Besides choosing a name for their new baby, probably the next toughest decision for parents is whether to use cloth or disposable diapers. They must consider cost, comfort, convenience and environmental effect.

Cloth or Disposable?

Each year about 18 billion disposable diapers are accumulated in landfills. It can take decades before they begin breaking down. Even the new greener biodegradable ones take time to decompose. Laundering cloth diapers is the best solution for the eco baby. Organic cloth diapers are also available and are beneficial for babies with allergic reactions to regular cloth diapers.

Looking for convenience? Use a diaper service. They come to your home, pick up the dirty ones and leave you with a wonderful pile of fresh ones. Yes it is an additional expense but it is only short term.

Convenience was the big attraction in the 1960s when disposable diapers were introduced. They were simple to close without pins, portable, and dirty ones were easily disposed of in the nearest garbage can. One of biggest negatives was the chemicals used in manufacturing caused more babies to suffer from diaper rash.

Cloth diapers aren’t perfect but have improved. The pins have been replaced with snaps or Velcro closures. However, they tend to be a bit leakier. There are studies which indicate babies wearing cloth diapers are toilet trained earlier. They expect that babies feel the wetness of the cloth diaper which encourages earlier use of the potty.

Let’s have a look at the cost of cloth vs disposable. A newborn has a diaper changed about 2000 times in the first year. The study based the cost of a disposable diaper at 25 cents and a cloth one at 18 cents. So in a year, the disposables cost $500. If you bought a new cloth diaper for each change instead of laundering and reusing them, the cost would be $360, a considerable savings. If 40 cloth diapers, about a weeks worth, were purchased for the year, the cost would be $7.20 making a huge difference in savings. There is the cost of laundering to add on but still cloth diapers are much less expensive and can be used for several babies. Also the diapers can be sold, donated or used for cleaning cloths when you no longer have a baby.Easy

Here’s an easy system for laundering cloth diapers.


Green Baby Bottles

When plastic baby bottles came on the seen, moms were happy with the lighter weight and no chance of breaking. However, we now know those older plastic bottles were made with potentially harmful toxins like bisphenol-A (BPA).BPA Free Baby Bottle

What to use now? One of the new eco friendly alternatives is recyclable glass bottles. Also opaque polypropylene plastic bottles have been deemed safe. These have a recycling triangle of 5. Also plastic bottles with a 1 or 2 recycling number are considered safe.

It’s also important to get safe nipples and pacifiers. These have also been made of plastics and rubber with associated health risks. Clear silicone is the safest material for pacifiers and bottle nipples.

For breastfeeding moms who store or freeze breast milk, use glass jars or polyethylene bags for storage. Avoid any plastic containers with a 3 recycling number. Easy


Green Baby Bedding

Babies spend so much of their time sleeping, that comfortable, natural bedding is essential. Once you’ve selected one of the best cribs, choosing comfy, safe bedding is the next step.  Organically grown cotton and bamboo make wonderful sheets, blankets, and mattress covers free of chemicals and dyes. Your baby won’t be at risk of inhaling toxins or absorbing them through their skin. Eco friendly organic bedding and crib mattress are the bases of a safe, natural, non-allergenic nursery for your green baby.Sleeping Baby

In the past, crib mattresses were made of PVC, polyester, and foam. Then covered with flame-retardant chemicals. What was common at one time, now makes us shudder. Today, mattresses are often filled with organic wool batts or natural latex cores which are then covered with organic cotton.

Organic wool puddle pads are available to protect the organic crib mattress. This eliminates the need for a plastic pad. Wool is very absorbent and a natural fiber. An organic cotton crib mattress pad can be used over the wool pad for additional protection and comfort.

Bamboo is another eco friendly fabric showing up in baby bedding. It makes wonderful durable, soft, washable sheets and blankets. It’s a renewable and sustainable product.

Crib bumpers are now padded with wool instead of foam and polyester. Then covered in organic cotton or bamboo making them chemical free.

Setting up a green nursery for your baby? Green Baby Rooms provides information on choosing a safe crib, chemical free paint, and other natural ways to create an eco friendly baby room.

EasyMay your baby be comfy and have sweet dreams.


Green Baby Shower

Eco friendly baby showers are becoming popular not only for giving green baby gifts but also for using green products to host the event. Here are some green tips for hostess:

  • Mention in the invitations that the shower is a green one and that eco friendly baby gifts are appreciated but not compulsory.
  • Suggest the guests bring any used but still good baby clothes, toys, or baby books. Babies grow out of things so fast some are hardly worn. Best to recycle them.
  • Ask that gifts be wrapped in something that will be useful such as a baby blanket, cloth diaper, diaper pail, or towel.
  • If there are some favorite eco friendly stores or web sites, list them in the invitation as well to inform your guests where they can shop.
  • Request guests RSVP to the shower invitation by email or phone to save paper and postage.
  • Send the invitations via email to save paper and postage.  If a paper invitation is required, either make your own or buy some that are printed on recycled paper. If you are creating your own, design it so it can be folded to make a self envelope for mailing and eliminate the need for a separate envelope. There are several online sites for creating invitations. You can put in your own image and send by email or iphone. Or you can create it online and download to print yourself. Check these free invitation sites:
  • Decorate with natural or recycled items. Use potted plants or soy or beeswax candles. Fill a glass bowl with fruit, marbles, rocks, or a few baby items.
  • Serve the food on real dishes. Omit the paper plates and plastic cups and cutlery.
  • Pick up some baby shower themed paper napkins made of recycled paper if possible. Use a real tablecloth or just a table runner.
  • Serve locally grown or organic fruits and veggies. Perhaps use a green theme for food with green grapes, sugar snap peas, sliced zucchini, celery, green pepper slices, and key lime tarts.
  • If possible, make homemade dessert and treats rather than purchasing.
  • Consider green favors for the guests such as organic tea, palantable flower seeds that come in biodegradable planting paper, small jars of jam or honey. If you decorated with a grouping of small potted plants, such as African Violets, send one home with each guest.
  • The expectant mom can send her thank you notes via email or create her own notes similar to the invitations.

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