Written before Rosie was born.
Updated April 2020 when Rosie was 3 months old.
Updated August 2020 when Rosie was 7 months old.
Years before we even thought about growing our family, one of my concerns was receiving gifts for our baby that do not align with our healthy lifestyle. I’ve brainstormed ways to communicate our desires to loved ones but at the end of the day, people will go off your registry and gift you items that were special or helpful to them during their journey into motherhood and that’s okay. As much as we want to try, we cannot control what people gift us.
Some of our baby shower guests said to my mom, “Everything on Courtney’s registry is boring so we got her something we like.” That’s funny, right? People like to gift you things that they like! And you know what I did? I smiled and was extremely grateful at our shower and then took it home with me and returned it.
I’ve received items that I don’t have gift receipts for so I’ve also donated things we aren’t able to return to those in my community who are in need. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by returning their gift but I strive for simplicity and don’t keep anything in my house that doesn’t get used.
Registering for this baby has been more overwhelming than I would have anticipated. Marketing for baby items is intense and made me feel like I needed it all. Hours and hours of research has gone into finding products and gear that meet our standards and I still don’t feel like I know enough. I learn something new every single day. So I called on my friends at The Tot for assistance.
The Tot offers FREE registry consultations in Dallas, TX at their Baby Gear Showroom. It is by appointment only and was the most relaxing and enjoyable experience! I was able to walk through an entire home that was set up with many of the natural baby items they have thoroughly vetted and trust. I met with the store director and got to talk to her about this pregnancy, our baby, and the lifestyle we live. Her goal was to get a sense of what I liked and what I did not like.
The most helpful thing was seeing all the gear in person. Many of the stores around us don’t carry the brands and models that are free from synthetic flame retardants and other ingredients we are trying to avoid. I was able to roll around, fold up, lift, and carry all the models I was interested in and really get a feel for what might be the most practical for our family.
After a few days, the store director sent me an email with the registry that she created for me. I reviewed the items she added and modified it some while going through the website category by category and adding a bit more.
I realize that I’m spoiled to have access to a trustworthy natural + organic baby store near me and not everyone has that luxury, so I want to share what items I thoroughly vetted and trust for our baby. I also created a registry through Babylist and many of these items can be found there too!
I hope you can use this as a guide for conscious consumerism as you enter into parenthood or gift intentional items to friends and family.
Synthetic flame retardants: These chemicals can be found in mattresses, car seats, strollers, and even pajamas! This is absolutely unacceptable because many of these chemicals have been linked to serious health problems such as cancer, reduced fertility, hormonal problems, and developmental issues in children including reduced IQ and behavioral problems.
Plastics: We avoid plastic in all areas of our home as much as possible due to the chemical soup of PVC, phthalates, cadmium, lead, BPA, polypropylene, and more that most plastic toys are made from. Plastic is tough to avoid in today’s world, so opt for PVC-free and BPA-free at a minimum and consider how the item is going to be used. If it’s going to end up in your child’s mouth, focus on natural materials such as wood.
Organic: Choosing organic isn’t always possible, but it’s something we’re putting an emphasis on when and where we can. This is important for us because, for example, cotton growers typically use many of the most hazardous pesticides on the market and more chemical pesticides are used for cotton than for any other crop. These pesticides can prevent individual nerve cells from communicating with one another which can interfere with every function within your body. We do what we can to decrease our own toxic loads, but definitely want to give our baby a healthy environment with less toxins for them to adapt
Solid woods: You may not be able to find or afford a product that has all the certifications to make it nontoxic, but if it’s made out of 100% beechwood, for example, that’s significantly better and naturally less toxic.
Natural fibers: Up to 8,000 chemicals can be used in the production and processing of textiles — for dyeing, treating, printing and finishing. We love fabrics that breathe like cotton and linen.
Greenguard Certification: This certification helps consumers identify products and materials that have low chemical emissions.
My mission is to empower others to take control of their health, so I am happy to provide you this information for free. You may be able to find the products I’ve listed through other retailers, but by shopping through the affiliate links I’ve linked here, I earn anywhere from 4-15% of the sale with zero added expense to you. This is a small way you can support me and my family so I can continue to provide this free information to you and your family. One of my favorite things to do is save y’all money on the things I love, so I’ve included discount codes where available.
There were two resources that I leaned on during a lot of my research: Branch Basics Non-Toxic Baby Registry and The Gentle Nursery Non-Toxic Baby Registry Checklist (2019 Edition).
I prefer to dress Rosie in mostly neutral colors and styles since that’s what my style is too. I also love that it gives these clothes longevity for using with future babies of a different gender. While I’m not sourcing exclusively organic clothing, we are putting heavy emphasis on it. These are some of my favorite baby clothing brands:
We delayed Rosie’s first bath because I love vernix! Vernix is that cheesy white stuff that’s covering your baby at birth and it acts as a skin cleanser, moisturizer, safe and natural antimicrobial, temperature regulator, and antioxidant for the newborn after birth. The smell of a newborn’s vernixy body helps with bonding, lactation, attachment, and mood stability the first few days postpartum too!
At approximately one month old, Rosie got her first bath and she hasn’t had more than one bath per week. We use only water unless there is an excessive mess. To read more about why I won’t use soap on my baby and my obsession with the microbiome, check out these 2 Instagram posts: Why I Quit Using Soap and Vaginal Microbiome.
Body Wash: Aleavia Enzymatic Body Cleanse (save 15% with code COURTNEY15)
Filter: Clearly Filtered Handheld Filtered Shower Head — yes, you can fill your bathtub with your shower head (save 15% with code DRCOURTNEY15)
Shampoo: Aleavia Enzymatic Body Cleanse (no, it’s not tear-free so be cautious but save 15% with code COURTNEY15)
Towels: Rylee + Cru Hooded Towel
Tub: We like to bathe Rosie directly in our bathtub with about an inch of water. I explain exactly how we do this in a video for On-Track Baby’s NOEL Method for New Moms E-Course.
Washcloths: Kyte BABY Bamboo Washcloths
We plan on safe bedsharing as long as what’s healthy for our marriage and our baby. We got the Babybay Bedside Sleeper to prepare for room-sharing if that was the direction we wanted to go but we haven’t used it yet. We also have a crib in Rosie’s room if / when that time comes. Nontoxic bedding is one of the most important items to source since your baby will be spending a lot of time sleeping and maintaining a healthy environment while we are in a parasympathetic state for optimal rest, rejuvenation, and healing is vital.
Something to consider when buying a nontoxic crib mattress: What is the weight limit for your crib? Some cribs have a weight limit of 50 lbs which is a lot for a child, but that includes the weight of the mattress. The “Savvy Baby” Crib Mattress is made of natural latex so that alone weighs around 25 pounds! It is also recommended that this mattress is used on cribs with slats or a solid bottom; rigid support is required. For spring-type cribs, a ventilated support board should be added.
We gave the Naturepedic Lightweight Crib Mattress to my parents because they have the IKEA Sniglar Crib which has a weight limit of 50 lbs, but this mattress is significantly lighter since it doesn’t contain latex or coils so our baby (and other future grandchildren) will get more use out of it. I never would have considered this when shopping for a crib or mattress!
Crib Mattresses: Naturepedic Organic Cotton Classic Seamless Baby Crib Mattress — Lightweight and Savvy Rest “The Savvy Baby” Crib Mattress (save 20% with code DRKAHLA)
Crib Mattress Protector: Naturepedic Organic Waterproof Baby Crib Protector Pad and Savvy Rest Organic Waterproof Crib Mattress Protector (save 20% with code DRKAHLA)
Lounger: Snuggle Me Organic Infant Lounger is the only “baby container” I use or recommend, but it should never be used inside or in the place of a crib or bassinet or used as a co-sleeping device; designed for supervised use only.
Sleep Training: Isla Grace Sleep Coaching Services uses a Baby-Led Sleep approach which teaches you how to connect with your baby and trust your instincts. Taylor Kulik is another great resource for baby-led sleep. I have done both of these ladies’ e-courses and highly recommend them. To learn more about why I don’t recommend traditional sleep training such as cry-it-out, I explain how this method affects a child’s neurology in Isla Grace Sleep E-Course or you can watch my VAGUS story highlight on Instagram.
I love cloth diapering! When preparing for Rosie’s arrival, we sourced a small quantity of a variety of styles to try before investing in a particular style we like best. We tried some all-in-ones, pockets, all-in-twos, hybrids, and traditional pre-folds.
We are also extremely grateful that we have not spent a single penny on diapers so far. A huge thank you to Madison Lavey of MadaLeigh and one of my Instagram followers for handing us down a bunch of cloth diapers!
We were drawn to cloth diapers not only for the positive environmental impact, but the least amount of exposure to harmful chemicals, saving a significant amount of money, decreased diaper rashes, and rumors of easier potty training. I’ve also been looking into Elimination Communication and am very interested in this, but I’m not quite there yet. I’ll definitely update this post / share on Instagram if we start that journey.
Changing Pad: Naturepedic Organic Cotton Changing Pad — 4 Sided
Changing Pad Cover: Naturepedic Organic Cotton Changing Pad Cover — 4 Sided
Changing Pad (Travel): GATHRE Micro+ Mat in Tanin
Cloth Diapers: Here’s a list of the variety of diapers we sourced to get a feel for what works best for our family:
GroVia Hybrid Cloth Diapers (my husband’s favorite because the soaker pads snap-in and the closure is a one-step hook/loop style)
Nora’s Nursery Pacific Neutrals Cloth Pocket Diapers (my favorite because of the fit and colors/prints available)
Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent: Many cloth diaper resources that don’t approve Branch Basics for laundering cloth diapers were written before Branch Basics reformulated in 2017. Their previous formula contained sapindus mukorossi fruit which is an organic extract of the fruit of the soapberry that contains saponin. It has natural cleansing properties, but is technically a soap molecule. Listen to this podcast episode with one of my best friends Janny of Janny: Organically where I explain why our laundry needs a detergent and not soap. As of 2017, sapindus mukorossi fruit is no longer an ingredient in the Branch Basics concentrate.
In end product testing, Branch Basics performed on the skin just as a saline solution would with no irritation so this has been the cleanest, safest, and best performing laundry detergent we have ever used — cloth diapers included. We use 1 Tbsp Branch Basics Concentrate with 1-2 scoops of Oxygen Boost (save 15% on Starter Kits with code COURTNEY15)
Diaper Bag: Little Unicorn Marinade Backpack in Olive
Diaper Cream: Erin’s Faces Tamanu Oil (save 10% with code COURTNEY10)
Diaper Pail: Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail in Ivory — we have 2 of these diaper pails! One with a regular trash bag liner for trash such as wipes and one with a reusable cloth diaper liner that goes in the wash along with the cloth diapers. Linked below.
Diaper Pail Liners: GroVia Pail Liner in Vanilla
Disposable Diapers: Bambo Nature Eco Friendly Diapers
Elimination Communication: We started EC when Rosie was 6 months old and she has been peeing on the potty first thing every morning since! I’m amazed and simply wish I would’ve started this earlier. Just like your baby has hunger and tired signs, they have elimination signs! Check out Go Diaper Free to learn more!
Wet Bag: GroVia Zippered Wet Bag in Vanilla
Wipes: Disposable — Jackson Reese Unscented Baby Wipes, Medline Ultrasoft Dry Baby Wipes wet with water immediately before use; Reusable — Charlie Banana Reusable Organic Cotton Wipes or GroVia Reusable Cloth Wipes
I plan on exclusively breastfeeding as long as possible, but when it’s time to start incorporating solids, we intend on practicing Baby Led Weaning. I have learned so much about this through my friend Madison Lavey of Madaleigh and she highly recommends the online courses from Feeding Littles and Oh Baby Nutrition. I’ll be diving into these resources in a few months! I’ll update this post with infant / toddler feeding items as I venture down that path.
Bibs: Mushie Silicone Bibs
Bottle Warmer: Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer
Formula: Mt. Capra Goat Milk Formula
Nursing Pads: Kushies Organic Nursing Pads
Nursing Pillow: Nook Sleep Systems Niche Organic Feeding Pillow
We decided to skip the infant car seat and go straight for the convertible car seat for two reasons: 1) to promote baby wearing versus lugging an infant car seat and/or stroller around and 2) to save money.
For example, the Clek Liing infant car seat in Mammoth ($479) plus the car seat base ($199) is recommended for babies up to 32 inches tall and anywhere from 4 to 35 pounds. But the Clek Foonf and Fllo convertible car seats in Mammoth ($429 to $499) are recommended for infants between 25 to 49 inches tall and 14 to 65 pounds.
You can start with an infant car seat, but you’ll eventually have to upgrade to a convertible car seat because your child will outgrow the infant car seat OR you can go straight for the convertible car seat and simply add the Clek “Infant Thingy” in Mammoth ($79) to use for babies weighing 5 to 22 pounds and 19 to 33 inches tall like we did. Our total car seat investment was $578 (actually cheaper because we got everything on sale during Black Friday) versus $479 for the infant car seat plus $199 for the infant car seat base plus $499 for the convertible car seat for a total of $1,177!
Bouncers / Seats: While tools like these are convenient, I do not use or recommend any infant bouncers or seats (like Bumbo) because they often do not support motor and neurological development of the baby. A study published in “Child: Care, Health and Development” examined the motor development of 43 infants allowed to use play-assist equipment. The study suggested that infants who had the highest equipment use tended to score lower on infant motor development, which was measured by the Alberta Infant Motor Scale, whereas the infants with lower equipment use scored higher on motor development.
Car Seat Mirror: Skip Hop Backseat Baby Car Mirror
Car Seat Safety Technician: If you’re in DFW, set up an appointment with Maria of My Car Seat Install (save 10% with code DRCOURTNEY10). If not, dive into the resources from Michelle of Safe in the Seat. I have done both of her e-courses and highly recommend them.
Jumpers: Once your baby can stand on their own and take steps around furniture, you can use the Merry Muscles Baby Exerciser which has been scientifically designed by an occupational therapist to safely enhance your baby’s muscular development, balance, and co-ordination. If you put your baby in a jumper too early, your child may experience developmental problems when it comes to proper posture, and leg and trunk control. Infants who use baby jumpers often get used to pointing their toes which can delay walking skills.
Occupational Therapy: For more information on why we aren’t using these baby containers, natural infant development, primitive reflexes, and how to play with your baby, dive into resources from On Track Baby. I did their NOEL e-course for new moms and highly recommend it!
Stroller: Nuna MIXX 2019 Stroller in Birch
Walkers: The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the use of baby walkers, although they are commonly used. A baby walker may cause delays in a child’s ability to walk, crawl and balance because a baby needs to spend time on the ground to learn how to crawl, roll, sit and walk.
We still haven’t introduced a pacifier to Rosie and I realize that the use of pacifiers is controversial, but we strive for simplicity and don’t want to introduce something that we would have to take away later. From our research, pacifiers can lead to an increase in ear infections as well as early weaning, delayed language development, and changes to the hard palette. Now they’re not all evil because they’ve also been associated with a decrease in SIDS. It’s recommend to only use a pacifier at night and to remove it by your child’s first birthday.
Even considering this, we wanted to have some on hand just in case because we approach parenting with flexibility so we can truly lean into the needs of our child and our family.
Brush / Comb: Kyte BABY 3 Piece Brush Set
Highchair: Stokke Natural Tripp Trapp High Chair
Monitor: We don’t have one right now, but I’ll update this post with what we decide to use if and when we need one. Our focus will be minimizing EMF exposure, so I plan on wiring our monitor like this.
Sleep Sack / Swaddle: It is best for baby’s development to allow them to freely move during sleep. Do you not move when you sleep at night? We do not swaddle Rosie or cover her hands at night. Learn more about not swaddling here.
Sling / Carrier: I’m a bit obsessed with baby carrying and have been growing a collection. I preferred the Solly Baby Wraps before she gained better head and neck control. Now, I’m using and loving Wildbird’s Ring Slings. Here’s a list of all the carriers I use:
Home / Nursery
I refused to create a nursery for the longest time, but then I started nesting and I felt this deep desire to have a space outside myself to create and dream about this little one. You do not need to have a nursery to fulfill this desire, but since my husband is a DIY guy, it was fun to renovate one of the rooms in our home.
My focus for the nursery was on diaper changing, clothing storage, and play. Yes, we have a crib in there but I’m not quite sure what our usage of that will look like just yet since we do plan on safe co-sleeping and room sharing.
Air Purifier: Austin Air Healthmate Junior Plus
Changing Tray: Nursery Works Universal Wide Removable Changing Tray
Drawer Organizers: IKEA Skubb Storage Boxes
Dresser / Changing Table: We snagged a solid wood dresser from Facebook Marketplace for $80 and then had my mom paint it with ECOS Paints Chalkboard Paint
Humidifier: We actually struggle with high humidity in our home, so we haven’t invested in a humidifier yet. I’ll update this post with what we decide!
Night Light: So Well Made Large Grey Salt Lamp
Plants: Snake plant (Sansevieria) and Fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) — yes, they’re both live plants I bought from a local plant nursery so no links for these guys!
Planters: The snake plant is in a Fox & Fern 10”pot with Mkono natural wood plant stand. The fiddle leaf fig is in a Lechuza CLASSICO LS 43 white high-gloss 17” self-watering planter with coaster.
Play Gym: Finn + Emma Macrame Play Gym in Natural
Play Mat: GATHRE Maxi Circle Mat in Tanin
Rocking Chair: Monte Joya Rocker in Oatmeal Italian Wool and Walnut
For specific remedies and treatment options, I recommend working with a trusted pediatrician near you. The pediatrician we will go to is linked here along with two other naturally-minded pediatricians in the DFW area. I don’t have any tips or advice for finding a trusted pediatrician near you. Ask for a referral in a local mom Facebook group. To find a pediatric chiropractor near you, check out this free resource I have available.
Nail Clippers: NailFrida
Nasal Aspirator: NoseFrida the Snotsucker
Thermometer: Exergen Temporal Scanner
We are focusing on toys made from natural materials such as wood. This is especially important when it comes to teethers and other items that will inevitably end up in your baby’s mouth. Plastic toys (and pacifiers) are made from a chemical soup of PVC, phthalates, and more.
Teethers: Lexy Pexy Gwen Green Juice Wooden Teether, Lexy Pexy Quinn Coconut Water Wooden Teether, Loulou Lollipop Trinity Teether, Oil and Carol Arnold the Avocado Teether, Oil and Carol Cathy the Carrot Teether, and Oil and Carol Wally the Watermelon Teether
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for educational purposes only.
This article is sponsored by The Tot and Savvy Rest but as always, these words are my own and in no way influenced by either brand. I have personally used, believe in and support these companies even long before I had this sponsorship opportunity.
This article contains affiliate links which means that I receive a percentage of commission if any products are purchased through them. As always, these are brands / products / services I have used personally, believe in and support. Receiving a sample(s) of any of the above products in no way influences my opinion. Thank you for supporting me, Dr. Courtney Kahla, through your purchases!