I have made the case against making babies from a few different angles on this blog and elsewhere. It’s always a good way to stimulate discussion. I am personally responsible for one pregnancy. If and when you create a human, you will need to buy or borrow things that have been designed to contain and transport them safely.
Moses’ parents supposedly stuck him in a reed basket and sent him floating down the Nile, I don’t personally recommend that method of child carrying even though it was very plasticless.
Parents in many countries are now required by law to place young children in age appropriate car seats. 15 years ago, I borrowed two infant car seats from some community program. I returned them once my babies reached the minimum weight requirement for the next step up in car seats. As far as I know, all baby car seats are made from plastic. The best thing that you can do to reduce environmental impact is to borrow a seat from a family member or a community program. You should read up on proper installation and adjustment of these things. Having one doesn’t make your baby safe, you have to use it correctly.
Green Baby Guide says that car seats up to six years old are safe as long as all the parts are there and in good condition. It’s better to say thanks but no thanks to family and friends that offer you anything older or in any way worn out.
If you have to buy a new car seat, take good care of it and save all the packaging and user manuals for the next owner.
Our baby carriage was a crazily overpriced metal framed Italian job. I was assured that they had a high resale value. I have conveniently forgotten whether that was true. I was impressed by the quality. We lived on a road with a gravel shoulder, so those crappy little strollers with the little plastic wheels weren’t going to cut it.
If you want to do what is best for your baby and also better for the planet you have a lot of options to choose from.
Lots of people swear by baby slings. I have never used one, so I can’t really vouch for them. There have been safety concerns. Most injuries that have occurred are the result of improper use.
Photo Credit: AMCDawes
I did a lot of baby carrying without a sling. I once made the terrible mistake of attempting to walk down my unfinished wooden basement steps while wearing wool socks. I had a baby in my arms. I managed to fall in such a way as to gently plop the baby one step up from where my head landed with less gentleness and about four steps up from the where my ass landed without even a hint of gentleness. Carrying babies with your bare hands might be the greenest choice, but it is not the safest.
Combination car seat/strollers didn’t exist when I had babies. They are plastic, but they are one hunk of plastic that does the job of two. They also meet the requirements for taking on board an airplane. If anybody has had good or bad experience with one of these, please comment.