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  • Writer's pictureAnita Vandyke

Top Tips for Zero Waste Parenthood

Many of you know that I am currently pregnant and about to embark on my biggest journey yet... motherhood. I don't pretend to be an expert on being a Mum, let alone, a zero waste Mum, so I reached out to my Instagram family for YOUR tips! Here are the top tips with commentary from my followers (I went through 100+ comments to get these gems):

1. Cloth nappies (diapers) are a must

  • Cloth nappies are the best these days with their easy to use washable liners!

  • Use a wet bag to store old diapers!

  • Learn about elimination communication (EC) - you can use significantly fewer diapers because early toilet training prevents the use of diapers, so you do much less washing.

  • Get a portable changing mat - there are heaps of cute wipeable, reusable options out there or just DIY your own with recycled materials or buy one secondhand!

2. Make secondhand your first choice

  • Trawl gumtree for bulk lots of secondhand kids clothes. They outgrow clothes so much faster than they wear them out and you get a whole wardrobe for the correct season.

  • Op shops have AMAZING and often brand new baby clothes and accessories.

  • Garage sales are absolutely full of baby gear in great condition for next to nothing, especially in the suburbs.

  • Borrow or buy clothes from family and friends - get clothes from friends that have kids that grew out of them.

  • Second hand everything (except car seats and cribs because safety standards change regularly - safety first!)

  • Go slow and buy what you need as ethically as possible.

3. Make your own cloth wipes

  • Suggestion from France - In France we use a nappy cream called “liniment” made of olive oil and lime water that you can make yourself and store in a glass pump bottle. You can use this on cotton squares (or reusable ones) instead of baby wipes!

  • Make your own fabric wipes - used flannel sheets can be cut up or cut your own wipes out of flannel swaddling blankets.

4. Use almond oil as a moisturiser

  • In the first year a baby only needs water to be cleaned, maybe a few drops of almond oil if you feel like!

  • You can also use coconut oil instead of nappy rash cream!

5. Make your own baby food

  • Use a high speed blender to make your own organic, plastic-free baby food.

  • Freeze the food in baby portions for easy access.

  • Don't forget to freeze some meals for yourself as well!

6. Breastfeed (if possible)

  • Take breastfeeding classes - arm yourself with knowledge and where to get help, to give you the best chance at succeeding.

  • Buy reusable bamboo breast pads! Cloth nursing pads and postpartum pads are amazing.

  • Breastmilk can be stored 4oz glass jars in the freezer. @masonbottle has a nipple that fits right onto the jar (I also have the silicone jar covers from them - easier for baby to hold).

  • Use a milk catcher (Milkies milksaver) to make sure no breast milk went to waste. You can save over 200 ounces in the first couple of months by doing this.

  • If you need a baby bottle and can’t find a good pre loved one, get one from @baby_quoddle_ - it’s glass and organic and the packaging is biodegradable

  • Invest in good quality nursing bras

7. Embrace the toy library or make your own toys

  • Join the local toy library (in NSW, Australia it is run by Playgroup NSW)- kids get over toys so quickly, and it's really easy to accumulate so much stuff, the toy library is a great solution. It's ridiculously cheap too, $2 for a fortnight to borrow something.

  • If you are buying toys, choose locally made wooden toys with water based paints.

  • Babies are happy to play with what’s around the house or found in nature - make a sensory basket with twigs, natural sea sponge, pinecones, toilet paper tubes, egg cartons.

8. All you need is love

  • Babies just need love sounds corny however, they thrive when they were hugged, loved & fed... all the “stuff” didn’t matter to them!

  • Don’t be very strict or overcritical with yourself and your zero waste life - we are all just doing the best we can!

Aren't they the best tips? Thank you so much to my Instagram family!

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2 comentários

Alice Huang
Alice Huang
02 de mai. de 2019

Amazing blog Anita and awesome tips!! I have one extra tip - rent your maternity dresses, I couldn't find any beautiful maternity dresses to wear myself when I was pregnant and that's why I started my maternity rental business: I hope there will be more and more mums like you who try to make their way towards zero waste living, every little effort counts!


18 de ago. de 2018

Wow Anita, Congratulations! This is an amazing list, and I wholeheartedly agree with everything on it. I do have one suggestion, wear your baby.

I loved Solly Baby for the first year. I love the values of the company owned by a mother of 4. Fabric is soft and amazing! The website has a wealth of information about baby wearing that make it easy, and your baby will so happy to be close to you.

And, if you breastfeed, you can skip bottles altogether. I taught my children to drink from a cup at around 5 months. It makes outings easy when they can drink anywhere from regular cups and my water bottle.

All the best for your growing family! 

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