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.

As for our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, we’ve spoken to many women who received it late in their pregnancies only to wish that they would have read it months earlier. Why not learn about cloth diapers and used baby gear before you’re dealing with morning sickness and exhaustion? We hope that having the book far in advance will allow you to gather up the new and used green gear you need while saving thousands of dollars.

Prize #2
What to Expect When 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)

What to Expect When You’re Expecting is read by over 90% of pregnant women who read pregnancy books and has been on the New York Times bestseller list for decades. So what can you expect from the book? The book is organized into monthly chapters which provide information about how you may feel, common questions, a week-by-week guide to baby’s fetal development, and information about what your midwife or doctor is likely to say during that phase of pregnancy. The book also addresses childbirth plus the emotional and physical issues that couples face in the postpartum period. The question and answer format helped me pick out sections that were relevant to my pregnancy. I was too overwhelmed and exhausted by growing a fetus to actually read any book cover to cover so I appreciated being able to easily reference what I was looking for.

We wish every newly pregnant woman could get a free copy of The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, just to have access to humble, humorous, hands-on advice for gearing up green on a budget. Since we can’t just stand on the corner and hand these out to pregnant passers-by, we’ve decided to send one to accompany What to Expect When You’re Expecting in this giveaway. We hope you can win!

Whether you’re lucky enough to win one of the prizes or not, you should know that What to Expect online now offers heaps of free information for expectant women and new parents. You can pick up a copy of many What to Expect books on Amazon for less than nine bucks and The Eco-nomical Baby Guide is currently on sale for less than eight dollars. (And it will save you much, much more than what you pay for it!)

Enter the What to Expect When You’re Expecting (and the Eco-nomical Baby Guide) Giveaway!

Each comment counts as an entry. You can enter up to four times. Here’s how:

1. Simply post a comment

2. Like the Green Baby Guide on Facebook (then tell us you did it in a separate comment)

3. Visit the What to Expect 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!)

This contest ends on Thursday, August 11th, and is only open to U.S. Residents.

Great luck!

Great luck!

FuzziBunz and Rockin’ Green Giveaway Winners!

Of the more than a thousand entries for FuzziBunz One Size Cloth Diapers, the FuzziBunz In and Out Mess Free Hanging Diaper Pail, and the Rockin’ Green Laundry Soap, we had to pick just two winners.  (Insert dramatic pause…..and possibly drumroll here….)

Amanda H. will get to choose whichever vivid colors she wants for her  three FuzziBunz One Size Cloth Diapers and Aleia is soon to be the lucky owner of a bag of Rockin’ Green Laundry Soap and the FuzziBunz No Mess Hanging Diaper Pail.

If for some reason I don’t hear back from either of them in the next few days, I may just pick another number so you may still have a very, very small chance of winning.

And check back next Wednesday for another great giveaway that I think you’ll enjoy!

(My apologies for my tardiness in reporting our winners but we just moved this weekend. I’m just feeling lucky to have the computer unpacked at this point!)

In Which Joy and Rebecca See GroVia Hybrid Diapers in Real Life

Yesterday was quite a day for Joy and me. As we pounded the pavement in Portland, Oregon, knocking on the doors of prenatal massage clinics and baby shops to spread the word about our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, we stumbled into Eco-baby Gear. Imagine our surprise and delight when we spotted our book on display right in the middle of the store!

But it gets even better. There, before our eyes, was an entire rack of soft, adorable GroVia hybrid diapers. Unfortunately for us–dedicated cloth diaper enthusiasts since 2006–we never had a chance to try GroVia on our own babies. Joy did write a post about them last year: GroVia vs. gDiapers.

We learned a bit more about these diapers. At Eco-baby Gear, they say customers prefer GroVia to gDiapers for a few reasons: 1. Unlike gDiapers, GroVia diapers have snaps so they adjust to fit babies as they grow. 2. GroVia uses all snaps–no Velcro. 3. The cloth inserts snap in place, and the disposable inserts stick on with adhesive. This works better than the gDiaper system.

If you’ve had a chance to try GroVia diapers, let us know what you think. How to they compare to gDiapers–or regular old cloth diapers? Those of you who weighed in on this subject last November, if you are still reading, we’d like to hear an update!

Summering with the Green Baby Guide

What were we blogging about three years ago, in the dark ages of July, 2008? I had a two-year-old, Joy had just one baby, and we were one month away from signing a publishing contract for the Eco-nomical Baby Guide. Dipping into Green Baby Guide’s archives, I found a delightful assortment of posts (if I do say so myself), including our most popular post of all time: Flushable Diapers (gDiapers)–What Do You Think?

Some posts helped our readers settle into summer: Finding Free Organic Produce, Simple Steps to Fight Summer Heat and Limit Air Conditioning, A Thrifty Green Favorite: Cloth Swim Diapers, Disguise Vegetables in Fruity Popsicles (another one of our all-time favorites!), and Green Olympic Trials. But then, for some reason, I wrote about making Easy Oats for Two: A Cheap and Nutritious Breakfast for Mother and Child. I’m not sure I’d totally latched on to the idea of making my posts seasonally relevant!

We had our regular smattering of product reviews: Borax: A Budget Friendly, Eco-Friendly Wonder Product (alternate title: a million and one things to do with Borax);

Book Review: The Tightwad Gazette; Save Water with BPA and Phthalate-free Baby Bathtubs; and the Isabooties Product Review.

The rest of our July 2008 posts fit under a category I will describe as “eco-friendly lifestyle” posts: Easy Organic Cloth Diaper Stain Removal Techniques, Should Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Avoid Eating Nuts?, Life with a Baby . . . and No Paper Towels, Sleep vs. The Planet, Save Some Trees–Never Buy Children’s Books, and What’s Your Walk Score?

I hope you enjoyed this little stroll down memory lane. Here’s to our fourth summer of blogging!

The Five Bestselling Chlorine-Free Disposable Diapers

(Drum roll, please . . . ) In fifth place, we have Bambo Nature Eco-friendly Diapers.

Tushies Diapers come in strong in fourth place.

Nature Babycare Eco-friendly Chlorine-free Diapers take the bronze medal in the chlorine-free diaper Olympics.

In second place, we have Earth’s Best Tender Care Chlorine Free Diapers.

And, in first place–not much of a surprise here–Seventh Generation Free and Clear Baby Diapers.

What an exciting countdown that was! Now, if you want to learn more about chlorine free disposables (what’s the big deal about chlorine-free diapers? Are chlorine-free diapers better for the environment than cloth? Which eco-disposables do we recommend? Which are the best deal?), you’re going to want to get your hands on The Eco-nomical Baby Guide.

Until then, happy diapering!

What Do Moving and Childbirth Have in Common?

Any woman who has been through labor knows that this is a weak comparison at best.  Childbirth is humbling, agonizing, magical and miraculous.  Moving is… just horrible.

Maybe.  But beyond the actual contractions and the loading of the moving trucks, both of these events are entries into huge life transitions.  In both cases, there is usually time to prepare for the event and life beyond it.

We wrote The Eco-nomical Baby Guide because our pregnancies were riddled with pressures to stock up on supplies that claimed to make parenthood easier.  We faced huge baby registries and “must have” lists and decided that we’d rather buy less and buy used in order to keep the planet and our pocketbooks in mind. Each of our families ended up saving about six thousand dollars in our tots’ first year alone by going secondhand, cloth diapering, and making homemade baby food. Far from being a hardship, we found budget-friendly, eco-friendly living to be a grand adventure and actually started this blog to share our successes (and frequent failures) on our green journey.

Now, as my family is on the brink of moving, it all feels so familiar.  It’s tempting to go out and buy new furnishings to fill the empty space, using money to make the shift easier.  Instead, we shall be living in our new house with lawn chairs and beanbags as furniture for awhile.  We’ll patiently hit garage sales and shop craigslist until we slowly stock our house with secondhand pieces we love.

Whether we’re preparing for baby or moving into a new home, making huge changes with an eco-friendly, budget-friendly mindset requires patience, a bit of self-control, and the humility to realize that we’re not defined by our stuff.  I hope that as we continue to face transition with our reduce, reuse, recycle mantra, our kids will learn those same skills for themselves. It’s a glorious way to live a rich life without consuming (or spending) nearly as much.

Green and Clean Mom Has a great post on How to Buy Organic Food Cheap. It’s great practical advice that you can put into action on your next trip to the grocery store.

Stop by later this week to check out our upcoming giveaway. It involves cloth diapers and some fabulous supplies so come back to get the details!


Eco-Friendly Diaper Pail Alternatives

In our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, we talk about how we avoided buying a white, plastic monstrosity of a diaper pail by buying a classy five-gallon push-pedal garbage can in stainless steel. Not only would this work better for cloth diapers, with its removable bucket, but it would be a much greener option than the dreaded Diaper Genie. Why? Because after its diaper pail days ended, it could be reincarnated as a regular trash can.

That was the idea, anyway. I bought a no-name stainless steel trash can at a discount store, and guess what? It broke. After a couple years, the push-pedal stopped working and the top came off the hinges. Not even a trip to the workshop could restore it to its former diaper-containing glory. Now it stores scrap wood and the lid landed in the dump.

What could I have done instead? Perhaps a higher quality trash can would have lasted forever, like this Simplehuman Butterfly Step Recycler. But $159.99 for a diaper pail? In the The Complete Tightwad Gazette, Amy Dacyczyn recommends using a simple 5-gallon plastic bucket with a lid, found at any hardware store. This will set you back just $7–and you could probably recycle it if you couldn’t find a way to re-purpose it after your diaper days.

Do you have any green solutions to the diaper pail dilemma? Or is this something–like many things in life–I have put way too much time and energy thinking about?

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 to Switch to Cloth Diapers

Tired of shelling out hundreds of dollars on disposables and lugging soiled diapers out to the trash?  It’s time to make the switch to cloth!  If you’re like most of us, cloth can seem overwhelming.  Here is a short list of questions and answers that many new parents have about cloth.

What type of cloth diaper should I use?

In our book, the Eco-nomical Baby Guide (now on sale for less than $8 on Amazon!), we give you diagrams and advantages of each type of diaper out there. If you can’t get your hands on the book, be sure to get your hands on some actual cloth diapers.  Go to a local diapering shop or ask around to see if you can find a family that uses cloth. Remember, you don’t have to settle on one type of cloth diaper.  At our house we use a mix of pocket diapers, prefold diapers, and all-in-one diapers. If you can’t actually find any of those locally, check out this YouTube video. (One note–the video says that you need pins for prefold diapers, which is absolutely untrue. We never used pins or snappies with our prefolds. We simply tucked our diaper into a cover and placed it on our babies.)

How do I wash cloth diapers?

Eliminate the bad odors that disposables produce by dumping solid waste into the toilet.  (If you’re baby’s waste isn’t quite solid yet, you may want to buy a diaper sprayer or make one yourself.)  Then store them in a dry diaper pail and wash them in a heavy load.  We both have great success with cold water, but some parents prefer to use hot.  You don’t need bleach but might want to add an enzyme based stain and odor fighter like Bac Out. Then line dry or toss them in the dryer.  Done!

Is it worth switching to cloth diapers now that my child is older?

Yep.  If you buy used cloth diapers or new pre-folds, the cost that you invest will still be less than disposables.  Plus, cloth-diapered children tend to potty train earlier since they have a better sense of what it feels like to be wet. And if you’re going to have more children, remember that you’ll have those cloth diapers when your next child reaches that age.

Why are cloth diapers so expensive?

Some types, like one size all-in-one diapers and one size pocket diapers, cost more but convert to fit baby from birth to potty training, so you won’t need to buy diapers for different sizes. Also remember that you can get any cloth diaper used.  Check out websites like My Used Diapers or Jullian’s Drawers for preowned cloth diapers.  You can also check at your local consignment shop or craigslist. Prefold diapers will be your least expensive option in new diapers, especially if you buy used covers.  If you do decide to invest a few hundred dollars in new cloth diapers, remember that you’ll never need to buy diapers again!  You’ll be all set for future children, or be able to resell them once your baby is done.  (Which just can’t happen with disposables!)

What if I try cloth diapers and I just can’t make the switch?

If everyone in your family gets the flu or your washer stops working, you can always use disposables for a few days.  The point is, once you do make the change, you’ll see that cloth diapering really is simple and fun.  And you’ll save hundreds of dollars and dozens of trips to the grocery store for more diapers.  (Plus you’ll keep one ton of waste out of the landfill for each child that you cloth diaper!)

If you’re anything like Rebecca and me, you may actually come to the point where you become a cloth diaper nerd.  You start up random conversations with people using Fuzzibunz or inquire about the latest Bum Genius innovations.  It’s tough to start hobbies as a new parent, but cloth diapering really does become one for many of us!

Remember today is the last day to enter the Monkey Foot Designs wet bag giveaway!

Furnishing Baby’s Nursery with Garage Sale Finds

I often fantasize about Rebecca and me flying to New York as featured guests of a daytime talk show. We’d be given a $300 budget to outfit a baby’s nursery with secondhand goods. With Rebecca’s sense of style and my garage sale savvy, we’d do an incredible job!

Just the other day I went to a school garage sale where I saw the following items:

An oak changing table: $25
A beautiful maple rocking chair: $25
A sturdy wooden high chair: $15
Baby clothes: A giant paper bag’s worth for just $5

It’s just mind-boggling what you can find for a new baby at a fraction of the price of retail.  (Which is why we wrote The Eco-nomical Baby Guide.  It’s such a thrill to reduce, reuse and recycle–while saving thousands and ending up with beautiful stuff!)  While you’re pocketing all that saved money, you’re saving the environmental load of manufacturing, packaging, and shipping new products. And your baby will be just as content in her secondhand nursery. Attention daytime T.V.producers, we’re standing by for your phone call!