Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New Mother's Green Living

After having my baby, my priorities changed. Now I can't think of environment before my baby's wellbeing. But for sure sustainable living is that one thing I will teach my baby from start.

Last few months I am trying to figure out how to live green with a new born and I can't wait to share it with you all.

Diapering- I struggled for three months to find sustainable way of diapering my baby without compromising hygiene and his comfort. I used clothes diapers in first month exclusively, when we were in India. but the amount of water needed to wash these diapers, specially when the water was scarce in summer made it not a very sustainable way. Since we returned to Dubai I am using disposable diapers, but the times when I have to change diaper within few minutes, at the back of my mind I think of carbon footprint of that one diaper and I feel really bad. My experience in first three months forced me conclude that "there is no sustainable way of diapering a baby"
But recently I have settled down with a sustainable, hygienic way of diapering. I put on disposable diapers when my baby Ruhaan is about to sleep. During his waking hours I wear him clothe diapers. and The quick dry sheet saves repeated washing and drying of bedding materials. This way is not just convenient for me but Ruhaan is happier and gives me smile every time when I put on the cloth diaper on him.

Borrowing- I always felt uneasy to borrow something from somebody till now. But the motherhood makes you more practical and may be a little shameless. But most of the experienced mothers will agree with me that borrowing baby accessories is not very bad thing. I am still not comfortable with borrowing certain baby items, I have hygiene issue with them. But borrowing baby accessories and toys is perfectly fine for me. One can wash and disinfect them. You get baby cleansers in market to use for this purpose.
I have borrowed an excellent crib from my friend who has a very cute daughter, now 2 year old and unfortunately she did not like to sleep in crib. Luckily Ruhaan sleeps well in that crib.

This way I could reuse the same crib which was completely useless for my friend. This is not just matter of saving money but if using second hand accessories helps to reduce landfill and saves carbon footprint of brand new accessory. On the top of it if you are a first time mum, you don't even know what is best for your baby in the first go. You have to try things to find out best suited. In this process it doesn't hurt to use second hand items and if your baby doesn't like it, then you know what to buy or still you can go for another second hand item.

In Dubai second-hand baby accessories can be found here,
5. And most important your friends and family.

There is one very important tip I have learnt quickly that when you have baby better not to spend much on baby items or home items just because you like them or your baby might look cute in that. Babies grow fast and many expensive things you buy become useless very soon.

Clothes- I have figured out one important thing about baby clothes, which is not written anywhere in pregnancy- baby sites or books or at least on those which I referred. Better to buy front open clothes instead of those you slip from head. It is lot more easier to put on these front open clothes and you can use them for longer time. Babies outgrow those 'slip from head clothes' within days.
Another thing I learnt and now implementing that better not to buy too many clothes or go on shopping for cute baby clothes when you are pregnant when you are slave of your motherhood hormones. Babies grow fast and you end up using those cute clothes only once or never at all.
I have many cute (and expensive) new born clothes which I never used. But I washed all of them before baby birth and kept ready. So now I can't even gift them to other babies.
These days I use all of the baby clothes on day to day basis, don't keep for any good occasion or outing in the fear that he might outgrow them.
The best thing is to buy larger size clothes. I really appreciate all our friends and family members who gifted Ruhaan bigger clothes. I can use them in future and can keep using for longer time. Most importantly their gift will not be wasted.

Another point in frequent washing of clothes is baby do throw up. So better to use burp clothes, bibs. On the days when Ruhaan throws up more, I keep bibs on him all the time and change those bibs. I not just save water by reducing number of clothes but those repeated clothe changing is a big hassle.
I also use wash clothes to wipe him instead of baby wipes or tissues whenever possible. But I use baby wipes strictly to clean him after dirty nappies. It doesn't make sense to use big amount of water to wash those dirty clothes.

Lastly I would like to share a sustainable way of feeding a baby. I know it will make you laugh, actually me and my husband had hearty laugh after reading it on our pediatrician's file!
While stating importance of breastfeeding point by point, the last point reads,
"Breastfeeding is environment friendly." ... Come to think of it, frequent washing and sterilizing of bottles and accessories, trying different formulas etc.- not required with breast feeding.

Though it is funny, it is true :-). !!!