You’re pregnant – that’s great! There’s a massive consumer marketplace designed with every conceivable product and device to make your pregnancy and parenting as easy and simple as possible. But if you’re concerned about the impact of this mass manufacturing culture on the environment, there are some simple steps you can take today to make you’re pregnancy and parenting as ‘green’ as possible for you and your baby.
Ask yourself what you really need to buy and what you simply want to buy. Your baby’s crib, car seat, and carrier or stroller are among the most basic products you’ll use daily. Before you go crazy with the baby registry, ask friends and other parents you admire what they consider to be the essential baby gear. Then consider whether these essentials are items you can recycle from older children, neighbors, or baby/child consignment shops?
Three big cautions, though, when it comes to using second-hand baby products:
The main problem with some of the newest products on the market is that they simply haven’t been tested for their safety and usefulness. So, to save money and reduce consumption, consider passing on these items:
Glass bottles are always an option and if you’re concerned about breakage, look for the ones with a silicone outer sleeve.
Keep in mind that BPA is also found in the linings of formula cans and can get into the product. You might want to opt for powdered formulas, which typically contain lower levels of BPA than liquid formulas.
Lastly, choose nipples and pacifiers that are latex-free to prevent a possible latex allergy from developing.
About the author: Kim Wilschek, RN, CCE, is a clinical nurse manager in women’s programs and education at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL. She’s also an expert advisor to Health4Mom.org and Healthy Mom & Baby magazine.
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