Practical advice for preparing an sustainable birth list
Are you soon to be parents? Do you need to prepare for baby's arrival? Are your friends and family asking you what you need? It is surely time to make your birth list! Follow our advice to help you in an eco-responsible approach. And take a good look at the last section "sample birth list" to think of all the baby essentials and other original gift ideas!
Why prepare an sustainable birth list ?
Many of your friends and family want to give you gifts. To avoid duplicates, useless gifts or gifts that do not correspond to your tastes or values, so that these gifts for baby are really useful and like you, we advise you to make a birth list.
What's more, you can share this birth list with your friends and family well before the long-awaited day, as you will already need equipment for the maternity ward and for your return home.
When to make a birth list ?
It is never too early to start preparing for baby's arrival and therefore your list... However, it is usual to wait until the second ultrasound (the 5th month) to start it. It is also advisable to close it at the 7th month of pregnancy so that you are ready to start sharing it.
For the distribution of the list, try to be as clever as possible. You will need some gifts right away. Maybe you can start sharing it with your family and close friends?
For your neighbours or colleagues, it may be best to wait until they ask you what you want before letting them know that you've decided on a baby gift list.
Where to make your sustainable baby list ?
You already have to decide whether you want to submit your list in a physical shop or on the Internet. You can do a bit of both!
As far as physical shops are concerned, all the major brands specialising in baby and childcare or children's clothing generally offer a birth list service and most of them offer a few eco-designed items. Don't forget the small independent shops, some of which also offer this service.
There are several options for the Internet:
- You choose a retailer or internet shop of your choice
- Websites such as mesenvies.fr offer you the opportunity to collect the gifts of your choice. Your friends and family simply follow the link or instructions you give them to buy the gift.
- Other sites such as kadolog.com are in fact an online piggy bank. This means that you buy your items in advance and your friends and family pay you back through this site or by bank transfer.
- For a 100% eco-responsible approach, you can make your baby's birth list on platforms such as Bébé Au Naturel, which will only offer you eco-designed products.
- In a solidarity approach, you can choose to make a baby birth list in an NGO in order to support a cause. Instead of receiving gifts, you create a fund for an association. This is the case with Memisa, which allows you to create your birth list as a kitty to help create maternity wards in Muganzo: together.memisa.be. You can also create your baby solidarity birth list via UNICEF
- You can also write your own birth list and publish it on Wordpress for example. It is very simple and intuitive.
When it comes to birth list sites, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully. Some sites require you to buy everything on your list. So if you don't have a donor for certain baby gifts, you may have to buy them yourself. On the other hand, you can also receive certain benefits after your list is closed.
Birth list examplesHere are our key recommendations for responsible consumption:
- Select sustainable items:
> By their components and materials: check the information on their composition and choose ecological and/or recycled materials, or at least Oeko-Tex certified for textiles.
> By their manufacturing origin: prefer brands that are manufactured in Europe or locally to avoid your items travelling thousands of kilometres...
> By their function, utility and lifespan: choose useful items that last over time and are sturdy. If they have several uses, this is a plus and you will save space!
> By their design: we recommend items with mixed and timeless designs and colours so that they can be used easily across generations
- Vary the categories of gifts. Everyone can choose the gift they really want to give
- Make sure you offer items at different prices. This way, everyone can participate in the list according to their budget. Some list services also give you the option of splitting the price of the gift into several parts. This is very practical for large items such as a car seat or buggy.
- Give the opportunity to receive second-hand gifts and thus give new life to an object that will have been little used like most nursery items
- Anticipate your future needs by choosing upgreadable items, such as high chairs, beds, car seats, etc.
- Think about the real need and purpose of each item on your list. Ask the parents around you for advice, what have been their baby essentials? And on the contrary, which ones have they not used at all?
- You can also think about the option of renting clothes and be offered a subscription
- Think of yourself! You can also slip in some gift ideas to take care of yourself! Young parents will need to be looked after so that they are in top form for the new arrival!
- A newborn sleeping bag from Kokùn Lab
- An upgradeable sleeping bag Kokùn Lab
- Bodysuits and pyjamas that close at the front
- A cuddly toy (buy two once your child has adopted it! You can also sleep with it for a few nights so that it carries your scent).
Baby clothes for the day
- Get a loose-fitting baby garment made of natural, ecological materials that respect baby's sensitive skin and are easy to put on: bodysuits, pyjamas, overalls, sarouels, cardigans (easier to put on than jumpers and very comfortable for baby)
- Birth accessories: bonnet, glove, booties, socks...
- Again, don't forget the second hand for this kind of items!
For the baby's room
- A bed with bars (you can also opt for the floor mattress for a Montessori approach. Find out more about this technique)
- Baby bed sheets
- A changing table (if possible with a changing table or a piece of furniture that is high enough to change little Koko and avoid back pain)
- A changing mat (no need for a special cover, towels or swaddles will do fine).
- Decorative elements made of ecological or natural materials, second hand or handmade by friends or a craftsman!
- A bouncer: very practical for rocking baby
- A play mat that can be used as a blanket
- Early learning games and musical books
- A buggy or trio
- A car seat. For this item no second hand! It is the safety of your child that is at stake and it is strongly recommended that you buy it new. There are evolving models that follow the evolution of your child!
- A changing bag (unless you already have a practical bag that has a new function)
- A sling (our recommendation) or baby carrier
- Swaddle (an essential, ultra-practical and multifunctional item). There are generally 2 sizes of swaddles. If you are not sure which size to choose, please consult our advice.
- A cot, unless you want baby to sleep on a mattress, you can find travel mats
- An angel's nest or a large blanket for outings
- Bibs or swaddles that serve the same purpose
- A breastfeeding pillow: very practical before, during and after pregnancy!
- Feeding bottles (2 will suffice!)
- A high chair: choose one that can evolve!
For washing and caring for your baby
- A bathtub
- Bathtub outlets
- A multi-function thermometer (bath, room...)
- Reusable wipes
- Cloth nappies
As a reminder, it is easy to find all these items second-hand or on hire.
Original birth gift
The emotional gift
- photo album or beautiful prints
- a personalised notebook to keep track of your little koko's progress
- personalised poster to decorate the bedroom
Let's not forget that gifts are not only about material, as young parents you won't have much time to take care of yourself, wash, eat a balanced diet or even rest... It is important to think about yourself to be in good shape for your baby. Don't hesitate to ask for help!
- Babysitting hours for your couple to get together
- Food prepared by friends or family
- A walk with your baby while you rest
- A family photo session
- A babywearing course
The soft gift for your young parents
- A well-being treatment, a massage
- Postpartum support with a Doula for mothers. A doula accompanies and supports women emotionally and physically during pregnancy and after childbirth. She complements the midwife.
- A post-natal massage
- A rebozo treatment. This is a traditional Mexican treatment: a relaxation practice that allows young mothers to relieve joint pain related to childbirth.
- A thalasso treatment for baby
- Massage sessions for babies
- Baby swimming sessions