Plastic Free Baby Changing Station Ideas and Equipment
Greetings plastic free darlings! This is my first time here, so I’d like to introduce myself, I’m Mia’s friend Mel (as seen in the blog post ‘Secondhand Shopping in Berlin‘). A bit about me- I live in Berlin, I’m an Aim Plastic Free enthusiast, and I am currently 6 months pregnant. Today, I am here to give some plastic free baby changing ideas.
Let’s start with creating an eco-friendly single use, plastic free baby changing station. On average, in the first year of baby’s life, UK parents spend £9,565. That’s a ton of products being consumed. More often than not, a few months of having this baby gear in your home, looking at those purchases will not spark joy.
As an expectant mother living in a 60m2 flat during a lockdown, drowning in baby gear while simultaneously losing my living space is a very real fear of mine. For that reason, and to ensure that I’m consuming responsibly, I’ve put together a baby registry list that focuses on multi-purpose, long lasting, plastic free baby products.
Keeping my flat in my aesthetic is very important to me during my transition into motherhood. Since baby clothes are so small, these small drawers are perfect for keeping all her necessities. In addition, this fold-out desk aka changing table perfectly hides all baby products from sight in a matter of seconds. The extra support of the table is also key here. Since it’s vintage, the strength of the table will vary between products so it’s important to test it out before placing your baby on it. I found mine on Etsy, but they can also be found on sites like eBay, Facebook marketplace, flea markets, etc. What I love about this purchase is that after she’s outgrown a changing station, it’s still a beautiful piece of furniture that I can keep over the years and if I decide on having another baby, later on, I can always convert it back.
When changing nappies at home, my midwife suggested using just water sprayed on a soft cloth instead of using baby wipes. Wipes can of course be very wasteful and can also cause rashes on the baby’s sensitive tush. I love this spray bottle because it’s gorgeous, but it also mists very well. Afterwards, it’s great for watering plants, using for a room spray, or just as a decoration.
Plastic Free Baby Cloth Wipes- 12.95 euro (per meter)
DIY cloth wipes are great because they save money, can be super cute, and are great for the environment. I bought Bamboo cotton fabric because it’s extremely absorbent, has a super soft hand feel, and comes in some really beautiful colours. I used the extra fabric from my fabric carrier wrap to make the wipes that I’ll use for nappy time so that I can keep the bath time cloths and nappy cloths easily separated. I ordered from here and there was no plastic included in my shipment. When making the cloths if you’re really dedicated you can hem each end, but truthfully, it’s not really needed. When I received mine, I just washed the fabric and cut it into squares. Since I’ll be doing laundry every day for my reusable breast pads, burp cloths, and baby clothes, I figured I might as well add these into the mix as well to save a few dollars and help the environment at the same time.
Here’s a scary fact for you- a diaper takes 500 years to decompose. Think of how many diapers you go through a day, and how many babies there are in the world. We have a big problem on our hands. Thankfully, as new parents, we have some options. Now, the idea of using reusable nappies is quite intimidating to me, especially since we don’t have a dryer in the flat. Lillydoo has a great line of diapers called Lillydoo Green that has a subscription that is delivered right to your door in a 100% green way. This product can even be discarded into the green bin! We plan on using a mix of reusable and these eco-friendly diapers and see how it all works out for our family.
This is the one that I stressed about the most. Nobody wants their once cosy apartment stinking of poop. I cringe just typing it. Also, all the effort in using biodegradable diapers is in vain when placed in a nappy bin that wraps each diaper in plastic to trap the smell (a function of most of the options on the market). Plus, those bins require special garbage bag refills that get expensive quick. This bin is made of steel and does not require and special bags while also locking in odours. You can also pour in a bit of baking soda in the bottom of the pail to manage the smell inside as well. It’s also a product that you can find second hand since you only really need something like this while your plastic free baby uses diapers. However, I’ve also stumbled on some great reviews for using it for litter box cleanups, so if you want to get your kid a kitten as a celebration for potty training, hang onto this one!
Finally, we come to the reusable nappy. These can able a bit time consuming since with many you need to stuff with each use, but to my understanding, this model doesn’t require that. By using reusable there is a huge upfront cost since you need a good stock and each one costs 27 euro. However, they can also save you lots of money in the long run (especially if you plan on having more than one child). Keep in mind that with these you can not store used ones in an odour sealing bin or else they can get mouldy. Store them somewhere breathable to keep them in good condition. There are some really supportive reusable nappy communities out there with a good review of different products and full of tips and tricks to make using them as carefree and mess free as possible.
Instead of buying a changing pad pillow and a portable changing pad for your diaper bag, cut down on costs and gear by just getting the changing pad! Investing in products that will also preserve your other items is another way to cut down on waste. Over time, you’ll definitely use this portable changing pad way more than the stationary one you have at home. I chose to add this particular one to my list because it is quilted, adding a lovely bit of cushion underneath. It’s washable and is also water resistant, so you can also wipe it down when needed.
If I had one piece of advice for making an eco-friendly registry is to think long-term about how long you can use that product and if you can use it for multiple things.
And there you have it! After many hours of research, that’s what I’ve come up with for my eco-friendly baby changing station. If you have any recommendations, want to know more, want recommendations for other baby products I’d recommend, please drop a comment here! Both Mia and I would love to hear from you.