Burt’s Bees Diaper Cream is Better than Desitin

Diaper cream is something some babies never need.  Other babies, though, get it slathered on at every diaper change in order to avoid diaper rash.  Audrey was somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.  We used Burt’s Bees diaper cream and preferred it over other brands we tried.  I got a tube of Desitin for free and hated it.  Sure, it worked, but it also left terrible stains on our cloth diapers.  The Burt’s Bees cream seemed to go on more smoothly, soothe the skin, and protect from moisture without leaving residues on the diapers.  It also smells much better than petroleum-based Desitin.
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The Nighttime Diaper Dilemma: Part Three

Several months ago I shared that my dark diapering secret online.  Even though we only used disposables at night, I hated having to toss the waste into the trash. Since my son out-wet our cloth diapers, it seemed there was no other option. 

Thanks to our wise readers’ comments, I tried pocket diapers with him a few months later and was thrilled.  No more wetting in the night!  This also meant no more trips to the grocery store to haul home disposables.  The sky was brighter, the birds sang more sweetly, and our garbage was delightfully emptier. 

Then Roscoe started to develop yeast infections on a regular basis.  We tried creams, giving him “naked time,” and sunlight, but the infections persisted.  Finally, in desperation, we switched back to disposables at night and Roscoe’s redness completely cleared up. 

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Saving Money and Emissions with a “Staycation”

Ever return from holiday travel only to find yourself more exhausted than when you left? When we felt stressed out just contemplating a vacation with a two-year-old, we knew we needed other options.  Suddenly, my husband blurted out, “Let’s have a staycation!”  Immediately our heart rates leveled out and we began breathing more deeply.  

You might assume that my husband and I have a tiny comfort zone—or a case of agoraphobia.  Actually, we’ve lived and traveled in several countries, but at this point in our lives we have no desire to leave town.  Our son sleeps horribly even on short trips, hates being immobile in the car seat, and often seems out of sorts while we’re away.  It ends up being rather grueling for all of us—so we were excited about the option of staying home for a week and purposely relaxing.

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Building Green Communities with Like-minded Parents

Green parenting requires thought, innovation, and courage—none of which come easy on limited sleep.  Having a community of like-minded parents is wonderful, but it can be challenging depending on a person’s geographic location or work schedule.  Still, if you hook up with a few families who are at least willing to try green living, it can be tremendously helpful. 

Here are a few places where you could start finding eco-friendly buddies:

Parenting groups: Usually by joining a parenting group you can find a few families who are interested in eco-friendly tips.  We loved our experience with Birth to Three here in Eugene and have made friendships that will last all through Roscoe’s childhood.

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Tightwad Tips for Raising Baby from Frugal Zealot, Amy Dacyczyn

Last week we reviewed Amy Dacyczyn’s Tightwad Gazette, the ultimate guide to creative frugality.  We could ooze on for hours about her innovative outlook on reusing and reducing, but instead we’ll give you some concrete examples of how she made budget friendly, eco-friendly choices with her twin babies. 

Since Dacyczyn thought her fourth child would be her last, she had given away all of her baby things, only to find out that she was having a surprise set of twins.  She spent less than $100 on their first year of life by employing some zany acts of simplicity.  These are just some of the items she skipped with her babies:

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Life with a Baby . . . and No Paper Towels

Many months ago, I wrote about the baby rules I break for the planet.  One of those “rules” included mopping up baby with wads of paper towels.  I don’t think I’ve ever bought a roll of paper towels in my life.  We do have two rolls of paper towels in my house.  One roll was generously left here by the previous owners.  We moved the other roll over from our last house, where it sat in the back of a closet for at least four years.  My husband bought that roll long ago, without my consent or knowledge.  I cannot be blamed!
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Sleep vs. The Planet

A friend of ours just had her second child after 61 HOURS of labor!  Before I had children, that would have made me tired—but now it makes me want to flop onto the floor unconscious.  Why?  Because I always imagined that childbirth was a marathon.  What I realized after my first, is that it’s just the beginning of an endless “Ironmom” tournament that lasts for years. 

In that long succession of sleepless nights, there is a way to balance green values and exhaustion and it’s as simple as asking for help. Here are a few things I’ve learned from wise friends who have kept from being plumb pooped in those early weeks:

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Save Water with BPA and Phthalate-free Baby Bathtubs

We’ve received a couple emails asking us about BPA and phthalate-free bathtubs.  This Spa Baby European Style Tub claims to be BPA-free, and the baby in the picture appears to enjoy the “European spa” experience the tub offers.  At $45, it’s a bit pricier than the typical tubs found at Target, but if you are worried about toxins, it may be worth the higher price.

Of course it’s possible to go without a baby bathtub.  One water-saving option is to have the baby bathe or shower with a parent.  Babies can also use the full bath tub, but that can end up being a waste of water, especially in the early days when the baby isn’t interested in splashing around for the fun of it.
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The Benefits of Extended Breastfeeding

When I was still pumping at work and crawling out of bed for nighttime feedings, I clung to the dream of weaning at one year.  Although I loved my amazing ability to create food for my infant without a second thought, there were times where I longed for freedom.

It came as a surprise to me that I wasn’t ready to give up breastfeeding after my son’s first birthday.  Luckily, the decision to continue had many benefits for my son, for the environment, and for my own health.

For baby’s health:

  • Breast milk provides excellent immunity for toddlers so that they get sick much less often.
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Baby Gear I Lived Without

Because I have a small house and harbor illusions of leading a “minimalist lifestyle,” I wanted to limit the amount of baby gear I bought. When I was pregnant, I kept wondering if I really needed all this stuff: a wipes warmer, a bouncy seat, a swing, a white noise machine, a mobile, an arsenal of how-to-raise-your-baby books, a travel crib, a baby monitor? (The list goes on, but you get the point.) How was I supposed to know? Every time I’d consider not getting something, the consumerist girl scout in me would decide that I just wouldn’t be prepared without it.
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