Unpopular Wooden Toys in Our Household

There have been a few eco-friendly toys we’ve invested in over the years that have turned out to be duds. Just so you don’t make the same mistake this holiday season, we’ll share our failed purchases. (Let me add that my kids have a much longer list of green toys they have loved. Check out Monday’s post for details.)

Melissa and Doug is a company that makes beautiful, quality products out of sustainable materials. When we invested ninety dollars at a local toy store for the Melissa and Doug Deluxe Parking Garage, we didn’t realize that it would be quickly abandoned in the closet for the next few years. The elevator (operated with a string and winding knob) sticks and something about the stacked layout just didn’t jive with our vehicle obsessed son. (On the other hand he LOVES his friend’s Plan Toys City Series Wooden Parking Garage. Go figure!)

Charlie Banana Diaper Giveaway

Your life as a semi-professional diaper changer may be about to change in the next week if you’re lucky enough to win this week’s Charlie Banana giveaway! In my cloth diapering conversations, whenever a mother has mentioned Charlie Banana Diapers it seems to be followed by a long list of adorations: They fit so wonderfully, are so flexible, and have such lovely designs….Yadda, Yadda, Yadda…

After trying the diaper for myself, I have to say that I have joined the (sometimes fervent) ranks of the Charlie Banana fan club. The Charlie Banana Cloth Diaper itself is adorable but I also love how their pocket diapers are built to work with a cloth or disposable insert. The washable liner fits inside the pocket, just as it would on a standard cloth diaper, but the disposable insert sits on top of the fleece, close to the baby’s skin. It is secured by simply tucking it into a fold in the fabric. (Which means you don’t have to worry about securing it with complicated snaps or elastics.) When you’re traveling or taking baby to daycare, you can still use your cloth diapers along with the disposable inserts.

Do Homeopathic Children’s Cough and Cold Medicines Work?

My darling Jovi has been sniffly for the last four weeks and utterly inconsolable for the last two. A pharmacist strongly recommended against medicinal decongestants for toddlers and small children. But due to her serious pacifier addiction, she’s quite uncomfortable at night since she can’t breath and suck on her binky at the same time. So what is a desperate, sleep deprived mother to do?

We loved Hyland’s teething tablets and decided to opt for some of their homeopathic cough syrup and decongestant. Sadly, we didn’t see big results last night. Have you had more success? There are other products we haven’t tried yet, like Sinupet Kid’s Syrup.

What Are You Doing Right Now?

Have you just finished loading soiled cloth diapers into the washer?   Are you pumping at midnight while surfing the internet?  Are you in your first trimester of pregnancy and polishing off an entire quart of ice cream on a daily basis?  Where exactly are you in your green parenting pursuits?

I just strapped a cloth diaper (Fuzzibunz) on my two year old for her afternoon nap and have settled in to get caught up on writing.  My five year old is currently at preschool and has pulled fully out of the “green baby” stage.  His favorite pastimes include playing with blocks and making binoculars out of cardboard toilet paper rolls, tape, and two feet of white string. Most of the time, my children like each other and share the same sense of humor, as evidenced by the photo below.

Keeping Baby Warm on Chilly Fall Days

On these bright autumn mornings some of us to strap our babies into the running stroller and tromp our way to an endorphin rush. How do we keep our tots warm when we manage to scoot out of the house and enjoy some cold, bright weather?

Although it can be a bit awkward for diaper changes, bodysuits like this Columbia Unisex-Baby Tiny Bear Bunting Bodysuit, are a great way to keep a baby covered for just under 36 dollars. The sleeves and pant legs come with convenient flip over pockets for tiny hands and feet.

Nothing beats wool for natural warmth and LANACare’s Organic Wool Coverall is a beautiful heirloom piece of gear that would be worth it if you live in a very cold area and want to use it on a daily basis. It costs $133.50 which is quite an investment. But if it allows you to get out of the house and you are able to use it with multiple babies, you may be happy you spent the money. I would buy big and add additional layers so that you could get the most possible use out of it.

Last Minute Homemade Halloween Costumes for Slacker Parents (Like Us!)

There are mothers who wear their fingers to the bone making needlepoint pegasus costumes that actually take flight while their kids trick-or-treat. We, on the other hand, advocate a full slacker approach to costuming kids that combines resourcefulness, creativity, and humor. Pictured below are a real life “swimming bear” and “cold weather bandit,” obviously the offspring of genius parents!

If you have spent months crafting a paper mache dinosaur costume for your two year old, more power to you! If you are scrambling around the house for a costume in the few hours before the big event, fear not! We at Green Baby Guide have loads of ideas. Here are some brilliant DIY costume ideas contributed from Rebecca in a past post:

Should You Buy a Cloth Diapering Kit?

Cloth Diapering Kits usually help parents save money by buying in bulk, but are they worth it? It depends. I would never recommend buying a kit without the chance to actually hold the diapers and see how they work on your baby. Every brand is unique and each child’s body wears a diaper differently. Still, if you have tried a company’s cloth diapering system and absolutely love it, cloth diapering starter kits are a good way to save money while stocking up.

Bummis Organic Cotton Diaper Kit is currently on sale for $152.10 and comes in either the infant or the baby size. The baby size includes 18 organic cotton prefold diapers, two Super Whisper Wraps and many more handy pieces of cloth diapering gear.

Do Natural Lice Remedies Work?

We welcomed herds of relatives all weekend for reunions in our new home. The next day we found out that one of my cousins had gotten lice. A few days later we heard that five other family members were carrying little colonies on their heads as well. Yuck!

That was eight days ago. Since we found out late last week, we’ve neurotically done head checks every day–and luckily, we haven’t contracted it. Yet. We’ve lathered up with tea tree oil shampoo, sprayed our furniture with tea tree oil and water, and sat under shower caps while our hair was saturated with Lysterine and vinegar. (Tea tree oil is supposedly a natural deterrent for lice. Let’s hope it’s working!) In the meantime we’ve been crawling with paranoia about every little tingle on our scalps.

The Best Breastfeeding Gear

Do you really need a whole slew of products to successfully breastfeed your baby? Absolutely not! But what items are a good support to breastfeeding women?

Some moms and babies gracefully make it through the first few months of breastfeeding without a hitch, but many of us suffer from cracked skin and even bleeding in the early weeks. The purple tube of Lansinoh Lanolin that my midwife brought on her first visit was a huge help. Between feedings it eased sore skin and I didn’t worry about my baby consuming it since it’s an all natural product. (I suppose if you have wool allergies in your family you may want to consider an alternative.) You can also later use it as a diaper cream for baby or an ointment for cuts or abrasions.

Do You Have Any Green Moving Tips?

Packing up everything we own and shlepping it to a new address isn’t usually an orderly process for us, and it will be less so now that we’re moving with kids. It can become hugely wasteful as we could end up buying items that we can’t find, eating meals on paper plates, and just feeling overwhelmed by the quantity of stuff we have acquired over the years. We’re now four weeks away from our actual moving day and I think I should probably get packing soon. Do you have any tips that make moving with kids easier and maybe even greener? Have you been able to stay rooted in one spot for the last several years? If so, do you dread the potential of a future move?