Children completely change their parents’ lives. Even before the baby arrives, parents are faced with lots of new choices: Are cloth diapers better? What do we need to consider when it comes to baby clothes? Where do we find better toys? We gathered tips from a mother of two who knows her way around an eco-kid’s room.
Don’t Fuss over your Baby’s Skin
Less is more, and that is doubly true when it comes to baby skin care, says Tabea Börner. The 30-year-old has long made sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle choices and continued to do so once her two small children were born. She advises reducing children’s personal hygiene to the basics: Olive or coconut oils are enough to keep tender baby skin soft and healthy. “No baby needs perfumed lotions packaged in plastic.”
She made her own wet wipes from cloth remnants, old bedsheets, and hand-me-down towels. Dipped in coconut oil, they gently clean baby’s butt – and are upcycled at the same time. One further point in their favor: these homemade wipes are washable and therefore reusable, saving both trees and landfill space.
Baby Food: DIY Seasonal Eating Saves Money
“Breastfeeding is of course a no-waste process,” laughs Tabea. But as a child moves to solid foods, many people add in supermarket baby food in jars. It is, however, absolutely easy and inexpensive to create your own baby food from fresh, unseasoned, seasonal vegetables. “It’s best to lightly steam rather than boil, to retain more of the vitamins and nutrients,” she recommends. Puree larger batches, then freeze it into smaller serving sizes with the help of an ice cube tray. Thawing as needed results in less food waste each meal time.
Baby Clothes: Secondhand Is the Best Choice
It’s cold outside, yet we sweat indoors – and it’s not only adults that have this problem. So what should our kids wear? For baby clothes, Tabea is a proponent of the natural properties of virgin wool. It dries quickly, is breathable, and allows for easy stain removal. “In summer it’s cooling, and in winter it’s warming. It’s the perfect material!” Tabea has begun collecting secondhand virgin wool clothing of all sizes and modifies it into children’s wear. Natural textiles like organic hemp or cotton are also gentle on sensitive baby skin.
Upcycling and secondhand purchasing or trading is the best option for baby clothing, since the price of high quality items can really start to add up when purchased new. These items can easily be passed down to younger children in the same family or to others in your circle of friends or acquaintances when no longer needed.