Baby Registry Tips

bynature.ca Baby Registry

 

If you already know what you want for your baby, how do you prevent the gifts of piles of stuff you will never use? Use our baby registry. Make sure your family and friends know what you want.

Oh, No! Piles of Stuff

If you have already decided that you can make do with less for your baby, start your list now and be strong in keeping it simple. Think through each item. Do you really need it?

To start, read our posts about what you really need for a baby. You really don’t need much.

Once you have your list, show it to your mother, your older sister, or a friend who has recently had a baby. Ask them whether you really need each item. Ask what they wish they hadn’t bought. Ask what you might be missing. Of course, you need to make your own choices, but it helps to be well informed.

Help Your Family and Friends

Keep in mind that people want to shower you with gifts. That’s why it’s called a shower. They want to share with you what they learned as parents, and that’s a great thing. Accept their kind advice, but be clear that you want only certain kinds of gifts.

Without judging other people’s choices, explain your choices. Explain natural materials, using less so you waste less, buying quality products that will last, and focusing on open play.

You might even write a short paragraph in the shower invitation so everyone knows you have specific items you want. Work with the person giving your shower to build a theme around eco-friendly parenting, and you will have even more opportunity to explain your choices.

Make It Easy for Everyone

Your guests need to know where to go to find your registry. Include a link to your registry in invitations. Send an email to each person invited with a clickable link.

In the bynature.ca gift registry, you can make comments on each selection. Explain why you want each item, what it will allow you to do, and how much it means to you that someone will help you get it. Make sure you indicate priority so you get what you want most first.

Always bring it back to the baby and the gift giver. It’s such a beautiful thing they are doing to help you as you start on your journey as a parent. Welcome their help. Just guide it gently, so you can actually use what they give.

How to Set up Your Gift Registry

If you are already a customer of bynature.ca, you just login to your customer account to set up your registry list. If you aren’t a customer yet, you can start a new account. Just make sure you have your Customer Profile set up.

Start shopping while logged in. Choose items with the Add to Registry button. Be sure to make comments for each item. You can come back and change your list later.

Give each item a priority, so your guests will know how important or just nice-to-have it is.

Choose either public registry or password-protected registry. Public is easier for your guests, but we understand why some parents prefer a private registry.

Print registry cards to include with your shower invitations, so your guests will know exactly where to look for your list. We’re created registry cards for you.

When you have set up your baby registry, send us an email at info at bynature.ca to sign up for our Registry Rewards program. You will get a store credit for 10% of the value of all purchases by your family and friends. We just need to know the name you used for the registry, your shipping details, and your baby’s estimated due date.

That’s it. Registering for gifts is an easy process that helps you get only what you really need and want and helps your guests know that their gifts will be genuinely useful to you.

But My Daycare Won’t Allow Cloth Diapers

Baby waiting for diaper change

A concern we hear a lot from parents is that their daycare provider won’t take cloth diapers. While the first answer you get might be, “No!” we have found that daycare centers often just need to learn more about cloth diapers before they are willing to change your baby’s reusable diapers in daycare.

Sometimes success is in how you frame it for your provider. Prepare by doing the following:

  • understand the laws and regulations,
  • know your daycare provider’s policies,
  • be willing to educate kindly, and
  • consider using very easy diapers for daycare.

Does the law prevent daycare providers from using cloth diapers? In Canada, no law restricts the use of cloth diapers in daycare; in the U.S., there are a few restrictions, but they are rare.

What you are probably hearing behind the statement, “The province (or the state) doesn’t allow us to use cloth diapers,” is a fear of cloth diapers. We can deal with that.

Before you jump in on the offensive, though, take a deep breath and think about what the person really means. Your goal is to have this person use cloth diapers on your child. You have a better chance to reach your goal if you make them an ally.

Can a policy really restrict the use of cloth diapers? Many daycare providers have policies against cloth diapers. Misinformed though these are, you need to work with them to change policies if you are going to reach your goal.

Some policies against cloth diapers were written when the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children, an organization that certifies daycare providers) had a policy against allowing cloth diapers without medical reason. The NAEYC changed their policy, but a lot of those old policies are still in place. It’s time to change them, and you can help.

Without confrontation, gather the facts specific to your province or state and the certifying body for your provider. Make an appointment to talk to the person who has the power to change the policy. Take copies of the policies. Take an easy cloth diaper to show, such as an all-in-one or a pocket diaper. And, help them to understand that this change is about the babies not the adults.

I shouldn’t have to fight this! You’re right. You shouldn’t. But, you do, so do it kindly. These are the people who take care of your child every day, so it’s important to maintain good relationships with them.

I want to emphasize that it’s not worth antagonizing the people who care for your child. Change is difficult, and people don’t like being told they are wrong. So, adjust your approach to help them want to make a change in policy, if necessary.

If you really can’t communicate well with the daycare provider about the issue of cloth diapers, look for other options. Find a cloth-diaper-friendly daycare provider.

But, they won’t use my diapers! It’s easy to compromise on which cloth diapers to use. Considering having a daycare set of diapers.

Even if you use flat diapers or prefolds at home, you want to make the process as free as possible from hesitation on their part. Provide diapers that are very easy to use in one move. All-in-one diapers or pre-stuffed pocket diapers are familiar enough in shape and function that most daycare centers will accept them.

If you don’t normally use these diapers, but you are trying to save money, how about buying a dozen used diapers from another parent as their child has learned to use the toilet. You always have options.

Bonus. How can you make it easy for everyone involved?

Did you know that some daycare centers use diaper service to make the changing of diapers easier for everyone? If you have a local diaper service, talk to them about whether they could consider servicing daycare. If they are willing to work with you, that is one more option you can present to the daycare center. Just be sure to tell them how this will make their job easier.

For more resources, see the Real Diaper Association’s research and tips on cloth diapers in daycare.

Cloth Diapering Basics

Recently, we’ve covered our answers to common questions and comments that we get in the bynature.ca store about cloth diaper 101 basics, like

What! We’ve got the answers.

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10 Easy Ways to Lower Your Family’s Environmental Impact

Family in front of their house

We often use Earth Day as an annual check in on our environmental impact. So, how are you doing? What are you doing right, and what would you like to change? Here are a few areas where you can lower from family’s environmental impact.

1. Choose Energy-efficient Transportation
One of the biggest changes we can make is how we move ourselves around. Use public transportation when you can. Buy a car that uses energy efficiently. Travel long distances by plane seldom. With technology available for long-distance meetings, it’s less important to travel as much. This makes a big difference.

2. Use Home Energy Wisely
Start by using energy wisely. These are the common pieces of advice you hear: don’t use lights in the daytime, don’t leave appliances plugged in, etc. Each of these baby steps is a good start. It also makes a bigger difference when you choose energy-efficient appliances when it is time to replace.

3. Buy Renewable Energy
Another step you can take is to buy renewable energy. My family pays for wind energy, which is an option with our power company. Even better, you could install solar panels. Small systems can work really well for a family. Once you start, you might be ready for bigger steps.

4. Choose Cleaning Solutions Carefully
When buying solutions as home cleaners or body cleaners, look at ingredients. Without realizing it, we use a lot of chemicals that have health impacts on us personally and on the wider environment. To start, you have great resources available. In addition to the Skin Deep database for cosmetics that we mention often, EWG (Environmental Working Group) has a database of home cleaning products. Check those you buy regularly. If you don’t like their score, choose another.

5. Save Paper
We don’t always notice our paper use. Tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, stacks of printed paper. So, notice! Replace paper towels with reusable towels. Few people are willing to talk about it, but it’s not so difficult to replace toilet paper with washable family wipes. Use paper wisely in your home office as well. Print only what you need to keep, use both sides of the paper, and recycle when you are done.

6. Eat Real Food
Make your meals from real, whole ingredients rather than from processed food-like substances. Obviously, this is a good choice for your health, but it is also a better choice for the environment.

7. Organic Can Matter
Disappointed as I am with organic mega systems being co-opted by corporations and the real impact of organic being gutted in favor of lesser standards, I still worry more at the non-organic options for some foods and fibers. I worry about what is happening in the fields when more chemicals by weight are poured into cotton production than cotton comes out. I worry that pesticides outlawed decades ago still show up in our foods now. Keeping fields clean matters. Know the Dirty Dozen, and always buy those organic.

8. Choose Clean Water
For environmental impact, don’t buy bottled water, but for health impact, don’t drink unfiltered water unless you know exactly what is in your local water. When you do use water, use it wisely. Start by not wasting water—turning off the tap when you brush your teeth, for example—then move on to looking at ways to save more water through water-wise plumbing.

9. Plant for Your Climate
Plant what grows well in your area. That means no lawn in the desert and no tropical fruits in Ontario. By matching your yard and garden to your climate, you ensure that you need less water and fewer chemical inputs to keep your surroundings flourishing.

10. Low-impact House
If you haven’t bought or built a house yet, you have an opportunity to make choices that will have a big impact on your impact. Don’t buy more space than you need. Don’t buy a house covered in vinyl siding. Look for a house that is specifically designed to be low impact through placement of windows, use of materials, and use of lighting and appliances. If you already live in the house you want to stay in, you can make changes gradually, like adding more insulation to save energy on home heating and cooling.

In all areas of your family’s environmental impact, start where you are. Baby steps make small differences, but they also prepare you for bigger steps. When you see how easy it is to make changes, maybe you’ll be ready for the leaps that make a big difference.

Read on:

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10 Easy Ways to Lower Your Environmental Impact When Having a Baby

Parents with baby shoes

Having children creates environmental impact. Even as environmentalists and eco-families, many of us have children anyway. If you are concerned about that, consider these 10 easy ways to lower your impact when you have a baby.

1. Stuff
Become STUFF AWARE. Especially if you haven’t had a baby or been around a friend or family member having a baby before, you won’t know how much of what you are told you need is really needed. The answer: not much. You don’t need all of that stuff on the baby lists. We’ve written about cutting down on baby bstuff to save money, but you also save on environmental impact when you acquire less. Only buy what you need, and even then look for the lower impact stuff.

2. Breastfeed
When you breastfeed, you shorten the chain. You eat food, you make milk, and your baby drinks the milk. No manufacturing, packaging, shipping, selling, or trash to throw away. Breastfeeding is not just good for you and your baby; breastfeeding is good for society.

3. Reusable Diapers
Rather than putting 3,000-4,000 disposable diapers of any material in landfill, wash and reuse a few dozen diapers of any material. You use water, detergent, and energy to wash and dry, but you don’t cause the repetition of extraction-manufacture-shipping thousands of times. To lower impact even further, choose materials carefully, wash warm rather than hot, choose low-impact detergents, and air dry.

4. No (or Few) Diapers
By using the method of infant pottying (elimination communication or diaper-free babies), you use even fewer diapers. You might use more water and cloths for clean up, because accidents will happen, but water is a renewable resource—unlike oil and gas that go into the plastics used to make disposable diapers. Even this choice doesn’t need to be all or nothing. When you follow your baby’s cues, you will probably find yourself doing this naturally.

5. Used Clothing
Buy clothing at a thrift store or consignment store. Babies and children grow so fast. It can be expensive to buy new clothes, but that expense is only one issue. Those clothes that are worn for only a few months have impact where the materials are grown or extracted, where they are manufactured and shipped, and where they are sold. Share great clothes with other parents by passing them around, or buy used.

6. Natural Body Care
One thing you probably will need is a gentle soap for baby baths and perhaps cream or lotion for skin care. Cosmetics often hide nasty chemical ingredients, but you have a lot of choices for baby cream, lotion, soap, and shampoo with all-natural ingredients.

7. Library
If you are like me, you read a lot to learn about new adventures, like having a baby. I had books on pregnancy, on baby care, on parenting, and on and on. Rather than buying every book new and leaving it on the shelf after reading, use your local library. If you don’t see all of the books you are looking for, talk to the librarian about getting them. The process will probably take a while, but you are starting a positive ripple in your community of having these books available for others.

8. Low Tech
Gadgets are certainly available. I see crazy new baby gadgets every year at baby trade shows. You don’t need a plug-in wipes warmer, a baby monitor, a sock that continually takes your baby’s vital signs, or a mechanical arm that feeds your baby a bottle. All of those gadgets are used for a short time then they become waste. They use materials and energy that wasn’t really necessary. Maybe you need a gadget here or there, but you don’t need them all.

9. Good Wood
If you choose to buy baby furniture, like a cradle or a changing table, look for FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification, which tells you that the wood comes from a forest that was managed according to best practices environmentally and socially.

10. Plant a Tree
It isn’t just that a tree can absorb more than a ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Your child will really connect with a tree that was planted at their birth. This tree could become the place where you sit together to talk about their impact on the world. A tree has physical and psychological impact.

Keep in mind, too, that having a child in North America does not have the same impact as in other areas of the world. We use more resources, so having a baby here means a bigger environmental impact. A study out of Oregon State University in 2009 on family planning and environmental impact made the rounds of environmental news that year. The statistical study looked at the impact of having children as compared to efforts to reduce impact through small steps that many of us take. When you look at the numbers, it is clear that having a baby in a high-impact country makes a big difference.

By being conscious of the choices you make and the impacts both now and over time, you can make choices that will significantly lower the impact your baby has on the environment.

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Baby Carrier Safety

Baby Carrier Safety

 

Your baby belongs close to you. Babywearing keeps your baby close enough to kiss. We find, though, that a lot of parents start with concerns about the safety of babywearing and baby carriers.

Parents are right to be concerned. Babywearing is safe when done right with a safe carrier, but not all carriers are equal.

Baby Carrier Safety

Until quite recently, every parent had to rely on baby carrier manufacturers themselves to make safe products without any basic standards to guide them. It was manufacturers themselves who sought standards, and they now have clear, strict standards for making baby carriers as well as clear guidelines for parents to be sure that they use baby carriers safely. An international alliance of baby carrier manufacturers, store owners, and babywearing educators all join together in one organization that oversees baby carrier safety: the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance (BCIA).

Basic Babywearing Guidelines

Always keep in mind a few basic guidelines:

  • Holding position. Keep your baby in a position you would hold them in arms. Using a carrier mimics holding your baby.
  • Close enough to kiss. Unlike a should bag, your baby shouldn’t be hanging low. Keep the baby up high as you would hold them without a carrier.
  • Face visible. You need to be able to see you baby’s face at all times without skin, fabric, or anything else in the way.
  • Head and neck supported. This is very important. Proper support keeps your baby’s airway from restricting.

Wearing your baby safely is a skill you need to learn. Basic guidelines help, but they aren’t enough. This is why bynature.ca staff are Certified Babywearing Experts, trained to help you learn the skills you need for safe use of your carrier with your baby.

Please come by the store to learn more about babywearing. We want you to be close and safe.

Babywearing Workshops

Which workshop or consultant do you need? Choose from four. If you aren’t sure, drop by or call.

Just starting out? Our Babywearing 101 workshop for new and expectant parents is a great way to prepare for your baby’s birth or learn to wear your infant under 3 months old. The workshop is about 1.5 hours. Register online or in the store.

If you already know the basics, our Better Babywearing Clinic might be for you. Every Thursday morning at 10:00AM we hold a clinic that lasts 30-45 minutes where you learn infant physiology and step-by-step instruction. Each week, we focus on a specific style of carriers, so choose the week you attend based on the style you are interested in. We will also help you try carriers before you buy them after the clinic. Register online or in the store.

If you need more help, we also provide private babywearing consultation. If you’ve already attended the Bettery Babywearing clinic, you start with a 30-minute session. Without the clinic, you will need two 30-minute sessions. Your fee can be deducted from the cost of your carrier purchased from Parenting by Nature within seven days. Register online or in the store.

If you just need your carrier fitted, we can walk you through your choices, help you get the right carrier, and give you lessons to get started. Register for the Baby Carrier Fitting Service for a 30-minute consultation. Your fee can be deducted from the cost of your carrier purchased from Parenting by Nature within seven days. Register online or in the store.

It always helps to be well informed. For more babywearing safety, see the collection of links from BCIA.