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14 Best Eco-Friendly Baby Products of 2018

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Certain baby gear items will exit your home as quickly as they entered, while others will be staples you’ll use everyday for years to come. Wouldn’t it be nice if those essentials were as good for the environment as they are loved by your family? The purchasing of baby gear can leave you feeling as though you’re gathering a lot of ‘stuff’ and ultimately contributing to our growing landfills. Though there's no doubt that there's a lot of waste involved in parenting, there are ways to minimize your carbon footprint.

So where exactly can you shop for gear that’s created consciously through environmentally-responsible practices, made with non-toxic materials and are even recyclable? We’ve rounded up all the eco-friendly essentials, from strollers to baby bottles, to get you on the path to a healthier and greener home for baby.

1. Greentom Stroller, starting at $299. Everything about the Greenroom Stroller is eco-friendly; from the materials used, to the fact that it can be recycled once your child outgrows it. The stroller frame is constructed entirely from recycled plastic and the fabrics from recycled drinking bottles. We could go on and on because even the footmuff and rain cover are made from green materials. Bottom line, this stroller is the real deal when it comes to calling itself green.

2. Bumbleride Speed, $549. If you love the idea of a green stroller but you're more the running type, the Bumbleride Speed is the perfect stroller for you. The fabrics used on all Bumbleride strollers are made from non-toxic, 100% recycled materials constructed from post-consumer water bottles. So go ahead, get your workout on and help save the planet at the same time -- you really are a super-mom.

3. Nuna Car Seats, starting at $299. You purchase a car seat to keep your baby safe on the road, but what about choosing one that is also safe for the environment? From the manufacturing practices to the materials Nuna uses on their car seats, there is an effort to do it responsibly. So you can feel good that you’re buying from a brand that cares about the planet just as much as your little one.

4. Babyletto Lolly Crib, $399. So you didn’t think your kid would be the type to chew on his crib but as it turns out he is? At least with an eco-friendly crib, like the Babyletto Lolly, you don't have to worry about your baby teething on strange toxins. This crib, made from sustainable wood is not only manufactured with non-toxic, lead and phthalate free finish, it’s also GreenGuard Gold Certified, meaning it’s screened for VOCs and other harmful chemicals you wouldn’t want in your home, let alone your baby’s nursery.

5. Newton Baby Crib Mattress, $299.99 Your newborn will spend lots of time sleeping, and, fingers crossed, they’ll give your arms a break once in a while and sleep in their crib. You’re going to want a mattress you can trust. The Newton Baby Crib Mattress, made from toxin-free, food-grade polymer, is extremely breathable and temperature regulating. And because it’s 100% recyclable, it’s both baby- and earth-friendly.

6. Natti Natti Bedding, $48. You’re going to need some bedding to go with your eco-friendly crib and green mattress. The 100% organic cotton fitted crib sheets from Natti Natti will do just the trick. They are not only adorable (hello Narwhals) they are designed and made in Brooklyn with cotton knitted in the USA.

7. LILLEbaby Carrier, from $124. For LILLEbaby, being an environmentally responsible company doesn't just pertain to their products but is a part of their overall philosophy. When you choose to carry your little one around in a LILLEbaby carrier, you’ll know that not only is your little one snuggled up against healthy materials but that even the factory it was made in was chosen for its responsible practices.

8. Nook LilyPad Playmat, $120. Tummy time may be hard for baby, but you’ll have an easy time watching her play on the organic, breathable surface of the Nook LilyPad Playmat. With all that time you’ll be spending on the floor with your little one, at least you’ll be lounging on an earth-friendly and fully recyclable play mat.

9. monica + andy Clothing, varying price. You may be wondering why you should consider organic cotton clothing for your babe, and there are lots of reasons! Mainly it means the cotton isn’t treated with pesticides and other toxins that are harmful to people and the planet. We love the sweet and sassy (think unicorn and donut prints), organic cotton collection from monica + andy. This collection is super soft, sustainable and so Insta worthy.

10. Little Planet by Carters Clothing, varying price. For organic baby clothing that’s budget-friendly, Carter’s just announced a limited edition line made with 100% organic cotton. The Little Planet collection is filled with the same cute prints you’ve come to expect from Carter’s, plus feel-good organic materials at a price point you and your wallet can get excited about.

11. Comotomo Baby Bottle, $13.99. For years, glass bottlees reigned supreme when it came to your option for an eco-friendly baby bottle. But then along came silicone, and it was a game changer. Silicone not only is BPA free, it also withstands heat without leaching chemicals. It also doesn’t break if dropped and is light for tossing in the diaper bag or letting baby self-feed.

12. Naturesutten Pacifiers, $11.99. Looking for the safest pacifier out there for your little pacifier lover? Naturesutten pacifiers are made from pure natural rubber and without chemical softeners, parabens, PVC or phthalates. Not only natural, it's hygienic! Because it’s made in one solid pacifier, the Naturasutten doesn’t have any joints or cracks for bacteria to hide.

13. Avanchy Tableware You’re spending an arm and a leg on organic produce, so it only makes sense to choose non-toxic tableware to serve them up on. The tableware from Avanchy is made from organic bamboo and silicone free from BPA, PVC, lead, and Phthalates. And as if that weren't enough of a reason to use these, an airtight-lock suction means those organic veggies will stay on the plate, not all over the floor.

14. Bambo Nature Diapers, staring at $12. When it comes to choosing diapers, it can be overwhelming and a bit of a game of trial and error. But if it’s eco-friendly you’re looking for, Bambo Nature has you covered. These breathable, certified skin-safe diapers will keep your baby’s bottom protected and as soft as the day she was born. Concerned eco-friendly means they won’t perform as well? Not these -- Bambo Nature diapers are designed to be super absorbent and hold up all night long. But, they are biodegradable, which, in the world of diapers, is a huge deal!

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We spend a lot of time prepping for the arrival of a baby. But when it comes to the arrival of our breast milk (and all the massive adjustments that come with it), it's easy to be caught off guard. Stocking up on a few breastfeeding essentials can make the transition to breastfeeding a lot less stressful, which means more time and energy focusing on what's most important: Your recovery and your brand new baby.

Here are the essential breastfeeding tools you'll need, mama:

1. For covering up: A cute nursing cover

First and foremost, please know that all 50 states in the United States have laws that allow women to breastfeed in public. You do not have to cover yourself if you don't want to—and many mamas choose not to—and we are all for it.

That said, if you do anticipate wanting to take a more modest approach to breastfeeding, a nursing cover is a must. You will find an array of styles to choose from, but we love an infinity scarf, like the LK Baby Infinity Nursing Scarf Nursing Cover. You'll be able to wear the nursing cover instead of stuffing it in your already brimming diaper bag—and it's nice to have it right there when the baby is ready to eat.

Also, in the inevitable event that your baby spits-up on you or you leak some milk through your shirt, having a quick and stylish way to cover up is a total #momwin.

2. For getting comfortable: A cozy glider

Having a comfy spot to nurse can make a huge difference. Bonus points if that comfy place totally brings a room together, like the Delta Children Paris Upholstered Glider!

Get your cozy space ready to go, and when your baby is here, you can retreat from the world and just nurse, bond, and love.

3. For unmatched support: A wire-free nursing bra

It may take trying on several brands to find the perfect match, but finding a nursing bra that you love is 100% worth the effort. Your breasts will be changing and working in ways that are hard to imagine. An excellent supportive bra will make this so much more comfortable.

It is crucial to choose a wireless bra for the first weeks of nursing since underwire can increase the risk of clogged ducts (ouch).The Playtex Maternity Shaping Foam Wirefree Nursing Bra is an awesome pick for this reason, and because it is designed to flex and fit your breasts as they go through all those changes.

4. For maximum hydration: A large reusable water bottle

Nothing can prepare you for the intense thirst that hits when breastfeeding. Quench that thirst (and help keep your milk supply up in the process) by always having a water bottle with a straw nearby, like this Exquis Large Outdoor Water Bottle.

5. For feeding convenience: A supportive nursing tank

Experts recommend that during the first weeks of your baby's life, you breastfeed on-demand, meaning that any time your tiny boss demands milk, you feed them. This will help establish your milk supply and get everything off to a good start.

What does this mean for your life? You will be breastfeeding A LOT. Nursing tanks, like the Loving Moments by Leading Lady, make this so much easier. They have built-in support to keep you comfy, and you can totally wear them around the house, or even out and about. When your baby wants to eat, you'll be able to quickly "pop out" a breast and feed them.

6. For pain prevention: A quality nipple ointment

Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt, but the truth is those first days can be uncomfortable. Your nipples will likely feel raw as they adjust to their new job. This will get better! But until it does, nipple ointment is amazing.

My favorite is the Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter. We love that it's organic, and it is oh-so-soothing on your hard-at-work nipples.

Psst: If it actually hurts when your baby latches on, something may be up, so call your provider or a lactation consultant for help.

7. For uncomfortable moments: A dual breast therapy pack

As your breasts adjust to their new role, you may experience a few discomforts—applying warmth or cold can help make them feel so much better. The Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Pack is awesome because you can microwave the pads or put them in the freezer, giving you a lot of options when your breasts need some TLC.

Again, if you have any concerns about something being wrong (pain, a bump that may be red or hot, fever, or anything else), call a professional right away.

8. For inevitable leaks: An absorbing breast pad

In today's episode of, "Oh come on, really?" you are going to leak breastmilk. Now, this is entirely natural and you are certainly not required to do anything about this. Still, many moms choose to wear breast pads in their bras to avoid leaking through to their shirts.

You can go the convenient and disposable route with Lansinoh Disposable Stay Dry Nursing Pads, or for a more environmentally friendly option, you can choose washable pads, like these Organic Bamboo Nursing Breast Pads.

9. For flexibility: A breast pump

Many women find that a breast pump becomes one of their most essential mom-tools. The ability to provide breast milk when you are away from your baby (and relieve uncomfortable engorged breasts) will add so much flexibility into your new-mom life.

For quick trips out and super-easy in-your-bag transport, opt for a manual pump like the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump .

If you will be away from your baby for longer periods of time (traveling or working outside the home, for example) an electric pump is your most efficient bet. The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump is a classic go-to that will absolutely get the job done, and then some.

10. For quality storage: Breast milk bags

Once you pump your liquid gold, aka breast milk, you'll need a place to store it. The Kiinde Twist Pouches allow you to pump directly into the bags which means one less step (and way less to clean).

11. For keeping cool: A freezer bag

Transport your pumped milk back home to your baby safely in a cooler like the Mommy Knows Best Breast Milk Baby Bottle Cooler Bag. Remember to put the milk in a fridge or freezer as soon as you can to optimize how long it stays usable for.

12. For continued nourishment: Bottles

Nothing beats the peace of mind you get when you know that your baby is being well-taken of care—and well fed—until you can be together again. The Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle Newborn Starter Gift Set is a fan favorite (mama and baby fans alike).

This article is sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.

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A viral video about car seat safety has parents everywhere cracking up and humming Sir-Mix-A-Lot.

"I like safe kids and I cannot lie," raps Norman Regional Health System pediatric hospitalist Dr. Kate Cook (after prefacing her music video with an apology to her children."I'm a doctor tryin' warn you that recs have changed," she continues.

Dr. Cook's rap video is all about the importance of keeping babies facing backward. It's aptly called "Babies Face Back," and uses humor and parody to drive home car seat recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

"Switching from rear-facing to forward-facing is a milestone many parents can't wait to reach," Dr. Cook said in a news release about her hilarious video. "But this is one area where you want to delay the transition as long as possible because each one actually reduces the protection to the child."

Last summer the AAP updated its official stance on car seat safety to be more in line with what so many parents were already doing and recommended that kids stay rear-facing for as long as possible. But with so many things to keep track of in life, it is understandable that some parents still don't know about the change. Dr. Cook wants to change that with some cringe-worthy rapping.

The AAP recommends:

  • Babies and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat.
  • Once they are facing forward, children should use a forward-facing car safety seat with a harness for as long as possible. Many seats are good up to 65 pounds.
  • When children outgrow their car seat they should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly, between 8 and 12 years old.

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[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

Suicide rates for girls and women in the United States have increased 50% since 2000, according to the CDC and new research indicates a growing number of pregnant and postpartum women are dying by suicide and overdose. Suicide rates for boys and men are up, too.

It's clear there is a mental health crisis in America and it is robbing children of their mothers and mothers of their children.

Medical professionals urge people to get help early, but sometimes getting help is not so simple. For many Americans, the life preserver that is mental health care is out of reach when they are drowning.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg just released a plan he hopes could change that and says the neglect of mental health in the United States must end. "Our plan breaks down the barriers around mental health and builds up a sense of belonging that will help millions of suffering Americans heal," says Buttigieg.

He thinks he can "prevent 1 million deaths of despair by 2028" by giving Americans more access to mental health and addictions services.

In a country where giving birth can put a mother in debt, it's not surprising that while as many as 1 in 5 new moms suffers from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, more than half of new moms who need mental health treatment don't get it. Stigma, childcare and of course costs are factors in why women aren't seeking help when they are struggling.

Buttigieg's plan is interesting because it could remove some of these barriers. He wants to make mental health care more affordable by ensuring everyone has comprehensive coverage for mental health care and by ensuring that everyone can access a free yearly mental health check-up.

That could make getting help more affordable for some moms, and by increasing reimbursement rates for mental health care delivered through telehealth, this plan could help moms get face time with a medical professional without having to deal with finding childcare first.

Estimates from new research suggest that in some parts of America as many as 14% or 30% of maternal deaths are caused by addiction or suicide. Buttigieg's plan aims to reduce those estimates by fighting the addiction and opioid crisis and increasing access to mental health services in underserved communities and for people of color. He also wants to reduce the stigma and increase support for the next generation by requiring "every school across the country to teach Mental Health First Aid courses."

These are lofty goals with a lofty price tag. It would cost about $300 billion to do what Buttigieg sets out in his plan and the specifics of how the plan would be funded aren't yet known. Neither is how voters will react to this 18-page plan and whether it will help Buttigieg stand out in a crowded field of Democratic candidates.

What we do know is that right now, America is talking about mental health and whether or not that benefits Buttigieg's campaign it will certainly benefit America.

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[Editor's Note: Welcome to It's Science, a Motherly column focusing on evidence-based explanations for the important moments, milestones, and phenomena of motherhood. Because it's not just you—#itsscience.]

If you breastfeed, you know just how magical (and trying) it is, but it has numerous benefits for mama and baby. It is known to reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, and cuts the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by half.

If this wasn't powerful enough, scientists have discovered that babies who are fed breast milk have a stomach pH that promotes the formation of HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumor cells). HAMLET was discovered by chance when researchers were studying the antibacterial properties of breast milk. This is a combination of proteins and lipids found in breast milk that can work together to kill cancer cells, causing them to pull away from healthy cells, shrink and die, leaving the healthy cells unaffected.

According to researchers at Lund University in Sweden, this mechanism may contribute to the protective effect breast milk has against pediatric tumors and leukemia, which accounts for about 30% of all childhood cancer. Other researchers analyzed 18 different studies, finding that "14% to 19% of all childhood leukemia cases may be prevented by breastfeeding for six months or more."

And recently, doctors in Sweden collaborated with scientists in Prague to find yet another amazing benefit to breast milk. Their research demonstrated that a certain milk sugar called Alpha1H, found only in breast milk, helps in the production of lactose and can transform into a different form that helps break up tumors into microscopic fragments in the body.

Patients who were given a drug based on this milk sugar, rather than a placebo, passed whole tumor fragments in their urine. And there is more laboratory evidence to support that the drug can kill more than 40 different types of cancer cells in animal trials, including brain tumors and colon cancer. These results are inspiring scientists to continue to explore HAMLET as a novel approach to tumor therapy and make Alpha1H available to cancer patients.

Bottom line: If you choose to breastfeed, the breast milk your baby gets from your hard work can be worth every drop of effort.

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