Does having a baby mean bathing in a sea of plastic?

Sometimes, yes. But also, sometimes that’s ok.

Bath time at our house is quite plastic heavy, mostly we bath Gilb in the sink, but we do have a plastic baby bath and this yellow plastic bath insert… along with some plastic presents that have sneaked their way in through well meaning friends and family.

A lot of plastic has made its way into our house through having Gilbert, from sippy cups, to breast pumps, toys to teethers (NEVER nappies, I may add!)… It seems an unavoidable aspect of having children.

I recently took this photo of Gilb having a bath, and wanted to share it on social media, but before I did I hesitated, thinking, ‘people think of me being quite eco-conscious, what will they think of all this yellow plastic?’, but actually the plastic we have in our house for Gilbert… in fact everything we have in the house for Gilbert, is second hand, either bought pre-loved from Facebook groups, or handed down from friends (save for those few sneaky gifts).

Plastic is not necessarily the devil, single use plastic is. And even then the focus should be on the single use aspect rather than the plastic itself. Since when was it necessary to have a drink in a cup that you throw away after 5 minutes?

There has been a big focus recently on plastic, I see lots of people buying wooden toys instead, going with ethical and sustainable brands for clothes, and bamboo baby bowls rather than plastic. While all of these things are good, it is important to stop and think first of all, do I even need it? Or do I already have something at home that I could use? There is no need to stop using that plastic sippy cup just because you’ve seen a new eco-alternative. It’s important to remember that it’s not about being perfect – anybody can become more eco.

When we were collecting all of the baby related paraphernalia for Gilbert this was our approach. We read up on all of the things we are told we need when it comes to having a baby, and we made a list and stripped that list right back down to basics. Then we asked around all of our friends who had already had kids what they had spare, and you know what, most of them were happy to get rid of the clutter, and some just asked that we could pass it back to them afterwards for them to use with future children.

Anything else we trawled charity shops and Facebook Marketplace for, and often speaking to other mums and dads when picking up a £20 nursing chair, or free cot, they’d give us other things that they no longer needed but found useful. It was also a great way of chatting and finding out what you don’t really need.

So yes, we do have a lot of plastic in our house, but we make sure that it is preloved plastic, and only where necessary. And when we do treat ourselves to that beautiful wooden toy, we’re happy with the knowledge that the last one cost 10p from our local charity shop!

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