For the first three weeks, Frances had the worst diaper rash. We tried powders and creams, like Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Diaper Cream, but nothing seemed to work.
It wasn’t until a friend suggested Weleda Calendula Diaper Care, 2.8-Ounce that the rash finally went away. I’m pretty sure that means it was a yeast rash. Frances is so much happier now, and I don’t have to waste my time worrying about her sad red tushie!
Tried this one, maybe these other calendula creams would be good too.
Have you had issues with diaper rash? What did you do to get rid of it?
Our sloping backyard is full of lilies, winding paths, and decorative rocks without any space for swings or a trampoline. In the past my kids have found it hard to run spend hours in the garden without breaking into whining fits.
This summer, a few simple tricks have changed the entire dynamic.
Adopting a plant: The kids each got to select a few special flowers and one apple tree each from a nursery this spring. They helped with transplanting the new additions and have been very excited about watering and watching as blooms appear. Sometimes just asking them to go check on their plant is enough to get them outside, where they become distracted enough by blue jays and beetles to stay outside. (The picture above is from four years ago when my son was happy to drag his monster trucks through the garden for hours.)
Hunting for treasure: At thrift stores I pick up loads of colorful marbles or trickets and then hide them all over the back yard. The kids spend extended periods of time searching for loot (each having their own territory to avoid turf wars) and then hang out on the deck comparing and trading their treasures. When they later forget about said loot, I collect it from the corners of their bedroom and hold another treasure hunt!
Picnicking with popsicles: Sometimes just offering them a home blended popsicle (full of hidden vegetables and healthy fruits) is enough to get them out in the backyard.
Building fairy houses: Gathering up moss, twigs, and tiny flowers for fairy domiciles is something that can capture my children’s attention for hours. One house can easily start a fairy sub-development, which means that I get more time to garden!
Making a personalized garden spot: As you can see, at our old house, my son’s favorite spot was always in a tree. I haven’t done this yet at our new house, but am planning on letting each of my kids pick a special place in the garden that they can make their own. We can put down a stepping stone for them to sit on, ring it with the shells we collect from the beach at Grandma’s house, and finish by planting some of their favorites nearby. I would be happily willing to put cheezy gnomes, dragonflies or other such garden art if it meant they were excited about their garden spot.
Moving worms: I know this sounds slightly weird, but my kids love digging in dirt, finding worms, and then moving them to their favorite plants. Since they know worms help break up soil and make room for roots to grow, they are certain that this is hugely beneficial to their adopted plants. (I’m not sure it’s beneficial for the worms…)
Doing a bug scavenger hunt: This doesn’t have to be sophisticated, but giving young children a list of four different bugs and letting them search under rocks and bushes can take a very long time. (Again, this translates to hours of watering/weed pulling) Also, no bugs have to be caught and kept in glass jars…only to die tragic deaths later on when we all forget about them.
Eating straight out of the garden: I don’t expect to get a harvest of sweet peas, blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries, because I know they’ll be consumed before they ever make it to the kitchen. It is a thrill for my kids to literally eat the fruits of their labors and wonder at how much better garden food tastes than anything we buy in the store. That’s enough to get them back out there next spring!
Have you make a science out of getting your kids involved in gardening? What other tips do you have to help get your people in the garden for hours on end?
As I’m sure you already know, breastfeeding is not only good for your baby, it’s also economical and environmentally friendly. It’s also easier said than done. While some babies latch right away, it can take a lot of time and effort for others to become comfortable breastfeeding. An improper latch can be frustrating for the baby and painful for mom and hard to correct if you don’t have any guidance!
Fortunately, there are many resources out there for moms who wish to breastfeed. Books such as The Nursing Mother’s Companion, 6th Edition: 25th Anniversary Edition are useful, but it’s even better if you can join a breastfeeding support group.
Where I live, the group I ended up joining wasn’t listed on any of the resource websites. A search for “breastfeeding groups in my area” didn’t return any results worth following up with. There’s always La Leche League but luckily I ended up finding a great twice weekly group before the monthly La Leche meeting rolled around. I had to ask around quite a bit before I finally found a local group, but it was worth the wait!
Did you join a breastfeeding support group? How did you find out about it? Did you read any books that were helpful?
I’ve always felt a little French (probably because of growing up with a French last name), and I guessed it rubbed off on my parenting style. It turns out that we have more in common with French parents than American, based on what I read in Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting.
According to the author, Pamela Druckerman, a big difference between American and French parenting is letting your baby have alone time and having her wait a minute if you’re in the middle of something and she starts to fuss. And not being guilty about parenting choices. We’re more than just moms, and our children should know and respect that.
Another idea that gets lots of attention by Druckerman is believing your baby is a rational being from birth. This means she understands what you’re saying from the very first day, and should be talked to with that in mind. I’m not sure exactly when a baby starts to understand everything, but I think it’s good to start out as if they do. That way you’re used to treating your child as if she understands it all, instead of trying to guess when that moment starts.
My favorite part of the book was reading what the kids are fed at the state-run day care. The meals sound like they come straight off the chalkboard at a French Bistro. I’m hoping I can apply some of the eating tips the author shares when it’s time to start on solid foods.
This book gets 5 stars because: 1) I got to feel good about our parenting choices; 2) It gave me goods ideas I hadn’t thought of; 3) The author put into words concepts we’ve been applying.
I was going to buy my own copy, but it turns out there is a companion book of tips I might get instead (easier to reference). I’ll let you know what I think of it when I finally get it from the library!
Joy and I started this website way back in 2007. Since that time, something funny happened: Our babies grew into little kids! Over the years, our thoughts have shifted from diapers and breastfeeding to school lunches and art supplies. That’s why we are happy to bring a new writer to the site, one who is back in the trenches of early parenting. I’ve known Michele her whole life, and I know she’ll bring some much-needed new-baby energy to the Green Baby Guide. Please join us in welcoming her aboard! –Rebecca
Michele: Since I’ve just joined the team here at Green Baby Guide, I should start by introducing myself. My name is Michele and I live in Northern Nevada. I’m married and have one child and two dogs.
As Rebecca’s cousin, I’ve been reading the Green Baby Guide website since before I even had a baby. My daughter was born at home at the end of February, and since then I’ve been checking the archives for good tips on cloth diapering, essential baby gear, green living and anything else I can think of when I’m sitting at the computer.
Now that Rebecca’s and Joy’s children are out of infancy, I’ll be blogging about all things baby. At this stage we’re into cloth diapering, breastfeeding and baby wearing (my daughter being only 11 weeks old, she doesn’t do much else at this point). We’re still figuring things out and trying to be as green and economical as possible. I look forward to hearing from the readers, so be sure to leave me plenty of comments!
And if there any particular topics you’d like me to write about, please let me know. I’m new to blogging and can use all the help I can get!
Summer kicked in early this year over here in Portland, Oregon. Short sleeve weather, in May? In Portland? That’s something to celebrate. Audrey and I knew exactly what we needed to do: make popsicles. I didn’t have any fruit juice, tofu, or spinach around, so I had to get creative. (Check out our strawberry and spinach popsicles and tofu fudgcicles if you dare.)
I whipped up some lemonade out of sugar, lemon juice concentrate, and water. I know I’m not going to win any dentists over with that concoction, but kids love it. We then dropped in some various frozen berries I’ve probably had in the freezer since 2008. We used our only fancy popsicle mold, which is something like these Push Pop containers ($25).
These popsicle molds are BPA-free, unlike our other 1980s molds. Our previous BPA-free popsicle mold posts get a lot of hits, so I thought I’d see what’s new on the scene in 2013.
Silicone Ice Pop Maker molds ($14.99). Fill them with smoothies, ice cream, spinach, whatever! These seem like an ingenious addition to our collection.
Onyx Stainless Steel popsicle molds. Wow. The Rolls Royce of popsicle molds at $34.99. A good choice if you’re avoiding plastic as much as possible. (I see I mentioned this one in my 2011 post, so I guess these aren’t really the newest popsicle mold on the block.)
Push-up pop containers in a heart shape for $24.95. Very cute. I can see using these around Valentine’s Day, too.
Zoku slow pops ($17.50) win the award for the most innovative popsicle mold. (This is not a real award. I just made that up.) These are adorable! I like the idea of mini pops for light eaters like my daughter, who never seems to finish an entire popsicle.
Now does anyone have the Zoku quick pop maker? It’s almost fifty dollars, but it makes popsicles in just minutes! Our neighbor has one and treats the kids to popsicles all the time. For serious popsicle fans.
Are you into the latest innovations in popsicle technology, or do you go for the toothpicks-in-ice trays method? Let us know where you stand!
Looking for a simple, thoughtful gift for Mother’s Day this year?
The Pearhead Canvas Print Set is such a great idea! If you have multiple children, you can have each make a print, or simply make one print for each member of the family. The canvases come already primed with brightly colored paint, ready for you to make your prints! At just 19.59, this is a terrific gift that you can display for years! (And if you have more time than money, you could easily do this yourself by buying supplies at a local craft store.)
If you’re as overwhelmed by framing as the rest of us, digital frames like this Coby Widescreen Digital Frame for about $25, can help you spend less time printing and framing and more time watching all your favorite images flip by. Disclaimer..this is NOT greener than a traditional frame, but more practical for families with limited time and growing kids.
Let your child make a stepping stone for mom for less than $12! (and it may be even less expensive if you hunt down the materials at a hardware store.) Midwest Products Kids Garden Stepping Stone Kit is just $11.00 and will be a fun memento tucked in amongst the zucchini and cucumbers in your veggie patch.
(Shameless marketing plug coming…) For moms-to-be, our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, is a fantastic gift. It’s currently on sale for about $8.00 on amazon and is packed with recipes for homemade baby food, green product recommendations,and facts about buying and caring for cloth diapers. We’re completely biased, but it’s the book we both wish we would have had as expectant mothers.
What is the best Mother’s Day gift you have ever received? We hope that this year you at least have the time to put your feet up, sip a bit of tea, and maybe even enjoy something as decadent as an afternoon nap.
Can you answer this question for me? I’m baffled by baby registries that include requests for designer diaper bags. Like this Kate Spade Diaper Bag, below that costs $418 dollars. That’s more than I spent (total) on cloth diapering both my babies!
Important disclaimer: I live in Eugene, Oregon where Birkenstocks, yoga pants, and french braids are considered high fashion. Maybe if I did live in a more urban area, I would feel the pressure to have a top of the line diaper bag. But really, when I think of the conditions that a diaper bag has to endure (without giving specifics, but mentioning the word “blow-out”), I can’t imagine investing so much in a bag. (Especially when it can’t be thrown in the washer!)
If you enjoy changing diapers while wearing a vintage western jacket with leather fringe, I think the above Timi and Leslie Diaper Bag is just perfect for you. And at just $159, it’s a fraction of the price of the first option!
The Skip Hop Duo Double Diaper bag is infinitely more practical, and costs just $59.99.
We opted for a beach bag with pockets, like the one above, that will cost you $4.99. That left us plenty of money to buy a few wet bags for cloth diapers(below) and a changing pad. Total cost, far, far less than any of the above options! (and washable!)
Did you find a diaper bag that was worth the investment? Did you use a backpack or some bag that you already had? Thanks for your diaper bag tips!
When I was little, my mom used to make some weird casseroles out of leftovers. (I know my mom is going to read this and say, “I did that one time!” or “I never did that!” But I stand by my statement. I will say that she also made perfectly normal meals.) As a result of this traumatic childhood memory, I cannot advise throwing any old thing into a baking dish, pouring cream of mushroom soup over it, and baking it in a 350 degree oven.
However, learning to use up refrigerator odds and ends is an art you need to master if you want to be a carefree bohemian like me. Don’t make weird casseroles! Okay, sometimes you’ll have to make weird casseroles. Other times you’ll have to make chili out of hummus and old salsa.
This picture is blurry but you get the idea.
Here are some real ideas for using up all the food you buy or scavenge:
Old Tea—Brew up some iced tea using all those strange tea bags that have been languishing in the cupboard since the early 2000s. If it tastes bad, add a bunch of lemon juice and sugar. If that tastes bad, sorry. You are stuck drinking this, or perhaps freezing it into popsicle molds and forgetting about it.
End of hummus & the last bit of salsa—These, as I already mentioned, go into a big pot of chili that also includes beans, tomatoes, spices, and anything else that could conceivably be disguised in dim lighting. But don’t add corn! It is disgusting when people add corn to things.
Sour milk—Bake with it. Add a ½ teaspoon of baking soda if you do this. Use it in place of buttermilk in recipes. Yes, I know this offends our twenty-first century sensibilities. You’re going to have to do it. If you really hate it that much, you shouldn’t have let your milk go sour. You can freeze extra milk, you know! You can also re-pasteurize milk before it goes bad.
I cook like this all this time, and guess what? People actually think I’m a pretty decent cook! What on paper sounds like a disgusting potpourri of leftovers can actually end up being a tasty dinner. I should start documenting my creative leftover strategies. New column!
Do you have creative uses for pantry castoffs? What are they? Let’s all make hotdog soup out of an old jar of mustard and a frozen veggie dog! Yeah!
I’ve known for years that smoothies are a great way to slip spinach, cucumbers, squash and other veggies into my children’s diet. I get to clean out the remnants of my produce drawers and everyone feels like they’re getting dessert. The smoothie mustaches are just a bonus! (This photo was from last summer…before I had totally forgotten the magic that a blender can create!)
So why is it that I so often forget this simple trick?
Luckily Rebecca’s last post bolstered my memories of smoothie success! We whirled up brown bananas, greek yogurt, peanut butter, honey, and cocoa and my children declared all day how delicious their “milk-shakes” were. We poured the leftovers into popsicle molds and the kids were beyond thrilled to eat “fudgecicles” for breakfast. Victory for all! Thanks for the reminder Rebecca!