How Do You Support Moms Who Struggle With Breastfeeding?

A hilarious quiz in Tina Fey’s new book, Bossypants, made me think about the difference between support and pressure when it comes to breastfeeding.  Nursing is hard work, especially in those early days, and new moms need encouragement, meals and commiseration.  (And humor.  They might need a copy of Tina’s book, or just a glance at the photo to the right.)

My best strategy for supporting new breastfeeding moms is to let them know that the really hard part comes right at first in those grueling early weeks.  It does get easier month by month, and more precious as babies start to become toddlers and those moments of snuggling start to disappear.

What is Hardest About Green Parenting Right Now?

Is it deciphering cloth diaper vocabulary?  (Like hybrid, chinese prefold, pocket diaper, all-in-one?)  Is it being able to afford the organic produce you’d like to buy?  Is it the physical challenge of early breastfeeding?  Do you need some homemade babyfood recipes? Or are you still trying to prepare for baby’s arrival with the planet in mind?

My children are now leaving the realm of babyhood and hearing your questions and challenges keeps us connected with what our readers need in those early days of parenting.  If you have a problem, chances are there are dozens of other women face the same dilemma.  Thanks for sharing ideas that we can present to our readers for future Friday questions!

When Did You Start Becoming a Green Parent?

My pregnancy moved my thrifty, green tendencies to a whole new level, but people discover this blog at different points in their parenting journeys.  Why are you considering eco-friendly, budget-friendly choices?  Was is economic necessity?  A newfound environmental awareness?  A friend or relative who blazed the trail?  (Rebecca was certainly a huge help for me since we were both pregnant at the same time and she tutored me in cloth diapering, buying used, and reducing purchases.)

Whether you’re just beginning to make frugal, green shifts, or were eco-conscious to begin with , you may want to read our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet.  Request it at your local library to read it for free or pick up a copy of The Eco-nomical Baby Guide on Amazon for less than ten bucks.  (That’s 60% off the cover price!)

What are your spring cleaning tips?

You may have noticed my little series of “spring cleaning tips of the day.” These posts have included groundbreaking suggestions to wash windows with vinegar, acquire a self-cleaning child, time yourself while cleaning, and phase out toxic cleaners gradually. And now my well of spring cleaning knowledge has run dry. What are your handy spring cleaning ideas?

How Do You Reuse a Plastic Shower Curtain?

Reader question! Any creative ways to repurpose that old vinyl shower curtain? Please weigh in with your suggestions, and help a Green Baby Guide reader out!

Now that you’ve re-used that old vinyl curtain, how about trying a nice, all natural linen shower curtain?

How Do You Define “Green”?

Recently Joy and I were interviewed by a reporter who wanted to articulate the difference among all the eco-terms out there: natural, green, non-toxic, organic, etc. Our conclusion? Most people use these words interchangeably! The word “green” is especially slippery. When we use it here on the Green Baby Guide, we’re usually referring to something that helps the planet by limiting our impact on it. However, more and more we see people equate “green” with non-toxic—even when the product in question may not be “green” in other ways. (A sulfate-free shampoo in a small, non-recyclable bottle, for example.) So now we’re wondering: when you use the term “green”—what do you mean?

How to Clean a Stroller?

After five years of constant use, my Maclaren Triumph is looking a little worse for the wear. I’ve hosed it off a few times, but it seems like I’d have better luck pushing it through a car wash—it is that grimy. Any stroller cleaning tips?

Any early gardening tips?

Spring is here! Around my neighborhood I’m already seeing foot-high leeks, kale, and chard popping out of garden boxes. Meanwhile, my vegetable patch remains covered in a layer of last fall’s leaves. If you have any tips for early gardening, I’m all ears. Is it worth throwing some seeds out in the mud this early in the year?

Do You Have a Favorite Grocery Store?

Does your favorite supermarket or farmer’s market meet all your needs?  Mine doesn’t, but I love it nonetheless!

Trader Joe’s always delights me as a mother, an eater, a frugalista, and a tree hugger. The concept of a shop stocked with almost completely generic, high quality products is revolutionary!  Prices are usually reasonable, products are creative, but the abundance of packaging and the small serving sizes aren’t ideal.  Still, I do visit once a month or so to stock up on cereal, granola bars, and other prepared foods.  They aren’t always organic, but they aren’t packed with corn syrup and preservatives like other mainstream brands.

Do you use Eco-friendly Baby Wipes?

I didn’t with my first child.  They seemed so much more expensive than the standard brand that I couldn’t bring myself to make the switch.  Then, with my second baby, Rebecca inspired me to make the leap to cloth wipes.  They’re easy, incredibly inexpensive, and much more eco-friendly than green disposable wipes.  (I just picked up a few packs of baby washcloths at the dollar store and that three-dollar investment is holding strong almost two years later.  We simply spray them with water before using them.) What wipes do you use?