Raising A Green Child: The Set-up

15680559535_866a1b4511_zThe renovation of our bedroom is finally finished, and I’m back with a brand new blog post for you all. The bedroom was our biggest priority, since the baby will be sleeping there for probably the first 6 months of her life. So, the baby room isn’t finished yet, and probably won’t be before she’s born, but it doesn’t have to be. The baby’s room will be our room first, so we had to make it perfect. We still need a couple of items before we’re ready to have the baby, and that’s what I wanted to talk about.
Being the total hippy-girl that I am, I’m hoping to raise my daughter to lead a green lifestyle. Not just for the environment, but for her own health as well. This means we’ll have to make a lot of choices, and we started doing this months ago.
Let me go over the things we’ve already acquired, and the things we’ve yet to acquire. I’d like to tell you how we made green choices for most of them.

What we already have:
Nursing pads : Simple, they’re washable, cotton and bought second hand.
Maternity clothes : Traded them.
Crib/Co-sleeper : We went with a co-sleeper and bought it second hand, including the mattress.
Thermometer, absorbent cloths, burp cloths, sheets : Ok, not so green here. We got a gift certificate from Bas’ employer for Christmas, and we decided to use it for the items that are harder to find second hand. We figured it was better than spending the certificate on junk and then spending a lot of extra money on baby items we were going to have to buy new anyway. So it didn’t cost us a thing, but it wasn’t a very green solution.
Clothes : All the clothes we have for her right now, have either been traded using a website I talked about in a previous blog, gifted by people we know, or self-made. I still have to do a last check, to see if we have everything we need. I know we still needs some socks and some hats, so I’ll be on the lookout for those on the trading website. Spend on clothes so far: 6 Euros, for shipping and the fee for using the website.
Stroller/babycar: Second hand

We still need:
Changing Station : Bas found one second hand last week, we’re picking it up this weekend. Almost check!
Hot water bottle : My mother in law still has the one she used when Bas and his brother were baby’s and we can have it. Yay!
Mattress covers: Not sure about this yet. The co-sleeper has a very funny sized mattress, and I haven’t found the right size online yet. I found one that’s close enough to make it work, but if I end up having plenty of extra time, I might make some covers myself.
Diapers: We’re still saving up, but we wouldn’t be treehuggers if we didn’t go for cloth diapers. The ones we like are from a brand called Totsbots. The type we chose is pretty new, so we’re not expecting to find them second hand. Still, an incredibly green choice when you compare it to disposable diapers.
Baby bath/holder/thingy : We’re not exactly sure what type we want to use yet, which makes it hard to look for one. At the moment I’m leaning towards one of those “seats” you can place in your regular bathtub and the baby can lay in it. I might want to combine it with something else I saw, which was a sort of barrier you can place in the middle of the tub so you will only have to use water for half of it. Seems great, but I’m not sure if it works well, so we’ll need more research for this. Of course those will be bought second hand when we can.
Changing pillow : This is a no brainer, we’ll buy it second hand.
Car seat : My stepson’s grandma still has one we can have. Check!
Baby sling : I know this isn’t really needed, but I definitely want one. I’d like to be able to keep my baby close while I move around. It’s also great for bonding and feeding! Again, we’ll be buying this second hand.
Baby wipes : If you’re going to use cloth diapers, you might as well go all the way and use cloth wipes as well. I didn’t feel like the hassle of using regular cloth wipes which you still have to put oil or water on. But after one peek at the ingredients in disposable wipes, I knew I never wanted to put this stuff on my baby. So I did some research and I came up with a solution I (and Bas of course) like. They’re called CheekyWipes, and they’re right there in between convenience and environmentally (and baby)friendly. Like the diapers, this is not a non-consumer solution, but it is a green one.

Maybe you think we’re missing some important stuff, but I’m pretty sure we’re almost sorted out. Let’s take a look.
Stuff we probably won’t be needing (some of which we have anyway):
Bottles : I fully intend to breastfeed. I’ll be a stay at home mom, so other than any possible medical obstacles that may arise, I don’t see any reason not to breastfeed. I do realize situations may occur where I am unable to breastfeed, and since we already got two baby bottles for free (We’ve gotten a few mommy/baby-boxes containing some samples and other convenient items) which we can use in case of emergency. There’s no need for us to buy any.
Breastpump : Nope, I know I’ll need some practice, but I’m sure my hands will work just fine if ever needed. Again, the baby will most likely be with me at all times, so I would only have to pump on rare occasions anyway. I can always get one if all else fails of course, but this is not something I have to get ahead of time.
Pacifiers : After doing some careful research, I’ve decided against using a pacifier. I believe this will help with the breastfeeding, as the baby will drink more often if she doesn’t have a pacifier. We also got a few of them in one of the mommy/baby-boxes, and I might keep one at hand in case I change my mind, but the others will be given away or traded.
Babymonitor : Won’t need one, as she’s sleeping in our room. By the time she moves to her own room we expect my stepson to be able to come downstairs if he needs us (our bedroom is downstairs) so we can then move the baby monitor from his room to the baby’s room.
Baby shampoo : I’m not sure about this yet, and I still need to research it, but it seems very unnecessary to use shampoo on a baby. She won’t be very dirty and I don’t like the use of soap on such a sensitive skin. I may try to find a more natural shampoo if it turns out she will actually need it. I will definitely get back to you on this.
Diaper-bag : really? What’s wrong with a regular bag? I’ve always used my old shoulder-bag when going out with my stepson, and it worked fine. I’m pretty sure it’ll work fine for the baby as well.
Playpen : We do actually have one, it’s in the attic and we used it for my stepson. However, I don’t think I would use it now. The co-sleeper has wheels, so if I want the baby to sleep in the living room where I can see her, I would just wheel it into the living room. By the time she starts to sit up, move around and play, I think she’ll be fine doing so on the floor. Of course any dangerous situation (computers, buttons, wires, sockets, etc) will have to be fenced off, but I think I prefer that over fencing off the baby.
Baby bouncer : By the time the baby is going to eat anything besides breastmilk, she’ll be able to sit up, and so we’ll get her a high chair instead. Having her lay around in a baby bouncer for long periods of time is bad for the baby’s back, because she can’t straighten it, so I really see no use for it at this time.

I think I covered most of it in this post. If I missed anything, please let me know and I’ll tell you the greenest solution I can think of.

Gree(n)tings,
Cyndi

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2 Responses to Raising A Green Child: The Set-up

  1. brenna says:

    I’m on board with everything aside from the car seat – and maybe even that if yoy went into more detail. Car seats have a lot of checks to mark off to make them safe. Please take it toa cpst and have it professionally installed. Also pleat make sure it has airways been cleaned according to the manual (like the straps never washed with soap and water. ) make sure that it wad never stored in a garage or barn and of course that is never been in an accident.

    • Cyndi Luyten says:

      Thank you for your input. Obviously safety is my number one priority. The car seat is still good as new, and since I personally know the previous owner, I’m a 100% sure it hasn’t been in an accident or anything like that. It’s a Maxi Cosy carrier/car seat, so it doesn’t have to be installed in the car permanently, the seat-belt is used to fasten it.
      Perhaps I should have elaborated a bit on that point.
      Thanks again for sharing your concerns.

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