Life as a new parent can be busy and we know it is easy to just go for the tried and tested grab and go baby essentials - we know we have! But did you know these options aren’t necessarily the best for your bank account as well as the environment? With hundreds of eco alternatives now on the market it has never been easier to reduce your plastic consumption, so why not think about introducing some quick and easy plastic-free swaps into you and your family’s life?
The average baby goes through a massive 2,500 disposable nappies in their first year alone! Not only is this a massive financial hit, it’s also detrimental to the environment taking around 500 years to fully decompose. However, cloth nappies are on rise and with multiple versions available you’re sure to find ones to suit your lifestyle. Our friends at the Nappy Guru’s are one of many brands encouraging a swap to cloth nappies. They have a handy questionnaire to help get you started and an online chat so experts are always on hand to answer any questions and concerns you may have about using reusable nappies with your baby.
What comes hand in hand with reusable nappies? Wet bags. These great foldable little bags are a fantastic way to store wet and used nappies and wipes when out and about. Most are large enough to fit a few nappies inside and are easily washable - same as the nappies! Handy tip: they are also great for dirty clothes or storing wet swimwear. We love the colourful wet bags on Little Lamb and Tickle Tots.
Similarly to nappies, as a new parent you will go through thousands of disposable wipes before you even blink! Averaging at 900 wipes a month from newborn, investing in reusable wipes is an absolute must. We love Cheeky Wipes, where they can set you up with a Reusable Wipes Kit so you have everything you could need to start up your reusable wipes journey including; wipes, oil soaking solution, container boxes for fresh and mucky wipes and waterproof wet bags for when you are out and about - cool right?
Reusable breast pads
Another swap for new or expecting mums is reusable breast pads. We highly recommend Mama Designs pack of bamboo reusable breast pads. Made with super soft ultra absorbent bamboo, they are the perfect alternative to prevent leaks. Not only are they soft and gentle against your skin and sore nipples, they are also slim and discreet so remain hidden at all times.
Glass baby bottles
Although it may not at first glance seem like a safe option, swapping from a plastic to a glass is a safe option for your baby and the planet. Glass baby bottles are made from tempered glass a process that toughens the glass so it doesn’t smash unless it is under extreme pressure. Still worried? You can also purchase protective sleeves to give you extra grip! We love this cute glass bottle on Mam. Another reason to make this switch is plastic bottles can absorb odours and are more difficult to clean and sanitise, whereas glass bottles are much more durable with no risk of shedding micro plastics.
One of the hardest plastic reductions you can make is probably toys. It’s so easy to forget what a toy is made from when you love its funny game or smiling face, you (or the grandparents) simply can’t resist! However there is a vast range of toys for babies and older children made from sustainable materials. Make sure to look out for toys made from wood, rubber wood, silicone, natural rubber and sugarcane as these are the most environmentally friendly choices. Our favourite brands for these include Envirotoy, Oli&Carol, Liewood and My First Years.
Sustainable containers and tableware
We simply love bamboo tableware and containers. Not only does it look great its also super durable, lightweight and plastic free! Other sustainable materials which are great for you and your family include silicone and stainless steel. Check out the range of bamboo tableware on bamboo bamboo or cutlery, drink and even bibs on Bubba Bear.
Biodegradable bamboo plasters
When you have little ones running round it’s inevitable they will come across a few bumps and scrapes (and probably so will you!), so having plasters on hand is always a must. Of course, for hygiene reasons, plasters need to be easy to dispose of but a traditional plaster can take hundreds of years to decompose. They are also common skin irritants, so swapping to bamboo plasters helps prevent skin reactions from sensitive skin too. Check out PATCH plasters.
Baby sustainable toothbrush
Plastic toothbrushes are a thing of the past, and that is no exception for baby. With multiple types available why not try a bamboo based toothbrush or Mushie’s silicone finger toothbrushes to help your baby keep their teeth clean and soothe sore gums. Non toxic and BPA free these handy little brushes are the perfect way to keep your baby plastic free and away from bad breath (result)!
Have more ideas? Share with us on Instagram any more plastic free hacks you have discovered for you and your family for a feature on our page!