Conscious Consumer Revolution: Baby Gifts + Registries

Our favorite part of the baby shower tradition is seeing the look of joy on mom’s face when she opens a present we got just right!

So what makes the perfect baby shower gift? We’ve been to our fair share of baby showers, and we’ve learned that the best gifts have a few things in common: They’re thoughtful, useful for mom, and healthy and safe for baby. As Conscious Consumers, we also have our own criteria: look for gifts that consider the environment, help reduce waste, or are from brands you believe in and trust.

That’s a lot to consider when picking out a gift.

So whether you’re shopping for a baby shower gift or thinking about what to add to your own registry, we wanted to make things a little easier. Here are our favorite baby gifts for the mom-to-be in your life or your own registry:

The basics:

  • Diapers & wipes: You can never have enough of these with a new baby, and keeping mamas stocked up on their favorite brands is easy. Look for diapers and wipes that are free of fragrances and made with baby’s sensitive skin in mind.
  • Bottles & pacifiers: Gifts that disclose ingredients and materials help mom feel confident that she’s in control of what she’s using on and around her new baby. We like these glass bottles from Natursutten because they’re BPA-free and recyclable. Plus, their pacifiers and nipples are free from artificial color, chemical softeners, PVC, and phthalates.
  • Baby personal care products: Look for products that are made from ingredients new moms can trust to pamper their baby from head to toe.
  • Clothes: It seems like everyone buys clothes for baby — after all, what’s cuter than a teeny tiny pair of socks? Trouble is, mom often ends up with drawers full of infant clothes that are quickly outgrown (or never fit at all). Consider buying or registering for roomier sizes that baby can grow into.
  • Baby sling: Everyone we know says a baby sling is a must for expectant moms. So why not treat mom to a stylish and functional sling from Wildbird? We’ve never seen so many beautiful colors and patterns. Plus they’re made from linen, which is soft and breathable.
  • Everyday essentials: Gifts that can be used up are always appreciated and won’t create more waste. If you have a registry, don’t forget to add a toothbrush and toothpaste, baby laundry detergent and stain remover. Moms we know also love Zarbee’s Naturals baby vitamins, chest rub, and cough syrup because they’re made with handpicked natural ingredients.
  • Heirloom toys: We especially love these ethically made, hand-knit dolls from Cuddle + Kind — plus, every doll purchased provides 10 meals to children in need.

Outside the box:

  • Secondhand gifts: Gently used clothes, toys, and even furniture make perfect gifts for Conscious Consumer moms. Simply include a note on your registry that secondhand gifts are welcome, or ask the shower hostess to spread the word for you.
  • Make a donation: Whether you’re creating a registry to sending a gift to a new mom, making a donation to a family in need is a great way to give back as you celebrate. Our friends at Good+ Foundation make it easy – you can see exactly what new baby supplies your donation will provide.

Seventh Generation Good Foundation Diaper Donations

  • Money: Instead of just handing over a wad of cash, earmark it for something special like baby’s first vacation or college fund. Savings bonds are another way to invest in baby’s future. You can buy a $50 savings bond for $25 in 2017, and the recipient will be able to redeem it for at least $50 in 2037.
  • Babysitting: For sleep-deprived new moms, a voucher for babysitting can offer welcome relief. Take the load off her so she can buy some healthy groceries, go to yoga class, get a pedicure (or just take a nap!).
  • Restaurant gift cards: A gift card to a healthy restaurant or takeout place will be appreciated when everyone is too tired to cook.
  • Cleaning or meal delivery service: Again, mom and dad are going to have their hands full. A cleaning or meal delivery service gives them more time to enjoy their newborn.

Seventh Generation Baby Registry Cleaning Service

  • Photography session: The first few weeks with a new baby go by in a blink. A gift certificate to mom’s favorite photographer helps capture those treasured moments.

Wrapping:

  • Give a book instead of a card: Books are a way to not only avoid waste (who keeps all those cards?) but also to teach baby to love reading from an early age. We especially love visiting baby when she’s a bit older and reading “our book” together.
  • Choose a zero-waste wrap: Blankets, towels, and burp cloths make for easy and ‘reusable’ gift wrap. You can find more creative repurposed wrapping ideas here.

What ideas would you offer for conscious and sustainable baby gifts and registries? Join the discussion in the Generation Good forum.