BPA-Free Baby Dish Options

Just five years ago, I was shocked to see that major manufacturers weren’t making more BPA-free baby products. Now, you can wander down the aisles of any big box store and find dozens of shiny plastic goods with BPA-free labels. But what can you find beyond your basic BPA-free plastic baby dishes?

Green Sprouts has several options for baby dishes including the one above, made from a cornstarch based biodegradable plastic. It’s BPA and phthalate free but can’t be used in the dishwasher or microwave.

Fresh Baby’s Divided Dish is made of stainless steel, which can be washed on the top shelf of the dishwasher. It’s safe for the freezer, but obviously not the microwave. It’s snap-on lid makes it convenient for toting snacks or transporting meals to daycare. It’s also BPA, lead, melamine and phthalate free.
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What Is Your Thrifty-Green Heart’s Desire?

Do you wish for an affordable green disposable diaper made of milkweed? Are you thinking that your children’s boundless energy could be harnessed to heat your entire home? Do you long for organic, local produce that’s cheaper than those waxy apples flown in from Chile? (This exists! Join a local CSA and be amazed by what you’ll get!)

My personal obsession is with a hybrid minivan. Why hasn’t this happened yet? Or maybe someday they’ll create a crossover vehicle for up to eight passengers that runs entirely on the old crackers and raisins that lurk under car seats.
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Do You Have a Midwifery Clinic to Recommend?

When I was ten weeks pregnant, we excitedly stepped through the hospital’s revolving door to see our OB/GYN doctor. After a thirty minute wait, we met with a stressed out physician for ten minutes who asked us some routine questions. We were shuffled off to the front desk where we received a plastic bag full of brochures. When I imagined giving birth in that environment and it me nauseous (although it could have also been the morning sickness….) Luckily a friend told me about the Peacehealth Nurse Midwifery Birth Center.

This time we walked across the front porch of a beautiful old home, through a cut class door and into a completely different experience. We met with the midwife for about forty five minutes, most of which she spent listening to our questions. I was so thrilled to have found a clinic that didn’t treat me as though I had an illness, but embraced our excitement about having a child.
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The Eco-nomical Baby Guide Turns Two!

After two years of research, editing, and writing (with spit-up on our shoulders and cloth diapers in the dryer) The Eco-nomical Baby Guide hit bookstore shelves in the spring of 2010. We packed the book with practical tips to help families save thousands of dollars by going green. The insider secrets we’d learned in the trenches of early motherhood and from hundreds of Green Baby Guide readers were finally organized into the book that we wished we’d had as new parents.

Since then thousands of copies of The Eco-nomical Baby Guide have ended up at baby showers and green boutiques across the nation––and even the world! In December my cousin wrote me from Seoul where he and his wife are on a temporary teaching contract. Their South Korean birth coach had a copy of The Eco-nomical Baby Guide prominently displayed on her shelf. I have no idea how it made it that far, but it’s a thrill to know that our down-to-earth message is resonating with readers.
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What Cloth Diapering Advice Would You Give?

Have you used cloth diapers? What would you tell a pregnant, overwhelmed friend who doesn’t know a pocket diaper from a prefold?

If you have tips on buying diapers, laundering diapers or dealing with other challenges, please share! Today is the last of our posts this mont on cloth diapering and our favorite insider ideas always come from our readers. (Oh… and our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide!)

The Ultimate Cloth Diaper Dry Bag for Daycare or Travel

It can be tricky to transport large amounts of clean and soiled diapers back and forth to daycare as conveniently as possible–or to lug dirty diapers on a summer road trip without the smell invading the rest of the car.

The Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag is the perfect solution. It has two pockets to separate dirty and fresh cloth diapers and can store 8-9 total in the smaller size or 20-24 diapers in the larger version.

If your childcare provider is hesitant to dry cloth diapering, it’s almost worth bringing some cloth diapers in along with the Planet Wise Dry Bag to show how easy it can to hygienically store dirty diapers. The bag is quick drying and so can be rinsed and tossed in the dryer each night. Or, if that’s too challenging, pick up a couple of these and rotate them out during the week.
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Eliminating Yeast From Cloth Diapers

My children were happily rash free while using cloth during the day, but we struggled with regular nocturnal yeast infections. I felt copious amounts of guilt, poured boiling water into a bathtub of clean prefolds, experimented with different detergents, and felt more guilt when we couldn’t seem to resolve the issue. But now I finally know what I could have done to prevent the infections altogether! (At the time I switched to disposables at night and felt much sadness about it.)

To attack this hearty fungi in the laundry, wash diapers in 122+ degree water or with a few drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract to eliminate yeast spores. Just what is GSE extract? It’s a natural product that that combats fungus, viruses and bacteria. A four ounce bottle will run you nearly fifteen dollars, but you only need to include a few drops with each load so it may be worth it in the long run.
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Reusable Swim Diapers

Disposable swim diapers usually run about a dollar each, or more—and the cost doesn’t correlate with performance. They can end up in a soggy, leaky mess by the end of an afternoon in the pool.

Thank goodness for the greener, cheaper, and far more adorable alternative: reusable swim diapers! Even for those families who don’t want to make a full-time commitment to cloth diapering, reusable swim diapers are incredibly easy.

During our swim diapering years, we owned two reusable cloth swim diapers for each of our kids. If one diaper became soiled while swimming, we popped it into a dry bag, cleaned our baby, and put her into the other one. The total cost was around $12 for both diapers, which we found on clearance at target. They lasted for about five years and saved us heaps of cash and piles of soggy disposables.
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Save Money by Buying Secondhand Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapering saves a heap of cash (and garbage) over the years, but the up-front cost of using cloth is a barrier for some families. If you are willing to buy preowned diapers for your tot, you’ll save packaging, shipping, and about half the cost of a new cloth diaper layette.

How much did I spend on used diapers? Rebecca took me to her favorite consignment shop with her baby in tow when I was six months pregnant. I bought about eight diaper covers for a dollar each. Then I paid 30 dollars for 45 used prefolds at a local diaper service. Total cost: $38. Not bad! I did spend money later on as my son grew into a different size, but my overall diapering cost was well under 300 dollars. With my second baby I had virtually no cloth diapering costs as we just reused what we already had.
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Infant Potty Training with Cloth Diapers

My husband perched our baby daughter on the toilet at about six months when he realized that she had bowel movements at specific times of the day. We had never read a book on infant potty training or ever known anyone who had done it successfully, but we were excited to try anything that would help us avoid poopy diapers.

At first it was just an entertaining event. We found it hilarious that she made the sign for poop to let us know she had to go, happily pooped on the toilet and then sighed in victory every time she finished. But within a few weeks we realized that we had stumbled upon a glorious system.
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