Green Parenting

What a weekend!

Right after our Earth day sale, we dove in to the ‘Great Cloth Diaper Change’. Like we need an excuse at Babies in Bloom to spread a little more love for cloth diapering!

In its sixth year, the aim of this super fun global event is to set a world record for the most cloth diapers changed at one time. At 11 am on Saturday, we hosted 19 parents and their little ones for the big change, followed by a colorful cloth diaper garage sale – cuties in cute diapers overload.

Last year there was almost 7,500 GCDC participants globally, we’ll let you know what this year’s global total was – hopefully a new record. A big thank you to everyone who came down to take part at the Boutique.

 

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REDUCING YOUR BABY’S CARBON FOOTPRINT:

We all know and love cloth diapers for their environmental friendliness. It’s one of many ways in which parents can help make a difference to our planet. With this in mind, and in the aftermath of Earth Day, we’re celebrating the green power of parenting.

Here are some other unbelievably simple ways that parents can, and are, reducing their baby’s carbon footprint:

  • BREASTFEEDING: Yet another bonus to breastfeeding: it’s eco-friendly. It requires no formula cartons or containers to dispose of, and far less water due to avoiding all those bottle washes.
  • WIPES: It’s easy to pull handfuls out at a time isn’t it? And then find yourself using them all. The truth is, while there are some situations that will require a few wipes or more, most of the time half will do. Some parents chop their disposable wipes in half. A great idea. Or better still, some make their own washable wipes out of any soft fabric.
  • LAUNDRY: Babies and laundry go hand in hand, it’s unavoidable. BUT, parents can do their best to ensure loads are kept at maximum capacity to reduce the number of washes needed and water used. Washing on a cooler temperature will also save tons of energy, as well as reduce bills.
  • DRYING: When it comes to drying laundry, the sun is every parents’ ally, and cost-free! Air drying clothes, towels, etc. wherever possible, will save on energy. And remember, most stubborn stains on baby clothes just need a day in the sun to fade away.
  • FOOD: When the time comes for introducing solids, making food at home can really make an environmental difference, particularly if food has travelled less and is locally sourced. Homemade saves on using all those disposable food containers and cartons too- just invest in reusable containers instead.
  • OUTSIDE: Many parents opt to ditch the car and go on foot wherever possible. Kids can go in the stroller, on the bike, on the scooter…or if not possible, many parents turn to carpooling to minimize fuel usage.
  • REUSE: It is so easy nowadays to find gently used goods for short term items like bouncers and cribs, as well as toys and clothes. Giving these kind of things a new home can significantly reduce waste. And if you are going through a sea of unloved toys at home right now, don’t forget to donate them – you’ve seen Toy Story right? Well-kept toys can always find love again in a new home.

 

Pretty simple changes that make a big difference, huh? Let’s not forget, as mothers and fathers ourselves, we have our duty to Mother Nature too!

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The First Hour

BabiesinBloom_KelseySmithPhotography2015(PrintResolution300PPINativeFile)-1If you take a scientific look at an uninterrupted first hour of a newborn’s life, it’s just mind-blowing. The human body, no matter how big or small, and its instinctual behavior never ceases to amaze.

By uninterrupted first hour, we mean what happens when newborns and mothers are put skin to skin and left to their own devices, without routine health checks, in that very first hour of life (though that’s not always medically possible we know).

There is a fascinating Swedish study that looks at the instinctual behaviors of 28 newborns left uninterrupted, skin-to-skin, on their mothers’ chests for their first hour. The study maps out a typical timeline of that first incredible and hormonally charged hour.

Yes, it’s a small research sample at 28, but what an intriguing snapshot these kind of studies can provide. How amazing is this kind of information for those wanting to know how they could more gently transition their new baby from the womb to life outside? For those wanting to try and get in tune with their newborn’s natural rhythm and better understand their immediate needs?

To save you reading the full report published in the Acta Paediatrica, here’s a quick summary from Science News of that first hour timeline:

  • Minute 0: Babies wail a robust, angry birth cry that helps wake up the lungs.
  • Minute 2: Babies spend less than a minute relaxing, holding perfectly still on their mothers’ chests. The authors speculate that this silent, still break might have evolved to keep babies hidden from predators.
  • Minute 2.5: As they start to wake up, newborns open their eyes for the first time. Babies gradually start moving their heads and mouths.
  • Minute 8: Babies become even more active, keeping their eyes open for five minutes or longer at a time. During this active phase, newborns seem to grow interested in eating, looking at their mothers’ faces and breasts, making sweet little “hungry” noises and moving their hands toward their mouths.
  • Minute 18: Time for another rest.
  • Minute 36: Recharged newborns really kick it into high gear and begin scooting toward their mothers’ breasts, relying heavily on a sense of smell to navigate.
  • Minute 62: Babies nurse, most likely getting small amounts of colostrum, an early milk substance packed with protein and immune molecules. This early suckling stimulates the breasts to make milk and also helps mom’s uterus contract back to its pre-pregnancy size.

With more and more people considering the benefits of delaying medical procedures after delivery (delayed cord clamping for example), there is a growing sense that less CAN be more. That the focus of the first hour should be on baby’s first feed and mother-baby and family bonding. And as this Swedish study suggests, this is exactly what the human body is programmed to do on its own accord without intervention.

There are many more documented benefits to this uninterrupted approach, from it aiding breastfeeding and strengthening bonding, to mom’s own wellbeing. If this natural kind of experience is something you are interested in, make sure you start talking early to your own birth carer about your preference.  They should be able to give you the advice and support you need for planning your new and exciting beginning with your precious new arrival.

We know this kind of approach is not for everyone. And just not possible for some too. We aren’t in any way suggesting this is THE superior way post-delivery, we just found the research findings rather captivating and sharable. You know us, we don’t believe in passing judgement. We believe in you. There is no such thing as the right way, just what’s right for YOU and your family.

 

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Boutique Best Sellers: Re-Play

IMG_4357These colorful plates, bowls, cups and utensils from Re-Play are flying off of our shelves at the moment.

They tick so many boxes that it’s no surprise to us that they’re getting rave reviews from parents. Not only are they fun and funky to mix ‘n’ match, they are also incredibly affordable. Best of all, they are so eco-friendly. Made in the USA, Re-Play uses recycled HDPE plastic for their products – that means recycled milk jugs. To date, they’ve saved over 11,000,000 milk jugs from going in to the landfill. Wonderful!

The products are all toddler friendly sized for snacks and meals, and more importantly, are toddler tough to survive all those inevitable bangs, drops and tosses. Our customers have been really impressed with how durable they are for something so lightweight and so low cost. Re-Play claims you can even run over their divided plates with a car without causing damage! Now that’s impressive.

They make a great gift bundle too. All products meet FDA strict purity standards, are BPA free, PVC free, phthalate-free and melamine-free. And, when their time is eventually up in family homes, these products can simply be recycled again. It’s the eco-gift that keeps on giving.

Here’s a couple of facts to add some further perspective on these clever tools:

  • Recycling a 1-gallon milk jug saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for 11 hours
  • One pound of recycled plastic saves enough energy to charge a smartphone for 31 weeks

As well as using smart materials, each product has a smart design with tiny, over excited hands in mind. The deep walls on their divided plates help little ones get to grips with their chunky cutlery, while their deep fill spoon reduces spills. They also have the essential spill proof sippy cup and blunt tips on their forks to avoid nasty pokes. They are all about encouraging independent eating and keeping it simple for mom and dad- as well as keeping it safe.

Available in white, pink, orange, green, red, purple and yellow, these products will stack well at home and are completely dishwasher safe – another bonus.

We currently have in stock:

  • Divided Plates: $3 each
  • Bowls: $2.50 each
  • No Spill Cups $4 each
  • Tumbler Cup: $2.50
  • Utensil Set: $1.50

Kids love them. Parents love them. We love them. Why don’t you come and visit us at the Babies in Bloom Boutique to take a look for yourself.

Hope to see you soon!

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We are Hiring!

1532153_10152949975452465_6360651513538681897_n We are growing and looking for a new member of our boutique team! The position is primarily for Tuesdays and Saturdays from 11 am – 5 pm. If you are interested, please send a resume and cover letter to rochelle@babies-in-bloom.com

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