What to Expect When You’re Expecting Giveaway

What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a thorough guide to pregnancy that has been tremendously popular for over twenty years–and this week their website, What to Expect, is sponsoring a giveaway! We’re throwing in a few copies of our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, to sweeten the winnings for two lucky readers. There are multiple ways to enter so get in on the action!

Prize #1
What to Expect Before You’re Expecting (+ a copy of our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down to Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet)

For women who are planning conception and pregnancy, What to Expect Before You’re Expecting is a great resource. It provides tips on everything from nutrition to medical care for women (and men) in the months before you get pregnant. And it will help you make the good choices that will lead to a healthier newborn. For couples hoping to conceive quickly, Murkoff educates readers about how to pinpoint ovulation cycles to raise your odds of getting pregnant.
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BPA-free Containers for Storing Breast Milk and Homemade Baby Food

One of my first baby purchases was a set of  little containers for all of the pureed delights I planned to create for my child. In retrospect I can see this was an odd obsession, considering most babies don’t get a taste of solid food for a good six months after birth—but finding a good system for storing breast milk and homemade baby food can make the whole process much more manageable.

Two things I didn’t know back when I bought those containers in 2005: 1. I should have looked for BPA-free plastic—or found an alternative to plastic. 2. I should have considered buying containers that worked for storing expressed breast milk as well as pureed food to get the most bang for my buck.
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Gently Weaning a Toddler

Two weeks ago I begged for your collective wisdom to help wean my two-year-old daughter. After implementing a few strategies from our readers, my daughter and I gently gave up nursing within just three days.

First I stopped the morning feedings, which did involve some screaming and sadness, but with a little distraction she quickly acclimated. The next day we nursed at nap again, but at bedtime we had a special discussion of how this would be her last time drinking my milk. We snuggled, talked and really enjoyed it. The next day, my husband put her down for nap and bedtime and she peacefully went to sleep. If I would have known it would be that easy, I might have started sooner!
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The Eco-nomical Baby Guide Podcast on Dandeliondish

Our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, is a record of how we saved thousands of dollars by going green. In my podcast with Tanya Lieberman of Dandeliondish.com, I got to reflect on how The Eco-nomical Baby Guide can support new parents as they save money and the planet. If you’re wondering exactly what the book is about, take about fifteen minutes to listen to this interview and see if it might work for you. (And The Eco-nomical Baby Guide is still miraculously cheap right now at just under eight bucks on Amazon–it will earn several dozen times its cost in savings!)

How Did You Wean Your Child?

Did your toddler simply lose interest in breastfeeding, or did you have to wean her? If you’re in the latter group, how did you do it?

My daughter, Jovi, turned two last week and I feel thoroughly ready to cut off her supply. She has different ideas. Jovi would like to nurse morning, noon and night for hours a time. She affectionately calls the source of her precious milk “eyes” or “boo-boo’s” and emphatically makes the milk sign (grabbing at an invisible cow’s udder) while she wheedles a long and desperate “plleease.” It’s hard to resist, I admit. But she’s still trying to nurse in the middle of the night, when she’s lonely, when she’s tired, when anyone else is nursing, when she’s cold, when she’s hungry and when she’s thirsty. And, honestly, all of those things happen during the day multiple times–which leaves me trying to fight her off as she reaches her chubby little fingers down my shirt and tries to abduct my breasts. It’s time.
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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!

Pumping Extra Milk While Breastfeeding to Get More Sleep

A new mom is struggling horribly through her first few months with her baby. She can’t seem to nap during the day. At night, when the baby awakens, her and her husband spend hours trying to soothe her down. Neither parent is getting needed rest, and everyone is at the breaking point.

I don’t actually know this woman, but a close friend of mine has been sharing her story with me and it pains me. Why? Because I remember that desperate hysteria of exhaustion from my first days as a new mom–and how impossible it was to even think of solutions.
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How Do You Support Moms Who Struggle With Breastfeeding?

A hilarious quiz in Tina Fey’s new book, Bossypants, made me think about the difference between support and pressure when it comes to breastfeeding.  Nursing is hard work, especially in those early days, and new moms need encouragement, meals and commiseration.  (And humor.  They might need a copy of Tina’s book, or just a glance at the photo to the right.)

My best strategy for supporting new breastfeeding moms is to let them know that the really hard part comes right at first in those grueling early weeks.  It does get easier month by month, and more precious as babies start to become toddlers and those moments of snuggling start to disappear.
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Giveaway Winner Updates!

From the Hygeia EnJoye Breastpump, to a copy of Fifteen Minutes Outside, to a Smartklean Laundry Ball, we’ve been hosting fabulous giveaways in the last few weeks.  And now it’s time for a drum roll:

Juley A. from Anchorage, Alaska will soon be getting her copy of 15 Minutes Outside on her doorstep.  Enjoy!  Now that the weather is getting a bit warmer, it will be even easier to gain inspiration to be outdoors with baby.

In just a matter of days, Andrea B. from Chandler, Arizona will be able to toss a the Smartklean Laundry Ball into her washer without using any laundry detergent–for an entire year!
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What is Hardest About Green Parenting Right Now?

Is it deciphering cloth diaper vocabulary?  (Like hybrid, chinese prefold, pocket diaper, all-in-one?)  Is it being able to afford the organic produce you’d like to buy?  Is it the physical challenge of early breastfeeding?  Do you need some homemade babyfood recipes? Or are you still trying to prepare for baby’s arrival with the planet in mind?

My children are now leaving the realm of babyhood and hearing your questions and challenges keeps us connected with what our readers need in those early days of parenting.  If you have a problem, chances are there are dozens of other women face the same dilemma.  Thanks for sharing ideas that we can present to our readers for future Friday questions!