The people at Happy Baby recently sent me over a copy of Happy Baby: The Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months to read and review here. I was thrilled about this because while I wouldn’t consider myself 100% organic/chemical free in all that I do, I feel like I’m slowly getting there. I enjoy reading and gaining more knowledge about products I choose to use and if there is a safer/healthier alternative I could be using instead.
Before I read this book I was familiar with some of Happy Baby’s baby food products. I got a few coupons from Recycle Bank from recycling cell phones. I was then able to get some Happy Baby coupons for things like yogurt melts, puffs, and cereal. I loved it that I could get organic food for my daughter for free, and was glad that I was introduced to this company from these freebies. 🙂
This book has a wide variety of topics ranging from feeding, choosing the safest toys/furniture for babies, diapering options, cleaning in a “greener” fashion at home, and even a little bit on vaccines. (I’m a personal fan of Dr. Sears The Vaccine Book who is also co-author of this book.)
One of the topics that left me unsettled though was the section on breast-feeding your baby. I was unfortunately not able to breast-feed my daughter, and I’ve battled an overwhelming amount of guilt over it. If you haven’t read my brutally honest and heart breaking story of why I couldn’t, then you can go here and read it. As I read through the chapters emphasizing how breast is best, the guilt that I thought was for the most part gone, all came back again! This books stance is totally what my stance was prior to not being able to breast-feed, that left very little wiggle room for considering the alternative – formula. I wished the book was just a little bit more forgiving and gave formula feeding moms just a bit more credit. I really didn’t like the sentence on page 121 that said “Don’t take the easy way out and turn to formula.” Now to give Dr. Bob credit, I’m sure he doesn’t mean if it was life or death for mom or baby, but I really wish it wasn’t so black and white in their minds to make us formula feeding moms feel so terribly guilty, when for some of us, it was out of our control! Also there was a section titled “You Baby May Get Dehydrated…Not” which is geared toward not supplementing with formula the first few days if your milk hasn’t fully come in yet. In normal circumstances, this is true – but not my circumstance. Again, I’m just biased because my feeding experience was almost complete opposite of this books recommendations. I totally understand why the authors choose to emphasize the importance of breast-feeding. Before the challenges I went through, I would have written it in the same way. Now my mind has opened up about formula feeding and my compassion has skyrocketed. I guess I was just hoping the authors would say that the advice they were giving just wouldn’t work for everyone.
This book also claims that demand feeding is best. I’m also not sold on the idea of demand feeding. I used the methods from the book On Becoming Baby Wise to put my daughter on a schedule, and she was sleeping through the night at 8 weeks! Now its not a 100% guarantee of having the perfect night sleeping baby, but I’ve known plenty of moms that has worked for!
I certainly don’t want to make it sound like this book did nothing but rattle my nerves – because it didn’t. There was plenty about it I loved – most of it actually. There is a section that I really appreciated about solid foods and which ones contained vital nutrients. There are some great recipes in here, along with info on the safest bowls and plates to use with your baby.
When I got to the diapering chapter, I was surprised by the stats on disposable vs. cloth diapers in that it takes more energy to make and keep clean cloth diapers, than it does disposable diapers. So cloth may not be the 100% greenest choice. (That made me feel better since I was a 50% cloth diaper user early on, and am about a 30% one now. I just can’t help it since I’ve been getting disposables so cheap these days!)
Also it goes over products that are safer to use on your baby’s body – like the organic bubble bath that I just did a review on.
Overall if you are mom trying to find “green” alternatives in your home, then this is a must have!
One other bonus, is that there is $100 of coupons in the back – one to try a free Happy Baby baby food product!
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**This giveaway is open to US residents only, and will end at 9pm on 10/6/10.