Green mommy – An update
I really don’t want to start this blog post by saying that this blog post has been long overdue! Seriously, I’m a lousy blogger. I salute bloggers who are writing daily/weekly updates. Somehow, I just can’t. I do remember that I have a blog, most of the time, but I don’t really have much to say, so I just shut up and don’t post.
Anyhow… that’s that and now… Well, as the title suggests, we’re expecting a baby. It’s a GIRL! Woop! If all goes well, she’ll be joining our little family in about 8 weeks time. Whoever says that time goes slow while being pregnant… Bullsh*t! It’s as if only yesterday we found out that we were pregnant. And see, just a couple of weeks and we’ll be three. So what have I been up to these last months…
Well, for starters, I moved back to Belgium to recover from my accident (I wrote about it here). I can say that after about 2-3 months of intensive physiotherapy, I’m at about 90% of my former self. It took a lot of time, but I’m so grateful that I could do my recovery here.
Since I haven’t been mobile, it was the best of times to read (as I usually do a lot, but now even more… I guess I reached about 60 books already this year) and knit and crochet. I’ve been making lots of stuff, especially for the baby, and I’m still working on several projects.
Other than that, I’ve been doing loads and loads and loads of researching and reading. My Pinterest addiction grew out of hand – again! I’ve been pinning things related to baby food (and she isn’t even there yet!), parenting, pregnancy and breastfeeding… Jezus, how did previous generation handle it! Internet is such a great invention. Anyhow, choices had to be made. Luckily, Mr. and I are on the same page when it comes to the baby (even though he believes I bought way to much clothes for her ¯\_(ツ)_/¯). So here are some of the green choices we’ve made for our daughter.
*** Please note that I wasn’t paid in any way by any of the brands or websites I’ve mentioned below. ***
- Dryer balls
Go to the supermarket and walk into the washing isle. You’ll find dozens of products to use for doing your laundry. One more expensive than the other, and for sure, most of them, pretty chemical. Do you need those? No! Are they good for baby’s skin? Well, chemicals + baby: big NO NO NO! I mean, you don’t even need to be a scientific genius to figure that out. So, what to do? I did some reading and came across wool dryer balls. There’s plenty of options available to buy them online, but here in Belgium, people aren’t familiar with them and the ones you can find in stores are the plastic ones, which I didn’t want. I used the DIY tutorial from this website. For non-Dutch speakers, just google and you’ll find a tutorial in your own language for sure. You can also head over to Chris over at Joybileefarm.com to read more about woolen dryer balls. As for laundry detergents, I decided against the liquid detergent and went with the old fashioned powder. I chose a brand found at ALDI after it being recommended by the lady of Engeltje Bengeltje, a store that sells ecological stuff for babies and moms, while I shopped there for my cotton diapers (more about these below). I chose for the “Colors” kind, instead of the one for whites only, as that one is supposed to have more bleach inside, more chemicals we don’t want. Instead of fabric softener, I’ll be using my dryer balls, which I made from sheep wool, bought straight from the farmer, scented with some essential oils. I’m not a Science major… Hell, I never graduated… I just read a lot and used some common sense and that lead me to this. I don’t force my ideas upon anyone, but I just like, for me, for us and for our daughter, to try to reduce the amount of chemicals used.
- Cloth diapers
You are thinking about cloth diapering? Well, I hope you’re not running out of time, because there’s a lot, a lot, a lot to read about cloth diapering. So many different systems, so many different brands… Seriously, the more I read, the more I got confused, but about 2 months ago, I finished preparing my stash. In my second month of pregnancy, I also attended a workshop, organised by Jorinde from babydoeken.be. I just wanted to be as prepared as one can be. I should one day write about my cloth diaper stash, but for now, I’ll keep it short. I bought a lot of muslin cloths, which you close by using something called “a snappy”. Of course, a cloth alone wouldn’t be absorbent enough (although some women from my mom’s generation told me that they used those in the first months for their kids), so I bought some PUL diaper covers. I’m cloth diapering on a budget, so I bought mine from Bababoe. There are tons and tons of brands, price ranges, colors and patterns to chose from. Even though I always said I would never buy used cloth diapers, I found a seller on eBay that has a huge range of used diapers which were very clean. From her, I bought some Popolini OneSize Organic diapers with PopoWrap diaper covers. The downside of the Popolini PopoWrap is that it comes in sizes, while the other diapers covers and Popolini OneSize organic diapers are onesize and will grow with the baby until she’s potty trained. From this same lady, I got a good deal on pocket diapers from the French brand P’tit Dessous. And then to top it all off, I splurged a bit on All-in-One diapers made from Bamboo from Close. In my defense, they were on sale, hehehe.
- Washable wet wipes
I think, if you chose to use cloth diapers, then it’s only a small and logical step to use washable wet wipes. I haven’t bought mine yet, but I’m gonna go for the Cheeky Wipes. As I will already have a diaper bucket and bucket liner, I’ll get the mini kit. As you’re already washing your diapers, then why not just add the wipes in the laundry? I’m sure any parent out there is well aware of the amount of wet wipes you use on your kids. It’s not only expensive, but if you can avoid more trash (and also more chemicals being used on your baby’s skin), then why not just invest a little in these washable cotton wipes?
- Natural baby products
We’ve now covered how I wash baby clothes and how I’ll keep baby clean, and part of it is also the products that I’ll use for the baby. I think loads of people world wide are using Johnson&Johnson, which is a product I don’t feel comfortable using – from an ethical point of view (which I don’t want to talk about at this specific time in this specific blog post). Other than that, many babies across many generations here in Belgium where raised using Zwitsal brand. But hey, if I care about what I do the laundry with, then why not care about products to use. While typing this down, I have my parcel with Himalaya Herbals products that’s on its way, all the way from Latvia. Trust me, I’ve tried finding it closer. As many people in my part of the country do, I was considering driving to Auchan, a big supermarket in France, to buy these products as I couldn’t find a distributor here in Belgium. Unfortunately, they don’t carry the Baby Care products from Himalaya Herbals. I could have bought it from their distributor online, but they only ship for free if you spend more than €100, which was not the amount I was planning to spend. So when a couple of weeks back, I was in Holland I checked with the bio shops over there, of which none was carrying any of the Himalaya Herbal products. After asking some bio shops nearer to my home, I found out that most of them only carry the tooth paste, so I had to head back to Google trying to find a solution as I really wanted to use Himalaya Herbal products. I haven’t mentioned yet why, but here we go: they are based on ayurvedic traditions and use only herbs and oils as main ingredients. I found out about them while I was in the hospital after the accident, when a kind Sudanese nurse, brought the baby oil with her to massage my back in order for me to have some relief from the pain from lying on my back for 8 days straight. The smell is just amazing. You can smell it from afar. Seriously, when someone here uses it after shower, I can smell it even if I’m not in the same room or on the same floor as them at that moment. Anyhow, in the end, I found a solution. I found their distributor for Belgium is located in Latvia and they ship for free once you spent over €26. They also had great offers on combo packs and as my mom wanted some products to use for her own skin and for my nephew, we did have some great discounts. I can’t wait to receive the products in a couple of days and start using them on our little one in a couple of weeks from now.
I think with these 4 points I have my subject covered… I could keep writing for hours about what other parenting choices I’ll be making (or at least planning to) but let’s keep some content for another blog post, which hopefully won’t take another 6 months to be written. To be continued…