Worried sick about plastic — or even feeling a teeny bit queasy? Here are a few alternatives for common baby items, and resources for where to buy ’em. (And don’t forget, you could always make your own.)
Non-plastic baby tubs seem to be hard to find; probably the best you can do here is to use a nylon mesh sling or recyclable polypropylene Tummy Tub in your sink or regular tub. Dedicated greens can reduce waste by siphoning used bathwater out the window and into the garden — just make sure not to throw the baby out with the bathwater (sorry, we had to slip that one in).
Organic cotton bibs are safe, reusable alternatives to vinyl, and can be found at Kate Quinn Organics, Our Green House, and Taraluna. The ECO Disposable Bib from Nature Babycare is manufactured from wood pulp and non-GMO maize.
Parents concerned about chemicals such as bisphenol A leaching from plastic can feed their tots with glass bottles from Evenflo. BornFree also sells glass bottles, as well as bottles made from BPA-free plastic.
Changing tables and pads
A bamboo, low-VOC-paint, hardware-free table from Our Green House serves double duty as a bookshelf. Top one of these with a vinyl-free changing pad from Parenting by Nature or Green Mountain Diapers, and you’re good to go.
Cribs and mattresses
Avoid plastic cribs and vinyl-encased mattresses by buying an organic cotton and latex mattress from Soaring Heart, and sustainably sourced wood cribs from Our Green House.
Yes, even a child’s bodily functions can be handled greenly. Dress your baby in organic cotton diapers from Under the Nile and Kushtush Organics, or in bamboo-fiber nappies from Geobel Nursery Products. Squeamish parents who want to avoid washing cloth diapers can try biodegradable, flushable gDiapers. And there’s always the diaper-free method for those not faint-of-heart.
This adjustable high chair from Our Green House is made with wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, a nontoxic finish, and low-emission glues.
Take a look at our advice on purchasing sippy cups, then snatch up a shiny stainless-steel cup from Klean Kanteen or an aluminum bottle made by Sigg.
Unfortunately, there appear to be no plastic-free strollers wheeling about. The good news is that Baby Planet has a handy stroller recycling program for its customers, and also helps consumers donate usable strollers of any brand to families in need. The best plastic-free alternative may be to tote your child around in a sling, like the organic cotton Little Star Sling.
A 100 percent organic cotton teething ring, flat cat toy, and crate of teething veggies from Under the Nile provide PVC- and phthalate-free relief for sore baby gums.
Ceramic and enamel dishes are safe non-plastic options, or you can try these sustainably harvested (and possibly more kid-proof) bamboo bowls, and utensils from Bambu.