I found the melamine forks not to work very well and my child got frustrated learning how to stab his food with them. Emily Green bowls and plates have fun designs. The Hippo is our favorite! They keep my toddler interested in eating. I couldn’t have lived without my Kidco food mill and Baby Cubes storage containers for freezing homemade food. Making his food was (and still is) one of my favorite things! My pricier mini prep Cuisinart died while trying to puree his food and the Kidco mill is still going strong!
HABA Toys is an eco-friendly, non-toxic company in Germany. Our baby had the Ramba Zamba rattle. We also love our BRIO train set. Our toddler loves making the sounds turn on in the tunnel. The Melissa & Doug train table was a great addition to his play room. You can use it for other activities, as well. Plan Toys is another environmentally friendly choice. They have a dollhouse and a fruit and vegetable play set along with an entire Plan City. Their tea set is adorable! I am a huge fan of Nova Natural Toys & Crafts. I love everything in there and we purchased a few Christmas gifts for my baby from them. I recently learned about ChildTrek, The Magic Cabin and A Toy Garden too! Another green choice for toys is to shop at children’s consignment stores. Look for one in your area. Recycling plastic toys this way keeps them out of the landfill and you save money too! I actually found a great wood countertop stove for my child for just $14.
I recently found an amazing doll company called Bamboletta. These dolls are fantastic. They are made with hand-picked, all natural fibers. The owner and her team take custom orders to hand craft a doll for your little one or you can purchase one already made at stores in Canada or online. After reading a great article in Mothering Magazine, my husband agreed to get a doll for our son when he is a little older. HABA makes quality dolls also. Here is my son’s favorite boy doll by HABA. They are eco-friendly and non-toxic. We don’t want plastic toys ending up in a landfill, so we opt for wood and natural fibers.
We purchased an IQ Air air purifier from The Allergy Buyers Club for the nursery. It works so well that I never find dust in there when I clean! The air smells good in his room and I don’t worry about poor ventilation anymore. We also got a couple of humidifiers from them. They offer great customer service. I am very happy with the company and their products. We got rid of all our Teflon pots and pans a long time ago because of the concerns about perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in Teflon based non-stick cookware. PTFE is Polytetrafluoroethylene, the chemical name for Dupont’s Teflon trademarked material. We have been using All-Clad stainless steel or Le Creuset cast iron to cook. I have to mention that we got my mom a set of beautiful light blue cast iron pots from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s and they are awesome and a LOT less expensive than Le Creuset! I ended up getting a large one for our family too. We recently found a green non-stick alternative from Cuisinart that uses ceramic non-stick technology. We reserve this pan for eggs. I recently traded in the old muffin pans for silicone and found a ceramic-based non-stick mini muffin pan called Goldtouch at Williams-Sonoma.