An Earth-Friendly, American-Made Baby Registry- Part Three- Eating and Sleeping

by - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

This is the third installment of my baby registry for parents trying to minimize their tiny babies early footprint- a new baby comes with oodles of new stuff, but if you can find use for what you already own, buy things used, and buy (or register for) green or Made in the USA products (which have to travel much shorter distances), you can approach all this stuff in a totally new way! Check here for the other parts or here for the quick and easy list of links.

bottles and feeding

Much like diapering, how you approach these purchases depends on how you plan on tackling the job.

There is lots of talk of "Breast is best" but I think feeding your baby is best. Do what you need to do, but don't bother with a breast pump if you have no real intention to breastfeed, and don't spend a lot on bottles if you are starting on the breast (wait and test bottles for the baby you have). Likewise, if you decide to do Baby-led weaning, you probably don't need much to store baby food in, but you might want more of the safe feeders. Your choices will work just fine, but shop for what you want to do, and not for what other people tell you to do.

Baby Food Storage
Baby Safe Feeders
Breast Pump
Breastfeeding Pillow
Burp Rags
Dishwasher Basket
Drying Rack
High Chair
Nursing Pad
Nursing Cover
Baby Food Maker
Wubba Nubs

Baby Mush Storage (new)POPFEX makes freezer trays that help you portion out and save your baby food after you make it (which is seriously so cheap and easy to do). You can pop this in the freezer, then pop out your little food nubbins. I also think this could continue to be helpful for other purposes after the short-lived baby food phase.

Even if you make your own food (which is easier, cheaper, and less granola than it seems), you will probably end up buying a couple baby foods here and there- as long as you don't get the pouches (one use, non-recyclable, and honestly, not much more convenient), you will have a collection of bottles to fill too. This tray can be purely for what you want to freeze.

Baby Safe Feeders (new)- You can put food in these little nubbies to help the baby in his or her start with food. You can put any kind of food inside and just let them have at it (still messy, but no worries about choking). These have also been our favorite teether- fill it up with ice or frozen fruit and it soothes gums.

from Kinder Sprouts
Bibs (used/ new)- You will get so many of these! Oodles even! I might set a preference, but you really need like 5-7 tops, depending on how many times you do laundry. Used ones mostly would be just fine, but I can't remember seeing many when I have shopped used. These ones are organic and Made in the US, but honestly, I wouldn't invest much in these- by them used or graciously accept the cutesy nonsense you are given in this case.  Petit Chalet and Fabulous Saturday does cute sets if you want to kick some baby shower gifting ass. Bandana bibs are also in (like these from Kishu Baby), and you can buy great ones at Etsy stores like TrendyBabyMoccShop, The Pleated PetalOrganic Mama Design, The Ivy Lantern, Jenny Penny Designs, and Kinder Sprouts.

Lifefactory on Amazon

Bottles (new and used)- The good news is there are tons of Made in America options among the made in China plastic, but some front runners shine through. I highly recommend doing glass over plastic- every time a new study comes out, the plastic bottles look worse for our babies (yes, even the BPA-free ones). Plus, if you plan on more than one child, glass bottles will still be in perfect shape when Spawn #2 arrives.

We have two sets of glass bottles, and we love them both. Lifefactory makes these bottles with silicon sleeves (they also have a 4 oz version and both can be easily transformed into sippy cups with these caps)- they are beautiful and made completely ethically. They are also lighter than you might expect and we loved them for the bottle to sippy transition. These are splurges for sure, but I think they are worth it. The other glass bottles we have are made by evenflo, and they are more affordable (and great for travel). Both are great.

We fell in love with glass, so when we found some 4 oz glass bottles in the consignment store, we grabbed them up. If you see them, GET THEM! Crazy good investment.

Dr Brown's has glass bottles, which would have a longer life and don't add to the endless pile of plastic (they have those too- also made in the US). You can also just switch out the nipples as the baby gets larger.

I might get one set and then buy the rest used, because you never know what the baby will like (our bub did love the cheap-o ones that were used as shower decorations and fancy glass, but never cared for the other nipples like Tommee Tippee). Medela bottles attach to the pumps, and seem to be made in a mix of places. We used them most while breastfeeding/pumping, and they still work now, though we prefer other bottles. I would avoid bottles with wider or non-standard sized nipples (Avent are made in the UK, but their nipples are a whole different set). They are apparently more breast-like, which might resonate with some little ones (wait and try a friend's or buy used if need be- some nursing coaches even have them). Try to stick with all bottles that work on one team.

Breast Pump (new)You can try getting this used, but like a car seat, people won't support it (for some good reasons- you have to get that thing CLEAN before you use it). Most (but not all) Medela pumps are made in the US, and you can either get an electric version or a manual one. I ended up only using the manual version, which hurt less and felt like less fuss in general. You still feel like a cow, but you get to feel like the farmer too.

from Necessary Cuteness

Breastfeeding Pillows (used)- The Boppy or My Breast Friend can be absolute angel pillows. I know lots of breastfeeding moms swear by them. They did not help me, and the last thing I ended up wanting was yet another step introduced into late night feedings. That being said, if you want one, these are pretty consistent presences at consignment stores and just the kind of things other moms are willing to lend out.  My Breast Friend is made in China, and the Boppy claims to be US-made but is at least partially imported from China. So not great.

 Luckily, there is always a pile of them in consignment stores waiting to be used. One comes up on /Buy Nothing at least once a month. You can even get a janky-looking one and throw a new cover on it, so it will look just as fresh. Etsy has tons of the for Boppy- Sprinkled with Kisses, Lublini Custom Bedding, Arbor Hill Supply, Mod FoxLullabies and LollipopsMax and Grace, Petal and Branch. and Necessary Cuteness. It will look amazing, and no one will know the difference.

Burp Rags (new)- We bought the same flat fold Gerber diapers as everyone else (boo, skip Gerber stuff), but I think they aren't that necessary. Even less necessary? The cutesy patterned ones- this is for vomit, people (Kemaily does cute sets, but honestly, you probably don't need to spend your money here). Washclothes would work the same way, or you can cut up unwanted baby blankets to make burp rags when the time comes. If you do want to register for some, Nu-Angel sells a 12 piece set for a similar price as the Gerber's (why doesn't everyone do this?).

Thirsties prefolds would be our other pick, made of organic hemp in the US. Satsuma has this set made of Bamboo. Bamboosa washcloths are super soft too, and would be fine for this, and Babykicks would be great (maybe a little small?) too. Looking for something with a little more texture? Cherub's Blanket claims to have the best burp cloth ever.

Dishwasher Basket (new)- These baskets keep all your nipples and rings together in the dishwasher, and it is a key part of our baby bottle game. Prince Lionheart baskets are made in the USA out of recycled plastic, so it doesn't get any better than that. If you can't find one used, just buy this brand.

Drying Rack (used)- You can start by just using your regular dish rack, but it may not be ideal. Boon makes these super cute grass racks- ours is skinny and rests on the windowsill, to keep all your bottling stuff clean and together. The downside is they all look to be made in Elsewhere. You can probably get one of these in consignment- they have a pile of the at our consignment store.

High Chair (used)- Gah, another big one that can be tough to find Made in the US, and from what I can see, no particularly green manufacture. On the bright side, for whatever reason, this one seems more easily found at consignment stores or open box on Amazon (people get too many high chairs as gifts, maybe?). We bought our high chair used- the Oxo Tot high chair, which is on wheels and can lift up and down. We love it, and there are at least five open box on Amazon right now (and you will save money!). You won't need it until 6 months, so it gives you extra time to track something down- consider if you want it to move or fold away, and how well your baby can grow into it- everything else doesn't matter much. If you are going for looks, there are tons of wood chairs on etsy and in consignment you could refinish as well.

If you can't find something good used, Baby Eco Trends sells USA-made wooden high chairs that may be your winner. Stokke Tripp Trapp's high chair is made in Finland, but its baby set and tray are both made in the US of recyclable material. Keekaroo chairs are made in China, but their seats, trays, and cushions are made in New York. Neither are great, so really, check those baby consignment stores!

from Love your Reusables
Nursing Pads- Disposable nipper covers make no sense. You buy 100+ of them, and then throw them away because they have milk on them is so inconsistent. One time use bottles? One time use milk glasses? No! That's crazy. Even worse, those disposable ones are all Made in Elsewhere, so think of all the fossil fuels that go to waste.

I would mostly recommend cloth reusable- they are comfortable and easily washable. My picks would be these super fun Marley Monster's covers (why not? your nipples won't be having any other kind of fun) or these pretty bamboo ones from Love your ReusablesNuangel on Amazon has simple options. You could also try Willow Sprouts and Baby Kicks (the shape might help early sore nipples).

Lilypadz makes a silicon version, which can probably keep you from using so many disposable ones. They work better if you are spilling a lot or you have to go a long time.

A Nursing Cover- You may be able to find these used (or make it yourself( too, but I recommend a nursing scarf, which you can wear on you over the covers where it looks like your boobs are a puppet theater. I found this (lovingly known as boob mountain) to be easier, less attention-getting, and more comfortable for me.

I love covers from Nursing Time because the cloth is super breathable, and you can find all kinds to fit your style. I switch between that one and this one from Covered Goods, which are made in Los Angeles and come in all sorts of very wearble designs! I am debating buying a third for our new baby, because I love these so much!

Other places to look? Hold me Close Nursing, Lula Baby Co (check this one out!), Milkmaid Goods, and Evalee Boutique.

Pacifiers (new)- Not so fast! Buy a few, but not a lot. 3-4 tops. It's another one of those things where the baby's taste for it just can't be predicted. Some Nuk silcon pacifiers were made here, and they have glowing reviews.The Philips Avent Soothies are made in the US, and they were the only ones we had any luck with (we eventually gave up- a lot more babies never take one than you figure).  These pacifiers are made in Europe, but they offer a slightly different design than the American version, and you avoid buying more plastic.

You can also go for a pacifier clip. I know people swear by them, but I wouldn't get more than one (go simple if you care about matching) until you know more about your baby. Etsy has plenty of options- Henley's Headbands, The Chipped Cup, The Stitched Co, Fawn and Finn, and Clover and Birch.
Replay from Amazon
Silverware for an Early Eater (new)- This is a good opportnuity to register ahead. For a little further down the line, this  Green Eats silverware rocks. Not only is it made in the USA, it is also completely made out of used milk bottles. We have them and the spoon is definitely broader than the other options, but I have never heard the baby complain. We have Replay forks, sippy cups, and plates as well, and we love them. These two companies are some of my favorite baby things on the planet.  They also make plates (as does Love Mae Store, that makes their plates out of bamboo).

Special Babyfood Maker (just wait)- This seems like a scam- you can steam vegetables without it. Beaba has one, and it isn't worth it. The idea is that it steams and purees the food in one motion, but let me tell you, making baby food is already like a six minute process. Boil and blend. It didn't need these improvements, because I promise you, you can handle it. If you decide it is too much, you can often find them used in consignment stores. If you haven't decided about baby-led weaning, it may be left behind anyway.

Wubba Nubs (just wait)- Another one of those things that are a perfect comfort item for some babies and never see the light of day for others. You will probably get one without asking for it, based purely on its cuteness. If not, other parents might be happy to pass one along. That's plenty. If it resonates, by all means get more (my nephew still loves them at three), but they are made in China, so if you can avoid it, I think that's good.

furniture and nursery decor

Changing Table
A Few Pieces you Love
Glider or Rocking Chair
Growth Chart 
Toddler Chair
Pack n Play
Wall Decor

Bassinet (used)- Much like the baby clothes, this is absolutely essential, but only for a short window, so it can be tough to find one at a reasonable price that isn't made in China. Our Fisher Price Rock n Play was a lifesaver for a minute, but don't buy from them. Just don't. Everything they make is from China, and their packaging isn't even recyclable. Just, boo all around.

This can be found at consignment stores, or if you ask to borrow one on Buy Nothing, people will lend you theirs for the 3-4 months you need it (I think lots of moms keep theirs because it reminds them of that time when everyone was sleeping, but they can part with it for a while). Ours was passed around for 4 babies to use between our two babies.

Crib (used, new) - If you have the chance for one used, and you can look into its history, go for it. If not, there are plenty of options made in the USA, You can look at sites that have a pretty wide variety of American-made styles like Kids n Cribs. Also, I recommend one that turns into a toddler bed, for simplicity's sake if nothing else. Baby Eco Trends is made in the US and maybe Amish (I am slightly suspicious that they don't list an exact location), but they have a wide variety of wooden cribs, cradles, and moses baskets. Land of Nod has a clean, minimal crib that I think would be perfect for a bright boy or girl nursery(in case you are planning siblings).

Baby Furniture Plus also has a pretty wide selection of Made in the USA baby furniture, including some great cribs (I really love the Willa crib and the Braxton would be great in the vintage grey color). Berg Furniture has two nursery collections as well. Whitney Brothers make a great version that would work as a co-sleeper as well.  Oeuf has a (sustainably made in Europe) Sparrow Crib so modern and fancy, I am not cool enough for it. Bayletto's cribs are also very clean line and modern, made in New Zealand from sustainable wood (it's a similar look without breaking the bank). A Pacific Rim crib is handmade in the US and can transition into toddlerhood- It's what I imagine Ron Swanson would make for cribs- not super fussy, but pretty and sturdy.

Changing Tables (just wait)- This is a perfect opportunity to use something you already have. I know some people love them, but you don't need one. We put our changing area on top of a repainted dresser. It won't change your life if you try to use a more flexible piece of furniture, and with another coat of paint, it could last you until the baby graduates highschool (where that changing table will be on its way out in no time). Berg Furniture has all kinds of kids' beds and dressers, and I think one could easily work as a changing table as well.

A Few Pieces (a rug, lamp, lampshade) You Really Love- I wouldn't go too crazy here, but there are tons of options that are made in America you can feel pretty good about, while also nailing whatever theme you set (and you should, if you want to- you can make any theme still work while shopping green). Carousel Designs has lots of cute, Made in the USA options. I'd say check consignment places first, but you can fill in the blanks easily enough.

These purchases are so individual, but you can still find things that you like and that are made ethically. For the nursery, we bought a couple of really special things- hot air balloons to hang from the ceiling, steampunk prints for the walls (along with a map from a flea market and our shower decorations), and gear stickers (that did not work in the end- so it goes). We also bought a bunch of pillow covers, since his nursery has a futon but not a lot of walls, This can be fun. Write your nursery theme into the search bar on Etsy and get inspired!

 Glider or Rocking Chair (used/new)- If you have one already, perfect! If not, you can start by checking basically any Goodwill. You could probably spice up an old rocker pretty easily- it's still cheaper to reupholster or paint depending on where you are at. If that isn't your deal and you want to splurge on a new glider, Land of Nod has a pretty big collection of gliders and ottomans all made in the US. My only other advice is to get an ottoman with storage, either way. You are having a baby. Your life of single purpose furniture is over, you need to hide the baby shit anywhere you can.

Baby Eco Trends also has more traditional wooden options to consider,

from Half Pint Ink Studio
Growth Charts- I love these things, especially if you are not sure the house your bub is starting in won't be his or her home for too long. Maple Landmark offers a bunch of sweet options for this, with all sorts of cutesy toppers. I absolutely love  these ruler growth charts from  Domestic Blueprint. Grace Words by Melanie, Half Pint Ink Studio, Your Custom Signs, or Sir Silas (which you finish yourself).

Little Chairs- I can't get over the cuteness of these ones from Land of Nod, which would be perfect for those monthly photos (don't put them up high or laying down for that- because around 7 months, things will get impossible). LL Bean still makes beautiful personalized rocking chairs as well in Maine. We got one as a gift from the Boy's parents and one at Goodwill to refinish. Makes a very sweet gift. Pottery Barn Kids also makes an "Anywhere Chair" that is made in the us with partially recycled materials.

Mobiles- The Boy made the Bub's, and it is truly awesome, and you can do it too if you so please. It was just felt, blanket stitching, and a whole lot of trial and error. Still, if you want to spend your time on other baby crafts (or something else, though who knows what that would be), Etsy stores like Drops of Color Shop make amazing mobiles that fit basically any theme you can think of. That store is a gem. Other great mobile stores on Etsy? The StarcraftEnchanted PedulosityMy Dear Ellie, Cinnamon Moose Crafts, and Sweet Dreams Baby Shop.

A Monitor (new)- Yeah, you probably need one (if you aren't co-sleeping or next door to the nursery), but I am not the girl to tell you which, as I am not tech savvy, and I just mostly don't care about these things. But, like most tech gadgets, these are almost all imported. If you can find a used one (with or without a camera- that depends on your temperament), you are golden. Bonus if you find one where you can adjust it to only play the noise if it is above a certain level.

 Pack n Play (used)- If you can get it used, this is a great place to do so, because I can't find one brand that makes theirs in the US or with recycled materials.They can be good to have, but unless they have a specific role in your plan, wait it out to get one used. Our consignment store usually has at least five out on the floor. They also last freaking forever, so there have to be lots floating around in the world. When we go back home, The Bub sleeps in one previously used by his Godmother, who is now 21 years old. Maybe you want something more modern, but know you could get it for much cheaper and register for other things instead. You can get the Pack n Play sheet Made in the US!

Shelving (used/new)- If you take something sturdy and fasten it to the wall (do it now, while you still have lots of time), most shelving with a coat of paint (and maybe some toy baskets on the bottom shelf) makes for perfectly great baby storage. Transform something you already own to save money, and you can get something to last for the adult spaces.

 That being said, we didn't own anything that would work, so we bought our shelves from Ameriwood (made in Canada). I love ours because the have toy chests at the bottom. Sauder sells bookshelf/toychest hybrids that were made here as well.  My favorite company for kids furniture may now be Little Colorado, which makes all kinds of the sturdy pieces you will need (including some cool shelving options- I love the cubbies) without getting too expensive or moving out of the United States. If you like the bookshelves where you can see the covers, check out Steffy Wood Products

Sun-Blocking Curtains- If you are a parent, the sun is your enemy. Not unlike a vampire. If you are buying curtains, only buy ones that can block the sun.

 Swing and/or Bouncer (used)- These are amazing lifesavers while they are amazing lifesavers. For about two minutes. Then? They are out. The swing helped us all get rest for the first 2 months, then he mostly grew out of it. The Bub moved into his bouncer, which was also amazing until month 5 or 6, when he was almost flipping it to get himself out (but he really is a bruiser). Once again, Fisher Price has great versions of both if you can find one used, but they have very Earth unfriendly practices, so I wouldn't put my money there. If you can't find one used, Swedish Baby Bjorn makes a clean-lined, recyclable material bouncer that you can buy various toys for (one of my friends has this exact set, and their baby loves it). Their carriers are made in China, but their bouncer is made in Sweden.

4moms Mommaroo bouncers can sometimes serve as both (but their swings are imported), so it makes up for them being expensive (I see some open box), but I would try your baby in one before taking such a big leap.

Wall Decor (new/used) - One of the things I love most about our nursery is how much we used the decorations from our shower as the art. Put frames around the diaper cake animals, and they look great, plus it has so much more meaning. If you can have a nursery theme before your showers, I highly encourage it, because everyone can join in, and that will make the room.

Oopsy Daisy has all kinds of wall stickies and the like that are made in the US. We did a little subtle gears sticker in the Bub's room, so it is do-able! Land of Nod has this cute garland and a wall map that looks awesome (though I love maps). Kate Durkin makes these beautiful alphabet cards with animals on them. I am also obsessed with these vinyl stickers that someone used on the ceiling instead of the walls- genius. Children Inspire has great retro-feeling maps made from all eco-friendly materials. You could also do a cool movie poster like this one from FADE Graphix. Like all decor, even the ethical options are basically endless, you just have to figure out your vision!


Bedding Sets
Crib Mattress
Crib Sheets
Mattress Pad
Sleep Bag
Swaddle Blankets

Bedding Sets (just wait)- So cute, so useless. You can't use most of the components (bumpers are a SIDS hazard, and the quilts aren't useful for at least the first year). A smartly chosen sheet may do the trick for nailing down your nursery theme, you will save money, and you will have plenty of blanket chances later.

Crib Mattress (used)- Good if you can find it used, since it will be washed and covered up anyway, but watch out for things with a lot of synthetic materials . Oeuf offers a Made in the USA version for all you Eurofancies. Naturpedic has an all-organic option as well. My Green Mattress is organic, toxin-free, and made in the US as well- is it pricey? Yes, but it is worth it.. Savvy Baby also makes a mattress in the US.

from Woolf with Me
Crib Sheets (new/ used)- You can probably get a lot of bedding and sheets used or for free around. People have a lot of crib sheets. That being said, if you skip out on your whole bedding sets (which makes a lot of sense) buying a sheet or two you really like might be a good way to splurge (or to give a big gift). I would say 4 or 5 sheets are nice to have, and only one or two need to actually be attractive.

Carousel Designs makes all kinds of sheets and changing covers that might fit your vision, all made in the USA (and now on Amazon and Etsy). If you want lots of great and affordable options, check out the SheetWorld section on Amazon as well.

If you want that perfect crib sheet for that perfect look for the whole perfect nursery, no judgement, friend. If you are skipping the whole bedding shebang, you have saved yourself a bunch of money and you can put some of it toward a spot on sheet from Etsy. They have a million of them, so here are a few of my favorite stores for bedding- Woolf with Me, Babiease, Goodnight Doll, Whimsical and Witty, Madly Wish, Lou Lou Made, Little Necessities, Three Wishes Bedding Co, and West and Arrow.

A Mattress Pad (new)- I haven't seen these really for sale in consignment stores, but you might look before you make a decision. Exceptional Sheets (owned by a veteran!) makes Crib/ toddler mattress pads out of bamboo in the US. So this one stands a little more expensive than your average purchase, but it might be worth it. Go ahead and register for it- you might be surprised!

Two to three Sleepbags (new/used)- We started with Halo Sleepsacks, and they do work great compared to just swaddling, but again, there are more eco-friendly options! First, you can find them used in consignment or TONS open box on Amazon. No reason to waste money buying these new, Taraluna has simple but very eco-friendly options. Swaddleme has great sleepbags (in like a million designs), but they don't have any additional swaddle to them for the arms. You can also find some sleepbags usedsince they mostly don't last that long.

Swaddle Blankets (new)- You will get so many of these without asking, and many of ours were homemade, so that is awesome. People LOVE Aden and Anais blankets. I do not blame them- we have a set, and they do in fact put all others to shame. They are also made in China. So buy them used. Keep an eye out for them in consignment stores (and really, don't worry about gendered design- one of ours turned peach in a laundry accident, and it still works just fine), because they will be bought up.

It's the muslin fabric that makes these blankets flexible, stretchy, and weirdly always a good temperature. These Snug Bug blankets have the same breathable, but large blankets, and they are made in the US. The prices are pretty comparable too. Swaddle Designs has some great versions of the soft, stretchy blanket as well if you want that to work out.

Etsy stores are also a good place to look for swaddle blankets- Lola and Stella has a collection of really great printed ones that come in 3 sizes. Stitched in Seattle also has really pretty patterns in organic fabrics (I may be a bit partial to this one- buy local!). Also try Rainy Day WooliesLittle Logan DesignsTumbleweed Babies, and Rosie's Idea.

Swaddle Me Baby Wraps (just wait)- Some parents swear by these, and some never use them. We used ours maybe 2 weeks before The Bub outgrew them. They usually get such short use that they are easily found in consignment stores (and most of the namebrand options are made in China- not worth it!). My advice? Get one at a consignment store and see if it works for your baby before you invest a ton in them (also, be sure to get one with the hole in the back, because then you can use it in the carseat).


Play Yards and Baby Gates
Window Covers

We started with all sorts of babyproofing materials and you know what ended up doing about 90% of the work? These latches. They keep doors and drawers closed but aren't a total puzzle to get out. We have a couple other things around, but this is really the best advice I can give you- keep it simple.

Play Yards and Baby Gates- North States manufactures all of its plastic gates in the US and their metal gates in China. They do baby gates and cute play yards like this one. If you have a difficult space to baby proof, this may be a better solution for you.

Window Covers- Ok, this all depends on your house, which I can't tell you about, but these window grids that keep your little ones from pushing out might be incredibly helpful as they get bigger and moving. Guardian Angel ones are all made in the US too.

Everything Else (used)- You need things to keep drawers closed, doors closed, etc. In consignment stores, there is usually one little basket of discarded options that people didn't use (generally still in their packaging). You can also ask for people's odds and ends on Buy Nothing. Start there. Also, you will be encouraged to put up baby gates the second you start baking that embryo- that's crazypants. I would start putting things up as the baby starts crawling, but even then, there is not the rush they suggest, so you have time to figure out what actually works for you.

So, this is the list as far as I can think of it, but there are plenty of options and stores available if you want to register or buy a cool gift for a tiny new person. We get this message over and over again to surround ourselves with excessive stuff, because then we are prepared, but if it feels like you won't need it, you very well may not. Don't listen to the chorus of people telling you that you need this or that (myself included), because they only know what works for them. If you want to poke around some more, Still Made in the USA has a page for baby stuff specifically, so this might be a great place to look if you haven't found what you like here. Land of Nod, which I love perhaps more than I should, has a huge collection of Made in the USA stuff, though you can't easily find the eco-friendly stuff.  Step 2 has a long list of Toys Made in the USA, and they even differentiate between totally made in the US and which had parts that needed to travel (I feel like I will return to that list a million times). 

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