Diaper Bag Must-Haves 2.0

With all the “must-haves” that come along with having a baby, many parents find themselves wishing there was a way to be more “green.” These diaper-bag essentials have—thanks to some forward-thinking San Francisco Bay Area companies—been given an environmentally-friendly upgrade for the 21st century.

The Teething Ring: Those phthalate-ridden vinyl teethers are a thing of the past: now everyone’s handing their kid a BPA-free bangle or an amber teething necklace to chomp on. But for a fun distraction that doubles as an adorable toy, our pick is Apple Park’s Picnic Pal soft teething toy. Made from organic cotton and corn fibers, you can pick your tot’s favorite critter (monkey, ducky, bunny, cubby, or lamby), and they can chew on a soft, squishy, and safe alternative. Apple Park also makes stuffed animals, hand and finger puppets, and more. Look for them at A Child’s Delight in Corte Madera and Sprout in San Francisco

Feeding Spoons: You only feed your baby the best, but how much thought do you put into the utensils he also sticks into his mouth? Green Toys, the revolutionary Bay Area company, has, and in response come out with a line of BPA-free recycled plastic spoons and forks for babies. They’re reusable and recyclable, lightweight and easy for little hands to grasp. Green Toys also branched out into some other baby staples this past year: blocks and stackers made from their signature recycled plastic.

Sunscreen: If you’re a parent who looks to minimize her kid’s exposure to chemicals, you’ve probably slathered on a layer of zinc-oxide-heavy sunscreen. Physical sunscreens do a great job of protecting kids’ sensitive skin from the sun, but too often leave them looking like a mime. The alternative—chemical sunscreen with polysyllabic ingredients— leave some parents worried about what’s being absorbed into baby’s skin. Berkeley’s Marie Veronique Organics saves the day with its Kid Safe Sunscreen, SPF 25. It provides broad protections from UVA/UVB rays, without nanoparticles OR a heavy white film, and is made with just 15 ingredients, including green and white tea and avocado oil.

—Sarah Bossenbroek