Being a new mom can be an exciting milestone for many. Indeed, taking care of your precious new addition brings joy and a sense of responsibility. However, caring for your baby can mean a lot of disposables and other products that are not eco-friendly.
However, you can make an effort to make some changes towards being a more eco-friendly mom. Not only will you play your part in things like reducing pollution and energy use, but you can also avoid exposing your family to chemicals. Moreover, you can build a sustainable lifestyle that your baby will observe and practice as they grow.
Fortunately, there are many ways to establish and maintain eco-friendliness as a new mom. Here are some you can start with.
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- Reduce your car use
Admittedly, cars can conveniently get you from point a to point b. But using your car often may not be the best option if you’re going green. Car emissions can be devastating for the environment, and they can also have consequences for your health. Research indicates that inhaling these fumes can lead to premature birth and low birth weight. And a smaller birth weight makes the child more vulnerable to blood disorders, jaundice, diarrheal diseases, respiratory problem, and brain damage. This, in turn, can increase their mortality rate. Also, babies’ exposure to air pollution in the first six months can alter their gut bacteria, triggering diabetes, allergies, obesity, and gut inflammation. Therefore, reducing your car use to lower air pollution makes sense if you want to protect your born or unborn baby.
Instead, you can take public transportation, such as the train or the bus with your little one strapped in front of you, especially if you’re going long distances. Better yet, consider carpooling, where multiple people can ride in the same car. This can translate to fewer cars on the road and reduced air pollution.
If you still want to enjoy the comfort of your car, you can consider switching to an electric car if possible. If you aren’t going far from home, you can consider walking while carrying your baby in a stroller to prevent tiredness. It helps you work out while allowing your baby to enjoy outdoor time.
- Consider second-hand baby items
You may be itching to shop for new clothes and toys. However, babies grow quickly, and buying new things for each stage of life can lead to waste. Moreover, many used but high-quality items risk being dumped in landfills, increasing land pollution and harming the environment. Therefore, consider purchasing used items and invest in second-hand stuff, as long as they are in good condition. Furthermore, it’s great for your pocket, as used baby items are less expensive than their newer counterparts. Hand-me-downs from your friends, family, and other trusted person can work well, so feel free to consider these. You can also buy them from dedicated second-hand baby stores.
However, it’s essential to determine what items you can buy second-hand and what to buy in its newest state. Experts advise buying used baby clothes, shoes, hats, and coats, as you can clean and disinfect them easily, and they will be as good as new. Consequently, you can acquire second-hand toys, a playpen, books, a high chair, and a bathtub. Avoid buying a used car seat, crib mattresses, or breast pumps, as they are likelier to accommodate microbes that can harm your baby’s health. Strollers, swings, and furniture can be reused, but keep in mind that they should be checked for wear and that they are up to current safety standards, with no recalls.
- Invest in cloth diapers
Disposable diapers appeal to many moms, as it’s convenient to toss them away once they are soiled. However, they aren’t sustainable, or eco-friendly – your baby may use approximately 3000 diapers annually. Not only are they expensive, but they go to landfills once disposed of. They also don’t degrade quickly and can easily introduce body waste like feces and urine into groundwater, making it unsafe for human consumption. Seeing these effects, swapping to reusable options becomes essential.
Moreover, cloth diapers are affordable and made from fewer chemicals than their disposable counterparts. You can also rest assured that you won’t be contributing to environmental degradation. You can also save your little one from diaper rash while making potty training easier. Seeing these benefits, you want to invest in reusable cloth diapers if you haven’t already.
You should note that these diapers are made from different materials, and you can choose one suitable for your baby. Hybrid, pre-fold, one-size, and pocket-cloth diaper options are available on the market, so feel free to consider them. As a tip, research the best reusable cloth diapers by reading online reviews or seeking recommendations from your friends and family. Before washing, read the manufacturer’s guidelines to prevent damage. Ensure you wash them daily, not washing more than 18 pieces simultaneously. You also want to dry them out in the sun to destroy microbes, so keep this in mind.
You can also use cloth wipes in conjunction with your cloth diapering routine.
- Use natural skincare products and toys for your baby
One benefit of being an eco-friendly mom is using natural skincare products for your little one. Indeed these items are made from sustainable ingredients free from harmful chemicals. Also, most are ethical, as they aren’t tested on animals or genetically modified. They are also easy on your baby’s skin, so you don’t have to worry about them getting allergies or skin conditions. It’s essential to get products specially designed for babies to prevent reactions. You’ll also find investing in dye-free and fragrance-free items helpful, so feel free to consider this.
Another good natural option is going with natural, organic baby toys, such as wooden and cloth toys that do not use paints or dyes.
- Breastfeed when possible
Formulas have become popular in recent times. However, the production and distribution of some brands can increase carbon emissions, which isn’t great for the air quality. Moreover, much water is used to produce them, defeating the purpose of water conservation. Therefore, you can consider breastfeeding your newborn instead of depending on formulas. As a tip, leverage a breast pump to draw and store breastmilk in your fridge so it can come in handy whenever your baby is hungry. If your baby isn’t easy;y satiated with breastmilk, you can research eco-friendly brands to supplement your breastmilk.