Meet Suzanne. She’s on a crusade to make it easier for parents to create a healthy, beautiful home for their children. Previously a Senior Equity Research Analyst focusing on the Green Living Consumer Sector at ThinkEquity, a San Francisco based investment bank, Suzanne spent years studying organic consumer products and learning about the impact of toxic chemicals on our bodies. Thinking about starting a family in the midst of this research was, to say the least, quite intimidating. She quickly realized that there was no one place where she could shop that carried all natural baby products and employed knowledgeable sales people. Thus, her exquisite natural and organic children’s boutique, Sprout (with locations in San Francisco, New York City, and Chicago – plus a great online shop) was born. Sprout houses safe, healthy, and adorable baby products all under one roof, each being individually stamped with Suzanne’s seal of approval. Everyday Suzanne is inspired by her daughters Hannah and Amber to keep up-to-date on child safety and chemical research, making it easy for new parents to provide healthy environments for all of their children. Here’s her personal intel on 10 items you really don’t need to put on your registry.
Owning a baby store, many people assume that my house is chock full of toys and gear for my 1 and 3 year old girls. The truth is, I am more of a minimalist. I like to tell people in the store what they absolutely need and not encourage them to over buy. I don’t like too much clutter in my home, and given how quickly children grow out of things, everything you buy them turns to clutter quickly. That being said, there is nothing wrong with using any of these. Having a baby is tough, so do whatever makes your life easier. But in the spirit of not overbuying, below are some things that many people think they need to purchase or register for that really aren’t essential for your baby.
1. Vibrating bouncy seat or swing:
Though many friends will tell you how useful this was for them, you will trade a few moments’ respite for a baby that is less likely to fall asleep on his own, without motion. A seat to keep them upright while you get things done is a huge help, but it doesn’t need to be electronic. We prefer the BabyBjorn Organic Cotton Babysitter Chair.
Many customers tell me their pediatrician recommends Dreft as the detergent of choice for their newborn’s clothing. When I recently tried to use it while doing wash for my new nephew, I was taken aback by the strong perfumy smell. Research then taught me that many infants have developed skin irritations after exposure to Dreft. We much prefer an unscented, more natural detergent for baby’s clothes, such as Dappleor Seventh Generation.
3. Baby Einstein videos:
We all want our babies to be little geniuses, but even the makers of Baby Einstein have come out recently apologizing for giving the impression that the DVDs would make your baby smarter. If anything, screen time before 2 years old has been shown to hinder some forms of mental development.
Again, this can be an incredibly useful tool to keep your baby occupied between the time he can hold his head upright (around 4 months) to the time he can climb out of it (as early as 9 months). However, the contraption will take up a huge amount of space in your house and will serve no purpose after a short time. Also, there is evidence that your baby will learn to crawl and walk sooner if he is given the freedom to roam around.
5.Too many onesies without pants:
Everybody will buy you adorable one pieces with cute designs and funny sayings for your baby shower. Sometimes, though, it is hard to remember that you’ll need the rest of the outfit. Unless you live in a warm climate or are having a summer baby, you’ll need pants and socks. Many people run into the store to buy pants after their baby is born and they realize they have no bottoms for him!
There is no question that newborn size shoes are the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. However, until they learn to walk, shoes are completely pointless and often expensive. Stick to booties or socks to keep your baby’s feet warm.
7. Formal bassinet:
There are some beautiful bassinets out there that remind me of what you see in movies of the kings and queens of England. Though it can be easy to get caught up in preparing the perfect room for your tiny, little newborn, it makes sense to remember that as soon as a baby can sit up (could be around 6 months) you’ll need to move them from that bassinet into a bigger crib. We think a Moses basket that you can move from room to room is a practical way to go if you want to start with a bassinet in your room.
8. Musical mobiles:
Music can be a great help in putting your baby to bed, but it seems to work better as background noise from an ipod or sound machine. A moving, musical mobile over your baby’s crib might just distract him from sleep and frustrate him when it eventually stops moving.
9. Newborn size clothing:
Newborn size clothes are pretty cute, but your baby may be too big for them as soon as he is born if he weighs 8 lbs or more. You won’t know before hand, so hold off on buying anything too tiny before the baby is here. If you’re child does turn out to be on the smaller side, buy sparingly. He will grow out of those little clothes in the blink of an eye.
10. Plastic stroller toys:
There is so much plastic out there, and known hormone disruptors such as BPA and phthalates are everywhere. Even if a toy says BPA free, there is not much oversight, especially on toys made overseas. You might as well offer your children better options for the toys they will suck on the most, those tied to their car seat or stroller. There are wonderful wooden toys out there that are brightly colored and clang and rattle and will entertain your child as much as anything plastic.
Tags: babies, BPA, Dapple, Dreft, eco baby shop, eco friendly baby store, eco mothering, eco parenting, green mothering, hormone disruptors, kids, phthalates, Seventh Generation, Sprout San Francisco, Sprout shop, sprout store, Suzanne Price, Vegan Parenting, what do you need for your new baby?