Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Items That Make Life Easier

My wonderful Psychologist husband tells me that if you think you have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) then you don’t. However, if I could pick an area that I fall into an OCD panic about it would be researching and choosing all the baby products we need. I divided this blog into several parts because it would be ridiculously long if it remained in one piece. Here is how I broke it down,
Part 1 - Baby out on the town
Part 2 - Chemical free sleep
Part 3 - Why organic clothes?
Part 4 - Items that make life easier
Keep an eye out for the other sections, here is Part 4.

Items that make life easier
Years of being a nanny for children of all ages taught me basic survival skills. There are some little extras that we sit on the fence wondering if it is worth spending more money. Here are some of my eco-friendly favorites that are time tested and worth the extra cash.
Binky Leash
I cannot tell you how many pacifiers I have chased after as they roll away from me. They always seem to be everywhere that you are not, I move the couch and there’s a binky, I clean out the car and under the seat is a binky, I am searching in my purse for mints and there is a binky. The other common scenario is you are with baby who is ill-tempered for what ever reason, you give them the binky only to have it thrown and now you have a dirty binky. Depending on your experience with children you may choose to hide the binky and search for a clean one or brush off the dirt, wash it off with water from your drinking bottle and hand it back to her. To save myself from this seemingly never ending battle of the binky I began to make and carry with me at all times the binky leash. They come in different forms but the idea is always the same, one end attaches to baby and the other end to the pacifier. With binky leashes it is worth spending a little extra to get one that is organic. If you are going through all the trouble of greening your food, home and clothes then the last thing you will want is baby sucking on the chemical filled and toxic binky leash. Also, buy one that is machine washable...trust me!
Dropper Stopper
A while ago I came across a wonderful invention called a Dropper Stopper. It is the same idea as the binky leash but it is for bottles and toys and it is mainly used with a stroller or car seat. I tried to make similar items before but this was was different. The end that attaches to the bottle or toy had a mesh fabric on the inside making it slip resistant even with a bottle covered in condensation. Since we went with the very healthy glass bottles these leashes are a must have. It saves you from the “Ah Oh” game!
Baby Legs - Leg Warmers
Remember those awesome leg warmers we all wore in the 80’s and early 90’s? Well they are out of the ballet studio and back in a very cool way. Baby Legs makes these amazing and adorable baby leg warmers which are helpful in more ways then fashion. These are great when you have baby in the carrier because they do not bunch up and leave part of baby’s leg exposed. They are also helpful when your outfit for the day is destroyed, you can pull out a pair of these and baby still looks cute. I like to use them in the winter or on rainy days as a type of layering. They come in all types of patterns and colors. Why choose Baby Legs over a different brand? They do not get those annoying fabric balls, they stay up on baby’s leg and they offer many organic options.
Wet Wipes
Not the most earth friendly invention but so helpful. To make these more green for health and for earth pick certain brands. If you think about it, you only use toilet paper when you use the restroom so why are you putting wet chemicals on your baby? The problem with wet wipes, other then the environmental impact are chemicals and toxins again invading your baby’s system. Your baby does not need anything anti-bacterial or fragranced. In fact, wet wipes could be causing your baby’s rash.
    According to greenyour.com, “Conventional wipes may also contain synthetic     fragrances as well as parabens, known endocrine disrupters that are not only detrimental to human health, but also destructive to animal hormones and development. Fragrances are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which add to air pollution, are persistent in the environment, and contaminate waterways and aquatic wildlife. An estimated 5.72 million Americans have skin allergies to fragrance, while around 72 percent of those suffering from asthma claim that their condition can be triggered by synthetic fragrance.”
Taking all this into account the facts are, they make life easier and they make baby’s bottom smell better.  So here is a compromise, skip the normal wipes and opt for brands like Seventh Generation who use only healthy ingredients. Once you get a wet wipe that is free of toxins you can wipe the food off of baby’s face and clean up the spittle on your shirt with a clean green conscious.
Wet Bags
If you are part of the cloth diapering brigade then you already know the importance of wet bags but for everyone else, here are some other uses. Wet bags are made of water resistant (no plastic please) fabric and are great when baby spills liquid down her shirt and now you have to do a wardrobe change. They are also great for those times when one diaper was just not enough to hold everything. Try to find wet bags that are water resistant but machine washable, if you buy these you can throw the whole bag in the washing machine so you do not have to unearth the mess. Kushies brand makes fun designs that are PVC, BPA, Lead and Phtalate free.
Snack Sized To Go Boxes
Plastic bags, they are everywhere. In high school I noticed that my sandwich would smell and taste like the zip bag it was housed in, especially on hot days. Even then before I knew about chemicals I knew that was gross and switched to wax bags. Years later we know what the culprit was for that smell and taste. Not all plastics are counted equal and not all of them are bad news. In fact, for a mommy on the go plastic is helpful.     
       Here are the good plastics from ehow.com “#1 -- Used for soda and water bottles. It is meant for one-time use, so don't refill these bottles. #2 -- Milk bottles. This type of bottle is safe. #4 -- Squeezable bottles. This type of plastic is safe. #5 -- Food containers such as yogurt, butter and other condiments. This plastic is safe. #7 -- Unbreakable water bottles. This plastic has been known to leach Bishpenol A (BPA) and should be avoided.”
Honestly, I can never remember which are good and which are bad so I stick with brands I trust or forgo the plastic all together. To avoid plastic bags switch to wax bags but make sure you do not get paraffin wax bags, that is still an evil chemical. You can also purchase plastic alternatives, thankfully this is a growing market and they are increasingly easier to find. I love the glass water bottles from Life Factory, they also make baby bottles. They have a cute but functional design and the glass is wrapped in a silicone sleeve to prevent cracks and breaks. The other must have are bento boxes from Laptop Lunches. They are the good kind of plastic, rarely leak and come in fun colors. I love these for packing baby snacks like raisins or crackers.

Web Resources
How to Identify Good & Bad Plastic Bottles | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com  /how_5004337_identify-good-bad-plastic-bottles.html#ixzz1HLl9obrH


  1. I love the binky leashes you've added to your shop! So cute, and seriously, so practical!

    These are great suggestions...this new momma is writing them down!

    ♥ Bethany


  2. The Dropper Stopper is something I've tried my hand at making a few times, too, but theirs is much better. Thanks for the suggestion!