Easy ways to make your parenting techniques (and planet) a little bit greener.
Moms often choose to use cloth diapers to keep disposables out of landfills, but some opt to go cloth for budget’s sake. Buying once and using for a few years (and a few kids) seems like a no-brainer! To get the most bang for your buck, select one-size-fits-all styles, which are designed to fit from birth to potty.
Most babies cut their first teeth between 4 and 7 months of age, although some begin exhibiting teething signs within the first few months of life. When baby’s pearly whites start pushing through, you should expect him to be a little grumpier than usual. (Teething hurts!) Try these green tips for naturally easing his budding pain:
• Stock up on tooth-friendly toys. Look for wooden teethers or soft toys made from organic cotton for safe gnawing.
• Chill damp organic washcloths in the fridge. Baby can chew on them to his heart’s content—both the cold temperature and chewing counterpressure will work to soothe his inflamed gums.
• Massage baby’s gums with your finger. (After washing your hands, of course!) Be prepared for some chomping.
• Ask your doctor if infant acetaminophen might be an option. If your baby’s pain is severe and nothing else works, your pediatrician might recommend a dose of a pain reliever.
It’s estimated that about 20 percent of infants suffer from eczema, a scaly-looking skin rash that causes a great deal of discomfort and itchiness. If your baby has been diagnosed with eczema, try an all-natural wash-and-cream combo to treat the condition and ease baby’s woes.
One way to parent with our planet in mind? Reuse baby gear rather than buying new (and remember to pass the items along to a friend when your baby has outgrown them).Sharing or swapping goods saves money as well as Mother Earth, but there are some things you should buy new in the name of safety. Don’t accept hand-me-downs of the following items.
If you don’t know the car seat’s history, don’t use it. Involvement in an accident can affect the reliability of a seat,
and this is one area in which you don’t want to take chances. You should also avoid using a seat that is more than six years old, since safety standards are constantly being updated.
Most pumps are labeled “single patient” or “single user” by the FDA and pump manufacturers, meaning they shouldn’t be shared. In fact, it’s illegal to resell a breast pump in the United States. Always buy new, even if you know and trust the owner of an offered used breast pump.
Any baby item that hasn’t been manufactured within the last few years might not be up to current safety standards. Cribs and walkers, in particular, are two items that require a thorough check against current safety guidelines before use.
Don’t have friends or family members to borrow gear from? Visit swapmamas.com, where you just might be able to score a bouncer in exchange for a few of your maternity duds.