Archives for October 2009

The Saturday Question: Have You Greened Halloween?

Happy Halloween from the Green Baby Guide! What are you doing to celebrate the holiday this year? Have you found any ways to keep the candy under control?* Are you sporting some wonderful DIY costumes made from common household items? How have you “greened” your Halloween?
The results of the pumpkin carving party we attended last weekend.

* I will admit to not even trying.

We’re Proud to Announce . . . Our New Book Title!

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Book Title Brainstorm! We needed to take the “green” out of “The Green Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways to Save Money and the Planet” due to “green fatigue.”

Penny suggested It’s Natural Baby: Earth Saving for Thrifty Parents; Earth Safe, Baby Safe; and the Sustainability Guide for Your Baby, Earth and Wallet. Charndra at Part Time Diaper Free suggested Green Baby Guide: The Eco Friendly Way to Start a New Generation. Mrs. Not the Jet Set thought of the Crunchy Mom’s Guide to Parenthood: Saving Money without Compromising as well as Sustainable Living for the First Year and Beyond. Erika of Organic Baby Resource suggested replacing “green” with “eco-friendly,” as it’s not as overused.  Cathrin suggested Frugal Babies: How to Raise Healthy Babies on a Budget and Save the Planet. All of these suggestions sound like great book titles and provided us with a lot of inspiration as we struggled to rename the book and rewrite our first chapter.

Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Recipes

We’ve collected and adapted a few of our favorite pumpkin recipes so that you can savor the taste of autumn while sneaking a vegetable into your child’s diet.  If you double the cookie recipe, stir up the scones, and whip up a batch of pancakes, you’ll use up a large sized can of pumpkin with not a bit to spare.

Hearty Pumpkin Cookies

These nutritious cookies are made with oats and wheat flour. I found the original recipe at and then tweaked a bit to make it healthier.  In just a few days I shall take steaming plates of these to my son’s preschool Halloween party!pumpkin oatmeal kid friendly cookies

Last-minute DIY Halloween Costume Ideas for Babies and Kids

While some of us have been lovingly hand-sewing Halloween costumes since Memorial Day, the rest of us are stuck sticking stainless steel colanders on our kids’ heads and making them trick-or-treat as “robots.” Last year we mentioned several DIY Halloween costumes—from the Cold Weather Bandit to the Glad Bag. (Yes, that’s right—we actually recommended dressing your kid as a garbage bag.)

What brilliant last-minute ideas were we able to come up with this year?

Baby burrito. Swaddle your baby in a white blanket, letting some lettuce or cabbage leaves peak out at the edges. Variations on this theme include baby spring rolls, baby eggrolls, or baby turkey wrap.  Here a doll is modeling this look, which took just one minute to create.

Choosing a Small Home for Economic and Environmental Reasons

Do green homes always come with solar panels? In fact, the six thousand square foot eco-homes of the rich and famous aren’t as earth-friendly as cozy abodes with smaller footprints.

smaller, greener homeWe didn’t just buy our thousand square foot home with a small apartment attached in the back for environmental reasons.  In truth, it was the only thing we could afford and we loved the location.

By the way, the incredibly cool picture in this post is not our home.  Ours is a grey, low-ceiling three bedroom unit that’s just about as simple as it could possibly be.  Still, regardless of its design, I now often ponder just how green it is to live in a smaller home—and the benefits go beyond the environment.

The Saturday Question: Did Your Adjustable Diapers Work from Birth to Potty Training?

Both Joy and I have had the opportunity to try adjustable diapers—such as bumGenius, Happy Heinys, or the new Econobums—that claim to fit babies from birth to potty training. However, we didn’t have them all throughout our children’s diaper days. Did anyone have success using just one set of adjustable diapers from birth to potty training, or did you have to supplement with newborn diapers or extra-big diapers at either end of the diaper journey?


The Econobum Diaper Kit

Save Money on Your Dream Baby Gear–Shop ebay!

This post originally ran on Chatty-T: Random Musings from a Pregnant American in London. Tanya, the 28-year-old author of this article,  writes about pregnancy on her blog. Check it out for her thoughts on maternity wardrobe essentials, her secret to avoiding stretch marks, and much more.

We live in the age of the consumer and I’m staggered by the amount of baby paraphernalia on the market. What do I need? What is excess? Changing tables, breast pumps, reusable diapers, disposable diapers….decisions, decisions, decisions.I haven’t delved too far into this abyss, but I hope take a practical approach to baby shopping based on a mix of real need, environmentally friendly products and value for money rather than whimsical “that is so cute my baby must have it” urges. I believe this is a reasonable approach but have now contradicted my practical mantra and decided that I really want to buy a Bugaboo Cameleon stroller/pram.

Green Family Living in a Smaller Home

If we lived in New York City, our space would seem immense, but here in Oregon, a thousand square foot home is considered tiny for a family of four.  Walk-in closets, mudrooms, generous pantries and guest quarters are standard on most newer homes which average around double the size of ours.

greener living in smaller houseTo be totally honest, I have to admit that I’m not opposed to larger homes. Sometimes just the idea of a bigger kitchen causes my chest to ache with longing.

Still, the benefits of our modest home are becoming clearer to me every year.

  • Higher Population Density: If we count the tenant who lives in an attached apartment in back, we have five people living in 1300 square feet. That drastically shrinks our overall carbon footprint.
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Make Your Own Compostable Diaper–Out of a Pumpkin!

It was my sister-in-law who came up with the idea: Why spend all that money on disposable diapers that just end up breaking down in a landfill for the next 500 years? Wouldn’t it make more sense to use nature’s bounty to diaper our babies? This fall is the perfect time to start carving your own diapers out of pumpkins. Simply choose an appropriately-sized pumpkin, carve out the top, scoop out the seeds, and cut out two leg holes. This DIY diaper requires no sewing.

Check out my niece sporting her all-natural homemade diaper:
baby wearing a compostable pumpkin diaper

While gDiapers claim to be compostable, they still contain SAP–a petroleum product that doesn’t really break down. A pumpkin may not have the wicking and absorbing powers of an ordinary diaper, but it is 100% natural and biodegradable!  No other diapers can compete with that.

The Long Term Rewards of Under Indulgence

Is under indulgence the same thing as deprivation?  We think not!  Buying fewer, thoughtful gifts and treats for your child will allow him or her to have an enhanced sense of appreciation, plus you’ll be helping lighten the load on our planet and your pocketbook.  But beyond the immediate rewards, you’ll also reap benefits for years to csaving money and environment by under indulgingome.

  • Less financial stress: The leading cause of arguments between spouses is money.  When you co-commit to set more aside for the future, you’re also giving your baby a family with less conflicts.
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