gDiapers not working

So far, we haven’t been able to use the gDiapers as planned. I bought a newborn starter kit, but Ben is too big for the newborn diapers (even having them on him loosely cuts off his circulation and turns his feet and legs purple!) and too small for the small size. Maybe when he gains a little, gets a little bigger, we can try the gDiapers again, hopefully. We’ve been using standard disposable diapers, currently Huggies Naturals with organic cotton, and we’re not impressed. He leaks everywhere! At least the gDiapers kept everything in the diaper. Who needs feet anyway? 🙂

So far, not much has gone to plan. The gDiapers aren’t usable right now. The reusable wipes – we pulled the plug on that device, literally (Blake was concerned it was using too much power to be worth it and we went through all 14 wipes in a few hours). We’re trying out different eco-friendly disposable wipes to find ones we like. I’m waiting until Ben’s cord falls off to try the standard cloth diapers. Maybe we’ll get lucky! And oh the laundry! Seems like he’s peeing/pooing/puking/leaking on everything. Such are the joys of a newborn so I’m told. 🙂


Getting everything ready

So this past couple of weeks has been all about spending money:

Last week I bought the newborn starter kit of gDiapers. I also bought, and subsequently returned, some nursing bras online (my girls are not cooperative). I found a couple yesterday that fit (woo).

Last weekend Blake and I drove down to Orlando to get a changing pad and accessories from Babies ‘R Us, which was way too big for our IKEA changing table. So yesterday Blake and I drove down to Orlando again to pick up things from IKEA and return things to Babies ‘R Us.

The complete changing table.

But after all that, now the changing table stuff and the crib are all ready to go.

For the changing table, we bought the table from IKEA a few months ago so we needed the appropriately-sized changing pad and accessories, since the stuff we got from Babies ‘R Us didn’t fit – only an IKEA changing pad fits the IKEA changing table (go figure). So we go that (only $7), pad covers ($6 for 2), a pail that hangs over the side and a storage thing for wipes, etc. ($10 for both), a mobile that hangs from the ceiling ($5), and some mattress pad covers ($6 each). (Sharing prices with you because IKEA is awesome and cheap.) At Babies ‘R Us, we got a reusable wipes system, which includes a sterilizer/warmer and several bamboo cloth wipes (for when we’re changing diapers at home), as well as some biodegradable disposable wipes for when we’re not at home.

The crib all prettified. We have two sets, both are jungle themed.

For the crib, we bought the firm organic mattress from Target on Friday. Today we washed all the bedding and got it all together and prettified.

We also got a bathing kit, which consists of a sponge pad for baths up to 1 month, a ramp thing that fits in a sink for baths up to 6 months, and an adjustable tub for the rest of the baths.

I guess this part of the nesting process? I call it “OMG-there’s-only-three-weeks-and-we-need-our-shtuff-together” process, but I guess to each her own. 🙂

And you may have guessed from the photos that yes, both the crib and the changing table are in the bedroom with us. Since we have cats, it’s easier to keep them and their shedding out of one room than two.


Sprout Organic Baby Food

I'd seriously eat all these foods. Weird?

Even though I just posted that we don’t plan to buy much, if any, pre-packaged baby foods, I would consider the Sprout organic baby food line. It’s organic, yummy for adults (if you got really hungry I supposed), concocted by a top chef, and the package is recyclable. (Learn more about Sprout: www.sproutbabyfood.com.)

Not only is the package recyclable, it’s part of Terracycles upcycle campaign. Terracycle accepts used packages from Frito-Lay chips, Nabisco cookies, Capri-Sun, and many others. You collect the wrappers, send them to Terracycle, they donate 2 cents per wrapper to your favorite charity, and makes those wrappers into a new, fun product. (Learn more about Terracyle: www.terracycle.net.)


Making your own baby food

At Barnes & Noble this weekend, I plopped my increasingly plump heinie in an overstuffed chair with a bunch of baby-related texts. My favorite from this particular trip was the book Blender Baby Food by Nicole Young.

Blake and I both love the idea of making your own baby food for several reasons:

  1. Environmental: less waste on the packaging of store-bought baby food.
  2. Nutritional: by making the food, we know exactly what baby is eating and we can choose to use organic ingredients as plausible.
  3. Aesthetic: as Blake said while perusing the baby food aisle of Target, “I can’t expect the baby to eat food that looks like vomit if I won’t eat it.”
  4. Cost: it’s cheaper to make our own food than getting the individual servings. And we can make a bunch at once and freeze leftovers so it’s not inconvenient.

This book had tons of info, had meals plans for the different months, and lots of easy recipes.


New Study Reports Children’s Exposure to Advertising is Making Them Sick

From Center for a American Dream:

Born to BuyA new book, Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture by consumer expert Juliet Schor, explores the damaging effects advertising and marketing have on children. According to this breakthrough research, the advertising-saturated culture our children are exposed to is causing an array of psychosomatic symptoms.

Purchase Born to Buy

Schor, a board member for the Center for a New American Dream, had unprecedented access to the inside operations of children’s marketing and found advertising agencies using insidious new ways of reaching children. Advertising aimed at children is everywhere, from television and movies to the internet and even in school classrooms. According to the survey, children’s involvement in consumer culture affects their well-being. Children who participated in the survey reported suffering from depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and psychosomatic complaints such as headaches and stomachaches due to high levels of exposure to advertising and consumer culture.

Continue reading


Greenifying the delivery

Having a baby can take a huge toll on the environment. By minimizing the things purchased for baby, making smart choices about the produces you do use, and just living simply in general, you can definitely minimize the impact. So far I’ve looked into what I think are the most sustainable options for many common items necessary for the early stages of childrearing. For the actual delivery itself, there’s not much that can be done to greenify a hospital birth. Short of a home birth, one way to have a more eco-friendly birthing experience is by offsetting the carbon emissions.

A Carbon Neutral Delivery

by Dr. Alan Greene

Depending on where you deliver your baby, many of the equipment and material choices may be out of your control. One thing you can do, however, is offset the carbon emissions generated by the energy used to run the delivery room and all its equipment. When you arrange for a carbon offset, you make up for the “dirty” emissions-producing energy you couldn’t help using, by making a financial contribution to projects that promote “clean” renewable energy (wind and solar, for example) and other efforts to reduce global warming. There are now many organizations worldwide that make it easy to invest in carbon offsets.

Here are some ways to have a carbon neutral delivery:

  • You can purchase a $15 Wind Power Card to ensure that the energy used by your baby’s delivery is replaced on the national power grid with wind energy, while offsetting more than 1,000 pounds of CO2 emissions. Go to http://www.renewablechoice.com .
  • You can donate to CarbonFund.org and select from a menu of certified carbon offset projects that include planting trees in severely fire-damaged forests and an innovative project that converts cow manure into methane that then generates the electricity to run a water desalination plant. Be­cause CarbonFund.org is a nonprofit, your contribution is tax de­ductible. Go to http://www.carbonfund.org.
  • You can plant a tree yourself. Over its lifetime, a tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide.
Be sure to record this special gift in your baby book. Someday you’ll be able to tell your little one that when born, the energy that was used in the labor and delivery was offset and at least a little bit of global warming never happened.


One American child generates as much CO2 as 106 Haitian kids.

China claims its one-child policy has prevented 400 million births—saving 1.5 billion tons of CO2 in 2004 alone.

In 2007, a Hungarian couple had 300 trees planted to offset their newborn’s lifetime carbon footprint.

American children make up 4% of the world’s population, but they consume more than 40% of the world’s toys.

In 2006, volunteers picked up 68,720 lbs of toys and 33,469 lbs of diapers during worldwide beach cleanups.

– MotherJones.com


VOCs in baby furniture

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

VOCs are a major class of both indoor air pollution and outdoor smog. Indoors, they can be found in:

  • paints,
  • carpets,
  • furniture,
  • glues,
  • stains,
  • finished,
  • copy paper,
  • printers,
  • cleaning products,
  • air fresheners,
  • paraffin candles, and
  • craft supplies.

VOCs can cause immediate reactions like eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, and nausea. They have also been linked to more serious health effects such as neurological disorders, liver and kidney damage, and even certain kinds of cancer. Babies and children, because of their developing immune systems, are especially susceptible to VOCs.

Did you ever notice how a piece of new furniture stinks when you first bring it home? That stink is the gases seeping out of the furniture’s glues, paints, and finishes, and it is loaded with chemicals that you really don’t want to breathe, like VOCs and formaldehyde. Babies, with their fragile and developing immune systems, are especially susceptible to the potential health risks associated with VOCs. Keep these toxins out of the air and out of your home by selecting furniture that uses water-based adhesives and natural treatments.

– from “The Everything Green Baby Book”

LEKSVIK crib from IKEA, $159.99

Originally, we were planning to use a convertible crib from Target, but since we want this crib to last several years as is converts to a toddler bed and so on, I’m leaning more toward one of the numbers from Ikea. The green baby book recommends them because their furniture is nontoxic. And guess what! Cheap! Their convertible crib sells for $160 and converts to a toddler bed. This means we’d still need to get a bed for the older kid but this’ll last a few years, is affordable, and isn’t going to make baby sick.


Belly bands vs. new maternity clothes

No belly band

Since my belly is getting bigger (for some unknown reason), I find that most of my pants no longer fit or don’t fit comfortably. As is the example to the right, I can’t zipper or button most things. (I apologize for the paleness of my belly in the pic and in general – it’s blinding in certain lights so be careful.) Behold – my baby belly at 3 months, 1 week (super close up, after I’ve been sitting for a while, and devoid of any sun exposure)!

With black belly band

In lieu of buying maternity clothes, I’ve purchased some belly bands. These stretchy tubes of fabric cover the unbottoned-ness and hold up the pants. These bands, which I have in black and white, have been a life saver. Many different brands make them and I love mine – can’t remember the company though. This way, I can keep wearing my normal pre-preggo pants comfortably, which I will do for as long as I possibly can. The second photo is obviously with the belly band on. Kinda just looks like a tank top under my regular shirt.

I don’t really want to go out and purchase maternity clothes, at least not new stuff, because I’ll only wear the stuff for a limited amount of time, that stuff is expensive, there’s not a great variety, and it’s not necessary when I have belly bands. I have, however, been on the lookout for stuff at Goodwill because my grandma found me a pair of maternity pants in great shape from there. That’s called recycling, which I’m a huge advocate of. Why buy new when you can either make do with what you have (belly bands) or find some gently used stuff and recycle?



Hestlings Hemp Organic Sling Carrier

I’m not a huge fan of strollers, especially for newborns. I prefer the idea of wearing your baby until he/she is big enough to walk to encourage bonding. Babywearing comes in many forms, from wearing a cotton (preferably organic) sling to strappy number such as the Baby Bjorn. It really depends on personal preference: Blake’s not comfortable with the sling style because he thinks it puts the baby at risk of suffocating, which is understandable. Whichever style we go with though, it’s important to buy only organic fabrics for the newborn for both environmental and respiratory reasons. The chemicals in non-organic fabrics, such as the hefty amount of pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, and synthetic fertilizers used in production, damage the environment and are toxic for a baby to breathe.

Benefits of babywearing:

Baby Bjorn Active Organic Baby Carrier

  • Mothers’ progesterone (mothering hormone) is increased through physical contact with the infant, leading to a more intimate maternal bond, easier breastfeeding and better care. Thus lowering incidence of postpartum depression and psychosomatic illness.
  • Infants who are carried are calmer – all their primal/survival needs are met: caregiver can be seen, heard, smelled, touched, tasted, fed (breastfeeding mother) and motion necessary for continuing neural development, gastrointestinal and respiratory health and to establish balance (inner ear development) and muscle tone, is constant.
  • Infants IQ and brain mass are measurably greater. When primal needs are met, babies spend more time in a quiet state of attentive alertness, ideal for learning – rather than in a panicked survival mode.
  • Infants are more organized; parental rhythms (walking, heartbeat, etc.) have balancing and soothing effects on infants.
  • Infants are “humanized” earlier by developing socially; babies are closer to people and can study facial expressions, learn languages faster and be familiar with body language. {Very important for any spawn of ours because those who know us know we may not be the most natural of people-people.}
  • Developmental milestones such as learning to walk, talk and toilet train are reached earlier.
  • Contrary to western cultural myths, independence is established earlier.
  • Aggression is diminished.
  • From: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babywearing]

There are many types of eco-friendly babywearers on the market that are around $100, but I think my favorite is the Baby Bjorn Organic ($99) because it is guaranteed free of any hazardous substances.

I’ll get more into strollers in another post. 🙂