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The Ultimate Eco-Friendly Baby Registry Guide for Parents

Go green with our roundup of the best eco-friendly baby registry gear that’ll meet all your new-parent needs.
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profile picture of Yelena Moroz Alpert
Contributing Writer
Updated
June 7, 2022
eco friendly baby registry products
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You may not live on an organic farm and sew your own baby clothes, but you still care about the environment and want to protect it for future generations—which makes registering for baby gear a bit of a conundrum, given that so much of what’s out there is made from plastic. Luckily, staying green while stocking up on baby supplies isn’t mission impossible. You’ll probably want to know about the materials used in each product to avoid chemicals, opt for renewables and go organic where possible, but you won’t need a degree in environmental science to make it happen. Our curated list of eco-friendly baby registry must-haves has gear that’ll cover your newborn needs and help you stay true to your green lifestyle.

Baby Registry Must-Haves for Eco-Friendly Parents

Sustainable nursery furniture

When setting up an eco-friendly nursery, the key is to create a safe, healthy space for your newborn. By using sustainable nursery furniture, you can also look out for the health of the planet. These days, there’s a huge selection of cribs, gliders, high chairs and more, all crafted from sustainably grown, responsibly harvested materials. And, thanks to stylish designs, they look right at home in your modern nursery.

Chemical-free mattress and pads

Whether you’re looking for a crib mattress or changing pad, take a careful look at what it’s made of. Certain foams can contain harmful chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde, benzene and toluene, which can off-gas and might affect baby’s health. Go for natural, VOC-free options.

Reusable diapers

Cloth diapers are typically made from all-natural, biodegradable materials, making them easier on both the environment and baby’s sensitive skin. You could also go with partially reusable diapers—diaper covers that come with disposable, flushable or compostable inserts, so there’s less to wash and less to toss. If you opt for disposable diapers, choose brands that don’t use any fragrance, latex, petroleum-based lotions or chlorine processing.

Organic clothing

Soft organic cotton is a dream for baby’s sensitive skin—the natural fibers are highly breathable, which helps keep baby cool, and they’re produced without the use of chemicals, meaning you don’t have to worry about unpleasant smells and uncomfortable skin reactions. With all the super-cute options out there, finding baby clothes that match your style won’t be a problem.

Eco-friendly skin care

Newborn skin is much thinner than ours, so it absorbs more chemicals—which is why it’s so important to choose baby-safe bath products and lotions that are free of parabens, dyes and other irritating and toxic ingredients. You’ll find listings of green light (low hazard) items (as well as red light, or high hazard) items on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.

Baby Registry Items to Skip

Fancy baby food equipment

Even if you plan to turn out Top Chef-worthy baby cuisine, you don’t have to spend a small fortune on appliances. If you cook fairly regularly, your kitchen is probably already stocked with all the gadgets you need, such as a mini food processor, blender, stick mixer and ricer. Anything more will likely land in an appliance graveyard.

Diaper pail

Instead of shelling out for a special diaper pail that uses reams of plastic bags to encapsulate each dirty diaper, just toss used disposables in the trash—making sure to first flush poo down the toilet so it doesn’t end up leaking from landfills into rivers and lakes. Of course, you don’t need a diaper pail at all if you’re using reusable diapers.

Trendy baby outfits

It can be tough to resist adorable baby outfits—we’re talking ruffled dresses with matching diaper covers and hipster newborn jeans—but babies are actually most comfortable in cotton onesies and sleepers. Buy one or two cute outfits for special occasions and invest the rest of your budget in staples made from 100 percent organic cotton or soybean protein fiber (it’s as soft as cashmere) with non-toxic, low-impact dyes and sweatshop-free manufacturing.

Foam playmats

Once baby starts scooting around, you’ll want to protect those little knees, but a room-size foam puzzle mat isn’t your only option. In fact, they may contain traces of formamide (which some say can be carcinogenic, even at low levels), and they’re not biodegradable. Plus, how long are you going to want giant alphabet tiles on your family room floor anyway? A better option is to let baby crawl around on natural-fiber rugs made from cotton and wool. Layer it with a blanket for infants.

Tricks and Tips from Eco-friendly Parents

These green-minded parents have been there, done that. See what they wish they’d known back when they were registering.

  • “Navigating all the green products can be challenging and expensive, so we focused on what was most important to us—things that were rubbed into the skin like sunscreen and wipes.” —Marissa S., mom to a 3-year-old boy and a baby on the way

  • “Choose gender-neutral clothes and swaddles so you can use them again if you plan on having more children.” —Karyn D., mom to a 2- and 4-year-old

  • “Skip the breastfeeding pillow and use a pillow you already have. We bought an allergy and dust mite protective cover and it worked great.” —Elena P., mom to a 2-year-old girl

  • “Cloth wipes and reusable diapers with adjustable snaps ended up saving us an astronomical amount in the long run (and we liked not filling trash bins with disposable diapers). We also used homeopathic remedies like coconut oil as an alternative to lanolin and diaper cream.” —Lindsey S., mom to a 3-year-old boy and a baby on the way

  • “We used one reusable swim diaper that lasted us all through the summer.” —Drew F., mom to a 2-year-old son

Best Eco-Friendly Baby Gear for Parents

Image: EarthHero

Best eco-friendly stroller: Bumbleride Indie All-Terrain Stroller

All-wheel suspension, all air-tires and an SPF 45+ retractable canopy make this a lightweight all-terrain stroller—even for infants, as the backrest reclines to a flat position and the footrest raises up.

What we love:

  • The fabric is made from 100 percent recycled PET, with 25 percent of the plastic frame components sourced from ocean plastics.
  • Bumbleride works with eco-conscious factories to minimize water use and pollution.

Things to consider:

  • Retails at a higher price point than some similar, alternative strollers.

Register for it: $619, EarthHero.com

Image: Bloomingdale's

Best eco-friendly car seat: UppaBaby Mesa Henry

There aren’t many eco-friendly car seats, but this one meets all the marks on chemical-free fabrics and ergonomic design. The UppaBaby Mesa in Henry Blue Marl was the first car seat on the market to pass federal fire safety testing with zero flame retardant chemicals added.

What we love:

  • Made from soft, breathable, moisture-wicking Merino wool, keeping baby cool and comfortable. It’s naturally fire resistant, so you won’t find any traces of flame-retardant chemicals.
  • A unique tightness indicator and self-retracting LATCH connectors make for fast, accurate installation—and a green confirmation signal lets you know when you’ve set the base up correctly.

Things to consider:

  • Though it accommodates infants up to 35 pounds, the car seat has a shorter shelf life than other car seats that grow with your child.

Register for it: $350, Bloomingdales.com

Image: Modern Nursery

Best eco-friendly crib: Babyletto Eero 4-in-1 Crib

Leave it to Babyletto to develop a sleep solution that’s not only environmentally safe and responsible, but also chic and modern. The Eero crib is a stylish, eco-friendly option made from sustainable New Zealand pine wood and a nontoxic finish.

What we love:

  • Made without any lead or phthalates.
  • Converts from a crib to a toddler bed to daybed to full bed, meaning it’ll last for years.
  • GreenGuard Gold certified, meaning it’s screened for 360 VOCs and more than 10,000 chemicals.

Things to consider:

  • The item is not returnable or refundable.

Register for it: $499, ModernNursery.com

Image: Naturepedic

Best eco-friendly mattress: Naturepedic Organic Breathable 2-Stage Crib Mattress

Baby is going to spend a lot of time sleeping on their mattress, so you can rest easy knowing that this one is made from breathable organic materials instead of foam. It’s also GOTS and GreenGuard Gold certified, meaning it won’t give off any potentially harmful fumes.

What we love:

  • At 14 pounds, it’s super lightweight, making sheet changes a breeze.
  • The removable, breathable 3D woven cover allows air to pass freely, while a wipeable, waterproof layer underneath protects the mattress.
  • Made in the USA.

Things to consider:

  • Additional breathable covers, should you wish to purchase them in case of accidents, retail for $99.

Register for it: Starting at $399, Naturepedic.com

Image: Maisonette

Best eco-friendly crib sheets: Tenth and Pine Bamboo Fitted Crib Sheet

These pure organic bamboo sheets are buttery soft and gentle on baby’s delicate skin. Bonus: bamboo is excellent for thermal regulation, meaning baby’s sleeping space will stay comfortable in all seasons.

What we love:

  • 100 percent GOTS certified organic materials.
  • The natural fibers are both durable and highly breathable, keeping baby cool and comfy.

Things to consider:

  • Only available in limited colorways.

Register for it: $48, Maisonette.com

Image: Nordstrom

Best eco-friendly baby carrier wrap: Solly Baby Wrap

Keep baby snug in this cult-favorite wrap, now made with uber-soft sustainable LENZING modal sourced from the pulp of Austrian Beechwood trees.

What we love:

  • The wrap is one size with a universal fit, so the whole family can wear baby.
  • It can carry baby right from birth.

Things to consider:

  • Designed for babies up to 25 pounds.
  • Requires learning how to properly wrap baby so they’re comfortable and secure

Register for it: $69, Nordstrom.com

Image: Ergobaby

Best eco-friendly baby carrier: Ergobaby Aerloom Baby Carrier

Ergobaby’s Formaknit fabric is made to stretch and move for extra comfort, plus 87 percent of the material is made from recycled plastic bottles. It’s also made in small quantities to avoid excess inventory and arrives in a recyclable shipper box; no extra packaging necessary.

What we love:

  • It cradles baby in a natural position, with their knees slightly above their hips, in line with the carry position recommended by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
  • Three carry positions—front-inward, hip and back, and the back-carrying position that accommodates up to 35 pounds—mean you can use it even when baby is a toddler.

Things to consider:

  • Features slightly less padding in the shoulder straps than Ergobaby’s other models due to its lightweight construction and lower weight limit.
  • Model is more streamlined than others and comes without some additional features.

Register for it: $219, Ergobaby.com

Image: Tidy Tots Diapers

Best reusable diapers: Tidy Tots Newborn Cloth Diapers

These cloth diapers are all about conscientious convenience: They come with cornstarch liners that you simply toss in the toilet, making cleanup a cinch.

What we love:

  • The snap-in diaper insert is made with organic hemp for extra absorption.
  • Covers are made in the USA.

Things to consider:

  • Includes only one roll of 100 disposable Flushie liners.

Register for it: $99 for newborn essential set, Tidytotsdiapers.com

Image: Honest

Best eco-friendly disposable diapers: The Honest Company Eco-Friendly Disposable Diapers

If you’re going to go disposable, trade plastics and chemicals for plant-based layers that are gentle on the environment—and baby’s tush. Whimsical dinosaurs and giraffes are a cheerful bonus.

What we love:

  • The absorbent core is made from a bio-based pulp that comes from sustainably managed forests.
  • There’s no chlorine or other bleach, and no artificial fragrances or lotions—only naturally derived odor inhibitors from citrus and chlorophyll.

Things to consider:

  • It may be more cost-effective to sign up for the brand’s diapers and wipes subscription, which offers more savings.

Register for it: $12 per pack, Honest.com

Image: Crate and Barrel

Best eco-friendly changing pad: Simmons Kids BeautySleep Contoured Changing Pad

The contoured shape of this pad makes a comfy, secure station for diaper changes, with a cotton waterproof cover, firm foam base and safety straps.

What we love:

  • The foam inside is CertiPUR-US and GreenGuard Gold-certified to ensure low chemical emissions and improved indoor air quality. -It offers a soft surface for diaper changes but is durable enough for everyday use.

Things to consider:

  • While it wipes clean with a damp cloth, you cannot take off the cover to wash it.

Register for it: $38, BuyBuyBaby.com

Image: Carters

Best eco-friendly diaper bag: Skip Hop Go Envi Eco-Friendly Diaper Backpack

This lightweight (less than 2 lbs), sporty bag features a separate back compartment to hold the changing pad that can also serve as a laptop holder once baby is older.

What we love:

  • 100 percent of the exterior is made from recycled PET bottles.
  • Stackable food containers included.
  • Built-in stroller straps make it easy to take on the go.

Things to consider:

Register for it: $60, SkipHop.com

Image: Buy Buy Baby

Best eco-friendly glass bottle: Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottle with Protective Silicone Sleeve

Colorful silicone sleeves protect this glass bottle from breaking—and lend it a super-mod look. All components, including nipples, stoppers and even the silicone sleeve, are free of BPA and phthalates, so no worries if baby chews on them.

What we love:

  • Thermal shock-resistant glass lets you take the bottle directly from the freezer and place it in hot water to heat up baby’s milk.
  • Transforms into a sippy cup and a flat cup for longer life.
  • Completely dishwasher safe—you don’t even need to remove the silicone sleeve.

Things to consider:

  • Slightly more expensive than similar glass bottles from alternate brands.

Register for it: $17 for a 9 oz. bottle, BuyBuyBaby.com

Image: Thinkbaby

Best eco-friendly non-glass bottle: Thinkbaby of Steel

A no-spill silicone nipple that mimics breastfeeding is just the start. These medical-grade stainless steel bottles have no trace of BPA, phthalate, lead, PVC or any harmful chemicals, and they’re super durable.

What we love:

  • Anti-colic nipple helps cut down on gas and spit up.
  • The one-piece design means fewer parts to assemble and clean.
  • Use the conversion kit to turn baby bottles into sippy cups for kids as old as 4, saving money and avoiding environmental waste.
  • 10 percent of each purchase supports select charities, such as St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Things to consider:

  • Not microwave safe.
  • Doesn’t allow you to see how much baby has consumed.

Register for it: $14, GoThink.com

Image: Burt's Bees Baby

Best budget-friendly eco-friendly layette: Burt’s Bees Baby Clothing

This brand offers one-stop shopping for baby’s organic cotton wardrobe, from bodysuits and terry cloth hoodies to pajama sets and more.

What we love:

  • All clothing is made from super-soft, 100 percent organic cotton.
  • The company’s farms don’t use synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or GMO seeds.

Things to consider:

  • Fewer options for bright colors and fun prints than some other brands.

Register for it: Starting from $19 for a three-pack of bodysuits, Burtsbeesbaby.com

Image: SoftBaby

Best luxury eco-friendly layette: SoftBaby Clothes

Kourtney Kardashian, Drew Barrymore and other celeb parents have swathed their tots in super hip SoftBaby onesies, rompers, bloomers, beanies and more.

What we love:

  • The brand’s 100 percent organic cotton is grown on an environmentally conscious farm, free of chemicals and pesticides.
  • Oversized elephants, parrots, unicorns and pineapples make for bold prints.

Things to consider:

  • All products include bold prints on a white base. There are limited color and monochromatic offerings.

Register for it: Starting at $30 for a baby hat, Soft-baby-clothes.com

Image: Walmart

Best eco-friendly baby shampoo: Sophie La Girafe Baby Hair & Body Wash

The French company behind the iconic giraffe teething toy has expanded to include an organic baby skin care line that promises to garner just as much devotion.

What we love:

  • Certified as ECOCERT Organic and made without any perfumes, dyes, phthalates, parabens, chlorine or sodium lauryl sulfate. This makes it ideal for babies with allergies and sensitivities.
  • The cleanser is gentle enough for infants, doesn’t dry out the skin and can be used by the whole family.

Things to consider:

  • More expensive than similar eco-friendly skincare brands for babies.

Register for it: $14, Walmart.com

Image: Buy Buy Baby

Best eco-friendly teether: Haakaa Natural Rubber Smiling Owl Teether

This cute, easy-to-grip natural teether has stimulating ridges to soothe baby’s sore gums when those chompers start coming in. Plus its one-piece design means you’ll never have to worry about a piece breaking off.

What we love:

  • Made from 100 percent pure, natural rubber and is 100 percent biodegradable.
  • Free of BPA, PVC and phthalates.

Things to consider:

  • Comes in a one-pack, as opposed to a multi-pack.

Register for it: $12, BuyBuyBaby.com

Image: Bed Bath and Beyond

Best eco-friendly high chair: Keekaroo Height Right High Chair

This may be the only registry item that baby is guaranteed to never outgrow. We love that the sleek wood finish is easy to wipe down after messy meals.

What we love:

  • The high chair suits a 6-month-old and then adjusts in 1-inch increments to fit a toddler, child and even an adult up to 250 pounds.
  • Made from eco-friendly rubberwood. -The plastic tray cover is BPA-free and dishwasher safe.

Things to consider:

  • The high chair is also sold with an infant insert to accommodate younger babies, at a slightly higher price point.

Register for it: Starting from $190, BedBathandBeyond.com

Image: Finn + Emma

Best eco-friendly activity gym: Finn + Emma Play Gym

Made from 100 percent birch wood and free of pretty much any chemical or toxin you can think of, this play gym is just as easy on the environment as it is on the eyes.

What we love:

  • Every part is non-toxic and eco-friendly, including the dyes, stains and lacquers.
  • Those adorable knit stuffed animals are handmade from Peruvian certified organic cotton yarn and wool stuffing.
  • Those wooden pieces? They’re teething toys.

Things to consider:

  • Soft play mat is sold separately or as a bundle.
  • Due to popular demand, these play gyms tend to sell out quickly.

Register for it: $135, FinnandEmma.com

Image: Amazon

Best eco-friendly baby skin care: Mustela Liniment

If you’re wary of wipes, this diaper change solution can be applied with a cloth. Plus, it cleans and moisturizes without needing to be rinsed off.

What we love:

  • It’s made from 99 percent natural ingredients, including extra virgin olive oil.
  • It’s fragrance-free and safe for sensitive skin.

Things to consider:

  • Slightly less portable than a pack of wipes.

Register for it: $16, Amazon.com

The Bump Ultimate Stroller Guide:

Planning a green nursery? Start with a non-toxic and safe sleep space for baby. The Naturepedic Breathable Organic Crib Mattress is certified organic, breathable and waterproof—so you (and baby) can rest easy. Save 15 percent at checkout with code BUMP15.

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