Archives for November 2010

Welcome To Our New Website!

Yes, you’re in the right spot!  We have just redone our banner and layout for a fresh new look.  We were searching for something a bit friendlier with some space for product advertising.  (We have been blogging for three years and just now realized that with our sizable monthly traffic, we could benefit from having a few supporters.  Yahoo for edging out even a tiny profit in our writing endeavors!)

Do you like our new image?  Do you miss the old layout?  We’re still trouble shooting and realize that our search bar awkwardly hangs over our text.  It shall be corrected this week!  Are there other glitches that you’ve noticed?  Hopefully we’ll be settled into our new look soon.

The Friday Question: How Old is Your Baby?

Are you in the first trimester or are you raising two year old twins?  We often wonder where our readers are in their parental journeys and how we can best help them.

Where are we?   Rebecca is raising four-year-old Audrey while Joy is enjoying four-year-old Roscoe and sixteen month old Jovi.

Thanks for sharing your current location in this grand green parenting adventure!

Too Much Pressure to Breastfeed?

We have some sort of Realities of Green Parenting theme going on this week! Check out our earlier posts: Erica Jong’s “Mother Madness”–Is Green Living Imprisoning Mothers and The Truth about Breastfeeding and Survival in Those Early Months.

I don’t write about breastfeeding much on the Green Baby Guide. It’s not that I didn’t breast feed my daughter (I did), or that I don’t think it’s important (I do). It’s just during the early days of motherhood, I felt an enormous pressure to be this perfect breast feeder, and I didn’t want to add to that culture of “breast is best,” which can sometimes translate to “formula is poison.” (A friend of mine was the recipient of that gem.)
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The Truth About Breastfeeding and Survival in Those Early Months

Breastfeeding is an amazingly glorious experience that can take your breath away as you look into your baby’s newborn eyes at 3am.  But let’s be honest.  In the beginning, it can be brutal.  There’s the all-important latch, the endless night feedings, the chapped nipples, and the general loss of sleep.

And it is great, really.  But no one tells you how hard it can be at first!

There is a sudden transformation of something (your breasts) that once seemed sort of like an unnecessary but attractive part of your body into something that drips, leaks, hardens, and chafes.  What a shock!

Luckily I had access to a free weekly baby clinic through the Peacehealth Nurse Midwifery Birth Center where I delivered.  I desperately needed those appointments, both for the time with the midwives and for the discussions in the waiting room.  We, the haggard, un-showered,  spit-up-upon crew of mothers and fathers instantly bonded like a herd of war veterans.  There was hysterical laughter, there were tears, and there was a general sense that no one really knew what they were doing.  And that was the most reassuring of all.
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Erica Jong’s “Mother Madness”–Is Green Living Imprisoning Mothers?

Erica Jong’s Mother Madness, published in The Wall Street Journal a couple days ago, enraged a big chunk of the mommy blogosphere by declaring that the last twenty years or so of “motherphilia” has served to both idealize mothers and imprison them in those unrealistic pressures to be perfect parents. And attachment parenting, the wear-your-baby-everywhere-and-breastfeed philosophy touted by Dr. William Sears, is to blame.

A symbol of our oppression: The humble pocket diaper

Now, normally I do not engage in these online mommy wars, but as Jong lambastes the green movement alongside Dr. Sears, I thought I’d step in with a response from the Green Baby Guide. First of all, I’ve got to say that Erica Jong had some good points. Both Joy and I have some upcoming posts about the downsides of breastfeeding—a point of view that often gets swept into a corner for fear of scaring new mothers off from the practice altogether. If you don’t have a story about how beautiful and transcendent nursing is, you may as well just keep it to yourself for fear that the Earth Mother police will confiscate your secret collection of glass bottles and organic formula.
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Sealy Naturalis Crib Mattress with Organic Cotton Giveaway!

Most of us would swoon with delight if a new, eco-friendly crib mattress showed up on our doorstep. It could happen to you!  Kolcraft (Sealy’s partner in this product) is sponsoring this month’s fantastic giveaway. If you’d like to read more about the product, check out our review of the Sealy Naturalis crib mattress with organic cotton.

You can also head over to Kolcraft’s blog to read more about our journey as green moms and also win their giveaway of a signed copy of our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide.

Since this is such a huge prize, and we want to include listeners who are finding out about our site from the interview on Preg-tastic, we’ll be keeping this going for a full month.  (Preg-tastic is also sponsoring a giveaway of The Economical Baby Guide, so stop by and check it out!)
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GroVia Diapers vs. gDiapers: Have You Tried Diaper Hybrids?

Up until recently, the main hybrid diaper on the market was gDiapers, a nifty little product that used a flushable or cloth insert with a waterproof fabric cover. GroVia now offers a similar product line with some adorable prints available for December of this year!

Interestingly both gDiapers and GroVia now offer cloth liners, making them a very flexible product that can either be used as cloth diaper, a disposable diaper, or both!  Why not use cloth most of the time but buy the disposable liners for travel or daycare?

In the Eco-nomical Baby Guide we offer a full cost breakdown for every type of eco-friendly diapering system available, and at that time hybrids came out as the most expensive.  Now that cloth inserts are available for hybrids, their overall cost will drop dramatically.
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DIY Holiday Cards or Otherwise Green Greeting Ideas

On Tuesday we revealed our top picks for eco-friendly holiday cards. But buying a box of recycled cards and sending them far and wide isn’t the only way—or even the best way—to green your greetings. Here are some other ideas:

Don’t send a paper card at all! Electronic greeting cards save on paper and shipping. Check out Bluemountain.com, hallmark.com, and 123greetings.com.

Go for greener photo cards. Photo cards and foil-lined envelopes cannot be recycled. Check out Peartreegreetings.com for photo cards that are recycled and recyclable.

This homemade Christmas card was easy to mass produce. I simply cut out the snowy house scene, glued it on thick blue paper, and wrote “Merry Christmas” coming out of the chimney with a silver pen.
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Cloth Pull Ups and Night Potty Training A Preschooler

I love cloth diapers, and have used them since my four year old’s infancy.  Unfortunately, we had problems early on with nighttime leaking and yeast infections with cloth diapers. Finally, we reluctantly switched from cloth to disposables diapers for bedtime.

It made me so sad that I frequently revived my nocturnal cloth diapering efforts—with the same results.  Now my son is four, he is nowhere near potty training at night even though he was day trained at a little over two years old.  When we try to wake him to go to the bathroom, he begins to scream and flail and doesn’t seem to be able to rouse enough to use the toilet. After the whole ordeal he wails and flails for fifteen minutes before falling asleep.  We quickly decided that this isn’t going to work.
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Eco-friendly Holiday Cards Made from Recycled Paper

These eco-friendly holiday cards meet the following criteria: cute, made from recycled paper, and cheap (as in, all packs that averaged a dollar—or more—a card were nixed).

Heaven and Nature Holiday Cards (14 ct., $9.95)

Winter Log Cabin Holiday Cards (14 ct., $9.95)

Penguins Assorted Boxed Holiday Christmas Cards (20 ct., $14.95) A portion of the proceeds goes to the Sierra Club.

Backyard Birds in Winter Assorted Boxed Holiday Christmas Cards (20 ct., $14.95) A portion of the proceeds goes to the Sierra Club

Check out all of the Sierra Club Holiday cards. They’re a bargain!

On Thursday we’ll discuss some alternatives to traditional holiday cards, so stay tuned! (I normally don’t like to start writing holiday-themed posts so soon after Halloween, but if you’re sending out cards, you do need to think ahead!)