10 Steps to Help You Avoid Eco-exhaustion

I fell down the rabbit hole of toxic information soon after I had my first baby. I spent hours and hours on the computer researching safer, more natural options with an infant on my lap. I had just left a job in policy research, so I was still in the research mode. And I was worried. And a bit obsessed. I wanted to know everything, change everything, fix everything - immediately!  Eventually, I chilled out. And now I'm going to share with you my tips for achieving some balance in your quest to go green.

Preschooler Potty Training Finale (Plus Top Ten Benefits of Early Potty Training)

Toddler/Preschooler Potty Training
I think we've reached the end of the line with potty training my 3-year-old.  No #2 accidents for over one month.  He's had a few #1 accidents (mostly outside, because he has a hard time leaving the dirt in time to take off his shoes, come inside, and run to the potty), but I'm sure those will happen from time to time for years.  I'm not sure what really sealed the deal.  Was it the one-week vacation with cousins during which time he did not have a single accident?  Was it the showers my husband gave him every time he pooped in his underpants (just a regular warm temperature shower, but my 3-year-old did not seem to like them)?  Was it the stickers of two of his favorite loves (letters and construction vehicles) or the treats from Trader Joe's?  Was it limiting the fruit so that his #2's were not so urgent?  Or was it just. . . time?  We'll never know.  We're just very happy that he's pooping in the potty.

Baby Potty Training

How to Buy a Natural Bed when You Have No Income

Note to readers: click HERE to read an updated version of this post.

I truly believe that if you are going to green one thing, you should green your beds, because people (babies and children especially) spend so much time sleeping.  About a year ago, we bought a full size bed for our 2 small children to sleep in together.  I couldn't afford my ideal bed (all natural materials, no plastic, no toxic chemicals), but I ended up with a decent compromise. Below you'll find information about my ideal bed, very affordable eco-friendlier options, and what I actually bought.

The Pièce de résistance.

But what if you aren't in the market for a new mattress right now?  Hopefully, you'll find the information below on bedding, pillows and mattress protectors useful.  Honestly, I chose not to research the mattress issue until I was ready to buy a new bed to avoid unduly stressing myself out.  I will say that if I had a new baby sleeping in a crib it would be my number one shopping priority to buy a 100% natural crib mattress (probably made of organic cotton and wool) with zero added flame retardants and a wool puddle pad for protection.

10 Reasons I Love Pyrex

During one of my many moves in the last few years, my husband and I decided it was time to get rid if the old tupperware.  Some of it dated back to his and my childhood ("borrowed" from our parents when we moved out on our own).  I had always heard that you shouldn't microwave food in plastic or put plastic through the dishwasher, or use plastic that looked degraded, but I never really got serious about it until we had our first child.  Then I decided that I didn't want any of us eating plastic.  But, you know what?  Hand-washing plastic containers and transferring food into glass containers to microwave it got old really fast.  So I decided that we would ditch all of our mismatched plastic containers, and buy Pyrex.

Many years later, we still love our Pyrex.  Here's why:

Cloth Diaper Tutorial - The EASIEST Way to Use a Prefold

My friend Nisha asked me how I use prefolds.  So here you go:

1.  Lay out your prefold cloth diaper flat.  Pictured above is an unbleached regular size prefold, which works well from a few months old until potty training.  Also pictured, the inside of my Thirsties cover, which is what I'm going to put the prefold into.  This is a medium-sized Thirsties that I had converted from velcro to snaps by Convert My Diapers (more on that in another post).  In addition to switching the velcro enclosure to a snap enclosure, she also added snaps on the front so that I could adjust the size.  Thirsties now makes a cover like this themselves -- take a look.

What Do You Do with the POOP???

A big barrier in switching from disposables to cloth diapers is poop. I mean, as parents, we’ve all washed our share of pee, right? Pee on clothes, pee on sheets, pee on the floor because the diaper shifted a little too far to the side. But poo is another matter. We’ve all washed poo too, mostly out of clothes after a pooplosion. Most people do not relish the idea of dealing with poop anymore than they have to. Although all disposable diapers include instructions telling you to remove the poop from the diaper before throwing it in the trash (because that stuff belongs in the sewage system, not in the landfill where it may contaminate ground water), nobody does. At least no one I’ve ever met. So, just in case you are thinking about using cloth diapers, let’s discuss some of your options when it comes to poop.  (These methods all assume a dry pail, which is what I use.)


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