February 14th has come and gone, but it’s still the Month of Love. Unfortunately for my husband, I’ve got Baby on the mind. (Our little Zoë was born December 7th). So it seemed fitting to explore a few keys areas on being green with baby. Not surprising, we’ll focus on what occupies a newborn’s time: namely what they eat, where they sleep and… well, poop.
Green Living with a Newborn Baby
Milk, it does a body good
When it comes to eating, there’s not much up for debate: Breast is Best. How can you beat zero packaging and the ultimate in “all natural” and organic ingredients? If you are not already familiar with the health benefits for baby, try here or here or here. Plus, as a new mom you get the all the benefits from oxytocin AND a reduced chance of breast and other types of cancer. So if the breastfeeding option is available for you and your baby, do everything in your power to make it happen. But remember, just because it’s “natural” doesn’t mean it’s easy. That said, if it doesn’t work out, cut yourself some slack, pat yourself on the back for trying and know we’re all just doing the best we can as mamas, right?
So one of the easiest ways to “go green” in this area is fortunately also one of the cheapest. When it comes to your baby’s crib and furniture choices for your nursery and home, think ‘gently used.’ Resisting the urge to have the latest and greatest for your little one, and opting instead for one from a neighbor or family member is a great way to save the planet. Of course, make sure the model is up to date and passes the CPSC standards for safety as many cribs, bassinets and play yards have been recalled since 2007. If you forgo the crib altogether and (like many other families) have discovered the joys and benefits of a family bed, make sure you’re educated on proper safety precautions for co-sleeping. (Dr. Sears is a great resource, as well as Dr. James McKenna; Director, Mother-Baby Sleep Laboratory – University of Notre Dame.)
The Great Diaper Debate
What Green Baby article would be complete without a nod to cloth diapers? Well, you’re not going to escape it here either. Yes, countless studies have been done to pinpoint which option – cloth or disposable—has the least impact on the planet. Personally, the idea that disposables are ‘greener’ than the reusable option seems ridiculous to me. Isn’t that a bit like arguing I ought to throw my undergarments away each time I wear them? Sure there’s water and electricity consumed each time they’re washed; but unless something’s changed, the Green Credo was still “Reduce – Reuse – Recycle.” How does this fit for everything BUT diapering?
However, in the interest of full disclosure, we are not a full-time cloth diapering outfit. While I prefer cloth for home, we juxtapose our collection with chlorine-free disposables when we’re on the go (especially when traveling!) For more on the great diaper debate, check out this article by Dr. Alan Greene, author of Raising Baby Green.
Obviously, we’re just at the tip of the climate-changing iceberg.
|This post is sponsored by Glad. We’re taking small steps to do our part and want to help you waste less too. Visit GLAD.com for more information.|