When I was registering the first time around for my daughter, I really had no clue what I was doing. I mainly relied on what products my friends were using and what I read in Baby Bargains. I was told by a couple of people to just register for what I ultimately wanted and not worry about the price. Knowing that my friends and family would be buying off my registry (and not wanting anyone buying us anything for us in the first place) I just couldn’t help but be mindful of price points. Sure, there were some more expensive products that I was eyeing, but instead, I opted for cheaper versions of just about everything – not really thinking that there might be a good reason for certain brands being significantly more expensive than others. The main reason being the materials used.
When I was pregnant with baby boy, and becoming even more conscious of living more cleaner lifestyle, I kept reading about the potential physical and mental issues, not to mention cancer risks associated with many of the materials (like polyurethane foam and flame retardants) that are oh-so-very prevalent in many of these mainstream company’s products. Ugh! I wish I would’ve made better decisions the first time around! But, when you don’t know any better, I think it’s natural to trust the larger-than life companies that everyone is buying from, because you think “how could they use or do anything harmful” and “everyone is buying their products, so it must be safe.” Sadly, this is so not the case.
So, I was faced with the dilemma of which baby gear products should stay and which products needed to be replaced. I tried to be as rational as possible (without driving my husband crazy with all the changes taking place in our house on a daily basis), but made me completely sick to my stomach to even think that my daughter may have been subjected to any harmful toxins from any of the products we used while she was just a newborn, and I didn’t want the same thing happening the second time around with my son.
Now that I know (a little) better, here’s a list of some safer baby gear products, many of which I ultimately ended up purchasing the second time around.
What I Wish I Would’ve Registered For:
There no better peace of mind than when you know your baby is sleeping safely right next to you! This organic Moses basket was an absolute life-saver! My son loved it and I had so much comfort just knowing that it was actually safe for him to sleep in.
Bouncer Seat: Bloom Coco Go Organic 3-in-1 Lounger
I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of obsessed with this thing! I was originally looking at the BABYBJORN Balance Soft Bouncer, but my husband was hesitant because it didn’t rock or vibrate (which our daughter loved). So, when I found the Coco Go Organic 3-in-1 Lounger, we were sold (only reluctant by the hefty price tag). But, I’ve got to tell you, it’s worth every penny! It bounces, rocks, vibrates, has 3 recline positions and it so easy to travel with – total awesome-sauce!
Portable Crib/Playard: The Lotus Travel Crib
I want this thing so bad! This wonderful crib/playard contains no flame retardants and using non-toxic materials (free of PVC, lead, phthalates, formaldehyde, heavy metals. Additionally, and most importantly, it is certified to the GREENGUARD GOLD standard – which makes it the only travel crib in the world to receive this rigorous certification. And, its super simple to set up – seriously, watch the video in awe!
Unfortunately, we decided to forgo replacing our current portable crib/playard and simply bought an organic mattress pad and organic cotton sheets to help ease some of the potential of exposing our little ones to any harmful chemicals that may be in the crib’s mattress.
Stroller: Uppababy Vista
Without a doubt the greatest baby gear related products we purchased! You can read more about my love for this stroller on my previous blog post: The Holy Grail of All Strollers.
Swing: Nuna Leaf
Many people seem to consider this a bouncy seat, however, we used this in place of a swing. The motion of the seat is a swaying motion, similar to a leaf falling – hence its name. It’s made with better for baby certified OEKO-TEX® fabric and has an organic cotton insert, which I obviously love. And, it is a product that will actually grow with your child (and you don’t have to worry when your toddler decides to take it for a ride) – it has a weight capacity of 130 lbs.
They’re wooden – which means no nasty chemicals, flame retardants, or toxins! I would’ve gone this route, however, none of them seemed tall enough for our counter height kitchen table, so we ended up having to go with a less-than-ideal-toxic-free high chair.
Car Seat: Britax B-Safe
If I had the option to purchase a new car seat, I would probably go with a Britax infant car seat, as they continue to score lowest on the toxicity ranking and are proactively reducing hazards in their products. We do have their Marathon convertible car seat, which my daughter has been in since she was about 6 mo. old, and love it! However, the Chicco Keyfit 30 that we do have also scores pretty low, so I decided to stick with what we already had on this one.
Bathtub: Puj Flyte bathtub
If this brilliant little tub would work in the enormous farm sink that I like to clean my babies in, I would’ve bought it in a heartbeat. It’s BPA and PVC free, totally compact and resistant of mold and mildew. In addition, Puj’s customer service was phenomenal when I contacted them about this product. They actually were kind enough to look at the dimensions of our sink, and told me that their bathtub wouldn’t work. Major points for honesty (and promptness with their response)! So, if the Puj Flyte works for your tub – buy it, like right now!
I actually ended up getting rid of the play gym I used for my daughter and didn’t replace it with anything for my son – mainly out of fear that my busy under 2 years old daughter would trample him as a newborn. I mostly use his pack n’ play, bouncy seat or swing with a toy bar to keep him safe from his tank-of-a-big-sister.
Naturepedic’s changing pad contains NO vinyl, PVC, phthalates , polyurethane foam, latex, wool (for allergy concerns) and no flame retardant chemicals or barriers! Additionally, it is both GOTS and GREENGUARD certified. But, you know what that means – more money, honey! I ended up covering my vinyl (gasp!) changing pad with an organic sheet. Definitely not ideal, but at least I have some peace of mind with the organic cover.
The Keekaroo Peanut is a less expensive option. This soft, little, water-resistant, easy-to-clean game-changing changer is latex-FREE, PVC-FREE, BPA-FREE, Phthalate-FREE, Formamide-FREE and non-toxic!Beyond that, it doesn’t need a changing cover – so you save a little there too!
Rocking Chair: a simple wooden rocking chair
Yes, it’s probably less comfortable than a comfy, plush rocking chairs during those 2 AM feedings, but I really wish I would’ve gone this route. Just knowing that your rocking chair isn’t bringing in any extra, unnecessary flame retardants and toxins seems worth it to me.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, limiting your (and especially your little ones’) exposure to as many harmful chemicals as possible is a necessity, in my opinion. If a safer product is available and you’re able to swing it financially, to me it only makes sense to go with the non-toxic option.
Registry tip: Rather than registering at one major baby store like Buy Buy Baby, Babies ‘R Us, or Target, consider using BabyList, where you can put any product from any store onto one simple registry! I used it and loved it!