Sustainable Baby Guide, Crowdsourced by KnoxFillers!

Last week on the 'gram, we were sharing sustainability knowledge and asking questions and one prospective mama queried the community for tips and resources for raising her first little one low waste. You all had some excellent recommendations, which we've compiled below!

Tip #1: Don’t Buy Into the Marketing That You Need 1,372,896 New Things for Your New Baby

“You need like 6 things for a baby. Don’t buy into all the marketing that you need a huge registry! Also, they grow out of stuff so quickly.”

Tip #2: Source Secondhand Goods!

Our low waste parenting resources recommended several secondhand options, which are great on the budget, good for the planet, and are useful since little ones can grow out of things so quickly.

“Check out Once Upon a Child! It’s a child resale store! I’ve bought everything second hand for both the kids there. We have two of them in Knoxville. She’ll save money and get to use second hand quality clothes. Babies grow too quickly and you go through a ton of stuff the first couple years. Once upon a child also has cribs, toys, carry slings and more! Alsoooo she can resell her kid’s clothes back to once upon a child when they have grown out of it!”

They also recommended making friends with other parents for hand-me-downs, thrifting, borrowing, and utilizing Facebook groups to source secondhand goods.

Tip #3: Less-Wasteful Diapering Options

Our IG parents had so many useful suggestions for helping deal with all the diapering waste that can accompany the newest member of your family. While they wished we had a cloth diapering service here in Knoxville (anyone want to start one!?), they had great resources for cloth diapering, compostable diapers, and even elimination training.

While cloth diapering is “not for the faint of heart” and can have challenges with some childcare providers, parents shared that they liked pocket cloth diapers with snaps and getting cloth diapers secondhand.

Cloth diapering resources include The Cloth Option and (one momma described this as “my encyclopedia on how to cloth diaper at home myself. SO HELPFUL!”)
Interested in compostable diapers instead? “People want to do the cloth diaper thing at first but it’s so so so so so hard to stay on top of laundry. Compostable diapers were a good middle ground for the first couple of months, and then cloth diapers after that!” Parents also shared that Dyper Co has a composting program through Terracycle. Quick caveat on compostable diapers: make sure they’re actually compostable, and if you use a composting service that’s not specifically a diaper compost service, make sure to double check that they accept it. Composting human waste has extra considerations, so before you try to compost it at home please do lots of research!

One parent also pointed out that you can try “elimination communication” or EC.

Tip #4: Clothing Options For Quickly Growing Kiddoes

In addition to all the great secondhand resources cited above, check out “Grow With Me Clothing,” which is multi-sized baby and kid clothing you can either sew or purchase handmade on sites like Etsy.

Tip #5: Be Kind to Yourself!

“Parenting brings such interesting challenges to the table,” one momma wrote, and sometimes you have to make different trade-off decisions. Do your best, get connected to other parents, and share resources like we’re doing here.

A big thanks to Macrame Momma, Adventure Rosie Art, the Sustainable Doula, and all the other parents who shared their sustainable baby tips with us on Instagram.

Quick caveat: we are not parenting experts, and this information is crowdsourced by our community.

Do you have a sustainably question you’d like to pose to the KnoxFill hive mind? Share it with us on Instagram, Facebook, or email us at!

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