Hello again, everyone! I have been gone for the past couple of months due to the arrival of my second son at the end of November. It’s been an interesting ride, having two children under age two, but I love every minute of it and I find that, more than ever, I cherish the few precious minutes of sleep that I get every day. And my now six week old baby has inspired my topic for today: Going green with a newborn.
One of the nice things about having an older child, particularly one of the same gender as your new baby, is that you can reuse pretty much everything. Even if you do have opposite gender kids, there are a ton of things that you can reuse no matter what, like sleep sacks, swaddling blankets, towels, etc. (Truthfully, if I had a girl, I suspect she probably would have been dressed in some “questionable” outfits anyway.)
I am a huge fan of reusing everything, and I recently started shopping at consignment shops for my older child, and was excited to find that a lot of these stores had barely used clothing for a fraction of the price—especially things for young babies, which, let’s face it, sometimes only get worn for a week. This was the case with my oldest son, who wore 3-6 month clothing for about two weeks before he moved to the next stage! My favorite consignment shop in this area is KidtoKid. They have franchises across the country and are a great place to pick up essentials at any stage. I found their baby clothes (even though I didn’t buy any) reasonably priced, and I walked out with six pieces of clothing for twenty-five dollars for my almost two year old, and the clothing probably would have cost close to $150 retail.
I cannot stress enough how much we have saved (money-wise and with respect to the environment) by using our cloth diapers and cloth wipes. Since I had the leftovers from my oldest, I was able to launch into using them straight away with my baby and it’s gone a lot easier than I had thought. One of the fantastic things about breast milk poop is you don’t have to scrape it into the toilet like toddler poop, so you can just throw the diapers in the washer and they come out clean and sweet-smelling, like nothing had ever happened. When I think about the amount of disposable diapers my oldest went through in the first two months of his life before we switched to cloth (there were days when we used at least 13 diapers!), I cringe. I’m still only doing a load of diapers every other day, so thankfully the volume of that hasn’t increased, but I’m probably going to have to invest in another drying rack.
We were also fortunate enough to be able to reuse our carseat, since our boys are so close in age (although when reusing carseats, make sure to check the expiration date stamped on the back—yes, carseats DO expire!), and all of my baby carriers, the co-sleeper, my diaper bag, and even bottles (although those have been few and far between at this point) have all been carefully saved and reused. The only thing I did replace was the bottle nipples for safety and sanitary reasons.
Obviously it’s easy to reuse these things if you have the first child to begin with, but there is definitely something to be said for making the investment in products that can be used over and over again. One of the major objections I often hear to cloth diapering is the initial startup cost, and while it’s true, pocket diapers (which are what I use) don’t come cheap, there are less expensive ways of diapering with cloth (such as using prefolded diapers with a cover). And since I already made the investment with Number 1, they are paying for themselves the second time around. Finding kids’ clothing at consignment and thrift stores is a great way to reduce your environmental impact by using already produced goods, and the bang for your buck can’t be beat.
Now if you’ll excuse me, by some miracle both of my children are asleep, and I think I will join them. Happy New Year, everyone!
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