Archive for the ‘Product Reviews’ Category


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!

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!

Two lucky readers are going to have a very, very good week! One of them will receive three One Size Fuzzibunz cloth diapers and the other will score a Fuzzibunz In and out Mess Free Hanging Diaper Pail and a bag of Rockin’ Green Laundry Soap. What great supplies for all your cloth diapering adventures!

Prize #1
Three One Size FuzziBunz Pocket Diapers

If you aren’t yet a FuzziBunz fanatic, you may soon be converted. They are soft, absorbent, easy care pocket diapers that work wonderfully. The FuzziBunz One Size cloth diapers are built to take babies from birth to potty training, with sturdy adjustable snaps that older tots can’t open. So even though there is an initial investment, once you get a set of these diapers you will never have to buy a different size again!

The soft layer of polyester in Fuzzibunz wicks moisture from baby’s skin while the inner pad absorbs the bulk of the wetness. Because the pad is removable, it dries far more quickly than an All-in-One Diaper or a Prefold Diaper. (In my opinion, FuzziBunz are the best cloth diapers for line drying.) You can also double up the inner pads for naptime or heavy wetters. Check out this FuzziBunz One Size Diaper Tutorial Video to see how to adjust the FuzziBunz One Size Diaper and get a better idea of how a pocket diaper works.

I’ve had a set of FuzziBunz diapers for the last three years and can attest to their durability and effectiveness. Our Velcro diapers have all aged horribly after hundreds of washings with two children, but the vivid colors and quality fabrics of our FuzziBunz are holding up beautifully.
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Prize #2
FuzziBunz In and out Mess Free Hanging Diaper Pail and 1 Bag Rockin’ Green Laundry Soap

FuzziBunz In and out Mess Free Hanging Diaper Pail is an ingenious fabric contraption that you can perch on a doorknob or hook for a portable diaper pail. Dirty cloth diapers are deposited in the top opening and when the pail is full, you simply unzip the bottom to drop the diapers into the washing machine. (Which means less hands-on dirty diaper contact!) Toss the diaper pail in along with the load and you’re all set. When your babies are potty trained, use it as a handy little laundry bag.

My favorite part of Rockin’ Green Laundry Soap is that it  makes doing the wash seem rebellious and exciting. It’s also the first detergent I’ve discovered that is customized for different water types. Hard Rock Rockin’ Green is the toughest detergent formula for hard water; Soft Rock Rockin’ Green is for soft water and sensitive skin; and Classic Rock Rockin’ Green is for those in the middle. It’s eco-friendly, but works hard to get out stains, spills and stink and has recently been “remixed” to work even better. Its ingredients are safe and free from phosphate, fillers, enzymes or optical brighteners. Rockin’ Green comes in seven natural scents, all made with 1000% essential oils, including, Mighty, Mighty Marshmallow, Smashing Watermelons, Rage Against the Raspberry, Motley Clean, and Lavender Mint Revival.

Enter the Fuzzibunz Cloth Diapers, Fuzzibunz Cloth Diaper Pail, and Rockin’ Green Laundry Soap Giveaway!

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

1. Simply post a comment

2. Like Greenbabyguide.com on Facebook (then tell us you did it in a separate comment)

3. Visit the Fuzzibunz website or the Rockin’ Green Laundry Soap 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 July 21th and is only open to U.S. Residents.

Great luck!

Cool summer baby carriers

A couple years ago, Joy asked our readers this question: What are the best summer slings? Toting a baby around in hot, summery weather calls for breathable, durable fabric. With that in mind, here’s what our readers recommended:

Hotsling $50.00

The Peanut Shell Adjustable Sling $54.99

Maya wrap $67.46

They also suggested getting something in linen. I found the Snuggy Baby Linen Banded Ring Sling Baby Carrier for $85.

Two years have gone by since our last “summer sling” post, so we may be missing the latest and greatest in baby wearing fashion. What are your favorites?

I ran across Broody Chick 100% Natural Fully Compostable Diapers and wondered if anyone can attest to their fit, leakage protection, and eco-friendliness. Broody Chick diapers are chlorine-free, fragrance-free, and hypo-allergenic. They seem like a great product, especially if you are actually able to compost them curbside. (I don’t think they can be home composted.)

One package costs $17.99, and the customers who’ve reviewed them on Amazon seem happy with them. They come in four sizes:

  • Newborn 3 – 6 kg (6.6 – 13.2 lbs) / 36 diapers
  • Infant 4 – 9 kg (8.8 – 19.8 lbs) / 32 diapers
  • Toddler 7 – 16 kg (15.4 – 35.2 lbs) / 28 diapers
  • Junior 12 – 25 kg (26.5 – 55.1) / 24 diapers

If you’ve tried Broody Chick diapers, let us know what you think!

Mom’s Healthy Market is an online resource for high quality, eco-friendly products for children from companies such as Bebe au Lait, Green Toys, Apple Park Toys, Guidecraft, Tegu, Seventh Generation, E-cloth, Pure Rest Organics, and Eco Baby. Everything on the site is organized by room for easy reference. Check out the “baby room” for some great diapering products or the “kid’s room” for an extensive organic bedding selection, as just two examples.

In addition to the toys and organic food, visit the site for parenting articles or to set up a baby gift registry. Use the code MM20 and you’ll receive 20% off your first order!

Our favorite thing about Mom’s Healthy Market? They’re hosting a giveaway! The winner will receive a Safe2Go Kids’ Harness Backpack, worth $27. Choose from three cute designs: The butterfly, puppy, or teddy. Your child can use it as a backpack, and it doubles as a safety harness in crowded areas.


Four ways to enter the Safe2Go Backpack giveaway:

  1. Simply comment and you’re entered
  2. Like the Green Baby Guide on Facebook, then leave another comment, and you’re entered again
  3. Like Mom’s Healthy Market on Facebook, then let us know in the comments
  4. Visit Mom’s Healthy Market and tell us what you think in the comments!

The contest ends on Thursday, June 23 and is open only to U.S. residents.

Good luck!

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!

Top 5 Bestselling Pocket Diapers

BumGenius and Fuzzibunz dominate the top five list, but Thirsties edged both of them out for the number one position! Why Thirsties? I’m guessing it’s the winning combination of the cute design and affordable price.

Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap , Blackbird, Size One ($13.75) (Note: This diaper is now disqualified, as it is just a cover–NOT a pocket diaper. See the comments.)


bumGenius One-Size Cloth Diaper 4.0 – Grasshopper – Snap ($17.95) (Now in first place! The image here is not right, but if you click on it, it goes to the correct product: a green diaper with snaps in the front.)


FuzziBunz One Size Diaper Big Sky, 10-45 Pounds ($19.95)


bumGenius One-Size Pocket Diaper 4.0 Artist Series Snap Retail Therapy ($19.95)


Fuzzi Bunz One Size Cloth Diapers 6 Pack Gender Neutral Colors ($116.70 for 6)

Now in fifth place:


Bummis Tots Bots Easy Fit Pocket Diaper ($23.95)–Now that the Thirsties has been disqualified, I’m adding this diaper, made in Scotland from bamboo fibers.

I had great luck with both bumGenius and Fuzzibunz pocket diapers, so I’m not surprised to see them take up four-fifths of the top-five list. I never did try Thirsties on my baby. (And I also never tried Bummis pocket diapers.) Anyone care to chime in with a personal report?

BPA-free Popsicle Molds

Summer is just around the corner. It’s homemade ice pop time again! It’s often easy to find popsicle molds at thrift stores, but if you’re concerned about BPA and other potentially harmful chemicals in plastics, you’ll want to get your hands on some new molds. Here are some BPA-free options:

Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold ($39.95)

Norpro Ice Pop Maker ($15.59)

Annabel Karmel Fill and Freeze Puree Pops ($8.75) Use this one to freeze purees—great for teething babies

Kinderville Little Bites Ice Pop Molds ($14.99)

Prepara Volcanic Pop Molds Set of 4 ($8.99)

Now all you need are a couple recipes to get you started. How about these classics from some vintage Green Baby Guide posts?

Disguise vegetables in fruity popsicles

Organic homemade popsicles
Any more great popsicle mold suggestions? Send them our way!

Monkey Foot Designs Wet Bags are sturdy and functional, but also sewn from rich and colorful prints that almost make cloth diapering seem, well, glamorous! We’ve loved them for years here at the Green Baby Guide and one of our readers will be winning one soon.

In case you have no idea what a wet bag is, you should know that it can be used for toting damp items  including used cloth diapers, swim suits, breast pump parts, and baby wipes.  Although I initially stuffed a freezer bag into my purse for used cloth diapers on the go, I was so thrilled to have my Monkey Foot Designs wet bag.  (For one, I didn’t always look forward to washing out that used freezer bag by hand and a Monkey Foot Designs wet bag can simply be tossed in the laundry!)

The inner part of a Monkey Foot Designs wet bag is made with ProCare, a waterproof material that keeps wetness and odor within the bag.  The outer fabric is sewn separately to avoid leakage and all seams are serged for reinforcement.  While other wet bags shut with drawstrings, Monkey Foot Designs bags zip shut to seal up odor and wetness.

I just received a lovely Monkey Foot Designs double pocket wet bag with the rich multicolored elephant fabric to review.  My first thought was, “How sad that my daughter will be fully potty trained soon.”  I think I may use it as a purse in the future simply because it’s so beautiful!   It’s incredibly reasonable (just $30!) and has two pockets to accommodate more.

Today Monkey Foot Designs is sponsoring a giveaway of one solid black double pocket wet bag. This one little item will last you through years of cloth diapering!  No one will know you’re hauling around wet gear in this sleek bag and you can use it after baby for years!

Four Ways to Enter the Monkey Foot Designs Wet Bag Giveaway:

1. Simply post a comment

2. Like us on Facebook (then tell us you did it in the comments)

3. Visit Monkey Foot Designs 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 Wednesday June 15th and is only open to U.S. Residents.

Great luck!

The Eco-nomical Baby Guide
Eco-nomical Baby Guide
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