When I became pregnant, I immediately asked myself a huge question: How should I let my child grow up sustainably? Is that even possible? I’ve heard from so many quarters before that the worst thing you can do to the climate and your ecological footprint is to have a child. I was insecure and sad that my desired child should be so bad for our climate. If you feel the same then stay with me. Because I have 5 tips for you on how you can let your child grow up sustainably. My mission is to prove that you can live sustainably even with a baby and that your own CO2 consumption does not have to explode automatically. And by the way, you can also save a lot of money.
1. Sustainable initial baby equipment
It starts with the initial baby equipment. So many things that such a little worm needs all at once: cots, strollers, diapers, clothes and, and, and. Nevertheless, your baby can grow up sustainably. The first big tip for the baby equipment: Buy used whenever possible or use what you already have at home. We bought just 5% of our initial equipment ourselves. We all got the baby cot, the first car seat and pram. Our monkey George is already 30 years old. Good portals to look up are ebay, ebay classifieds, Facebook groups or Mami Kreisel *. Flea markets are also a good alternative, where you can find lots of great things. Many parents give their parts for a small thaler or even free of charge. So you can not only save a lot of money, but also a lot of resources. In addition to the larger items, clothing is of course also required. You can also find them on the platforms mentioned. Nevertheless, I am aware that one or the other item might also be new – as parents-to-be, you like to shop for your protégé. Then look on sustainable platforms like Hans Natur * , Hess natur*, avocadostore* or keep an eye out for certs such as GOTS.
2. Sustainable winding
One of my absolute favorites to support grow up sustainably is the use of cloth diapers *. Don’t worry, cloth diapers are no longer associated with a lot of work, constant boiling and a big mess, as was the case 30 years ago. Instead, they come in a wide variety of variations and designs, so there is something for everyone. To list a detailed description of the advantages and types of diapers is too extensive at this point, but I can write a separate article on this. However, the numbers speak for themselves. A baby needs 3,000-5,000 diapers in the first year alone. That means almost 10,000 diapers over the entire diaper period. You can certainly imagine how much money it costs and, above all, how much garbage it is. Depending on the size of the bin, it can only be filled with diapers within a week without any problems. And now imagine that instead you have a drawer full of cloth diapers that you can use over and over again. And that you can even pass on to the next family at the end of the diaper period. Doesn’t that sound great? We weren’t allowed to use cloth diapers for the early days in the hospital. There we took sustainable diapers and were very enthusiastic about the Moltex diapers *.
3. Sustainable baby products
At this point I would automatically like to refer a little to sustainable diapering. Because in addition to the cloth diapers, you also need wet wipes to clean your bottom. For one thing, you can just use washcloths with warm water. Personally, however, I always found this to be very impractical, especially when traveling. In this case, you can simply make your own wet wipes out of washcloths, water and coconut oil. This saves you a lot of garbage and at the same time prevents chemicals from touching baby’s sensitive skin. In addition to the wet wipes, your baby usually does not need a large number of care products at the beginning. In the first few months, we didn’t even leave any creams or oils on the skin of our protégé. Thanks to the cloth diapers, we also had no problems with rashes. If the bottom was a bit red, breast milk is a great helper (if you are breastfeeding). Simply put a few drops on the appropriate area and let it dry. You will be amazed at the wonders this works. If you want oils or shampoos, you can get them from sustainable brands such as Weleda * to buy. With these you can also be more certain that only tested ingredients reach the baby’s skin. For other products, you can look out for sustainable alternatives. For example, we have a super pleasant hairbrush made of wood and goat hair *. Otherwise, our motto has always been: less is more.
4. Sustainable toys
One of the best moments is when I can watch our little ones play. But that too can be made sustainable. As a principle approach, the following applies again: not everything has to be new. There are great things to discover on ebay, in Facebook groups or at flea markets. Our favorite shop for used books is medimops, where we have already got some great favorite books for our sunshine. In addition to these options, you can also pay attention to the material of the toy. Wooden toys from sustainable forestry not only look great and play well, they are also kind to the environment. You can find great toys at Hans Natur *. Two of our absolute favorite brands are Grimms* and EverEarth*. In addition to these points, the following also applies here: less is more. We prefer our daughter to have 3-4 larger toys to get creative with, like a Children’s kitchen * or a rainbow seesaw from Lunatur – by the way, one of the best investments we could make.
5. Sustainable baby nutrition
Hand on heart: the most sustainable way to feed your baby is breastfeeding. It does not cause any waste, you are flexible when you are on the go and do not need to prepare a bottle in advance and you do not have to get up at night. However, I am well aware that not every mother can and / or wants to breastfeed. And no matter what it is with you, if you are not breastfeeding, please do not feel bad, I would like to mention that in passing on this topic, as I am confronted with such comments again and again. Even if you’re not breastfeeding, there are a few sustainable considerations here and there. For example, you can get bottles made of glass instead of plastic. In the best case, these can also be used, because thanks to the material they can be boiled without any problems. You can also use organic cotton burp cloths * or used ones. Or what about organic follow-on milk? As soon as your dwarf starts eating complementary foods, it is a great way to make your own food from fresh ingredients instead of serving instant food or jars. And let’s be honest, fresh vegetables from the gardener around the corner still taste best anyway. Especially at the beginning, the little dwarfs eat rather small portions. In this case, you can just cook more and freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays. So you can always prepare as many “ice cubes” as you need and don’t have to cook anew every day. There are now great alternatives made from bamboo or corn starch for tableware*. Our absolute favorites were bamboo spoon with a silicone tip * and Plates * and bowls * with suction cup – the latter in particular saved us from a lot of dirt. We fell in love with the things of Bamboo Bamboo * because they have very cute plates Offer animal motifs. As a bottle, we immediately got on with a Klean Kanteen stainless steel bottle with a Sippi cup*, as the bottle is very robust and there is also the option of screwing on a suction cup instead of the sippy cup. I have owned a Klean Kanteen myself for over 6 years and it is my constant companion, as you can read here. So a Klean Kanteen was an absolute must for our daughter.
In addition to all these options, there are a number of other great approaches that would go beyond the scope of this article. Would you like to learn more about it, also in more detail? Have you ever asked yourself this question, how can your baby grow up sustainably?
The links marked with an asterisk (*) are so-called affiliate links. If you click on such an affiliate link and shop via this link, I will receive a commission from the online shop or provider concerned. For you, the price doesn’t change. I also tested the brands mentioned myself and bought their products with my own money. I recommend them to you because I find them very good.