If you are a vegan and have just become a parent, or have one on the way, you will no doubt have been thinking hard about how you can maintain your plant-based lifestyle and apply it to your infant.
Some of those questions will need to be addressed a little further down the line when it is time to wean them onto solid food. For now, the adage ‘not your mother, not your milk’ (accompanied by a picture of a cow) is apt enough, as in this case, you can promise your baby it really is their mum and their milk.
However, because there is so much more to caring for a baby than feeding, you may be looking at a range of different issues. Another will be clothing, for example, with the aim being to avoid animal products such as wool.
Bath time is a further concern and a relevant one with youngsters as long as they are in nappies, when daily bathing is required. By using vegan baby bath products, you can go plant-based, animal-free and cruelty free here as well.
It is useful to know what defines such products. Vegans First, which has produced its own guides to vegan baby products, stipulates that not only should they not contain any animal products such as fats or animal-deprived oils, but also that they are not tested on animals.
Using products like these also means they are usually not just plant-based, but free from synthetic additives that can sometimes provide irritation or allergic reactions, which is the last thing any user wants, especially for their baby at bath time.
The tally of items used in the bathroom for people of all ages that contain animal products is very substantial. Earlier this year, Ethical Consumer Magazine produced an “astonishingly long” list of these, highlighting just how many more things go into common products than people imagine.
It noted that shower gel and shampoos used beeswax, honey and sometimes royal jelly from bees, while any red colouring may come from crushed cochineal beetles. Lanolin comes from sheep’s wool, while gelatine comes from boiling up animal bones and ligaments. Some skincare and shower products include milk.
As well as all these elements, collagen also needs to be checked. The ingredient can be produced from bacteria and yeast, which means it can be vegan. However, it usually comes from meat or fish, so it is important to check the origin of any collagen-containing products.
Trying to dodge bathroom products that include animal-based ingredients can be tricky when you are in most shops, so it can be a relief to be able to order online in the knowledge that the products you will be using to bathe your baby, from soaps to shampoos, really will be certified vegan and animal-free.
Raising your child the vegan way won’t always be easy and, of course, when they are old enough they can decide for themselves if this is how they want to live. But with the right bath time products, you can certainly help get them off to a good start and show them as they grow up how viable a plant-free lifestyle can be.