Thanksgiving is a time of warm memories, delicious tastes and smells, and the joy of reconnecting. But if you’re the one hitting the road this year to celebrate with family or friends, it can be a little stressful, especially if you’re traveling with a little one.
Whether you’re going by car, plane, or train, traveling with a baby or toddler brings its own set of challenges. Before you pack your bags, here are 6 quick tips to help you and your child stay safe this Thanksgiving.
1. Stay cozy in the car
Colder weather usually means lots of layers of clothing, but bulky winter clothes can keep a car seat from doing its job. Instead, cover your child with a cozy blanket to stay warm after you’ve securely strapped him or her into the car seat.
2. Watch out for kitchen chaos
At Thanksgiving, things are guaranteed to get a little crazy in the kitchen. To help keep dangerously hot food out of the reach of little hands, make sure that pot handles and dishes aren’t close to the edge of the counter or table where they could be pulled down by curious kids.
3. Keep the cozy fire kid-safe
If there’s a fireplace in the home, be sure to check that it’s protected by a sturdy screen, and remember that glass screens can take a while to cool down, even after the fire has gone out. Always keep a close eye on children when a fire is burning.
4. Ask about medications
Kids are curious and can get into medications in all sorts of unexpected places, like purses, counters, and nightstands. In fact, in 2017 over 52,000 children under the age of six went to the emergency room for medicine poisoning. A good rule of thumb is “Up, Up and Away.” Keep all medications, vitamins, and eye drops out of reach and out of sight, and keep the Poison Help number (1-800-222-1222) handy.
5. Watch out for toxins
Ask your host to temporarily relocate easy-to-reach household cleaners, paints, air fresheners, and pesticides that could be dangerous to your little one. Some chemicals used in traditional cleaning products have been linked to asthma, allergies, cancer, and other serious health problems. If you’re traveling by car, you can bring your host a Thanksgiving “thank you” gift of a safer, plant-powered cleaner like Baby ECOS® Here & There All Surface Cleaner to use during your visit and for clean-ups all year long.
6. Make bedtime familiar
If holiday travel means you’ll be spending the night away from home, plan ahead to make baby’s nighttime safe and familiar. While you might be fine sleeping on the couch or an air mattress, make sure your baby always sleeps in a safe crib, bassinet, or Pack ’n Play®. Bringing familiar sheets and blankets and keeping up bedtime rituals like story time can help your child feel a little less unsure and a little more cozy when it’s time to sleep.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving with those you love!
Devilishly Easy Ways to Enjoy a Greener Halloween
BabyEcos Friday, October 18, 2019
It’s that time of year again when ghosts, vampires and pumpkins come out to play! They decorate our yards and disguise our children as they excitedly walk the neighborhood yelling “trick-or-treat!”
When we were kids, saving the environment wasn’t at the forefront of our parents’ minds. The truth is that the amount of waste generated by store-bought candy, costumes and decorations is a nightmare for the environment. But have no fear, we have a few tips for enjoying a more sustainable Halloween that your children - and the planet - will thank you for.
Reuse those costumes!
If just half of the kids in the U.S. swapped Halloween costumes instead buying new ones, it would reduce annual landfill waste by 6,250 tons - that's the weight of 2,500 cars! Plus, swapping costumes can make a super fun playdate party for both kids and parents. You can freshen up gently used costumes with a few sprays of Baby ECOS® Stain & Odor Remover and a quick wash with hypoallergenic Baby ECOS® Laundry Detergent.
If a costume swap isn’t in the cards, try your favorite local thrift store: It’s easy on the wallet, reduces waste and helps save the environment, plus it also supports charitable causes. Or simply make your child’s costume (and even your pet’s costume!), like many of our parents did when we were little trick-or-treaters. Once Halloween has come and gone, donate your gently used costume to a local daycare or children’s hospital where it will be enjoyed time and time again.
Use nontoxic face paint
Be sure to buy nontoxic face paint for your little ghoul or goblin. A 2016 study by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that more than 50 percent of face paints and cosmetics marketed to kids contain at least one ingredient or contaminant linked to hormone disruption, developmental toxicity, learning difficulties or cancer. Of the products tested, lead was found in nearly 20 percent of face paints and cadmium was found in nearly 30 percent of face paints. No safe blood lead level in children has been identified; even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention and academic achievement.
Ditch the plastic pumpkins
Instead of buying a plastic pumpkin for trick-or-treating, opt for a pillowcase (as you probably did when you were a child), a reusable tote or even a basket. According to Michael O’Heaney of the environmental nonprofit group The Story of Stuff Project, “Plastic pumpkins, like so many other plastic waste, will likely end up in a landfill, burned in an incinerator or in the oceans.” But if you do have a plastic pumpkin from years past, keep using it! Reusing plastic products as many times as you can reduces their overall environmental impact.
Up(cycle) your candy game
This year, 95 percent of U.S. households will spend $2.6 billion on Halloween candy, and 70 percent of households plan to hand out candy on the big night. That's a lot of candy and a lot of candy wrappers! Homemade or unwrapped treats are no longer an acceptable option for trick-or-treating, but you can still offer the little ghosts and goblins in your neighborhood organic and all-natural options, such as the adorably wrapped treats from the Natural Candy Store. But what to do with all the unrecyclable wrappers left over from Halloween? Upcycle them into colorful, eye-catching crafts like a decoupage notebook, artful hair barrettes or even a beautiful candy-wrapper gingerbread house.
Use leg power, not gas power
Get some exercise with the family and walk the neighborhood, which is more environmentally friendly than driving to farther communities. If your clan does need to pack up and drive to the best trick-or-treating spots in the area, be sure to carpool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - not to mention, it’s more fun celebrating Halloween with friends!
Halloween doesn’t have to be frightening to the environment; it's a great opportunity to show your child how to make better choices for our planet and have some spooky, delicious fun!
Toxic Danger in Your Home?
BabyEcos Monday, August 12, 2019
Illnesses, injuries and even deaths can be prevented if you know what to look for.
On average, we spend approximately 90% of our time indoors, where concentrations of pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoors. Whether it’s at home, work, school, or daycare, cleaning products can be the source of many of those pollutants. Many chemicals used in cleaning products have been linked to acute and chronic illnesses such as asthma, allergies, cancer, and other serious health effects.
Babies and children are particularly susceptible to the negative effects of toxic cleaning products. Symptoms can range from respiratory and skin irritations to neurological damage and developmental issues. Illnesses such as asthma, eczema, allergies and autism are on the rise, and many parents are concerned and looking for answers.
A large and growing body of evidence links the frequent use of many ordinary cleaning products with the development of asthma and other respiratory problems. In addition, common cleaners can contain 1,4-dioxane, a carcinogenic manufacturing byproduct, or cancer-causing formaldehyde.
Some chemicals found in cleaning products are known or suspected reproductive or developmental toxins, although much of that information is based on animal testing. Unfortunately, very few studies have looked at human developmental risks, such as autism spectrum disorder, tied to cleaning products, which greatly limits our understanding of the potential long-term effects of exposure.
Perhaps one of the greatest dangers of toxic cleaning products is the risk of poisoning in children. In 2010, American poison control centers received over 116,000 calls about household cleaner accidents involving children under age five. In 2006, over 10,000 children under age five required some form of medical treatment as a result of poisoning with household cleaners, and over 700 had symptoms that were life-threatening.
Despite the dangers, many cleaning product labels don’t disclose enough information about their ingredients to allow consumers to make informed decisions or provide enough information to relay to a poison control center if a child ingests a product. Government agencies haven’t adequately evaluated the safety of many substances found in cleaning products.
But parents and all consumers have a choice. They can look for products that are made with safer ingredients and that list all ingredients on the label, endorsed by a trusted third-party green certification like the U.S. EPA’s Safer Choice program. Using plant-based cleaners like ECOS® products, especially on floors and carpets where small children play, is an important way to help protect your family from harmful ingredients.
The Right Way to Recycle Your Kid’s Stuff
BabyEcos Monday, July 22, 2019
Forget the dumpster with these tips how to recycle and repurpose no-longer-needed household items.
Those outgrown clothes, toys and gear have more life to live—and not just in a landfill! Here’s how to responsibly and easily get rid of what’s taking up space in your home.
Sippy cups and dishware
Toss them into your curbside bin. Most are made of the commonly recyclable PET or HDPE plastic. If they’re still usable, ask local day care centers or churches if they’d like extras for snack time.
In most cities, the pouches and caps aren’t recyclable on their own, but Ella’s Kitchen, the organic kids’ food company, works with TerraCycle to recycle them (any brand!). Just collect and send them in with a free downloadable label from terracycle.com.
Milk jugs and cartons
Some areas accept beverage cartons as curbside recyclables, so check your city’s rules before placing these and plastic jugs in your bin. Just make sure they’re completely empty and the caps are screwed on tight. (Caps are too small to be recycled on their own.)
If your curbside-recycling program accepts glass, which most do, place these in the bin. You can skip the step of rinsing them first, though. As long as most of the food is scraped out, they’re ready for recycling, says Alexa Kielty, residential zero-waste assistant at San Francisco Department of the Environment. And the metal lids? Toss them in if your community accepts them; a magnetic steel drum will collect them during the recycling process.
Donate it. But if your recycling program takes rigid plastics (i.e., plastics that hold a shape and are hard to break, like a bucket or a laundry-detergent bottle), it can go in the bin.
Because the nipples are prone to crack and harbor bacteria, Kielty doesn’t recommend donating used pacifiers. And unfortunately, they’re too small to make it through the recycling sorting process, so for now these little guys have to go in the garbage. (Sorry!)
Get this: In addition to grocery bags, any type of plastic bag or wrap is recyclable—bread bags, breast-milk baggies, plastic wrap and frozen-food packaging. Keep a shopping bag under your kitchen sink for stashing extras, suggests Brenda Pulley, senior vice president of recycling at Keep America Beautiful. When it's full, take it to Target, Whole Foods Market, or another retailer that has a plastic-bag recycling receptacle, usually near the main entrance.
It’s made of rigid plastic, so if your town accepts that, recycle it. But post it on Craigslist or Freecycle first. No one likes diaper odor, so there’s a demand for this used item!
One too many accidents to give this away? Arrange a bulky-item pickup by calling your waste-management department. Depending on the program, your town may recycle it. If that’s not an option, try 1-800-GOT-JUNK?—a nationwide company that’s happy to responsibly get rid of your unwanted stuff.
General rule: If it has a cord or a battery, recycle it with other electronics. This means you can group these with your broken hair dryer, toaster, TV and computer on your community’s electronics-recycling pickup day, or in a designated location at some recycling drop-off centers.
Don’t just dump them in the trash—they may contain lead, chemicals and other metals that can seep into and contaminate our groundwater. Yuck! Instead, go to call2recycle.org to search 30,000 drop-off locations for old single-use, rechargeable and damaged batteries.
No longer need that breast pump? If you use Medela, like 80 percent of U.S. hospitals do, send the motor unit and cord back through the Medela Recycles program (medelabreastfeedingus.com/medela-recycles). Manual pumps, breast shields, tubing and other kit components can go straight into your curbside recycling container.
Kids’ clothes and shoes
Participating Goodwill locations will take your threads even if they’re ripped or stained. Just put the items in a bag labeled “scrap,” says Bea Johnson, author of Zero Waste Home. They’ll go to textile recyclers for various uses: jeans will be turned into insulation, and T-shirts will become cleaning rags for the auto industry. To donate shoes, print a prepaid shipping label from zapposforgood.com. Mail them off, and Zappos for Good, in partnership with Soles4Souls, will get them to someone in need.
Libraries, schools and churches often welcome used books, but if many of yours are beyond repair, put them in your regular paper recycling (remove hard covers first). As for baby board books, they may not be recyclable because of their hard, coated cardboard, so check with your town.
Most plush toys can’t be donated to kids because of the potential germ factor, but pet rescues love them! Ask your local shelter if it’s in need and whether it has any safety restrictions on what’s donated, such as loveys with beaded eyes. If yours are beyond the point of donation, group them with any ripped and holey clothing going to charity marked as “scrap,” says Pulley.
Crayons are made from wax that won’t break down naturally. Instead of throwing used and busted pieces away, send them to The Crayon Initiative (thecrayoninitiative.org), a nonprofit that turns unwanted crayons into new ones that are then donated to children’s hospitals.
Car seats and strollers
Strollers aren’t recyclable curbside. If yours meets current safety standards, sell or donate it. As for car seats, go to babyearth.com/renew. You pay for shipping to send it in, but all usable parts are recycled! Fabrics go to developing countries; metal, plastic and foam are used for construction projects.
Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Mom this Mother’s Day
BabyEcos Friday, May 10, 2019
What would we do without our moms? For all the sacrifices they make and all the love they pour out, they deserve more than a little bit of heartfelt appreciation. This Mother’s Day, celebrate the strong, selfless woman who raised you with one of these gift ideas.
Spend some quality time together.
Whether you embark on a forest hike, picnic at your local park or take a stroll through a lush garden, your mom will appreciate the precious time she gets to spend with you. To make the occasion special, think about what activities you enjoyed with mom as a child and try to recreate them. You’ll get to reminisce about fond memories while making new ones together.
Cook her favorite meal.
There’s nothing like a home cooked dinner. For years, you enjoyed (and likely still enjoy) the delicious meals your mom prepared. If you inherited even an ounce of her culinary skill, consider showing some love by whipping up some of her favorite foods. Prep fruits and veggies with ECOS® Fruit + Veggie Wash and get cooking. Once dinner is over, keep mom out of the kitchen and let her kick up her feet while you take care of the dishes. (ECOS® Dishmate® can help out with that too!)
Opt for potted plants over flowers.
While a bouquet of flowers will brighten your mom’s day, potted plants will bring her joy for weeks to come. Pick out some locally grown, native plants to support a small business owner and to enhance environmental health. If your mom has a garden of her own, offer to help plant them. Her green thumb will nurture her new plants and she’ll likely think of you as she watches them grow.
To all the moms, we thank you for working to make the world a kinder, brighter place. Happy Mother’s Day!
There are so many fun (and practical) baby shower themes, you might have a hard time choosing one. Get inspired to do something different with one of these baby shower ideas.
Set up the nursery.
The new parents will be wildly grateful when the shower guests go to work on the baby’s room. Assign a few especially handy types to assemble the crib and other nursery furniture, while the rest of the group paints or hangs pictures, curtains, etc. (be sure to tell everyone to wear old clothes). Have a barbecue after the work is done. It’s probably best to forgo the usual gifts at a shower like this—expecting guests to buy a gift and work for their meal is probably asking too much.
Do a safety check.
Ask guests to bring babyproofing devices such as specially designed locks for appliances, cabinets and toilets; protective cushioning for sharp edges; and safety gates. If the shower is held at the baby’s future home, the guests can even install the gadgets—even though the house won’t need babyproofing until Baby starts to crawl, it’s a great timesaver for the new parents to have this chore done.
Stock their freezer.
For parents who already have most of the baby gear, throw a “bring-a-dish-to-freeze” party, so that Mom and Dad don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner when they’re adjusting to life with one more. If the guests of honor don’t have enough freezer space to store everything, the host or hosts can keep some of the dishes, to be delivered periodically after the baby arrives.
Up their home entertainment game.
Ask guests to bring “date-night” gifts for the new parents, who’ll probably be spending most of their Saturday nights at home. Ideas could include videos or DVDs of their favorite films, music CDs, a nice bottle of wine and board games.
Make DIY coupons.
Give guests paper and markers and invite them to make a personalized coupon, to be exchanged later for a specific favor, such as a night of babysitting, a trip to the grocery store or a load of laundry. This is a thoughtful idea for parents who have small children and no family members living nearby. They’ll probably consider your freely offered help the greatest gift in the world.
Delicious spring fruit—strawberries, apricots, mangoes and rhubarb—is in the market now. This handy guide offers information on picking the best spring fruit and the health benefits of each.
Before peaches, plums and berries appear in markets, apricots arrive. Ancient Romans were so impressed by this fruit’s early ripening that they took to calling it praecocium, Latin for “precocious.” Most apricots are destined to be canned or dried, and their season is fleeting, so get fresh ones fast.
What you get: Low in calories and packed with nutrients, just three fresh apricots will give you almost half the vitamin A you need for the day, along with a healthy dose of vitamin C, potassium and fiber. In addition, apricots are packed with beta carotene, an antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals that damage cells.
Shopping tips: Purchase plump, fairly firm apricots that are orange-yellow to orange. Ripe apricots are soft and juicy—and should be eaten as soon as possible.
Storage tips: To ripen apricots, place hard fruit in a brown paper bag for one or two days. Ripe apricots should be stored in the refrigerator to prevent overripening. Fresh apricots can be frozen; just halve the fruit, remove the pit and freeze on a baking sheet. Once frozen, place the apricots in a sealable plastic bag.
Mangoes have been integrated into food cultures across the globe—sold fresh, as juice, in drinks, in curries and in desserts and appetizers.
What you get: The deep orange color of mangoes comes from a high content of beta carotene, a potent anticancer agent. Mangoes also contain vitamin C, fiber, lutein, potassium and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals known to boost the immune system.
Shopping tips: Most mangoes in U.S. grocery stores are one of five varieties: Ataulfo, Francine, Keitt, Kent and Tommy Atkins. Color is not an indication of ripeness, as mangoes come in many shades of green, yellow and red. Choose mangoes with a slight “give” if you plan to eat them within a day or two, and choose firmer mangoes for enjoying later.
Storage tips: Unripe mangoes will ripen at room temperature. Refrigerate ripe mangoes for up to 5 days.
Rhubarb is often called “pie plant” in the U.S. because it’s so closely identified with strawberry-rhubarb pie.
What you get: Low in calories and full of fiber, potassium and vitamin C, rhubarb also contains catechin, a flavonol that may contribute to heart health.
Shopping tips: Look for bright, crisp stalks with minimal pitting, dryness or other visible damage.
Storage tips: Refrigerate rhubarb in a plastic bag for up to a week. Freeze diced rhubarb in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Few things are closer to perfection than a strawberry when its season arrives. Even though they’re plentiful in supermarkets year-round, nothing beats the flavor of a juicy, sun-ripened strawberry in season.
What you get: A 1-cup serving of strawberries provides more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. In addition, strawberries are low in calories and provide plenty of fiber, some potassium and several powerful antioxidants, such as anthocyanin and proanthocyanidins, which promote heart health and may promote optimum brain functioning.
Shopping tips: Strawberries do not ripen further after picking. Therefore, it is important to choose bright red berries, as white- or green-tipped strawberries are lacking in flavor. Don’t overlook the little ones—small strawberries are often sweeter than their big brothers.
Storage tips: Refrigerate strawberries immediately. Wash the berries gently in cool water just before you plan to eat them, leaving the caps on until after they are washed.
Becoming a new mom is an experience unlike any other. Well before your little one arrives, your body begins producing hormones to help attract and bond you to your growing baby. Despite these hormonal changes, a number of women don’t feel an instant connection on baby’s birth date. There is pressure to immediately bond after delivery, but motherhood is a major adjustment that takes time. Here are some tips to help you connect with baby:
Put your phone aside.
It’s typical to feel obligated to respond to the congratulations and well wishes of friends and family, but we’re sure they’ll understand if it takes you longer to respond to their messages as you spend time getting to know your newborn.
Look into baby’s eyes.
There is a lot of truth in the statement that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Making frequent eye contact with baby will help strengthen your bond with your new little one.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should keep baby against your skin as often and as frequently as possible during their first three months of life. Snuggle up and enjoy the warmth of your tiny human.
Revisit your own baby photos.
Take a nostalgic trip back to your own beginnings by pulling out old photo albums. You might discover that baby has your nose and furrows his brow the same way that you did. Seeing these resemblances will make you smile and feel closer to him.
Talk to her often.
In any relationship, communication is key. Even though baby won’t be able to speak for quite a while, she can express herself through giggles, smiles and silly faces. Babies love to hear the sound of their mother’s voice, so get the conversation started and wait for her response.
Take your time forming your bond with baby. Motherhood is a tremendous journey and with some effort and patience, you’ll soon feel like a natural.
Get Organized in 5, 15 or 30 Minutes
BabyEcos Wednesday, January 16, 2019
No need for marathon organizing—just a few minutes here and there can take your family home from chaotic to clutter-free.
If your home is looking, well, a little less than spick-and-span, you may blame it on not having enough time for the type of marathon cleaning sessions you imagine are essential to an organized house. And sure—if we all had four hours to clean twice a week, our houses would probably look great most of the time. But if your cleaning sessions only arrive in blocks of a few minutes, don't delay—you can accomplish plenty in the time it takes for your coffee to brew in the morning.
If you only have 5 minutes
Clear out the spice rack. Toss anything that's discolored, lost its scent or flavor, or is more than one year old. Keep a permanent marker handy to date spices.
Set up automatic bill pay. When a monthly expense arrives, find the company website where you can sign in and designate the payment option. Once the amount is scheduled, you no longer have to think about it.
Set up an inbox and outbox on your desk. Everything that needs attention goes on top in the inbox. Put what you want to hold onto in the outbox for filing and recycle the rest. Pro tip: wait until the outbox is full before filing.
Neaten the hall closet. Designate a single small bin for family gloves and mittens, one for hats and another for scarves. If you have an additional five minutes, hang outerwear according to type and length—shorter casual jackets on one side and longer dressy styles on the other—so they're easy to find. Check that a few extra hangers are on hand for company.
Do a quickie clothes-closet makeover. Face all hangers in the same direction to reduce wardrobe search time, and group like items together. It's easier to find your favorite shirt if you know it's hanging with the rest of your button-downs.
If you have 15 minutes
Stop junk mail and unwanted catalogs. Register online with the Direct Marketing Association.
Straighten up a shelf. Remove everything, dust it and put its contents in groups or pairings, weeding out as you go. This technique works everywhere, from bookshelves in the family room to dishes and glassware in the kitchen.
Spiff up the laundry room. Consolidate half-empty bottles and wipe away any drips. Mount a storage rack over the washing machine.
Pick up a room. Set aside a bin or basket to corral stray stuff. Put misplaced items into the bin and store in a closet or out-of-the-way spot. Later, carry the container room to room and put things back in their proper places. This also means you can have an in-house lost and found where family members will know to look for missing belongings.
Stage a pantry mini-makeover. Arrange cans of similar items together for easy access. Next, transfer rice and pastas from boxes and bags into labeled clear plastic containers so you can quickly assess when you need to stock up.
Use the shredder. Place a file or tub near your desk—or under a table where you open mail—for papers containing personal information, like a Social Security number or birth date. Wait until it's full, then shred. Set a timer for 15 minutes. If you tackle this task in short increments, it won't be as tedious.
Round up recipes. Gather clippings and favorite printouts in a binder, and organize by category (appetizers, desserts) with tabbed dividers. Or snap photos of recipes and upload to a folder on your computer along with web pages for dishes you find online.
If you have 30 minutes
Plan a weekly menu and grocery list. Give yourself extra time if you like to pore over cookbooks and online recipes. Flag any recipes you plan to try that week.
Tidy up the garage. Reduce clutter by getting items off the floor. Hang bicycles from hooks, and stow basketballs, bats and other sports equipment in wire ball bins. Do the same with gardening gear and tools like rakes and shovels.
Organize your jewelry box. Spread out everything on a flat surface. Set aside pieces that you no longer want, to give away or donate. Sort what's left according to type—bracelets in one compartment, necklaces in another.
Get rid of half your closet. Quickly flip through each garment and pull out anything ill-fitting or that you haven't worn in a year. Toss rejects into shopping bags for future donation. Arrange the rest by category and further sort by season and color. Pro tip: your closet will look neater if you use one type of hanger.
As many as 90 percent of all kids live with a pet at some point during their childhood, says Gail F. Melson, Ph.D., author of Why the Wild Things Are: Animals in the Lives of Children. Most kids love pets—and for good reason. Creatures large and small teach, delight and offer a special kind of companionship.
Thinking about adding an animal to your household? Here are a few reasons to let the fur fly in your home.
Pets can provide comfort.
Melson asked a group of 5-year-old pet owners what they did when they felt sad, angry or afraid. More than 40 percent spontaneously mentioned turning to their pets. “Kids who get support from their animal companions were rated by their parents as less anxious and withdrawn,” she says.
Pets can encourage nurturing.
Melson began studying the impact of pets in order to learn how human beings develop the ability to care for others. “Nurturing isn’t a quality that suddenly appears in adulthood when we need it,” she says. “People need a way to practice being caregivers when they’re young.” One solution? Animals! Pets provide children with a wonderful opportunity to practice nurturing and caring for other living things.
Pets can help with learning.
Educators have long known that bringing therapy animals into schools helps developmentally challenged kids learn. Now they are finding that all children can benefit from the presence of a nonjudgmental pal with paws. In one study, children were asked to read in front of a peer, an adult and a dog. Researchers monitored their stress levels and found that kids were most relaxed around the animal, not the humans. “If you’re struggling to read and someone says, ‘Time to pick up your book and work,’ that’s not a very attractive offer,” says Mary Renck Jalongo, Ph.D., author of The World of Children and Their Companion Animals. “Curling up with a dog or cat, on the other hand, is a lot more appealing.”
Pets can help teach responsibility.
Asking your children to help with the feeding, cleaning or walking of a pet is a great way to teach responsibility. Start by giving them one small age-appropriate task per week and encourage them to see how their actions benefit your pet. You could ask your toddler to help you pick up Buster’s toys, or ask your school-aged son to help you fill food and water dishes. As kids get older, ask them to take on additional tasks.
Pets can build family bonds.
One of the biggest benefits of having pets is often unexpected, even for parents who grew up around animals: they can help families grow stronger and closer. A pet is often the focus of activities that families do together. Everyone takes the dog for a walk, or shares in grooming and feeding and play. Spending time like this can help slow the hectic pace of life and allow you and your kids to enjoy sharing these animal-focused moments with each other.
Baby Holiday Card Inspiration
BabyEcos Saturday, December 1, 2018
Since baby arrived, capturing her many picture-perfect faces has likely become one of your favorite activities. The holiday season provides a wonderful opportunity for you to showcase your budding photography skills and introduce your new family member. To help you get inspired, we’ve gathered some of our favorite baby holiday images from the web.
And remember, even baby’s holiday photo outfits could use extra care. Make sure to pick your favorite and wash with Baby ECOS® Laundry Detergent before getting baby dressed up for the big shoot.
When he’s not dreaming of his next meal, this munchkin is dreaming of a white Christmas.
This sweet cherub is as cozy as can be with her festive leg warmers. Can we borrow those sometime?
‘Twas the night of this photo, when all through the house, not a baby was crying, not even a peep!
Who said there can’t be two Rudolphs in Santa’s crew? The more the merrier!
We think he’ll hear you out, little cutie.
These dazzling ornaments bring out baby’s inner sparkle!
Baby Safe Thanksgiving Food
BabyEcos Thursday, November 1, 2018
Is Thanksgiving truly Thanksgiving without the food? We don’t think so. However, baby won’t be able to enjoy the delicious dinner unless their food is especially prepared for them. We’re here to help you transform your family’s Thanksgiving spread into a baby safe feast!
Tear off Some Turkey.
Babies 7-8 months and older can gobble up some turkey. However, it is best to avoid dryer breast meat and opt for fattier meat as it is easier to gum. For 7-8 month olds, add some milk to fattier turkey pieces and blend into a puree. If baby is nearing her first birthday, you can cut the turkey into small, roughly ¼ inch, swallowable bites.
Consider Cranberry Sauce.
Despite being healthy and high in Vitamin A, cranberries are very acidic. For this reason, it is a good idea to pass on grandma’s cranberry sauce until baby is 9 months old. If baby is 9 months or older, the acidity may still upset her tummy. To cut the acidity, you can stir applesauce into the cranberry sauce. Blend out thick chunks to achieve a thinner consistency so baby can easily slurp it up.
Serve up Sweet Potatoes.
Packed full of brain-boosting nutrients, we highly recommend dishing up sweet potatoes if baby is 5-6 months or older. Before preparing, make sure that the sweet potatoes are free of nuts to avoid a potential allergic reaction. We also suggest removing top layer marshmallows to skip the artificial sugars. Once nuts and marshmallows are taken care of, simply mash, puree and serve!
Skip the Stuffing.
Since stuffing usually has many unique ingredients and the dish definitely doesn’t seem very appetizing as a puree, we suggest skipping it for baby. However, if baby is 10-12 months or older and the bread crumbs are fairly soft, you can separate out celery, onion and other pieces. While it won’t really be stuffing without the fixins, baby will still get some yummy bread!
No matter what foods baby enjoys this Turkey Day, she’ll likely get a little messy. After the holiday celebration ends, spray Baby ECOS® Stain & Odor Remover to lift sweet potato stains from the new onesie and to erase dribbled cranberry sauce from the carpet.
We wish you and baby a great Thanksgiving with your loved ones. Happy feasting!
Let’s face it--Halloween costumes are expensive. Instead of spending a scary amount on something that will only be worn once, you can use clothing and craft supplies you already have to create a memorable costume. Whether you are going for a cutesy or spooky look, baby’s personality will shine in one of these eco-friendlier, DIY costumes!
Colorful and sweet, this costume will also keep your baby’s head warm in the autumn breeze.
What you’ll need:
Multi-color craft pom-poms
Glue and glue gun
Red, long sleeve onesie
How to make it:
Glue individual pom-poms onto bonnet using a glue gun.
Cut out large square from grey felt. It should be large enough to cover the majority of baby’s chest and tummy.
Cut out smaller square from black felt. It should be roughly 1 inch smaller than the grey felt square.
Cut out a 2 and a 5 as well as a cents symbol from grey felt. We recommend tracing out these pieces before cutting.
Glue felt numbers and cents symbols to the black felt. Then, glue the black felt square to the grey felt square. Finally, glue the grey felt square to the red onesie.
Dress baby in onesie and black pants and tie on the bonnet.
Watch your little one dispense adorableness all Halloween night!
Go spooky with this Egyptian-inspired Halloween costume!
What you’ll need:
Cloth bandages from a first aid kit
Long sleeve white onesie
How to make it:
Cut cloth bandage in various sized pieces so it can be draped/wrapped across onesie, pants and bonnet.
Using a sewing machine and tan thread, sew cut pieces of cloth bandages around pants, onesie and bonnet. Make sure that bandage pieces are sewn across at different angles.
Sew extra layers of cloth bandages in some areas to make it look a bit messy.
Dress baby in mummified clothing.
Take baby out for some Halloween fun!
Who doesn’t love sushi? Turn baby into a bite-sized cutie with this unique costume.
What you’ll need:
Glue and glue gun
Double-sided black tape
Large sheet of green construction paper
How to make it:
Using orange paint, paint on 3 curvy, roughly 2.5-inch rectangular shapes on the chest/tummy area of the onesie. Leave roughly 1-inch white space between shapes.
Add a 3-inch tail 1 inch below the third rectangular shape. To create the tail, paint two rounded triangles that point downward.
Cut the two short edges of green construction paper so they resemble blades of grass.
Cut a piece of double-sided black tape that is long enough to wrap around baby’s tummy.
Dress baby in onesie. Secure tape around their tummy. Attach green construction paper to tape on baby’s back. Reinforce with more tape as needed.
Baby is ready to roll for Halloween!
After Halloween, you can peel glued craft materials off or unstitch thread from onesies. For stubborn glue residue or stains from the evening, try our Baby ECOS™ Stain & Odor Remover. We wish you and baby the happiest of Halloweens!
Sleepy Time - Tips To Get Baby To Sleep
BabyEcos Saturday, September 1, 2018
4 Easy Self-Care Tips for Moms
BabyEcos Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Moms are so busy helping everyone out that they often don’t take time for themselves. Finding balance is important so you don’t feel burned out. You may have heard the term ‘self-care’ buzzing around, but what is it really? Self care is doing something for you that helps put your mind at ease and restores your inner harmony.
Self care isn’t selfish; it’s actually really important for maintaining healthy relationships. Your relationship with your little one will be its best if you find time to relax and treat yourself! Feeling rejuvenated will help you be the active and engaged parent you want to be. Don’t worry, it’s actually really easy, and we’ve got you covered with a few tips to add joy to your day!
Schedule a hair appointment
Rock a fresh new hairdo a month or so after the baby is born, whenever you find a few hours to treat yourself. Pick a salon close to home and give yourself the pampering you deserve! You’ll feel confident with your fresh look and get a few hours to relax in the salon chair.
Catch up on your favorite show
Don’t forget about the little things that make you smile! Streaming services are great because they provide you with easy access to catch up on your favorite shows at your own pace. When baby is down for a nap, tune in to a favorite show that gives your brain a little breather from the everyday.
Get your nails done
Getting a manicure with a non-toxic polish or gel is an easy way to brighten up your day. You can paint your nails at home yourself during some down time, or an outing to the nail salon. Pick a fun color that makes you smile. Non-toxic gel is a great alternative because the protective layer is harder to break, and your nails will look fresh for 2+ weeks.
Tackle small projects around the house
There’s something therapeutic about having things in order, especially when you’re figuring out motherhood, which is largely unpredictable. However, cleaning the entire house at once can feel overwhelming. Tackling small tasks one at a time will leave you feeling accomplished without the stress. Help put your mind at ease by organizing your house and cleaning with Baby ECOS™ products. Clean your countertops with Baby ECOS™ Here & There All-Surface Cleaner and your linens with Baby ECOS™ Laundry Detergent. An organized house will give you one less thing to feel worried about and a clean space to enjoy with your family.
Join a group
Sometimes it's easy to feel alone when you’re a new parent, but joining a group will show you that you’re far from alone in your parenting triumphs and struggles! There are so many other new parents that are figuring it out just like you, and hearing their stories will be refreshing and reassuring! Join an online parents group or search online for in person meet-ups in your area.
No doubt you’ve done the necessary prep work for your baby’s arrival. But all that stuff is fluff when it comes to making it through the early days of parenthood. That’s when you quickly need to acquire new skills, like breast-feeding, soothing a crying infant and surviving on no sleep. To help you ease into your first week, we’ve asked expert parents how to handle the most common challenges.
Nap when your baby naps.
Yes, your newborn will snooze as much as 20 hours a day, but it won’t be in long stretches—think one- to four-hour spurts. It’s important to try to catch some zzz’s when your baby is sleeping. But, if you’re not wired for naps, enlist help, stat. Have your partner, a friend or relative take some night shifts with the baby so you can get some uninterrupted sleep.
Swaddle and sway to soothe crying.
Infants fresh out of the cozy confines of the womb crave constant holding and soothing, says Harvey Karp, M.D., author of the Happiest Baby on the Block. Don’t worry about spoiling your newborn—it’s not possible. Instead, re-create the sensations of the womb, which can trigger a calming reflex in your newborn, Karp says. To do this, he recommends swaddling, swaying, shushing, holding your baby on her side and letting her suck on your finger. “These steps performed individually or together can often be a virtual ‘off’ switch for the crying,” he says. Experiment to see what works for your baby.
Get expert help with breast-feeding.
It happens naturally, right? Not always. Make plans to see a lactation expert ASAP post-delivery, and ask her to come to your house to help you get the hang of nursing there. “Having an expert with you from the beginning to help you learn about latching, positioning and milk supply—and to boost your confidence—can make the difference between a beautiful breast-feeding experience and giving up," says Giuditta Tornetta, a doula, lactation educator and author of Painless Childbirth.
Be prepared for round-the-clock feedings.
“Expect to feed the baby every one to four hours—that’s counting from the start of each feeding,” says Laura Jana, M.D., co-author of Heading Home with Your Newborn. Since you’re going to be bound to a couch, rocker or bed while your baby eats, try to get as comfortable as possible. Use a nursing pillow to help position your baby and ease your neck, arms and back. Keep water and snacks close by and stock up on good books to read or shows to watch.
Take care with the first bath.
“The saying ‘slippery when wet’ applies here—many new parents are very nervous when giving that first bath,” Jana says. Relax and take it slow. Because you’ll want to work around the umbilical cord (the faster it dries, the sooner it will fall off), a sponge bath is the way to go at this stage. Plus, if your baby has been circumcised, you’ll need to wait for the area to heal before completely submerging it in water. Gather the supplies and have them within arm’s reach—this way you can have one hand on the baby at all times. Then place him on a towel and gently wash the areas that need cleaning with a warm washcloth and baby bath wash.
Ask for help when recovering from delivery.
It’s normal to experience pain and exhaustion after giving birth. In time, your body will bounce back and you’ll regain your strength. But while you’re healing, designate a family member to take care of you—or at least to make sure you don’t overexert yourself. Recruit your partner, relatives and friends to pitch in with housework, baby care and meal prep while you recover.
Focus on what matters.
Between lack of sleep, physical discomfort and plummeting hormones, even the most excited new parent can feel overwhelmed. Decide what’s most important to you—say, learning how to breast-feed, sleeping and cuddling your baby—and focus on those things. Then let everything else go for a while.
Try to go outside or get out of the house every day. The fresh air (or seeing other humans) can help you stay sane. Spirits still low? “Remember that it’s normal to feel the baby blues for the first couple of weeks postpartum,” says Liz Maseth, R.N., a nurse lactation consultant at Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio. “Just make sure that your family understands about the baby blues—and that if your feelings of sadness or depression last beyond those first two weeks, your loved ones can assist you in getting the help you need.”
DIY Eco-Friendly Toys for Your Little One
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on new toys for your little one this summer. Instead, you can get creative with fun, DIY toys your little one will love! Making toys is a great way to reuse and recycle materials you have at home, plus you can customize them with your favorite colors and designs.
Here are some simple DIY toys for your little one to enjoy this summer and all year long:
Toilet roll shakers for toddlers
What you need:
Toilet paper roll cores (the recycled paper cores in ECOS™Treeless Toilet Paper work great), non-toxic paint or crayons, dry pasta or rice, tape and colored paper.
Paint or decorate the toilet paper roll core and let your little one help! Next, cut out two circles from the colored paper for caps for each end of the shaker. Attach one cap to the bottom of the toilet paper roll with tape to secure. Fill the inside with pasta or rice and attach the other cap to the top, securing with tape. Make sure to seal the ends nice and tight with tape to keep bits from falling out into your little one’s mouth. Check to make sure there are no gaps between the cap and the roll and let your little one shake away!
Homemade baby blocks
What you need:
Wooden blocks, sandpaper, glue, non-toxic paint, and upcycled decorative paper (like newspaper or magazine pages)
Sand the wooden blocks with sandpaper to create a smooth base for paint and glue. Next, decorate the blocks however you’d like with your upcycled decorative paper and non-toxic paint. Once you’re done decorating, make sure to seal the blocks with a baby-safe sealant and let dry overnight. Help cleanup go smoothly by using Baby ECOS™ Here & There All Purpose Cleaner.
Scrap fabric bunny
What you need:
Leftover soft fabrics, thread and needle (or fabric glue), non-toxic permanent pen, and extra fabric or cotton for stuffing.
Cut out two sets (front and back) of fabric for bunny ears, body, hands and legs. You should have 14 pieces total.
Attach pieces with fabric glue or sew pieces for extra security. Before attaching legs, stuff the body with cotton or left-over scrap fabric. Finally, draw on an adorable bunny face with a non-toxic marker to complete the bunny. You can find a detailed guide here.
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with eco-friendly ideas for you and baby! Plus, share your favorite crafts with us for a chance to be featured on our Instagram.
Helping Baby and Pet Become BFFs
Having a baby and a pet is double the fun, but it can be double the work, especially when it comes to helping them create a great relationship with each other. Whether you’re introducing a new baby or furry friend to the mix, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered with a list of tips to help ease the transition!
Acing the introduction
If you’re introducing your little one to your furry friend for the first time, make sure to prepare in advance. The Humane Society suggests enrolling your pet in a training class to help them learn to remain calm in new environments. If your pet isn’t familiar with babies, ask friends and family members with little ones if they can visit for a supervised pet-baby playdate. You’ll get a feel for how your pet will react to baby, which could range from extremely excited to surprisingly avoidant. You can also help your pet get used to baby sounds by playing a recording of a baby crying in another room months before.
Nurturing a great relationship
After you’ve gotten the introduction down, now you can focus on creating a lasting bond between your pet and baby. Create fun bonding time between them by going on walks together as they get used to each other’s company. Take the two of them out for a family picnic and enjoy the outdoors. As your little one grows older, you’ll want to communicate with them how to hold your pet gently and respect them during playtime. If both your pet and baby learn their limits, they’ll establish a safe and playful relationship in no time.
Perfecting your cleanup routine
There’s bound to be plenty of messes with that much cuteness around! The changing environment might cause more messes from your furry friend, which is why you should keep a good eco-friendly cleaner around the house. Plant-powered Disney ECOS™ For Pets! Stain & Odor Remover uses enzymes to neutralize pet odors and lift tough pet stains from floors and fabrics. Many of our Baby ECOS™ and ECOS™ For Pets! cleaners are made with U.S. EPA Safer Choice-certified ingredients, so little ones can get back to playtime in no time after cleanup.
Follow us on IG and Facebook Baby ECOS™ to get more inspirations for creating an eco-friendly home!
Earth Day with Baby
Get ready for April 22, one of the best and most important days of the year—Earth Day! Created in 1970, Earth Day now attracts over 1 billion participants around the globe. It’s the perfect time to show your appreciation for Mother Earth and get involved in protecting our planet. This year, teach your little one about the earth with these fun activities!
Read books about our beautiful earth
You can start to teach your little one about sustainability with fun children’s books like The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and Wump World by Bill Peet. Books like these are a fun way to teach baby about the beauty of nature. Even if they’re too young to read on their own, the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to read to children in infancy because it stimulates brain function and strengthens parent-child relationships.
Switching to a green cleaner is a smart way to help avoid harsh chemicals in your home. Baby ECOS™ Here & There All Surface Cleaner is perfect for cleaning tables, counters, and furniture around the house and its certified Safer Choice by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.
Make recycling fun
Recycling can be exciting with a little bit of creativity! These Monster Recycling Boxes are an adorable way to introduce children to recycling. Each “monster” can be used to recycle a different item, like plastic, paper, or aluminum cans.
Kids love crafts—especially finger painting! It’s a great activity that encourages creativity for your little one. For Earth Day, you can get blue and green eco-friendly finger paints to create an earth-inspired painting! Draw a large circle on paper, or use a paper plate, and let your little one paint inside of the circle. You’ll have a beautiful painting of the earth! You can repeat this every year at Earth Day as your child grows older; you can even make it a family tradition.
It’s no surprise that having a baby can add a few extra steps to your cleaning routine. Now that winter is ending, and spring is on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to renew your home with spring cleaning! That doesn’t have to mean tearing everything out of the cabinets and exhausting yourself; creating a safer home can be accomplished with a few easy steps.
Clean surfaces with safer products
The most important thing about cleaning your home is making it safer for your family. Babies are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of indoor air pollution and to toxic chemicals found in many traditional cleaning products. Conventional household cleaners can cause irritation to your child’s sensitive skin, eyes, and airways. If you’re feeling worried that your cleaners could be dangerous to your little one, it’s time for a change!
Switching to a green cleaner is a smart way to help avoid harsh chemicals in your home. Baby ECOS™ Here & There All Surface Cleaner is perfect for cleaning tables, counters, and furniture around the house and its certified Safer Choice by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.
Open your windows
Did you know we spend 90% of our time indoors where air pollutant levels can be 2 to 5 times higher than they are outside? Kids today also spend half as much time playing outside as their parents did, which means breathing in more stale inside air! Freshen up your house this spring by opening your windows and allow the fresh air to circulate and rejuvenate your home.
Reduce, reuse & reorganize
Reduce clutter and excess waste this spring! Living minimally has a lot of positive environmental benefits, like decreasing your carbon footprint. You can start by reducing what you purchase and making a shopping list before you go to the store. The more planned out a purchase is beforehand, the more likely you are to keep and use that product for years to come!
You can extend the lifespan of your unwanted items by donating them to a thrift store, which reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Donate baby clothes, toys, and other products you no longer use, or pass them along to a family member or friend instead of throwing things away.
Finally, organize your home to open the space and make it feel more inviting. Invest in shelves to put away toys, bottles, blankets, and other baby items. Once playtime is done, you can put away toys in a cubby that’s out of sight and create a relaxing environment for yourself when baby is sleeping.
Let us know your favorite cleaning tips and follow us on Instagram and Facebook BabyECOS.
Valentine’s Day With Baby
BabyEcos Thursday, February 1, 2018
It’s February and love is in the air! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and this year you might have a new, extra-special person to celebrate with. You’ve been working hard as a parent, so use this holiday to relax and enjoy your loved ones on this special day.
So, what can you do this year to celebrate, with a new baby on the scene?
Date night at home
Valentine’s Day is all about romance, and that doesn’t have to change now that you have a baby! If you have a special someone in your life, you’ve had to rely on each other to raise your bundle of joy. You’ve gone through the ups and downs of parenthood together, and that calls for celebration. Show your partner you love them by having a romantic dinner date at home. It doesn’t have to be complicated - in fact, you could have their favorite meal delivered to your home from a local restaurant or use a meal delivery service to cut down on prep time. Make the meal extra special with a playlist of your partner’s favorite songs played while you dine.
Have friends over to celebrate
With a new baby at home you might be craving extra time with your friends and want more adult company. You can use Valentine’s Day to show love for your friends as well! Host a potluck-style get-together at home with romantic comedies ready to watch. Don’t forget to have lots of sweets on hand to celebrate the holiday. You can also serve Valentine’s Day-themed cocktails and mocktails using pink lemonade, strawberries, and pink sugar to line the rim of each glass. If you’re feeling up to it, put cut-out pink and red hearts to scatter around the house for a sweet Valentine’s Day vibe.
Make Valentine’s cards
Remember back in elementary school when kids used to give cute little Valentine’s cards? If you feel like being crafty, bring back that tradition by making a card featuring a picture of your little one. Take an adorable picture of baby dressed up in pink & red and print out the photo for a DIY Valentine. All you need is pink or red construction paper to cut into a heart. Then paste the picture in the middle, write a cute note on the back, and give or mail them to family and friends. P.S. You can use recycled materials to save money and protect the environment!
Share your love of nature
There’s something about being outside in nature that’s inherently beautiful and romantic, especially when you’re with loved ones. If it isn’t too cold where you are, go outside for a family date at your local park, botanical garden, or your closest adventure spot. Enjoy a date with your family, or just you and your little one, in the beautiful outdoors. Grab snacks and a blanket for an easy picnic outside with your favorite treats. Don’t forget to prewash your fruit and veggie snacks before you head out on your picnic! Rinse away oily residues and dirt quickly with Baby ECOS™ Fruit & Veggie Wash, which is specially designed for little ones.
Bring Self Care Into Your New Year
BabyEcos Monday, January 1, 2018
Welcome to 2018! It’s a new year for you to learn how to lead a healthier and happier life. Being a parent can feel like a nonstop job; however, you’ll be at your parenting best when you take time to relax and rejuvenate. Be more at ease this year with these New Year’s resolutions that incorporate some essential self-care.
Catch up on ZZZs
Sleep is important. One more time: Sleep is important! Good sleep can be hard to come by with a baby in the house. This year, when you feel comfortable, ask a trusted relative or friend to babysit overnight. With an overnight babysitter every now and again, you can catch up on good, uninterrupted sleep. You might also ask that special helper to give you some extra help at home during the day. That way you can take a nap while they’re watching your little one.
Make time to see your friends
Spend time with the people who make you happy! You can do a fun play date with other parents or a solo brunch on the weekend. Don’t forget about the people who uplift your spirits and can make you feel refreshed. Plan an exciting (or relaxing) friends night out to look forward to.
Parenthood is great, but we’d be lying if we didn’t admit it can be stressful too. After a long year, consider adopting mindfulness and other meditative practices into your weekly routine. You can experience mindfulness through everyday activities — even eating or drawing. All you need to do is turn the conversations in your mind off and give yourself fully to the action you’re doing. You can also download an app that will help you meditate at home. Practicing mindfulness will help relax you during your day and be more present.
Be kind to yourself
Don’t be so hard on yourself! You’re doing just fine. Make sure to focus on the things you’re doing well. Don’t compare yourself to other parents, especially on social media, because no one does parenthood perfectly.
In 2018 make self-care a regular part of your routine. You won’t regret taking the extra time to keep yourself healthy and happy!
Celebrate an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season with Baby!
BabyEcos Friday, December 1, 2017
Celebrate this winter holiday season with your family while also showing love to the planet.
It’s never too early to set a positive example of sustainable practices for your little one. Here are some tips to help your baby’s holiday stay fun and eco-friendly!
For gift-giving, wrapping paper is used once and then thrown away. In fact, it’s thrown away so much that all that waste could wrap around the earth nine times! You can help reduce this waste by wrapping with recycled options like:
Book pages from a book you no longer read
A decorated paper grocery bag
An old cloth for a unique gift wrap
Delicious food is one of the best parts of winter parties that your baby will surely enjoy! You can help reduce food waste by:
Turning a holiday dinner into a baby food puree
Preparing your meal far in advance to avoid buying too much
Composting leftovers for your garden
You have a growing baby, spread the holiday cheer by donating baby items you no longer use. There are a lot of families that could use help this year and donating helps them and the planet by reducing waste.
Find a gift donation and drop off clean used toys
Donate baby clothes instead of throwing them away to mothers in need
Donate extra packaged baby food items
Enjoy spending time with your family and creating a warm, festive, and eco-friendly home this December!
First Thanksgiving With Baby
BabyEcos Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Happy November, the kickoff month for the end-of-the-year holidays! November and December are jam-packed with holiday fun for you and your little one. If this is your baby’s first Thanksgiving, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered with tips to help it go smoothly.
Plan your day
If you want to split the day between two homes, plan it out in advance. If one side of the family likes to host Thanksgiving brunch and the other dinner—perfect! You can take time in between both events to let baby nap and to take a break yourself. However, if you want to make it to two Thanksgiving dinners, plan on spending at least two hours at each.
Wear something nursing-friendly
If you’re nursing, finding an easy outfit to wear in the winter can be a challenge. Wrap dresses provide a lot of flexibility with easy access and you can pair it with a nice cardigan and leggings if it’s cold. Tops with zippers, buttons or stretchy sweaters, might be your best bet for a smooth Thanksgiving while nursing.
Prep baby’s food
You can make some Thanksgiving purees the night before so baby won’t go hungry. Try to get festive with pumpkin, squash and cranberry flavors. You can take the purees along with you in a cooler bag, especially if you’re travelling house to house.
Manage family time
This might be the first time that some family members are meeting your little one. This means they might constantly ask to hold your baby throughout the gathering. Going from person to person can cause stress for your baby, who might be getting tired from a long day. If your baby is new to all the attention, try to kindly let family members know when your little one needs a break.
Even babies love Thanksgiving food! Save the turkey, sweet potatoes, veggies and stuffing for baby for later. Some of these foods will be soft enough for baby on their own, while others can be blended down into a nice puree.
Tips for a greener Halloween!!
3 Fun & Healthy Halloween Snacks for Kids
BabyEcos Sunday, October 1, 2017
It’s Halloween season! Finally you can enjoy delicious snacks with a spooky theme. If you’re looking for healthy alternatives for your kids, you’re in luck! We’ve crafted a list of our favorite healthy Halloween treats from around the web just for you and your kids to enjoy.
To me, Halloween means candy corn! I always make sure to have a big bowl of candy corn in my home every year. It’s become a tradition for many families because of its sweet, chewy texture and bright fall colors. These fun Candy Corn Popsicles from Chew Chew Mama are big, refreshing version of my favorite Halloween treat—and healthier for little ones too.
To make them, you just need some popsicle molds, organic juices and yogurt. It’s an easy recipe that your kids will love!
Have you ever noticed that clementines look like little pumpkins? This sweet cross between a mandarin and an orange makes a great healthy snack for kids, and the best part is you can easily decorate them just like a Halloween pumpkin! Jack-o-clementines are easy to make with a black permanent marker and a bag of clementines, which are in season right now. Let your kids get creative and draw fun Halloween faces on their cute little clementines to display for Halloween or send to school for a yummy festive snack.
Halloween is all about ghosts, monsters and witches. These Pretzel Witch Brooms are easy to make with pretzels and cheese sticks – a kid favorite combo! Little ones can help with this recipe too – as you prepare the cheese, they can add the pretzel. Kids love to eat what they help make!
With all the less-than-healthy sweets that kids eat during the Halloween season, these snacks will help you add a little healthy fun!
4 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a New Baby
BabyEcos Friday, September 1, 2017
Congratulations! Your little bundle of joy is almost ready to meet the world. As your belly grows, so does the need for new baby gear to fill your home. Here are some steps help welcome your little one for the big day and keep you calm and organized during this big transition.
Load your fridge and freezer with prepared meals
Make it easier on yourself by meal prepping! You might be too tired to cook three meals a day for yourself once you’re looking after a little one. Even if you just meal prep one meal or a few snacks, you’ll thank yourself later when you’re not hungry and tired at the same time.
Plan your wardrobe in advance
Plan a couple of outfits that you’d be comfortable wearing around the house after your first few weeks after birth. Leggings paired with a flowy shirt will help your body breathe and allow you to move around easily without discomfort. This will end up being an energy saver in the morning, just like meal prep! Just fold the outfits in your closet and have them ready to go for when you arrive home after delivery.
Stock up on cleaners that are safer for baby
A new baby means new messes around the house. Save yourself trips to the store by stocking up on a few months’ worth of cleaners made with safer ingredients. Baby ECOS™ has great options for laundry, fruit and veggie washing and cleaning messy surfaces.
Get organized with storage space
Now that you’ve prepared for baby, where do you put all the stuff? A messy nursery and house might create additional stress once your baby is born. Use an easy organization system (lots of tape and labels!) that helps you quickly get to the items you need and keep the items you don’t need out of eyesight until you do.
Fall in Love With Fall at Home
BabyEcos Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Uh oh, summer is coming to a close and fall is on the horizon. Even though you might miss the sunshine, I’m sure you’re looking forward to the pumpkin spice and Halloween costumes right around the corner. Here are some tips to transform your home into the perfect fall refuge.
Get fall-scented candles
Nothing says fall like the scent of pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla. Get fall-scented candles to make your house stand out to your guests and put them in a festive mood. Look at social enterprises with a good cause that sell eco-friendly candles.
Look up fall recipes
If you love cooking, try a few new recipes this fall. To be environmentally conscious, consider trying a plant-based alternative to one of your favorite meat dishes. You can make healthier Halloween candy with pretzels, vegan marshmallows and cacao nibs.
Something about fall just makes me think of crafts. Consider making a Halloween costume from scratch this year and reuse old materials you have, or check out your local thrift store. You can be creative and help eliminate waste from a landfill by upcycling materials.
Tips For Traveling With Baby
BabyEcos Saturday, July 1, 2017
If you like to jet set, don’t be scared away from travel if you need to bring your children along. If you’re a new mom, the thought of flying with an infant can bring a lot of anxiety. Here are some quick tips to help soothe some of the anxiety you might have about a flight with your baby.
Pack any diaper-changing supplies into a smaller bag within your diaper bags(diaper, changing pad and wipes). When it’s time to change a diaper, it’s easy to grab and go without digging through a packed bag with a wet and fussy baby!
Bring a toy
If you have a toddler, bring along an activity for them to play with so they don’t get too restless on the plane. A coloring book is easy to pack in a backpack and is quiet. You can also search for smart phone apps made for toddlers to play with. Don’t forget to bring your baby-friendly headphones, just in case the app is noisy! There are many cordless headphones designed to be safer for little ones.
Snacks are a must
Snacks at the airport are priced much higher than your local convenience store. It’s also harder to find healthy options at the airport where fast food is abundant. Before you leave for the airport, prep some apple slices, celery and travel pouch applesauce!
Bring calming music
Some planes offer inflight music entertainment, but just in case they don’t, make a soothing music playlist for you and your little ones (if they're old enough). Don’t forget baby’s special headphones!
Don’t panic if they cry
Don’t be embarrassed if your child cries on his first airplane ride. Most people on the plane have been there before with their own kids and aren’t thinking less of you. Stay calm and keep working on soothing your baby. Babies usually settle after a few trips up and down the aisle, and it’s great to get a mid-flight stretch for you as well.
Why You Should Shop Local
BabyEcos Thursday, June 1, 2017
If you’re making changes to be more environmentally friendly, you can start with your kitchen. You don’t have to change what you buy, but changing where you buy can reduce your carbon footprint. If you check online, your community or a nearby one probably has a local farmer's market.
Local food is in season
When you buy locally you’re more aware of what’s produced seasonally and seasonal produce tastes the best! Shop locally to get in touch with the variety of foods your community grows all year.
Supporting local farmers also supports your local economy
When you buy local, you empower your nearby farmers who are growing organic food. They’re competing against non-organic farmers who are able to produce fruit and veggies at a much lower price point. Show your local farmers that you appreciate their efforts to bring healthy food into your community by buying from them whenever you can. You’re adding money back into your local economy by doing so.
Eating local reduces your carbon footprint
Produce is shipped from all over the world to your closest grocery store. When you buy from a conventional grocery store, you might be getting food that indirectly releases tons of carbon dioxide to transport via air or truck. When you shop locally, you reduce transport time and your carbon footprint.
Shopping locally, especially at a weekly farmer’s market, might build community! Soon you’ll get used to saying hi to the man at the honey stand and might even even make friends with the fresh squeezed juice seller. When you show up to shop regularly, you’ll help make your community stronger.