The amount of babies in my life seems to have increased exponentially over the last year. Suddenly baby showers and hanging out with tiny humans is part of my regular social schedule. I love celebrating and spending time with all the new parents and babies but finding sustainable baby gifts that I felt happy about giving took a little bit of research. As with most aspects of our life, I needed baby presents that were sustainable, practical and affordable.
I didn’t want to gift token items that would be used once or twice and thrown away. I wanted to give sustainable baby gifts with a practical purpose that would be used daily or at least for a long time. They needed to not break the bank and feel a bit special or personal rather than generic baby junk. But I also wanted them to be nice, made from natural materials and support local businesses. Not too much to ask right?!
So I came up with a list. A collection of eco-friendly baby shower gifts I was happy, even excited, to give that I could pick and choose from for each family. It’s a list I’ll return to as these precious humans have birthdays, gain siblings and celebrate other milestones. So I wrote it all down for others looking for the perfect sustainable baby gifts that are affordable and practical.
There is nothing like a homemade gift. No matter what it is, it will be clear that you’ve put a lot of thought and effort into it and if you have any craft skills you can make all kinds of beautiful and useful presents. Making your own is the perfect way to ensure you get an eco-friendly baby gift that doesn’t break the bank.
I taught myself to crochet and made cotton cloths (you can never have too many cloths). There are all kinds of ways to do them but I only got as far as learning straight lines so that’s how mine look. I also learnt some basic sewing skills and used repurposed fabric to sew bunting to hang in the baby room. They might not be the fanciest gifts but they can see the thought that has gone into the gift and they are completely plastic free and cost almost nothing.
For me, books will always be a sustainable option. They’re plastic free, beautiful and can be a great way to support local publishers, writers and artists. There are a huge range of good quality kids’ books out there and choosing a book that is personal to the people you’re gifting it to makes it really special. Make sure you buy them from an independent bookshop too!
Vouchers can be a great way of treating new parents without having to buy unnecessary items. While a night out might be off the cards get them a voucher for their favourite coffee place or brunch spot. You can even make your own such as babysitting or cleaning vouchers.
Vouchers for a photoshoot with their new family members also make an excellent sustainable baby gift but make sure the photographer matches with the taste of the couple you’re gifting it to. Lots of new-born shoots can be really staged or use costumes and props which may not fit their tastes.
Toys made from wood or natural materials
Wooden toys last a lifetime and are such a great eco-friendly baby shower gift as they come in all varieties. Chew toys, building blocks, pull along toys or trucks and cars are all perfect for most babies. Wood is durable and safe for kids and lots of wooden toys can be passed down through generations, I know we still have some wooden toys from when I was a baby!
Other natural materials that make good sustainable baby gifts are cotton, linen or bamboo. There are lots of soft toys, cuddlys and hanging toys made from sustainable material and there are some cute bamboo dinner sets.
Baby care creates a lot of waste so have a look at some nice reusable alternatives that look beautiful, are great for the planet and super useful. There are so many funky cloth nappy brands out there if you know the parents plan to try them. Baby cloths to use instead of wipes are really handy and come in all kinds of natural fabrics. Or look out for reusable breast pads for mum. All these things come in cool patterns and make nice, sustainable baby shower gifts as well as being genuinely useful – win win!
Soaps and Bath Products
Natural baby care products are perfect because even non eco-conscious parents choose natural and chemical-free products for their babies. Soap and nappy cream are two things that almost every baby needs and there are lots of sustainable and plastic-free options.
Or you might want to get something for the new mum too, think natural moisturisers, nipple cream, lip balm or bath salts. All of which can be found plastic-free and from eco-friendly brands.
Sustainable and ethical clothing
Babies always tend to be given lots of clothing but there is always a use for good quality staple items such as onesies or leggings. Look out for items made from sustainable and baby-friendly materials such as merino wool or organic cotton. Buying a few sizes up can be helpful as often parents collect a lot of newborn sized clothing and don’t have much in larger sizes.
While not strictly a baby gift, plants are pretty sustainable and can be a lovely thing to commemorate the birth of a baby. Gifting something like a fruit tree that can grow with the baby is a beautiful gift that keeps on giving as it bears fruit.
Art can be a very personal purchase so make sure you know the parents well. But a nice picture for the baby’s room or a piece of work that includes that baby’s name and date of birth can make a really personal baby gift. It’s also a great opportunity to support a local artist.