Category Archives: Eco baby

6 of my must-have baby products

This blog post was supposed to be 5 products, but I really couldn’t choose which one to cull! These are all tried and tested on my own kids, and are products I truly love.  Continue reading

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Filed under Eco baby, Green living, Natural Remedies, Teething

Homemade sanitising wipes

We have started gently potty training Boo. It’s going really well, and is relatively stress free so far. It does involve a lot more cleaning though, and sometimes it’s tough to tuck the baby under one arm and clean the potty at the same time. Having a sanitizing wipe would make life MUCH easier, but we don’t use chemicals in our house. The solution? Make my own of course!

It’s really simple; all you need is some vinegar, tea tree solution, lemon essential oil, a bucket and some cheap cloths. I like the tea tree solution because it has an ingredient to disperse it through the water.

Add 1/4 vinegar, 3/4 water, 2 lids of tea tree solution and 10 drops of lemon essential oil. Stir well, throw in the cloths and you’re done. Instant sanitizing wipes. Super cheap, natural and reusable. I wash mine with my nappies.

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Filed under Eco baby, Green living, Home made and DIY

Cheap breastfeeding necklace options

A breastfeeding necklace is a great option to entertain little hands during a feed. Most breastfeeding mums know the joy of being pinched, scratched, clawed and of having their nipple taken in odd directions when bub decides to look at something without detaching first. Ouch! I didn’t use a necklace with my first, but I definitely need one now. Lillypilly finds it hard to concentrate at a feed, when she knows her big sister is doing something fun nearby. Ergo, a necklace is required.

There are some lovely one out there. If I had the money I would buy this one or this one.
Alas, being a SAHM means this is not an option. Some thrifty options are required, so I’ve come up with this list of cheap breastfeeding necklace ideas

Use what you have
Search through your jewellary box for necklaces with bright colours, interesting beads and textured designs. Anything that can be pulled off the necklace, easily broken or rough on bubs hands is out, but that should still leave a few options. I found an old wooden necklace with different shaped beads. It’s smooth and Lillypilly likes the feel. Boo even wears it while she breastfeeds her teddy. Too cute!

Make something
I used to make jewellary, so I’m going to strand something myself. It won’t be fashionable, but I’ll use assorted colorful beads I have left over from my crafty days, and string it on tiger tail.

Another DIY option is to knit or crochet something. I have a shirt with a crochet neck line and bub loves to play with it

If you have no craft skills or materials, you could rip scrap fabric into strands and tie it together. Leave dangly bits for bub to play with. Trim regularly for loose threads though.

Hit the Op shops
Op shop jewellary stands are full of outrageous necklaces that were fashionable 5 years ago, but dated now. They are perfect for breastfeeding necklaces. Usually you can get one for under $5

Use a brooch
A beautiful brooch can be an option to using a necklace. Choose one that’s fun and colorful, or one with nice textures. Make sure you use the safety clasp.

Use a toy
The other day I desperately needed a necklace, but didn’t have my wood one on hand. I grabbed a small toy and held it at my breast and it did the trick. Not as convenient, but still an option

Hopefully one of these options appeal to you, and you get a cheap and effective option. Remember that these options don’t have built in safety clasps or double knotting, so caution and common sense are required. Never leave bub unattended with your breastfeeding necklace, especially if its a DIY option or not designed specifically for breastfeeding.

Did this post inspire you? Please leave me a comment if it did

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Filed under Breast feeding, Eco baby, Home made and DIY

Home made play dough recipe

Kids love play dough. I can still remember watching while my Mum cooked up play dough, impatiently waited for it to cool, then spent hours making and creating all sorts of fun things. Naturally I want to repeat this with my girls, so I dug out the play dough recipe, sat little missy on the bench, and got cooking.

This recipe is made from ingredients in your pantry. It’s totally non-toxic, and cheaper than the commercial variety.
Home made play dough

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cooking salt
2tbs cream of tartar
1/2 tbs vegetable oil (I used rice bran oil)
2 cups water
1tsp natural food colouring

Method

  1. Combine flour, salt and cream of tartar in a large saucepan. Slowly blend in oil, water and food colouring
  2. Stir continuously over a low heat, until the mixture thickens and forms a ball.
  3. Allow to cool, then wrap in cling wrap to stop it drying out.

My darling girl had a wonderful time playing with her new play dough, and to be honest so did I! It gave us another opportunity to bond and learn together: she learnt a new texture, some new hand skills and how to use cookie cutters. I learnt how to let go, have fun and allow myself to live in the amazing moments life with a toddler brings.

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Filed under Activities for Toddlers, Eco baby

17 good reasons to buy secondhand

I have to show off my awesome purchase at the markets today. I got this pile of 17 organic bumgenius nappies, inserts and the nappy buckets for the bargain price of $20. Who says cloth has to be expensive.

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Filed under Eco baby, Nappies

My favourite cloth nappies

People often ask me what brand of cloth nappy is best. Having just been asked this three times in two days I thought I’d blog about it 🙂

My answer is always the same; I love different ones for different reasons. I have about nine different brands now, so I’ll give you the run down on the pro’s and con’s of each. This is essentially The Natural Mum’s ‘cloth nappy review’.

Note: I only use all-in-one nappies or all-in-two nappies. If you are interested in other types this review will not really help you.

Glossary
AI1: all in one nappies are usually either a pocket nappy, or a nappy with the absorbency built it.
AI2: all in two nappies have an extra snap in booster (or three!)
OSFM: one size fits most
Pocket nappy: Has the absorbent insert ‘hidden’ within a pocket

Issy Bear Nappies – Day, Night and Minky all in ones
Pro’s: Super cute designs, very trim fit, great quality elastic and snaps. This nappy snaps down to quite a small size and is perfect for around the house on my small bub.

Con’s: For my heavy wetter I don’t get more than two hours before they leak, sometimes not even that long! They come with an extra liner for night use or heavy wetters. This would be fine for bigger babies, but was too bulky for my tiny girl.

Additional features: you can take the liner out of the night nappy, and then use the cover as a swim nappy. It is the best swim nappy ever!

Baby Beehinds – Magic All’s All in One
Pro’s: great absorbency, and comes with a thin booster which fits in really well. These are my first choice for nap time, as on those rare days bub has a long nap they are least likely to leak.

Con’s: Such a bulky nappy! It looked huge on my girl. Poor quality elastic which is already breaking down (about 12mths use).

Bambooty – Easy Dry Colours

Pro’s: ultra trim and perfect for newborns and very small babies. I loved these when my baby was tiny but didn’t spend the money buying bigger sizes

Con’s: a sized range so you need to buy more nappies than a one size fits all. The liner is not in a pocket, so for soft poo you end up cleaning the liner and the outer. Not as absorbent as my other brands.

Note: they do have a OSFM nappy now too, but I have not used it

PeaPods
Pro’s: great absorbency, easy to use, can often get second hand at good prices

Con’s: another sized range, not the cutest cloth nappy ever made

Green kids – Anytimes One Size Nappies
Pro’s: a nice, thin, double liner with great absorbency without the bulk

Con’s: they sell the liner and covers separately! Be cautious of this as I ended up paying double postage. Doesn’t snap down so rides up very high on smaller babies. A big nappy which moves around too much on my small baby causing leakages.

Bum genius – One Size 3.0
Pro’s: great absorbency, lightweight and fairly trim, snaps down to a small size, dries quickly

Con’s: the material on the cover is not very durable and I find you need to use caution when undoing the snaps, has a funny tab system which allows it to move more than others, boring designs

Note: These nappies can be quite expensive. I recommend searching eBay as there are a few sellers there who have a better price. There is a newer version out now too; version 4.0

Bonnibuns – Rapid Dry

Pro’s: trim design, lovely colours (I have a lovely mint colour)

Con’s: the liner is not very absorbent, AI2 so poo gets on the liner and cover, there is no way this would fit the weight range they give. My girl is tiny, tiny, tiny and it’s already getting too small for her

Note: This brand will custom make footy nappies for your baby. My footy mad hubby has just ordered some!

No-name brand aka cheap Chinese imports
Pro’s: very cheap, surprisingly good absorbency, dries quickly

Con’s: outer material very cheap and wearing out after only a few months, liner is no frills and doesn’t snap down for smaller sizes

Cheeky butts – Smarty Pants
Pro’s: trim design, good absorbency, dries quickly

Con’s: TERRIBLE quality snaps. They are almost unusable now.

Note: This is the only brand I would not recommend people buy. All the others have things I like about them, but the snaps make these a bad investment.

GroVia – Hybrid
Pro’s: Lovely trim design, fits really well, great absorbency, probably the best nappy I have used on my small baby

Con’s: Takes forever to dry

Note: This is a really cool nappy, as it is designed to have the liner snapped out and a clean one snapped in, without changing the outer nappy shell. I don’t use it like this, but do carry extra liners in my nappy bag in case I do want to make a quick change. They also have a disposable insert, which I have not used.

Itti bitti – Tutto
Pro’s: Really trim design for a OSFM, lovely soft minky outer, really good absorbency.

Con’s: An AI2, with three pieces to the liner. It makes it a little confusing, but not overly bulky. The trim design would not suit a bigger baby

Quick guide
In response to one of the comments below, I thought I would post a quick ‘best for’ guide. Please not these are based on the nappies tested above – not the whole range

Best for small babies: GroVia, Itti bitti, Issy bear
Best for big babies: Baby beehinds, Green kids
Best for heavy wetters: GroVia, Baby beehinds, Green kids, Bumgenius

So that’s it (so far!). As you can see there really is good and bad points to every nappy I have tried. My advice is to buy a few nappies from 3 or 4 different ranges and try them out. You might find one you love, and then you can stock up on those. Or like me, you might love them all for different reasons, and choose to keep different brands on hand for all those different reasons.

I do have a bit of a problem with cloth nappies though; they are addictive! I just ordered a new brand the other day, so I will keep updating this list as I keep trying out different nappies.

If you would like to know where I bought my nappies, then write a comment below, including the brand/s you are interested in and I’ll post links

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Are children sustainable?

Living on a planet with 7 billion people, dwindling resources and the very real issue of climate change makes me worry about the future for my child. It also makes me wonder if it is slightly irresponsible to create more children for the earth to support. My husband and I talked about this a lot during my pregnancy, as we wanted to take a proactive role in reducing bubs impact on the earth.

It really wasn’t that hard to make some conscious decisions that reduce the impact of a new baby on the planet. Most new parents spend a fortune on brand new clothes and nursery furniture that gets used for such a short period. Disposable nappies, formula feeding (by choice, not necessity) and pre-packaged foods all lead to excess waste production, and often are linked to many transport miles. And ironically these choices can often be unhealthy for our babies too.

For furniture and clothes we had a secondhand rule. We scoured eBay and baby markets and got some great secondhand furniture. It took a bit of time, as I wanted everything to work nicely in the room but it all came together beautifully. As well as reducing the impact new furniture has on our earth, there were a couple of other benefits too. It was cheap! The whole nursery, including pictures, manchester and toys cost less than $1000. All our furniture was solid wood and good quality; second hand did not mean second best. It was also better for our little girl’s health. New furniture off-gases toxic chemicals including formaldehyde, which have been linked to cancer, asthma and respiratory problems. In the end the room didn’t look as pretty as I planned mostly because little miss moved into our room, leaving the nursery as part change room, part play room and part storage!

Toys are often super cheap secondhand, and baby markets have heaps of them. Friends have also been very generous with donating old unwanted toys. They get to clear their clutter and recycle at the same time! Lately I have been sourcing some good second hand books from Better World Books. These guys do great work – check them out. I also dusted off the old library card, and am constantly surprised by the range of books on parenting the library has.

I also use cloth nappies most of the time. Despite some controversy about the water requirements for washing, cloth nappies have been found to be more eco-friendly than disposable. I’m not superwomen, so sometimes we revert to disposables when I’m struggling to keep up with everything (I work from home and study too!), but most of the time my little girl bops around in her cute cloth bottom giving me an ‘awwww’ factor as well as some eco good feelings.

I make ALL of my baby’s food myself. She has not had one spoonful of commercial food. We source our ingredients from a local organic farmers market. Buying local also means buying seasonal. Just this morning, we noticed that the pear season is over. The only pears left are hard ones that looked bland. I was sad for a while as my baby loves pears, however watching her tuck into a nice ripe organic peach later that morning reminded me that each season brings it’s own favourites. Making all the food gives me a real opportunity to reduce the impact on the environment – and its better for my growing girl.

I’m sure as she gets older, we will learn new ways to be kind to Mother Earth, mostly though I hope we teach bub to be eco-conscious. After all the planet will soon be in that generations hands and hopefully they will do better than we did.

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