The Best Stainless Steel Water Bottle!

best stainless steel water bottleFor the last four years I’ve been slurping my beverages from a well worn plastic bottle.  Yes, it’s made from a “safer” plastic–but it still didn’t exactly feel safe.  Still, I was loathe to toss it in the trash in the name of environmentalism.  Luckily, it failed on its own and I was free embrace stainless steel.  Still, I was convinced that the options were limited.  After all I wanted a water bottle that:

  • Fit in my car beverage slot
  • Had a wide mouth that could easily be filled with ice.

HappyBaby Book Review + Giveaway at the End of the Post

HappyBaby: The Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months is the latest offering from Dr. Robert W. Sears, co-written with Amy Marlow, the dietician for HappyBaby organic baby food. Dr. Sears co-wrote The Baby Book, that classic tome on Attachment Parenting you’ll either embrace or—overcome by a creeping sensation of guilt and inadequacy—throw across the room. HappyBaby is a kinder, gentler introduction to the world of the Drs. Sears. In fact, the mantra in this new book may very well be “Relax! Don’t worry too much. Just take it one small thing at a time.” This attitude makes it easy to digest the information inside without worrying about doing something wrong—either for your baby or the planet.

Even More Gift Ideas for the New or Expecting Mother!

Here’s how you assemble a wonderful gift basket for a new mom. Still need ideas? Here are some more:

A Boppy pillow. Both of us managed to raise our babies with very limited baby gear—and we both had Bobby pillows. They make breastfeeding easier by propping the baby up to the right position, easing the strain on the back and arms. As baby grows older, you can use it to prop him in a sitting position.
baby sleeping on boppy nursing pillow
Note: You aren’t supposed to let your baby sleep on the Boppy! We kept our eye on her–just a week old!

Kindle. A Kindle—are we kidding? Well, a ways back we wrote this post, posing the question: Is a Kindle greener than regular old books? Sure, it saves trees and shipping fuel, but a wireless reading device uses batteries and may end up clogging a landfill one day. Still, we’d heard that it’s perfect for reading books while breastfeeding–turn the page with the click of a button! Avid readers who like to buy all their books instead of borrowing from the library claim to save money in the long run.

Make a Gift Basket for a New or Expecting Mother

What gifts are you going to bestow upon the new mother in your life this holiday season? My cousin wanted to put together a gift bag for her expecting sister-in-law. Because her sister-in-law planned to breast feed, my cousin chose a “nursing mother” theme. She was going to package everything in a cool eco-friendly diaper bag but ended up forgoing that idea. (Good thing, too, because her sister-in-law already had a couple!)
Lassig messenger eco-friendly diaper bag

Bonus: Put all the new mother’s gifts inside this beautiful Eco-friendly Lassig diaper bag!

Here’s what my cousin ended up putting together:

The New Mother’s Gift Basket

Transitioning from Bottle to Breast: An Update

The bliss of breastfeeding can be suddenly interrupted when baby decides that she will never, ever consider drinking expressed milk from a bottle.  As you may have heard from my desperate post awhile back, my own baby went ten hours without drinking a drop of milk when I went back to work, just because she decided not to.  We had tried all temperatures, all bottles, and all times of the day, but she held fast to her decision to starve to death rather than suckle on silicone.

transition from breast to baby bottleLuckily, with the help of our readers and some ingenious thinking on my husband’s part, we have gotten her to loosen her policies on bottle rejection.  She still only drinks about three ounces a day while I’m gone, which makes for long nights of breastfeeding, but we’re grateful she’s taking any milk by bottle.

When a Breastfeeding Baby Rejects the Bottle: Help!

breastfed baby refusing bottleWe all know breastfeeding is best for baby, mom and the planet, but what happens when mom goes back to work and baby decides not to take those bottles full of expressed milk?   Today my baby went ten hours without eating just because she would NOT accept any form of bottle at any temperature from anyone.  We’ve tried while she’s asleep, while happy, while she’s incredibly hungry and the result is the same. My stay-at-home husband is desperate for a solution that will make her happy and end the hours of screaming.  Any ideas?  We need all the help we can get!

Breastfeeding Moms Reap Health Benefits

Most of us didn’t need to read a scientific review to know that breastfeeding is beneficial.  We lose weight, our babies become brilliant, we bond with our infants, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Breastfeeding is a no-brainer, right?breastfeeding study shows benefits for new moms

Still the latest results of this close look at breastfeeding are pretty astounding.  The study, published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine, followed mothers at high risk of developing breast cancer for nearly a decade.  Participants had a “first-degree” link to the disease, meaning that either their mother or sister had contracted it.  Among the high-risk women who chose to breast feed, breast cancer rates decreased by a whopping 59 percent.

Breastfeeding in Public

breastfeeding in public green babiesIn my hometown public breastfeeding is no biggie–but I’ve heard that in other parts of the country it’s taboo for a mom to feed her baby unless she has ducked into a nursing lounge or locked herself in a bedroom.  What a drag!  As an extrovert, I would resent being sent away every few hours feed my baby.

My husband’s parents, who are originally from Thailand but have resided in Maryland for decades, were shocked when I told them I’d be feeding my baby while we ordered dinner at a restaurant.  In fact, my mother-in-law brought a bottle of my pumped milk just because she was sure I’d be using a bottle.  When I whipped out my “Hooter Hider” and put my baby to breast, everyone seemed a bit stunned.  (For those who don’t know, a “Hooter Hider” is a great draped piece of cloth that is easy to use for public nursing.  They’re expensive but I received one a as a gift. Check out their site here.)

Going Green with a Second Child

exhausted mothers and green challengesHaving  our first child was a completely humbling experience.  My husband and I, two normally competent people, found ourselves up to our elbows in parenthood and more exhausted than we ever knew we could be.  Now with our second we know it’s possible to be even more bedraggled and groggy.

It’s so hard to manage a newborn and an almost three year old!  Our little one needs to be held ninety percent of the time while our older son is struggling for attention and challenging his limits.  In the midst of this happy/crazy drama, cloth diapers need to be washed, the compost needs to go out and the garden has to be watered.

DIY Homemade Non-Dairy Ice Cream

I love heaping bowls of cool ice cream on a hot summer’s day. But even more than that, I love not having to listen to my colicky baby scream for three consecutive hours.

When I realized that the dairy protein in my breast milk was probably responsible for my infant daughter’s intestinal discomfort, it became clear that I’d have to sacrifice Ben and Jerry’s. Or I could just go without sleep and sanity. Honestly, it was a bit of a tough choice.

After a few days to think about it, I realized that I could easily concoct my own version of non-dairy ice cream so that I could have my dessert and a happier daughter too.