8 Non-Toxic Must Have Baby Items You Will Actually Use!
I get asked all the time, “What are must have baby items for first time moms” and “What non-toxic products should I add to my baby shower list?”
These are very important questions. I was wondering the same thing when I was expecting my first child. I had no idea what I needed because there were so many products advertised as “must haves”. It is overwhelming when you head to the baby store and see many items on the shelves with multiple brands and styles. How do you know what’s the best fit? How do you know what you will need and use?
As a first time mom, I was worried about not having everything I needed. I ended up wandering through Target and Buy Buy Baby scanning hundreds of baby items onto my baby shower list. The crib, crib sheets, baby changing pads, pacifiers, bottles, swings, stroller, baby clothes and so on. Later, I even discovered most of those items were made with toxic chemicals. It is mind blowing what they make baby items out of. I could fill this whole blog up with just my list of what I had on there, and thats why I am writing this. I want to save first time parents time, MONEY and the headache of deciding what to get for your soon to be baby!
I have learned so much since my first son. I have learned that you don’t really need much to raise a newborn and you can find non-toxic baby products that are very useful. Below you will find must have baby items that will be helpful and used often.
Parents don’t know what to buy!
Most first time parents fear not being prepared enough when their baby arrives. They don’t know what baby will need, so instead of getting the bare minimum and waiting to find out, they buy everything in sight. Society has made us believe that parents need everything right now for the baby or they wont be prepared.
Let me fill you in on a little secret. Once your baby arrives, you can still go to the store. LOL Stores do not close after your baby is born. You can run out to target or Walmart anytime you want and get more baby items. You can also use amazon prime 2 day shipping (my favorite). Don’t allow society (the big box stores), make you believe that you need it all NOW or you’ll fail as a parent. It is not true. You will be just as good of a parent, if you have the bare minimum. Personally, I think you’ll be a better parent because you wont be so stressed from spending so much money and having items in your house you don’t use.
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8 Must Have (Non-Toxic) Baby Items You Will Actually Use!
1. Baby Carrier
First, I learned very quickly when my baby was born that he never wanted to be put down (there goes the swing that was purchased for me- he hated it) He wanted to be held all the time. Well, I loved holding him, but I also needed to get things done around the house and be hands-free. After doing research, I found this baby carrier to be my favorite. They are on sale on amazon right now!
Benefits of a Baby Carrier
A baby carrier is a huge life saver. It is nice to have at home while doing dishes, laundry, cleaning and working from home. Plus, beyond helpful while you’re out and about. Grocery shopping would be so difficult without one. You can haul around your baby in their car seat but, it’s super heavy (at least 25lbs + baby weight). Plus, it is actually not safe to have your baby in their car seat outside of being installed in their car seat base. (I’ll write more about that later). It is more convenient to have your hands free to grab things off the shelf and pay at check out.
It’s great for Dad too. My husband loves to babywear our son. It allows them to bond and our 4 month old falls asleep almost every time he is worn. If you have more than one kid, a baby carrier is an even bigger necessity. Do I even need to explain why?? You need both hands. Just get one! Trust me. You’ll be so glad you did! This is my favorite carrier and I use it every single day.
Types and Styles of Baby Carriers
There are many different styles of carriers you can choose from. I have 3 of them because they serve different purposes. I like to keep one in my house, one in my car and, one sized to my husband. I have a beige mesh carrier that is cooler and great for summer. A black standard carrier, which is the first one I purchased and cheaper. Third one (pictured above), is prettier, has pockets, and the one I use most often. You don’t need 3. I started with one and then found sales and added a couple more to my collection. Buy one for now and then when you realize it’s a life saver, you’ll probably become addicted like me and get different colors and styles for different occasions.
2. Nose Frida
Nose Frida is a nasal aspirator or what we call a “nose sucker”. They work amazing on babies with stuffy noses. I can’t emphasize enough how needed this item is.
It sounds gross to have to suck out your baby’s snot, but I promise you its a must. When your baby gets sick, (even though we hope they never will), they will. They’ll get a runny nose at some point! They get congested and it’s so sad to hear them not be able to breath well because their nose is stuffy and they can’t blow their nose. The Nose Frida unclogs your baby’s nose and you’ll be amazed at how much actually comes out. It’s so much better than the “bulb” because the Nose Frida will not get mold inside because you can rinse it out and use new filters every single time.
You place the end of the nose Frida into your baby’s nose and you suck using the other end of the “straw-hose”. It sounds gross, but I promise nothing gets in your mouth, there is also a filter that prevents it from getting into the straw you are sucking on. The Nose Frida is easy to clean and you replace with a new filter each time (included). We have used our’s dozens of times. We actually have 3 of them now because twice, we needed it on vacation and forget to pack one! They come in handy and you’ll be so thankful to have one on hand when your baby gets congested.
3. Cloth Diapers
If you are wanting to save even more money as a first time parent, look into cloth diapering. Cloth diapers are easy to use, healthier for your baby and you’ll save so much by not throwing away your money (literally)!
I never imaged I would cloth diaper my child. I thought it would be disgusting and too difficult. I was curious about it though. So, I began to research more about cloth diapering. I discovered that it was simple and healthier for my baby. They aren’t like the old cloth diapers with fabric and clothes pins. Most cloth diapers have snaps and are easier than disposables. Even my husband says cloth diapers are easier than disposables, plus cheaper! These are the ones I love and use for my babies. Fortunately, another bonus is you only have to buy cloth diapers once. If you’re planning on having multiple kids you can re-use them for each, making the cost even cheaper. If you are on a budget, looking to save the environment, looking for a non-toxic option for your baby’s bum, and you would like a cute baby butt, cloth diapers will probably be for you.
4. Freezer meals, meal train or restaurant gift cards
Having meals ready is one of my biggest tips for first time parents. You will be so busy navigating that first week after birth and exhausted healing yourself that you will not want to spend time in the kitchen cooking for yourself and your family. Having freezer meals already prepped and ready to throw in the crock pot, a meal train or restaurant gift cards is ideal right after you give birth.
For my first son, my friends graciously set up a meal-train. One of my friends put it together online (completely free) and you can enter dietary restrictions. You share this link and your friends and family sign up for which night they will bring food and what they are bringing. Then, every night the first week, someone drops off a pre-cooked meal to your house. TIP: If someone sets this up for you, make sure they let everyone know to drop off the meal on the DOORSTEP or to your spouse and let them know ahead of time that they are not coming for a visit. Unless, you want to see these people and visit, it will add more stress. You are healing and recovering, it’s okay to not want to socialize, you just had a baby! Mealtrain.com is so neat. However, I no longer live close to friends and family, so a meal train wasn’t ideal for my second birth. If you aren’t near your loved ones, prepping freezer meals may be the way to go!
I gathered freezer meal recipes and around 37 weeks I prepped 12 meals. My midwife recommended spending a minimum of 3 days in my room and 10 days at home to heal my body and to bond with my baby. I recommend the same to all Moms. Give yourself grace. You don’t need to be up cooking and cleaning. You deserve the rest, and bonding time with your baby. Explain this to your spouse ahead of time, so they know that you expect days of no cooking or cleaning and if you need someone to tell them. I will 😉 .
Later, I’ll post my favorite freezer meal ideas.
Lastly, you can ask for gift cards or put them on your registry. Don’t hesitate to ask for a gift card to your favorite restaurant that delivers. When your friends and family ask what you need, tell them you would appreciate a meal for your family. If people are asking what you need they truly want to help. Amazon has a bunch of different gift cards for restaurants, they can even have ecards (gift cards sent by email) and print at home gift cards. Amazon registries are the best!
5. Nursing clothes/ tank tops
Nursing clothes are a great gift to put on your registry because you will use them often. If you are planning on breastfeeding, nursing clothes are must-have items you will want before baby arrives. You’ll want a convenient way to nurse your baby at home and while you are out in public. You’ll quickly realize most of your wardrobe you have now is not boob accessible and you’ll want easy access ways to nurse your baby. I joke and say, “I pick my outfit every day based on if I can get my boob out fast enough”. It’s funny, and so true!
Where to buy nursing clothes
I have purchased many nursing tank tops over the years from multiple stores and sites online. My top 2 favorites are the Bearsland tank top and the Motherhood Maternity Tank top from Amazon. 1- The Bearsland Women’s Maternity Tank Tops: They are nicer tank-tops with flower designs. I like that they are more stylish for outings and you can’t even tell they are nursing tops. I first bought this one and loved it so much that I went back to amazon and purchased the 3 pack The material is stretchy, loose fitted and true to size. The Bearsland tanks are great maternity tank tops to wear while you’re pregnant too. I can’t say enough great things about these tank tops for the price and comfortable fit.
2- The Motherhood Maternity Women’s Clip Down Tank Top Cami– This is the best plain nursing tank top I have ever purchased because it is great quality for the price and super soft and durable. I wear these tank tops around the house or layered under shirts when I go out of the house and I do the two shirt method when breastfeeding in public. All the Motherhood Maternity tank tops I have purchased are true to size. I have had issues in the past with other brands being too difficult to clip. I like how these tank top clips are hassle free, I can easily clip the straps with one hand while holding my baby.
I suggest having a stash of at least 5 breastfeeding tops because you will be wearing them daily as a new Mom. I have the Bearsland floral tops in 4 different colors, the plain Motherhood Maternity tank in grey, black, and blue and a few from target that I wear on occasion when everything else is dirty.
6. Baby play mat
A baby play mat has made the top 8 non-toxic baby item list because it gives your newborn a safe space to learn all their essential milestones; rolling over, crawling, and grabbing toys. Also, it gives you an opportunity to lay them down during the day to get things done. This mat is free from phthalate, BPA, lead, latex, formaldehyde, and EVA (Tested to European Toy Standards EN71).
I love this specific play mat because it is versatile. It has a kid friendly design on one side and a Moroccan rug look on the other side. It is super thick and soft, about 1/2 inch thick. Our main level of our house is all hard wood floor, so we wanted an area that our newborn could lay on and learn to roll and crawl. I looked for a few weeks for a mat that was non-toxic and affordable. There are some really great ones out there, they were more than I wanted to spend though. This one is pretty large and a great price!
7. Baby Scale
A baby scale is an essential item to have on hand if you plan on not going to every baby wellness check up or if you like to keep track of your baby’s weight in-between appointments. The Health O Meter is perfect for at home use.
I recommend this scale because it is easy to use and durable. I used our Health O Meter baby scale for my 5 year old son when he was an infant all the way through toddlerhood and we are now using it for baby number 2! Once your baby outgrows the tray, the scale converts to a toddler scale with a capacity of up to 60 lbs. The price point is reasonable, it is a fairly inexpensive scale than what you can find in stores, thanks to amazon! It does not come with the battery, you will need 1- 9V battery.
*This specific scale is plastic, and I have not been able to find if it is truly non-toxic. However, it is one of those products that I feel the cheaper cost outweighs the risk of my baby laying on plastic for sixty seconds while I weigh him. I usually lay a blanket down on the scale first, “zero out” the scale, then I lay my baby on it for his comfort. The amount of time exposed to the plastic is minimal and in my opinion not worth more expensive scale made of better non-toxic materials.
Lastly, I have found this scale is great to weigh packages on if you do any mailing from your house or run to your post office on occasion. This can save a trip! I use this scale on a weekly basis for my at home business when I mail out product samples. It has a very accurate weight in ounces. I weigh my package, print my shipping label online and drop the package in my mailbox out front. I love the convenience of not having to head to the post office!
8. Baby Transportation
Earlier, we discussed how important baby wearing is with your new baby. I use my baby carrier for convenience at home and for quick trips to the store. A stroller is another need of transportation for daily walks or longer outings and is the 8th non-toxic baby item you will need for your baby. It is convenient to have a stroller when you go to amusement parks, fairs or daily/nightly family walks to the park.
If you are looking to avoid toxins these strollers and car seats are great non-toxic choices that do not have flame retardants. You can choose the infant seat that clicks in and out of the base and into a stroller, or you can get a convertible car seat that will last your infant longer and get a separate stroller. I personally chose the convertible carseat and stroller because I don’t want to have to haul my baby around in their seat and for minimalism purposed. It cuts down on having to buy another seat once your child outgrows the infant seat. Lastly, car seats are actually unsafe on a flat surface outside of the car, if they are not clicked into the base infants can suffocate (more details for another time). So, I prefer my babies to only be in their carseat while we are driving.
Common Questions/FAQ About Non-Toxic Baby Items
Q: How do you find non-toxic baby items?
A:Use amazon! I love being able to research and click through products and ingredients right at my fingertips. On most products there will be a description with how each product is made and with what materials they use. Another tip, look at the reviews.
-Search “non-toxic” in the reviews. Frequently, a review will pop-up of another Mom sharing what they found in that specific baby item!
Q: What if I can’t afford non-toxic options?
A: Do the best you can! What is most important is working toward a toxic free home. Don’t drive yourself crazy if you can’t afford all your baby items to be non-toxic right away. Pick and choose what your baby will use most and how harmful they are. Like I mentioned above, our baby scale isn’t non-toxic, but our baby also doesn’t chew on it or spend time a lot of time laying on the scale. Where as, a baby play mat your child will be on for a long period of time, chewing and drooling and moving around. Do the best you can. That’s what matters!
Congrats, again on your pregnancy! Enjoy these next few months gathering items for your baby. Remember, minimalism is key. Don’t overwhelm yourself with thinking you need everything, because the stores are wanting to sell you on so many items. Get the basics and once your baby arrives, you’ll know what items you’ll actually need and you can go to the store or order online.
Comment below with some questions you have! I would love to help you.
Are you a veteran Mom? What are some must have items you have found useful?