Bringing forth new life is probably the most exciting thing we’ll ever get to do, but we’re all aware that with it come certain difficulties: we have a tiny life dependent on us now. How do we ensure they’re not only loved but safe and well taken care of?
Luckily in the last few years more and more producers have become conscious of the fact that new moms are far more likely to pay attention to how harmful their baby gear might potentially be and choose the clean eco-friendly items for their babies, and have done their best to accommodate.
This means there are more non-toxic baby registry items on the market than ever before – and with ample choice comes another difficulty: how to choose the best?
To answer the question, we pulled together the list of top 12 baby registry items we think are a must-have for any expectant (or new) parents.
Non-Toxic Crib | Why it’s Important: Your baby will sleep in a crib from about 4 months of age, to 3 or 3 ½ years of age, depending on your child and when they “develop the maturity to stay in a big bed at night.” And while I’m not trying to give an exact time frame or age to your baby’s crib years (since there are so many variables), either way, that’s an incredible number of hours, nights and naps spent in a crib. Cribs, particularly when new, can “off-gas” a number of compounds that aren’t safe, including VOCs (volatile organic compounds), lead, phthalates, formaldehyde, and polyurethane. Baby also takes many more breaths per minute than you do, and has a much smaller body, contributing to the fact that, “What is toxic to you is even more toxic to your baby.”
Babyletto Greenguard gold certified cribs are our first choice because they’re:
- Made entirely of wood
- Tested for over 10,000 chemicals
- Finished in non-toxic painting
- Multifunctional: the Hudson 3-in-1 can be converted from crib to toddler bed to daybed, with multiple height settings for mattress support.
Non-Toxic Mattress and Bedding | Why They’re Important: As with the crib itself, the concerns in baby bedding and mattresses are a) what most mattresses are made of, b) the byproducts of these components, c) the off-gassing that occurs with mattresses, which increases with body (or other) heat, humidity, and CO2 build up. The danger in this isn’t settled science, however for babies and young children, in at least one extensive mattress study, some compounds did reach concerning levels. “By virtue of their age and size, they have heightened vulnerability to potential toxic effects,” says Dr. Kenneth Spaeth of New York’s Northwell Health, says. The emitted chemicals aren’t going to be listed on labels, either, because they’re byproducts.
What goes into your crib is no less important. Colgate Mattress offers a range of Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified crib mattresses that are:
- Wrapped in organic cotton and waterproof
- Dual-side: firm for the baby years, and softer for the toddlers
Babyletto’s mattresses are non-toxic, eco-friendly and hypoallergenic. Free from foam, vinyl, allergens, dyes and any off-gassing material, their also vegan and their removal waterproof cover makes cleaning and changing easy.
Available in 10 Colors, and in Plaid & Patterns
Burt’s Bees Baby makes a range of bestselling crib sheets, bassinet sheets, changing pad covers, and blankets that are:
- 100% organic, breathable cotton
- Super soft
- GOTS certified (Global Organic Textile Standards)
- Perfect for baby’s porous skin.
You’ll go through outfits quickly. Focus on a few safe, high-quality outfits that will be able to serve your little one well until they grow out of it.
Fancy novelty items and clothes they might look cute in in photos are nice but often impractical in day-to-day life (and there are no guarantees your kid will enjoy being dressed up).
Honestly, you might need to do some experimenting to find out which brands will suit your baby the best, but among the ones we’ve tried, we rather liked the selection from Pact. They offer a nice selection of bodysuits, footie sleepers, tees, and pants, that are 100% organic cotton.
At this stage, having a selection of quality swaddles is as important as clothes (if not more). There are plenty of great brands out there that offer some great options, but we’ve decided to go with Aden + Anais due to their large selection of swaddles: classic, easy, silky, etc. Their organic swaddle is GOTS Certified, super soft, totally breathable, and multifunctional—you can use it as a stroller cover, burp cloth, or changing pad cover.
We’ve covered elsewhere why these are our favorite natural diapers, but natural diapers are a must, and our go-to’s are:
A non-toxic, BPA-free baby bottle is important. Avoid plastic and opt for stainless steel and silicone. Te Stainless Steel Pura Kiki Bottles are well insulated so you can take them on the go and milk or water will stay fresh, they come in different sizes, suitable from the youngest baby to the toddler and they have all-interchangeable parts.
Again, the golden rule is to avoid plastic. Glass should also be avoided, not because it’s toxic—it’s actually one of the cleanest materials around—but because your kid can harm themselves. Stainless steel or silicone are the best choices when it comes to utensils for your kid, so our choice fell on GoSili that offers a special utensils’ line for kids that are made from European-grade silicone and are dishwasher and microwave-safe.
7. Baby Carrier
A baby carrier is often an overlooked item on the list, which is quite sad. The quality baby carrier provides support not only for the baby but for the parents as well. It should be multi-optional and ensure you don’t suffer from any back, shoulder, or leg pain while carrying around the little one.
Among the ones we’ve tried, we liked the Beco Baby Carrier the best, specifically the one made from organic cotton, as it’s:
- Ergonomic, comfortable, and durable;
- Offers multiple options: you can carry the front, back, on hip, etc.
- Supports up to 35lbs, so can last your kid’s entire childhood.
Stroller, on the other hand, is universally acknowledged to be one of the most important baby registry items, so there are plenty of options – and people tend to get a little lost when choosing a stroller.
We opted for Bumbleride Indie All Terrain Stroller as it:
- Uses 100% eco fabric made from recycled water bottles;
- Is Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified from harmful chemicals;
- Contains no fire retardants;
- Is compatible with the car seat ; bassinet (though they’re sold separately).
9. High Chair
Choosing a non-toxic eco-friendly high chair is probably one of the easiest when it comes to the baby gear list, since it, too, comes down to a pretty simple rule: the chair you purchase should be made of solid wood.
Preferably it should be completely plastic-free, but if that’s not an option and the chair contains plastic components – that can be fine too! Just make sure that the plastic used is PA, phthalates, and polyurethane-free.
Our high chair of choice is the Stokke Tripp Trapp. It’s:
- Made of solid cultivated beechwood;
- Durable and long-lasting;
- Designed ergonomically to provide stability and comfort;
- Is a bundle of babyset and high chair–allowing you to use the product through your kid’s entire childhood;
- Easy to assemble.
10. Car Seat
When choosing the car seat for the baby, what we were looking for (aside from it being non-toxic and eco-friendly, of course) was the combination of lightness and durability.
In other words, we wanted a car seat that wouldn’t blow our backs when carrying around, but could also safely hold a small kid, and last us years to come (if you’ve noticed the pattern already – we do gravitate towards the items that are suitable for toddlers as well), since – as you must already know if you’ve done the research – car seats, especially quality ones, for kids, aren’t cheap.
In the end, we went with Nuna’s PIPA, which is:
- Light (weighs 8lb) and comes with an ergonomic handle;
- Can carry up to 32lb;
- Is flame-retardant chemical-free;
- Suitable for cars and airplanes.
Pacifiers aren’t technically a must-have – since not every baby will take them – but for parents whose baby does take to a paci, it can be a life-saver.
Choosing a non-toxic pacifier is pretty easy: you need to find one that’s made of natural rubber and is BPA-free.
The Natursutten one is pretty good.
For an extra nice touch (and to keep the kid entertained), you can get a pacifier clip – again, avoid plastic, and go for eco-friendly material like silicone and (our favorite!) wood.
We really like this Loulou Lollipop wood and silicone pacifier clip.
Last but not least, you need a clean and nontoxic laundry detergent for your little ones clothers.
You can get all the best options off of this list–and your efforts will be redundant if you do not keep the things your baby uses clean using the detergent that is just as non-toxic and eco-friendly as everything else you’ve gotten.
My tried and true favorite is the Eco Me Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent. It:
- Contains natural plant extracts
- Contains no sulfates or similar chemicals
- Is cruelty-free (not testes on animals)
- Is very concentrated and easily gets rid of grime (makes it especially favorable for people who’ve got not only kids but pets as well)
- Has a subtle smell that doesn’t overwhelm–most do not notice anything aside from the general fresh smell of newly laundered clothes, while those with more sensitive noses usually only get a nice whiff of lavender.
- Is gentle and can be used on more sensitive materials.