Has Anyone Tried Wool Diapers?

I’m intrigued by wool diaper covers and soakers, though I admit I’ve never tried them on my own baby. They are considerably more expensive than cotton or man-made material diapers, but they boast anti-bacterial and absorbent properties. Also, almost all the wool diapers I’ve seen use only the softest yarn, so they’re comfortable against your baby’s skin.

Here are a few wool options:

Kissa’s wool lover diaper cover ($36)

Imse Vimse wool diaper cover ($26)

Baby Beehinds wool wrap diaper cover ($23.50)

Little Beetle little-to-big organic wool diaper cover ($38.95)

Sustainablebabyish knit wool diaper cover ($46.50)

Swaddlebees merino wool diaper cover ($29.95)

Have any of you tried any of these brands? What did you think? Worth the extra expense? Or, if you’re crafty, have you tried making your own wool soakers out of old sweaters? Let us know!

Do You Need a Rocking Chair for Baby?

Not necessarily! Rebecca did just fine without one. But if you deem that you do need one, choose something of heirloom quality and avoid my sad (and somewhat squeaky) experience.

Both of my colicky children left me heavily dependent on the rocking chair, especially in the wee hours of the night.   In my desire to recycle and save money, I bought one used chair, and then replaced it with another secondhand piece in desperation. Both ended up being incredibly uncomfortable and screechy as they awkwardly attempted to glide to and fro. Finally, our neighbor handed his down to us and we’ve used it ever since.  It’s functional, but certainly not an heirloom that will stay with our family.  In hindsight I now think it may have just been better to buy a simple solid chair that my grandchildren could be rocked in years from now.

The Best Baby Carriers

Are there baby carriers that can last for months (or even years) and make it through several children?  We spent our time searching for the most flexible, and most durable products and came up with the following list.  If these seem a bit spendy, remember that you can always search for them used.  Our book, The Economical Baby Guide, has the inside scoop on finding quality secondhand gear and an index of green products for a range of budgets.

The Ergo Carrier tops our list, partly because as the name implies, it’s a comfortable carrier that helps you manage baby wearing without back pain.  Since it can carry infants from a few months old through the first few years of their life and be worn both on the front and the back, it will be worth the investment. Young babies can nurse while in the carrier and with the hood flap down, it’s very discrete. There’s also a handy zippered pocket to carry keys and baby paraphernalia.

Three Top-of-the-line Laundry Racks for around $50

(Note: I promise to stop writing about laundry racks after this post!) Ready for some advanced laundry hanging devices? Last week I presented five mid-range options. Now I bring to you the Rolls Royces of the indoor drying world. These accommodate more laundry for a more satisfying drying experience.

Moerman 88346 Laundry Solutions Y-Airer Indoor/Outdoor Folding Clothes Drying Rack 79 Feet Of Drying Space ($45)

Hills Expanding Indoor Clothes Drying Rack Clothesline ($53)

Moerman Laundry Solutions Airer Indoor/Outdoor Folding Clothes Drying Rack ($50)

I went a few years without a tumble dryer at all, and during that time I used something very similar to the first two options. I was able to hang an entire load on one rack, which is more than I can say for my current ones. Also, these more expensive racks allow you to hang wider items such as sheets. If you have tried any of these, please chime in with your reviews!

The Wisest Green Baby Splurges

Although I adore secondhand gear, I know that buying heirloom items is a gloriously green option too. Generations of babies can use products that emphasize flexibility, great design, and craftsmanship.  This month stay tuned for updates on green splurge products in every category. What are the most amazing high chairs, car seats, bike carriers, slings, strollers, and other items that are worth the investment?

I’ll be scouring the internet for products that last, not just for multiple children but for many years of your child’s life. After using them for all your children, they should retain a strong resale value. Although I will be especially focusing on high end gear, you can refer to the extensive list of green products in our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide for recommendations that fit with varying budgets.

5 Great Indoor Drying Racks for around $25

(Check out last week’s post for outdoor clotheslines that can accommodate up to 210 feet of laundry.)

You save around $.50 and prevent at least a pound of carbon from polluting the planet when you hang a load of laundry to dry. With an indoor drying rack, you can hang laundry year-round, rain or shine! Here are five great options for about $25:

Compact Accordion Clothes Drying Rack ($25)

I have two racks similar to this one. Chrome is definitely preferable to wood, which seems to be less stable and prone to mold.

Household Essentials 5009 Collapsible Indoor Tripod-Style Clothes Dryer ($25)

Household Essentials 5003 Wall Mount Telescoping Indoor Drying Rack ($25)

Post-Partum Weight Loss on The Flat Belly Diet

For the last year, I’ve been about four months pregnant–or so it would seem from my bulging belly.  Elastic waistbands have been my friends while my actual pre-baby clothes have been sitting up in the attic for years.  Although I’ve tried everything from exercise boot camps to Spark People, my body has stubbornly held those pounds and even added a few more.

I was almost resigned to accept my flabby-bellied fate until a friend of mine mentioned a diet she had just started.  It had no limitations, but required her to eat avocado, dark chocolate, nuts, olives, or olive oil at every meal.  Since those are some of my favorite foods, I checked out the book The Flat Belly Diet immediately from our local library.

Still Car-free after All These Years: Life with an Advanced Stroller Rider

On Thursday I re-ran my vintage post about a car-free living with a baby. So what’s life like over two years later?

I never thought I’d be one of those parents wheeling a four-year-old around in a stroller. In fact, I scoffed at parents who didn’t make their kids walk, instead opting to push them all over town like little princes and princesses. Why, I practically joined the track team by the age of two! My nephews escorted my father for three-mile hikes when they were still in diapers!

Fast forward to 2010. My daughter is four and a half and can’t walk more than half a block at a snail’s pace before stopping dead in her tracks and begging to be carried. I’ve tried leaving the stroller behind on errands, only to resort to carrying her thirty-pound body hither and yon. She simply won’t walk—she’ll stand in place, sit on the sidewalk, and moan and groan.

Removing Stains on Baby Clothing

Have pureed yams forever ruined your baby’s pinstriped pajamas? No worries! With a little persistence, ingenuity, (and possibly vinegar) the garment might just be restored to its original brilliance.

Of course with all of the below stains, the best option is to quickly wet and pre-treat the item so that the stain doesn’t have a chance to dry. If it is dried without your knowing, you can still give the following remedies a try!

Try these simple tricks for specific stains:

  • Berries: Boil water, stretch the garment tight over a pan, exposing the stain. Then pour the very hot water down over the stain. If that doesn’t work try mixing vinegar and toothpaste to remove the stain.
  • (more…)

Preventing Stains on Baby Clothing

Perhaps your tot delicately handles a spoon and carefully feeds herself without incident.  More likely, she flings food upon herself, onlookers, and any furniture in the surrounding area.

Between the feedings, the occasional blowouts, and playtime, stains can creep into clothing on a daily basis.  Often in the hectic pace of laundry, those garments get washed and dried, setting the stains and ruining the clothes.  Ugh! The angst of seeing that large brown blotch on your baby’s favorite sundress or the huge grass stains on his beloved khaki shorts.

So how can you prevent such a fate from befalling your baby’s wardrobe?  Line dry her clothing!  It will also prevent shrinking, save you money on utilities, and lower your carbon footprint.