What they mean by that is, "What doesn't fit with your eco/vegan/animal rights lifestyle?"
And the truth is, I appreciated that people cared enough to ask. But I keep feeling apologetic when I answer them. So, I tried to figure out a way to tackle this that didn't come across as demanding or somehow rude. Sure, we made registries, but people like to buy unique items for baby, or just see small items here and there and pick them up without thinking. We knew a registry wasn't going to be enough. So, how do we tell people what we prefer? I just wasn't sure.
But once several people asked, I accepted that if people are going to go out of their way to gift us with something, they'd surely want it to be something we would proudly use and is in line with our ideals/ethics. So I sat down to write a blog post, explaining what brands/items we like and have researched.
That said, I KNOW it can be confusing. I'm constantly researching brands and ingredients. For example, most people wouldn't check an ingredient label on baby wipes, notice Lanolin listed, and realize that it wasn't vegan. Nor would the average person think about the fact that Johnson & Johnson does animal testing, so it also isn't suitable for a vegan (plus full of artificial colors/fragrances/chemicals that would turn off any hippie.. lol).
So, before I dive into this list.. which I hope will make things easier for any veg parents looking to make a registry, struggling to explain to relatives and friends what they'd prefer, or any random person who finds this blog because they're trying to figure out an appropriate gift for their vegan/activist/hippie/treehugging cohorts.
Unfortunately, many of these 'natural' brands are only easily found online (I'll list the websites, which will be linked directly to the products/brands). But for those you can actually find in stores, I'll list the brick and mortar store as well.
Baby's Only Organic: soy formula (Amazon.com, Drugstore.com) *Note: Last checked, the vitamin D in this formula was animal-based, but it is the 'closest to vegan' formula I have found. If you know of a vegan brand in the United States, please leave a comment.
California Baby: toiletries (Drugstore.com, Target.com)
Dapple: cleaners and wipes (Babies R' Us, Drugstore.com, ToysRUs.com)
Earth's Best: diapers and wipes (Amazon.com, Babies R' Us, Drugstore.com, Target.com, ToysRUs.com)
Earth Mama Angel Baby: toiletries (Drugstore.com, EarthMamaAngelBaby.com, Target.com)
Melissa & Doug: toys (MelissaAndDoug.com, Toys R' Us, ToysRUs.com)
Nature Babycare (Naty): diapers and wipes (Amazon.com, Drugstore.com)
Seventh Generation: diapers, wipes, and toiletries (Amazon.com, Drugstore.com, Meijer, Target, Target.com)
For us, these were a few added on tips we gave our friends and family:
For clothing/blankets/bedding, just avoid wool, leather, suede and silk. I know. I know. That means no leather chaps...
For toys, we prefer mostly wooden and cloth (such as Melissa & Doug listed above), with minimal plastics.. though we know we will have/need some.
For bottles, we are avoiding plastic. Nearly all bottles and food containers will be glass.
We would like to promote a chemical/animal free lifestyle for our children, and we appreciate your efforts to support us in this cause. (This line is also a good one to include in your baby shower invitations, fyi.)
Update: You will notice a very long delay after this post. On January 27th, I went into preterm labor with our twins and they were unable to stop it. Born at 19 weeks, our boy/girl babies passed away in my arms and hour after delivery. I have decided to leave this registry information up, however, to aide those still looking for information and natural alternatives.