A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood
Lifestyle

Eco-Friendly Baby Feeding

Print Friendly and PDF

It’s not easy being green, especially when there’s a baby in the house. Our little ones may be small, but they often end up leaving a big carbon footprint. At the dinner table, baby can have a big impact on Mother Nature, and it is up to us, parents and eco-friendly consumers, to lower the environmental cost of having a tiny mouth to feed.

So what’s a mama to do? Four words: when possible, avoid plastic. Plastic is light and cheap, and there’s a lot of it in the baby feeding aisle. It is also durable and doesn’t just go away. It ends up in landfills, invades natural habitats, and injures wildlife. Plastic isn’t too kind to baby either. It contains chemicals like Bisphenol A (BPA) – a plasticizer that is known to disrupt our hormone system and be linked to a long list of serious health problems. In 2012, the FDA banned the use of BPA in children’s food products. This move basically solidified a practice that many manufacturers had already adopted; and the regulation still doesn't guarantee that we are in the clear. In fact, studies have shown that BPA substitutions aren’t automatically safer.

It’s a lot to take in, but not to worry. There are many eco-friendly products out there that can help you green up your parenting act. Here are 12 picks that we think will allow you to feed your baby, sans toxin, while doing some good for the planet.

PREP & CLEAN

1. Stokke: Tripp Trapp Chair Stokke's Tripp Trapp has been an all-time mommy favorite since its launch in 1972, and for good reasons. While it is on the expensive side, the high chair is highly adjustable and designed to grow with baby. Once he is done using it, you can convert it into an adult chair or a stool. The Tripp Trapp is made of beech wood and comes in a variety of colors. The brand uses only water-based, nontoxic paint and BPA-, phthalate-free materials. The Tripp Trapp baby set, which allows your littlest one to join the family table, is made of environmentally friendly plastic and is recyclable.

2. The Laundress: Dish Detergent How can such a small human being contribute to so much of the yuck piling up in the sink? Luckily, you don’t have to fight dirty dishes alone. The Laundress has a dish detergent that you can use when you hand wash dishes or in the dishwasher. It is soft on our skin but is tough on all the gunk caked on baby’s dinnerware. The soap is unscented and doesn’t have any artificial coloring or dyes. It doesn’t contain any petroleum, chlorine bleach, ammonia and more; and like all of The Laundress’ detergents, it is biodegradable.

3. Baby Brezza: Glass One Step Baby Food Maker Even if cooking isn’t really your thing, Baby Brezza makes it easier to bring wholesome, homemade baby food at the dinner table. The brand recently launched its Glass One Step Baby Food Maker, which can automatically blend the food after steaming. All you need to do is prep and place the food in the container, wait for the nifty machine to finish its deed, and serve. Plus, the mixing bowl is made of glass, which minimizes food contact with plastic.

4. Modern Twist: Bucket-Bib Here’s a bib that puts up a good fight against mealtime messes. Modern Twist bucket bib sustains tantrums and actually catches food that misses baby's mouth. The brand uses food-grade silicone with no BPA, no PVC, no lead, no latex and no phthalates. All of Modern Twist’s products (bib included) are silky to touch, easy to clean, reusable and recyclable. The packaging, too, can be recycled, and the brand has a program to help you dispose of silicone properly.

5. Oxo: Mash Maker Baby Food Mill If you are on a tighter budget, Oxo offers an affordable and eco-friendly way to cook for baby. The Mash Maker can purée any grown-up food into a dinner for your wee one. Not so thrilled about plastic? The truth is, plastic is hard to avoid altogether since it’s everywhere on the market. But you can shop it and still be on the safe(r) side. Case and point: Oxo’s mash maker is made of Polypropylene (PP) and is free of BPA, phthalates and PVC, which makes it one of the safer plastics out there. Not to mention, it's much more ecological than having to continuously stock up on pre-packaged food. For advice on plastics and plastic use, go here.

6. Boon: The Forb, Silicone Bottle Brush This is a flower like no other. It’s called Forb, and it is made of sturdy silicone to clean baby’s bottles (and nipples) without a scratch! This is important because harmful chemicals may leach more easily if the plastic is worn down. Boon's products are BPA, PVC and phthalate free. This is a small investment that will last you a long time, without mold or rust, and that can even get cleaned in the dishwasher.

FEED

 

1. Bamboo Studio: Kids Dinnerware Set Turn over a new leaf in green eating with the ever popular bamboo dishware. With Bamboo Studio Kids Dinnerware Set, baby can have his cake and eat it too without feeding the waste stream. The reusable kid line, which features all sorts of fun animals, is lightweight and sturdy all at once. Handcrafted from the sheath of the growing bamboo plant, bamboo tableware is biodegradable, making it one of the most sustainable options out there. Do we need to add that it is dishwasher safe?

2. Lollaland: Glass Baby Bottle Lollaland glass bottles have a certain je ne sais quoi that takes us back to our childhood. Maybe it’s the old-school birds looking like they were taken out of a Nintendo video game. Or maybe it’s the glass, breaking us free from a world of plastic. Made of premium quality glass, Lollaland baby bottles are gentle on both baby and earth. They do not leach toxins, are thermal-shock resistant (you can heat them, even when they are cold), and are recyclable. Lollaland’s nipples are made of durable, medical-grade silicone.

3. ThinkBaby: The Complete BPA-Free Feeding Set If baby has graduated to solid foods, it’s time to invest in some sturdy, eco-friendly dinnerware. ThinkBaby strives to create safe products while having the least possible impact on the environment. The complete feeding set is lined with medical-grade stainless steel and wrapped in polypropylene plastic. The set is also free of BPA, phthalate, lead, PVC, Melamine and more (review here the complete list of chemicals that ThinkBaby has shunned). Stainless steel itself can last a long time and is 100 percent recyclable. Most stainless steel products are made of about 60 percent recycled material.

4. Green Sprouts: Glass Sip & Straw Cup The Sip & Straw Cup has glass on the inside, and plastic on the outside. This means that whatever baby drinks never touches plastic, which in this case is made of polypropylene. The cup is free of PVC and BPA and is hypoallergenic. It has two drinking options: a straw and a spout that are both made of silicone. Green Sprouts strives to maximize the life cycle of its products while minimizing the impact they have on the environment. With that in mind, they try, when possible, to use resources that are renewable and recycled. Buying products that are made of recycled materials saves natural resources, energy, and water.

5. Beaba: First Stage Silicone Spoon When it comes to baby’s first munchies, you want an ergonomic spoon that will keep mealtime stress free for everyone. Enter Béaba’s First Stage Silicone Spoon, which happens to go easy on baby’s gums and on the environment. Béaba’s spoons are BPA, phthalate and PVC free and dishwasher safe. For the most part, silicone is recyclable, although you’ll likely need to go through a private recycling facility (like this one).

6. Comotomo: Silicone Bottle Comotomo may be a little bit of a splurge compared to other brands, but it's worth it, especially if your little one is getting ready to transition from breast to bottles. The bottles and their extra-wide nipples are made of squeezable silicone that mimics mom’s skin, giving baby a close-to-nursing experience. What’s more, silicone – a synthetic material made of sand and oxygen – withstands heat without leaching harmful chemicals. Comotomo bottles do not break or crack and are safe in dishwasher, microwave and boiling water.

HONORABLE MENTION: MOMMY'S BOOBIES If you want to get baby off to a non-toxic, earth-friendly start, breast is best. For moms who can nurse, breast milk is the only food that provides baby all the nutrients he needs without having to worry about harmful chemicals. It also protects both mom and baby against a host of illnesses and diseases. Breastfeeding, which the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends we do for at least the first six months of baby’s life, is also kind to the environment. It’s a renewable resource that doesn’t need to be packaged or transported. It saves energy and is virtually waste free. How is that for reducing your carbon footprint?

The very best of Motherly — delivered when you need it most.

Subscribe for inspiration, empowering articles and expert tips to rock your best #momlife.

Already a subscriber? Log in here.

While breastfeeding might seem like a simple task, there are so many pieces to the puzzle aside from your breasts and baby. From securing a good latch, boosting your milk supply and navigating pumping at work or feeding throughout the night, there's a lot that mama has to go through—and a number of products she needs.

No matter how long your nursing journey may be, it can be hard to figure out what items you really need to add to your cart. So we asked our team at Motherly to share items they simply couldn't live without while breastfeeding. You know, those ones that are a total game-changer.

Here are the best 13 products that they recommend—and you can get them all from Walmart.com:

1. Medela Nursing Sleep Bra

"This fuss-free nursing bra was perfect for all the times that I was too tired to fumble with a clasp. It's also so comfy that, I have to admit, I still keep it in rotation despite the fact that my nursing days are behind me (shh!)." —Mary S.

Price: $15.99

SHOP

2. Dr. Brown's Baby First Year Transition Bottles

"My daughter easily transitioned back and forth between breastfeeding and these bottles." —Elizabeth

Price: $24.98

SHOP

3. Multi-Use Nursing Cover

"When I was breastfeeding, it was important to me to feel like a part of things, to be around people, entertain guests, etc. Especially since so much of being a new mom can feel isolating. So having the ability to cover up but still breastfeed out in the open, instead of disappearing into a room somewhere for long stretches alone to feed, made me feel better."—Renata

Price: $11.99

SHOP

4. Lansinoh TheraPearl Breast Therapy Pack

"I suffered from extreme engorgement during the first weeks after delivery with both of my children. I wouldn't have survived had it not been for these packs that provided cold therapy for engorgement and hot therapy for clogged milk ducts." —Deena

Price: $10.25

SHOP

5. Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump Wipes

"Being a working and pumping mama, these quick clean wipes made pumping at the office so much easier, and quicker. I could give everything a quick wipe down between pumping sessions. And did not need a set of spare parts for the office." —Ashley

Price: $19.99

SHOP

6. Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter

"This nipple butter is everything, you don't need to wash it off before baby feeds/you pump. I even put some on my lips at the hospital and it saved me from chapped lips and nips." —Conz

Price: $12.95

SHOP

7. Medela Double Electric Pump

"I had latch issues and terrible postpartum anxiety, and was always worried my son wasn't getting enough milk. So I relied heavily on my breast pump so that I could feed him bottles and know exactly how much he was drinking. This Medela pump and I were best friends for almost an entire year" —Karell

Price: $199.99 Receive a $50 gift card with purchase at walmart.com

SHOP

8. Lansinoh Disposable Stay Dry Nursing Pads

"I overproduced in the first couple weeks (and my milk would come in pretty much every time my baby LOOKED at my boobs), so Lansinoh disposable nursing pads saved me from many awkward leak situations!" —Justine

Price: $9.79

SHOP

9. Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump

"This has been a huge help in saving the extra milk from the letdown during breastfeeding and preventing leaks on my clothes!" —Rachel

Price: $12.99

SHOP

10. Medela Harmony Breast Pump

"Because I didn't plan to breastfeed I didn't buy a pump before birth. When I decided to try, I needed a pump so my husband ran out and bought this. It was easy to use, easy to wash and more convenient than our borrowed electric pump." —Heather

Price: $26.99

SHOP

11. Milkies Fenugreek

"I struggled with supply for my first and adding this to my regimen really helped with increasing milk." —Mary N.

Price: $14.95

SHOP

12. Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags

"I exclusively pumped for a year with my first and these are hands down the best storage bags. All others always managed to crack eventually. These can hold a great amount and I haven't had a leak! And I have used over 300-400 of these!" —Carla

Price: $13.19

SHOP

13. Kiinde Twist Breastfeeding Starter Kit

"The Kiinde system made pumping and storing breastmilk so easy. It was awesome to be able pump directly into the storage bags, and then use the same bags in the bottle to feed my baby." —Diana

Price: $21.99

SHOP

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

Our Partners

Orange Is the New Black star Danielle Brooks is pregnant and frustrated. The actress took to Instagram this week to lament the lack of plus-sized options for pregnant people.

"It's so hard to find some clothes to wear today....Although I get to pregnant I still can't find no clothes. It's so hard to find some clothes when you're pregnant," she sings in a lighthearted yet serious video.

"It's so hard to find cute plus size maternity fashion while pregnant, but ima push through," she captioned the clip.

Brooks has been talking a lot this week about the issues people who wear plus size clothing face not just when trying to find clothes but in simply moving through a world that does not support them.

"I feel like the world has built these invisible bullets to bully us in telling us who we're supposed to be and what we're supposed to look like. And I've always had this desire to prove people wrong—to say that this body that I'm in is enough," she told SHAPE (she's on the new cover).

"Now that I'm about to be a mother, it means even more—to make sure that this human being I'm going to bring into the world knows that they are enough," she said.

Danielle Brooks is the body-positive hero we need right now. Now can someone make her some cute maternity clothes, please?

You might also like:

News

In prior decades, body image issues usually didn't hit the scene until kids reached adolescence. But thanks to social media, and our culture's relentless pursuit of thinness, we now have to find creative ways to teach young children how to develop healthy body images.

Before I dive into some practical tips to help kids improve body image, I want to first diminish any shame that you might be feeling if you have body issues of your own. It's so important to remember that you downloaded every internal message from somewhere else. Of course, it's critical to work on your own issues, but it's also important to know it is not your fault that you developed them in the first place!

So, whether you are struggling with your own body image, or you love your body, here are some tools to help your child feel better about the precious body he or she lives in:

1. Break the spell

How do you know if your child has a bad body image? Perhaps they've begun making negative comments about their size or shape. Maybe they are comparing their body to others. Maybe they are avoiding foods or activities they once enjoyed because they feel uncomfortable about their body.

Often the most common response a parent has is to reassure their child that they are “fine," or “beautiful" or “perfect." And while there is certainly nothing wrong with some reassurance, it simply may not be enough to overpower the cultural messages kids are surrounded by. Reassure them that they are perfect just the way they are.

2. Unkind mind, kind mind and quiet mind

This little menu of options encourages kids to identify and differentiate between three different thinking states within themselves. I refer to them as “mind moods." Try teaching your child about these three states of mind and brainstorming examples of each. For example, unkind mind = “I hate my thighs." Kind mind = “I love singing." Quiet mind = Peacefully resting or playing.

This will raise their awareness of their thoughts and help them to choose their mind moods more consciously. As they learn to turn up the volume of their kind minds and spend more time in their quiet minds, they begin to feel more present and peaceful.

Once you have helped your child identify their unkind mind as a distinct voice, they can then try on some different responses and see which ones help bring them some relief. Try asking them to write or say all the messages their unkind mind is saying and practicing using strong, soft, silly or silent responses. Kids can learn that their unkind mind is not all of who they are, and that it doesn't have to run the show.

3. Get to the root

This concept helps kids discover what triggers their body dissatisfaction. You can help your child by asking questions or taking guesses about what might have started their bad body image. For example, I helped one 7-year old get to the root of her body obsession by noticing it started when there was a death in her family. Right around that time, her best friend started talking about dieting, so she latched onto food obsession as a distracting coping tool.

Once we uncovered this, she was able to learn about healthy grieving and truly healthy eating (as opposed to what the diet culture deems as healthy—which can actually be unhealthy).

4. Mind movies vs. really real

Try asking your child to show you some things around them that are real (i.e. things they can see, touch or hear). Then ask them if they can show you one single thought in their minds. You can playfully challenge them to take a thought out of their head and show it to you or fold it up and put it in their pocket. This tool teaches kids how to be more present.

Of course, they might use their imagination to do this, but with some finesse, you can teach your child to distinguish between the mind movies that cause them stress and the really real things around them. This is an immensely helpful tool that will not only help them with body image (since body image is one long mind movie) but will also improve the quality of their lives in general.

5. Dog talk and cat chat

Many kids cannot relate to the concept of being kind to themselves but ask a child how they feel about their favorite pet, and a doorway to their compassion, kindness and unconditional acceptance opens. For non-pet lovers, you can ask your child to imagine how they would speak to a baby or their best friend.

Dog talk and cat chat can help teach youngsters how to take the loving words and tones they use toward a beloved pet, and direct these sentiments toward themselves and their bodies.

6. Do an internal upgrade

In addition to helping your child combat the messages they receive out in the world, you can also work on the messages they get in your home. Again, if you struggle with body image, it is not your fault, but you can work on healing—and not only will you feel more peace, but your child will benefit as well.

To the best of your ability, refrain from talking about foods as “good" or “bad." Refrain from making negative comments about your (or anyone else's) weight or looks. Refrain from praising someone (or yourself) for weight loss.

Practice welcoming your child's tears and anger without trying to change their feelings before they are ready. Practice eating all food groups in moderation. Foster a positive, grateful attitude about your body.

May you and your child feel comfortable in your bodies, eat all foods in moderation, move and rest in ways that feel good, and find abundant sweetness and fulfillment in life.

You might also like:

Learn + Play

After a long day of doing seemingly everything, when our partners get home it kind of becomes a habit to ask, "How was your day?" In between prepping dinner, handing off the kids, finishing your own work, we don't exactly get much value from this question. Sure, it may open up the opportunity to complain about that awful thing that happened or excitedly share that presentation you killed at work—but it usually stops there.

I could do a better job of really talking in my relationship. After 12 years and two kids, sometimes all we can come up with post bedtime routine is, "You good? I'm good. Fire up the Netflix."

Here are 21 questions to dig deeper into your marriage after a long day—see where they take you!

  1. Did you listen to anything interesting today?
  2. If you could do any part of today over again, what would it be?
  3. How much coffee did you drink today?
  4. Will you remember any specific part of today a year from now? Five years?
  5. Did you take any photos today? What did you photograph?
  6. What app did you open most today?
  7. How can I make your day easier in five minutes?
  8. If we were leaving for vacation tonight, where do you wish we would be heading?
  9. If you won $500 and had to spend it on yourself today, what would you buy?
  10. If your day was turned into a movie, who would you cast?
  11. What did you say today that you could have never expected to come out of your mouth?
  12. What did you do to take care of yourself today?
  13. When did you feel appreciated today?
  14. If you could guarantee one thing for tomorrow what would it be?
  15. If we traded places tomorrow what advice would you give me for the day?
  16. What made you laugh today?
  17. Imagine committing the next year to learning one thing in your spare time. What would it be?
  18. Did you give anyone side-eye today? Why?
  19. What do you wish you did more of today?
  20. What do you wish you did less of today?
  21. Are you even listening to me right now?

You might also like:

Love + Village

Alexis Ohanian has made a lot of important decisions in his life. The decision to co-found Reddit is a pretty big one. So was marrying Serena Williams. But right up there with changing internet culture and making a commitment to his partner, the venture capitalist lists taking time off after his daughter's birth as a significant, life-changing choice.

"Before Olympia was born, I had never thought much about paternity leave and, to be honest, Reddit's company policy was not my idea. Our vice president of people and culture, Katelin Holloway, brought it up to me in a meeting and it sounded O.K., so why not?" Ohanian writes in an op-ed for New York Times Parenting.

He continues: "Then came Olympia, after near-fatal complications forced my wife, Serena, to undergo an emergency C-section. Serena spent days in recovery fighting for her life against pulmonary embolisms. When we came home with our baby girl, Serena had a hole in her abdomen that needed bandage changes daily. She was on medication. She couldn't walk."

The experience changed the way Ohanian viewed paternity leave. It was no longer something that just sounded like a good thing, it was a necessary thing for his family. It was crucial that he take it and now he is advocating for more fathers to be able to. In his piece for the NYT Ohanian points out something that Motherly has previously reported on: It is hard for fathers to take paternity leave even when their government or employer offers it.

A report from Dove Men+Care and Promundo (a global organization dedicated to gender equality) found 85% of dads surveyed in the United States, the UK, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan and the Netherlands would do anything to be very involved in the early weeks and months after their child's birth or adoption, but less than 50% of fathers take as much time as they are entitled to.

Dads need paid leave, but even when they have it social pressures and unrealistic cultural expectations keep them from taking it and they choose not to take all the time they can. Ohanian wants lawmakers and business leaders to make sure that dads can take leave and he wants to help fathers choose to actually take it.

"I was able to take 16 weeks of paid leave from Reddit, and it was one of the most important decisions I've made," Ohanian previously wrote in an essay for Glamour.

Ohanian recognizes that he is privileged in a way most parents aren't.

"It helped that I was a founder and didn't have to worry about what people might say about my 'commitment' to the company, but it was incredible to be able to spend quality time with Olympia. And it was perhaps even more meaningful to be there for my wife and to adjust to this new life we created together—especially after all the complications she had during and after the birth," he wrote for Glamour.

In his NYT piece, Ohanian goes further: "I get that not every father has the flexibility to take leave without the fear that doing so could negatively impact his career. But my message to these guys is simple: Taking leave pays off, and it's continued to pay dividends for me two years later. It should be no surprise that I also encourage all of our employees to take their full leave at Initialized Capital, where I am managing partner; we recently had three dads on paid paternity leave at the same time."

The GOAT's husband is making the same points that we at Motherly make all the time. Research supports paid leave for all parents. It benefits the baby and the parents and that benefits society.

By first taking his leave and then speaking out about the ways in which it benefited his family, Ohanian is using his privileged position to de-stigmatize fathers taking leave, and advocate for more robust parental leave policies for all parents, and his influence doesn't end there. He's trying to show the world that parents shouldn't have to cut off the parent part of themselves in order to be successful in their careers.

He says that when his parental leave finished he transitioned from being a full-time dad to a "business dad."

"I'm fortunate to be my own boss, which comes with the freedoms of doing things like bringing my daughter into the office, or working remotely from virtually anywhere Serena competes. My partners at Initialized are used to seeing Olympia jump on camera—along with her doll Qai Qai—or hearing her babbling on a call. I tell them with pride, 'Olympia's at work today!' And I'll post some photos on Instagram or Twitter so my followers can see it too," Ohanian explains.

"The more we normalize this, on social media and in real life, the better, because I know this kind of dynamic makes a lot of men uncomfortable (and selfishly I want Olympia to hear me talking about start-ups!)," he says.

This is the future of family-friendly work culture. Take it from a guy who created an entire internet culture.

[A version of this post was originally published February 19, 2019. It has been updated.]

You might also like:

News
Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.