Now if you’ve clicked on this post in desperate hopes that I’m going to share some miraculous tip to get your little one pooping less, then I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. Isn’t it amazing how much poo can come out of such a tiny little thing living mostly on a liquid diet. Don’t even get me started on the colour scheme!
I might not have the answer to that one, but I can share a few tips on reducing your baby’s carbon bum print.
Switch to cloth nappies
If you haven’t yet heard of or seen modern cloth nappies, don’t worry! They look and work nothing like the old days of precarious pins and giant terry towels, although even those are making a comeback, so whatever floats your boat. But the convenience of modern cloth cannot be compared to the good old days. Yes they still require washing, and you do have to do a little bit more manual labour than just dumping a sposie in the bin to spend the next 500 years breaking down in a landfill somewhere for your great grand kids to still be tripping over one day.
It’s not just about the biodegradable issue either, the chemical concoctions added to the disposable nappy itself to aid absorption are not great for your little ones delicate skin to be in contact with 24/7. Cloth nappies are made mostly of natural fibres like cotton, hemp and bamboo all being options for inserts and nappy linings that come into contact with baby’s bum.
There’s the issue to debate when it comes to laundry and water usage. But unless your area is a drought disaster zone, adding your nappies every second or third day into the washing machine that have been soaked briefly in used bath water at the end of the day, is still a more environmentally friendly option. Especially if they’re thrown in with your other laundry of similar colours and cleaning cycle needs.
Still not convinced? The production of disposables uses 3.5 times more energy, 8.3 times more non-renewable resources, and 90 times more renewable resources than cloth nappies. And they just look so super cute! If you’re STILL a bit iffy, then consider the money you’d be saving. Sure, it’s an investment to buy a large enough stash to do cloth either part time or full time. But after that, you’re done! It’s a financially liberating feeling walking right past the other parents in the nappie aisle as they stand there sweating over price comparisons.
It’s also not an all or nothing situation either. Heck, when I travelled with two kids still in nappies I pulled out a sposie here and there when things were hectic. So you really don’t have to go all in, even just get a couple try out or borrow some from a mom friend who’s doing cloth and just try it out every few nappies. I promise, you’ll become addicted.
Switch to cloth wipes
Seeing as you’re now converted to cloth nappies, you might as well go all in and try washable cloth wipes. OK, I’m not talking about using washable wipes for everything, those mega poonamis are still a job for biodegradable wet wipes for sure! But for a general wipe down when it’s just a wet nappy or those grubby little fingers and arms when they start solids. You’ll save a fortune!
Don’t turn your nose up at pre-loved
Second-hand baby goods stores are popping up all over the place. Facebook pages and mom-swap groups are all the rage. So don’t feel like you’re giving your kids the hard knock life buying them second-hand stuff. They won’t even notice until they’re 8 or so. So save yourself a fortune before the fussy teenage years hit where they won’t be seen dead in anything but the latest labels. That’s not to say you can’t even find some gems that are hardly worn or even brand new!
They really don’t need that many toys
I find myself constantly arguing with myself, fighting with my inner child who just wants to splurge on all the stuff that either didn’t exist when I was growing up. Errr like tablets, Wii and the “TV games” they have these days are just way cooler than when I was a kid trying to beat the dragon on Mario Bros or pointlessly keep a Tamagotchi alive. Did I just give away my age?
But kids, especially young kids don’t need that much stuff, especially all at the same time. With my second born I hardly buy her anything, not just because she has her brother’s hand-me-downs, but because she’s often way more interested in old yoghurt tubs, a basket of dirty laundry or the dirtiest grossest shoe she can find. So buying less and re-purposing more is a great way to go.
If you are going to be buying a special something for birthdays or Christmas then be aware of how much plastic there is. Shop around and see if there isn’t a wooden alternative or something with less synthetic materials.
If you are buying a toy, consider a locally handmade version instead
As Christmas has just come and gone, I tried to keep Christmas presents to as much locally handmade items as possible. Sure there was the mass-produced plasticy stuff too. But it was specific stuff that was really asked for, not just random purchases to fill stockings. Instead I sourced all local small businesses offering beautiful hand-crafted toys and decor and I gifted majority of people with those kinds of things. There was a massive feel-good factor knowing I’d supported an actual craftsman (and woman) passionate about their product. But the best part was that there were hardly any carbon miles or mass-produced anonymity.
Moms, what other tips have I missed off the list of helping to reduced your baby’s carbon bum print?