Archives for January 2011

The Best Valentine’s Gifts For Expectant and New Moms

As a new mom or a pregnant woman, I didn’t always feel particularly romantic on February 14th.  But I did appreciate any efforts to make me feel loved and appreciated.

My husband, who is a fantastically thoughtful fellow, took me out for Valentine’s Day sushi while I was pregnant with my son.  I had been experiencing deep and vivid sushi cravings and enjoyed the food so much that I actually asked him to stop talking so I could chew in silence with my eyes shut.  It was so rude–but the sushi was divine!  That kind of patience and grace is really the stuff of true love.

How Have You Re-Used Your Baby’s Cloth Diapers?

Have you sold your baby’s used cloth diapers?  Did you pass them onto a friend’s baby?  Did you use a site like Diaper Swappers to trade them in for a different size?  Does your local consignment shop accept secondhand cloth diapers?

We’ve happily passed some newborn covers and diapers onto other parents, but our small prefolds are currently stashed in a kitchen cupboard to mop up floor spills.  Those green-stitched cotton prefolds were purchased secondhand from a diaper service, then diapered both my children, and were also leant to a friend to diaper her two children before they became kitchen rags.  Some of them eventually get so ratty that I toss them into the compost bin, but about two thirds of my original diapers are still going strong!

Eco-friendly Potty Training Gear

After Joy’s recent posts about The History of Potty Training in America and Training Pants for Babies and Toddlers, I’m sure you’re left wondering, “What’s new in eco-friendly potty training gear?” Well, we’re here to satisfy your curiosity.

Safety 1st Nature Next 3-in-1 Potty


According to the product description: The Safety 1st Nature Next potty is made of 50% bio-plastic in a zero landfill factory. Besides being eco-friendly, it’s also one of the most versatile potties available: a potty, trainer seat, and step stool, all in 1. Removable bowl for easy cleanup.

TrendyKid becoPotty


  • Made from natural plant fibers
  • Ethical manufacturing
  • Biodegradable
  • High back offers extra support
  • Large splashguard helps keep potty training hygienic
  • (more…)

Training Pants for Babies and Toddlers

If you read my post on the history of American potty training, you know that infant potty training was the norm until the 1980’s when disposables gained a growing market share and experts re-thought toilet training norms from decades past.  In fact, I can’t help but mention that in the 1950’s and 1960’s, 95% of all toddlers were toilet trained by 18 months!

Today, most of the mainstream training pants come in size 2T and larger.  My daughter is 18 months old and her training pants invariably end up around her ankles after ten minutes of running through the house.  I’m searching for a smaller pair of training pants that will accommodate  younger children.


Eco-friendly Valentine Gift Ideas

These Valentines are more interesting than a heart-shaped box of waxy chocolates–and they’re better for the planet, too.

Greenfire 3 Pack Lavender Sandalwood Vanilla All Natural Massage Oil Candles, fragranced with essential oils


The tins are even recyclable!

The Lorax Project by Dr. Seuss Eco-friendly 24 Valentines


These bookmark valentines are perfect for a child’s whole class.

8 Organic Chocolate Bars, Tea-infused, in Organza Bag


Organic tea-infused chocolate!

Lettuce Mesclun Valentine Certified Organic Seed


What could be eco-friendlier—or more romantic—than some organic Valentine lettuce?

Come back later this week for some DIY Valentine gift ideas!

The History of Potty Training in America

If you’ve read my recent post on the history of cloth diapering in America, you know that I spend a lot of time wondering how we as parents are influenced by current history–and what we can learn from the past.  Of course, like the history fanatic that I am, I found the information on potty training in America fascinating.

Early potty training in America was completely parent-centered and sometimes disturbingly so. In the early 1900s children were on strict elimination schedules and parents even used suppositories or enemas to enforce regularity. Toddlers were admonished or  physically punished for accidents.  Potty training usually began at six months of age.

How Do You Cope With the Exhaustion of Early Parenthood?

My favorite act of support is bringing a meal to the family of a newborn.  Why?  Because I remember. I remember the piles of laundry and dishes.  I remember that crazy insatiable hunger of early breastfeeding.  But more than anything, I remember the free falling fatigue—and the creeping terror that I would never be able to sleep for more than three hours ever again.

We’ve just recently had a run of challenging nights, which puts me back in that familiar fog.  I feel unable to track my own thoughts, I struggle with patience, and more than anything I just want to be able to lay my head on my pillow.  (And I find myself daydreaming about unexpected opportunities to nap.)


Cozy Wool Clothing, Diapers, and Blankets for Baby

Chilly winter weather has me thinking about cozy wool blankets and clothes. We adore wool—it’s warm, it’s natural, it’s absorbent. And of course all these wool baby items are soft against tender skin.

Organic Merino Wool Baby Sweater by LANAcare ($53.00-$61.00)

Merino Kids Baby Sleep Bag ($79.99)

Baby BeeHinds Wool Wrap Diaper Cover ($23.50)

Cocooi Babywrap Newborn Baby Swaddle and Cap ($69.99)

SmartWool Baby Sock Sampler ($18.75)

Did you splurge on any wool baby diapers, clothes, or blankets? Let us know what you think. For more wooly delights, check out these posts:

Has anyone tried wool diapers?
Product Review: Danish Wool Nursing Pads
Reusable Nursing Pad Reviews and Recommendations

Solutions for Nighttime Yeast Infections Caused by Cloth Diapers

We all want to consider the health of the planet, but when our babies end up with reoccurring rashes and yeast infections from cloth diapers at night, it can be tempting to switch to disposables.  I did.  Of course, first there were weeks of trouble shooting, but then exhaustion set in and I surrendered to disposables.  I tried to switch back several times, all with the same results.

Our readers have rushed to my aid with a host of tips for yeast infection prevention and treatment.  Perhaps they can keep you from using disposables in those hazy nights of early parenting. They inspire me to continue my quest for an all-cloth diaper lifestyle!

Nighttime Cloth Diapering Success Stories

Yesterday Joy attempted to solve her nighttime cloth diapering problem using cloth diaper history. Ever since we started the Green Baby Guide in 2007, she’s been puzzling over her nighttime diaper dilemma, and after trying many of our readers’ suggestions, she still hasn’t found a way to prevent yeast infections with nighttime cloth diapering.

Two Chinese prefolds plus a basic diaper cover = my nighttime cloth diaper solution

I, on the other hand, never had any problem using cloth diapers at night. Why is this? Did my daughter have a remarkably small or extraordinary bladder? Were my diapers different? Did I employ some sort of miraculous laundering technique? Who knows?