An Earth-Friendly, American-Made Baby Registry- Part Four- Feeding and Eating

by - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

the eco-friendly baby registry everything for feeding and eating

This is the fourth 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!

You can make every part of your registry have a more positive impact three ways-

1. Just Buy Less


Every list you will see suggests you need hundreds of things. You so, so don't. It can be scary, because you don't know what you are doing until you do it, but have faith that as long as they have somewhere to sleep, something to eat, and clothes to wear, everything else is bonus. You child will accrue SO MUCH STUFF so quickly, but you don't have to buy into a huge consumerist pile.

2. Buy Used


Everything you need for your bub is being used right now by another baby somewhere. And by the time your child gets here, that baby will already be done with it. Consignment stores, handmedowns, and Buy Nothing can save you thousands of dollars in these early years, but even better, it keeps a whole set of babygoods out of landfills. If I could do it all over again, I would get everything secondhand. Because babies don't care. At the very least, check if you can find it open box, because it will save a ton of money.

3. Buy it Local, Recycled, and Reusable

If you are going to buy something brand new, you have a few things to consider.

First, how far did this thing travel? The shorter the distance, the fewer gallons of fossil fuels it is guzzling. Plus, you will be helping workers near you and stimulating your own economy. Because I am based in the US, I focus on American-made stuff, but the real key is to buy the thing that has traveled the shortest distance.

Second, can it be reused? You know what is better than an "organic" nursing pad you use once? An organic nursing pad you reuse 100 times. This rule always applies. Wet bags, napkins, bibs, everything- single use is the enemy.

Third, can you find it recycled? If you want to get your bub a plastic dump truck, why not pick one that is made of recycled food containers? It is safer for your baby AND it doesn't add to the massive mountains of plastic waste our children will have to contend with someday. No fresh plastic. Find it recycled.


It may seem like a lot to consider, so I have done as much of the work as I can for you. You can find an awesome version of everything on your registry, I swear. So here are the switches for you:

the eco-friendly baby registry everything for feeding and eating bottles

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- some are nipple picky). 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 (I promise), but shop for what you want to do, and not for what other people tell you to do.

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

Baby Mush Storage (new)

Our Pick-  POPFEX 
Other Options- Used GLASS babyfood jars

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. Out of the babyfood stage, we use it for applesauce, herbs, and a damn good toy.

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.

the eco-friendly baby registry everything for feeding and eating bibs
from Kinder Sprouts

Bibs (used/ new)

Our Picks- Used and Taraluna Bibs and Kishu Baby
Other Options-  Petit Chalet and Fabulous Saturday TrendyBabyMoccShopThe Pleated PetalOrganic Mama DesignThe Ivy LanternJenny Penny Designs, and Kinder Sprouts.

 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. Taraluna 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.  Check these Etsy sellers for cute bibs and bandana bibs.

the eco-friendly baby registry everything for feeding and eating lifefactory bottle
Lifefactory on Amazon

Bottles (new and used)

Our Pick- Lifefactory and evenflo
Other Options- Dr Brown's

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 used the same set for 3 straight years now with no incidents (or leeched chemicals).

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).

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.

I might get one set and then buy the rest used or borrow, 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). 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.

the eco-friendly baby registry everything for feeding and eating breastfeeding pillow
from Necessary Cuteness


Breastfeeding Pillows (used)

Our Pick- Used with a new cover

 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)

 Our Pick- Nu-Angel
Other Options-  SatsumaBamboosaBabykicks

We bought the same white flat fold Gerber diapers as everyone else (boo, skip Gerber stuff), and I think that does the trick- Nu-Angel is similar, just softer and more ethical. Don't bother with 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). I would register for one set (maybe ten), but I wouldn't bother with much else. People will buy them anyway.

This is just a piece of fabric, so you could make it yourself out of something else. Washclothes would work the same way, or you can cut up unwanted baby blankets to make burp rags when the time comes. Seriously, just for puke.

Want other options?  Satsuma and Bamboosa have cloths made of bamboo. Looking for something with a little more texture? Cherub's Blanket claims to have the best burp cloth ever. So maybe worth it?

Dishwasher Basket (new)

Our Pick- Prince Lionheart 

 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. Over the three years I have written this, I see more and more of these in consignment stores, so you can definitely find one used.

High Chair (used)

Our Pick- Used or open box
Other Options-  Baby Eco TrendsStokke Tripp Trapp, or Keekaroo

 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, high chairs are found at consignment stores or open box on Amazon. Can't find one used you love? DON'T REGISTER NOW- you won't need it until the bub is at least 6 months old, so you have extra time to track something down.  You will have a better sense of your priorities (do you want it to roll around? to change heights? To look pretty? To take up minimal room? Etc).

We bought our high chair open box- the Oxo Tot high chair, which is on wheels and can lift up and down. We love it (three years in, it has held up so well), and there are at least eleven 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 can't find something good used, Baby Eco Trends sells USA-made wooden high chairs that may be your winner.If you are going for looks, there are tons of wood chairs on etsy and in consignment you could refinish as well. If you want something minimalist, these hook on chairs are super cool and make a lot of sense (plus they use way less plastic). Stokke Tripp Trapp and Keekaroo are made elsewhere (Finland and China) but their trays are both made in the US.

the eco-friendly baby registry everything for feeding and eating nursing pads
from Love your Reusables

Nursing Pads

Our Pick- Marley Monster and Love your Reusables
Other Options- NuangelWillow SproutsBaby Kicks, and Lilypadz

 Disposable nipper covers make no sense. NONE. Why do they exist? 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. So wasteful.

I would mostly recommend cloth reusable- they are comfortable and easily washable. My picks would be these super fun  covers from Marley Monsters (why not? your nipples won't be having any other kind of fun) or these pretty bamboo ones from Love your Reusables. Even Amazon has simple options from Nuangel and Willow Sprouts. And check etsy- so many options!

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

Our Pick- Nursing Time and Covered Goods
Other Options- Hold me Close NursingLula Baby Co (check this one out!), Milkmaid Goods, and Evalee Boutique.

 You may be able to find these used (or make it yourself), 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. By second baby, I will flash my nips at anybody, but you have to feel safe and happy while breastfeeding, so you have to do what works for you.

I switch between these scarves/covers from Nursing Time and Covered Goods- they are both made in America and have style. These (and other covers) only become more popular, so check out Etsy for TONS of options. Something will fit your style.

Pacifiers (3- 4 new)

Our Pick- Nuk silcon pacifiers and Philips Avent Soothies
Other Options- Natursutten

Not so fast! Buy a few, 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. Neither of our kids used them, but I know moms who swear by them. If you want to get ethical ones, try Nuk silicon pacifiers or the Philips Avent Soothies; both are made here and have glowing reviews. 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, Fawn and Finn, and Clover and Birch.
the eco-friendly baby registry everything for feeding and eating replay forks
Replay from Amazon

Silverware for an Early Eater (new)

Our Pick- Replay and Baby Liberty
Other Options- Green Eats and Love Mae Store

 This could be a good opportunity to register ahead. For the starting of solid foods on to toddler chaos, you can't do better than Replay and Green Eats for durable plastic stuff. Both are made in the USA out of recycled, food-safe milk jugs. These two companies are some of my favorite baby things on the planet.

If you want plastic completely out of your house (and who can blame you??), you can find other options as well. First, if you have the small spoons in your silverware set, that might already be fine (we could have saved the money, honestly). For metal spoons, Baby Liberty has coated and uncoated options. I have also seen wood sets that look great. Love Mae Store makes their plates out of bamboo). You can find some metal options as well.


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 can handle it. If you decide it is too much, you can often find them used in consignment stores, because other people decided it wasn't worth it. Just say to yourself "one more thing to clean."

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.

the eco-friendly baby registry everything for feeding and eating


Want more ideas for how to have a green registry? Check out the other parts here

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7 comments

  1. I love this! I'm super into recycling. I was going to write a post about it. Lol. But also when I first had my baby I didn't want anything used but as time went on it was like why not? Just needs a little cleaning, it's better then it going in the trash or something. Besides that they grow so fast! It's literally just throwing money down the drain if your gonna buy everything new. We buy a couple new outfits here and there but you can get some pretty great free stuff. Awesome article. Thanks!

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  2. Love this, it raises so much awareness for the green and safe environment. It definitely calls for a change from all of us, we buy so much and just discard when they are no longer used, not thinking of the effects it does on the environment.

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  3. every registry has things that some mom, somewhere, will never need. bottles and pacifiers were our money wasters. my son never took to either one. I have a drawer of burp rags never touched and he didnt like wearing bibs, either...I tell parents to buy just one of whatever you think you might need. if it doesnt work, then you dont have a bunch of it lying around

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  4. That pineapple boppy is the cutest one I have ever seen! Our biggest waste was anything for direct nursing... My son didn't latch well due to some growth issues, so I ended up pumping full time. All the nipple cream, etc were basically untouched, besides the one I opened for the first few weeks when we tried to make direct nursing work.

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  5. This is a great post!! So detailed and precise. You are a wealth of knowledge!!!

    Xox Dana Ivy // www.iadorewhatilove.com

    ReplyDelete