So this picture has been circulating around Facebook lately, and I thought I’d talk about what I do and don’t like about it. I believe it’s intended as marketing for The Other Baby Book, which I was lucky enough to snag a free digital copy of but have yet to read (expect a review when I do read it though), but it seems to be being passed around as some sort of crunchy mama, attachment parenting anthem now, which is pretty cool I guess (especially for the book author, talk about viral marketing!)
For the most part, I like this illustration. I have no serious qualms with it. Just a few little things. First, the illustration advocates for elimination communication. I know EC works really well for a lot of people, but it’s not for everyone. For me, it seems like a lot of work. So this illustration doesn’t represent moms on my crunch level, who prefer diapers. There are lots of different ways to diaper, and all have different environmental and natural health pros and cons. For our family, we’ve decided to go with a cloth diaper service this time. Cloth diapering is super easy until you get to the washing part, so for an over scheduled, slobby mom like me, it’s totally worth the money to pay someone to do the washing for me.
On the other hand, a lot of the stuff on the “old necessities” side are still very relevant for people. Some people like to have a crib, even if it’s seldom used. Or feel more comfortable side carring a crib to their bed (what we’ll be doing with the new baby). Bouncy seats can be nice (if your child will sit in one) when you need a break, I believe it’s okay to take a break here and there. Strollers are also nice, especially for festivals, because even if your kids not in it, it becomes a place to put your purse, things you buy, diaper bag, snacks, toys, etc., and frees up your arms to hold your baby. And you might want to have a bottle or two on hand, not because you’ll want a break from nursing, but maybe because someone else (your partner or a grandparent or someone) wants a chance to feed the baby. Feeding a baby is fun, you can share the experience a few times, right? You can fill the bottle with pumped breast milk.
I will say I agree whole heartedly about baby tubs. What a dumb thing to buy. I tried them a few times with Elijah, but he hated them. One day I thought to run a very shallow bath, sit in it cross legged, and wash him in my lap. My body heat kept him warm, he could nurse if he needed extra comfort, and if he got slippery and I lost my grip, he would just fall into my soft, warm lap. It was a fun experience for us both. I do like those soft flower tubs though. I’d give one a try if someone gave one to me, but I wouldn’t buy one myself. I know my lap works just fine.
I bring this stuff up because I want people to know that even if you’re going that more old school route, it doesn’t have to cost this much, and it can still be relatively environmentally friendly. It’s easy. The key is to buy used.
I buy everything used, with the exception of a car seat. I did last time and I am this time. Used is obviously cheaper, but also a very green option. In short, buying used can actually be a greener option than buying organic, because to produce something new (even when it’s organic) takes resources and creates waste, where as reusing something not only keeps it out of the landfill, but keeps the demand for new things down, so less are produced and fewer resources are used and less waste is generated.
You don’t have to feel like a less crunchy parent just because you want to use baby seats and diapers. There are lots of different options out there, and lots of different shades of green. Do what works for you and your family.
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