My preparations for baby's arrival are almost complete so I thought I'd do a post on how I'm trying to keep these preparations as simple and green as possible. When I first started to shop for baby I was overwhelmed and actually disgusted by the vast array of products on sale for newborns. It's very hard to work out what is essential and what is not. From the start I wanted to stick to the bare minimum so I very soon had a list of the things I felt I'd need and began to research the best options. Here's a list of everything we've bought.
I spent a long time looking online at eco-clothing lines and found plenty of shops selling ethically produced clothes for babies. However they cost an absolute fortune! It would be impossible for us to clothe our baby entirely in these products without going bankrupt in the process. I understand that these clothes cost more to produce but there are obviously a lot of companies who are cashing in on selling eco products and making huge profits. We bought a few bits and pieces from small independent shops such as this one in Florence but otherwise we've gone for cheaper options from places such as John Lewis. Their clothes are good value for money and to reduce our impact we bought as few clothes as possible. We've also collected quite a good supply of second hand clothes from family members. It's not easy to find second-hand baby clothes in Italy. We searched for about an hour for a second hand baby shop we'd heard about in Florence only to find that it had closed down. In an ideal world I'd make all of the clothes for the baby but unfortunately my sewing skills aren't up to scratch (something I need to remedy). I've knitted or crocheted a few bits and pieces and my mum has given me lots of things that she's handmade. So, overall we've managed to get by only buying new a few vests and sleepsuits.
We're fixing up the cot that belonged to my husband when he was a baby so only needed to buy a new mattress. We've also bought a Moses basket which we'll use for the first few months. For bedding I've bought new sheets but have handmade blankets. (I'll be sharing in another post the things I've made because a friend has borrowed my camera and I have no pictures).
The one thing I definitely didn't want to get second hand was our travel system. We plan on having more children so we wanted something that is going to last. We've gone for a good quality and practical option and hopefully we won't need to replace it. We've also bought a baby carrier which we're planning to use a lot.
We've decided we are going to use cloth diapers and have spent hours researching all the different types. We'll start off the first couple of weeks with disposables while we try out a couple of different types of diapers before we buy complete sets. I'm really looking forward to using cloth nappies and will probably do more posts on this subject once the baby is here.
We don't have a nursery for the baby so the only furniture we've bought is a changing unit. For this we went to the dreaded Ikea (you can see my thoughts about Ikea here). As much as I dislike the idea of Ikea it does have some practical options. We bought a great changing unit which didn't cost much and is good quality. I feel guilty about this purchase but I do love my changing unit! We've recieved other bits and pieces such as play pen, baby bath and high chair from a family member so we haven't needed to buy anything else.
I've spent many hours obsessively researching products for keeping baby clean. There are so many products available and so much information about the harmful effects of these products. I've become completely confused by all of this information and have no idea what the best options are. Once again I've discovered that any natural products are 10 times the price of commercial brands and they are often difficult to find. Once baby is here I'm going to experiment making my own baby wash etc. I've knitted or crocheted a good supply of wash cloths and am in the process of making reusable baby wipes.
So that's it! It feels like we've bought tons of stuff which is a shock after months of buying nothing at all! However, I do feel like we've managed to stick to the things that for us are essentials and I've resisted the temptation of buying anything carelessly. Every little purchase I've made has been carefully considered taking into account our budget, the environmental impact and of course the health and well-being of our baby.
I'd be really interested to hear from other green living mums and to hear their ideas or advice on all of this.
Have a good weekend everyone x x