Taking the Stress and Harmful Chemicals out of Baby Registries
Preparing for a baby is so exciting but can also be quite overwhelming. With so many products on the market and a million different opinions, making a baby registry quickly becomes a little stressful. We all just want the best for our new baby, but how do you navigate the sea of options.
People regularly ask us what gear and products we chose for our babies, so we wanted to share those, as well as some criteria we used when creating our registries. The choices we make for our children are especially impactful since babies’ neurological development the first few years can be greatly impacted by chemical exposure. They breathe more air per pound than adults, and they have thinner blood-brain barriers, which allows their developing brains to be exposed to more chemicals. Every choice makes a difference. Each time we pick an everyday product that’s safer than another, we’re lessening our baby’s overall exposures to toxic chemicals that can undermine their health in the short and long term.
So, with that in mind, here are the basic guidelines we followed when choosing products for our babies.
- No synthetic flame retardants whatsoever. This applies to car seats, mattresses, bedding, pajamas, stuffed animals, and more. You can inquire if a product has any flame retardants and what type. We don’t consider any synthetic flame retardants acceptable, only a material that is inherently protected through the nature of the material. For example, wool is naturally flame resistant.
- Natural fibers and organic as much as possible. Fabrics that breathe, like cotton and linen, are best. Also avoid clothing and bedding labeled stain- or water-resistant.
- Pure personal care items. No petroleum ingredients, pesticide preservatives, ethoxylated ingredients, fragrance, etc. See our Favorite Personal Care Products post that includes options for Baby.
We also want to mention that it is important to wash everything that is washable with a safe laundry solution that doesn’t include any fragrances or irritating chemicals. A load with the combination of Branch Basics Concentrate (straight or mixed in the Laundry bottle) and Oxygen Boost works great for this. Additionally, air out everything in the sun as much as possible to get rid of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and that straight-out-of-the-package smell. There are many benefits to airing out your new purchases. This may seem like an unnecessary and/or cumbersome step, but it makes a huge difference in terms of lessening toxicity and once it’s done, it’s done! Better to do the legwork upfront, if possible. 🙂
Our Baby Registry List
There are many great products out there; we definitely do not claim to have researched them all, and this is not meant to be a full review of everything. We used babylist.com for our registries, because it allows you to register items from any website. The Tot is also an amazing resource for baby registries. We weren’t familiar with it when we registered ourselves.
The links below are directly to the brand’s website, however, many of these items are sold by a variety of retailers like Amazon, Target, Buy Buy Baby and more.
Allison: I’ve used both and enjoyed the Britax car seat, and I love the price point. I’m using the Uppa car seat with my second baby (because it is part of the UppaBaby System which is great for two small kiddos), and do note that the “Henry” is the only one that doesn’t have flame retardants (instead it uses wool, which is naturally flame-resistant).
(We both have the Britax Marathon Clicktight for our toddlers.)
Every Day Stroller: Britax B-Agile
We used the Britax with the infant car seat adapters before our daughters were able sit in it directly. Allison is using the UppaBaby Vista Stroller (Henry) because it’s great for toting two around!
Umbrella Stroller: This is something you wouldn’t use until baby is at least 6 months
Kelly: I actually didn’t register for one of these, but unfortunately our B-Agile stroller got stolen (such a bummer), so I got the UPPAbaby G-light umbrella stroller since my daughter was almost walking. I think the B-Agile is easier to open and close, but the G-Light is smaller and has a mesh back, which is great for a toddler in the southern summer heat. I will say though, I don’t love how much it reclines and you can’t adjust it.
Jogging Stroller: BOB Revolution Flex
We used it with the car seat adapter when the babies were little. Looks like they have an updated 3.0 model now. It’s a great running stroller, especially for bumpy trails, but not easy to tote around. Many don’t need more than one stroller, especially if you go with one like the UppaBaby Vista, which has pretty good shocks.
Pack-N-Play | Travel Crib: Nuna Sena
Although heavier, we really love the Nuna. The Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib is a lighter option to consider.
Bouncer: BABYBJORN Bouncer Balance Cotton
We used this so much, even for naps from time to time! It is super light, folds flat and easy to tote around. Although more manual effort is required when they’re little since it doesn’t automatically vibrate or bounce, we preferred that it didn’t have any electromagnetic fields associated with it from batteries or a plug. This is a MUST!
Kelly: I love the Asunflower high chair because the chair is easy to clean, the tray fits easily in the sink, it’s simple, stylish, and doesn’t take up a lot of space.
Allison: I used the inexpensive Ikea one and then transitioned to the Stokke when my daughter turned one, because she was outgrowing it and wanted to sit at the table with us! The Stokke is awesome in that it grows with the child, from babyhood to toddlerhood. She’s now 27 months and sits in her “Stokke seat” at the table with us.
Allison: While jumpers and seats are so convenient and babies generally like them, we personally tried to avoid them because they can actually work against baby’s motor skill development and place extra pressure on areas that aren’t strong enough. Instead, we opted for placing them on the floor with mobiles/activity gyms and the Baby Bjorn bouncer which allows them to sit slanted on their backs (versus seats like the Bumbo, etc.). Plus, in no time, they were sitting on their own and so it was “gear” we didn’t think was necessary to buy. Here’s an article if you want to learn more about that.
Once Baby can stand, we recommend the Merry Muscles if you do want a jumper. It looks a little outdated but is the best we found for not putting stress on baby’s delicate, developing structure.
Kelly: I used the Merry Muscles sparingly once my daughter was ready for it. It was never a favorite of hers, but it did buy me a short break from time to time 🙂
We love that you don’t need to use a cover on this, but can simply wipe clean. People love the Keekaroo Peanut as well – it’s super sleek and easy to clean.
For the first month or two we both used BumGenius and Charlie Banana reusable cotton wipes. We folded them and put them in this container with filtered water. After use, we placed in this drawstring bag and then washed them on a pre-soak cycle in hot water, a scoop of Oxygen Boost and a capful of Branch Basics Laundry solution from the Concentrate. The diaper changes at that stage weren’t too messy and gross and it seemed wasteful plus not as pure to go through packs of preserved wipes. If you don’t want to have to wash, you could also just use these disposable dry wipes instead.
If you want to try making wipes with Branch Basics, we’d recommend somewhere around a 1:20 Concentrate to water ratio. You don’t want them to be too sudsy. Then store them in a sealable bag or wipes container. They should last a few weeks without refrigeration. You can also spray the dry wipes with Branch Basics All-Purpose or pump Foaming-Wash on them to wash hands and face and even makeup off for mom instead of pre-soaking them.
Wipes are tough because of the preservatives used. Having fiber as a breeding ground for mold to grow, stronger preservation is required. There are no perfect options. Since the most sensitive skin on a baby is where a baby wipe is applied, if the wipe has preservatives or other harmful chemicals, the uptake of the chemicals is enhanced. Soothing Organic Baby wipes are the best option we know of for pre-packaged wipes. We used to think WaterWipes and Honest wipes were the best available option, but switched once we discovered the Soothing Organic Baby Wipes, since benzalkonium chloride (WaterWipes) and silver citrate (Honest wipes) can disrupt the gut bacteria and are linked to other issues.
Kelly: I like all three but Earth’s Best are my favorite and I buy them on Amazon.
Green Mountain Diapers a great resource for those who want to cloth diaper. More power to the moms that cloth diaper! It just felt a little too overwhelming for us while juggling our company and motherhood.
Diaper Pail: The Dekor was great until the poop diapers were really stinking from solid foods starting around a year. The plastic would absorb the odor and every time we opened it, even for literally one second, the whole room would smell like poop. We polled our Instagram followers and Ubbi was the top recommendation by far.
Diaper Bag: Fawn Design
Diaper Cream: Coconut Oil and Honest Diaper Rash Cream
Kelly: I really didn’t have to use diaper cream. I rubbed coconut oil on a clean bottom, which essentially created a barrier and also made diaper clean-ups super easy! I did have Honest diaper rash cream on hand though.
Allison: I have loved the Miracle Blanket with my second and it’s been used by a lot of our friends with great success (even twin moms!)
Clothes: Cotton, cotton, cotton
For clothes, we stuck to 100% cotton. Again, mostly organic, but not always. Cotton breaths! Burt’s Bees, Pact, Milk Barn, Under the Nile, Hannah Anderson, Gap, Kissy Kissy…there are plenty of great options out there! Tons of boutique brands, too.
Allison: Kate Quinn is one of my favorites, and if you follow them on social media, you can be apprised of frequent discounts!
Kelly: I never really needed a monitor for our house. And I slept better cracking my daughter’s bedroom door and leaving our bedroom door open than I did with the monitor. Every little noise on the monitor would wake me up. I used this simple Angel Care Monitor for times when I needed one (travelling, outside in the backyard, etc.).
Thermometer: Exergen Comfort Scanner
Nail Trimmer: Little Martin’s – Love this little device!
Bottles: Kelly: Lifefactory Allison: glass Boob Joovy (both worked great!)
Bottle Warmer: Kiinde Kozii (you can heat glass bottles directly in the warmer)
Milk Storage: 5 or 8 oz glass jars off Amazon (or simply save your glass food and drink jars/bottles while you wait for baby to arrive!)
Bath Filter: Cuzn – make sure to ask if the chlorine or chloramine filter is right for your city’s water. They’ll look up the water report for you and tell you which one you need.
Bath Toys: Elegant Baby
Bath Towels: 100% cotton
Spearmint Love has super cute options, once again. But anything 100% cotton, preferably organic, is great!
Moisturizer: Natural oils
We switched between coconut oil, sesame oil, Keys Avo-Jel, Luminance Body Lotion and Honest All-Purpose Balm since it’s good to give the body variety (just like we don’t eat the same foods everyday all day). And really the most important way to keep their skin healthy is to make sure baby is getting good, beneficial fats and oils through breastmilk and, later, solids. See our Personal Care post for more great options.
Co-sleeper / Bassinet: SnuzPod
Ordered this off Amazon UK and absolutely loved it. Made co-sleeping safe and easy! We wanted to avoid any electromagnetic fields so we chose a bed that does not swing or vibrate. It looks like it’s now available on Scandiborn.
Contoured Lounger: Snuggle Me (Wool)
Allison: I use this with my second and I’m in love with how it fits to my baby’s body, recreating that “womb” feel. It can be used 0-9 months, and we recommend the wool option – yes it’s more expensive! – because the others are not 100% organic, and this is where baby is sleeping, which is the most important time.
Crib Mattress: Naturalmat USA Coco-Mat
The mattress is arguably the single most important item you choose for your baby. While there are less expensive options, we wanted to make sure where our babies were sleeping every day and night was as safe as it could be. We chose to get an inexpensive crib from IKEA (the Sniglar – great, solid wood crib) in order to get the best mattress. Also, a good mattress lasts a long time so multiple children can sleep on it and then still be passed down to a friend or family member to also use with their baby(ies).
Even though organic and natural, we still aired it out a few days and washed the covering in the washing machine with Branch Basics.
Crib: Sniglar by Ikea
We prefer solid wood over metal cribs, as metal can increase electromagnetic fields. Look for solid wood over manufactured boards like MDF and particleboard, which often emit formaldehyde from the glues used. However, if you already have a bed made with a manufactured wood, you can use two coats of Seal-Once Nano to reduce formaldehyde emissions.
Nursery & Play
Play Mat: Grounded
Toys: Spearmint Love, Alexa James Baby and Scandiborn have so many cute options! Etsy too! We love the Kathe Kruse dolls/loveys, as well, because they meet EU standards of no phthalates or BPA used, unlike many of the dolls today that not only contain plasticizers, but also added fragrances.
Kelly: I also use the Skip Hop monkey light that turns off on it’s on after a while. I don’t recommend the butterfly because it’s a brighter, blue light, whereas the monkey has a warmer, more yellow/orange tint.
Kelly: My Crane humidifier put off a bad smell when it was turned on, almost like burning plastic and motor oil, so I didn’t end up using it. Allison said hers never did so maybe mine was just a defect, but if yours does, I recommend returning it. I tried sunning it and running the motor outside but it never got better unfortunately.
We hope this takes a little stress out of prepping for your precious baby! Let us know if you have any questions or tips for creating a registry… we’d love to hear from you!