Bringing up baby

Having a baby and reducing your waste is a challenge! With every best intention, the convenience of many single-use items often wins out in the face of busy family life, sleep deprivation and sometimes just the cost. Our aim is not to make parents feel guilty but to encourage Wise Choices as and when you can. Just by doing something you are making a difference. If your good intentions don’t always turn into action don’t feel bad – you’re probably already doing more than most! However, as inspiration, we have got a ton of top tips to try.


Rather than plastic toys, buy toys made from wood or other natural products like rubber – Sophie la Giraffe is a popular teething toy made from 100% rubber

Look for toys that grow with your child

Buy second-hand toys or swap with friends

Find a toy library near you (did you know there are libraries for baby slings and nappies too?)

Often it’s the simplest things they like – a cardboard box, a shaker made from rice in a bottle, or reusing a Calpol syringe as a bath squirt!

If your toy needs batteries use rechargeable ones – or choose a toy that is rechargeable itself



Make your own purees and food where you can

Use ice cube trays to freeze leftovers and bulk cooking

Use reusable containers and wrappers for food on the go

Avoid plastic plates – there’s plenty of alternatives like bamboo

Recycle food pouches if / when you use them. We live in the real world, sometimes you just need that convenience!



We are a huge fan of Cheeky Wipes  – a reusable and sustainable alternative to disposable wipes. They also do a whole range of other reusable products like makeup remover pads, breast pads and sanitary products

You can make your own wipes out of old flannels or towels cut into squares

How dirty is your laundry? Does it really need to be washed at a high temperature every time?

There are SO MANY options for gentle, sustainable soaps and creams now. We love New Dawn – where you can send your bottles back for refills too!


Nappies (diapers)

This is perhaps the number one area of guilt for many parents. Disposable nappies are very convenient, fit well, and no additional washing required. However, it is easy to see how much non-recyclable waste they produce. Reusable nappies need a little more thought and work. There is lots of help out there though to try and move to a more sustainable option.

There has been lots of innovation in reusable nappies so do your research. There’s even biodegradable disposable nappies – but does your local area actually have a facility where they will biodegrade? Many mothers find it easier to use reusable once their baby has moved onto solid food. We don’t want to get too graphic here…

You need to find what works for you and your baby. The Nappy Lady has trial packs of reusables so you can find out the brand and style that works before investing in a whole set.

We’d also like to share a video from GECCO Real Nappies founder Cheryl Hadland and marine scientist and founder of Just One Ocean, David Jones, who explain why their Real Nappy campaign is vital to reduce plastic pollution and support a healthy marine environment, which in turn benefits us.

There are also SO many blogs and sites to help you make a Wise Choice for your child (and you!). These are UK based but there’s sure to be something local to you.
Natural Baby Shower – 6 simple ways to reduce your plastic waste
Little Green Home – a carefully curated selection of natural and non-toxic essentials for your family
Kidly – plastic-free mealtimes sorted
Ethical Superstore – Grow up green with products that are ethically better for baby and for the planet.
Amy Jane & Baby  – eco-friendly small sustainable swaps

And finally…

All the ways in which you try to make Wise Choices – whether you have children or not  – still apply…
  • Use what you have
  • Share what you have
  • Buy second hand where you can at charity shops, clothes swaps, Facebook groups or places like Child after Child – a great place to buy gently used children’s items
  • Encourage family and friends to avoid buying unnecessary things – perhaps they can buy you some time by babysitting or helping out around the house or sponsor something on your baby’s behalf
  • Buy in bulk if you can

When it comes to climate change and plastic pollution the size of the challenge can appear to be overwhelming but making small lifestyle changes can make a big difference to the health of our oceans if enough of us do them. It can help us inspire others to make Wise Choices as well as help drive policy changes in both business and government.

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