I have just come home from a friend's baby shower. It was so much fun... but when it came to present time, there was literally NOTHING I would use/let near on my baby! Except the organic Ergo baby carrier and organic infant insert... that was an awesome present! YES, that was the one I gave!
Most people are content to buy stuff from the supermarket with the mindset of "if it was toxic they wouldn't be allowed to sell it" (SIGH. If ONLY this were true!) or "My Mum used it on me and I'm fine!" (I want my kids to be BETTER than FINE! I want them to be AMAZING!)
In my home, plastics are a rarity. Those that ARE allowed in, are BPA free. Read more about the dangers of BPA by clicking here. I feel it is EXTREMELY important to limit BPA in your home, especially when your children put everything in their mouths and are at a crucial stage of development.
In the bathroom, I don't tolerate toxic chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulphate (click here for more info) in my shampoo and soaps etc. It is found in most personal care products sold at the supermarket. Don't be fooled by packaging that claims its "natural" or even "organic"... the amount of times I've turned the bottle over and been gobsmacked at the ingredients! "No more tears" does NOT mean SAFE. Most of these just have ADDED chemicals to prevent stinging. Some products will be mostly natural with a sneaky bit of phenoxyethanol or betaine, this is better than most but I still don't tolerate these ingredients in anything I put on my skin! I won't mention brands, but the leading baby product company is not allowed in my house! Get to know your toxic ingredients. I recommend "The Chemical Maze: Shopping Companion" by Bill Statham as a great resource. For more information "Chemical Free Kids" by Dr Sarah Lantz is the bees knees (this would make a GREAT baby shower gift!).
This information is such a drag, ain't it? BUT there is hope! You CAN be a great baby shower gift giver, even if the mother is a tie dye wearing, tree huggin' hippy like me! Where the text is a different colour, click the word to be taken to a link where you can purchase the items! Lets begin...
resist the temptation to bung a packet of disposables into the basket. Nappies take SO long to break down, every single disposable EVER made is still sitting in landfill, WHOLE. YUCK! PS unless YOU wear plastic undies, don't expect a baby to. Elimination communication is where its at, but if thats not your bag, here are some of my favourite options for Modern Cloth Nappies (cute and easy to use!)
Sustainable Hemp Products (Lushies get the prize for newborns!)
PlanetWise wetbags (mums will need a large or hanging bag for home, and smaller ones for the nappy bag)
Lotions and Potions
Miessence Baby Barrier Balm (organic)
Miessence Baby Bottom Mist (organic)
Bath Wash: don't bother! Give her some advice instead... Oats in a sock! BUT if you really want to give something Miessence Baby Cream Wash
Miessence Baby Lotion (although totally unnecessary in my opinion!)
Miessence Baby Body Powder (or at least something based on cornstarch, NOT talc!)
(yeah I know, but Miessence are 100% trustworthy when it comes to their ingredients)
Miessence Belly and Breast Balm
Cloth Breast Pads
Cloth Post Partum Pads (best go on a case by case basis on this one, excellent if they already use cloth, could be a waste of time for a disposable fan!)
Cheeki 1L stainless steel drink bottle, also available from most health food shops. Breastfeeding mothers get VERY thirsty!
Apple and Bee baby bag
The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff (This is my favourite book!)
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Dr Sarah Buckley
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
Chemical Free Kids by Dr Sarah Lantz
Baby Led Weaning by Gill Rapley
The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
Sleeping Like a Baby by Pinky Mckay
The Business of Being Born by Ricki Lake
Sophie the Giraffe
A Baltic Amber Teething Necklace from Mumma Rocks, or these can be bought in Eco Vida (Gold Coast), Nest Nappies (Brisbane) or your local health food store if you are lucky enough!
Under the Nile Organic Teethers
Natursutten Natural Soother (although unless you know the mother is dead set on using one, I'd steer clear!)
Boon! Best BPA bath toys including duckies!
Anything and everything from Eco Toys!
Baby Carriers + accessories
Organic Ergo Insert
Organic! The Natural Newborn has a great selection
Organic gorgeousness from Eco Vida!
Rock Your Baby gear (not organic, just amazingly cute!)
Ecocubs organic clothing section
Boon BPA free range
Agoo Stainless Steel Drink Bottles
*I wouldn't get a new mother newborn bottles of any description, but thats just me*
Ninky Bear Gifts! I would LOVE to get one of these!
Don't underestimate the help that you can give a new mum by taking around cooked dinners, offering to do the cleaning for a day, supplying information such as a recipe for lactation cookies or the phone number of the ABA!
If you aren't an online shopper, look out for organic and natural baby items where possible. If you live on the Gold Coast, get into Eco Vida at Burleigh Heads (then pop over the road to Urban Groove for Rock Your Baby gear!). ANYTHING from Eco Vida is RAD! If you live near Brisbane, try Nest Nappies in Paddington, they have more than just modern cloth nappies! Eco Toys have their shopfront in Melbourne.
If you just want to browse, the stores I have linked above are:
The Natural Newborn
Sustainable Hemp Products
None of the companies I have linked have asked, or paid, me to do so. That would defeat the purpose of providing a comprehensive list of the things I believe to be the best! So if I get pregnant again, my friends have my permission to start at the top and buy your way to the bottom! Hahaha I jest, I jest *narrows eyes at Jitter Bubs and Sausage Mama*