Monday, January 30, 2012

[Going Green] Earth Mama Goddess

... is what I think my hippie of a mother once referred to herself as. 

Well, the apple didn't fall far from the tree.  I mean, I may not drive a VW Bus, vacation at Woodstock, or have an odd fascination with Stevie Nicks... (wait, I totally do for that last one!), but I am definitely a bit of a big ol' tree hugger on the inside under all that J.Crew.

I want to preface this post, and the related posts that will follow, that parenting decisions (hell, any life decisions) should be all based on what works for you best.  I am by no means saying that to others who make other choices different from my own, are "wrong" for doing them that way.  It's more that I thought I would share my experiences and, with that, the reasoning behind how I made them.  I've gained a lot of knowledge from reading similar stories online, and just thought I'd share my own decisions here in case there are readers who are interested why we selected certain products or went with particular techniques.  At the same time, while some of our decisions may not be "normal" ones, I hope they are respected as they are ours, and ours alone.

The Husband and I already live a lifestyle where we focus on making a lot of eco-friendly choices.  He's a stickler for recycling anything that should be, including listing things for free on craigslist to give them a new home before putting them on the curb and sending them to sit in a landfill.  I monitor the electricity usage, making sure lights and televisions are shut off when not in use, thermostats turned down (and sweats and blankets piled on) and clothes are mainly cold water washed.  However, I do love myself a hot shower - you win some, you lose some.   We support companies with green initiatives or those that are local.   And we both are sticklers for what we put in our bodies in regards to our diet (which I've already discussed here before). 

Of course, not everything is perfect so it's all about choosing your battles and feeling good about the decisions you do make.  I'm no poster child for Green Living (hello, I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee), but I do the best I can with works easily in my life.  In the land of making decisions for our pending arrival, it's all about doing what we think will work for us and in the end make us and our baby happy.

We've made a decent amount of decisions thus far based on our ideals that natural is best.  I thought I'd give a little overview here, and then follow up weekly with more in depth posts of why and how we made each of those decisions.

1 - Our Crib!  Holy Cow, it's been ordered by our in-laws and might even be here and assembled by the weekend!  This decision, and the mattress that goes along with it, were two things I researched to death.  Can't wait to share the how and why this one became our winner!

2 - Cloth Diapers.  This is one item that you can find a TON of personal accounts of online.  While I still get a lot of side eyes from people who use disposables and don't believe we'll stick to our cloth diapering pledge, it seems anyone who does use them -loves them and finds them to be incredibly easy.  We already have about half our stash, so while I don't have any user reviews yet, I can't wait to share why we are going this route.

3 - Natural Hygiene Products.  I've been slowly swapping my own personal care products for ones free of parabens, synthetics, and long lists of chemicals I can't pronouce - why would I choose not to do the same for my baby?

4/5 - Eco-Friend Toys and Gear.  Plastics can be full of BPA and other toxic finishes, especially when made in other countries (which most are).  I will definitely buy my fair share of items that won't meet this criteria, but it's about balance.  For every plastic based jumperoo, I'd like to use natural teething rings, bpa free pacifers, and wooden grasping toys.

6 - Glass bottles.  While the ultimate goal is to nurse, I know far too many friends who just simply couldn't.  I want to do what is best for my baby and if it's just not working (latching, supply, weight gain, etc) I'm not going to insist on it over my baby's health.  Either way, at some point, breast milk or formula will be given through a bottle - gotta get daddy involved in the feeding process!  And for that, I'm hoping to stick with glass bottles.

7 - Homemade Baby Grub.  Once she is old enough to graduate to some solids with her milk, I plan to feed her the same organic veggies we eat. 

I'm sure there are some other items or decisions I'm already forgetting (baby brain, much?), but I'll be back weekly with fuller posts on each item to share why it's right for us.  Hopefully, you readers can share your stories and advice as well.  I'm a big supporter of Never Saying Never, and not because I'm a Justin Bieber fan. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


  1. Totally want to check out those glass bottles! And I'm planning on investing in a homemade baby food maker as well! :)

  2. You will LOVE the Beaba! Well worth it! ps. You look great! Thanks for stopping by our blog today ;)

  3. I don't have kids or a baby on the way, but I think your choices sound like they really align with you and your husband's values, which is important! I can't wait to see the crib; that's a tremendous purchase to research. :)

  4. I'm so looking forward to reading more about all of these and getting your reviews from first hand experience. We plan to start planning for baby number 2 within the next 1-2 years and I thought about using cloth diapers but chickened out.

  5. I am trying to use more natural beauty products as can be hit or miss for me as far as performance goes. I would love to hear your favorites sometime!

  6. I recommend seeking out the book "so that's what they are for". It's a book about breastfeeding. You will never want formula to touch your baby's lips after reading about he history of baby formula. Reading it changed my whole mindset about nursing. If you set your mind to the fact that there is really only one food created for a baby - your milk, then you will succeed. The cave woman didn't fret about latching!

  7. Thanks everyone!

    Mrs.Doanesm - Breastfeeding is definitely the route I'd like to go and I plan on trying my hardest to make it work. I guess I look at it the same as wanting a med-free birth (which I do!), but if my baby is at risk of complications I'm not going to be refuse medical intervention and put her at risk. I was actually a formula baby, and my mother successfully breastfed my older brother for 6+ months, so it wasn't about the effort/ability. With me I couldn't keep down breastmilk, I had severe reflux and was losing weight. I was finally successful after a hospital stay where they were able to put weight back on me with soy. It's not my plan (for a number of reasons - health, financial, etc) but it's definitely one of those things I'm going to roll with the punches with...

  8. I am 35 weeks and thought I was going to use Aveeno which I thought was fairly safe based on some reading. I decided I might want to go a little more organic since I've bought as much for baby as I can with that route and looked up California Baby. I came across this information which I thought you might find interesting. Looks like my search continues!

  9. Great decisions E! Those glass bottles are so cute on top of not containing disgusting and harmful things like BPAs. I would totally buy that baby food maker if I were to have baby #3, I definitely agree that pure and fresh is the way to go. Even now, I blend up some strawberries and kiwis in the blender, then freeze it to make homemade popsicles for my kids. It's really quite unbelievable what the FDA allows into certain foods we all consume on an everyday basis. I nursed both of my kids for the first year of their lives. With my first child, getting the hang of it was a bit difficult at first, I would say it took about 2 loooong weeks of trial and error. After that, it was smooth sailing. Then when my son came along, I could practically do anything while nursing-read a book, pay bills online, juggle lol

  10. Kelly - Thanks for the link! I actually remember hearing something not so great about CA Baby, but never followed up. I was planning on using their shampoo, hmm back to the drawing board too. I know since I'm using cloth diapers only certain kinds of butt creams work too (without ruining the diaper) I think Earth Mama Angel Baby is ok, but I'll double check them too!

    Andi - The food grosses me out, but it does for myself as well. The amount of preservatives and list of random chemicals. That's a great idea for popsicles! I'm really hoping BF will work without issues, I do have my heart set on it. I just know better than to be stubborn about something like that, I watched a few friends really struggle and ultimately having to stop trying because the baby just wasn't getting what they needed.

  11. I'm going with Earth Mama Angel Baby - it's a 0 on and sold from Amazon and Vitamin Shoppe so it's easy to get!

  12. Have you heard about melaleuca? I use all of their products to keep my house toxin free during my pregnancy and plan on using their baby products as soon as our baby Bella gets here in April!


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