Put down that onesie with the image of Jimi Hendrix screen printed on the front. It says “Hip,” it says “Cute,” it says “I have absolutely no idea what new parents need in a gift.” There are certain must-haves a new parent always wants to have around. And though fashionable kids clothing is great, it’s almost a certainty that they’ve already purchased tons of that stuff while in ‘the glow.’ Here’s a list of great green gifts for new parents that are positively eco-cool and practical.
Holding a newborn is pretty much intuitive. But folding one? That’s a different matter altogether. Swaddling (the practice of folding your newborn into a snug burrito-looking wrap) helps give babies “comfort, helps to induce sleep, or even offer colic therapy.” Being just out of the womb, with limbs free to go where they may, throws a baby’s sense of security out of whack. The instructional book Baby-Gami teaches new parents various useful wrapping techniques for swaddles, slings and cloth diapers.
Possibly the best thing to happen to green parents since BPA free baby bottles, gDiapers “put waste where it belongs, in the toilet. Not the landfill.” If the parents in question have already joined the ‘g revolution,’ put a case of gRefills ($52.00) under their living Christmas tree. If they are parents who need a gentle nudge in the green direction, gDaipers’ starter kit (2 little gPants, 10 flushable refills, 3 water-resistant snap-in liners, a swishstick and a Handy User’s Guide H.U.G. – $26.99) serves as inexpensive motivation.
In a recent NY Times article, Bronagh Staley, owner of the über-hip children’s store Sweet William noted that thanks to Erbaviva’s Natural Diaper Cream, “rashes disappear in a matter of hours.” This may be thanks to the Echinacea included in the cream’s recipe. “Echinacea has long been used by the Native Americans as a topical wound healer, both to reduce redness, inflammation and pain,” reads the Erbaviva website. Give it as a stocking stuffer ($20.00) or add it to the Erbaviva Gift Box (Baby Washbags, Lip & Cheek Balm, Sniffles Chest Balm, Erbaviva’s Baby Lotion – $75.00)
So you wanted cutesy and I started off by advising against it… let’s meet halfway. Patagonia’s Synchilla® Print Bunting (made from recycled and recyclable fleece – $75.00) is indeed cute (the print features lions, tigers, rhinos and, aw, panda bears) while their Puff-Ball Punting (comprised of a 100% recycled polyester shell and Thermogreen™ insulation – $99.00) is commonsensical (it’s reversible). “Like slipping inside a warm, soft dinner roll…” Enough said.
It’s not called a diaper bag, there are no product shots with baby bottles peeking out of the pockets and the photo with the flaps open to resemble portable changing stations is merely a fluke… or is it? The bags ‘Tot’s contributor, Andrea, likes because of their “perfect size, with plenty of pockets for stashing binkies, wipes, bibs, and basically every little piece of baby paraphernalia that needs to be toted around on a daily basis” are made by hand from recycled inner tubes and seat belt straps. Save the new parent from looking so… new.
The fiberglass shell seat design of The Land of Nod’s Retro Rocker (made to resemble the Charles and Ray Eams original $479.00 at Hive Modern) is a comfortable way for moms to ease in to the ritual of breastfeeding. She’ll be doing this a lot, so investing in furniture that lends itself to this rite of motherhood is a smart idea. Besides, she might not see it now, but as the baby grows, mom’s use of the stylish rocker will change too — she’ll eventual find herself seated in the rocker with nothing on her lap but a good book.
Feel free to add your own ‘must-haves’ to the comments section.