Six Things Your New Baby Doesn’t Need

When I was pregnant with my first child, I thought I had a good idea of what babies needed until I went to a baby superstore for the first time.

Suddenly, I was faced with a ridiculous number of options and every product was marketed to seem like it was the MUST HAVE item that no parent should be without. Any possible issue that a new mom might encounter had a handy product solution that would make life SO! MUCH! BETTER!

I’m embarrassed to admit I fell for all of it…hook, line and Diaper Genie. I just didn’t know any better and frankly, being green wasn’t even on my radar back then. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for me to realize how un-green my baby’s world was but not before I made a more than a few mistakes and wasted a lot of money.

Learn from my experience and don’t bother with these baby items. You can use the money you will save to get baby gear that is safer and more eco-friendly!

Bassinet: There really isn’t a more useless baby item. You might use one of these for a few months at best and then it’s just this big thing taking up space. Our house had small steps up and down into the living room so we couldn’t even move it into different areas of the house with any degree of ease. After, much frustration, I ended up getting a Moses basket from a friend. It was far more portable than a bassinet and a much greener, more natural option. Once I started using it, I promptly dropped the bassinet off at the local baby consignment shop and never looked back.

Baby Shoes: If your baby doesn’t walk, why does she/he need shoes? It’s kind of silly, isn’t it? And contrary to the older generation’s belief that shoes were a necessity for fledgling walkers, doctors now recommend otherwise:

Lynn T, Staheli, MD, director of Orthopedics at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle, states “Shoeless populations have fewer foot problems than their shoe counterparts. Babies who are just learning to walk should go barefoot, whenever possible, to maximize their balance and stability”.

If you don’t like the look of bare feet or plain socks, get some of these cute socks that look like shoes.

Fancy Baby Blankets: Babies shouldn’t sleep with blankets because they pose a smothering danger and the best blankets for swaddling are not the fluffy, fancy kind anyway so feel free to skip those altogether and get some organic cotton swaddling blankets instead.

Diaper Genie: This is a specialty garbage pail for disposing of diapers and uses special plastic bag refills that you need to buy over and over and over. If you choose to use disposable diapers, the greenest solution is to toss your dirty diapers into an outside trash can or if that’s not possible, a lidded trash can lined with a biodegradable and/or compostable trash bag that you can empty each day to keep the stinky diaper smell to a minimum. If you really can’t deal with any odor, use individual bags. Trust me, after you’ve run out of Diaper Genie bag refills and have to start buying them regularly, you’ll realize what a racket it is. Also? it’s hard to consign or pass on a used diaper contraption to someone else. Nobody wants them—believe me, I tried.

Special Baby Detergent: Standard laundry detergents contain a lot of chemicals and unhealthy chemical-based fragrances so those are not a good choice for washing baby’s clothing and linens but if you already use a biodegradable, fragrance and dye-free, hypoallergenic detergent like Seventh Generation, for example, you don’t need to buy a special detergent just for your baby’s laundry—they are overpriced and typically still not as good a choice for babies as an eco-friendly detergent.

Baby Wipe Warmer: I can see how someone might be swayed to get one of these but I can honestly tell you that neither of my babies ever freaked out over a cold wipe. Never. But on the off chance that you’re not totally convinced, you can always roll a wipe around in your clean hands to warm it up first. Really :)

Continue being eco-friendly after your baby outgrows the things you do buy and donate gently-used items to a domestic abuse shelter where baby gear is always needed. ADDED BONUS: Your charitable donations are tax-deductible! Keep that in mind when you file your income taxes next year!

Have some great alternatives to unnecessary baby items? Share them in the comments!

Check out my post on how to set up a green nursery on a budget!


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What: Ennovationz.com

Features: Ennovationz is a web site that provides invaluable information and advice on how to save energy and money while living green.

Green Factor: Greening your home to save energy can be costly—there’s no way to sugarcoat that fact—but one of Ennovationz.com’s standout features is the rebate section. Plug in your zip code and it will return results about ways to get money back for making energy-saving investments in your home. I did it and I was amazed at all the changes we can make that will yield a rebate or a tax deduction.

Bonus: See how your energy usage compares with similar local homes, sign up for free utility bill analysis and monitoring or get personalized energy-saving recommendations.

Find It Here: Ennovationz

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Organic Valley Coupons

It’s Coupon Thursday here at The Green Mom Review! Okay, not really—I just made that up on the fly. But maybe we will do Coupon Thursdays. You never know. We’re wacky and unpredictable like that.

On this particular Thursday, however, we do have a line on some good Organic Valley coupons and since it’s one of MY preferred brands of organic milk and butter, I’m excited and I thought maybe you’d be excited, too!

It’s pretty easy—you need your printer turned on and stocked with paper BEFOREHAND because if the print job fails, it still counts as a printed coupon. Just go to the Organic Valley coupon page, check off all the items you’d like coupons for, fill out the info on the next page and then you print them. NOTE: you have to install a coupon printer app but it takes less than a minute. Thanks Organic Valley!

Find It Here: Organic Valley

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Kill A Watt EZ

What: Kill A WattEZ

Features: Kill A WattEZ shows you what appliances really cost to operate and which ones cost you the most! Simply connect an appliance to the Kill A WattEZ and the large LCD display will count consumption by the kilowatt-hour just like your local utility.

Green Factor: Once you know precisely how much things cost to operate, you’re less inclined to waste electricity, which is good for your wallet AND the planet.

Bonus: Kill A WattEZ lets you calculates cost and forecasts by week, month and year.

Find It Here: Amazon

Win It: We’re giving away one Kill A WattEZ to one randomly selected winner! Just leave a comment telling us which of your home appliances you’re most interested in testing and why. Giveaway ends at midnight on 12/20/10; $60 value. Open to residents of the continental US only. Official Rules

Extra Entries: Tweet about this giveaway (be sure to include @greenmomreview in your tweet) and note in a second comment that you tweeted the giveaway (include your Twitter name) to receive an extra entry.

This giveaway is sponsored by Geothermal Genius. Geothermal heat delivers a 400% efficiency rating and can lower your bill up to 70%.

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Easy Liquid Soap Recipe

To make liquid soap by the half gallon the easy way, just follow this simple recipe that uses no dangerous ingredients or special equipment. Basically, this recipe changes hard soap into liquid (gel) soap with the addition of glycerin and water.

I’ve tried a number of liquid soap recipes from the internet that didn’t work and finally, out of frustration, devised my own. This is my own original recipe and it does work!

Easy Liquid Soap Recipe

This recipe makes just under half a gallon of general purpose liquid soap. It is best made in the evening, as it will need to cool overnight before the final stage of blending the soap.


1 cup soap flakes or grated bar soap
2.5 quarts of water
1 tablespoon of glycerin

You will also need:

A large saucepan
A measuring cup and a tablespoon measure
A sealable glass jar, or an assortment of cleaned hand pumps or shampoo bottles
A stick blender, electric mixer or handheld egg beater


Mix soap flakes, water and glycerin together in a large saucepan over a low heat.
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