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Baby Shower Kit - Choosing Shower Gifts

Guidelines for shopping for eco-friendly baby gifts

Thanks to increasing demand from environmentally conscious shoppers, it is becoming easier to find baby and parent products that are healthy and easy on the planet. If your guests wish to venture off of a gift registry, here are tips for what to seek in eco-friendly products:

Cloth (receiving cloths, blankets, towels, clothing, bibs, diaper bags):

Choose: Organic and unbleached natural fibers such as cotton, wool and bamboo. Natural dyes are a good alternative.
Avoid: Fibers that are  treated with flame retardants or stain-resistant material, or made from vinyl (PVC). 

Bath goods (powders, lotions, washes):
Choose: Vegetable- and plant-based ingredients, fragrance-free and products labeled "mild" and/or "biodegradable."
Avoid: artificial fragrance, anti-bacterial products, baby wipes with preservatives.
See Environmental Working Group's buying guide for tips on selecting products.

Toys:
Choose: Solid wood, organic cotton, phthalate-free, latex free.
Avoid:  PVC, Vinyl and electronics treated with flame retardants.
See a database of best & worst toys tested for chemical toxicants.

Furnishings (cribs, mattresses, changing tables, rockers):
Choose: Wool or other natural fibers, sustainable solid wood
Avoid: Toxic flame retardants (PDBEs), tropical hardwood, particleboard

Bottles & dishware:
Choose: Cushioned glass, BPA-free plastic, stainless steel
Avoid: Polycarbonate (#7), Vinyl (#3) and Polystyrene (#6) plastics.

Nursery decor:
Choose: vinyl & pvc free decorations, "no-voc" paint
Avoid: Plastics or paints with strong odors

Alternative gifts:

  • An evening of free babysitting
  • A home-cooked meal after returning from the hospital
  • A quick trip to the grocery store to help restock supplies
  • An hour of watching baby while the new parents take a walk
  • Your best trick for calming an unhappy baby
  • A contribution to the newborn’s college fund
  • Whatever skill, talent, moral support and time you can offer 
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