Plastic free challenge – Preparing for Baby!

As we embark on the final week of our plastic free challenge, we not only have the huge task of buying food that is free from any plastic packaging but also prepare for a new addition to our little family. Yes, a baby!

I must admit these final weeks have been the most challenging in terms of buying food and I have given in to a few must have items that I felt was simply too overwhelming to try and go without (I blame those pregnancy hormones!)). This has been mainly due to pure convenience as it would be much easier to fill up our freezer and pantry with conveniently packaged foods so that we have ready-made meals when baby is born.

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt through this challenge is to plan ahead! Do a meal plan & work out where you will source your food.

When we first stated to prepare for this new baby I thought it would be impossible to go plastic free as new parents are one of the biggest consumers targeted by marketers.

But to be honest, this time around we haven’t actually bought anything new for our baby. I guess being the second child we already have most essential baby items but as I sit down and think about what we really do need, it’s not that much!

Here’s my list of essentials that you need for a newborn and everything on this list can be obtained second hand:

  1. Nappies – Use cloth nappies instead of plastic & try to support a local mum that hand makes nappies or check out one of the many nappy forums where you can buy second hand cloth nappies.
  2. Wipes – Use reusable cloth wipes instead of disposables.
  3. Clothes, blankets, towel  & wraps – Don’t forget newborns grow out of clothes so quickly so you only need a few items that can easily be found from op shops, clothes swaps or baby & kids markets. If you are buying new then again try to support locally handmade from one of the fabulous markets and buy organic cotton.
  4. Bedding – If you co-sleep like us then you don’t have to worry about bedding but you can get a second hand bassinet or wooden cot from many different online sites such as e-bay.
  5. Feeding – Breastfeeding your baby has many obvious health and emotional benefits for mum & baby but it is also very convenient and requires nothing other than your loving arms and a comfy chair!
  6. Toys – For the first few months, newborn babies thrive on and need human stimulation such as touch. They don’t need fancy & over stimulating toys that dangle in front of their faces.  As they become more aware of their environment at 4 – 6 months of age then toys such mobiles, baby gyms or rattles & teethers are great. Again you can find some great second hand toys at your local op shop or baby market or of course you can find everything sustainable at Eco Toys!
  7. Car seat, baby Sling & / or pram  – A car seat would be the only thing you might consider buying new but we already had one and were given a capsule from a relative so you can source second hand if needed. Baby slings are a great way to bond with your baby and are easy to use and convenient to use.  Again there is a great range of organic baby carriers and my all-time favourites are the Hugabug & the Ergo carrier. We have yet to get a pram but are hoping to find a good second hand one on ebay.

To be honest, I wish I would have known all of this with my first child but the moment you are pregnant with your first child and step into a baby shop then you are made to feel that you need to buy everything!

My number one tip for new parents trying to reduce their carbon footprint is to go and check out one of the many second hand baby & children’s markets where you can find good quality baby goods for a fraction of the price.

 

 

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2 Responses to “Plastic free challenge – Preparing for Baby!”

  1. Alex Sebby says:

    If looking for a great way to support your local op shop or find great deals on toys, games, or even vintage clothing I highly recommend OpShop.com.au.

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