raising nia naturally

Before having Nia, I never knew just how much of a health freak I could turn into. Books, magazines, blogs and websites definitely contributed to this! Everyone wants the best for their children, so what's important to me for making sure that Nia is getting the best is giving her the greenest and most natural upbringing I can. Here's what I'm doing to make that happen:  

Clothing, Blankets, Cloths, Towels, Sheets

-About 75% of what Nia wears is either organic or a hand-me-down. Making sure the majority of her clothing was organic was the biggest thing for me because I wanted to reduce the exposure of chemicals and pesticides to her precious little skin. Hand-me-downs are also a good options (and I'm so thankful that my sister-in-law hooked me up with so many of them!) because since they are so worn (and washed), it reduces the amount of pesticides that might have been in the clothing.

 
 (new) organic onesie from H&M with hand-me-down pants!

(new) organic onesie from H&M with hand-me-down pants!

 

-We have a lot of blankets for her (and seriously, the best things ever to have a lot of if I was ever making a recommendation to a soon-to-be-mom!), but again, not all are organic. The ones I give to her to sleep with and which end up as her chew toys are pretty much always organic. But, since we've washed all of her blankets so many times now, I still use them all equally, but the non-organics are more for spit up and drool situations.

-We have about 8 organic cloths that we use for her bath and some non-organic ones given as gifts that are on back-up and used for diaper changes.

-We have three organic towels for her. Two are from my favourite line, 3 Sprouts and one was given as a gift from a friend. These work on rotation and I really feel like three is enough (usually do 2-3 baths before washing them).

-We have two crib sheets; one from organic cotton (by Kushies) and one from organic bamboo. They're both awesome. The bamboo stretches a bit more than the cotton though.

Diapers and Potty Training

 
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I thought we were going to do cloth diapering from the get go, but it was poorly planned on my part! I thought gDiapers were where it's at (it's not!), so after we ran out of the liners for their diapers, we went back to disposable (Seventh Generation brand) until I could do more research once my semester at school was finished.

Nia is now 6 months old and I want to be completely reliant on cloth diapers by the time she's 6.5-7 months old. Right now, we can go about a day with cloth diapers and I'd like to get a supply enough to last three days (for laundry purposes!). Here is what we currently are using:

  • 3 medium/large gDiapers with 6 cloth liners (we purchased them about two months ago)
  • 1 Charlie Banana (this style)
  • 1 Bummis easy fit hook & loop
  • Just ordered 6 BumGenius 4.0 the other day, should arrive in mail soon
  • Just ordered a bamboo cloth diaper through a mom "green" website, should arrive in mail soon

I love both the Charlie Banana and Bummis, and personally, would never purchase gDiapers again. Luckily, the 3 gDiapers we use were given to us from a friend, which is why we purchased the liners. (And when we originally started with gDiapers when Nia was born, we purchased all the small-sized shells.)

Why I want to cloth diaper exclusively? It's better for the environment, and diapers don't end up in landfills to sit there for years. 'Nuff said.

Now for potty training; we've started Elimination Communication, but using it loosely. I'm not expecting overnight success, nor am I exclusively depending on it. My goal is to even just get Nia to pee on a potty at least once per day, and work on cues and her signaling from there. I want to get her comfortable with what it feels like to pee on the potty.

Since we're only fresh into it (i.e.: one week in), I can't say that I've seen any amazing results. One time she peed 20 seconds after I put her on the potty, but I'm pretty sure that it was just good timing. I hope that will eventually turn into me knowing when she has to pee and her telling me when she has to pee, as well. And so far, I've got her to pee at least once everyday (which I said was the main goal anyways)! I'll keep you updated!

Products

Although we try to use minimal on her, here are the things we're using when we do put stuff on her:

  • bath time: burt's bees baby shampoo & body wash, and oil
  • lotion: raw cacao butter (also acts as a sunscreen)
  • diaper changesaleva bamboo wipesand homemade diaper (rash) cream
  • laundry: seventh generation for clothes and diapers right now, but hopefully soon rockin' green for her diapers

Food

 
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We're just getting into the stage of starting solids, but my goal is to make my own baby food and use organic whenever possible. Right now, she's only actually eaten organic unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon and green smoothies (organic apple juice, orange slices, banana, kale and baby spinach). We might do Baby Led Weaning, but I still have to do my research (ugh oh haha).

Toys

Toys are definitely a bit more tough because a) they're the easiest to get as gifts and b) there are SO many toys out there!! I love that she loves Sophie (the giraffe) because we have the regular Sophie and the teething ring, so I always have one of them with me. Other than that, I love the brand Green Toys, which I recently discovered, and can hopefully purchase more from (we have one set of 6 stacking cups currently). Other than that, her other toys are all pretty generic, but I made sure to scrub them all down with natural dish soap and/or wash what could be done in the washing machine.

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There you have it! Nia will probably think I'm a psycho mom when she's old enough to talk (and realize), but until then, I'll just pretend I'm not ;). I know some might think that all of this is unnecessary, but for me, it's what I feel right doing and what's right in my heart. BUT, if I had a kid 3 years ago, I would have been raising them totally different. Such is life!

For those who are going the natural/green route as well, do you have any product suggestions? (Besides Jessica Alba's company which I would LOVE to try out, but unfortunately, they do not mail to Canada yet - I've emailed to ask about that changing!)

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I would also like to wish my littlest sister a very happy birthday today!!

 
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She turns 14 today and is truly amazing.

She's an awesome aunt to Nia, the hardest working girl I know, superstar in school, and the best running partner I could ask for (well, she would ride her bike while I ran ;)).

I hope this day is everything you want it to be, Jen!!

xoxo