Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Raising Baby Green / FuzziBunz

I recently discovered the book Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care and had to pick it up and see what else about our home I could reasonably expect to make changes to. Previously I reviewed Squeaky Green and mentioned how I appreciated that the authors of that book offered suggestions to the reader about how they could make their home more green. The authors laid out the information in their book in such a way as to encourage you, the reader, to do as much or as little as you like when it comes to "living green." I felt like the author of Raising Baby Green did the exact same thing - he leaves you with options.

Written by a physician, author Alan Green, M.D., offers practical advice and solutions as to how you can raise happy kids in a more healthy manner. He does not present any information in a frightening way (I hate books on parenting that are made to scare the living daylights out of you.) but rather offers a "better" way to provide your babies with greener alternatives. He acknowledges that budgets and family life styles might not allow you to live "perfectly" green, but he does present better alternatives than the norm. (To give one example, he suggests that if you do use plastics bottles, that you find the healthiest type. He avoids saying that the only way to truly love your baby is to use a glass bottle.)

Greene hits on topics that concern parents from the time when the baby is still in the womb, through toddlerhood. What I ultimately concluded from his book was that the best way to take care of baby and make sure that baby is green, is to take care of yourself! By paying attention to the food that we (as adults) eat, checking to make sure our water is clean, that our house is cleaned with earth/people friendly cleaners, etc., helps to raise healthier children. It starts with the adults -- and then the children reap the benefits of hard research and implementation of "new" lifestyles.

I like this book and found it valuable and practical since it offered suggestions and a variety of choices for me to consider for my family.

One thing that this book did help to "convince" me in was switching from "disposable" diapers (Dr. Greene refers to them as "landfill" diapers) to cloth diapers. Oh yes, my friends. You heard correctly. I've ditched the life of relative ease in favor of the cloth. (He caught me with the cost comparison which I'll detail for you in a sec!)

This book was a helpful motivator but in actuality, this was something I had wanted to do for a long time. However, Jonathan's family had favored the cloth diaper approach when his youngest sister was born and he remembers things being dirty, stinky and complicated. Sooooo.....I needed to find something cleaner and more convenient before I knew we would go the cloth diaper route. Browsing around online I "discovered" FuzziBunz (I find their name hilarious. Great marketing!) and I was sent two diapers to try out. We tried a cloth diaper that was just in Bookworm1's size and we tried out one of their adjustable diapers that fit infants through toddlers. (A one size fits all diaper?! With snaps!? Even Jonathan was impressed! Heh heh.)

Motivating factors for me to try FuzziBunz:

1. An inordinate amount of diaper rashes that we were beginning to experience.

2. The cost of buying disposable diapers. We figured out that we spent, on average, $70 a month on diapers. Over a 2 1/2 year time period that works out to $1260. (And since he steadfastly refuses to use the toilet, we're still buying diapers!) We're in the process of completing an adoption which means we're about to have another little bottom join our family who will be in need of diapers. If our two children were both in diapers until the age of 3, that's an estimated cost of $5,040. IN DIAPERS! OR I could front some of the cost and pay for a couple dozen FuzziBunz, spending around $430.80 more or less. (If you buy in bulk, you get a discount on FuzziBunz.) The adjustable diapers would fit both children, and any additional children we would have, which averages out to . . . a significant savings!!!

3. I'm not filling landfills.

(Ok, truthfully, the cost is more motivating to me than the landfill. The landfill part is just a perk.)

The FuzziBunz snap system is exactly that - a snap - and they are extraordinarily easy to clean. You can dispose of certain eliminations in the toilet, and then you just pop the whole diaper into the washing machine. I'm convinced. It's hardly any trouble at all to keep it up and I'm only sorry that I didn't start sooner.

After the initial two diapers, I went out and purchased an additional a dozen FuzziBunz diapers and have plans to buy a few more once kidlet number two makes his appearance.

(Disclaimer: I have every intention of continuing to use disposable diapers when traveling, but it's FuzziBunz for at home and errand running. I'm just trying to see how many times I can type the word FuzziBunz. . . . Fuzzibunz.)

I enjoy reading and learning more about how to be a good homemaker and whether or not I'm "green" while doing my homemaking is not really my ultimate concern here. Reading to learn, and reading to know how to better care for my family is the concern. I do find the "green" alternative the healthier and better but, as Dr. Greene points out, budget and lifestyle are significant issues. In this particular case, I do think that my reading as led me to the better solution for our family.

I highly recommend Raising Baby Green and would encourage any mothers who are frightened of the cloth diaper idea to check out FuzziBunz. (Turns out they aren't scary at all!) Whether or not you are doing it for the environment or for health or financial reasons is not really my concern. I just think they are cool, convenient, and healthy and it's an easy and happy way for me to serve my little ones as they are developing and growing up!

If you have any further book recommendations to this end, I'd love to hear them!


Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Oh, if only I had another baby, that one would surely be "green"! :-)

Stephanie said...

I loved loved loved cloth diapers. I wasn't able to use them with #3 (she had a problem with the cloth causing eczema flareups), but loved them with #2. I used chinese prefolds and covers and still it is a HUGE savings (and I loved not having to run to buy diapers every two weeks). :)

Stacy said...

Oh my goodness...congratulations on your growing family. How wonderful. Exciting, exciting. I was a little lazy the second time around. I used cloth with my oldest and disposable with my youngest. Cloth diapers were a little different when I used them but they are great...definitely less diaper rash. We had a service, so we did have the stink issues by the end of the week. Washing your own is the way to go. We did make the mistake of using cloth when we traveled once, so I second you on using disposable on trips. Again...congratulations:)

B said...

A very green friend of mine likes for all kinds of great resources, including several brands of cloth diapers. I think you can even register there for baby showers. As you know, I have no children, but I love the idea of using green products and supporting companies that distribute them.

Sky said...

cloth diapers huh? Go beautiful you!

quizwedge said...

I've started looking into gDiapers: because you can just flush the inserts. Still working out the cost analysis and reviews. I've heard if you buy from their site, they give you a free case with every 10 UPC symbols, but I have yet to verify it. My rational having nothing to do with being green, but rather that I won't have a stinky diaper pail. :)

CherryBlossomMJ said...

I second the opinion of gDiapers for travel.

I know it does not help you much right now, but after my baby girl gets here (4 wks give or take) we are going to be using and reviewing all sorts of various types and brands of CD on my blog

My assumption is that will start in late August/September. ...

Marks of Faith said...

Fascinating! I wanted to do cloth diapers with my son, but some health problems in our family which occurred right after his birth made life doubly I opted for paper diapers for what I assumed was simplicity. I am very excited about looking into cloth diapers...Fuzzibunz sounds pretty impressive. I like to do Organic things for the health of my baby and family so I shall have to look into this book too! Thanks so much for Posting! I loved it!!!

P.S. Did you really see a marked change in the diaper rash section?

CherryBlossomMJ said...

Hey Marks of Faith - The reason that the creator invented FB in the first place was because her son seemed to have an incurable diaper rash with every solution she tried. When she first made them and he went to them full time he never had a rash again and it was recovered very quickly.

Carrie said...

re: diaper rashes (I did e-mail Marks of Faith on the side) but I'll answer to everyone as well -- diaper rashes have been non-existant since switching over -- except for the day I didn't get caught up with the wash and reverted back to disposables for hte day!

tmu said...

i have been avidly following this whole "cloth diapers are the in thing to do and environmentally cool" debate, looking forward to Princess Johnson in Sept. There is SO MUCH information and stuff to read!! It's overwhelming!

but, remember that until just merely ONE generation ago, mommies used cloth diapers. They are do-able. :) But i did use and do recommend disposables when traveling!

much love to you all as you strive to care for your children in a loving and green (and rash-free) way!


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