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Sustainable Living as a Young Family: From Pregnancy to Diaper Changes

Starting a family with the beginning of pregnancy marks the start of a new chapter in life. A chapter in which we feel our responsibility for future generations and our home planet particularly strongly. The importance of sustainability and environmental protection is becoming increasingly important and gaining more relevance.

An ecological pregnancy offers the opportunity to make a conscious decision for an environmentally conscious future even before the child’s birth. By making mindful choices in nutrition, clothing, and care products, you not only promote the health of the mother but also that of the child. Moreover, these decisions make a significant contribution to the planet Earth.

With a few simple tips, it is possible to live sustainably and ecologically as a family from pregnancy to the choice of diapers.

1. Sustainable Pregnancy

Why sustainable? An ecological and sustainable pregnancy promotes the health of mother and child and reduces environmental impact.


  • Care products: Opt for organic and natural care products without chemicals.
  • Clothing: Maternity clothing made from organic cotton or linen are environmentally friendly materials and also more skin-friendly. Second hand is also perfect for this.
  • Nutrition: For a balanced diet, choose seasonal and regional foods. Opt for organic foods and avoid processed products if possible.

2. Baby Essentials

Sustainable baby products are more durable and therefore better for the environment.


  • Second Hand: Buy the baby essentials second hand or borrow them from family and friends. Baby clothes, furniture, toys, cribs, and strollers are usually not used for long and can be easily reused. Plus, it saves a lot of money.
  • Multifunctional Products & Furniture: Invest in durable products and furniture that grow with the child, such as beds and high chairs.
  • Renting: Nowadays, there are several online platforms where you can rent baby swings, strollers, bikes, and much more. Renting is not only more sustainable and cheaper, but it also gives you the opportunity to test the products to see if you really need them and if your child actually likes them.

We bought almost the entire baby essentials on Willhaben (an online platform where you can buy and sell used items). Not only did we save a lot of money, but it’s also a nice feeling to care for our environment from the start. We borrowed the rest from friends and family. I was about to buy a much-hyped baby swing at a great price but ended up borrowing it from a friend and am now glad I did because our daughter hates it.

3. Cloth Diapers

Why cloth diapers? They are reusable, significantly reduce waste, and are much cheaper in the long run.

Around 700,000 babies (as of 2023) are born in Germany every year. According to estimates, babies use around 4,000 to 6,000 diapers in 2.5 years. The German Association estimates that up to 10% of household waste consists of diapers and wet wipes.

The initial cost of cloth diapers seems high compared to disposable diapers, but over time, you save a lot of money on diapering. The initial costs range between €750 and €1,820 depending on brand and preference. Disposable diapers cost an average of €0.32 per diaper, with a daily need of about seven diapers, costing approximately €2,453 over a period of around three years.


  • Purchase: Buy a set of several cloth diapers to have enough supply. There is also the option to buy the diapers second hand.
  • Care: Cloth diapers should be washed regularly at 60 degrees. Use environmentally friendly and skin-friendly detergent suitable for 60 degrees.
  • Organization: At home, you can use a diaper pail for used cloth diapers and for on-the-go, wet bags are convenient.

Cloth diapers are largely waste-free, but their production and washing also leave a large ecological footprint, depending on how they are washed and dried. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management published a life cycle analysis of cloth diapers in 2023. This study shows that consumers have the ecological footprint of cloth diapers in their own hands. Depending on how they are washed and dried and how long the cloth diapers are in use, cloth diapers have up to four times less of an ecological footprint than disposable diapers.

4. Alternatives to Cloth Diapers

Why alternatives? Not every family can manage with cloth diapers or has the resources for them. However, there are also eco-friendly disposable diapers without chemicals and irritating fragrances.

There is now a compostable disposable diaper from Germany from the Fairwindel brand. It is the only disposable diaper that is produced without superabsorbents, using absorbent granules made from corn starch instead. The diaper consists of 85% renewable raw materials and is produced in Germany and Switzerland. In terms of price, however, the diaper is one of the most expensive on the market.

Some other ecological diaper brands in Austria and Germany:

  • Moltex: These diapers are made from natural, biodegradable materials and free of harmful chemicals. They are also produced with 100% green electricity.
  • Naty: Made from predominantly biodegradable materials and free of chlorine and fragrances. The raw materials come from sustainable sources, making them good for both skin and environment.
  • Pingo: These diapers are produced in an environmentally friendly way and offer a good fit and absorbency. This Swiss brand is produced with 100% green electricity.

Please find out for yourself which diaper brand suits you best as a family.

(This is not an ad)

5. Sustainable Baby Care

Sustainable and eco-friendly care products are gentler on sensitive baby skin and also better for nature.


Choose products with natural ingredients and without synthetic additives. Use reusable and washable cloths instead of disposable wipes. These are gentler on the skin and generate no waste. For gentle cleaning of the diaper area, lukewarm water and a little almond oil are sufficient.

6. Baby Nutrition

A conscious and healthy diet is important for your baby’s health.

Breastfeeding is best for your baby. If you are able and choose to do so, breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby. It also saves resources, waste, and money. You can easily make baby food yourself, ideally from organic vegetables and fruits. This avoids waste and, more importantly, provides your baby with wholesome food without additives.

Sustainable bottles: If you need bottles, choose ones made of glass or BPA-free plastic.

7. Toys and Clothing

Sustainable toys and clothing are more durable and less harmful to the environment and your baby. Look for natural materials like wood or organic cotton. Focus on a small number of high-quality and durable toys and clothes. Use second-hand stores and online platforms for toys and clothes. Children quickly outgrow their clothes, so it often makes sense to buy them used or borrow them. The same applies to toys as children’s needs and interests change quickly.

A sustainable life as a young family begins during pregnancy and continues in all areas of family life. With a mindful and conscious lifestyle, you can not only protect the environment but also live healthier and give your baby the best start in life.

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