Babies deserve the best when it comes to the food they eat, the toys they play with, the soaps and shampoos they use, and the clothing they wear. Their immature organs and immune systems make them more susceptible to the impacts chemicals can have on development, learning, and overall health, so child safety should be your Number One priority in the 'green' baby shower gift department.
How about these kid-safe options?
Food. Organic baby food minimizes baby's exposure to pesticide residues while providing extra helpings of vitamins and minerals. Give the DIY-parent a small blender or food processor, a set of reusable glass jars with lids, and a link to the Wholesome Baby Food website for homemade grub baby will love. For organic parents with no time to cook, Earth Best's First Foods Gift Pack offers a nice introduction.
Toys. Recent revelations that toys made in China contain hazardous chemicals rightly worry many parents. None of us would willingly expose our kids to lead or kerosene, yet those are some of the toxins that have turned up in toys as common as Thomas the Tank Engine and Dora the Explorer. Start babies off right with the safest toys available: ones made from organic cotton, recycled wood and lead-free paints.
Soaps and Shampoos. Babies and toddlers don't need much powder, body lotion, perfume, moisturizer, or baby wash, though a little ointment to help prevent diaper rash is always appreciated. A mild shampoo sans synthetic fragrance and phthalates comes in handy, too. In the past, I've filled a reusable shopping bag with fragrance-free organic and plant-based body wash and shampoo formulated especially for babies, along with an organic cotton towel and a safe rubber ducky.
Clothing. Conventionally-made baby clothes may be treated with a surprising array of toxic chemicals, including fire retardants and formaldehyde. A healthier alternative? T-shirts, socks, shirts and sweaters made from organic cotton and bamboo. You'll find a lot of options if you search "organic baby clothes" on the Web. If you'd rather browse the racks, try the organic options at Target and Wal-Mart.
Need to find a gift for someone who has grown-up? Find more gift ideas for all ages as well as green gift-wrapping tips here.