Archives for June 2011

Mom’s Healthy Market Backpack Giveaway

Mom’s Healthy Market is an online resource for high quality, eco-friendly products for children from companies such as Bebe au Lait, Green Toys, Apple Park Toys, Guidecraft, Tegu, Seventh Generation, E-cloth, Pure Rest Organics, and Eco Baby. Everything on the site is organized by room for easy reference. Check out the “baby room” for some great diapering products or the “kid’s room” for an extensive organic bedding selection, as just two examples.

In addition to the toys and organic food, visit the site for parenting articles or to set up a baby gift registry. Use the code MM20 and you’ll receive 20% off your first order!
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How to Switch to Cloth Diapers

Tired of shelling out hundreds of dollars on disposables and lugging soiled diapers out to the trash?  It’s time to make the switch to cloth!  If you’re like most of us, cloth can seem overwhelming.  Here is a short list of questions and answers that many new parents have about cloth.

What type of cloth diaper should I use?

In our book, the Eco-nomical Baby Guide (now on sale for less than $8 on Amazon!), we give you diagrams and advantages of each type of diaper out there. If you can’t get your hands on the book, be sure to get your hands on some actual cloth diapers.  Go to a local diapering shop or ask around to see if you can find a family that uses cloth. Remember, you don’t have to settle on one type of cloth diaper.  At our house we use a mix of pocket diapers, prefold diapers, and all-in-one diapers. If you can’t actually find any of those locally, check out this YouTube video. (One note–the video says that you need pins for prefold diapers, which is absolutely untrue. We never used pins or snappies with our prefolds. We simply tucked our diaper into a cover and placed it on our babies.)
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Top 5 Bestselling Pocket Diapers

BumGenius and Fuzzibunz dominate the top five list, but Thirsties edged both of them out for the number one position! Why Thirsties? I’m guessing it’s the winning combination of the cute design and affordable price.

Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap , Blackbird, Size One ($13.75) (Note: This diaper is now disqualified, as it is just a cover–NOT a pocket diaper. See the comments.)


bumGenius One-Size Cloth Diaper 4.0 – Grasshopper – Snap ($17.95) (Now in first place! The image here is not right, but if you click on it, it goes to the correct product: a green diaper with snaps in the front.)


FuzziBunz One Size Diaper Big Sky, 10-45 Pounds ($19.95)
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Furnishing Baby’s Nursery with Garage Sale Finds

I often fantasize about Rebecca and me flying to New York as featured guests of a daytime talk show. We’d be given a $300 budget to outfit a baby’s nursery with secondhand goods. With Rebecca’s sense of style and my garage sale savvy, we’d do an incredible job!

Just the other day I went to a school garage sale where I saw the following items:

An oak changing table: $25
A beautiful maple rocking chair: $25
A sturdy wooden high chair: $15
Baby clothes: A giant paper bag’s worth for just $5

It’s just mind-boggling what you can find for a new baby at a fraction of the price of retail.  (Which is why we wrote The Eco-nomical Baby Guide.  It’s such a thrill to reduce, reuse and recycle–while saving thousands and ending up with beautiful stuff!)  While you’re pocketing all that saved money, you’re saving the environmental load of manufacturing, packaging, and shipping new products. And your baby will be just as content in her secondhand nursery. Attention daytime T.V.producers, we’re standing by for your phone call!

The Friday Question: What Helps With Milk Let Down?

I remember sitting in the filing room in the middle school where I teach and frantically eyeing the clock as my ten allocated minutes for pumping ticked away.  The more I worried about letdown, the less I was able to produce.  Eventually I brought photos of my kids and a tiny bouquet of lavender to help that file room feel more comfortable for pumping.  Now pumps like Hygeia’s EnJoye Breastpump (pictured above) actually record your children’s cries or coos so that you can play the sounds while pumping.  Brilliant!  I suppose you could do a quick video on your Ipod of your baby and get the same results. What do you do while you pump to help you relax enough to letdown quickly and maximize your time?  Other moms will greatly appreciate your tricks!

BPA-free Popsicle Molds

Summer is just around the corner. It’s homemade ice pop time again! It’s often easy to find popsicle molds at thrift stores, but if you’re concerned about BPA and other potentially harmful chemicals in plastics, you’ll want to get your hands on some new molds. Here are some BPA-free options:

Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold ($39.95)

Norpro Ice Pop Maker ($15.59)

Annabel Karmel Fill and Freeze Puree Pops ($8.75) Use this one to freeze purees—great for teething babies

Kinderville Little Bites Ice Pop Molds ($14.99)

Prepara Volcanic Pop Molds Set of 4 ($8.99)

Now all you need are a couple recipes to get you started. How about these classics from some vintage Green Baby Guide posts?
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Monkey Foot Designs Wet Bag Giveaway!

Monkey Foot Designs Wet Bags are sturdy and functional, but also sewn from rich and colorful prints that almost make cloth diapering seem, well, glamorous! We’ve loved them for years here at the Green Baby Guide and one of our readers will be winning one soon.

In case you have no idea what a wet bag is, you should know that it can be used for toting damp items  including used cloth diapers, swim suits, breast pump parts, and baby wipes.  Although I initially stuffed a freezer bag into my purse for used cloth diapers on the go, I was so thrilled to have my Monkey Foot Designs wet bag.  (For one, I didn’t always look forward to washing out that used freezer bag by hand and a Monkey Foot Designs wet bag can simply be tossed in the laundry!)
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Wipes Warmers for Reusable Cloth Baby Wipes

Last week we asked readers if they used Wipes Warmers for cloth wipes–and they did! I guess we’ll have to retract our previous disdain for them. So which models work best for cloth wipes? I found two good choices:

Prince Lionheart Warmies Wipes Warmer ($23.94). This product comes with some cloth wipes, though some users prefer to use their own cloth wipes.

Munchkin Warm Glow Wipes Warmer ($21.96). This one lights up for nighttime changes and can be used for disposable or cloth wipes (wipes not included). Customer reviews recommend it for cloth wipes!

Need cloth wipes, too? Try the Prince Lionheart Warmies Reusable cloth wipes (8 wipes for $9.99)–these wipes, derived from bamboo, go with the Prince Lionheart warmer mentioned above. Or try the Imse Vimse cloth wipes (12 for $16.11).
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Sophie the Giraffe: A Classic BPA-Free Teething Toy


Looking for the perfect teether?  Vulli’s Sophie the Giraffe toy is a classic that parents heartily endorse.  It’s always been BPA and phthalate free and has lots of lovely angles for baby to gnaw on. It’s currently 28% off on Amazon, making it just $17.00.   It’s also much larger than other teething toys which will extend its appeal long after baby’s gums stop aching.

Parent recommendations are paramount when considering a new product, and Sophie the Giraffe was very positively reviewed  by over 1,000 people.  The toy is crafted from 100% natural rubber that comes from the Hevea Tree and decorated with food grade paints that are safe for babies.  Sophie has been around since 1961, but was more popular in Europe than here in the U.S.  Still, it’s always been natural and is again coming into fashion now that parents are worried about toxins in children’s teething toys.
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Friday Question: What’s Your Best Trick for Easy Dinners?

After a full day of cleaning and chasing children, I dread dinnertime. Just when all of us are the most hungry and exhausted, a meal has to be prepared. Does anyone else feel this way?

My best avoidance tactics of late have been huge meals that provide a few days of leftovers. I used to think crock pot dinners were rather boring, but lately I’ve discovered Crockpot 365, from a woman who made a slow cooker meal every night for a year, and have come up with fantastic new recipes.  My other trick has been to act as my own prep chef and chop up all the veggies or grate the cheese early in the day so that I don’t have to do it all at dinnertime.
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