There is so much information out there on how to create a safe space for your child, what the best products to buy are, what you should or should not be concerned about when it comes to the ingredients, material, manufacturing and who you should be purchasing from. Sometimes it can become so overwhelming. Bringing a new human being in to your world should not be a stressful thing. I have learned over the years, when doing my research before purchasing, to trust only those who have proven to be transparent, ethical, unbiased (not paid to certify and/or promote products) and passionate for all the right reasons when educating others in the world of consumerism. I am a believer in supporting local….supporting Canadian….supporting only small businesses. Unfortunately Canada lags behind the United States when it comes to unbiased research so I do rely on the expertise of Consumer Reports and Women’s Voices for the Earth to help me research products created or sold in Canada. Below is insight and my thoughts while gathering information for a client request so she could offer Eco choices for a Baby Shower Registry along with some suggestions based on my research and unbiased reviews. A few of the businesses I chose may not have been noticed by the research groups I use but they are known to me and I trust their ethics, respect their craft and admire their passion.
Bassinets When I had my first, I pulled out a drawer, emptied it, placed a thick soft blanket tightly in it and that is where my daughter slept when she came home from the hospital…..right next to my bed. It wasn’t that we could not afford a bassinet…it was an unnecessary item for such a short period time of use. We had a crib but I wasn’t ready to be separated from my daughter for any length of time so we improvised (In the picture above a wicker laundry basket is used...just my thoughts but I would suggest never using the handles to carry just in case). Did you know you can take the rocker part of the wooden horse (which your baby won’t use until later) and fit the underside of the wicker basket, using wing nuts to keep it secure. You now have a rocking bassinet
Cribs Four in One CribA once in a lifetime purchase that grows with the child and they take with them when they are adults.
Made in Canada (Quebec) by Natart (a family owned business) 100% Solid Wood - European Beech Wooden Mattress Support with Three (3) Adjustable Heights Converts into a toddler bed, daybed, double bed or double bed headboard Optional upholstered headboard panel in two (2) color choices – hand washable material. Greenguard Gold (children & schools) Certified. Air Quality Certified Made in U.S.A (California) by Million Dollar Baby – Davinci Baby (a family owned business) Made of durable New Zealand pine wood with four adjustable mattress levels, to ensure each stage of baby’s life is safely accounted for. With four simple conversions, from a crib, daybed, toddler bed (rail sold separately) and full size bed (rail sold separately) Greenguard Gold (children & schools) Certified. Mattresses
Read the Article the Mattress Matters by Women’s Voices for the Earth Firm, flat mattress that fit snugly in crib (less than two fingers should fit between mattress and crib) Made in Canada (Thunder Bay) Nook Pebble Pure Mattress - Featuring a certified organic coconut core layered with 1” of natural latex foam, the dual‐sided design ensures a firm, breathable sleep space for infants and toddlers while the superior softness of the eucalyptus wrap provides comfort and convenience. Made in U.S.A Simmons Organic online Well.ca (Canadian) – free shipping. All the organic materials are certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (G.O.T.S). G.O.T.S. mandates high level environmental criteria along the entire organic supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well. Only textiles products that contain a minimum of 70 % organic fibers can become G.O.T.S. certified. BEDDING CHECKLIST 1-3 washable crib mattress pads 2-4 fitted crib sheets Retail Store Suggestions Cheeky Monkey Snugglebugz Online Shopping Suggestions Go Green Baby Well.ca
In my opinion, another piece in the nursery that is unnecessary is the stand alone change table. It is used for a short period of time and becomes the holder of all that is no longer needed becoming a dust collector. Once your child outgrows it, what do you actually use it for? The top of a dresser with a changing area works just as well. If you are not concerned about matching the dresser with the crib, you can always re-purpose a dresser, taking care, if it is to be painted, to use low or no VOC paint. If your choice is to by new to ‘match’ the crib there are Canadian and U.S. made choices here Kushies Bamboo Change Pad Made in Canada (Stoney Creek). Made of soy-bio based polyurethane foam, the construction offers comfort and resilience. The top is made of viscose from bamboo which is breathable, soft, and made without the use of harmful chemicals. The waterproof bottom is phthalate free and features an anti-skid fabric to keep the pad in place. Natart Matty Changer - $179.99 – Made in Canada (Quebec) Made from moulded PUR, soft and comfortable with a waterproof surface so no fluids leak into the cushion and is easy to clean. High sides hinder baby from rolling off the mat Nursery Items Checklist
When I was looking for a list to help us with a baby shower registry, I realized there should be more information for local small businesses and Eco alternatives ensuring the manufacturers of these products were in Canada and the United States. If I could not find a North American manufacturer than the small business selling it had to be Canadian. As a small business owner, I feel it is important for myself to only purchase from small business owners within Canada. I also relied on Consumer Reports for certain items, suggesting their top picks. If you are not familiar with them please click here to learn more about this amazing organization
Baby clothes Babies don’t need much at first. I remember with my first (the first grandchild on both sides), she was given over 20 dresses size 0-3 months and only got to wear ¼ of them (she was a winter baby). So when my youngest was born 8 years later, I knew what I needed and I what I did not. She, too, was a winter baby and for her first 3 months lived in pajamas and sleep sacks. It was all about comfort. Newborns sleep up to 18 hours a day and therefore need 2 major items….a sleep sack/sleepers and diapers. The list below is a suggestion of what and how many of each is needed. Take in consideration you might have to add more if you use a laundry facility outside of your home.
4-8 onesies/undershirts wide head openings and loose legs 4-8 one-piece pajamas 2-4 Sleep Sack 1-3 sweaters or jackets (front buttoned) 1-3 rompers or other dress-up outfits 4-7 socks or booties shoes are unnecessary until baby walks 1-3 hats broad-brimmed for a summer baby, soft cap that covers ears for a winter baby No-scratch mittens Bunting bag or fleece suit for a winter baby Cheeky Monkey Snuggle Bugz
Check out what the Consumer Reports (my only source for 3rd party testing as they do not take products but purchase them so they can give the consumer a true unbiased opinion) suggestions on baths for babes Bath Tub I used the kitchen sink (a thick towel on the bottom covering the sides as well), it saved my back. Now they have tubs that fit in your kitchen sink. Snuggle Bugz
Baby Wipes I never used them. I think I was practicing sustainability long before it became so popular. Soft baby wash cloths with warm water and a little bit of a gentle soap were all I ever used to clean the bums of my babes. Disposable & Reusable Cheeky Monkey Snuggle Bugz