Let’s be real for a second — being a parent is hard work. It’s rewarding, unlike anything else, but sometimes we can all use a bit of help.
Unless you already have a baby, it’s unlikely you are a proud owner of a crib, stroller, or diaper pail. Even if you have another child, maybe your needs have changed — you could be welcoming twins and need that giant double stroller. Or, perhaps your child is older, and there’s not a stroller in sight.
Hence the need for baby showers: If you are about to welcome a little one into the world, or you know someone who is, you might need gift ideas for this big occasion!
Having faith in the sustainability of a gift you give or receive can lessen some of that new parent stress. When we can lessen that stress, we can spend more time just enjoying every precious second with our little one — guilt-free.
What Is “Eco-Friendly”?
Words like “eco-friendly” and “sustainable” seem to have lost some of their meaning. With the alarming influx of “greenwashing,” it’s hard to know if you’re actually buying something good for the environment or if clever marketing has tricked you into thinking you have.
We all want to take care of our babies and our planet, but how do we ensure that we are doing so?
Our answer: look to the labels. Is that cute tiny outfit certified by GOTS? Or does it just have an encouraging-looking anamorphic leaf on it? Unless the company is legitimately certified and verified by a third-party governing body, like those in the GOTS Certified Suppliers Database, you might need to investigate further.
At Tabeeze, we care about sustainability and treating our planet with as much care and concern as possible. We know that you do, too, so we put together this list of some of the best eco-friendly baby gifts to wrap in recycled wrapping paper.
Stay Away From Chemicals
Many “performance finishes” like stain resistance and waterproofness are not great for us or our baby’s bodies (especially if they somehow end up in your tiny tyke’s mouth). To avoid these sorts of chemicals, check for indicators like Certified B-Corp, GOTS Certified, or bluesign® certified.
You know that scenario when you get a giant package, and you open it to just find another box, to then find a bunch of pointless plastic, maybe another box, some bubble wrap, and finally — that teeny tiny thing you ordered a week ago? Yeah, let’s avoid that literal Pandora’s box if we can.
If possible, shop for products that note their minimal packaging, or even better, note that they use recycled or reused material in their packaging (woohoo!). While we know this can sometimes feel impossible, it’s a good one to keep in mind.
At Tabezee, we partner with EcoEnclose to keep our packaging sustainable and with Cloverly to neutralize our environmental impact. We like cute baby footprints, not carbon footprints.
Be Battery Free
Batteries, while convenient, are an environmental disaster. When they wind up in landfills, they excrete harmful and toxic chemicals into the environment and ground around them. It’s a nightmare, and while there are ways to get rid of batteries sustainably, they can be difficult to find.
So, keep another tough decision out of a new parent's brain, and just plain old do not buy something that requires batteries. Their eco-friendly heart (and grocery shopping list) will thank you.
Fair Working Conditions
Unjust working conditions and exploitative labor are serious issues that plague our world.
Keep an eye out for brands that are super transparent about where their product originates, who makes it, and what their conditions and wages are like. Most companies that care to be transparent about their workers’ rights and working conditions will be GOTS Certified, a B Corp, or Fair Trade Certified: all top-notch indicators of a sustainable product.
The Best Six Eco-Friendly Gifts
So now that you know some key points to look out for when on the search for the perfect, eco-friendly baby gift, let’s dive into our ideas. These are not the be-all, end-all of sustainable baby stuff (there is a whole world of it out there!); they are just some of our favorites.
Upcycling is more popular than ever. It’s essentially the act of making something new out of something old. If you consider yourself crafty, you could probably make your own upcycled bibs out of old clothes, curtains, quilts, and more.
Not only is this good for the planet, but it also guarantees a completely original gift for the new baby — something never made before and made by you alone! Nothing says thoughtful like a handmade gift.
If you aren’t as crafty, fear not! You can buy upcycled bibs online from a plethora of sellers or local markets. You’ll also find that many upcycled bibs are fair trade.
Plus, handmade items have unique touches that you can’t get in mass-produced babywear. This is when “it’s the thought that counts” truly counts.
Cloth diapers can help us fill a huge deficit in our country. Every year, billions of regular, disposable diapers end up in landfills in the United States.
If you want to do your part in closing this gap, or you know a friend who is interested, cloth diapers can make a great gift. They are machine washable and come in adorable patterns, colors, and sizes.
This isn’t a decision for everyone, but some people love this eco-friendly alternative. To really wow at the baby shower, bring along a few reusable wet bags for their diaper bag.
Natural Teething Toys
If you have been a parent or even just know a parent, you are aware that teething sucks. It can be hard on parents to see their baby suffering and upset and equally hard on the little one since they are in so much pain.
Opt for all-natural, healthy, sustainable teething toys. Whether they are made of eco-friendly rubber or otherwise, check for markers that something is non-toxic, vegan, and/or BPA-free. A good teething toy that won’t hurt the baby or the environment sounds like a win to us.
We all know that babies love to shove their toys in their mouths — it’s inevitable. So if you can’t stop your baby from putting their favorite toy directly in their mouth, at least try to make sure you are okay with the product that goes in.
There are tons of options for sustainably-made wooden toys, like rattles, rings, and more, that don’t harm our environment and are also safe and non-toxic if you find your baby takes a taste.
Sustainably-Made Baby Carriers
A baby carrier is another item frequently mass-produced with no thought for the baby who will be carried through dozens of playgrounds, farmers’ markets, and children’s science museums in it.
Taking pride in how you carry your baby is a serious thing, and the right carrier gives you one less thing to worry about. If you can trust a product to carry your baby and also have faith that it isn’t harming the earth, you, or your little one, you have found a winning gift.
Sustainably & Ethically Made Baby Clothing
At Tabeeze, we know that nothing can be perfectly sustainable, but we are trying our best! We truly care about keeping this earth around as long as possible for us, for our babies, and for many generations to come.
Tabeeze are 100% GOTS Certified Organic. This means that we meet the highest level of environmental and social requirements throughout the production process. From planting the cotton seeds to sewing the no-fuss neckline to arriving at your doorstep, we adhere to the highest standards in labor, materials, and shipping practices. We are certified and proud of it!
Our Bottom-Up Baby Bodysuit follows the above standards and makes it easier to change your baby than ever before. With our patented shoulder flaps and fumble-free alignment, you’ll love how easy it is to get off. And, with our organic, ring-spun, jersey cotton, you’ll love how soft and gentle this bodysuit is on your baby’s skin.
Tabezee is gentle on the earth and gentle on parents (who are changing a diaper blowout at midnight without waking their baby).
Get That Gift
So now you know how to spot eco-friendly and sustainable gifts from a mile away, and you’ve got some rad inspiration. Seems like it’s time to start shopping.
Whether you’re creating a gift registry for yourself and want to make sure it’s ethically sound, or you’re trying to decide on a gift for someone else who is an eco-friendly superhero — we hope you have some new ideas.