Saturday, August 7, 2010

Unsolicited new mommy advice

Going Green Mama is GOING TO BE AN AUNTIE!

Now that I've gotten that bit of bragging out of the way, I thought I'd open up the discussion today. If you had to give unsolicited advice on the best ways to stay green during your pregnancy or in caring for your newborn, what would it be?

(Keep in mind this is for a mom-to-be who works far too many hours...)


Jane said...

The rough thing is that babies are simply not very 'green'...

I would say that making a whole bunch of small frozen dishes ahead of time would save her from resorting to packaged frozen meals (it's really tough to keep a functional kitchen for a month or two).

In making the diaper decision, remember that cloth WIPES make a huge difference, newborns in particular go through tons of them. She can also try rigging up a poop sink to rinse off the baby instead, and save wipes that way.

Get a food mill that's easy to clean, and small storage containers for individual baby servings.

Tell people you don't want clothes as gifts! People buy lots of new clothes, when used baby clothes are easy to come by, often free. (and, you'll still get some cute new outfits anyways because people can't resist them).

Do as much research as you have time for on nursing and find a person to ask questions, to increase your likelihood of success - that saves oodles of bottles and packaging, etc., even if you need to pump at work.

daharja said...

First of all: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Now...Nappies. Diapers. Whatever you call them, that's what it all boils down to.

I did a post a while back which covered this issue pretty thoroughly, and has been picked up by some newspapers and mags around the place: Disposables v Cloth - Nappies / Diapers in hindsight.

My kids are now 5 and 3, and we're still in nappies at night for both of them (my 5 year old has autism). When you work it out, it's thousands of dollars in the decision, even without taking the environment into consideration.

The other thing I'd tell any mum is: don't expect yourself to be the perfect mum and don't blame yourself when you make mistakes.

Being a parent is HARD, and it's a learning curve. Just love your kids as much as you can, love yourself and your partner too (if you have one), and remember that you're only human after all :-)

Farmer's Daughter said...

See my previous guest post here, lol! It's tough... but I've found breastfeeding and alternative diapers (I like gDiapers) are the easiest way for me to stay green!

Toni's Treehouse said...

Congratulations! Avoid carpet and nasty paints. Choose natural wood furniture or make sure you let everything air out well. Feng shui baby! Cloth EVERYTHING -- diapers, wipes, paper towels. Soap nuts for laundry. Buy secondhand. Organic and all natural products for mommy and baby -- Cleanwell hand sanitizer (or m.y.o.), Badger products, Mrs. Meyers, Burt's Bees, California Baby and so on (there are lots!). Read ingredients!! AND HAVE FUN!

PureMothers said...

Staying green during pregnancy and taking care of a newborn. Wow- there is so much.

Eat organic food. Go vegan, if possible.
Get a Hepa Vacuum if you have carpets.
Use only Green Cleaners (self-made is best)
Only paint with no VOC paints for nursery
Get an organic latex or cotton crib mattress (no toxic flame retardants) Co-sleep for a while since it makes breastfeeding easier.
Watch out for vinyl, padded high chairs, they contain flame retardants too. Get a wood high chair and make a pad.
Get an organic nursing pillow. (My Brest Friend has flame retardant)
Only use non-toxic nail polish if you are getting pedicures while pregnant.
Don't color your hair while pregnant.

Breastfeed!!! Get support if needed.
Use organic cloth wipes
Use cloth diapers and use eco-friendly laundry detergent (Charlie's Soap & Borax)
Earth Mama Angel Baby or other ORGANIC body products. Utilize Skin Deep Database.
Avoid bath mats that are vinyl/PVC. Alex Toys makes rubber stick ons.
Use an organic sling in lieu of a stroller (New Native, Ergo, MayWrap, Over the Shoulder Baby Holder)
Find resale stores for baby stuff. You can find clothes and other things there that are gently used.

Always read labels, reference Skin Deep Database and do what feels most natural. That is usually the green thing.

Alison said...

Watch out for fake green or fake safe: organic baby clothes made in China; bpa free plastic sippy cups & bottles (that deteriorate and need replacement way too fast; PJs and bedding with fire retardant; mass marketed wooden toys made because they are trendy, not safe or eco friendly, and so on.

Do try to find stainless steel products: my favorite items for my son have been stainless steel: stainless cups, sippy cups, little stainless bowls, and more...they will last a lifetime, can be put in the dishwasher, sanitized, etc.

Vintage wooden blocks or anything else that has been built with love and longevity in mind (and is also stylish, useful, something you and baby will enjoy).

And as another commenter said: cloth (and cotton) anything: wipes, dipes, second hand clothes, and so on.

Don't be afraid of second hand -- you can find the trendiest, cutest toys and clothes and not have to pay out the wazoo. Plus it is earth friendly!

Daisy said...

Breastfeed. Eat well, and baby will "eat" well, too.
Make your own baby food. It's easy and cheap and oh-so much more delicious than the store bought stuff!
Cloth diapers if you can.
Thrift and second hand shops for clothes.


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