My Favorite Sustainable Baby Products

sustianable baby
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I had lofty goals going into motherhood. I was going to keep up my busy routine, have endless patience, and juggle being sustainable to the T on top of it all. Well…if there’s one thing my eight short months of being a mom has taught me, motherhood is humbling. 

I was set on breastfeeding, so set on it we didn’t even buy bottles! Seven weeks after giving birth to Brennan, I found myself anxious and tired beyond belief. I had been going to a lactation consultant for weeks on end, watching videos galore, and still Brennan continued to lose weight until he was in the fifth percentile.

When I realized breastfeeding wasn’t meant to be with this baby, it was humbling to admit after I tried everything to succeed. I stopped breastfeeding shortly thereafter and changed fully over to formula since pumping was also going horribly. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing since it allowed me to grow as an individual, but I am glad we decided to change when we did. 

I mention humility as my journey with sustainable baby products has also been humbling. I bought cloth diapers off Facebook Marketplace as I was determined to be a top-notch eco-mama whipping cloth diapers on and off my children. When Brennan finally grew big enough to wear cloth diapers, my brain was fried with all the new routines I had been absorbing. I told my husband I just couldn’t implement another new thing, and understandingly he agreed to wait to start cloth diapering. Three months later…we started cloth diapering. Talk about eating a humble cookie! 

My Favorite Sustainable Baby Products

Before I share my top 10 sustainable products we have loved, I want to encourage you that sustainability can be as simple as saying no. Saying no to unnecessary things we apparently HAVE to have for our children, saying no to the good-intentioned seven boxes of free secondhand clothes, and even saying no to certain gifts.

For example, I made an extra effort for Brennan’s first Christmas to text our family group chat before the busy shopping season with a request for gifts like experiences, money for his future, and wooden toys instead of clothes, plastic toys, or screens. It may initially feel uncomfortable writing the text, but I know letting my family and close friends know what we want for our kids is a win-win for both of us.

1. Reusable Breast Milk Storage Bags

I didn’t have much extra milk when I was breastfeeding, but for all you rock-star breastfeeding moms out there, consider getting a reusable option for storing your milk. These Nuliie bags were super handy and easy to use for the small amount of breastmilk I did store.

2. Glass Baby Bottles

We originally planned on using these Mason Bottle glass jar bottles, but after Brennan decided he didn’t like the nipple, we had to sadly switch over to plastic bottles. We went through three brands before landing on Lansinoh. Ironically, the Lansinoh 8-ounce bottles had a glass option ready for us to love! Brennan has thrown these bottles all around and none of them have broken (yet).

3. Tripp Trapp Highchair

There are endless options for highchairs, but the Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair has worked out really well for us. It’s made with high-quality wood and a design which allows Brennan to sit at the table with us which helps him focus more on the food as we eat together. Another highlight with this highchair is once our kids are done using it, the seat can be modified to seat an adult. How cool is that?

4. Wholesome Linen Mattresses

My husband and I spent quite some time researching an eco-friendly mattress which wasn’t green washing. We finally came upon Wholesome Linen, a company out of Denver, whose mattresses are made from linen and flax. They didn’t have an option for a crib mattress (see next!), but they did have one for our cradle. The mattress also came with a mattress cover which was waterproof due to a layer of beeswax. Who knew beeswax is naturally water repellant?! The mattresses are made in Ukraine, so it took a while for it to come, but it’s been a hit! We got our diaper pad from the same company and have also been satisfied with it so far.

5. My Green Mattress Crib Mattress

We landed on My Green Mattress company when it came to an eco-friendly crib mattress. Mattresses usually come with a layer of toxic flame retardant sprayed on them, but the cover with this company is made of a blend of cotton and wool which is naturally flame retardant. A bonus for this mattress is it’s made right in Illinois. We have flipped the mattress a few times due to the dent in the mattress, but overall, we’ve loved it. 

6. Lovevery Activity Gym

This activity gym has been one of my all-time favorite products! I appreciate the simplicity and sustainability of its design with parts being made from only wood, silicone, and cotton. The gym also comes with a play guide explaining how to use the parts for developmental activities as your child grows which we appreciated as first-time parents.

It’s been exciting to follow Brennan’s development but not be overwhelmed with too much information.

7. Silicone Pacifiers

These NUK Comfy pacifiers have both mouth development and sustainability in mind. They are made 100% from silicone and developed by pediatric dentists and doctors. I enjoy their pretty colors, and they are easy to clean since it’s all one material.

8. Bannor Toys

Toys, toys, toys! It’s a challenge to keep our house simple without too many toys laying everywhere. I was excited to find this local and sustainable company, Bannor Toys, right out Madrid, Iowa! They make wood and silicone toys, and who wouldn’t love a rattle of the state of Iowa? We have held ourselves back in only buying their wood blocks and a teething ring so far, but I can’t wait to buy a few more of their toys when Brennan gets older.

9. Reusable Cloth Wipes

We underestimated how useful these Osocozy reusable cloth wipes would be! We use them for baths, cleaning off Brennan’s face, and wiping his butt dry for wet diapers. The cloth wipes are easier on his bum compared to wet wipes, and it helps out the environment as it reduces the number of wet wipes we throw away.

10. Cloth Diapers

A sustainable baby product list would not be complete without cloth diapers! We did our fair share of research and narrowed down our choices to two styles, pocket and all-in-one diapers. I’m not a big fan of the pocket style as the diapering and washing process looks more complicated to me, so we went with the all-in-one style. This style is one piece like a disposable diaper, but the snaps across the front of the diaper are used to clasp the diaper closed. My favorite part is you can size up the diaper as the child grows by using different snaps on the diaper, so there’s no need to buy more diapers! 

Thankfully, it’s been easier than I thought to use cloth diapers, but I would highly recommend getting 100% cotton insert diapers. Most brands use microfiber or bamboo material inside the diaper which initially absorb more pee, but they don’t last as long before starting to lose their high absorbency. It was a challenge to find 100% cotton all-in-one diapers as many companies line the diaper with cotton but fill the inserts with microfiber or bamboo. We solely use Thirsties Natural One Size All In One diapers, and I’m pleased many rounds of diaper washing in! 

Bonus Tip: If your diapers come out of the wash stained, try laying them out in the sun for a day and let the UV rays whiten your diapers like magic!

Bonus! Secondhand Clothing

It’s tempting to buy new clothes for Brennan, but we have exclusively found his clothes at consignment stores, garage sales, and family and friends. Brennan is still as cute as a button as you can see below thanks to the great fashion of moms in the Des Moines area!

Des Moines has several great secondhand children clothing stores: Kidding Around (Clive), Once Upon A Child (Urbandale), Duck Worth Wearing (Ankeny & Ames), and Me N Mommy To Be (Ankeny). I’ve also found the semi-annual consignment event, Just Between Friends, is a great place to find quality clothes too!

Sustainability and motherhood may not go together like peanut butter and jelly, but I’m here to tell you, you can be a sustainable AND busy mom!

The key is to take it slow. Try one product at a time, and if you have more kids, implement another new sustainable item with them!

What sustainable products do you love that I missed? Make sure to comment below!

Find more sustainability inspiration over at my website,, or come see me at a workshop! I also host private workshops, so if you’re interested, please reach out to me at [email protected].

Hi Des Moines Moms! I’m Carissa Thoma, stay-at-home mom with an 8-month old son, Brennan, and owner of Down to Earth Living, a small business out of Ankeny teaching sustainable living workshops. A self-professed compost nerd, nature lover, and Catholic, I love to learn about the world around me. One trait I learned immediately with becoming a mother was humility.

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