Eco-Friendly Baby Laundry

6 laundry essentials that are good for baby and the earth!

Eco-Friendly Baby Laundry

So there are a few things we know about babies, especially newborn babies. First, they’re amazing, and they smell awesome. Second, they are tiny and precious and oh-so-fragile looking, and it often feels like everything around them is a death trap. Third, they are capable of single-handedly tripling your laundry, even if you don’t cloth-diaper. So how do we deal with all the laundry and keep baby smelling awesome?

When I was pregnant, I learned that it was ill-advised to keep using the scented detergent that we were used to once our daughter arrived. Not only are fragrances irritating to baby’s skin, but many detergents contain ingredients, such as ethanolamine and sodium bisulfite, that related to respiratory distress and allergies -- as if new parents didn’t have enough of a reason to be paranoid! Additionally, all those extra loads of laundry mean more and more potential for water contamination, so now you have to save the world and get zucchini-avocado-chia blend out of bamboo fabric.

So super-mom, we’ve rounded up 6 eco-friendly laundry products & brands that are good for baby and the earth. Oh, and they smell pretty good too.

1. DETERGENT: dapple. These baby laundry detergent strips are an easy way to measure and “pour” laundry detergent. One strip for lightly soiled, two for especially dirty loads. Simple, right? Dapple's strips are plant-based, non-toxic, fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. They’re also easy to travel or fly with (and if you think that flying with your own baby detergent is something you’d never need to do, give it time. I thought the same thing). Buy them here, $9.99 for 32 strips.

2. LINT: Flint. This lint roller is retractable, refillable and adorable. In a case that looks like it was designed for cosmetics, not laundry, it whisks away sweater pills, pet hair and crumbs. Now that I have a toddler who takes pride in feeding herself, it makes me crazy to have her in messy clothes. Flint picks up neatly and painlessly the crushed dust of cheddar bunnies and puffs alike. Plus, it fits in a diaper bag without sticking to everything else. Buy it here, $9.99.

3. STATIC: Static Schmatic. Dryer sheets have long been our go-to product for removing static from laundry, but the sheets, which often contain respiratory system-irritating fabric softeners, create more trash as well. Static Schmatic's static remover was created by a mother-daughter team of entrepreneurs that wanted a way to reduce static during an especially cold winter, but would be safe to use around pets and children. Their ingredients include glycerin, salt, plant-based soap and distilled water, and it works if you spritz your clothes with it before or after the drying cycle. Buy it here, $15.98 for 2.

4. STROLLER: BuggyLOVE. Let’s be real. You don’t even know what that stain is. It could be chocolate, blood, or poop, but you haven’t slept in a week, so who knows. Take the guesswork out of it and just use the BuggyLOVE Organic No-Wash Stain Remover. It works on most fabrics—just shake, squirt and rub with a microfiber cloth. Bonus points for SIX of BuggyLOVE’s organic, plant-based products getting an A rating from the Environmental Working Group—not a common feat. Buy it here, $10.65.

5. FABRIC SOFTENER: Attitude. I hesitate to include any fabric softeners because research is indicating that pretty much every fabric softener wants to kill you. But, if you’re like me and you were taught growing up that laundry isn’t done unless you used a fabric softener, then Attitude Little One Softener is the safest possible alternative. It’s one of only two brands that received an A from the EWG, but I prefer this one for having a list of ingredients that I can pronounce. Plus, I love the smell of lavender and mint. Buy it here, $14.27.

6. LAUNDRY BASKET: Land of Nod. So I’m a bit of a germaphobe, and even though we try to be very eco-conscious in my house, we use a lot of plastic bags for dealing with things we’d rather not touch again. Invest instead in a cute, functional hamper made of all-natural materials like the Butterfly Hamper from The Land of Nod. Not only is it easy to clean and much easier on the environment, but the style is simple enough that it’ll transition easily from snap-up onesies to button-down shirts as baby grows up. Buy it here, $39.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


These kids dishes don’t look like kids dishes

And that's exactly why my toddler loves them. ❤️

My 4.5-year-old is, let's say, spirited in his opinions. He very clearly knows what he wants and doesn't want (oh to have the confidence of a stubborn preschooler!). And what he doesn't want right now is anything that looks too babyish. "That's for babies," he'll say if I give him anything with primary colors or looks too miniature. He doesn't want the baby fork and spoon, he wants what grown-ups use. He doesn't want the baby plastic cups and plates, he wants the glass and ceramic ones.

Well, you can see where this is going.

I had to find something that would satisfy his "not a baby" opinions but still not shatter to pieces if he accidentally drops it on the floor. I had to find him something that's made for kids but doesn't feel made for kids.

Keep reading Show less

Talking to kids can come so easily. They have thoughts about everything and stories for miles. They see the world in a completely different light, and could ask enough questions to fill an afternoon.

But sometimes finding the right words for talking to kids can be really, really challenging. When choosing how to respond to the marker on the wall, or the seemingly unending why-can't-I battle, or in simply keeping healthy communication open with kids who don't want to talk, the words don't seem to come so easily.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play