With the sun shining and temperatures soaring, there’s really no reason to use the dryer. Sure, it can be somewhat of a hassle to work hanging your wet clothes on the line into your schedule, but think about the advantages!
So get out those dryer racks or set up a clothesline. Hanging even one load a week will make a difference!
(Look here for all of our laundry posts.)
Did you buy cloth diaper wipes? Last week’s post generated loads of positive comments about using cloth diaper wipes over disposables, but do you have to buy expensive fabric wipes or spend hours hemming tiny squares of organic flannel? Hardly.
In truth, cloth wipes are simply small pieces of fabric. For very little cost and time you can make your own set of wipes or purchase a discount pack of baby washcloths and get the same effect for a whole lot less money.
Making diaper wipes:
Rebecca expertly cut up some of her husband’s old t-shirts into precise rectangles that she neatly stacked by the diaper table. Since cotton jersey fabric doesn’t fray, there was no need to hem the wipes and they worked great for the full two and half years that her daughter was in diapers. Other moms have used receiving blankets or jersey sheets and gotten the same great results without spending a dime.
Buying something similar:
I bought some packs of baby washcloths at a dollar store. The small wipes are perfectly sized, easy to clean, and came at a cost of just six bucks for 36 wipes. We’ve used them for over a month now and they’ve come out clean in the laundry every time without extra rinses. (The same has been true for Rebecca’s jersey wipes.)
What have you used for cloth baby wipes? It’s nice to know you can take the leap on cloth wipes without investing huge amounts of time or money. Tell us what low-cost solutions you’ve tried!
The recipe couldn’t be simpler, with just three ingredients: water, lemons, and sugar. Still, most people resort to the canned or even powdered version of this classic summertime refreshment. Start making it homemade, and you’ll not only save money, but the packaging that comes along with the premade juices. Also, most frozen juices contain high fructose corn syrup, while the homemade version contains nothing but sugar. (Okay, sugar is not exactly a health food, but it is better than corn syrup.)
How to Make Lemonade (whether life hands you lemons or not)
4 cups water
1 cup lemon juice (about four lemons’ worth-or use lemon juice from concentrate)
½ cup sugar (or 1/4 cup honey)
Stir until sugar or honey is dissolved and sweeten or water down to taste. Enjoy!
Making lemonade from scratch works for me! For more WFMW tips, head on over to We are THAT Family.
I wanted to use cloth wipes with our first child. But somehow our hectic careers and the rigors of household work kept us at the brink of exhaustion, too tired to even attempt taking on any new challenges. My husband, who isn’t one to embrace anything that produces more laundry, was especially resistant to the idea of cloth wipes even though he really enjoyed diapering our baby in cloth.
With our second, I bought a few packs of super cheap baby washcloths and was determined that make the difficult transition to cloth wipes. After all, my husband is home now with the kids and I have the summer off. We have no excuse!
Imagine our surprise when we realized that using cloth wipes is actually no transition at all! They get tossed into the wash along with her diapers and are so small that they don’t add to the amount of laundry we do.
We filled a plastic container with water and a bit of baby oil we had gotten years ago at a baby shower, and then put the clean wipes in there after they come out of the wash. (There are many recipes for “wipe water” online and several use olive oil instead of baby oil, which is a petroleum product.) We don’t even have to throw our laundered wipes in the dryer. It takes us about two minutes of time each week and we find that they’re more effective than disposable wipes. Now our only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner!
Have you used cloth wipes? Rebecca made hers out of old t-shirts and sprays each with water before using. What is your favorite strategy? Are you worried about switching to cloth wipes? Let’s hear some words of encouragement!
Here at the Green Baby Guide, we’re all about hand-me-downs and Craigslist steals. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to splurge on something for your new bundle of joy. For me, it was the stroller. I chose the Maclaren Triumph stroller for its light weight (just 11 pounds) and foldable design. I imagined I’d be using it a lot on public transportation, since I don’t have a car. I’ve found it more convenient to simply walk everywhere. My daughter is now three-and-a-half and still rides in the stroller almost every day–so it was definitely worth it for me to get exactly what I wanted.
What was worth a little extra money to you? Let us know!
I hope you enjoy this vintage post from our early days at the Green Baby Guide. Now that our son is nearly three we still find that we produce loads of food waste to feed our compost bin—and, eventually, our garden!
First it was the spaghetti. Roscoe would pile heaps of noodles on his head at dinner and the make us laugh against our will as he peeked out from the pasta tendrils. Now Roscoe, always the entertainer, has come up with another coy little trick for mealtimes: spitting out food. He pops it into his mouth, takes a few chews to savor the taste, and then just as happily lets it dribble down his chin while he goes for the next bite. We can say our son is a comedian or a creative eater, but when dinnertime is over and the belly laughing is done, what are we supposed to do with all that food?
Families with dogs don’t ever have to ask themselves this question and probably also have much cleaner floors than we do. Since the only thing resembling pets in our home are wilted houseplants, we depend on our compost bin to function as a food waste controller. Rather than sending scraps to a landfill where they don’t have enough air to decompose properly, composting allows food to biodegrade and be reused as fertilizer.
We keep a plastic container (purchased at a thrift store) on our countertop and dump in all the non-dairy, non-meat waste that ends up on Roscoe’s tray at each meal. Then, we regularly head out to our Darth Vader-shaped compost bin and dump in the latest batch.
As our years of composting continue, we’ve learned just how many things can be tossed in, including tea bags, manure from vegetarian animals, wood ashes, paper napkins, fall leaves, and grass clippings. It confounds me that the bin never fills up, no matter how many overflowing containers of scraps we load into it. We even tossed our old bank statements and paperwork into the bin this year-good old Darth managed to quickly digest it, leaving plenty of room for Roscoe’s offerings.
For those that haven’t started a compost bin yet, it’s far simpler than you might guess. You can make your compost bin out of an old trash can and just a few other materials. Check out this website for a video showing just how to create your bin and start composting. In warmer climates, like here in Oregon, the bin can go year round, but in more seasonal areas it’s best to start composting soon (early spring) and continue through the fall. Compostguide.com has loads of inexpensive options for setting up your own bin plus tips for advanced composters on using worms or making “compost tea.”
In addition to composting, we’ve also tried some creative methods for cutting down on Roscoe’s food waste. Instead of loading his tray up with too many choices, we fork over a few items at a time. This seems to cut down on the off-tray food dumping. Christina Katz, author of Writer Mama, recommends taking all those half eaten bananas (which we seem to accumulate on a daily basis) and other partially-nibbled fruits and tossing them into a Ziplock bag. She stores them in the freezer and when her kids long for a smoothie, she whips out the frozen fruit bag and dumps it into the blender. Voila! I suppose if I were organized enough and/or had more time, I could do the same thing with veggies and then blend them up for vitamin-packed soups and stews.
At this point in our busy lives, the compost bin remains our standby for dealing with Roscoe’s food waste. In the spring when we pull rich dirt out of the bin for use in our garden beds, we are glad that we trooped out into the rain all winter long to dump our potato peels and carrot tops. The top quality soil from our compost is produced at no expense AND saves us money on our garbage bill by cutting down on our monthly pickups. That dirt manages to help us grow organic tomatoes, basil and peppers for lovely summer meals that Roscoe will likely be putting on his head instead of into his mouth. Those scraps will again end up in the mouth of dear old Darth, our family’s favorite compost bin.
My daughter’s “newborn” Cabbage Patch doll came with her own little romper. It’s fine, but let’s face it: sometimes a doll yearns for a more elegant evening look. One made out of an old sock, perhaps. One that comes complete with a matching wide belt and hat.
If you have a doll in a similar predicament, there is an easy solution, and it doesn’t require a sewing machine. All you need is an old sock, a pair of scissors, and an eye for fine fashion.
How to Make a Doll Dress out of a Sock:
Many of you may be wondering where I got the mary jane sock/shoe booties to complete this look. These are one-of-a-kind hand-crocheted booties my mother made Audrey before she was born.
Have fun creating new clothes for an old doll. Recycling at its most beautiful.
This post is a part of Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by We are THAT Family.
Being the parent of a newborn is a wonderful, harrowing, magical, and exhausting experience. After a sleepless night, a showerless day and several hours of baby screams, the thought of preparing dinner can be enough to make a new parent weep. That’s why anyone who has been through it knows that the best possible gift to receive is a hot meal.
I wrote a post on the importance of prepared food for new parents before my second baby arrived, but now that I’ve lived through those first few draining weeks, I have to express again just how incredible those gifts were. Plus, our friends and family came up with some great “food support strategies” that I have to share.
What are your ideas for home made meals for new parents? Have you cooked a few for new families or been lucky enough to receive some? Feel free to share your stories!
We’ve been writing about diapers, daycare, and even dishwashing liquid for the last year and a half–now what? What posts have you enjoyed the most? What kinds of articles do you like reading here on the Green Baby Guide? Are there any topics we haven’t explored that you’re just dying to hear us talk about? Let us know!
If you’ve been following along, you are probably already aware of my black thumb. With my garden failures fresh on my mind, I am shocked to report that I am actually enjoying some success with my tomato plants. So while this post may have nothing to do with green babies, it has everything to do with green tomatoes. Beautiful bouncing green tomatoes (maybe it’s time for a new blog. . . .):