Archive for the ‘General’ Category


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!

Perhaps you’ve already read our new book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet.   Maybe you’ve discovered the homemade baby food recipes included in the book and have spend hours whirling up delicious concoctions.  With minimal effort you’ve saved money, packaging, and carbon emissions by preparing healthy purees for your little one.  Now you deserve some brownies!

Steal a few frozen cubes of whirled up nutrition and slip them into this yummy recipe!  I’ve tried this on family and friends always with great results.  No one realizes that these are healthier than your standard brownie because the coffee and cocoa make them just as decadent.

baby food browniesBaby Food Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup melted butter or margarine
  • 2/3  Cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2  Cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2  Cup sugar
  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup baby food puree (pumpkin, sweet potato, squash, or yam)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp instant coffee powder

Directions

Melt butter and cool. Then simply mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Spread mixture into a greased eight inch square pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until brownies are slightly firm.  Enjoy!

Kiwi magazine wants to hear from you! Post your answer to this question in the comments, and you just may appear in their magazine.

“What little thing did you do to green the way you cared for your baby?”

kiwi magazine cover

Thanks for your help! We may email you for more information if your comment works for Kiwi‘s article on raising a green baby.

  • 9 Comments
  • Filed under: General
  • One lucky reader is going to get ALL of the following loot from today’s post!   These fantastic green prizes were generously provided by eco-friendly companies we love. The best news about this generous giveaway is that you can enter multiple times!  We’ll pick one winner who will get all of these green goods delivered to her doorstep just for entering.  Read the end of this post carefully for directions and thanks for visiting today!

    • A copy of our book! Of course, we think the best prize is The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down to Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet. It’s packed with hundreds of ways to save money while going green with baby.The-Eco-nomical-baby-guide1-300x300
    • 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.happybaby organic baby food
    • A Snugglebottoms Velcro diaper (unbleached ‘green’ cotton flannel) in the newborn size from Baby Bunz & Co. Baby Bunz & Co. has been selling cloth diapers since the ‘80s—before they made their comeback!snugglebottoms diapers
    • A Diaperaps sample pack, including a cover, liner, and an infant size hemp/organic cotton fitted diaper. Diaperaps are adorable, waterproof, Velcro closing diaper covers that can be used with cotton prefolds.  They’re easy to use and very affordable.diaperaps
    • One pair of baby boy shoes from Pedoodles, in the style and size of your choice. You’ll love the style and durability of Pedoodles shoes!  Made from recycled leather, they are eco-friendly and adorable.large-red-bowlerPedoodles2
    • An Under the Nile Veggie Crate. Under the Nile is known for their high quality organic Egyptian cotton, and this veggie crate will inspire hours of creative play as your baby grows. This cute organic baby toy is provided by The Clean Bedroom, which sells organic mattresses and other products “because you deserve a healthy night’s sleep.”veggie crate organic cotton
    • One organic boiled wool coverall ($88) from hessnatur.  This company makes adorable organic garments for baby that are just as fashionable as they are functional.

    hessnatur boiled wool coverall
    organic wool coverall
    organic wool coverall

    • One Crawl Turtle Teether is being provided by Speesees, a fun organic clothing company for young ones that we also featured in our book.  speesees turtle crawl teether
    • One container of 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 icky 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 Sunday the 14th Tuesday the 16th 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. (and don’t forget to leave us a comment telling us what you did.)

    3. Subscribe to our blog (look right under the search bar)large-red-bowlerPedoodles2 Again, be sure to comment about it below!

    4. Join our Facebook fan club

    5. Link to us on Facebook or Twitter.

    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 Saturday, March 13 Monday, March 15, 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.

    Congratulations to Rose, winner of last week’s gift basket!

    Have fun everyone!

    ShowerInfuserDiaper launderer, baby food chef, milk producer, house cleaner, nose wiper, and bath giver.  As parents, our work is never done and it often seems as though there is no time to refresh our energy reserves.  Still, I notice that when I do take time to soak in a bubble bath or journal in silence, I am so much more effective as a mom.  How do you take care of yourself?  Do you have trouble finding a moment to relax?  You’re in luck!

    Bath by Bettijo is offering one of our readers a jar of Sweet Peppermint Aromatherapy Shower Infusers.   Simply comment below on your tricks for relaxing and let us know that you’d like to win!  Also, please join our Facebook fan club or email your friends about our website, this month’s fabulous giveaways, and our new book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet.  This contest ends on Thursday, March 11th.  Also, there’s still time to enter our HUGE baby basket giveaway. Thanks for spreading the word and we hope you are our lucky winner!

    Don’t forget to enter our HUGE giveaway of eco-friendly baby gear!

    A lot can change in two years. That’s how long it’s been since we last blogged about our favorite green parenting blogs. (Here’s part one and part two—both from the dark ages of 2008.) Since then, some of our favorites have dropped off the edge of the blogosphere, and a few new faces have arrived on the scene. Here’s what’s happening right here, right now!
    Funny Face 2

    • Baby Cheapskate: Saving Big Bucks on Baby Stuff. This site alerts you to deals, sales, and special coupons for diapers, car seats, toys—anything you might need for a baby.
    • The Clementine NW blog is based in Portland, Oregon. Their store sells adorable clothes, slings, and more.
    • The Cloth Diaper Blog boasts a wealth of information on cloth diapering.
    • Crunchy Chicken is “putting the mental in environmentalism.” One of the funniest, most popular green bloggers out there!
    • Crunchy Domestic Goddess blogs about hot topics in the green world, from birthing with Kourtney Kardashian to composting with worms.
    • Eco Child’s Play talks about hot topics in green parenting—like what happens to your breasts once you stop nursing.
    • Enviromom is written by two Portland moms. Check them out for discussions on sustainable energy, ideas for reducing household waste, and eco-friendly crafts.
    • Frugal Babe lives “a rich life without a lot of money.” She and her husband paid down $33,000 in debt in just two years!
    • Gray Matters is a stay-at-home mom who cares about the environment. She has a slew of interesting crafts, menu plans, and thoughts on motherhood.
    • Great Green Baby showcases the latest and greatest green baby products on the market.
    • Green and Clean Mom is one of our old favorites! She has made blogging and selling Shaklee products her mission in order to make the world a greener and cleaner place for her children.
    • Green Mom Review offers quick reviews of a variety of eco-friendly products.
    • Green Style Mom muses about her life with her husband, kids, cats, and dog.
    • Haute Nature features “ecologically based creative ideas, art & green products for your children, home and lifestyle.”
    • Little Green Blog shows how a family goes green on the other side of the pond.
    • Mindful Momma blogs about finding “the balance between living green and going broke.”
    • Natural Papa gives us a glimpse into a dad’s take on natural parenting.
    • Nature Moms has gained a following for her informative posts about healthful foods, natural home remedies, and safer products for the whole family.
    • Not the Jet Set tells “one family’s story” of “money, stewardship, and frugal living.”
    • Organic Baby Resource Blog has the “long-term health of our children” in mind as it shares “the wisdom gained from personal experiences, medical experts and organic industry veterans.”
    • Outdoor Baby offers tips for enjoying outdoor activities with babies and kids in tow.
    • The Pregnancy and Baby Blog is your go-to spot for news on fertility, pregnancy, and early babyhood.
    • Recycle Your Day “is a website founded on the ideas of creating a simple and  ‘green’ lifestyle while incorporating natural and healthy living tips.”
    • Retro Housewife Goes Green is on a journey to become “a little greener every day.”
    • So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter is written by “a lover of quirkiness, justice, grace,
      community, honest dialogue, natural living, good food, good books, bad tv, music, the underdog, and the earth”
    • The Clothesline always impresses us with posts on how to recycle almost anything.
    • The Simple Life is written by a crafty, creative mother of three.
    • The Soft Landing reviews baby products, looking out for alternatives to unsafe plastics.
    • Treehugging Family is another one of our old favorites, discussing eco-news and products for the whole family.
    • Walking Upside Down blogs about motherhood, writing, and the environment in New Zealand.
    • Zoë B Organic Weekly finds the latest eco-friendly goods for babies, moms, and kids.

    We love everyone on our list, and we hope we haven’t forgotten anyone! Who are your favorite eco-bloggers?

  • 11 Comments
  • Filed under: General
  • A green stroller?  Does such a product really exist?  There are certainly strollers that are eco-friendlier than others, but it’s pretty tricky to find a bamboo buggy for your new baby.  From our collective experience, the best way to go green is to select a multifunctional stroller that you’ll love through your years of talking your children for walks.

    Regretfully I have to confess that we fell into the trap of having too many strollers.  Our tiny garage is loaded up with four separate contraptions for wheeling our babe along the sidewalk. We will try to save you from the same fate!

    infant car seat carrierIf you want one for an infant:

    What should you do with a newborn?  Honestly, newborns tuck into a sling or an Ergo carrier so nicely that we almost never used our strollers.  If you do want one, however, you might want to look into an infant car seat carrier. Simply snap your car seat into the frame and you’ll essentially have a travel system without all the chunky plastic.  You can choose from Kolcraft, Maclaren, Graco and many others.

    If you want an extremely compact stroller:

    We love Maclaren strollers for their design, function, and lack of plastic.  Some of their larger strollers (such as the Maclaren Quest) work from birth onward, but the Maclaren Triumph works after ten weeks and the Volo works for children older than six months. The whole line of strollers are light and collapse compactly for bus travel or to throw into the trunk of your car.  If you’re looking for a less expensive option, check out Chiccos strollers or Kolcraft strollers.

    If you’re a runner:

    While they are a bit big, Bob strollers are wonderful for running with baby.  They adapt to fit infant car seats and also come in double strollers.  They have ample storage and a nice cover to protect baby from the sun.

    honey-bee-bike-trailer-2009If you want to bike with baby:

    One of our favorite multifunctional choices is the Burley Bike Trailer.  While somewhat clunky, it works as a bike trailer, a running stroller, and a double stroller.  Baby won’t be able to ride in it until she’s a year old, but it can be used for years on family bike commutes.  If the price seems a little steep, you could opt for the similar In-Step bike stroller for much less.

    You’ll find even more detail about eco-friendly, budget-friendly baby-toting devices in our new book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet.  You’ll also get options for making your own sling and tips on saving money by purchasing a gently used stroller.

    What is your favorite baby-toting device?  It may not even be a stroller! Do you own a stroller that you wish you had never purchased?

    eco-nomical-baby-guide-cover-293x300Today is the day. For three years, hundreds of days and thousands of hours, Rebecca and I have written, rewritten, and polished our manuscript for The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down to Earth for Parents to Save Money and the Planet. Today is its official birthday because it is now on bookstore shelves!

    We packed our book full of earth-friendly, budget-friendly tips learned from our time in the trenches as new moms. It’s the perfect stand-alone guide to cloth diapering, buying green for baby, and enjoying baby’s arrival without extra economic stress.

    In honor of its birth, we’re going to be giving away HUNDREDS of dollars of green baby gear in our weekly gift baskets this month. Please email friends and family, post on your Facebook page, and inform fellow bloggers that your readers won’t want to miss this month’s giveaway extravaganza.

    What could you win?

    How about. . .
    Adorable eco-friendly baby shoes
    Some top quality cloth diapers and accessories
    A working cardboard cradle for baby
    Organic baby food
    Sweet little organic baby garments
    A COPY OF OUR BOOK!

    pedoodles shoesThere’s much, much more in our baskets so stop by each week to see what you could win.

    Also, we’re hosting two upcoming book signings. On Saturday, March 6th from noon to two, we’ll be at Mother Nature’s in Portland, Oregon, at 2627 Southeast Clinton Street. If you miss that one, come see us on Sunday, March 21st from ten to noon when we’ll be at Bambini in Eugene, Oregon, at 205 West 5th Street. If you know someone who may be interested in our book, feel free to email them about the events. Thank you for spreading the word about our giveaways and our new book!

    The Eco-nomical Baby Guide
    Eco-nomical Baby Guide
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