We want the best for our babies but what are we doing to ensure that they have the best of everything, twenty years down the line? I did not know that being a mother was a wholesome job. I call it a job because there is no other word that sits well with wholesome and not sound menial. Well, I take pride in it so job it is.
I’ve taken some decisions over the last few months that I’m hoping will go a long way in building a sustainable future for my baby and her generation of humans.
1. Switching to Cloth Diapers
Before Baby Hashtag was born, I had it all planned. I had decided I would use cloth nappies for most part of the day and would use disposable diapers only in the night. But then new mom exhaustion happened and it’s a real thing. I tried to excuse myself for half an hour in a day by putting on a disposable diaper on her and slowly but surely I had taken to diapering the baby all day. Also, it was peak winter when she was born. Another reason for me to keep her dry all the time. Out came the disposable diaper stash and the nappies were long forgotten. When Baby Hashtag turned a month old, the good people at Superbottoms reached out to me and asked me if I would like to try out one of their cover diapers. I agreed and so began our humble cloth diapering journey. I’ll be honest, I did not make the transition immediately. It took me a few months and a severe diaper rash to get my husband on board with this cos shopping for cloth diapers is a BIG investment. Although it’s not a recurring expenditure like the disposables, building a stash even with 3 to 4 diapers requires moolah. Prints were chosen, home delivered and we went all in.
As of today, we use a cloth diaper every alternative nights. There have been very few leaking incidents and the baby has had no rashes since. I do buy disposables for emergencies but their consumption rate now is about 10% of what we used earlier which is HUGE!!!
Cloth diapers are easy on the pocket, easy on the eyes and definitely cute as hell!
Brand I recommend: Superbottoms, without a doubt.
We currently own four Superbottoms All-In-One (AIO) Cloth Diapers and they last us a minimum of six to seven hours in one go. For a baby as restless as Baby Hashtag, the ease with which I can put the AIO on her is unbelievable. It also has a super trim crotch making way for the baby to move absolutely freely. We have used the AIOs through the night for the baby on occasion and it has a 100% result so far. I swear by them!
Buy Superbottoms Plus here – http://www.superbottoms.com/product-category/diapers-buy/superbottoms-plus-aio-heavy-absorbency/
You can also find them here:
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/superbottoms/
2. Baby wipes
Not many people know this (so didn’t l) that regular baby wipes in the market are made of polyester. Read Plastic. While everyone is going bonkers over the idea of adopting everything reusable, from diapers to clothes, little thought is spared on the wipes. And who thinks about it anyway. For me, wet wipes are convenience. No messy water works anywhere the baby makes a mess. From cleaning them after a messy meal to diaper changes, wipes are there at our disposal at all times. They generate as much waste and are very difficult to decompose since they are made of plastic.
So when Baby Hashtag started to support her back and sit a little, I used wipes a lot less than required. But that only meant I washed everything with water or a wet cloth. I ended up choosing the former because who will keep re washing those wet cloths. Mom life. Choosing convenience over sustainability. I live in a town and so water scarcity is not an issue yet but I can only imagine how important a resource water is to be wasteful with it. So I unwillingly switched back to the polyester wipes, trying to use them sparingly.
About a month ago, Mamaearth launched these bamboo based organic baby wipes that were apparently biodegradable and eco-friendly. I tried them out for a week before I decided that I was going to stick to using them. Priced slightly higher than a lot of other brands in the market, the Mamaearth wipes are worth every penny. If there is any other brand that has a similar composition of wipes or at biodegradable, hit me up!
Brand I recommend: Mamaearth
3. Reusing baby furniture
I will be blatantly lying if I claimed that everything that Baby Hashtag owns is brand new. Of course, as new parents we wanted everything brand new for the baby and provide, we did. But some things that the baby uses are for a very short span of time and it wouldn’t make for a very smart decision to invest in them.
One such thing was the baby crib/cot. The one Baby hashtag is using now as originally being used by my little cousin a little over five years ago. It was in perfect shape so my mum thought why throw it away when it can be carefully repurposed.
We are a co-sleeping family. But for the most part of her first half of the year, BabyHashtag slept in the crib that was attached to the bed. She was hardly mobile then, she would just roll over in the night so the added side in the form of the crib was more of an advantage.
Nowadays the crib is more of a storage space than a cot. Utility wise it’s amazing and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get much patience to sleep in the crib out of my hyperactive baby, so that was a wise decision taken. This cot also has a removable fourth side so we intend it into a corner seat when the baby gets older. Could make for one great reading nook.
We also recycle a lot of the delivery boxes, bags and covers we get. The Superbottoms printed paper bags are for shoe storage, the Soul bag holds my dear Anmol full buckle SSC, the Amazon delivery boxes are covered nicely in coloured chart paper and holds baby’s toys. To be honest I hardly spent on the storage solutions for the baby. Everything happened with a combination of imagination and some jugaad.
This hardly counts but I’m gonna boast anyway. Ofcourse, Baby Hashtag has plastic toys but we have added a considerably amount of wooden rattles and rubber toys to her collection. For what reason? The same reason I decided to say no to disposable wipes and diapers. There is always a way plastic is going to sneak into your life in some form. With the baby, I try and foresee it to stop it’s entry altogether.
Brand I recommend: Little fingers at work
5. Breastfeeding and clean eating
I was always clear that I would breastfeed my baby for as long as I could. If not that, I had vowedto exclusively breastfeed her till she turned 6 months old. Which I did. I did have my struggles. Breastfeeding aversion, cracks and sores, top feed pressure but we waded past all that and made it. It not only ensured that the baby was well fed, it allowed me to escape a lot of wasteful practices. Baby food and formula comes packaged very securely and that only means there is a LOT of wastage when a box/container gets over. This is something that cannot be changed. Packaged and ready to eat foods do that. So when Baby was to start solids, it was everything natural. Homemade soups, purees, steamed veggies and fruits, cookies baked at home, I did it all. To be honest, it also helped when she rejected Cerelac on several occasions when it was offered to her. It made me want to cook everything for her at home so she would be well fed.
I also carry a jute bag with me wherever I go shopping or on a walk with the baby. I hardly take plastic covers with me only succumbing to taking them when I have a lot of things to carry and she is being extra cranky. O wear her most evenings and we walk to wherever we want to go to. Serves a dual purpose. Helps me save on fuel and burn some calories.
It’s not that tough really, making the shift. Try if you can. The satisfaction of doing something for a better future for your baby is incomparable.