Your life as a semi-professional diaper changer may be about to change in the next week if you’re lucky enough to win this week’s Charlie Banana giveaway! In my cloth diapering conversations, whenever a mother has mentioned Charlie Banana Diapers it seems to be followed by a long list of adorations: They fit so wonderfully, are so flexible, and have such lovely designs….Yadda, Yadda, Yadda…
After trying the diaper for myself, I have to say that I have joined the (sometimes fervent) ranks of the Charlie Banana fan club. The Charlie Banana Cloth Diaper itself is adorable but I also love how their pocket diapers are built to work with a cloth or disposable insert. The washable liner fits inside the pocket, just as it would on a standard cloth diaper, but the disposable insert sits on top of the fleece, close to the baby’s skin. It is secured by simply tucking it into a fold in the fabric. (Which means you don’t have to worry about securing it with complicated snaps or elastics.) When you’re traveling or taking baby to daycare, you can still use your cloth diapers along with the disposable inserts.
Charlie Banana’s one size cloth diapers flex to fit babies from 7-40 pounds with a snap system, but also makes size specific hybrid diapers ranging from extra small to large. Their prints and colors are bright and fun and would make a great holiday gift for baby!
How do you enter? You can enter up to four times. Here’s how:
1. Simply post a comment
2. Like Greenbabyguide.com on Facebook (then tell us you did it in a separate comment)
3. Visit the Charlie Banana website and comment on what you learned.
4. Spread the news about the giveaway! Email someone, post it on Facebook, tweet it, blog it, or send someone a message about it via carrier pigeon. (And again, don’t forget to tell us all about it in the comments!)
Each thing you do (and comment on) counts as a separate entry.
This contest ends on Wednesday, December 7th and is only open to U.S. Residents.
I’m one of those mean mothers who doesn’t want her aesthetic sensibilities offended by blinking plastic toys all over the living room. But, in an effort to prove that my heart isn’t completely dry and shriveled, I do allow tasteful, wooden playthings to cozy up next to the plants and furniture.
The Plan Toy Chalet Dollhouse with furniture ($179.46) won’t fit in Audrey’s bedroom, so it lives right on the living room floor. This toy has endured as one of her favorite-ever Christmas presents. She received it two years ago now and plays with it almost daily. It makes future gift-giving easy for relatives, too, because there are always more accessories to add to it.
Audrey loves the Plan Toy doll house nursery ($15.49), which brings a little wooden baby to the household.
And of course you can’t play with the dollhouse without The Plan Toy Modern Doll Family ($12.22). The Melissa and Doug wooden family doll set ($16.06) look pretty cute, too.
Aside from the dollhouse, the wooden toys that have gotten the most mileage around here are the wooden food playsets. Audrey has had the Melissa and Doug Cutting Food Box ($15) and the Melissa and Doug Food Groups ($13.59) for years now.
We never had the space for a wooden kitchen, but the Kidkraft Suite Elite kitchen ($109) looks like a great deal. Last year we posted a round-up of wooden kitchens you will want to check out.
For babies, I’d recommend old-fashioned wooden blocks (starting around $12). Audrey has had a set since birth and still gets them out and plays with them sometimes. Ditto for the wooden stacking rings (starting around $8).
This year I may surprise my five-year-old with the Melissa and Doug Shape, Model, and Mold ($15).
What are your (oh, and your children’s) favorite wooden toys?
My darling Jovi has been sniffly for the last four weeks and utterly inconsolable for the last two. A pharmacist strongly recommended against medicinal decongestants for toddlers and small children. But due to her serious pacifier addiction, she’s quite uncomfortable at night since she can’t breath and suck on her binky at the same time. So what is a desperate, sleep deprived mother to do?
We loved Hyland’s teething tablets and decided to opt for some of their homeopathic cough syrup and decongestant. Sadly, we didn’t see big results last night. Have you had more success? There are other products we haven’t tried yet, like Sinupet Kid’s Syrup.
Thanks for weighing in with your homeopathic preferences! (And let me know what works for your cold symptoms as well!)
Have you just finished loading soiled cloth diapers into the washer? Are you pumping at midnight while surfing the internet? Are you in your first trimester of pregnancy and polishing off an entire quart of ice cream on a daily basis? Where exactly are you in your green parenting pursuits?
I just strapped a cloth diaper (Fuzzibunz) on my two year old for her afternoon nap and have settled in to get caught up on writing. My five year old is currently at preschool and has pulled fully out of the “green baby” stage. His favorite pastimes include playing with blocks and making binoculars out of cardboard toilet paper rolls, tape, and two feet of white string. Most of the time, my children like each other and share the same sense of humor, as evidenced by the photo below.
At this stage of parenting I’m sleeping far more and changing diapers far less. But I don’t want to forget all those earlier stages that we went through just a few years back. Thanks for reminding me by sharing where you are in this journey!
First, let me clarify. I am still on the the outer fringes of frugality when it comes to mainstream culture. We buy almost all our clothes and housewares at thrift stores, usually at their monthly half off sales. I get my hair cut for four dollars at the beauty school and cut my husband and children’s hair myself. Some of the resourceful green strategies we’ve used while cloth diapering and clothing our children has saved us thousands of dollars, which we carefully document in our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide.
Still, I have to say that there are some money saving strategies I just can’t commit to:
-I don’t make homemade crackers, bars or other substitutes for packaged snacks.
-We buy some pre-made dinner and lunch items at Trader Joes.
-Once a week we go out for a meal.
Growing up, store bought bread, yogurt and cookies were utterly out of the question, so I feel a bit like an underachiever when I seek out prepared foods. And I only started to lean on prepared items once my babies entered the scene.
There was a point (before children) where my thriftiness was so hard core that I would never have considered crazy extravagances like cheese sticks. (I once got a half dozen pumpkins free from a grocery store on the day after Halloween just so that I could sort out the seeds and roast them for free food. It took me three hours, I burned half of them, and we quickly tired of the crazy amount of pumpkin seeds I had acquired.)
But parenting has helped me realize that my time is precious. If I’m spending it doing things that I don’t really enjoy and that stress me out, I’m missing out on moments with my children. Also, if I don’t preplan by buying snacks and convenience foods, we end up going out to eat more often than we should–which is more expensive and less healthy than stocking up on sauces, macaroni and cheese, and even frozen lasagna for those tough evenings a few times a month.
Have you found that parenthood has caused you to slack in your thriftiness? What is your favorite splurge? Or has being a parent caused you to be more careful with money than you were before? Do you prepare all your family’s snacks and meals or indulge in some convenience foods?
“I don’t want my child to have a piece of plastic in her mouth at all times. It’s not natural, it makes it difficult for her to speak, it could hurt her teeth, and I’m not confident that the materials used to make pacifiers are safe for the kind of use I’ve seen in small babies.”-Margaret.
“I waited three months so that we could really figure out breastfeeding and ensure that the binky wasn’t going to get in the way. After that, I had no problem using a pacifier, as long is it was BPA free.”-Kathleen
“From about two months of age, I trained my child to start putting her finger in her mouth. She learned it easily and was able to pacify herself the same way kids have been doing for hundreds of years, using her own body.”-Valerie
I didn’t want my child sucking her thumb, simply because you can’t take that away whereas you can wean a child from a pacifier. For that reason, I did use a pacifier early on to provide her with something that could soothe her but that I could remove as she got older. -Chao
If you read Monday’s post you know that I have used pacifiers with both our children, more out of desperation than conscious choice. My daughter covets them and we search them out on daily basis, despite the fact that we have at least eight lurking somewhere in our home. I’m looking forward to a binky-free future sometime in the next 1-2 years. It does happen, right?
My official stance on pacifier use was influenced by lactation specialists who advised that I hold off until baby reached three months of age to ensure we kept up a good breastfeeding latch. For approximately twelve weeks my son’s remarkably ear piercing wails were the norm, sometimes for several hours at a time.
When he hit three months and we popped that magical little (BPA-free) device into his mouth, we experienced a wee bit of heaven. It was quiet, he was content, and the addiction began. Every night (sometimes while cursing under our breath) we searched the house for pacifiers to ensure that he was surrounded by at least a half dozen while he slept. Otherwise we’d wake to his siren scream at 3 a.m. and find ourselves groping under his crib in the dark to find those tiny providers of peace and quiet.
Consequently, we didn’t worry much about giving our daughter a pacifier when she hit three months. Little did we know that her attachment would be personal and all consuming. She kisses her binkies, carries them around in tiny purses, and wails for them when they are out of reach. The other day she announced, “I’m a big girl. I don’t need my binkies anymore!” I happily packed them away and then began a two hour attempt to get her to sleep during her nap. I could have held the line and pushed ahead, but instead I popped a binky in her mouth and she zonked out in seconds.
So should you ever start using pacifiers? What has your experience been? We’ll share opinions from a variety of my mom-peers on Wednesday, but I’d love to hear more from our readers.
Since we’re nestled here in the Pacific Northwest where our biggest complaint is rain, I can’t quite imagine toting my newborn home in sub-zero weather. We’ve hit a patch of chilly days here lately and it had me wondering what mothers in cold climates do to keep their infants warm on winter walks. After all, part of maintaining the motivation to live a green lifestyle is simply getting outside and connecting with nature–which can be challenging in places like Northern Alaska. Finally, I can across an image of a car seat cover.
So just what is this contraption? It fits around the outside of the car seat to provide a cozy cocoon for a newborn or infant. The one pictured above is a JJ Cole Carseat Cover and costs just under $30.
The Jolly Jumper Sneak-a-Peak Infant Carseat Cover keeps baby entirely enclosed within the car seat, providing just a tiny window for peering out. It’s also water repellant and is elasticized for a snug fit with any car seat.
Babbaco’s Babbacover Snuggle Fleece Beepbeep wins the prize for being being utterly adorable, but it’s also one of the pricier covers at $61.00. It’s nice that it does have a flip down window so that you can cover baby if she’s napping.
Are car seat covers really worth buying? It depends entirely on your geographic location and your personal values. If you live in an incredibly cold climate and are feeling desperate to get outside, it might warrant the cost. You can clip the carseat into a travel system stroller with the cover and take baby out for a walk on a freezing day without feeling like you’re risking her health. (Would you then need to put the stroller on skis? Hmm….)
Or you may just want to purchase some ultra warm baby clothing and skip the car seat cover altogether. Of course, if you only experience severe winter cold for a few weeks out of the year, it’s probably not worth worrying about car seat covers or extreme winter clothing for baby.
Have you ever even seen an infant car seat cover in use? Are they common where you live? Do you use one?
On these bright autumn mornings some of us to strap our babies into the running stroller and tromp our way to an endorphin rush. How do we keep our tots warm when we manage to scoot out of the house and enjoy some cold, bright weather?
Although it can be a bit awkward for diaper changes, bodysuits like this Columbia Unisex-Baby Tiny Bear Bunting Bodysuit, are a great way to keep a baby covered for just under 36 dollars. The sleeves and pant legs come with convenient flip over pockets for tiny hands and feet.
Nothing beats wool for natural warmth and LANACare’s Organic Wool Coverall is a beautiful heirloom piece of gear that would be worth it if you live in a very cold area and want to use it on a daily basis. It costs $133.50 which is quite an investment. But if it allows you to get out of the house and you are able to use it with multiple babies, you may be happy you spent the money. I would buy big and add additional layers so that you could get the most possible use out of it.
If you’d still love a quality wool product, but want a lower price with more flexibility, you may like the LANACare Organic Merino Wool Baby Sweater. It’s a little less than half of the price of the bodysuit at $55 and will work for slightly warmer weather as well.
Those of you who live in mild climates may be able to just get away with a few blankets and a really good hat. iPlay Origins Ecofleece Earwarmer Hat is just thirteen dollars and provides great coverage for baby’s neck and ears.
We must also add that all of these products, (and more) can be found for 50-90% less at consignment shops and thrift stores. As we emphasize in our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, many babies hardly have time to use all the clothing they receive in their first twelve months of life. If you have the time to hit resale shops or even Ebay, you can get top quality items at great prices.
However you end up keeping baby warm, we hope you get a chance to be outside this fall to appreciate the outdoors–and escape from those mounting piles of laundry for a short while.