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Sustainable Buys for a Newborn

Purebaby Newborn Essentials Hamper in gift box

Buying sustainable gifts for a newborn is a great way to show your care for the baby and the planet. Here are a few sustainable gift ideas you can consider instead of buying new.

Organic Cotton Clothes:

Look for clothes made from organic cotton, which is grown without the use of harmful pesticides or chemicals. These clothes are soft, comfortable, and gentle on the baby’s delicate skin.  Remember a baby grows so think about the sizing carefully. If you buy for the future be mindful of the season it’s likely to be when they reach that age range.  Choosing a hamper set, such  as this beautiful one by Australian brand Purebaby has a mix of useful items including dribble bibs, vests and towels.

Wooden Toys:

Wooden toys are eco-friendly and non-toxic. They are durable and can be passed down to other siblings or generations. Do not underestimate how much a wooden toy will be played with and how resourceful a present it can be.  Look at our Steiff Walker for instance. Not only is it usable whilst they’re sitting to put things into you can also place their favourite toys or books in for storage. Of course, it’s a wonderful way to encourage baby’s first steps and once they’re up and about I can promise you that they will love having something to push along!

Natural Skincare Products:

Babies have sensitive skin, so it’s essential to use natural skincare products that are free from harmful chemicals. Look for products made with organic ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, and calendula oil and don’t forget about Mum, her body has been through so many changes which will continue for months to come!


Preloved clothing and toys make perfect gifts for new parents who want to reduce their environmental footprint.  Receiving circular economy presents from friends and family is a thoughtful message.  Ensure everything is clean and sterilised before gifting and of course is in good condition.

Make a Few Meals:

One of the best gifts I received was a surprise supermarket delivery, from a very dear friend.  Having a newborn for the first time is all consuming and often the simplest tasks like preparing meals  can get overlooked.  If you’re unsure of what is suitable to buy, why not gift them some vouchers for somewhere like Cook who sell frozen homemade meals.

Your Time:

Remember, the most sustainable gift you can give a newborn is your time and attention. Spending quality time with the baby and helping the parents with tasks can be invaluable.  How about offering a couple of hours of babysitting or taking the baby out for walks in their pram? Helping parents catch up on some well needed sleep or household jobs is priceless!

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Double trouble or twice as nice?

“We’re expecting number two!” you announce. “Bought a double buggy yet?!” joke your friends.

And just like that reality bites. Should you really double up in the pram stakes? Are you kicking yourself for not buying the convert-to-double buggy model the first time round? So. Many. Questions.

Well you’re in good company. I, for one, spent the best part of a trimester figuring out how I would get from A to B with two under two. I played out all the scenarios in my head. I researched online and road tested in store. I carried out ‘stop and search’ on mums with two kids in cafes. I quizzed dads manoeuvring double buggies round supermarket aisles. I was overwhelmed – lost deep in a fog that was part baby brain, part buggy bewilderment.

I soon realised I wouldn’t know if I’d made the right decision until the time came. Because the right buggy for you, is one that fits your lifestyle. So because you can’t just Google the answer, I hope sharing my considerations will help lift the buggy fog for many of you!

‘How much will I actually use a pram for getting out and about?’

For me, the answer was daily. At that time I was living in an inner London flat with a supermarket at both ends of my road – within walking distance of an underground station, a park and my son’s nursery. I thrived on leaving the flat each day, to run errands and meet friends, and even though my two year old son was already a strong walker, I couldn’t rely on his little legs making a round trip each time.

‘But what will I really need to use it for?’

Side-by-side and up-and-down buggies are fantastic options if you’ll mostly be running errands on foot and doing stuff without a need for much lugging in and out of the car. And thanks to their multiple configurations you can switch it up whenever you like – the seat can face you with the baby, turn out for the toddler and you can attach a car seat if baby needs to be transferred to or from the car whilst napping.

Double strollers tick the ‘functional’ box. For a supermarket sweep or midst airport transfer you can pin down both kids, they can be stowed away in a car boot and still leave enough room for shopping bags or suitcases. Plus most boast lie flat modes for naps and some are even multi-way. All this without making too much of a dent in your wallet.

‘And what other alternatives are there?’

Sling it up. Correct, not technically a buggy, but let’s talk about baby carriers. An excellent early days option, especially as newborns crave being held close during the fourth trimester. They allow you to get on with life in and out the house. They gift you the use of both arms to attend to an older sibling’s needs, or simply to hold their hand when crossing a road.

I found a soft style wrap a real advantage during the first few months. Five months in, I replaced it with a more structured sling. And a year on, my daughter was still happy to be carried. The market is evolving fast – so whether you’ve used a sling before or couldn’t quite get on with one in the past, I’d urge you to seek professional advice from a ‘baby wearing expert’ rather than a department store employee. As new brands and ranges emerge thick and fast retailers don’t always understand tech such as ergonomic fit, nor will many have first-hand experience in securing a wriggly baby in place. Best to get down to a local sling library, try a few on for size and read some e-reviews from experts and mums.

Wheeled boards. Another excellent alternative to a double pushchair for those of you with a more active kid in tow. Hop on (but also beware: hop off!) boards are great for when your little walker starts to lose steam.. Plus they can be easily stored when not in use. Boards are super easy to trial in store and, depending on the height of your child, you’ll see in real life if they are tall enough to grab the handle bars, co-ordinated enough to get on (and stay on!) as you push, and generally get them used to the freedom of not being harnessed in. One watch out: navigation. Bumps in the road and lots of kerbs make for a less than smooth ride for both you as the pusher as well as for your little passenger.

Scooters. Look away now if the ‘s’ word fills you with dread, but they are increasingly popular with bigger kids. If ‘scootering ‘ is already your toddler’s thing, and they are competently streetwise, they can be a great alternative to a double buggy. Yet do consider where and when you’ll use it most. Flat roads to nursery? Hilly parks on the weekend? I challenge you to find one mum or dad of a scooter mad tot who hasn’t walked some of the way home with their toddler on their shoulders! And be mindful of storage. Until buggy manufacturers figure out where to fix a scooter on a travel system, it might not be that convenient with a baby in tow.

After months of listing pros and cons, I opted for an up-and-down double buggy. A year in and I used it more as a single pram with a wheeled board for my then three year old, and it proved to have been the right decision for us and our lifestyle. The choices out there are overwhelming, so don’t be afraid to take your time, test and trial. You’ll soon enough have your hands full. Anything to make life easier is worth investing a bit of thought up front.