The Friday Question: Why did you go green with baby?

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.

The Friday Question: What Are Your Favorite Baby Shower Gifts?

homemade baby food basketOut of all those colorful booties, soft blankets, and various contraptions, what baby gift was the most thoughtful or useful?  What gifts do you now give expectant families?

Among our favorite presents was a bag full of carefully selected, gently used baby garments.  Many people may shirk at receiving or giving hand-me-downs, but my sister-in-law knew that I ardently love recycled goods and bought me a huge bunch of clothes for the same price that she would have paid for one new outfit.   Another favorite gift was a copy of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree that was presented along with an young apple tree.  (It died later, but it’s the thought that counts!)  We were also gifted with items to borrow which included two slings and an Ergo carrier.  Being able to just use these items temporarily worked out perfectly!

The Friday Question: What has parenting taught you?

baby as teacherSurrender.  That’s the word that most quickly comes to mind when I ponder what the sleepless nights and soggy diapers have taught me.

Before this, I had my own food, my own music, my own space and now my offspring have moved in to claim all of those territories and more.  And yet, surrender isn’t such a bad thing.  What was so great about the rigidity of having things “just so?”  My kids teach me to be flexible on a daily basis and not get so caught up in expectations.  When I forget, they’re happy to remind me with a temper tantrum, a flung spoonful of pureed pears, or an unexpected grin.

Friday Question: What’s up with Amber Teething Necklaces?

A reader wrote in with today’s question. She’s heard that baby teething necklaces, particularly ones made from amber beads, can help ease the pain of teething. According to this website, amber necklaces are a “traditional European remedy for teething.” They’re worn by the child (not chewed on) and the beads “release healing oils” that help with the pain.

I have never heard of this practice before our reader sent in the question, but Google tells me it is quite the sensation in the world of natural parenting! What do you think?

Friday Question: Valentine’s Day . . . with a Baby?

Because my daughter was born just two weeks before Valentine’s Day, I can’t say we had a very romantic celebration on the year she was born. We went out to sushi with my mom . . . and ended up rushing home because she (the baby, not my mom) started to cry. As inexperienced parents, we had no idea how to handle this crisis. What about you—any grand plans for Valentine’s Day this year?


100% Natural & Organic Diapers—Have you Tried Them?

Most pocket diapers are made from polyester or some other man-made material. If you use 100% cotton or hemp prefolds, you probably use nylon or vinyl covers. However, other options do exist. Wool diaper covers are soft, absorbent, and all-natural. Did anyone find a cloth diapering system that didn’t rely on man-made materials? What brands do you recommend?

imse vimse bumpy wool diaper cover

An Imse Vimse wool diaper cover

The Friday Question: What are your Green Resolutions for 2010?

Do you have any plans to go greener in 2010? From the big things (install solar panels and go off the grid!) to the little ones (be better about switching off the lights!)—we want to hear what you have in store for the upcoming year. (We are also searching for resolutions to add to our own lists, so please help us out.)

If you need some ideas for greening 2010, we recommend The Green Year by Jodi Helmer. Read our review here!

The Friday Question: Tips for a Winter Baby?

The day my daughter was born, it was cold and rainy. We felt trapped indoors for weeks—months!—because of the weather. (Of course, the fact that I was on crutches didn’t help.) If you had a winter baby, what did you do to avoid getting housebound? What are your tips for keeping warm and entertained with a newborn in the house?
winter baby in snow

The Friday Question: What’s on your wish list for baby this year?

What are you hoping you’ll receive for baby this year?  A new batch of cloth diapers, a bit of free babysitting, or an eco-friendly rattle?  Please tell us what you’re wishing for.  (Then you can strategically tell friends and family to read your comments!)
sevi rattle eco-friendly plush turtle toy
Cute eco-friendly rattle–just $7!

The Friday Question: Will you vaccinate your baby for swine flu?

swine-flu-babyThose of us with tiny babies are in a rough spot this winter.  Should we get vaccinated for swine flu while breastfeeding or take our chances?  My little one is just four months old and as an educator I’ve already seen the virus leave very sick teachers and students in its wake.  I don’t want to bring it home to our baby but I’m also hesitant about getting the shots.  After much deliberation and a visit to the pediatrician, we stood in line for five hours with both our children just to have a bit of vaccine squirted up our noses.  Do you fall in the high risk group?  How do you feel about getting vaccinated?  Are you avoiding public places where your child could pick up the virus? Will you just let your child lick a pig instead? (Kidding!  But it would be easier…)