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Weaning your baby is an exciting stage in their development. You’re opening up an exciting new world of flavours, textures and tastes for them to explore.Read more
Weaning your baby is an exciting stage in their development. You’re opening up an exciting new world of flavours, textures and tastes for them to explore.Read more
Research has revealed that more than 183 million items of kids’ clothing that are thrown into landfill annually*.
What’s yellow, organic and will never end up in a landfill? The brand new Piccolo recyclable baby pouches obviously.
Brightly coloured and the perfect size for grabbing and popping in the change bag for those trips to the beach and zoo. We all know nothing compares to the ease of a pouch on the go, and these are the ideal snack size.
The smoothies are a great consistency as I’ve found some pouches can be really runny. The tropical flavours also smelt really great and Amelia ate the whole thing whilst waving her arms around and telling me off for not spooning it into her mouth fast enough which is definitely a good sign.
The smoothies are fab for allergy babes too as they’re dairy free and gluten free, and vegetarian. I know a lot of mamas spend ages reading the backs of things in supermarkets and all of this information is really obvious on the packaging.
So much about this product makes it clear how much Piccolo cares. They are palm oil free which is fantastic and really important for our planet. Piccolo also give 10% of profits back to charities supporting local families. Family is not obviously an important part of their brand as all of their ingredients are sourced from independent family farms and they are totally organic. They’ve offset the carbon related to their company activities and are working on the carbon used in production in order to become the UK’s first carbon neutral baby food brand.
Once you’ve finished the pouches you can wash them out, and you can fit up to 10 empty pouches back into the boxes to be returned for recycling as the whole pouch is made from just one material. They are palm oil free too which is fantastic and really important for our planet.
The process is very easy and once you’ve packaged the empties up, you just scan the QR code on the back to print the postage label, and send off. Only 20% of local councils recycle the kind of plastic used curb side, so being able to send the pouches back so easily and for free is brilliant. They can then be used again and again to make more Piccolo pouches! How neat! The fact that the whole pouch is one material and can be recycled is a game changer and the ease of returning them means hopefully people will get on board.
I’m really conscious about living sustainably and not becoming overrun with plastic which can be a massive challenge with young children as everything seems to be made from plastic and then wrapped in more plastic. Piccolo are really a step ahead of the rest with this idea and I’m definitely here for it.
Have you tried the Piccolo recyclable baby pouches?
Part three of our sustainable swaps series! When it comes to having babies, as mothers we know that you want to do your best for them and why not team that with doing your best for the planet as well? We have put together some super easy sustainable swaps when it comes to babies & children.
Switching to cloth nappies was the first sustainable swap/change we made to our lives. After months of research, we took the plunge. You know what? It has been a lot easier than we imagined. If you’re main concern is cleaning them, or dealing with poop, I promise you it’s not as bad as you think! The fact is, when you have your own baby, their poop and bodily fluids won’t gross you out as much as you think they will. You just get on with it without thinking about it. You simply pop the poop down the loo, and place the nappy in the basket ready to be washed. We run a nappy wash every evening – it’s just easier that way for us.
This has to be the most simple swap out there! Cloth wipes are amazing! You can buy kits such as Cheeky Wipes! We got our colourful cheeky wipes (AFF LINK) on Amazon over a year ago and they are still going strong! We use a Tupperware box with some water and essential oils in, and it lasts us up to 3 days. As well as a stack of dry wipes for things like mucky hands, spillages, and then an array of flannels for face wiping!
Did you know that it’s recommended to use baby wiles on car wheels as they remove all the crap and grime? Yup. So, if it can do that to a car wheel, imagine what it can do to your little ones sensitive area?! Cloth wipes are super soft, durable, will save you some pennies and (hopefully) reduce the amount of fat burgs clogging up our sewage systems and prevent them from destroying our rivers and oceans.
I have always had a special place in my heart for wooden children’s toys. I find they are more beautiful, whimsical and stimulate the imagination a lot better than plastic ones that play music, light up and do everything for the child.
This was before the use of plastic and the damage it’s having on the environment was everywhere. Now, there’s an even better reason to buy new wooden toys over plastic. The majority of plastic toys can’t be recycled, or at least not easily. A lot of plastic toys these days have many different components that need to be separated, meaning the toy needs to be pulled apart before recycling. Sometimes this is possible, sometimes this is not. Meaning the majority of plastic toys thrown away each year end up in landfill for many, many, many years. There are some companies out there trying to melt old toys to make new ones, and using recycled materials in general, making them more Eco friendly and easier to recycle – which is amazing in so many ways!
Now, It’s no lie that we are Charity shop lovers. We regularly hit the charity shops to see what bargains and gems we can find. From clothing, to books, toys for Molly to even furniture – we love it all! My very first flat was furnished with all second hand items. Even Molly first Christmas and Birthday gifts were mainly from charity shops or Facebook selling groups. There is nothing wrong with second hand items. Buying second hand can actually help the planet as you’re giving those items a new lease of life, and preventing them from going into landfill.
It’s no secret that when you have a child, you automatically become a snack bi**h. Tiny human gets fussy, snack. They won’t sit still, snack. They hurt themselves and start to cry, snack, Snacks are used in multiple situations. The only problem is that most snacks come in single use plastic wrappers, especially the multi packs. You can try and buy snacks that come in boxes as apposed to plastic, but even then, I find there’s plastic in the box which defeats the whole reason you’re buying the box in the first place! We life to make our snacks. We take fresh fruit and I buy things like raisins in bulk. I make fruit leather ( wind ups ) and treats like cookies and rice crispy treats! Minimal plastic.
When you enter the world of weaning, you are inundated with advice and suggestions on what to feed your baby. There is baby food that comes in glass jars, which is fab and so much better than the plastic pouches. However, they still cost ££. Making your own baby food can save you money and a crazy amount of plastic! You could even head down the baby lead weaning route which has you skip the purees all together.
Making your own baby food is super easy! Basically, you puree the food you eat and keep it. You can buy reusable pouches that can be washed and used over and over, or you can put the puree in ice cube trays and freeze them, taking which ever flavours you want when you need them and heat them up either in the microwave ( watching for hot spots ) or over the stove.
I have a blog post of homemade snack and baby food ideas in the works, full of recipes that you can try to make healthy ( ok some aren’t super healthy ) snacks without so much single use plastic! So keep an eye out for that!
Carrying on from reducing single use plastic and plastic in general, kids drinks bottles. Once your child moves on from breastfeeding or bottle feeding, they move onto a kids cup. Most of these cups are made out of cheap plastic that doesn’t last super long. It either brakes, or if it comes with a straw – you’ll loose that straw! There are so many Eco friendly alternatives out there now. Bamboo being one of the most popular choices of materials. However, for older toddlers/children, Klean Kanteen have a range of stainless steel bottles that are perfect alternatives! They keep drinks at the desired temperature for a long period of time. They are also easy to clean and incredibly durable.
When we made the decision to be more Eco conscious, I knew I wanted to get Molly a plate from Bamboo Bamboo. They produce beautiful bamboo plates in different animal shapes! There are elephants, Monkeys, Pandas and more! We have the Fox plate and the standard toddler plate, as well as the bowl and spoon! The fab thing with these plates is that they have a silicon suction ring on the bottom, meaning you have less of a chance of food going all over the floor.
I’m Laura. I’m a 37 year old single mum, and I live in Brighton UK, with my 3 year old son Finn. I am founder of Plastic Free Baby, an online plastic free shop and eco blog. I am going to be sharing the impact of plastics on fertility, babies & children.
Rewind the clock a bit to a couple of years before I conceived Finn, when I was married to my then husband. There were many months and years of conception struggle before I finally became pregnant naturally with a much yearned for baby. I was so desperately sad when I lost the baby a few weeks into pregnancy; I then had several months of miscarrying. I conceived my next pregnancy more than a year later and happily I gave birth to a happy and healthy little baby boy, and called him Finn.
During this desperate and emotional time, I was trying to research things that could be having an impact on fertility, in order to maximise my chances of conceiving a baby, and to reduce the risk of miscarriage. I wasn’t looking for “just think positive”, “relax and it’ll happen” type self-help approach to fertility and conception; I wanted facts evidenced by research!
I came across a book that would change my life in this period, called “It Starts With An Egg” by Rebecca Fett. The book looks at how improving egg quality can significantly impact various aspects of fertility. It determines some of the key strategies for improving egg quality, and one of them, amongst others, was avoiding toxins in plastics that can harm developing eggs and embryos.
I was bowled over by the research in this book, pointing to the harmful toxins in common household plastics being a risk to human fertility, to developing embryos and foetuses, to babies, infants and children, and to all humans in general. It was mind blowing!
We all know the well-publicised environmental damage being caused by plastics in our oceans and the need for society to ‘choose to reuse’ single-use plastics for the sake of the health of Mother Earth; but the horrendous impacts that plastics can have on human development is something that is less talked about and less well-known. It really needs to be shouted about!
The main issue with plastics is that the toxins leached from them can be toxic, and these toxins can in some cases be endocrine imitators or interrupters; that is to say, chemicals that can disrupt our bodies endocrine system, the system that produces, stores and secretes hormones. Endocrine disruption by these toxins can lead in some cases to negative impacts on growth & development of foetuses / babies, weakened immune systems, reproductive issues, metabolism issues, and many more impacts besides. Pretty alarming stuff!
Just in the last couple of months a study revealed that for the first time microplastics have been found in the placentas of unborn babies. Quite a shocking revelation. “Due to the crucial role of placenta in supporting the foetus’s development and in acting as an interface with the external environment, the presence of potentially harmful plastic particles is a matter of great concern. Further studies need to be performed to assess if the presence of microplastics may trigger immune responses or may lead to the release of toxic contaminants, resulting in harm.”
I am not a scientist, but I am a concerned mummy who wants the very best and very healthiest of starts for her child (and any future children), so when I was trying to conceive I started cutting back on everyday plastics, and began finding out more and more about ‘hidden’ plastics and where to avoid plastics during the conception (‘pre’ prenatal) phase, and into prenatal stage and beyond.
When I was pregnant with my son I began searching around the internet for plastic-free baby products, as natural alternatives to plastic baby goods, so that my baby could be introduced to a plastic-free environment from the get go. I found this so incredibly hard! There was no one place that I could source plastic free baby goods, and items were really hard to research and source. In many cases, the products just didn’t exist. We are so used plastic being the ‘king’ of materials (it doesn’t break, it lasts forever, it’s super cheap to produce, it’s lightweight, etc, etc) that most common baby and child goods are made entirely of plastic, or at least contain plastic parts at the very least.
So this is when Plastic Free Baby was born!
Plastic Free Baby is my plastic free shop and eco blog which I started to help other parents like me, who hope to avoid plastics for themselves and their children. I hope that is is a helpful resource to other eco-minded mums and parents, either those hoping to conceive, or those who are pregnant, those that have newborn babies, or children. In time I hope that this and other similar shops and blogs will put pressure on the industry to develop innovative new non-plastic products for babies. My intention isn’t to worry or scare parents (who, let’s face it, already have their hands pretty well full!!), it is to provide alternatives and information.
For those trying to conceive, or parents wishing to make green eco-friendly swaps and choices, the shop offers a range of ‘plastic free swaps’ or eco friendly alternatives to everyday plastics, such as plastic free bottles, plastic free thermos, bamboo travel cutlery, reusable vegan wax wraps, plastic free natural cosmetics…
For pregnancy and post-natal mums, the shop offers reusable breast pads, natural organic cosmetic range in plastic free packaging, bump & baby creams and soaps…
For babies & infants, the shop offers a range of plastic free baby products, such as plastic-free natural rubber teethers, bibs, weaning bibs, sustainably sourced reusable cloths, beautiful handmade nursery furniture, organic cotton rattles, toys…
For children, the shop offers a lovely selection of eco-themed books, toys, wearables, and games
I also have a lovely Plastic Free Gift Set range, including Mum to Be, New Mums, gender neutral plastic free gift set for she / he / they, weaning gift set, first meals gift set, eco friendly potty training gift set, and many more… as well as other seasonal gift sets for things like Valentine’s Day, Easter and Christmas.
I write an eco blog on Plastic Free Baby, which gives parents some handy hints and tips about going plastic free with a baby or child. Here are my top 3 bits of advice if you are planning to take steps to reduce your plastic usage for the health of your family and your baby:
1) Little and often – make SMALL changes regularly and consistently; rather than making a huge change that’ll be hard to stick to, make little changes incrementally and do them consistently. This will be where you make the greatest change.
2) My Eight ‘R’s – Reuse / Recycle / Repair / Rehydrate mindfully / Reduce / Repeat / Reiterate / and…. RELAX! Read more about my 8 ‘R’s’ on my blog.
3) Be aware of how toxic plastic is and why you need to avoid it for your health and the health of your family. Read more about this on my ‘5 ways to go plastic free for your family’s health’ blog post.
I really hope that this blog post has been helpful to you, and wish you so much luck with whatever stage of the journey you are at. These are just all SMALL CHANGES over a LONG period of time. I really do believe this is the best way to make a difference. Don’t go with fads that don’t last, make a commitment to life changes that will go the distance. I’m no eco mum superhero, I’m just doing my small bit for my child and for the world as best I can.
I’d love to hear from you…
Were you aware of the impact of plastics on fertility, babies & children?
Are you aware of how to limit our plastic consumption and household plastic overload, to reduce our exposure to harmful plastics?….
What plastic free swaps are you making in your home for the health of your family?…
Founder, Plastic Free Baby
Hello mamas! I’m Helen, the founder of Stork, an online marketplace for pre-loved kids and babies’ stuff. So happy to be guest posting on That Mama Club to tell you all a bit about how I got hooked on pre-loved shopping….
Last year, I was obsessed with finding a pair of yellow wellies for my daughter. They had to be completely plain, no handles, no logos, and an iconic, daffodil shade of yellow. Sound familiar? Of course they do. It’ll be no surprise to many mamas reading this that I was on the hunt for Peppa Pig’s boots. Peppa, or ‘Pe-PIG!’ as my daughter calls her, is, let’s say, an extremely influential figure in our household (Screen time limits vs Peppa addiction is a topic for another day). I was hopeful that my little girl would be so thrilled to have the same boots as her favourite TV character that there would be no fuss about wearing them on muddy puddle days.
I had no luck on the usual kids clothes sites or in high street shops, but after a lot of social media-ing and asking around, I found a second-hand pair another mum was selling that were 100% perfect. I was already thrilled when they arrived, and then I read the handwritten note that came with them.
‘These boots have jumped in puddles, splashed in the sea and walked along the Breton coast. Here’s hoping they have more adventures with their new little feet!’
And err, well there must have been something in my eye… sniff! Before that moment, I don’t think in a million years I would ever have described shopping as a beautiful experience. But to feel that connection with another proud mum and another adventurous toddler was really, really special.
I first got hooked on shopping pre-loved when I was pregnant with my first child. Classic maternity wear didn’t suit me at all, plus I didn’t fancy spending much on clothes that I’d only wear for a month or so. I got into the habit of picking up oversized shirts or loose dresses from thrift shops every so often, donating them back once I was too big for them. It was fun and easy.
But prepping for the arrival of our baby was another story altogether. Like most other parents, I felt overwhelming pressure to buy, buy, buy to make sure she had everything she needed. Everything had to be perfect, everything had to be the most expensive I could afford, everything had to be brand-new. Pram, crib, Moses basket, bouncy chair, baby clothes, car seat, breast pump, nappy bin, nightlight, bedroom furniture, activity mat… it was a small fortune.
I wish I knew then what I know now. Firstly, to ignore all those department stores ‘must-have’ lists and check with other parents what products are actually essential. So much of what’s on the market is overpriced and unnecessary, marketed to play on our fear of not being the perfect mother.
Secondly, after having my daughter, I found I actually preferred her to have clothes and toys that came packed with stories, love and memories, whether that was from friends passing on their children’s outgrown things, or buying pre-loved from other parents.
A soft blanket another baby had been wrapped in was just as cosy as a store-bought one. She would have sweet dreams (and sleepless nights) in a crib lent by an old friend, just the same as if we’d forked out for a new one. A second-hand car seat was just as safe, plus came with the trusted recommendation that it was comfortable and easy to use. All these items had been used, were in great condition, didn’t cost us a fortune and were pre-loaded with the love of other families.
From then on I was hooked – I loved chatting with other mums when I bought things, asking advice and sharing tips. I really appreciated the lower cost, especially after maternity leave pay dried up. It was important to me that my money supported other families, instead of just being poured back into the same old chain stores. And I started to feel great about wasting less, as I’d resell, donate or recycle as much as possible once we were finished with it.
Gradually I started to realise that with the amount of people out there doing the same, the pre-loved community was actually a pretty incredible movement. There was a whole network of (mostly) mamas on social media who were managing to earn extra cash, support each other and keep their kids dressed in gorgeous little outfits at the same time. In and around naptimes/mealtimes/home schooling/all the rest of it, they’d somehow managed to create this wonderful, sustainable, circular economy. I felt totally inspired!
Fast forward 14 months, I was pregnant again and determined to carry on shopping pre-loved. But I knew what I was looking for this time, and it was often hard to find exactly what I needed. I didn’t want to rush or order things I wasn’t completely happy with, nor did I want to go back to using faceless chain stores, or impersonal and complicated selling sites. So in a welcome burst of second trimester energy, I decided to launch Stork for parents in the same position as me. It’s an online marketplace just for kids’ and babies’ things, and it’s full of kind, thoughtful, supportive, eco-conscious, thrifty, positive, entrepreneurial, and generally wonderful sellers and buyers.
You don’t need a lot of stuff or a huge Instagram following to join up, and you don’t need to sell instantly because listings don’t disappear down a feed. Everything is categorised by size, colour, brand and condition, so it’s really easy for people to find what they want. Plus if you have any questions about the products, or general advice about what you need, you can always just ask someone! So if you fancy being part of a real community of Pre-lovelies, come and visit us, have a browse or set up your own store. Everyone’s welcome!
I love making play dough! Its one of the most easiest things to make and I’m pretty sure most children love playing with it! I made some at Halloween and I try to make it for every occasion! This particular play dough recipe features bright colours and different fresh herbs. Perfect for natural based play.
2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of salt
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 and half cups of just-boiled water
Herbs and colours of your choice
I chopped up all the herbs we had collected from the garden and put them in little pots for later on. Then In a large mixing bowl, I mixed together all of the dry ingredients with the oil.
Next, I separated the dough into containers. I then added in the gel colouring into each one. I did this part as I didn’t want Molly’s hands to get stained. We spoke about each colour and she would choose which one we did next.
When it was time to add in the herbs, I let Molly do it. I told her what herb it was, got her to sniff it and have a little taste before sprinkling it into the dough. We then kneaded the dough to make sure the herbs were fully incorporated.
Now its time to play! I set up the play dough on a serving tray that I had from Molly’s 1st birthday. By recycling it, I now use it for crafts. I had a tub of cutters and her safety knife, as well as a tub full of natural elements and her rolling pin. Safe to say she had a blast!
Have you ever had a go at making play dough?
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