If you’re a new parent or expecting in 2022, you might be overwhelmed by all the articles out there promising parenting will be easy if you only buy their product. While we can’t offer you a magic product to get your little one to start sleeping through the night at 12 weeks, we can give you some guidance so you can focus more on snuggling your newborn and less on 2 a.m. diaper runs. Here are our top sustainable tips to help you get through the first few months of parenting with less stress.
Tip #1: If You Can Wipe It Clean, Buy It
When you bring an infant home, you can expect to do a ton of laundry (who knew poop could get through a diaper, pjs and a swaddle so fast?!). Cut down on doing more laundry than you need to by purchasing toys, a changing pad or a highchair that wipes clean. For instance, avoid fabric toys or highchairs with fabric-covered seats. If you already have a changing pad, consider topping it with a water-resistant mat for easier diaper changes.
Tip #2: Check Out Sustainable Subscription Services
We’ve all been there, you didn’t realize that was the last diaper (even your secret diaper bag stash is out!), and now you’re trying to decide whether it’s socially acceptable to put a swim diaper on your newborn while you run out to the store for more. Avoid running out of diapers by joining an eco-friendly diaper subscription service DYPER. By purchasing these sustainable, plant-based diapers, you’ll be making a great decision for your baby’s sensitive skin — and the planet.
If you’re more worried about running out things for your little one to do, toy or book subscription services might be helpful for you. Toy subscription services like Lovevery take the guesswork out of finding the right toys for your baby’s developmental stage, giving you more time to play with your newborn and less time struggling to come up with fun ideas.
Tip #3: Remember, It’s OK to Have Less Stuff
When you have a new baby, there’s a lot of pressure to keep them entertained all. the. time. Ready for some good news? Scientists have studied how many toys your baby really needs, and the answer is: less is more. In one study published by the National Institutes of Health, researchers found that providing a child with four toys resulted in more creative, engaged play than providing them with 16 toys. So before you start to hyperventilate about how much baby stuff you’re going to accumulate, take a deep breath and remember that what you already have is probably enough.
Tip #4: Buy Secondhand When Possible
It’s no surprise that kids grow out of things really, really fast. That adorable onesie fit them one day, but seemingly overnight they’re busting at the seams. Sure, buying secondhand seems like a good idea, but who has time to wander through dozens of thrift stores when baby has to eat every three hours? Enter online secondhand marketplaces (otherwise known as the best way to keep yourself awake during those middle-of-the-night feedings).
Not only can online marketplaces get you better deals on tons of baby clothes and gear, but they’re better for the planet, too. With sites for clothes, strollers, highchairs, you name it, these days buying secondhand for baby is easier than ever.
Tip #5: Don’t Forgot to Take Care of Yourself and Be Flexible
Lastly (and most importantly), the best way to lower your stress level as a new parent is to get comfortable with asking for and receiving help. Try not to stress about your partner or other helper doing things differently than you would. Remember that in order to take the best care of your baby, you need to provide yourself with adequate time to rest and play.
No matter how stressful those first few months of parenting are, you’re doing great. While it may not be easy to take care of a newborn, it is easier than ever to make sustainable swaps for common baby items. With these tips, step into parenthood with the confidence that you’re doing the best for your baby and the planet.