Greener laundry detergent
Since I’ll be doing a whole lot more laundry with cloth diapers and soiled onesies, I’m switching to a fragrance-free, biodegradable and non-toxic detergent to protect my little one’s skin from irritation, such as GreenShield Organic Free & Clear laundry detergent. And instead of using dryer sheets, I’m going for LooHoo wool dryer balls to nix his exposure to icky fabric-softener chemicals. Basically you just toss these balls into the dryer to soften clothes and save on drying time.
Opting for breastfeeding over formula
Trying to breastfeed my little guy is another important step for going green. Not only do studies show that breastfeeding will boost his immune system and help ward off allergies and asthma, but it means less waste since I won’t have to buy a lot of bottles and packaged formula. Plus, it means less gear that I have to worry about packing in his diaper bag! My goal is to try it for six months. I heard breastfeeding can be really challenging at first: My doula advised me to leave those formula samples they give you at the hospital because it will make it too easy to succumb to the temptation of just feeding him a bottle when he’s not latching on and I’m exhausted at 2 a.m. if I have it in my kitchen. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed and seeing how it goes.
Recycled baby gear
Rather than buy everything brand new for his nursery, I’ve been hitting up all my mom friends for clothing and baby gear items that their children have outgrown. My friends totally hooked me up: I’ve now got a stock pile of newborn onesies (some that have never even been worn!), a baby bath tub, a motorized swing, a pack-and-play, an infant car seat, and more. However, I did splurge on registering for a brand-new crib, mattress, and dresser. (I'm going to put a changing pad on top of the dresser instead of buying a separate changing table). Sticking with my earthy nursery theme, I registered for the Baby Cache Montana Panel Crib in natural-looking Driftwood, as well as the Baby Cache Montana Double Dresser.
Chemical-free sun protection
Since I’m having a summer baby and want to be an active mom, I looked into the best baby sunscreen products to have on hand. The Mayo Clinic says babies younger than six months shouldn’t wear sunscreen, so I went for a UV-ray blocking shade that goes over your stroller or car seat so my baby can nap without getting burned. The SnoozeShade blocks 97 percent of harmful rays and fits over most strollers.
When he’s old enough for sunscreen, I’m skipping brands containing chemical ultraviolet light absorbers, such as octinoxate and oxybenzone, because studies show that those toxins may mess with hormones by mimicking estrogen. Instead, I’m going for baby-friendly sunscreens made with physical rather than chemical UV blockers, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. So far I like Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen and, even though it’s for babies and kids, have been using it myself.
Read more: Here's what's happening in Week 37 of your pregnancy >>