What Are You Giving Baby This Holiday Season?

A wooden spoon?  A secondhand rattle?  A children’s museum membership?  A ribbon?  What are you planning to wrap up for your tot this year?  If you opt not to give her a gift, don’t worry.  She’d most likely play with the wrapping paper anyway.  (Unless you decide to whip up a batch of homemade holiday fabric gift bags!)

We also love buying gifts of experience.  Since they were activities rather than objects, they didn’t have to be stashed in baby’s tiny room and they always provided great memories.

Our baby was just six months old during her first Christmas and had no idea what was going on so she received a few secondhand playthings plus gifts from family and friends. Now that she’s older, we’ve found some amazing garage sale deals including a dollhouse and wooden pull toy, but she won’t be getting mounds of loot.  How are you handling the holidays with your baby?

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!
(more…)

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!

Eco-Friendly Stocking Stuffers for Baby

Want to skip the fluorescent plastic and flashing lights in the trinkets you tuck into baby’s stocking?  Thankfully you have several eco-friendly options that will keep baby happily entertained without the planetary impact.Earth Brights Cherry Tree Rattle

Wooden Rattles. Sassy has a great line of Earth Brights toys which include the wooden Cherry Tree Rattle.  The combination of colorful fabrics and natural wood creates a nice contrast.  The natural wood crescent rattle by Green Sprouts is simple, affordable and attractive, while the natural wood hedgehog baby rattle by ImagiPlay is also a good pick for its simple design and easy function.

Sevi Dog Teething Ring RattleFabric Rattles.  Sevi has a playful line of plush dog, turtle, chicken, fish, and butterfly rattles that will keep you and baby entertained for hours.  Wonderworld has a variety of rattles, and small toys made from eco-friendly rubber, non-toxic paints and biodegradable fabrics.  Their designs are colorful, innovative and quite cute.
(more…)

Holiday Gift Ideas for Baby or Expectant Mother: Ergo Baby Carrier

Lately it seems like every other mom totes her tot around town in an Ergo Baby Carrier. Seeing all these other mamas with their Ergos made me wonder, what’s the big deal? My curiosity was also piqued by several comments on our baby carrier post. Ergo owners enthusiastically declared their loyalty to this comfy contraption.

But we loved our Kangaroo Korner pouch sling and even came to enjoy our preowned Baby Bjorn carrier after some technical difficulties. Why on earth would we buy another carrier?

ergo carrier is a great baby gift ideaWe didn’t, but we probably would have if we would have known with our first.  A friend urged us to borrow hers, but we were still hesitant.  It seemed difficult to strap on and like just another carrier to pack into our tiny house.  But when we used it, we were surprised by how much better it worked for our bodies.  When Jovi has been snoozing in it for over an hour, we aren’t struggling with aching shoulders or necks.  Plus, she can ride in the front or the back when she gets older.  Since her weight is centralized and the device has padded straps, we found it to be much more “ergonomically correct” –which may just be how this carrier got its name.
(more…)

Top Eco-friendly Toys for Babies and Young Children

What makes a toy “eco-friendly”? If you buy them used, you know you’re saving the energy it takes to make a new toy—and you’re keeping something out of a landfill. There are also some eco-options for brand new toys made from sustainable materials such as rubberwood or recycled plastic. We will reveal our favorite wooden toys on Thursday. Here are our top picks for new, eco-friendly toys made from other materials:

Sprig Toys Eco-Truck Loader. Made from a “wood-plastic composite that smells like wood.”
sprig toys eco-truck loader

Green Toys Tea Set. Made from curbside collected milk containers!
green toys tea set

Green Sprouts Stacking Cup Set. BPA-, PVC-, and phthalate-free.
green sprouts stacking cups BPA-free

Sevi Xylophone Eco-friendly Toy. Colored with vegetable dyes!
(more…)

5 Unexpectedly Green Holiday Gifts for Baby

1. Garage sale toys

2. Experience gifts

3. Money

 4. Donation to a charity in baby’s name

5. Most shocking of all . . . NOTHING!  Before you discount this idea as completely Scrooge-like, hear me out.  Will a baby really know if you got her a gift or not?  Most pint-sized toys and clothes get relegated to the basement or attic within a few months.
 
You may think “going green” means shelling out extra cash for organic clothes and hand-crafted toys carved from sustainable wood.  All the gifts we mentioned use no raw materials so your bundle of joy can leave a little footprint on the Earth.  Rather than depriving your child, you’re emphasizing the true meaning of the holidays: family togetherness, festive food, good cheer, and of course (adjective) + (abstract noun of choice).