For the Home

Green Living with a Newborn Baby

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

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?

Baby ZZZZzzz’s

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.

7 comments

  1. We cloth diaper and love it! We have traveled numerous times with them as well. We use bum genius and take our wet bag with us packed in the suitcase. We also take our diaper sprayer since it is easy to hook up to any toilet. We did this at hotels before and it was fine. Basically you just have to build in a trip to the laundromat before you go home to make sure you’re not packing dirty diapers-unless you are driving and in that case we have just sealed up the bag and done the laundry when we get home. We use cloth wipes and a witch hazel and water mix for our cleaning solution.

  2. We went through all the spreadsheets and everything and we chose cloth. 1 extra load every 2 days using soap nuts and baking soda and hanging them to dry. Sooo easy and my daughter NEVER got a rash once. Plus they look brand new and the next baby will use them too. My husband was not on board at first until he saw that you just shake off the mess in the toilet, put the used diaper in a closed bucket and presto that’s it! We will never regret our decision!

  3. don’t forget that breastfeeding also burns at least 300 calories a day! yay! for being able to eat even MORE yummies!

    we are plant people – my husband is a gardening genius & our Moose is getting an early start. we started a paracress, aka toothache plant, not long after she was born. this plant is fabulous – there is an enzyme in it that actually produces a slight numbing effect & it is totally safe to ingest, it’s actually used as a salad green in many parts of the world. the Moose learned early on that mashing the leaves or flowers make her mouth feel better. she even mastered the art of plucking individual fibers from the flowers and packing them into a sore spot. she also grazes the rosemary (yay! iron) and tomato plants (she has also mastered getting the seeds out so she can eat the flesh sans bitterness), next week, we’ll start her grazing garden of greens :D

  4. I’m not brave enough to have done cloth, but I tried to be green in every other area possible, including steaming my own vegetables for baby food instead of buying individually packaged containers every single week.

  5. So we thought about cloth diapers, but did some reading and had to consider that in our region, it was actually more “green” to use disposable. Because we are technically in a desert and from a water perspective, it would have been net worse for us to use cloth than to use disposable. So then you turn to alternatives like G Diapers or 7th Gen. (of course more expensive)

    1. I say kudos to you Rachel for doing the work and research to find out the best option for your area.
      Like I say, we are a hybrid outfit at the Mangum casa (with 7th Gen)…I’ve found them to be more reasonably priced using the “Amazon Mom’s” pricing at Amazon.com.

      Thanks for the feedback.
      Way to Go Green!

    2. interesting point about living in the desert, rachael!

      I do have a question, sabrena – what cleaners can be used to clean diapers that don’t put harsch chemicals back into the water supply but also actually disinfect the diapers? I honestly don’t know the answer and was curious if either of you knew more about that.

      thanks for a great post, sabrena!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Make and Takes more recent posts