Are you a new mum? Do you enjoy an all natural lifestyle, or just prefer to stay away from chemicals as much as you can? Do you genuinely care about the environment, feeling it’s important for us to all do our bit? Then chances are you’ll want to continue with these practices when your little one arrives, actions which take care of them, yourself and planet earth. Here are some things to bear in mind as a new mum.
Use natural baby products
If you want to keep harsh chemicals, parabens and other nasties off your baby’s skin, then opt for all natural baby products. Even people that aren’t all natural themselves tend to prefer brands like this for their little ones, and lots of demand for them has meant many have opened up giving you plenty of choices. From shampoo to oils and nappy cream, do your research to find products you’re genuinely happy to use.
Be careful with clothing fabrics
As a new mum, buying baby clothes is one of the most enjoyable parts of baby shopping, there’s nothing nicer than picking out cute little outfits to wear. And as parents we’re totally spoiled for choice, there are SO many options out there. Unfortunately, not all of these are good quality though and there are a number of issues with buying cheaper baby clothes.
First, if they’re made abroad (places like China sell tons of baby clothes on eBay) they might not adhere to fire regulation standards, and could contain choke hazards like buttons or sequins sewn on that could be pulled off. The fabrics themselves could be bad quality, causing your baby to overheat where their body heat is unable to escape. And this can be extremely dangerous, if not fatal.
Choose baby clothes from trusted brands, and anything that touches their skin should ideally be organic cotton. This is because regular cotton crops are sprayed with pesticides which can remain on the fabric even after washing. Babies skin is much more porous than adults, meaning any chemicals are far more easily absorbed. So it’s best to use fabrics which are as chemical free as possible.
Search for toys with ethically sourced materials
Toy advertising really is one of the most disturbing kinds of marketing there is. It’s aimed specifically at children, knowing that they feel the need for belonging with their peers while it bombarding them with images, ideas and promises. As your baby gets older, chances are they will get sucked into this kind of advertising, and start pestering you for the latest trends and silly toys that kids are currently going crazy for.
But as a new mum in the baby stage at least, you get to make the decisions for them of what they will be playing with, and are able to choose good quality toys. These are made with ethically sourced, sustainable and often organic materials. In a world of iPads, flat screen tvs and bright bits of noisy plastic aimed at kids, it’s fascinating to see that little ones still appreciate the simplest of toys.
Wooden blocks, rag dolls, teddy bears, a ball to kick around and colouring books to scribble in. Do your research on baby toys, go with trusted brands that offer good quality and don’t be afraid to keep it simple. Babies don’t need huge big plastic monstrosities to learn and develop, sitting with them and reading a story book, building wooden blocks and giving them puppet shows with their dolls and stuffed toys are all far more interactive.
Opt for reusable nappies
We all know the issues surrounding single use plastics- they’re seriously damaging the environment, harming wildlife, microplastics are even entering the human food chain. The effects are devastating, so we all need to be doing our bit to reduce our consumption where possible. Nappies are one of the items (along with straws, cotton buds and plastic bags) which place a particular strain, mainly because our children go through so many of them, around 2500 in their first year alone!
Using reusable nappies is one way to bring your plastic waste right down, they might not be quite as quick and convenient as plastic filled disposables but you’ll quickly get into a routine. Sometimes, you might need to rely on disposable nappies- for example if you’re away from home then being able to pop them into the bin when they’re done is likely to be your best option. But if you’re using them most of the time at home then think how much plastic waste you’ll save. This guide to reusable nappies is worth a look if this is something you’re considering.
Make your own baby food
Another way to reduce plastic waste as a new mum as well as give your baby better nutrition is to make your own baby food. Individually portioned baby foods use loads of plastic, they’re always going to contain chemicals like preservatives and they’re ridiculously expensive too.
Making your own baby food isn’t just for Pinterest perfect mums, it’s a total breeze and something anyone can do. There are lots of recipes online, simply blend up your ingredients of choice and then pop these into little freezable containers. That way you can batch cook enough for a week or two and you always have some on hand. You can even use ingredients you’re already cooking for your family meals (just be sure to omit salt during the cooking process), some salmon, broccoli, peas and sweet potato for example would make the perfect combination and an easy meal for the rest of the family too.
On yours and older children’s plates, you’d simply add a blob of butter and a little salt to the potato separate to what you’re using for the baby. And add some sauce to the salmon on your plates. It might seem a little daunting at first, but you’ll soon get used to preparing nutritionally balanced, simple baby foods for your little one that are far better than spending over the odds and ending up with a load of waste.
Are you a new mum wanting to make more ethical choices for you and your baby? Do leave a comment and share.
*This is a collaborative post