Archive for the ‘General’ Category


Do you keep a worm composter in your kitchen? Or better yet—have a composting toilet? Do you power your toaster with a bicycle? Live in an ice cave all winter long with no heating to speak of? In celebration of Earth day, share your wackiest deeds that help out the planet!
composting toilet

Don’t forget to enter our organic crib mattress giveaway!

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  • blended baby foodRebecca likes to cruelly taunt me about the use of my blender for making homemade baby food. Honestly, I could care less. I proudly stand behind my little Osterizer and its amazing ability to whip up heaps of sweet potatoes, baby spinach, and pureed pears. (By the way, Rebecca and I are playing up the blender drama just for show. Our nearly twenty year friendship hasn’t been damaged by this small appliance duel.)

    Due to limited storage in my kitchen, I have to limit my gadgets. Nothing earns the right to live in my cupboards unless it can prove that it has many functions on a regular basis. My blender is a standby for summer smoothies, popsicles, and, of course, baby food. I simply steam or boil the food, dump it in, and add some of the liquid used to cook it. Then I whirl it up and dump it in ice cube trays for storage. When it’s frozen, the cubes go into labeled freezer bags where they wait to be microwaved for dinner. If you’re looking for some elegant and healthy recipes, along with cloth diapering tips and heaps of ways to save money on raising baby, check out our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide.

    Do I find the blender difficult to use? Hardly! I will say that when I’m making a big batch I occasionally have to turn the blender off and stir the contents a bit with a wooden spoon before I start pureeing again. I can’t really say that it’s any hardship…  And, to validate my choice of appliance, there is actually a book entitled Blender Baby Food!”  I haven’t read it and can’t comment on whether it’s worth a purchase, but it certainly goes to show that I’m not the only one putting my Osterizer to good use!

    Do you use a blender for baby food? What is your appliance of choice? Let’s get this debate going!

    For the last six days, I, Joy Hatch, co-author of The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, swaddled my babe in plastic and petroleum instead of cotton.

    What can possibly be my defense for this environmental atrocity?  Honestly, it’s a little flimsy.  We’re in the middle of a kitchen remodel so I fled to my mom’s house with the kids.  Since she was having several groups of company during our stay including a whole flock of grandchildren, it seemed more helpful to just bring disposables.

    baby-in-diapersThe weird thing was that there was a microscopically thin slice of me that was excited about not having to wash cloth diapers—like that inner glutton that occasionally thinks it might be fun to eat an entire bag of Cheetos rather than virtuously dining on sautéed kale.

    But the disposable diaper experience left me a bit sick and guilty—much like those junk food moments.  And the bad feelings weren’t nearly as shocking as the fact that I think cloth diapering is actually easier!  With cloth I would  have had to dunk a couple of diapers and do a load or two of laundry.  I resented disposables from the moment that I had to shlep my baby to the store to buy them. After that, I had to constantly deal with the trash they generated.  Plus the expense of the diapers was an utter waste! At the end of all that money and garbage, Jovi and I had nothing to show for it except a bright red diaper rash.

    In short, my environmental slip led to a renewed belief that cloth is such a better option—not just for the planet but for you and your child!  Still, cloth diapering can seem really formidable at first in the same way that disposables seem convenient. Wouldn’t it be great if every parent got the chance to cloth diaper just for six days to see how it works?  After we achieve that, we’ll get right to work on world peace.

    Have you had a chance to try cloth?  Did it work for you?  Do you use cloth while traveling?  If you’re  going on an extended visit to a friends’ house that may not be enthusiastic about laundering dirty cloth diapers, what do you do?   Do you buy a special stash of G-diapers, or opt to go to the Laundromat just to stick to your diapering ethics?

    no compromise organic cotton classicWe’re ending our series of giveaways with a bang!  You could win a Naturepedic No-Compromise Organic Cotton crib mattress in this week’s giveaway.  That’s a $359 value!  You’ll also get a copy of our new book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet.  (Although it’s far less expensive, we think you’ll find it just as helpful.)

    Since most mainstream crib mattresses contain vinyl and polyurethane foam which off-gas some nasty chemicals, buying organic is a comforting option.  Naturepedic’s No Compromise Organic Cotton crib mattress has a waterproof surface and is certified to meet GREENGUARD’s high standards for child safety.  The mattress also happens to be hypoallergenic and  is covered with a non-toxic fire protection system. How reassuring to lay your sleeping babe down on this gem and know that she’s safe and comfortable!

    This is our very last in the series of large giveaways, and we hope that you are our winner.  See below to find out all the ways you can enter!

    Nine Ways to Enter the Giveaway

    How do you enter?  Guess what?  You can enter more than once! Each way listed below gets you one entry.  All comments have to be posted BEFORE Tuesday the 18th of April to win.

    Remember, leave a separate comment on this post for each entry you want.  If applicable, please leave the link to your Facebook/Twitter/Blog in the comment you leave here.

    1. Leave us a comment on this post.
    2. Visit Naturepedic’s web site and then post a comment telling us what caught your eye!
    3. Email a friend about this giveaway.
    4. Join our Facebook fan club
    5. Link to this giveaway post on Facebook or Twitter–tell all your friends to stop by!
    6. Link to this post on your blog!
    7. Add The Eco-nomical Baby Guide to your “to read” shelf on Goodreads
    8. Go read our post on Five Ways to Score a Free Copy of  The Eco-nomical Baby Guide and leave a comment there if you’d like to review our book on your blog.  (Make sure to read the post for more details!) Leave a comment here as well to make sure we can keep track of your entries.
    9. Does your library have copies of the Eco-nomical Baby Guide? If not, request a purchase! (Then come back and post your comment to let us know!)

    ***The contest ends on Monday, April 19th, 2010***

    Winner will be randomly selected.

    We will notify the winner via email and will get you in touch with these companies who will ship your products directly to you. Please Note: This contest is open only to U.S. readers.

    Have fun everyone!

    I’m experiencing temporary insanity.  The  culprit is a twenty pound tyrant who has been hounding me for three straight nights.  Have I dealt constructively with the challenge?

    sleepy momNot quite…

    I’ve consumed approximately one pound of cookie dough and a third of a chocolate bar.  She’s been crying off and on for forty five minutes and I’m trying to block it out while typing this.  Despite diaper changes, temperature adjustments, teething tablets, soothing songs and her total lack of sleep over the past two days, she seems to be up for the challenge of a good wail for hours to come.

    On top of that, my three year old didn’t nap today and was having constant meltdowns all afternoon that coincided perfectly with the baby’s hysteria.  Did they concoct this torture plan ahead of time?

    No—the truth is it’s all my fault.  I wanted a dishwasher.  For the last two miserable nights we’ve been visiting my mother because our kitchen is being torn apart and remodeled.  My baby, who normally slumbers in her crib pretty well, reminds me at regular hourly intervals that she’s not happy with the transition. On top of that my three year old isn’t napping well, nor is he coping with being away from home.  Neither am I.

    At times like these, when my very bones ache with exhaustion, I’m not so chipper about hanging out the laundry or blending up homemade baby food.  ( or EVER traveling ANYWHERE again!)  So—honestly, I have to say that for me sleep is an essential part of being a good parent and a greener parent.

    Did you end up traveling anywhere with baby for spring break?  Did you experience the same nocturnal misery?  I sincerely hope you didn’t!

    Green Easter Tips for Tightwads

    If you’re looking for a way to green your celebration this year, you’re in the right place.  We have an archive packed with tips on how to make your Easter holiday eco-friendly and budget friendly as well!

    An electric egg cooker will boil up those Easter beauties in minutes using only a few tablespoons of water.  It certainly isn’t worth investing in one just for the holiday, but if you have boiled eggs on a regular basis, this inexpensive gadget quickly pays off.

    Do you want to color those perfectly boiled eggs using plant dyes?  We have spent far, far too much time at Greenbabyguide.com researching natural egg dyes—and failing miserably.  Check here for a better listing of which natural dyes really work and maybe you’ll have more success.  green easter holiday celebration with natural egg dyes

    If you’d like to get creative with your egg coloring efforts, try your hand at making natural silloutte eggs.  They’re simple stunners and if you take the time to blow the egg out from the shell, you can even keep them as centerpiece decorations year after year.

    What about the basket that will hold all the Easter loot?  Try buying one used from a thrift shop and growing your own Easter grass in the bottom as an alternative to that plastic grass that gets strewn all over your home!

    May your eggs be delicious, vividly colored, and easy to find.  May your day be sunny and may your children keep the chocolate off of their pastel clothing.   Also, today (Monday) is the last day to enter our massive green baby giveaway!

    go green with babyWere you worried about environmental toxins lurking in the Lysol, baby’s dirty diapers filing local landfills, or blinking plastic toys threatening to take over your household?  Were you motivated by family and friends or did they challenge your attempts to be an eco-conscious parent?

    We’re very interested in what makes expectant families go green because the lure of mainstream baby rearing with its hoards of innovative gadgets and convenient products can be hard to evade when you’re nervous about the transition to parenthood.  When did you decide that you’d like to be a conscientious consumer or even less of a consumer?

    When we were both pregnant at the same time, Rebecca and I typed flurries of frantic emails to each other trying to figure out how to use cloth diapers and make our own baby food.  Everyone else thought our cutting edge environmental parenting was a bit kooky, but with the support of each other (a two person green parenting community that has now been joined by all of you!) we took the plunge.  It was far less adventurous and much more fun that we ever expected to be eco-friendly parents.

    What is your motivation? Do you face resistance or enjoy support? Please share so that other new parents can be a part of the online green community! (And remember that our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet, is packed with everything we have learned in our journey as green moms!)

    All-in-one diapers? Pocket diapers? Chinese prefolds?  Even if  you desperately want to cloth diaper your child, the vocabulary challenges our earnest efforts.  How do all these “diapering systems” work?  Is it worth choosing just one?  How do you launder them and what about the smell?

    cloth diaper babyFear not!  Our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet, features detailed, easy-to-read information on cloth diapering your child that even slackers like ourselves can manage.  We’ll highlight what you’ll find inside by sharing our favorite tips today:

    1. Money saving tip: Don’t stock up on every size you think you’ll need before your baby arrives in this world.  Some extra chunky tots (like both of Joy’s nine pound newborns) never need the extra small sizes.  Others are preemies that stay in newborn sizes for months.  Get a few diapers and designate a family member or friend to run out and get more when baby arrives.   What else will you find in the book? Tips on buying secondhand cloth diapers for up to eighty percent less than new, tips on which diapers transition for babies between 7 and 35 pounds, and which diapers offer the best overall value.

    2. Laundering tip: Though you may be tempted, do not use bleach!  People are shocked when we share this advice, but bleach will eat through your diaper fabric quickly, isn’t environmentally friendly, and can irritate baby’s skin.  Instead use baking soda, vinegar, non-chlorine bleach, or enzyme based stain fighters like Bac-out.  Other tips in the book include the all-time easiest method of diaper washing, tips for storing dirty diapers, ideas on how many loads per week you might have, and natural stain fighting tips that are free and eco-friendly.

    3. Diapering tip: This may be obvious, but there are NO PINS REQUIRED!  It’s amazing how many people are still shocked when we share that fact.  We also found that neither of us needed Snappis or any other product to hold our chinese prefold diapers in their covers.  In our book you’ll find charts that help you understand what each type of diaper looks like, a cost comparison of different diapers, and options for eco-friendlier disposable diapers.

    We remember how totally overwhelmed we felt entering the world of cloth diapers as new moms.  Now we have an outlet for our obsession in The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, where we ooh and ah over all the options!  Once you start cloth diapering, you may find that you fall in love with the whole adventure yourself.

    Are you using cloth?  How did you find out what to use and how to diaper baby?  Do you have lots of support for your cloth diapering efforts in your local area?

    The Great Green Baby Giveaway

    To happily welcome our newly published book and reward those of you who are in the trenches of green parenting, we have yet another green giveaway this week.  One reader will win ALL of the quality eco-friendly baby gear listed below! Here’s what you could win this week:

    • An Eco Cradle from Green Lullaby.  A $69 value! This ingenious product can be assembled in minutes without tools, is completely fire retardant while remaining non-toxic, and is designed for a real human baby!
      eco cradle by green lullaby
    • 1 pair of organic cotton tights from hessnatur. This company makes adorable organic garments for baby (and adults!) that are just as fashionable as they are functional.
      hessnatur organic tights
    • Speesees crawl turtle teether. We love the spunk and style Speesees and recommend this organic baby and kids clothing  in our book.
      crawl turtle teething toy
    • 1 pair of girl baby shoes from Pedoodles, in the style and size of your choice. We used Pedoodles for our own children. Read our old review of them here!
      pedoodles ruby shoes
    • 1 organic teething toy from Momma’s Baby. Dip it in water and freeze it to soothe your baby’s sore gums. Unlike plastic teethers, this cute little mouse doesn’t contain BPA or other harmful chemicals.
      organic teething mouse
    • 1 Fuzzibunz one-size pocket diaper. These fabulous diapers contain a moisture wicking layer between baby’s bottom and an absorbent insert.  Plus this one diaper adjusts to fit babies between 7-35 pounds!
      fuzzibunz diaper
    • A HappyBaby gift pack, including organic baby food samples, an Eric Carle growth chart from YoBaby, an Infant & Toddler Nutrition guide co-authored by Dr. Sears, and a set of HappyFamily recipes. HappyBaby is the company behind this fabulous organic baby guide, and their organic foods are available in supermarkets everywhere.
      eric carle growth chart
    • 1 Snugglebottoms w/Velcro diapers (unbleached ‘green’ cotton flannel) in the size of your choice from Baby Bunz & Co. Baby Bunz & Co. is a great online source for cloth diapers–they’ve been selling them since the ’80s!
      snugglebottoms diapers
    • Green Dragon Pest Solutions. an eco-friendly product that will hurt household bugs such as roaches and silverflies without harming baby.  It comes in a gel so that you can avoid toxic sprays with baby nearby.
      Green Dragon Pest Solutions

    Nine Ways to Enter the Giveaway

    How do you enter?  Guess what?  You can enter more than once! Each way listed below gets you one entry.  All comments have to be posted BEFORE Tuesday the 30th of March to win.

    Remember, leave a separate comment on this post for each entry you want.  If applicable, please leave the link to your Facebook/Twitter/Blog in the comment you leave here.

    1. Leave us a comment on this post.

    2. Email a friend about our book, our blog, or this month’s giveaways.

    3. Subscribe to our blog (look right under the search bar) Again, be sure to comment about it below!

    4. Join our Facebook fan club

    5. Link to this giveaway post on Facebook or Twitter–tell all your friends to stop by!

    6. Link to this post on your blog!

    7. Add The Eco-nomical Baby Guide to your “to read” shelf on Goodreads

    8. Add our blog to your blogroll

    9. Go read our post on Five Ways to Score a Free Copy of  The Eco-nomical Baby Guide and leave a comment there if you’d like to review our book on your blog.  (Make sure to read the post for more details!) Leave a comment here as well to make sure we can keep track of your entries.

    ***The contest ends on Monday, March 29, 2010***

    Winner will be randomly selected.

    We will notify the winner via email and will get you in touch with these companies who will ship your products directly to you. Please Note: This contest is open only to U.S. readers.

    Have fun everyone!

    It sounds a bit crazy, doesn’t it?  Asking a tiny baby to be able to control her bodily functions?  I thought so too. These days I’m firmly aboard the early potty training bandwagon now that my eight month old baby regularly poops on the potty.

    I wouldn’t have remotely thought about perching my first child on the toilet simply because I had no friends or family who had ever attempted it. But when we wrote our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-To-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet, I learned more about infant potty training and found it fascinating.

    My daughter’s first poop on the potty was a total accident. She was perched on our wood floor, bare bottomed due to a slight diaper rash.  When she started to strain a bit, my husband and I scooped her up and set her on the potty. It worked!

    Baby Potty TrainingMotivated by the opportunity to avoid toilet-dunking poopy diapers, we started paying attention to her schedule and found that she needed to sit on the potty once in the morning, and then again after each meal.  Sure enough, we found ourselves having only one poopy diaper a day, if that, in the days and weeks that followed.  Sometimes she’s hesitant to sit, but if we distract her with a toy she’s happy to oblige.  Here she is looking quite proud of her efforts!

    If this sounds totally bizarre, remember that in most of the world, people don’t use diapers.  Infants potty train in China, India, and much of Latin America.  In the U.S. people used to toilet train children much younger when cloth diapers were used.

    The only down side to our new potty training lifestyle, is that we have a one bathroom house.  Now there are four people trying to share one toilet, which means sometimes we can’t get her to the bathroom on time.  Also, we don’t even remotely try to toilet train her while we’re traveling because it seems far too complicated.  Still, we celebrate every avoided diaper dunk and the drastic cut it has made in our pile of dirty prefolds!  Check back with us on Wednesday to watch the video of Jovi having one of her poops with plenty of slobbery zerberts throughout!  (I think she may really resent this video in the years to come!)

    Have you tried perching your babe on the potty?  Any luck?

    Speaking of luck, we have to congratulate Rose for winning last Friday’s giveaway of peppermint shower infusers.  We hope she uses them to get revitalized for the tough job of motherhood.  Stay tuned this month for our next few fabulous green baby giveaways!

    The Eco-nomical Baby Guide
    Eco-nomical Baby Guide
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