Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gift Ideas for Baby's First Birthday

My cousin, Alicia, asked me for some ideas for birthday gifts for her daughter who will be turning one soon. I wanted to provide items that we use all the time, most of which are nontoxic and earth-friendly, and things that were gender-neutral.

While this is not the ultimate Earth Day celebration of gift ideas, we found the items in this list to be durable and indispensable (and the websites are all very eco-oriented).

1. Shopping cart/high chair cover that actually fits over big carts: Buggy Baggs

2. Tiny Diner "rubber" placemat for eating out.

3. Quality hard-cover books (though I admit the library is more sustainable).
4. Clothing gift cards (to offset the ever-present needs, especially with kid #1). Wal-Mart carries organic cotton stuff on their website. Another great quality retailer is Hanna Andersson.

5. A little early for this, but I use the Laptop Lunch Bento Box all the time to pack a meal for my kids.

6. Kleen Kanteen - stainless container that's great for taking milk or juice along. Has a sippy cup top option, but it's probably better suited to older kids (18mos+). The Soft Landing has great stuff like this.

7. I'm not a fan of high chairs, but I love the Fisher-Price Healthy Care Booster seat. Easy to clean, easy to take along.

8. My favorite toy stores online are Oompa and NMCtoys (not made in china). You can sort by age, too.

9. You might want to start collecting for a big kid bed. Be sure to
look for a chemical-free mattress...IKEA is surprisingly good and reasonable ($699 for latex twin mattress with eco-cotton and low chemical load). Another great option is Keetsa out of SF. Very sustainable shipping solution and excellent mattress at a good price ($555 for pillowtop twin, very low chemical). That's what I got my son and we are very happy with it. We did buy the protective cover, too, for about $50.

10. Soy crayon rocks at and they are only $5.49!

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