I’m on a budget—what does my baby need?

When I became pregnant, people lined up to give me advice. What to do, what to read, and what to buy. The list of things everyone swore I needed was long and expensive. Wanting to be prepared, I rushed out and bought everything. Some of it has proven useful, but unfortunately, most of it is gathering dust.

Four months into my parenthood journey, I’ve learned that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to create a healthy environment for your little one. Babies only require a few quality items and lots of love. My baby’s days aren’t filled with expensive, highly-specialized items. Instead, we keep coming back to our budget-friendly and practical pieces.

Simplifying your nursery leaves you with more time, money, and brain space to enjoy your child. It also promotes imagination and more active play. Below are seven of my favorite natural baby essentials for anyone on a budget. I hope your family enjoys them as much as we have.

Head here for brands making organic baby clothes at every price point.

1. Mason Bottle Silicone Nipples  

Ethics | Made in the USA
Price | $9.99

Forget buying a whole new bottle system. If you have at least a few mason jars lying around, turn them into baby bottles with these silicone nipples. They’re 100% Made in the USA and designed to promote an easy latch and reduce gas. They’re so easy to clean, you’ll be cuddling your little one in no time.

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2. Global Mamas Baby Sling

Ethics | Fair Trade, organic cotton
Price | $65

If you want to keep your baby nice and close, there’s no better option than a ring sling. It accommodates dozens of carrying positions and can also be used as a nursing or stroller cover. The Global Mamas Babies Sling is Fair Trade and made from 100% organic cotton. Your baby will love the high contrast print, and you’ll love that it’s ethically made.

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3. Sleepea Swaddle

Ethics | Organic cotton
| $19.56

Babies sleep best when swaddled nice and tight. Don’t bother trying to learn fancy swaddling techniques; invest instead in the Five Second Swaddle from Happiest Baby. The organic cotton and breathable mesh keep your baby warm without overheating. My favorite feature is the two-way zipper, which allows you to change their diaper while keeping your baby swaddled.

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4. Earth Mama Castile Baby Wash

Ethics | Organic ingredients, free from harmful fragrances and chemicals
Price | $7.99

Keep your little one clean with this Castile-based body wash. Its herbs and oils create a gentle cleansing while still being tough on germs. It’s free from artificial fragrance, triclosan, phthalates, parabens, and sulfates. You can even use it to create your own DIY baby wipes.

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5. Under the Nile Scrappy Cat

Ethics | Organic cotton, made in Fair Trade factories
Price | $14

Give your baby the ultimate snuggle buddy with a Scrappy Cat from Under the Nile. These kitties are eco-friendly, from whiskers to paws. They’re made entirely from GOTS certified organic Egyptian cotton scraps, free from flame retardants, and made in Fair Trade Certified factories. 

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6. Homi Baby Wood Rattle

Ethics | Organic, handcrafted, made in the USA
Price | $12.99

Develop your baby’s fine motor skills with this classic wooden baby rattle. Homi uses a unique, four-part sanding system to ensure your little one’s safety. The rattle is then sealed with organic coconut oil and beeswax and painted with nontoxic dyes. It’s sure to become a playtime favorite. Made from start to finish in Utah.

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7. So Well Himalayan Salt Lamp

Ethics | Handcrafted, Fair Trade
Price | Starting at $19.95

Having a good night light is a must for those late-night feedings. Make yours a little cozier with a So Well Himalayan Salt Lamp. Lovingly crafted by artisans in Pakistan, these lamps are Fair Trade and handmade. Once your baby is sleeping through the night, it’ll make a beautiful addition to any room in your house. 

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Benita Robledo is an ethical fashion activist, writer, and speaker. Her activism and writings have been featured in magazines across the world, international news outlets, and podcasts. She’s also translated her digital activism into the real world by opening an ethical pop-up shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As a new mother she’s currently working with various ethical designers to create fashion forward ethical fashion for moms.