Natural New Age Baby on a Budget
When infertility rocked our world, it was a big wake up call to clean up our acts. We overhauled the way we ate and quickly discovered the crazy amount of chemicals in all of the products around us.
Sometimes I’m not surprised at why one in eight of us (at least) have a hard time falling pregnant, and while many of us will still need a bit of extra help with baby making, infertility was a changing point in our lives; a massive learning experience.
When we fell pregnant, and then had the love of our lives, Chloe, I was determined that we would do our best to continue with our new lifestyle which focuses on eating as clean food as possible, and making conscious choices about the products that we purchase.
Here are 7 ways to have a Natural New Age baby on a budget:
♥ Our Cot – IKEA Sniglar
Oh boy, we searched high and low for a cot and many a pregnancy insomnia-induced night was spent googling which cot was the best. So many of our cots are laced with toxic glues, varnishes and paints and off-gas for years, and if there was one thing I was determined to ensure was as low tox as possible, it was Chloe’s bedding, because they spend more than 50% of their time in there!
So many cots have also been recalled over the years, that you need to make sure your cot adheres to the latest safety guidelines, so a second hand cot can be a good idea, but also warrants a bit of research.
And some of the most eco-friendly and low tox cots out there are pretty exxy, except one: the IKEA Sniglar cot, which only costs $99. This is the cot we settled on. It’s made from untreated, solid beech. You may not know, but IKEA has also done a lot of work in the last six years on their sustainability, and all products from IKEA are renewable, reusable or recyclable. $99 is a steal! At first I was worried that it wouldn’t be sturdy enough, but it’s been great and we bought the matching change table too.
♥ Op Shop Toys and Books
When most people think of their local op shop, I bet they think of women and mens’ clothing, but we’ve purchased some awesome books and toys from our local op shop.
We purchased a xylophone, plus lego pieces, and we also bought a perfect condition Spot book, which was the feature book at Baby Rhyme Time the following week – what a boon! Aside from being really cheap, it’s a great way to reuse and recycle things, and because most people don’t think of their local op shop for kids’ toys.
♥ Verge collection
I hate that our society has become so quick to use products and then throw them away when they have the slightest defect. Ross and I drove past this awesome cubby house (which seems to entertain Chloe for hours!) on the verge, which only has a few cracks. They’re on the top so Chloe doesn’t know!
This might have otherwise gone to landfill, so I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to reuse it, and it was free!
♥ Gumtree for nappies and strollers
As well as being a more environmentally friendly option, cloth nappies are cheaper in the long run too, but the thing about cloth nappies, is that they can be expensive up front, and different brands suit different bums and mums. Gumtree is a gold mine for cloth nappies though, and many of them are either unused or barely used as a number of people intend to use them, purchase a bunch at once and then decide cloth nappies aren’t for them, so you can get them at a really good price, and still in good condition.
We also bought our stroller second hand (a City Mini which we LOVE – it folds with one strap so you only need one hand) for $300 and it came with all the accessories, so we saved about $300 and were able to reuse something that may have otherwise gone to landfill.
♥ Coconut oil
Coconut oil is a great item for your nappy bag as it is so versatile. You can get some from your kitchen and put it in a small tub as a nappy rash cream, a moisturiser/baby oil and a massage cream.
We also had a bad case of cradle cap, which I read goes away on it’s own, but it so doesn’t! Am I right?! So I doused Chloe’s head in coconut oil and combed it out a few times, and within one day, it was gone.
Another little tip, is when your baby is first born, that meconium is tough to get off! But, if you pop a bit of coconut oil on their bum in between nappy changes, the oil makes it so much easier to get off.
♥ Homemade toys
It’s so true that kids can have all the toys in the world, but what they really want is the contents of your kitchen drawer! Here are a few toys that Chloe has loved:
- A muffin tin, with little bits of food or smaller toys in the holes
- Stainless steel bowls laid out with a wooden spoon for some drum action
- A empty toilet roll wrapped up with some rice or dried beans inside for a rattle
- Photographs – kids love seeing photographs. We had had a large picture frame that recently broke but instead of throwing everything away we put contact paper over the top so it has become like a small playmat/large place mat
- An activity board with leftover things from your sewing cupboard, kitchen or shed
- Homemade lavender play dough
♥ Our Wrap – The Close Parent Organic Caboo Wrap
This is hands down my favourite and most recommended purchase. Chloe basically lived in her wrap for the first 6 months of her life and at 14 months, she still sometimes goes in it.
What I love about this wrap though is that it is so versatile. You can use it in a tonne of different positions, so it is suitable for newborns, right up to toddlers, which not that many are and it’s really easy to chuck in the wash.
So that’s some of the tips we have to lower the chemical load on your babe, as well as do your bit for the environment, and your hip pocket.
What tips do you have?
Robyn Birkin is a author, fertility warrior and zen mama who lives in Perth, Western Australia with her husband and daughter, Chloe, a gorgeous result of IVF treatments.
She has recently shared an honest and raw account of her journey with infertility, IVF and miscarriage in her book, Screw Infertility!
When she is not trying to stop her daughter, Chloe, writing on walls and trying to give the cat a nervous breakdown, she writes stories for fertility warriors, life lovers and vegan babes on her blog, Modern Day Missus. She is a lover of veggies, surfie dudes and sunshine, and is in the juice (over smoothies) camp.