The market for green baby items expands on a daily basis -- which is great news for eco-conscious parents -- however, it makes choosing your child's precious toys, gear, and keepsakes all the more baffling. We asked our favorite green moms for their expert opinions on the one 'must-have' item that they couldn't live without! See which baby carrier was a fave of two moms, one who dons it in NYC's urban jungle , and one who uses it tote her babe on nature hikes in the great outdoors. You'll also learn about the best organic swaddle, and all the prized gear that gets these moms through the day from lunchtime to bath time and everything in between!
Amy Turn Sharp – Co-Founder, Designer Little Alouette
I am completely obsessed with Aden + Anais muslin organic swaddle blankets and sleep sacks. I use them for swaddling our new baby Scout and as catch all blankets as we travel through our busy days. They wipe mouths and make cuddle blankies for my preschooler. They can be used for breastfeeding cover ups and impromptu picnic ground coverings! All my boys have loved Aden + Anais. The organic line is gorgeous and I use these blankets EVERY day. They wash up well and the sleep sacks are super wonderful. I like to give these as gifts to my mama + papa friends. There is always a muslin in every room and probably the workshop too! Here is Scout at one day old wrapped in his muslin.
Kim Graham-Nye – Co-founder, gDiapers
That’s easy Peter Rabbit Organics are my must have. They make amazing organic fruit snacks that our boys love. They are made of 100% fruit, but the boys consider it such a treat because they love the packaging. What started out as kids snacks quickly evolved into a great snack option for the whole family. My husband Jason uses them for fuel when running (instead of gels), and our family chooses them over bars when out and about for long periods of time. The fact that they are sold at Starbucks and widely available also makes them a huge hit!
Micaela Preston – Mindful Momma & Author of Practically Green
It is my sincere belief that all school lunch packing Moms and Dads should have a LunchBot or two in their arsenal of lunch packing products. Why? Because LunchBots are made from 100% high-quality stainless steel that does not leach toxic chemicals like plastic does. Plus they are reusable and super durable to boot! We have a LunchBots Duo divided container – it’s perfect for crackers and cheese, fruit and nuts, mini sandwiches…. you name it! And best of all, the lid is easy for my kids to get off by themselves!
Jasmin Malik Chua – Ecouterre & Inhabitots
Living and working in NYC, and taking the subway, involves a lot of stairs and few stroller-friendly exits, so I loved breezing past the turnstiles with my Ergo carrier. (And secretly sniggering at parents struggling with double-wide prams.) It was also invaluable when I had to get things done around the house, since it allowed me to coddle my baby hands-free. An absolute godsend!
Jennifer Chait – Growing a Green Family & Inhabitots
The most important must-have baby item, in my opinion, is a baby bouncy seat, otherwise known as the item that allows you to take a shower when the baby won’t sleep. My baby bouncy seat meant I could sneak in a shower while Cedar hung out in the bathroom with me. His seat also allowed me to do stuff like load the washing machine or make a quick lunch, without having to balance Cedar in my other arm. When Cedar was born there were few eco-friendly baby bouncy seats on the market, but now there are all sorts of great eco-minded baby seats available. One of my favorites is the adorable 100% certified organic cotton LEAF baby seat.
Francia McCormack – Inhabitots
My must-have item for my tots would be the Maxim Wooden Train set. For a great price, my girls get an earth friendly escape into their imaginations. I like to see all of the variations they build and the fact we can keep adding to the set. It is creative and affordable, so you can’t go wrong.
Kari Erickson-Valenzuela – Founder, Mama K’s Aromatic Play Clay
My must-have item for my toddlers is California Baby’s Calming Blend Bubble Bath. Both of my girls will play calmly in the tub for a long time with this soothing blend. They enjoy relaxing, building bubble castles, making ‘cupcakes’ and ‘milkshakes,’ and they come out clean and ready for bed. And I’m not at all worried about them absorbing any nasty chemicals through their sweet sensitive skin. We are huge bath fans around here!
Grace Welch – Founder, Patemm Pad
Hands down, my favorite eco-friendly baby essential has to be gDiapers! They are the best of both cloth diapers and disposable in one eco-friendly diaper. These ‘green’ diapers, consist of a washable, cotton outer little gPant that come in an array of fun stylish colors and a plastic-free biodegradable diaper insert gRefill. Not only are these diapers incredible, but I love the people and message behind the brand!
Jennifer C. – Founder, Designer SewnNatural
We decided early on to carry our daughter as much as possible, and ended up using carriers with her until she was almost 3 years old. We loved being able to hold her close, include her in our conversations, allow her the chance to be safely and securely supported (and nursed on demand!), and give her a snuggly “way out” from all the stimulation around her. Since we used different slings during those three years, it was really challenging to narrow it down to just one favorite eco-friendly necessity. We loved the SleepyWrap and the Didymos sling, but found the Ergo Carrier to be incredibly versatile. It served as a constant, loyal companion during our 3 week hiking trip in Sedona when our daughter was almost 2. Here we are hiking in the mountains in the early morning January frost. With a new baby on the way in a few weeks, we’re looking forward to carrying again, and growing together as a family.
Mari Richards – Small for Big
Picking your baby’s first rattles can be paralyzing — do you get the expensive heirlooms, the ugly workhorses, the generic cheapos, what?! I think Soopsori’s set of 4 rattles covers all of it. Each rattle is eco-friendly, infinitely chewable, super adorable, unique, and gentle on the ears and the pocketbook. Plus, they’ll continue on into your tot’s first attempts at stacking and sorting. I wish we’d had these when my Birdie was wee, but I’m hopeful to grab some (fingers crossed) the next time around!
Kimber Christensen, Co-Founder, Designer Little Sapling Toys
Our water loving family loves Klean Kanteen 12oz stainless steel sippy cups! They grow with your child; you can replace the sippy lid with a sports cap when the time comes. We avoid tantrums with everyone having similar stainless steel vessels. They are strong — we throw them around without worrying about breakage. They are easy for little hands to handle and hang onto. They are recyclable, although I don’t see an end to their use in sight any time soon.
Rebecca Peragine – Founder, Artist, Children Inspire Design
My tots love our Djeco Wooden Coconut Skittles! It’s a kids bowling set that is so adorable I couldn’t resist buying it for my boys. When my oldest was a baby, we lived in the tropics and he LOVED playing with coconuts. So when I found the Djeco Wooden Coconut Skittles game set I had to get it for him and his little brother. They are well made and eco-friendly. So cute!
Jennie Lyon – Inhabitots & Sweet Greens
I really love these wooden animal rattles from ImagiPlay. These rattles are made from managed beechwood and sealed with beeswax. They are great for motor skill development and hand-eye coordination. Plus, what baby could resist the fun organic animal shapes?
Flavia Fazzini – Petit Eco Kids
My must have eco-friendly baby item is one I actually couldn’t get my hands on when my daughter was a wee one: glass baby bottles. Even if I breastfed my daughter I enjoyed sharing the feeding experience with other family members so I would prepare a bottle every so often. Glass baby bottles weren’t easy to get a hold of around these parts a few years ago, so I settled for the next best thing: BPA free bottles. But the next time around I will definitely be buying glass baby bottles, specifically these very stylish bottles by Lifefactory. There are so many things I like about these bottles but most importantly the material they are made from. Glass is a safe, time-tested material that won’t leach harmful chemicals into the liquids it holds, giving you priceless peace of mind when feeding your baby. The designers at Lifefactory have come up with a very clever silicon sleeve to prevent breakage (even if the type of glass used on these bottles is shock-resistant) and have done so in a very stylish and colorful way.