Category Archives: baby

For Maria…useful baby stuff

Maria asked me to do a post on baby gear I found most useful. Keep in mind, I’m posting from an environmentalist perspective as well as a parent who is practicing Natural Infant Hygene.

1. A sling or carrier of some sort.

If you want a sling, my sister makes beautiful ones.

2.People to bring food for the first few months.

Make a chart at the shower-people were more willing to do this than to clean.

3. A housekeeper

Instead of getting us a housekeeper, my sister gave everyone at my shower a job to do when they came to visit. The only problem is that no one did it! I would collect money at the shower and buy your friends a green housekeeper, even if she/he just comes a few times. Another option would be a doula.

4. Washcloths-lots.

5. Wipe Solution

5. Receiving blankets

6. Hot tots, Bamboozle diapers
These are quite expensive but the are awesome for night time or going out, because they are very absorbant and don’t leak. For the day tome we put her in thin cloth diapers without a cover, so it’s easy to get her out of them ond on to the potty to pee.

7. A swing or bouncy chair to give the mom some time to eat or shower. Try second hand places or craigs list.

8. Baby Bjorn little potty

9. Clothes that are easy to get in and out of-the things that snap all the way are great.

10. Thick baby quilts (we got a few beautiful hand made ones) to lay on the floor and play on.

11. Hooded Towels

12. A few pre-fold diapers.
13. Baby leg warmers.These are also quite easy to make by using old socks or sweater sleeves and adding a draw string at the top.
14. Ann Douglas baby books, particularly The mother of all… series.
15. Clothes appropriate for the season.

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Green Baby update

dscn0809.jpgWow, it’s been about a month since I posted last! Sorry about that. It’s hard to find time with a babe in arms. In fact, she’s in my arms now and I’m typing one handed.

So here’s the scivvy on continuing our green lifestyle with a baby on board:

1. Shoppping

It is harder but still possible to shop for packageless items with a baby. My parents were down from edomton for a few weeks and my mom was my personal shopping assistant in bulk food stores. That made it really easy! It would also be relatively easy with a baby in a stroller- Aurora likes the sling better. Yesterday I went to Kensington with her in the sling and I managed quite well. The few times that it was getting difficult, a staff member helped me.

2. Diapers and Elimination Communication

We are still getting the hang of getting Aurora to go on the potty. The first three days that we had the potty, she went every time we offered it to her. Now it’s hit and miss (one time literally when the pee ricocheted off the potty!). Often she goes on a pad or open diaper so it’s not really lightening our laundry load so far. We do a load a day, and also use the dryer!!! We tried really hard not to- we never used it before the baby, but the diapers are just not drying at all on the line and it takes too long inside. So our energy and water consumption has gone up a bit. We are still reusing bath water to flush the toilet and we collect the water when the tap is heating up or cooling and use it as well.

I’m really surprised at how few people use cloth diapers. It doesn’t seem that difficult to me (may be because Kyle does most of the laundry!)  People seem amazed that I do use them. I took my mom to one of my favorite bulk shops in Kensington market and when the owner saw the baby she said “what are you going to do, recycle diapers?” and I said “well sort of. We use cloth” and she couldn’t believe it. I was surprised that she was surprised. Cloth diapers have come a long way though. We have some all in ones that are as quick to use as disposables.

3.Eating

I have accepted gifts of packaged items from people, but still try to get non packaged things when I shop. We have ordered in more than before, but it’s been pizza and we compost the box. We have also gotten beans in cans a few times instead of soaking and cooking dried ones, which I am actually doing right now. Ahhh the smell of simmering beans on a cold winters day!

4. Medical

We were just discharged from the midwife and will soon have a pediatrician. The midwives were great about allowing us to being our own change pad, towels etc. so we wouldn’t have to use dispoables. Hopefully we can find a like minded doctor.

My migraines came back the day after giving birth and Kyle has also been getting bad headaches so we have a bit of waste from Advil and Tylenol.

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Suck it up:)

Aurora has now gained a full pound since she was born three weeks ago. She came into this world at 7 pounds 13 ounces and is now 8 pounds 13 ounces- not surprising as she eats all the time!!! It was suggested to me that sometimes she just wants the comfort of the breast rather than milk and that we should look into a pacifier. I don’t like the idea of giving my baby a piece of plastic to suck on, but I do like the idea of being able to type with both hands again. I did some research on plastic free and eco- friendly pacifiers and this is what I found.natural rubber pacifier

It’s a Natursutten All-Natural Rubber Pacifier from Europe and we North Americans can order it through Zoe B. Even “safe” plastics have no guarantee about not leeching substances-as far as I know there are no nasty substances that can leech out of natural rubber. Any one wanna call me on that?

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Birth- a wonderful and messy business

Aurora was born on Friday at 11:33 am!Welcome to the world, Aurora! We are very excited and proud.

We had a hospital birth with a midwife. We were in the hospital only a little more than four hours. We had brought a huge bag with us, with everything we might need, including a number of items to help reduce the garbage (a reusable cup, cloth pads, cloth diapers etc.) We did end up making some garbage because birth is a messy business and at the hospital there are rules and regulations to follow. It would be easier at a home birth, I think.

We forgot to tell the midwife about our reusable cup and ended up with a Styrofoam one full of juice for me.

***WARNING- gory detail coming up***

My cloth pads didn’t cut it and were soaked through before we got my pants pulled up. We did use a cloth diaper instead of the plastic ones they had, and we avoided getting a straw. I knew we would create some garbage and I wasn’t too upset by it. I was just exhausted and elated!

Anyhow, Aurora is home with us now. We are using cloth diapers but I didn’t buy nearly enough, since we were planning to practice EC. We are doing it, but she still soils twice as many diapers as we had expected, so Kyle is doing laundry every day, and for the first time in ages we are using the dryer too. Also sometimes we “catch” a pee or poo but it’s in the diaper sitting under her butt, that hasn’t been put on yet, so we aren’t really cutting down on how many we use. We will get more diapers very soon, and hopefully be able to hang dry. Using wash cloths as wipes is working great and really, at home we are not producing any more garbage with a baby than without.

Here she is! My posts may get less frequent now. It’s taken me 3 days to do this one!

bw-family-day-2.JPG

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Babies don’t come in a package

While I’m waiting for the baby to arrive I thought I’d do a post on what we are planning to do in order to keep our trash production down when we have the baby. Lots of people ask me about it, and I know people who have done it, so here is a list of how we plan to achieve it. I’ll update after the baby is born!

1. Make sure friends and family know you don’t want packaged items. This has worked fairly well for us so far. At our baby shower, people wrapped gifts in tea towels or reused and still reusable gift bags. We only received a few items in plastic.

2. Buy second hand baby supplies whenever possible from thrift stores, or even better, community forums like Craig’s List or Free-use.

3. Use a combination of cloth diapers and EC. We are using Sage Mama, plus a few that a friend made. I also have a template to make more if I have time, but we really like the Sage Mama ones. With using EC, we should cut down on the amount we need, and we are not using bleach or the dryer, so the energy consumpution will stay low too.

4. Use cloth wipes and wipe solution. Soft face cloths work. You can also make your own wipe solution.

5. Use reusable cloth breast pads. Grassroots has organic ones, or they are pretty easy to make, or you get get them at baby or department stores.

6.Use cloth sanitary pads for Mom (me) immediately after the baby is born. These are fairly easy to make, plus Many Moons makes them in extra large specifically for this purpose. I have frozen some in witch hazel as that is supposed to help with the healing process.

7. Before the baby is born, prepare by making as much food as will fit in your freezer, to try and avoid take-out when things get hectic. We made 2 kinds of squash soup, curry, turkish stew and 2 different kinds of cookies.

 

We also have friends willing to drop by with food, which is awesome!

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What’s happening in TO.

It’s Harvest Season! MMMMMMMM. There are two Harvest festivals in Toronto I think you should know about. I probably won’t make it to either, as we are awaiting the arrival of the baby and they fall exactly on the due date, but I think they will be good enviro fun!

The first is at Colborne Lodge in High Park. You can buy old fashioned preserves, and do all sorts of activities or watch people in the old house (19th century) do all sorts of activities, many of which are cooking that you can taste the product of. That’s on September 29th.

The second is at Greenest City. I think I’ve talked about them before. They are an awesome organization that trains young people how to involve the community and start various environmental programs. One of their projects was the HOPE community garden. Here’s the invite to their festival.

Dear all,

As the summer winds down with every wistful sunset — the snap of a breeze getting chillier everyday — and the looming fall peers from within every tree, we here at Greenest City would like to invite you to an occasion of great merriness and gratitude. As you are aware, our beautiful HOPE Community Garden has been resoundingly successful from the bounties upon bounties of lush produce that we have managed to procure. On Sunday, Sept. 30, we will be hosting a festival that celebrates not only the arrival of the harvesting season, but also the memories, joys and the connections that this garden has fostered. And we would like to invite you as well, in celebrating and thanking the garden and all the people involved; through music, food, games and entertainment for all ages.

What: Parkdale HOPE Community Garden Harvest Festival
When: Sunday, Sept. 30 from noon till 3pm
Where: Masaryk Park, beside the garden, on 220 Cowan Avenue.
For: Everyone!

I will try to update Trashless Toronto tonight to include the Linux Cafe on Harbord St. They are trying to Green their cafe so they are charging a 25% take out fee on disposables. They are also open to suggestions on Greening their cafe, so feel free to send them along.

In my own life, everything is about the baby. He/she hasn’t arrived yet, but could any day now. Today I took some gift money to Grass Roots and bought Bamboozle diapers as well as Sage Mama Hermit diapers, some Wipe Solution and a few organic cloth wipes. We are almost ready. Oh! I just discovered I could have saved money if I had ordered the Sage Mama diapers from the internet, but Grass Roots is a good company to support so I don’t mind too much.

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