Friday, December 10, 2010

Recreating with Kids

I found a great website thanks to this Sierra Club article with tons of ideas and stories about how to get kids out and about:  The site is geared towards more active outdoor sports.  So, don't expect to find tips on what to do with your two-year-old at the park, but rather some fun ideas of what's going on in the world of hiking, biking, skiing, etc for kids that are a bit older.

The site is based on Eugene Buchanan's book, Outdoor Parents, Outdoor Kids: A Guide to Getting Your Kids Active in the Great Outdoors
 I haven't read it yet, but like the website, so check it out.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sew Your Own Nursing Cover

Life with the baby has been excellent so far and I've decided to really embrace my domestic side by taking on a sewing project!

I am breastfeeding, and while it has been a lot harder to master than I expected, we've been able to overcome the various challenges so far (thanks a lot to the breastfeeding board and La Leche League).  I consider breastfeeding to be a very important part of being an eco-mom because, not only am I giving my baby the healthiest, most natural food on earth, but I'm saving money, packaging, and transportation waste also!  It's completely worth sticking through the tough moments.

To aid in making breastfeeding more comfortable in public, I decided to create my own nursing cover.  I could have bought one for around $32, but the covers are so simple and making one allows me to choose the fabric, design, and saves me a ton of money.

I used these instructions from for my own cover, making a few adjustments just for me.  I spent $9 for all of the supplies and about two hours to finish the cover (if you are an experienced seamstress, this should take you less than an hour - I spent a lot of time ripping out seams when I screwed up).

Adjustments I Made
For fabric, I would have liked to buy organic, but the only store within an hour of me that sells fabric doesn't carry any.  I ended up with a lightweight cotton, which I hear from other moms is important as the baby can get pretty toasty under the cover.

 Neckline with straps fastened

I made the long strap only 24" long and that was plenty (possibly still a bit too long).  I also decided to use velcro as the fastener instead of the D-rings.  Since I am creating this cover just for me, it was easy to figure out just where I wanted to fasten the strap, then sew in the velcro right there.  I just figured I wouldn't want to be messing with the D-ring, behind my head, with a crying baby, in public.  The velcro should be much easier.

 Velcro - Note the thread gets all bunched up while sewing this on.  I'm sure there's a better way to do this, or possibly you may just want to sew these on by hand or get the stick-on fabric kind.

Finished Product
Here it is!  My first major sewing project in probably 15 years!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Alison's Here!

The wait is over!  Alison Savannah was born 9/2/10 at 3:16am!  She weighed 7 lbs, 14 oz and was 20.5 inches long.  Technically I'd been in labor for 21 hours after my water broke, but things were not moving along as we would have liked and we ended up having a C-Section to avoid the risk of infection that sets in after your water has been broken 24 hours.

As many of you know, I was looking forward to a natural labor with no drugs (if possible), but as soon as I heard this little cutie bean cry, I realized we'd done the right thing.  I can't explain how incredible she's been so far and how fun it's been being a mom!  We're both doing great!

Even though I'm pretty sleepy, I think we got off pretty easy (so far)!  Alison only cries to tell us she's hungry and only wakes up a couple times per night (only once last night)!  She's a champion sleeper and really curious.  We're pretty sure she said "hi" the other day. :P  Not much more I can say right now, so I'll let these pictures do the talking.  I love my little Allie Bean!

Just Born!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Homemade Baby Food in Ice Cube Trays

Even though this baby won't be eating solid foods for at least six months (no, she's not born yet - six days until my due date!), I've started to think about what I can feed her when the time comes.  I plan to make my own baby food and got a food processor from a friend as a baby shower gift.  I love that I've already been able to use it to make hummus and virgin margarita jello cups.  It's one thing I didn't mind acquiring as part of the vast flood of baby items!

I've been sent repeatedly to an awesome site with recipes and food storage tips.  This seems like a one-stop shop for all of your homemade baby food questions:

What I didn't realize was that you can't just grind up what you're having for dinner and feed it to the baby the first time you introduce solid foods.  I'm told food introduction should be done gradually and one food at a time, until your baby is comfortable with a variety of foods (and to better distinguish foods they might be allergic to).  So that leaves you with the problem of how to make tiny portions of one kind of food at a time.

Solution: A lot of people will make batches of a particular food and freeze it for up to one month.  The neat trick I learned today is to use ice cube trays.  It simultaneously helps you save it in chunks small enough for a baby meal, and also conserves space in your freezer (plus you may not need to buy any new equipment)!

If you don't have ice cube trays already, they make some with lids just for baby food

Fresh Baby So Easy Baby Food/Breast Milk Trays

Once the food is frozen, you can pop it out and store it in a ziplock bag until you need it (then reuse the tray for another type of food).  This should be easier than I imagined.  I love elegant, green solutions using stuff I already own!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Prepping Your Cloth Diapers

It seems intuitive to me that you should wash your cloth diapers before using them, but I didn't quite understand why some women talked about their elaborate rituals for "prepping" them beyond one wash so passionately.  I'd read a lot of interesting stories about cloth diaper prepping, including recipes for boiling new diapers in what can only be described as a witch's brew of sorts (minus the toad's feet) and people who wash them 8-10 times before use.

It turns out there is some rhyme or reason to prepping your cloth diapers:
  1. Some cloth diapers have some agents left over from their factory processing.  One wash should get rid of those and soften up the diapers.
  2. Cotton shrinks and cloth diaper manufacturers have taken this into consideration.  If you don't wash your diaper liners to pre-shrink them ahead of time, the fit may be wrong the first couple of times you use them.
  3. After a few times in the dryer, cloth diapers fluff up and reach their full absorbency potential.

Just like the rest of parenthood, people develop their own style when it comes to prepping cloth diapers.  Some people simply boil them.  Others wash them multiple times.  I thought the 8-10 washes theory was a bit much, so I settled for washing (and drying) them three times (why three?  because third time's the charm, of course!).  I decided to do this in cold water to be more eco-friendly and am trying out a cloth diaper detergent that I've heard many a mom rave about: Rockin Green.  I only used detergent in the first wash, then just water for the others.

Above all, I think the best advice I've found is that you know your diaper prepping is working when you can pour some water on them and it gets absorbed, instead of beading up.

There was a noticeable difference in diaper volume after just the first wash/dry cycle.  I'm not sure that the second and third washing did much, but you can definitely see the difference between the prefolds I washed and the out-of-the-box ones.


 Gerber Brand 6 Pack Prefold Birdseye Organic Diaper, White

Before I washed them, they seemed a bit thin and were in some places see-through, but they seem much more up for the job at hand now!

 TWO MORE WEEKS before I'll be able to try out their REAL absorbency.  I hope they work!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Starting Plants as Seeds

A major step you can take towards green eating is growing your own vegetables.  It's easy, cheap, local, and nothing compares to grabbing a pepper off the plant and eating it right away for dinner.  Freshness really does make a difference! 

Seed Trough Just Before Planting Outside

This year, we don't have our own land or garden spot to rent, so I'm experimenting with container gardening.  The project started off in North Dakota with a few seeds in a North-facing window.  Now, what I know about growing plants from seeds can definitely fit into a single paragraph, but I've learned a lot from my first-year experiment and am having some success:
  1. Check the seed packet, which tells you how long it takes before the seeds should be planted in the ground. 
  2. Figure out your region's "frost dates" which, in the spring is typically the latest you might expect frost.  You'll use this date to plan when you'll plant outside.
  3. Using the information from 1 & 2 count backwards for each type of plant you want to grow and create a seed schedule for when you should be planting each seed indoors.  For example, Larned, KS has a frost date of May 11th, so I picked the Saturday immediately afterwards to plant, May 15th.  My squash packet indicates that I should plant the seeds indoors three weeks before the last frost, so I planted those on April 24th.
  4. Your seedlings need lots of light.  The North-facing window in our apartment in North Dakota did not provide enough, so next time I'll choose a South-facing window, or possibly supplement with growth lights.
  5. I bought a little seed trough and some organic soil in which to grow the seeds, but you could use just about any small container (dig through your recycling or use the bottom of a milk carton) to get your seeds started.
  6. Make sure you keep them watered!

 My Seed Schedule

That's honestly about all I did.  There are far more thorough step-by-step instructions online like these.  I should have planted more than one seed per container as some seeds never germinated.  I did this for my strawberries, then just thinned them out later.

The Results

So far so good!  I've harvested one zucchini and a handful of green beans so far and have plenty of tomatoes and other zucchini on the way.  The strawberries have all died off, unfortunately, but the rest of my plants are doing well.  I know it's a little late in the season to be harvesting zucchini, but I blame the low light in North Dakota for that.

First Zucchini

A Single Bean

 Container Garden

I'm looking forward to the impending explosion of produce and will definitely do this again next year!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Diaper Rash Cream Or Lack Thereof

I'm sticking with the toxicity theme from last week.  When Alison was just a few weeks old, she started getting some diaper rash and we did what we were told by everyone to do: use Desitin.  It works, what a great product!  EXCEPT if you're using cloth diapers. 

It turns out Desitin, or any diaper cream that contains cod liver oils, can ruin cloth diapers.  The oil sticks to the cloth, staining it and repelling liquids, instead of allowing the diaper to do its job and absorb them.  We found this out the hard way.

What's more, unless you're shopping at Whole Foods, every single diaper cream in the baby section of a normal grocery store contains something that doesn't mesh well with cloth diapers.  So what are cloth diaper users to do?

Check out this site, which rates various brands of diaper creams based on their compatibility with cloth diapers:

I tried California Baby Diaper Rash Cream and straight up coconut oil.  The California Baby brand smells awesome, but it didn't do much for Alison and at $11-$16 for less than 3 oz, it's safe to say it was not worth the price.  The coconut oil didn't seem to work either.  I was about to try zinc oxide, which I'd heard good things about, when I went a completely different route entirely and found the solution. 

For $2.44, I bought half a yard of microfleece from a fabric store.  I cut it into strips and lined each diaper with a new strip each diaper change.  The fleece did an awesome job of wicking moisture into the diaper and suddenly, the diaper rash disappeared.  No cream needed, no need to continually buy overpriced products.  I just wash the fleece with my diapers and enjoy a generally rash-free baby!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Breastmilk Storage Tips

I've seen a few eco-tips related to storing breastmilk recently, so thought I'd share them here.

I got this link from my friend, Sara, a while ago.  It's a neat way to reuse one of the many gift bags you might get at a baby shower to help you keep your stored milk organized.

If you plan to use the breastmilk storage bags, it turns out that many are recyclable.  For example, Lansinoh's fall under the recyclable plastics category #4.  Some communities only recycle plastics #1 & #2, but some will recycle up to #7, so check with your local recycling center for details on whether they'll accept these bags when you're done.

There is a lot of information out there about some of the bad things that can be found in plastics these days. Beyond the Bisphenol-A (BPA), which has been removed from most baby products, there are other compounds used in plastics that have not been fully studied for their health effects and are on the EPA's "chemicals of concern" list.

If you're worried about any of these chemicals, there's one storage container that appears to be a healthy and eco-friendly alternative: glass.  You're probably already recycling the glass jars you get from the store, so wash those out well and you'll have a ready-made eco-friendly milk container!

Photo Credit:

Just make sure you're aware of the following caveats.  They'll take up more room in your freezer/fridge than the plastic bags and be sure you only fill them up halfway to account for milk expansion.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Green Quiz Quest

This is probably just a very clever way to get your information for advertising purposes, but I'm inclined to try it out, hoping to find some ingenious new green products.

It's an online scavenger hunt, with some pretty neat prizes AND it starts today! You can read the rules and sign-up at

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Recommended Books

Check out the new Recommended Books page for titles I highly recommend!  I'm always looking for great books, so let me know if you've read one that should be on that list (for adults or kids)!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Library

I've always felt that one of the best ways to help a child develop is to read to them (and, eventually, teach them to read).  Thanks in great part to my mom, the retired English teacher, I feel I had a pretty superior upbringing in that area even before school started.  I credit her, and my outstanding first grade teacher, Mrs. Spector, who keyed into my competitive side with a year-long book-reading competition that prompted me to read over 600 books, with my academic success through college.  Therefore, I'm determined to read to my new munchkin every day in hopes that she'll develop the skills and love of reading that will make her more successful in life.

In fact, the first thing we bought her (days after finding out we were pregnant) is the first book I plan to read her: The Lorax, by Dr. Suess.  I don't think you can find a better, more obvious way to introduce your kids to environmentalism.  (If my kids were old enough to make the connection, I'd be comparing the glumped-up pond where the Humming-Fish hummed to some of the pictures coming out of the gulf from the BP oil spill.)

We used to live in Rochester, MN, whose Olmsted County United Way sponsored the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which sends kids one book a month for their first five years of life - for free!  To find out if an organization in your area sponsors this program, enter your zip code into the 'Find Your Affiliate' box here.

Our new community doesn't have a sponsor, but Nathan reminded me that I didn't grow up with free books at my doorstep either.  I grew up with something far more flexible, eco-friendly and amazing: a library!

I was discouraged the first time I set foot inside the Jordaan Memorial Library in Larned, KS.  My biggest pet peeve?  They don't trust you.  It's the only library I've ever joined that gave you a probationary period of six months where you could only check-out one book at a time!  This would never do if I was going to stock up on lots of reading materials for our little bean.

Luckily, most libraries are like the one 25 minutes from us in Great Bend, KS.  They have a large children's reading section, computers, a three-week checkout period with online renewals, ways to get books from other Kansas libraries, and you can have up to 25 books at a time.  I walked in yesterday to signs urging kids of all ages to join their various summer reading programs, plus community events like free movies, etc.  Now, this, is what I expect from my local library!

I'm sure we'll be frequenting it often.  The best part for me is that I can expose my kids to a variety of books and topics without breaking the bank and without causing extra trees to be chopped down!  Like cloth diapering, I feel this is another eco-parently no-brainer!  Happy Reading!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The 12-Hour Road Trip

I complained last week about a tiny five-hour drive knowing full-well that I would be on the road another 12-14 hours by myself this Thursday.  As an update to last week's post, I am happy to announce I've figured out how to drive long distances without killing myself!  Since driving in an eco-friendly vehicle when you must travel tends to be much better than flying (in an environmentally-friendly sense), here are my tips:
  1. Forget your normal travel strategies and do the opposite.  That is, instead of stopping in one place, getting as much done (gas, food, bathroom, etc) and then going as far as you can between stops, do just ONE thing at each place.  I found that two hours in between stops really hurt my back, but a stop each hour was perfect and cleared up the back pain.  My strategy was to get gas at one location, a snack at the next, and take a walk at the next place (taking bathroom breaks whenever needed)!  That way, I stopped frequently and felt productive about it. 
  2. Stretch.  I also tended to do a few stretches at each stop and that seemed to help also.
  3. Make sure your car has cruise control.  I know, it seems like such a basic feature, but my rental car did not have it this weekend and keeping one foot/leg still for long periods of time is not that easy when you're pregnant.
  4. Avoid that gross fatty-food feeling by figuring out where you can get a side salad or fruit with your lunch and go there on the road.  I like stopping at Subways where I can get a sandwich with tons of lettuce, apples, and milk.  Most places will substitute a side salad for the fries in a meal, but Arby's is not one of those places - they do not offer side salads.  Wendy's offers a choice of mandarin oranges or side salad with its combos.  Almost everywhere sells meal-sized salads, which are fine if you're not craving delicious trip food.  Better yet, if you have a cooler, bring your own lunch and save yourself a lot of money.
  5. Be smart about when you drink your caffeine.  Although everyone tells us pregnant ladies to limit caffeine, the prevailing knowledge still says we can have the equivalent of 1-2 cups of coffee a day (that's because there's no consensus yet on whether any amount of caffeine actually harms our babies).  If you tend to get tired in the morning and after lunch, make sure you have your caffeine then, when it's most affective.  (Or pull over and take a nap at a rest stop...that always sounds like a wonderful idea, but is not always practical.)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Third Trimester Traveling

I'm officially in my third trimester now and given the hectic nature of our double-move and Nathan starting a brand new job, we haven't been able to pull away for a real vacation and may not before the baby arrives.

Salamanders in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (2009)

Of course I'm a little sad about that.  Traveling is my absolute favorite thing to do in the world and I would love one last trip without the kid.  That is, until I kind of got one this weekend.


I had always heard that once you hit your third trimester, airlines won't let you fly anymore without special permission from your doctor.  Realizing that I had just entered the "no fly zone", I decided to check up on this myself.  The Delta Airlines website didn't mention anything about pregnancy, so I called them.  For Delta, there IS NO policy on flying when you're pregnant - they allow it!  They just recommend that after your 8th month you check with your doctor first.  I haven't checked with other airlines, but I would hope they would all have similar policies. Yippee!  So it turns out my options for travel aren't entirely closed yet.  Each airline has a different policy, but I found this excellent list of policies on Baby Center.


My friend Sara, who is also pregnant just a couple months behind me, happened to check on cruises.  Those do have hard and fast rules and the cut-off is early - 23 weeks.  I suppose if you're going to be on a boat for over a week, the chances of you going into labor in the middle of the ocean greatly increase.  So, the moral of the story is to get your cruise in quick, you'll probably enjoy it more in your second trimester anyway!

Road Trip

This weekend, I had the chance to ride along on Nathan's first business trip!  We drove five hours to Fort Scott, KS with an 1871 ambulance carriage in tow so that Nathan could talk about it as part of the town's Good Ol' Days celebration!

The trip has been fun so far, but it's made me realize that traveling while pregnant is NOT as fun as traveling without an extra watermelon shoved in your stomach.  For starters, a Chevy Silverado's seats were not created to ergonomically fit a pregnant woman's needs.  So, we stopped often and my back hurt like crazy at the end of the trip.  My doctor had mentioned that it's best to get out of the car every 1.5 hours to avoid blood clots.  The good news is, there's no problem remembering to do that when you have a full bladder and are generally uncomfortable.

This weekend, the temperatures soared into the 90's and the entire festival was outside during the heat of the day.  I can lug around a water bottle, but can't stay on my feet all day long anymore.  So, I've mapped out all the shady benches in the city and don't argue with people anymore if they want to give up their prime seating spots for the pregnant lady.  I've found I really need to take it easy and am enjoying comparing aches and pains with the old ladies I'm seated next to. Ha!  I also found making sure there's time for a two-hour nap every day helps a lot.

Finally, as much as I love deep fried spam curds, fair food is just NOT what I want to be eating right now.  Contrary to popular belief, dill pickles, fried green beans, and the canned corn masquerading as the "Vegetable of the Day" at our hotel restaurant are not vegetables.  I have to try really hard to find good food at this shindig and will admit that I miss my kitchen!


So, how is this post related to eco-living?  Well, I've never before endorsed the idea of a "staycation".  Seeing the world is the best way to see the beautiful places that are threatened by our current lifestyle choices.  It's also how you realize how far your own community has come (e.g. catalytic converters are amazing!).  However, just like the articles warned me, traveling during your third trimester is not a piece of cake, and a staycation might be just what the doctor ordered.  Besides, I'm excited to introduce the new baby to the world, so bring on the fun of traveling with kids!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Infamous Baby Checklist - With Mom & Eco-Commentary

Last week I printed this list without Mom & Eco-Advice.  Here's the same list with the helpful advice from my mom, friends, and some of the research I've done.

General Great Mom Advice: Bring an extra outfit for the baby and an extra shirt for yourself wherever you go, you never know when the baby will mess one of your outfits up! 

  • Outfit/socks
  • Receiving Blanket
    • Mom Advice: Make sure your blankets are big enough to swaddle the baby.  You need at least 36" sides on your blanket to make this easy, preferably 40".
    • Eco-Advice: I found this large, organic blanket at Target.
  • Diapers & Wipes / Diaper Bag
    • Eco-Advice: I'll be using cloth diapers and cloth wipes.  I'll also check the extra purses/bags in my closet to see if they'll work as a diaper bag before purchasing one.  A nice bag seems like an easy thing to get second-hand also.
  • Carseat
    • Mom Advice: In this case, safety should probably trump eco-living. recommends Chicco Keyfit and Chicco Keyfit 30, which both received Excellent or Very Good ratings for various safety features and ease-of-use and come as part of a travel system.
  • Crib
  • Waterproof Crib Mattress
    • Mom Advice: You should not be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and your crib sides as your baby can be trapped if there is too much space.
  • Fitted Crib Sheets
    • Mom Advice: Make sure you have at least two sets because they'll get dirty often.
    • Eco-Advice: Lots of great organic options for crib sheets.
  • Storage for Baby Clothes & Gear (Dresser)
    • Eco-Advice:  It took our new tiny master bedroom for us to realize that if we got rid of some clothes we don't use, the baby can just use our second dresser.  That'll save us between $250-$500.
  • Receiving Blankets (see Hospital section) - 3
  • Baby Monitor
    • Mom Advice: You don't need one of these if you can hear your baby crying from all over the house.  [I won't be getting one.]
  • Colorful Mobile
    • Mom Advice: This is also a luxury item, but a colorful one can provide something stimulating for your baby to look at.
      Habitat Musical Mobile
  • Rocking Chair


Since babies grow so fast, the "stages" refered to here are 1) 0-3 months, 2) 3-6 months, 3) 6-9 months, and 4) 9-12 months.  Eco-Advice: I'd like to make a blanket plug for organic gear and second-hand items.  There is some question as to whether the fire-retardant chemicals used in some lines of baby clothing causes cancer, thyroid, nervous, and reproductive system damage.  If you buy pre-used clothing, washing the item several times has usually removed the chemical treatments, so you save money and can feel better about what you're putting on your child!
  • Pajamas/Sleepers - 3 to 6 per stage
    • Mom Advice: Get ones with feet (a.k.a. "barbaloot suits" as my dad called them when I was growing up), so you don't have to deal with socks.
  • Onesies - 3 to 6 per stage
    Hudson Baby Organic Bodysuit - Peanut Ecru - 6-9 Months
  • Socks - 2 per stage
  • Sleep Sack
    • Mom Advice: Unnecessary, you can do the same thing with a swaddling blanket.
  • Sweaters
  • Snow Suit/Jacket
    • Mom Advice: Sometimes the extra layers don't allow the carseat harness to fit correctly.  Another option for winter would be to get a carseat cover like this one.
  • Warm Hat
    • Interesting Fact: In Africa, almost all little babies had a knit stocking cap on their heads, even on the hottest days.  I think it was to protect them from being sunburnt!
  • Swim Suit / Sun Hat / Sunglasses
    • Mom Advice: Make sure the suit is large enough to fit over a swim diaper.
  • Cloth Diapers - 36
    • Mom Advice: This will have you doing laundry every three days or so.  My father-in-law thinks you'll want to do it sooner than that because of the smell!
  • Diaper Covers (if not using all-in-ones)
  • Dirty Diaper Pails
    • Mom Advice: I originally thought I'd need two of these, but got some good advice from the moms on the BabyCenter Cloth Diaper forum.  Most of them use only one container: a normal garbage can with a locked top.  They also mentioned these PlanetWise pail liners, which are easy to wash with the diapers.
  • Wet Bag - Used for cloth diapering on-the-go
  • Diaper Wipes (see Hospital section for a link to organic, reusable ones)
  • Petroleum Jelly or A+D Ointment
  • Diaper Rash with Zinc Oxide
    • Mom Advice: This is most-used.
  • Thermometer
    • Mom Advice: The hospital usually gives you one.
  • Bulb Syringe
    • Mom Advice: The hospital usually gives you one.
  • Plastic Infant Tub
    Fisher-Price Precious Planet Whale of a Tub
    • Mom/Eco-Advice: I just used the sink until the baby was big enough to sit up in the tub.
  • Inflatable Baby Tub
    • Mom/Eco-Advice: No need for this as you'll be holding onto your baby in the big bathtub anyway.
  • Baby Nail Clippers
    • Mom Advice: Sometimes the hospital will give you one.
    • Eco-Advice: Scissors will also work.
  • Baby Shampoo & Soap
  • Washclothes
    • Eco-Advice: You probably have enough of these already, there's no need for special baby ones.
  • Bath Toys - After 6 Months 
    • Eco-Advice: I've heard safe household items, like tupperware can be just as exciting as specially-made yellow submarine. 

Chicco Cortina KeyFit 30 Travel System in Adventure

  • Carseat (see Hospital section)
  • Stroller
  • Front Carrier (until baby can hold up her head)
  • Back Carrier - At around 6 months
    • Mom Advice: Go shopping for this with the baby so you can find one that's comfortable for both of you.
    • Eco-Advice: I think these carriers are going to be an important first step in introducing my kids to one of my favorite nature activities - hiking!!
  • Portable Crib
    • Eco-Advice: I'm a sucker for anything that promises to allow me to travel with my baby more easily.  I'm not sure if this is absolutely necessary yet as a lot of hotels will provide cribs if you request them.
  •  Breast Pads
  • Lanolin Cream
  • Cloth Diapers or Burp Cloths - 12
  • Bottles
    • Eco-Advice: Most bottles are now BPA-free, but there are other substances recently discovered to cause cancer still found in baby bottles.  While there are plenty of plastic bottles that are made without these substances, I'm left wondering what are they going to find next?  So, I decided to go with glass bottles - a little heavier, but worth the peace of mind.  Most glass baby bottles come with a protective plastic coating to help prevent breaks if they are dropped.
  • Freezer Bags

  • High Chair 
    • Mom Advice: Get one that sits on top of a regular chair to save space.
    • Eco-Advice: They still sell wooden high chairs, which is far more biodegradable than the popular plastic ones.
  • Food Processor
    • Mom Advice: A cheaper, more portable alternative is a food mill like this one.
    • Eco-Advice: I plan to make all of my baby foods myself, preferably from organic/natural ingredients.
  • Baby Spoons - 2
  • Plastic Baby Bowls - 4-6
    • Mom/Eco-Advice: We just used our regular bowls.
  • Sippy Cups
    • Eco-Advice: Again, you definitely need BPA-free cups here.
  • Bibs


Now this is an interesting subject! I've been to plenty of moms' houses covered in plastic kid toys and have vowed never to let that become my house!

One of the best ideas I've heard of is  It's like Netflix, but for children's toys.  You pay a monthly membership fee and get toys sent to your home.  You return them when you're done and if your kids gets attached, there's a way to buy the toy and keep it.  I think it's brilliant since you're sharing toys with other kids and you never get stuck with too many toys your child is no longer interested in sitting around your house.

 If you're less worried about clutter and more worried about the sustainability/safety of the toys, there seem to be a lot of organic/sustainable options out there, just search for them.  I, for one, am a big fan of these organic fruits and vegetables - could playing with your healthy food make you more likely to want to eat it??