Green Parenting: 7 ways to raise an eco baby

Chris Gill July 09, 2020
7 ways to raise an eco baby

Last updated: 3rd October 2019

Here at Boody, we believe in raising an eco-friendly baby. After all, our kids are the future of the planet!

It’s important that each parent acts as a great role model for their little ones, so we decided to take a look at some green parenting tips. From switching to cloth diapers to getting bub outside and close to nature, we’re bringing you some top eco-friendly parenting tips.

1. Switch to cloth nappies

According to the South Australian government’s Zero Waste SA, roughly 800 million disposable nappies end up in Australian landfills every year! This is not okay. And although cloth nappies don’t come without their own environmental issues, it’s still widely agreed that disposable nappies are more detrimental to the planet.

If you aren’t quite ready to switch to cloth nappies, why not at least cut-down or cut out your reliance on baby wipes? Much like disposable nappies, baby wipes are another key offender on landfills. Try cutting soft cotton fabric into squares for washable wipes, or use just half a disposable wipe.

2. Reuse and recycle

New parents often want their baby to have the best of everything. Whether it’s a stylish stroller, crib or toys, it’s planted into our minds that brand-new is best. But these parents will soon learn that bub grows out of these things very quickly, often faster than you’ve even paid them off!

Adopt sustainability into your parenting skills (while saving money) by borrowing or purchasing slightly-used items whenever you can. It’s obviously important to check a used item is safe, but you’ll find that so many second-hand baby items are close to brand-new condition. Reusing is just as important as recycling, if not more so!

green parenting tips

3. Get bub outside

It's important to get outside and expose bub to nature. The idea that newborns should be kept inside is an old wives’ tale – getting fresh air and natural sunlight is great for both you and your baby, no matter how recently your little one was born. There are obviously just some things to consider when heading outside with your newborn, especially for the first few weeks after they’re born.

Things to consider before introducing your newborn to nature are whether there will be large crowds and whether they are dressed appropriately to face the elements. Large crowds are of course a germ haven, but if you want to introduce bub to Mother Nature, you’ll most probably be heading for a peaceful park or quiet patch of country.

To ensure bub is dressed for the elements, dress them in baby clothing that keeps them snug when it’s cold – such as a onesie – and cooler pieces when it’s hot outside.

Spending time with bub in nature is also great for your parent-child relationship. Young children are put in front of the television or tablets at such as young age these days, missing out on the bond they can have with both you as their parent and the environment that surrounds them. Quality time with bub outside is great for child development, as well as your own mental health.

4. Make bathtime shorter

Another misconception about babies is that they need daily baths. Unless bub has got into a food fight with themselves, they will probably be fine with two or three baths per week. The average bath uses 35 to 50 gallons of water, so even if you’re only filling the bath halfway for baby, that’s still a lot of water to be used on a daily basis.

If you have more than one rugrat, why not get them to share bathwater? Siblings are in close contact all the time, so there shouldn’t be any hygiene concerns unless one of them is sick. But if you’d really rather they bathe separately, at least space baths out to only a few times a week.

Remember, a bit of dirt might actually boost bub’s immune system. We need healthy bacteria to fight the bad bacteria!

5. Make your own baby food

Sometimes it’s hard to believe what food companies charge for putting puréed food in a jar and calling it ‘baby food’. As long as what bub’s eating is easy for them to eat and nutritional, there’s really no reason to be wasting your money on off-the-shelf baby food. It’s usually full of additives and preservatives anyway.

Make your own baby food with seasonal fruit and veggies. Not only do they taste much better when they’re fresh, but they’re richer in nutrients too (not to mention seasonal produce is cheaper).

6. Use natural baby skin care

Use natural skin care

We all know how delicate a newborn baby’s skin is. And, just how we must take care of what we’re feeding them, we must also take care of what we’re putting on baby’s skin. It’s best to choose organic and natural baby products that are free from nasty chemicals and toxins.

Babies often have sensitive skin and using the wrong skin care can lead to eczema and other skin conditions, so it’s important to avoid overly perfumed cosmetics.

7. Choose sustainable babywear

Organic baby products are always best, and the same can be said for what you dress your little eco-warrior in. Natural and organic baby clothing tends to be high quality and much better for the planet, making them not only essential for babies and younger children – but people of all ages.

We highly recommend investing in sustainable babywear for bub. Not only will it feel good on their delicate skin, but you will be helping the planet too. Our organically-grown bamboo babywear has everything you need to be kind to bub and the environment. Holistic parenting at its best.

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How to swaddle a baby in a muslin wrap


How to swaddle a baby in a muslin wrap

Whether you’re asking yourself ‘what are muslin wraps used for?’, ‘how to swaddle a newborn’ or ‘when to stop swaddling baby’, we’re bringing you a step by step lowdown with pictures. What are muslin wraps used for? If you’re totally new to the muslin wraps game, don’t worry. Many of us have been there. And, while you might already know about swaddling a baby, what you might not realise is there are plenty of other ways to use muslin wraps in your little one’s early days. Feeding If you’re feeding while on the go, a muslin wrap is a great cover to stop bub getting distracted. Tuck the muslin into your bra strap and place the soft fabric across bub’s cheek to keep them safe and comfy. Note: Always ensure there’s an opening to allow fresh air to flow through. Burping Aside from swaddling, burping is one of the most popular uses for the muslin wrap. The soft, thick and absorbent fabric will make sure whatever you’re wearing stays clean when you pat your little bambino gently on the back. Teething Not everyone knows this, but a muslin wrap can even be used as a teether! How does that work, we hear you ask? Simple. Just freeze a small cube of breast milk, or boiled water if your bub is a bit older, wrap it in a muslin, twist the ends to hold in place and let your little teething tot chew away. Swaddling Last but not least, muslin wraps are used to swaddle baby to sleep. Muslin wraps tend to be light and flexible, so bub doesn’t overheat, and firm enough to allow your little one to feel comfy and safe. But how exactly do you swaddle with a muslin wrap? We take a look at how to swaddle with the best swaddling technique. How to swaddle a baby with a muslin wrap Ok, so it’s time to get down to some safe swaddling. First things first, you need to lay the muslin wrap out in a diamond shape. Once you’ve done this, fold the top corner down roughly a quarter. Then, place bub on the turned corner so that the corners of the muslin spread out from bub’s arms. Next, hold your little bambino's right arm down at their side. Pull the muslin over that arm, across the body. If bub is much smaller than the muslin, roll them to the side to smooth the rest of the muslin across the back. The muslin needs to be tight, but baby should still be able to bend their waist. Note: always make sure their hips are free to move. Hold down bub’s left arm before pulling the bottom corner up and tucking it under their left shoulder. Move the right corner over your little treasure's body before finally pulling it firm by placing them on their side and wrapping the excess around the back. The results? You’ll know when bub quickly falls asleep. So, what sort of swaddle products should you be looking for? Well, bamboo is the perfect fabric for swaddling as it’s ultra soft and durable. Our feather-light muslin wraps are crafted in 100% bamboo viscose, a fabric that features an open weave for ultimate breathability. Although delicate, these bamboo swaddles can stand up to all the required laundering, while their superior absorbency makes them an essential for all new parents. Or, as pictured above, you could use our Stretch Jersey Wrap as an alternative to the muslin wrap. Double it over, wrap, pull firm, and tuck the ends in well to trap even the squirmiest of kids. It works a charm for little Houdinis! But when is it time to stop swaddling? When to stop swaddling baby It’s important to note that you can stop swaddling your baby whenever you feel it’s best. While most people use swaddling during the newborn stage, before phasing it out around three or four months, it’s also common for babies to be swaddled when they’re six to nine months old. Most babies will begin to reject swaddling at a certain age, although not all. That said, the average age to stop swaddling bub is roughly three or four months. Newborns are born with the Moro reflex — a startle reflex — and most babies don’t outgrow it until they’re four or five months old. For this reason, be careful when stopping the swaddle too early. If your baby’s Moro reflex is still strong, they may startle themselves awake at night and during nap time. If your baby is able to break free of their swaddle, this doesn’t always mean that it’s time to stop swaddling. But if bub is persistently breaking free of their swaddle each night, it’s either time to stop swaddling or switch to a safer muslin wrap. Warning: Never allow babies to sleep face down. If your baby is rolling over onto their tummy while they sleep, it’s time to stop swaddling. Safety must always be top of mind when it comes to swaddling your baby! Although swaddling for sleep is generally all good, it’s important you don’t swaddle your little one all day long. Babies also need to move freely so they can develop their gross motor skills and become stronger. How to stop swaddling baby Some babies aren’t dependent on swaddling for comfort, making them much easier to stop the process. Other babies, however, can become very dependent on swaddling to help them sleep — making weaning them away from their cosy muslin wraps much harder. If your bub has become dependent on their swaddle to sleep, it’s probably time to stop! We recommend gradually easing your little one off their swaddle. Begin by leaving one arm or leg unswaddled, before moving on to both arms or legs. Before you know it, you’ll have reached a stage where your little bambino isn’t being swaddled at all. So, there you have it, newbie parents. It’s time to start swaddling!

How to cope with a new baby during COVID-19


How to cope with a new baby during COVID-19

Bringing your baby home from the hospital can be a surreal experience. There is a great deal of tears (from baby and parents), laughter, cooing, and chaos. But you don’t have to do it all by yourself – there are often family members and friends lining up to help you. At least, this was the case until 2020. With Victoria currently locked down and the threat of the second wave of the pandemic looming over the rest of Australia, isolation has become more important than ever. Of course, if you have a new baby at home, this can be easier said than done. In addition to handling your responsibilities as a new parent, you are also having to cope with the realities of parenting during COVID-19.  This can leave new parents feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Even if you have older children (which brings with it different challenges such as what’s being posted across social media), the idea of bringing up younger children during a pandemic is enough to put pressure on any parent. If parenting during COVID-19 is something that you’re struggling to do, here are some top tips to help you out during this difficult time.  Make sure you’re splitting duties  Before the outbreak, it was easy to get help from willing family members and friends. At the very least, you had a grandparent or two willing to hold the baby while you took a shower or ran some errands. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible anymore – new parents are on their own. Needless to say, this can lead to you feeling overwhelmed, since you have to juggle quite a bit more. So, how can you cope in this instance? Here, it is all about the division of labour. You and your partner should be equally sharing responsibilities. This way, the work gets cut in half. Not to mention, you will have a lot more time to spend together as well.  Take care of yourself  Whether it is the demands of being a new parent or the worries regarding COVID-19, it can be easy to stop taking care of yourself. You may not eat proper meals or fail to exercise on a regular basis. Not only can these bad habits compromise your health, but it can also have a negative impact on your mental health.  So, start by planning out your meals a little better. Not in the mood to cook? Look for healthy foods that you can whip up quickly, maybe even without turning your stove on. Keep the processed foods to a minimum and load up on fruits and vegetables instead.  If you can get some fresh air and exercise, do try to manage this. Take the proper precautions to wear a mask and ensure that your baby is well-protected to. Carry hand sanitiser and check that no one comes to close to you and your little one. You should also exercise indoors as well. Take a portable bed or cot and keep your little one beside you. Then, workout as needed. It will make you feel a whole lot better.  Look for online healthcare support It is natural to freak out about how your baby is doing as a new parent. Every sneeze or too-long cry can seem suspicious. To ensure that your baby is in peak health, accumulate a number of online healthcare contacts. This could be a paediatrician, pediatric nurse, or even a doula.  Just have someone that you can call or message if you have any questions. This way, you will be able to put your mind at ease and take some of the stress out of being a new baby. Remember that if you have serious concerns, though, it is best to take your baby to a hospital.  Social distancing doesn’t mean an end to socialising  The main problem with isolating during the pandemic is the feelings of isolation that come along with it! This can increase when you have a new baby. After all, this was supposed to be a time for you to show off your little one to family members and friends. Thus, you may feel especially removed from those closest to you, particularly your parents. Well, just because you need to partake in social distancing doesn’t mean that the socialising has to come to a total stop. Use technology to keep you with the people in your life. This is particularly important for new grandparents. They can often feel like they are missing out and may feel rather down about it. Video calls on a regular basis, however, can make them feel more involved.  These calls can be detrimental for your sanity as well. Talking to people – especially ones that haven’t thrown up on you that day – can act as a stress reliever. You can voice concerns, talk about any issues you may be facing, or simply gossip!  These are all the ways that you can cope as a new parent during the pandemic. It will be tough, but this is definitely something that you will be able to manage and get through.  Written by Chathurika Kahavita