Baby registry building can quickly turn into a rabbit hole of research, recommendations and cross-referencing these competing lists against one another. The endless options for carriers and strollers and sheets and towels might get a little easier to work through when focusing on purchasing sustainable where possible. And while what any parent will end up actually needing and using is ultimately determined by baby’s preference, we spoke one of the on-staff experts at registry platform go-to Babylist to get their take on the best, most sustainable picks for 2022. Here are some of the best sustainable alternatives to some classic registry picks.
Strollers and sustainability to-date haven’t really gone hand-in-hand. Many plastic parts and technical fabrics make it challenging to find an option that performs well, can withstand the wear and tear of babies and toddlers and looks great all while being sustainably made. Silver Cross this year released the new Reef and Dune strollers which are made using recycled plastic bottles, and in a very on-trend variety of colorways ranging from a chic taupe called Earth to a sophisticated navy called Neptune. CEO of Silver Cross and dad Nick Paxton says, “I wish the Reef and Dune strollers had been ready for my first as they are super chic and super easy-to-use. I love the colors and the fabrics and the fact that they’re crafted from recycled yarn which is created using recycled plastic bottles. It’s a must-have for any eco-conscious parent who wants a stroller that’s as fashion-focused as they are.”
Babylist’s Editorial Director Karen Reardanz acknowledges the pressure felt by parents to make the most sustainable choice possible, but also remain practical. She says, “Many people feel obligated to do cloth diapers to be sustainable, but that gets tricky based on childcare or going back to work. There are newer, sustainable solutions in-between cloth diapering and traditional disposable options.” Brands like Freestyle contain no chlorine or other toxic materials present in supermarket brands. These more sustainable diapers are also designed with style-minded parents in mind. According to Freestyle co-founder Mike Constantiner, “When I had my son it became super apparent that diaper brands were stuck in some weird 20th-century version of who parents were and what they cared (or worse, didn’t care) about. Childish designs, toxic and environmentally unfriendly materials were the norm. I wanted something that represented me and my friends. So I made Freestyle. The most eco-friendly diapers, free of toxic materials, with designs that actually put a much-needed smile on my face at the changing table.”
Reardanz at Babylist says that when considering clothing, nighttime gear and swaddles, “We are seeing a lot of interest in soft goods made with organic bamboo and organic cotton.” For parents looking for an independent brand that is hyper-considerate in their sourcing, ergoPouch is an option that makes GOTS-certified sleep solutions with organic cotton and bamboo fabrics. Alina Sack, founder, mother and director at ergoPouch shares, “Fourteen years ago, I set out to develop a more sustainable sleep bag. I used Alpaca wool from a local wool mill in Australia, made the first sample and my son was finally sleeping better. Soon after, we began producing an organic cotton version that is made by a small, niche factory that specializes in organics. Our pouches are doubly sustainable as they can be passed down due to our superior quality.”
A bamboo option for super-soft, extra cute swaddles, pajamas and onesies comes from Little Sleepies. Designed to be comfortable in any climate or season, the Brand’s proprietary Lunaluxe fabric offers optimal ventilation and moisture absorption, and is quick-drying. Why bamboo? According to Little Sleepies, because the tree grows so quickly, cultivation does not require any pesticides, fertilizers or irrigation. It also regenerates without being replanted, making it a renewable resource.
Humidifiers are a registry item that may not be as obvious as a stroller or lounger for expecting parents, but many new parents swear by them for a nursery space to keep baby’s sinuses healthy and skin happy. Canopy’s president (and legendary investor in the lifestyle space) Alli Webb says, “We are on a mission to provide reimagined, sustainable home devices. In an effort to eliminate single-use plastic, Canopy’s packaging is 100% recyclable cardboard. And by using quality materials that are made to last, we’ve saved upwards of an estimated fifty thousand humidifiers from ending up in landfills in the last year.”
According to Reardanz from Babylist, “Mattresses are one of the most confusing purchases for a lot of first-time parents.” She recommends the Newton crib mattress as a latex, spring and foam-free option that is now available waterproof. Newtown founder, CEO and father Michael Rothbard shares that, “After experiencing all the sleep issues that come with being a new father, I founded Newton Baby to address the needs that parents and their little ones have for better, safer sleep. I realized that the conventional approach to crib mattresses was obsolete, so I focused on developing a better solution, and this effort gave birth to the Wovenaire Crib Mattress.”
Reardanz from Babylist mentions Snuggle Me as her pick for a more sustainable lounger. Its lounger shell is made from 100% organic cotton, which is breathable and non-toxic, and suitable for babies from 0-9 months. Mia Carr is the founder of the brand and shares that, “It comforts baby and gives parents a sense of security knowing their baby is close and content. We created the Snuggle Me 15 years ago after we had twins. Juggling both babies and a toddler made us realize how important it is for new parents to have the support of an extra set of arms.”
A new infant skincare line designed by a founder with over 25 years of experience working in natural ingredient manufacturing, Dabble & Dollop’s Dabble Ducky infant products range from foaming infant wash and hydrating infant balm to wipes and a bath toy. Founder Stephanie Leshney shares that, “As a natural ingredient expert and mom of three, I did not want my babies absorbing products that contained dozens of ingredients and potential allergens. Other all-natural baby brands tend to eliminate synthetic fragrance but leave aromatic essential oils and extracts in their formulas—which can contain over 150 phytochemicals each. Made responsibly and with the highest quality possible here in the US, Dabble Ducky by Dabble & Dollop is free of extracts and essential oils, and the only brand on the market to have Beta-Baby, a proprietary beta-glucan that is clinically proven to hydrate, moisturize and help protect the delicate skin barrier that is 20-30% thinner at birth.”