Looking for ways to give your baby a natural and environmentally friendly introduction to the world? This green baby registry checklist can help you find natural, eco-friendly and organic baby products to include on your baby shower registry. Or, if you are shopping for a baby shower gift, find the perfect natural or organic baby gift for your eco-conscious friend or relative.
Here are some points to consider when creating a green baby shower registry:
What does a baby actually need?
As a child, I loved caring for my baby dolls. I fed them bottles of magically disappearing milk, applied a cloud of baby powder while changing their diapers, and pushed them in a stroller around our yard. But now that it is time to prepare for my real baby, I do not plan to use bottles, baby powder, or even a stroller!
While extensively traveling during the past four years and seeing how other cultures care for their infants, I realized that many of the baby items we call essentials in the U.S. are not actually necessary. I can picture baby-themed wrapping paper, covered in "quintessential" baby products (baby carriages, bottles, pacifiers, diapers)-- none of which are actually needed to raise a baby! Yes, even diapers are a luxurious extra. With their extensive populations, it's a good thing that most parents in China and India do not rely on diapers. In China, babies and toddlers commonly wear bottomless pants, which allow them to go when they've gotta go. Attentive parents in India know when to hold their babies away from themselves, to allow for potty opportunities.
In the U.S. there is a version of this practice called "natural infant hygiene" or "elimination communication (EC)". I like to call it "pee in the potty". For this method you can still use diapers as back-up, but also catch pees and poos in a potty. This is an eco-friendly alternative to complete diaper reliance, as far fewer disposable diapers or cloth diaper washes are needed.
A stroller is not crucial, either. While traveling throughout Sri Lanka I only saw one baby stroller, and that was at the airport. Parents simply carried their babies in their arms. In many Asian cultures, babies are carried in backpacks or worn in a sling. In addition to making it easier to navigate crowded places, baby-wearing facilitates attachment parenting techniques, breastfeeding and elimination communication.
Keeping Your Baby Registry Eco-Friendly
To keep your baby registry eco-friendly, reduce, reuse, and re-evaluate.
When it came time for me to create a baby registry, I wanted to make it as eco-friendly as possible. I realized that just as important as the items I chose to include on my list were those I chose to exclude. I skipped any items not needed for my lifestyle and parenting philosophies. Most baby registry checklists are compiled by stores wishing to sell their products. No wonder you need 2-3 strollers and 10-12 bodysuits! A first step to greening your baby registry is to leave off items you are not likely to use on a regular basis.
As a second step, you may be able to get many items second hand or slightly used from friends or relatives.
Finally, when selecting the items to add to your registry, you can look for those products which are the most natural, organic and eco-friendly. To make this process easier, I compiled a list of items you may want to add to your registry, including specific recommended products. Some of these items I did not include on my personal registry, since I was able to get hand-me-downs from friends and family. And it is more than likely that you will want to add a few items you consider essential, since my parenting style is more minimalist than many Westerners.
Where to Create a Green Baby Registry
If you want to focus on natural and organic baby products, you will have better luck registering online than at Babies "R" Us. I recommend that you Create an Amazon Baby Registry, which allows you to add items not only from Amazon, but from any website. I used the Universal Registry feature to add handmade items from Etsy, as a way to support small businesses and find unique items.
Green Baby Registry Checklist
Disclosure: Most of the links to suggested products below are affiliate links. If you click on one of my affiliate links and make a purchase, there will be no extra charge to you, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!
Bassinet or Co-sleeper
(2) Fitted Organic Sheets
(2-4) Receiving / Swaddling Blankets
Book about Cloth Diapering
Diaper Bag with Changing Pad
(2) Wet/Dry Bags
(24-36) Newborn Cloth Diapers
*On average, newborns use about 12 diapers per 24 hours. Choose a style that will contain newborn poo.
(6) Cloth Diaper Covers
(24) Cloth Prefolds or Diaper Inserts
*Or you could hire a diaper laundry service that provides and washes prefold diapers.
Cloth Swim Diaper
Contoured Diaper Changing Pad
(2) Changing Pad Covers
*The Naturepedic changing pad can be used without covers, since it is easy to wipe clean.
Changing Pad Liners
(30-40) Cloth Wipes
Diaper Rash Cream
Diaper Caddy or Storage Bin
Large Wet Bag
*For storing dirty cloth diapers.
Book about Elimination Communication Philosophy
Book on How to Practice Elimination Communication
Cloth Diaper Backup
*Also see "Cloth Diapering" section above
*Holds prefold cloth diaper in place without a diaper cover.
Wool Puddle Pad
Book about Breastfeeding
(2-4) Nursing Nightgowns
Nursing Pillow with Pillow Case
*for laid-back breastfeeding
(4-8) Burp Cloths
Warm / Cold Packs
Cloth Nursing Pads
*I love the Woombie blankets and have used them as a nursing cover, and now they make a nursing scarf!
Handheld Breast Pump
Electric Breast Pump
*Most likely covered by your health insurance.
Natural Bristle Bottle Brush
Breast Milk Storage Bags
Glass Bowl with Lid
*for hand-expressed milk
Eating Solid Food
Book about Baby Led Weaning
Wooden High Chair
Book about Montessori
Wooden Play Gym
Table and Chairs
Bathing and Grooming
(1-2) Hooded Bath Towels
Shampoo/ Body Wash
*Or just use water!
Baby Oil / Moisturizer
Wooden Hair Brush
Nail Clippers & Emery Boards
Before choosing a wrap, ring sling, or baby carrier, I recommend looking up your local chapter of Babywearing International. A volunteer babywearing educator can help you try on different styles and learn how to safely wear a baby. If you become a Babywearing International member, you can even rent carriers. You may also want to read their flyer Babywearing 101.
Wrap or Ring Sling
Soft Structured Carrier
Natural and Organic Baby Clothing
(2) Sleep Sacks
(6-8) Baby Tee Shirts, Dresses, or Bodysuits
*Tee shirts and dresses are more convenient for EC than bodysuits.
(2-4 pairs) Pants
(4 pairs) Leg Warmers
(2-4 pairs) Long Socks
Hamper or Laundry Bag
*For preparing for bedtime, but not leaving on all night.
Which natural baby products do you recommend including in an eco-friendly green baby shower registry?