Baby showers have become something of a rite of passage. In 2017 alone, the United States welcomed 3,853,472 babies, and many of them were preceded by baby showers. While some people decline to have a baby shower for every one of their upcoming children, most have a baby shower in preparation for their first newborn. And it usually falls to either a family member or best friend to take care of the planning. But they aren’t the only ones who tend to stress out about what to do ahead of the shower. The burden of buying a nice gift falls to all the invitees — and though registries can certainly help you get an idea of what the expectant parents want or need, it can still be a struggle to find the right gift, especially if all the registry ideas have been taken or if you’re looking for something unique.
Of course, it helps if the baby shower in question has something of a theme. Lots of secplanners find it much easier to plan a baby shower if they do so with a theme, which is part of why themed baby showers have become more popular. For that matter, many are now combining this pursuit with the knowledge that we should all be more environmentally conscious. Nobody wants to throw a party that’s only going to contribute to the general waste and pollution issues that we’re dealing with as a society at the moment. Therefore — even if the baby shower you’re attending doesn’t have the theme of “eco-friendliness” you may very well want to buy an environmentally friendly gift. This will be especially true if you’re buying for someone who has an interest in going green, and raising their baby in as sustainable a manner as possible. With that being said, let’s look into some of the most eco friendly baby gifts on the market.
1. Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapers used to be the norm. Everyone used them, no matter what their station in life, though of course they ranged in design. Once disposable diapers hit the market, they seemed to be much easier — you don’t have to worry about washing them, and you can easily have them out of sight and out of mind. Nowadays, we know that disposable diapers are negatively affecting the environment, contributing to landfills. For that matter, it’s rather expensive to keep buying disposable diapers over time, especially if you end up having multiple children. Cloth diapers are not only more sustainable and eco-friendly — they also save parents money, even if they’re initially more expensive. There’s sometimes a learning curve to dealing with washable cloth diapers versus disposable diapers, but parents learn to handle them over time. For that matter, they’re often better for babies with sensitive skin. You can easily buy a pack of cloth diapers online; after all, following China’s ecommerce market of $672 billion, the U.S. has the second-largest ecommerce market in the world, coming in at $340 billion. It ensures that you can find almost anything online!
2. Sustainable Baby Brush Sets
While newborns may not seem to need a brush set — with some having no hair at all on their heads upon birth — they’ll need them over time. When a baby’s hair, no matter how fine, is regularly combined and brushed, not only do they avoid tangles and stay clean, they also avoid cradle cap on the scalp. Of course, you would be better off buying a sustainable brush and comb set. Try buying those that are made from beechwood, with pressed-in bristles rather than those that are glued on. You shouldn’t have to look hard for these, as wooden brush sets are much more attractive than plastic sets — and with retail sails in the U.S. hitting $5.7 trillion in 2017, there are plenty of varieties to choose from.
3. Reusable Food Pouches
If you’re buying for a new parent who prioritizes the environment, it’s very likely that they’ll want to try their hand at homemade baby food. One gift idea would, of course, be a recipe book full of homemade baby food recipes. But you’ll also want to consider buying reusable baby food pouches. Not only do these pouches work for premade baby food, cutting down on waste when there are leftovers, but they’re perfect for homemade concoctions. Of course, you’ll want to look for those that are free of BPA, PVC, and lead phthalate. This way, the new parents will be able to conveniently store food without worrying about their baby’s health.
4. Organic Baby Blankets
Every baby needs a blanket — but not all baby blankets were created equally. Some are not as gentle on the skin as others and are made of products that are not sustainable. You should look for organically made baby blankets, ideally made from 100% cotton and otherwise recyclable materials, as well as low-impact dyes and natural silk. Luckily, many such blankets are currently being made — and they’re as attractive as they are safe. When choosing between baby blankets, of course, you’ll want to make sure that the materials the blankets are made of are hypoallergenic as well; keep in mind that any allergies the parents have could potentially be inherited by the baby.
No matter what gifts you buy, try to make sure that you aren’t duplicating anything from other guests. For that matter, while you’re buying eco-friendly, you should also prioritize what the expectant parents want and need, versus what you think you would want. With that in mind, you’re sure to find the right present!