Category: Green Baby & Kids

Reading Rockin’ Babies to Kamea For Added Fun!

September 7th, 2011 by

Kamea loves books and they’re a huge part of our day. I’ve read enough parenting books to know the importance of reading with my baby. And, boy oh boy, she LOVES it. Ever since she learned to sign “more” she asks me to read and reread and reread books all day long. She has her favorites, though, that’s for sure. Doggies, anyone? To make it even more exciting though, I sometimes, ehem, sing them to her.??Other times I get so animated that I literally exhaust myself… by the way, is it just me or do some of the Dr. Seuss books take a lot out of ya? After reading The Cat in the Hat, I need nap! ;)

One of her favorite books is Rockin’ Babies by Dr. Jenn Berman (fellow vegan and author of SuperBaby). Here I am, sharing with the world (I did this on my Facebook author page, but that’s only available to fans so the audience was limited), my singing to Kamea.

By the way… the part about “spitting on authority figures” is not as bad as it might sound. ;) It’s a cute picture of a dad being spit “up” on with baby food. See?


By the way, check out Kamea’s baby freeze pops on my Kristen’s Raw blog here.



Baby Kamea’s Vegan and Raw Filled Snack Tray

August 31st, 2011 by

I’m always asked about what I feed Kamea other than powerful, nutrient rich breastmilk. So, let’s take a peek at what she has awaiting her today.

I like to give her choices and I found myself putting a few different things in a bowl, where they would ultimately end up getting mixed together. Not a big deal, but I wanted to keep them separate so she could see them better. I went on the hunt for the perfect feeding tray and I found it! I found a couple of things actually (and I’ll blog about the others in the future), but this is the one we’re using at home the most. It’s a BPA-free plastic tray with lid, shaped like a pineapple with tiny compartments perfect for filling with little baby bits of food.

Today she’s gobbling up the following organic vegan and raw snacks…

  • soaked goji berries
  • black beans (not raw)
  • diced prunes
  • raisins
  • pine nuts
  • diced mango with complete protein hemp seeds
  • orange bell pepper

She’s one happy baby!

Making Kamea’s Story Book Vegan-Friendly

August 2nd, 2011 by

Kamea is crazy in love with books, which melts my heart. One of the passions both Greg and I share is the love of reading, and we look forward to the time when we can have family outings to Starbucks where we take our books and read.

We love reading to Kamea and she requests it every day, multiple times. Now that she knows the sign “more” in sign language, we see it over and over and over and over and … well, you get the point. Once the story ends, she wants more. Yay!

We’re building her library of books and I buy most of them on Amazon if they’re not hand-me-downs from friends and relatives. However, when you’re not buying from a bookstore where you can flip through it, you don’t always know everything it’ll contain. Recently, I bought the book “Yummy YUCKY” by Leslie Patricelli. It’s such a cute board book with the pictures, colors, and font. The story basically shows one side of the page with something yummy on it, like spaghetti. Then, on the next page it shows something similar, but yucky… like worms. It makes it really fun to read to Kamea as I exclaim out loud the pages that are YUCKY! I make an “eh eh” sound and she imitates me.??

The problem is that there are some foods shown in the book that are illustrated as yummy but that we would clearly not feed her as vegan parents. So, what did we do? We edited the book to suit our needs. (Kudos to Greg’s talented hand in making the words actually look like the other words’ font.)

Here are three examples of some of the changes we made!

This page used to read: “Burgers are yummy.” So, we changed it to “Boca Burgers are yummy.”

This page used to read: “Eggs are yummy.” So, we changed it to “Tofu eggs are yummy.”

This page used to read: “Fish sticks are yummy.” So, we changed it to “Faux Fish sticks are yummy.”

I read in a parenting book that if you find a children’s book that you just don’t agree with, then simply stop reading it. In our case, the book was so darn cute, that we just changed it. ;)

What is Kamea’s favorite book? As in… which book could she hear over and over and over and over???“Doggies” by Sandra Boynton. I love that her favorite book has to do with dogs which is so near and dear to my heart. She’s going to be a big animal lover, I can tell. (more…)

Organic Cloth Grocery Shopping Cart / High Chair Cover

June 11th, 2011 by

For the first 10 months of Kamea’s life, I wore her pretty much everywhere we went. We didn’t visit a lot of restaurants, and the times we did, we put her in her Orbit Stroller Seat (which rotates 360 – totally badass! and pushed right up to the table), but she isn’t enjoying the stroller this past month – huh. Sometimes we would sit in a booth and just put her between us or I’d share a chair with her if the furniture allowed (as in the picture to the left). That became difficult lately though, becase she moves around a lot! We also tried using her portable restaurant chair that came with her at-home high chair (the top comes off and you can take it places). That is very cool, too. But, it also means having a good restaurant chair to put it on and if you’re in a booth it’s not gonna fly. What to do…

Out of the corner of my eye every time, I see the dreaded restaurant high chair. I say “dreaded” because frankly, it looks like a germ fest. I highly doubt they’re cleaned very often, and I get the willies thinking about putting Kamea in one of them.

A similar scenario applies when grocery shopping. For the first 10 months Kamea was mostly worn at the grocery store, with a couple of exceptions of being in her stroller.

But… she’s over 11 months now and this means a couple of things. She’s getting heavier (long legs, too) which makes it more difficult to shop while wearing her. Bending down to get things off low shelves or rifling through the produce displays until I find impeccable produce isn’t easy with her strapped on, and she’s not a fan of it either (she wants me to keep moving). Again though, shopping carts are notorious for being uber germy and gross, so I didn’t want to put her in one.

I decided it was time to invest in an organic grocery cart and high chair cover. Sooo glad I did! Wow, in the restaurants she sits like a champ in it. And, in the grocery store, she does just as well. Whew!

Here she is using it for the first time at a restaurant. So much easier to carry that instead of using a stroller or portable high chair seat. I’m all about making things simpler these days!

And… Kamea at Whole Foods Market in a grocery cart.

Wee Be


Baby Swim Time – Kamea Loves The Water In Her Swim Diaper & Swim Raft

April 18th, 2011 by

When staying at my mom’s house, we’re lucky that her neighbor across the street allows us unrestricted access to their salt water swimming pool. My experience with Kamea since she was born is that she is fascinated with water whether it’s coming out of a faucet, garden hose, sitting in a dog bowl, or if she’s taking a bath. As you can imagine, I’ve been dying to see how she is in a pool. The verdict? I think the picture speaks volumes. She’s totally Hollywood and chillin’ like life couldn’t be better. In fact, she is teething right now and yesterday was a rough day (in spite of the amber necklace I blogged about here, although I hate to think of how it would be without it?). I took her to the pool and all was better! Yay! Looks like a lot of pool time in our future.

In anticipation of Kamea’s first time in a pool, we bought her a baby swim diaper, baby raft, and Nana bought her some groovy shades.

The raft I chose has nice reviews on Amazon, comes with a sun shade, and should last us a long time. It’s a little big for her still, so we put a couple of swim noodles under it. I don’t think it’s entirely necessary, but it looks more comfortable for her. And, she does look comfy wouldn’t you say?!

Kamea’s baby swim diaper we bought at Giggle (we have a store near us, but here is a link to their online store). I like that it’s free of PVC and super absorbent gels and that no other diaper is necessary. Apparently there are some states that require the use of approved swim diapers in public pools. Arizona requires the use of them. However, I doubt we’ll be in any public pools in the near future because I’m not crazy about chlorine pools. So far we’re opting to just have her wear the diaper instead of a full swimsuit. It seems easier to take on and off than a full swimsuit, and also seems like it would be really comfortable for her this way.

The shades are so stinkin’ adorable. My mom’s favorite print is animal print so naturally that is what she bought for Kamea. Cute! She bought them at a health food store, but they’re also available on Amazon (although my mom paid less than what Amazon is charging right now). According to Frubi’s website, “Not only do the Ultraguard????lenses on Frubi Shades block 100% of UVA and UVB, they also block all of the harmful blue light. Research shows that blue light may contribute to macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in elder Americans).” That’s extra important for us in Arizona where the sun shines almost daily. More info on their website here.

Finding Our Groove – Sleeping, Cloth Diapers, and Toys

October 26th, 2010 by

Now that Kamea is four months old, we’re really finding our groove. This mama job is a breeze. ;)

For the past month, we’ve been sleeping better. Kamea co-sleeps with us and it’s been such a joy. Most nights she sleeps quite well. We can stay in bed for 9-12 hours at night. She doesn’t sleep straight through but she kind of does. She tosses and turns when she’s hungry, I roll on my side and latch her on, and we’re both back in dreamland. Well, I usually get back to dreamland. Some nights she thrashes around a lot which keeps me awake because I keep putting her back on my breast (my husband says she’s practicing her “ninja” skills). But, some nights, like last night, we both sleep soundly. There are the occasional nights where she decides she’d like to wake up after about 4 hours of sleep and stay up. When this happens, it only takes about an hour of hanging out with her in bed and she’s ready to sleep again.

Nap time has been great too. We’re not on a schedule, but I’d estimate that she wants to nap every few hours. The one nap I can count on is in the morning. About 2 hours after waking, she’s ready for a nap. Sometimes she naps for 40-60 minutes and other times she sleeps a whole 2 hours.

What does all that mean? Mommy is getting more sleep! My eyes are no longer bloodshot and I feel like I can drive a car without causing harm to myself or others. Seriously, I didn’t start driving again until just recently because I only felt I had enough energy to make it through my day at home. Driving a car required too much alertness.

The pretty colored ones are Swaddlebees Econappies. The white diaper with easy-to-use colored snaps are BabyKicks.

We’re also getting into cloth diapers more regularly (every time I use one, depending on the size, I save about 30 cents – gotta love that). They’re still not as great as I thought they’d be. For starters, you have to wash them (that’s work). Then, you have to stuff them (that’s more work). Finally, they’re still bulky as heck, but the fit is getting better. However, in spite of the extra work, it’s better on the earth and my baby’s girlie bits, and… they’re cute as hell! I think our plan is going to be using cloth diapers at home and when we go out, we’ll use eco-friendly disposables. I’m a fan of two cloth diaper brands right now:??BabyKicks and Swaddlebees Econappi. Both are one size diapers that are supposed to fit from newborn until 35-40 pounds (depending on the brand), but I’m only now liking them on her at this age / weight because I think they’re too bulky to use for newborns. I have 6 BabyKicks and 4 Swaddlebee Econappis plus the Flip system I wrote about here. Flip are not my favorites, but they’re working okay.

We are still interested in trying Elimination Communication, but even now, I still don’t feel like it’s the right time. I know many people start early, but I have a few issues to figure out. 1) I have no idea when she’s peeing and she pees many times. 2) I don’t get much warning for poop either. Therefore, I’m just not comfortable with her being diaper free until I get a better handle on that. And, 3) it’s weird holding her on the potty when she doesn’t even sit on her own yet. I tried it the other day. Not fun. For either of us. All in good time though. We’ll work on that later.

As I mentioned in the last post, we took Kamea for her 4-month pediatric visit. At this visit we started talking about solids, just so we can start thinking about them. I plan on waiting to introduce solids until she cuts some teeth hopefully (that could be at 6-8 months). That means three things: 1) I need a high chair (going to start researching this very soon). 2) I need baby spoons. 3) I’m excited to start thinking about homemade baby food recipes and the next book I’ll write!

Kamea is also starting to grab at toys and hold on to them, play with them, etc. It’s so exciting to see her develop. I recently bought her this groovy Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush. It’s BPA, latex, and phthalate free. She also has this eco-friendly baby rattle (BPA, PVC and phthalate free). And, Kamea loves her organic dolly that Lauren and Ginger bought her. She likes to chew on her, too. ;)

How I Give Kamea Her Bath

October 13th, 2010 by

We’ve come a long way since Kamea had her first bath and didn’t take to it very well (read more here).??But, she bathes like a champ now. She loves it. It gets easier every week as she grows a bit more and gets stronger. Bath time is fun for both of us. This is an action shot – haha.

So,??what do I do? We bathe together because that seems to be the easiest. We started with this bath tub seat for her but it wasn’t as easy as it looks. I liked that it was small – for infants – and figured it would be a better option. However, it’s on quite an incline so she was sliding down it a bit. I found myself holding her in place with one hand and washing with the other hand. Not the easiest.

Then, I decided to try this bath tub sling/chair – it was really cheap so why not. From the picture it seemed perfect because she could recline a bit and I figured I wouldn’t have to hold her with one of my hands the whole time like I was doing with the white chair. However, when I tried this sling/chair a couple of times, she looked really uncomfy in it. It seemed to put her head in an awkward position. We don’t use this chair anymore.

I decided to give the white bath tub seat another try. This time though, I loaded it up with towels to make it softer on her and to help prevent her from sliding down too much. It seems to do the trick. First I use a couple of bamboo washcloths folded up and put on the bottom.

Then, I use a hand towel and cover the whole thing.

This has been working for us quite well so far. She smiles the whole time she’s getting bathed.

There are loads of options for bath tub seats when it comes to babies. Since the white bath tub seat seems to be doing the trick for now, we’ll stick with it. It’s supposed to be used until she’s 18 pounds at which time I’ll have to buy another chair.??I’m not comfortable with not using any seat and just holding her like some mamas do, because she’s slippery and I want to have both of my hands free for washing.

Here she is after her bath, all wrapped up in her bamboo towel wrap.

As far as bath soap for Kamea… sometimes I just use water and sometimes I use soap. Lately, for the soap I’ve been using Earth Mama Angel Baby. It’s very nice and scores a big fat zero on the Skin Deep database. YAY! Safe for my baby. Safe for mama. After the bath sometimes I put either organic coconut oil on her skin or organic jojoba oil (I love this jojoba oil). It’s great for keeping her skin soft and moisturized because we live in a dry climate.

Jumperoo Or Not?

September 28th, 2010 by

A couple of weeks back I asked my Facebook friends (parents) what they thought about using a jumperoo for their kids. The overwhelming majority loved it for their kids. But, there were a few who weren’t sure as to whether they were healthy for babies and their hips.

One friend in particular pointed me to this discussion here where a pediatric physical therapist did not like them. The contribution to the forum detailing this is a a few entries down in purple once you click the link. I’ve copied and pasted it here:

I have heard that physical therapists don’t like jumparoos and exersaucers because they place too much weight on babies legs, which aren’t supposed to be weight bearing at this point. And I guess with the crotch-support seats it wouldn’t be good on hips, either.
Do we have any physical therapists on our board?!!

I guess what I’ve heard is that babies are supposed to be in arms or on the floor as much as possible – the two best places for development at this age.

Editing to add, here’s something helpful I found from a mama on a different message board (her words, not mine, but helpful to understand what might be going on):

I worked as a pediatric physical therapist before my son was born, so this an area near and dear to my heart.

Saucers, jumpers, walkers, etc. do nothing to enhance development, and can actually delay the achievement of milestones by several weeks. Essentially, to give a quick summary, standing in a saucer is not the same as actively standing while say holding onto a couch. The muscles work in a different pattern that is less desirable. This has been backed up by EMG studies, where they read the electrical output of different muscles and look at the patterns in which they are activated. Babies in saucers tend to be pitched forward onto their toes, which isn’t a normal posture and can theoretically lead to tip toe walking down the road (an abnormal gait pattern). Their abdominal muscles aren’t activeley engaged like they would be while actively standing. Their gluteal (butt) muscles aren’t engaged the same way they would be while standing on their own. This allows them to stand with a sway-backed posture that isn’t particularly healthy.

There have been excellent twin studies showing that even in typically-developing kids, the twin that used a walker walked on average 6 weeks later than the non walker using twin. Most therapists would say this can be applied to saucer use as well. Studies have shown saucers to delay sitting, crawling and walking milestones. Many parents will say their child used a saucer and walked early, but that isn’t really a fair assessment, as their child may have walked even earlier if they *didn’t* use one.

In a typically developing kid, it is less of a concern than a child at risk of delays (preemies, low muscle tone, etc.) However, not all parents know if their child is delayed or at risk of delays either.

The recommendation of most pediatric PTs I’ve known is to limit their use entirely if you can. If you insist on using one, don’t use it for more than 20 mins a day, and be aware of how fast that time adds up (10 mins while you shower, 10 mins during a phone call, 30 mins while you make dinner, 10 mins while you clean up, 5 mins while you go to the bathroom…). It adds up more quickly than people realize. Also if the child shows any signs of fatigue (slouching over, slumping, leaning to one side) they should be removed before 20 mins total, and hopefully beforehand.

I know mamas need to shower and do things around the house…I can sympathize, believe me. Just keep in mind saucers are all marketing, and there is no real benefit to be had from your child using them. The manufacturers make parents feel like they really enhance development, when the opposite is true. The best “tool” for helping a child develop motor skills is floor time…supervised tummy time, just playing on the floor w/ your baby. If you need to contain them for safety, a playpen still allows them to practice their motor skills without getting into trouble if you are in the shower and can’t supervise, for example.

I know some people say that they only put their baby in a jumperoo for about 20 minutes a day and it’s hard to imagine much consequence with that small amount of time. That being said, I don’t think I’ll buy something that they literally use for only 20 minutes a day, especially if there are potential problems with my baby using it. However, I can empathize with how precious a 20 minute break in a day can be for a new mama. Wouldn’t a better solution be a playpen or a swing? What do you think?

Working Our Way Into Cloth Diapers

September 8th, 2010 by

A small cloth diaper update: Kamea is 10.5 weeks old now. We’re just starting to work our way into some cloth diapers. It’s taken this long because they have been too big in my opinion. Yes, too big. Even the AIO – snapping them down to fit simply makes them thicker and even more uncomfortable looking on her. But, this past week, I’m starting to see some potential with one brand (understand though, I have not tried them all, and I know there are a lot out there, but I have tried a few. I’d probably go broke trying all of the different brands and styles ??- lol. I have heard some good things about gdiapers because they apparently have a really small size available for newborns but the whole gdiaper system wasn’t attractive to me… it was just one more thing to learn as a tired 1st time new mama).

Kamea wearing BabyKicks cloth diaper

Right now, I like BabyKicks -??this one in particular, shown in the picture. (I have this other version of theirs, but prefer the “bumboo” diaper??because it doesn’t require a cover. Covers add extra bulk). I like the bumboo because it fits her better at this age / size than some other brands I have, which I predict will fit well when she’s 3-4 months (I’ll post on those when the time comes). However, even with BabyKicks, the only way I like the look of them is when she’s wearing just the cloth diaper and a tshirt (or just the cloth diaper alone) – serious cuteness! But, honestly, how many people go out in public with just that on a baby? There are some adorable cloth diaper prints available, but who sees those other than me? Or am I missing something? Do people take babies out in a cloth diaper and tshirt alone? I presume clothes should be worn and so I am still of the opinion that clothes look silly on her when covering a cloth diaper. She looks like a giant pear (or as another reader wrote “a hockey goalie” lmao). Therefore, we’ll stick to cloth at home for now, where she’s chilling out in her cloth diaper and organic tshirt??(we still use eco-friendly disposables too, especially at night).

Keeping things honest and real… there is one brand so far that I don’t think I like. It’s Flip. I want to like them! To be fair, I’ll try it again in case I was doing something wrong, but I wasn’t in love with it during our first go with it. Perhaps I used it incorrectly? From what I can tell, it’s a cover and you fold a cloth diaper and lay it inside. I’m guessing that the cloth is folded lengthwise and simply placed down the middle. The system seems promising in that you can use the cover multiple times and just change out the organic cloth part, but it didn’t fit well. That being said, maybe I’ll like it more when she’s bigger. UPDATE (10/26/10): Kamea is 4 months now, bigger in weight and length from when I first wrote this post. The Flip are better than when I first tried them, but they’re still not my favorite. I love the concept though.

I get asked frequently about which soap I use for her clothes (ours, too). This is the soap that was recommended we use to wash the cloth diapers, which can be used for all clothes: Country Save.

Update: After the first comment from Amy on this post, I’m back to checking out gdiapers – lol.

Update #2: I just read a gdiaper review on Amazon where a lady said the gdiaper insert worked better in the Flip cover than the gdiaper. Go figure. Maybe I’ll try that.

My Postpartum Must Haves

August 24th, 2010 by

I wanted to share some of my postpartum must haves. These are things I use all the time these days. This list isn’t all inclusive… for example, I’m not listing diapers, stroller, car seat, and stuff like that. This list is simply to highlight a few things that I find very helpful as a new mommy.

Organic cloth prefolds | Organic cloth wipes | *Organic blankets | Breastfeeding pillow | Baby Bottom Balm | Cloth wipe warmer | Rocker swing | Salt lamp | Foot Stool

*The brand I love is Pixel Organics. I bought mine on Amazon, but I don’t see them there now. I also love this one though (I have the veggie one)

By the way, if you’re interested in the Orbit Bassinet I talk about in the video, here it is.

UPDATE: From one of the comments below… here is another rocker option, eco friendly. (I haven’t tried it.) Thanks, Katie!

What are your postpartum must haves?