NEWS & UPDATES

An eco-friendly lifestyle can be tough to maintain. It requires a lot of research, time and diligence. For those that have embraced this lifestyle, you have experienced first-hand the challenges and triumphs. At the end of the day, this lifestyle is about taking into consideration our entire existence and how it impacts the environment.

Becoming a parent is no easy feat either! Moms and dads are faced with decisions every day that affect the well being of their child. From what food to eat to what baby care products to use and what toys are safe. Some parents have adopted an eco-friendly or “green” parenting style.

Bambo Nature ambassador, Kayla Petering from This Little Wandering, shares how her family has embraced an eco-friendly parenting style for their little Bambo Baby, Jessamyn.

What inspired you to take on an eco-friendly parenting style?
To be honest I am not sure if we were necessarily inspired to be green parents so much as it was the obvious response to the lifestyle we were living before we had a child. I have always tried to live an earth conscious life and just feel like for my own health it is better to live green and choose organic products and so obviously that carried over in every way in the birth of our daughter and the way we raise her. If anything I am more careful with her and make sure that from birth every product we use is safe for her and also for the environment. 

 Is this different from how you were raised or is this parenting style something that has been passed down?
Growing up we ate a lot of fast-food, didn't recycle, and weren’t necessarily conscious of green living. This is not to say my parents didn't do a great job and now they are probably greener than I am but at the time they were raising us it just wasn't common practice and as accessible as it is now. 

 In what ways do you incorporate eco-friendly practices into raising Jessamyn?
In addition to using Bambo Nature diapers, we try to be eco-friendly in the products we choose. I will only buy organic or natural baby care products and have even made my own from time to time. Clothing and toy wise, we definitely try to be aware of fair trade products and I try to choose items with a back story and a cause. We also really try not to buy things just for the sake of shopping. Jessamyn has toys and lots of clothes but unless she needs something I won't necessarily make a purchase just to do it and am trying to raise her minimally and without a huge need for things. We are currently moving into a school bus converted into a tiny home and so even though doing that we are trying to raise her to appreciate experiences and life outside and to really just appreciate nature and the earth. 

 Do you make your own baby food?
We did make our own baby food! I actually used our blender and would cook large quantities of fruits and vegetables and then freeze them and thaw whenever we needed them! Jessamyn transitioned really quickly to just eating whatever we ate and so honestly that phase didn't last very long but it was really fun to have some control over what went into her baby food and some of it tasted really good! 

Do you plan to teach Jessamyn how to recycle?
Yes! Though I have to confess I am not always good about recycling myself but we do try and if I can figure out how, might even teach her about composting on the bus! 

Do you spend a lot of time outdoors with Jessamyn? Do you feel it is important to teach children the value of nature in our lives?
Yes! We are actually in the process of moving into a tiny home on wheels so we can travel more and experience life on the go! My husband and I really value experiences and life outdoors and want to be able to share that with Jessamyn. We are often outside hiking and exploring and really want Jessamyn to feel comfortable in nature. Our goal with the school bus is to be able to travel, live well within our means, and experience new things together with Jessamyn. 

 Any other “green” lifestyle habits that you want to teach your child?
This is a tough question and honestly I think more so than being "green" we want to teach Jessamyn how to appreciate the earth and the resources we have. What this means for us is not wasting resources, being mindful of others around us and the earth, and appreciating where we are at. I really want Jessamyn to grow up with an understanding of living within her means and taking advantage of the resources around her well. What that looks like right now is little things, like being mindful ourselves of the resources we use and how we use them. Teaching her to reuse food and not waste leftovers. Being wise with our budget and living within our means, and with life in the bus, making wise choices like having a composting toilet, using solar power, and being mindful of our water waste and energy usage. For me it also means helping teach her to check the ingredients in things and using safe products and being aware of practices that are harmful such as not wearing sunscreen outside, or even being aware of the potentially harmful chemicals in products. Mostly I just want to teach her to live simply and live well with what we have. 

What advice would you like to share with parents who are interested in eco-friendly parenting?
I think the most important thing with green living is finding what works for you. I honestly would NEVER consider myself an expert on living green, but I would say we do what we can and our constantly learning. There are so many areas of childhood where people judge and this shouldn't be one of them! Find what works for you and go with it, don't be afraid to learn and make mistakes, and know that whether you are a green living expert or completely new where you are at is okay and a great place to start. 

Is eco-friendly parenting for you and your family? Have you found ways to teach your little ones to appreciate nature and protect the environment? Share with us in the comments below!

Don’t forget to follow @this.little.wandering to learn more about eco-friendly parenting!

Potty training: such a necessary evil. You’re excited and anxious to teach your little one independence and get away from diaper changes, but with potty training comes accidents, enormous amounts of bathroom visits, and lots and lots of patience. But have no fear! We are here, along with our lovely ambassador, Eryka from Busy Little Izzy, to offer you some tips and tricks and hopefully save some of your sanity.

So how do you know when your kiddo is ready to step up to the porcelain throne? A good rule of thumb is to wait until they start exhibiting signs that they are ready, rather than you trying to speed up the process. They may start showing interest in your bathroom activities, getting fussy at diaper changes, taking their diapers off, and asking questions if they’re vocal.

Rewarding potty training with some sort of special treat is a great idea! Try a fun sticker chart, a trip to the park, or playing their favorite game. Be sure you are not offering a bribe, only reward the child once they have done their business. You may want to start out by rewarding your child when they ask to use the potty and transition to only rewarding them once they have actually gone pee or poop. This way you prevent your child running to the potty every 5 minutes looking for a reward.

We asked Eryka some questions about potty training her sweet toddler, Isabella. From one potty training parent to another, this is the advice she had to offer.

How old was Isabella when she began potty training? How did you know she was ready?

Isabella was 18 months old. She was pulling at her diaper and really was not a fan of diaper changes. Izzy can also hold her pee for over 1-2 hours and the doctor said this was also a sign she was ready to start.

What is the funniest story you have of your potty training experience thus far?

Isabella's first poop on the potty was so big when I sent the "potty proof" picture to my family members they all thought my husband must have done it.

What is your biggest challenge with potty training?

Isabella is still immature being that she isn’t 2 yet. She understands the potty and what it's for, but doesn't always catch herself and in time just yet.

Top tips and tricks you think apply across the board with potty training?

  1. Start off with a week or two of books and movies about going potty.
  2. Introduce the mini potty into the bathrooms before asking your child to start sitting on it so they are familiar with it and not afraid.
  3. Keep the mini potty (if you choose to use one) in the bathroom so the association of going potty is with a bathroom.
  4. Keep your Bambo Nature training pants in the bathroom in case they need a new pair. You should handle all potty issues in the bathroom.
  5. Give praise and treats when there is peepee and poopoo in the potty!

How do you handle accidents?

I take her straight to the potty and sit her down and say, we put our peepee in the potty. I keep a calm voice at all times.

When did you know was the right time to make the switch from diapers to training pants?

We still use diapers for car rides and night time, but she pulls her diaper down so I figured let's do training pants so she can easily have independence when working on using the potty.

Ready to take the plunge and try potty training your tot? Bambo Nature Training Pants are made with the same materials and ingredients found in our diapers that you’ve come to know and trust. Breathable and free from chlorine, dyes, perfumes, and lotions, Bambo Nature Training Pants are a helpful addition to potty training your kiddo. Latex free, easy to pull up and down, and a side seam that can be opened when accidents happen…because they will happen, Bambo Nature is here for you every step of the way.  

Don't forget to follow Busy Little Izzy on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more tips!

 

*Sources:
Babycenter.com

Family traditions are a huge part of most families. Starting your own family presents an opportunity to create traditions that are all your own by either meshing family traditions brought in by you and your partner, or creating brand new ones.  

We asked our lovely ambassadors and the moms and dads here at Bambo Nature to share a favorite family tradition of theirs.

Celeste Wright (Instagram: @celeste_wright)

Celeste is a huge fan of Easter. Growing up her mom “treated Easter like the Christmas of spring” and she wanted to carry on that tradition with her own daughter. This past year they participated in a total of four Easter egg hunts and participated in her sister’s Easter tradition of throwing confetti filled eggs at one another following the egg hunt. To prep her daughter, Lila, for the Easter egg hunts, Celeste would hide large golden eggs around the house with small treats. She says, “She loved finding an egg and we had so much fun doing this together; it added a little bit of magic to our everyday routine.”



Jess Oakes (Instagram: @positively_oakes, Blog: www.positivelyoakes.com)

Jess celebrates Christmas Eve by making “a giant bed in the living room and watching movies together until it's bed time” which sounds pretty fun to us, too! She also loves teaching her son, Blake, the importance of giving back. “Every year around Thanksgiving/Christmas we pick one family to take presents to and it's a blast.”


Dani Marie Krum (Instagram: @danimariekrum, Blog: www.danimarieblog.com)

Although simple, Dani's tradition with her family is something they look forward to every week. "On Saturday mornings when King wakes up, he comes into bed with Zach and I and we all snuggle, have tickle fights, and laugh until our stomachs ache. While it may seem silly to some, this is one of our favorite things that we do together as a family. I love that we start the weekend out with laughs, and time together."


Amanda Pahls (Instagram: @amandapahls, Blog: Thepahlsfamily.blogspot.com

Baking and cooking is something the Pahls family loves to do! "There's just something about being in the kitchen and getting to spend time as a family that I love so much!  My husband and I love the holiday season and wanted to start a special family tradition when we got married. We decided that Christmas morning we would wake up early and make each other whatever the other wanted. We go grocery shopping the week before and make sure we're stocked up to make each other whatever the other wants.... Sometimes we even start talking about what we want months before. Once our daughters were old enough to choose what they wanted, they too got to be included in the tradition! We want Christmas to be a day where we look forward to getting to celebrate and serve one another and spend time lavishing one another with something as simple but so very special as a meal we can all enjoy together!"


Jasmine Jones (Instagram: @Motherinfromwithin_)

Jasmine has started several traditions for her family, but her favorite involves a matching red bracelet. "The three of us always have on our red bracelets, usually on our left wrist unless it breaks on its own. When it breaks, I'm quick to hurry and get it back on. Wearing of the red bracelets is very common in a lot of religions and cultures. For us there's no religious or historical cultural reason, minus or own family culture we are creating. It simply means the best intentions, good luck, blessings and protection against the evil eye, those who don't wish us well, and the best blessings getting through situations that aren't the best. Lucas and I took a trip to Asia over the summer. While we were in Cambodia we visited Angkor Wat and a monk there did a flushing blessing on us (prayed and tied red bracelets on our wrist). It was very special to us, and he also blessed one for us to bring home to Alexander. For our little family it's something that ties us together even when we aren't physically together, it's a tradition we've started and are so happy to continue it for generations to come. Its sentimental, it's ours..so it's special to me and we will do it forever."


     

 

 

Tom Royster, Director of Sales at Abena North America

Our director of sales created a tradition out of love for a favorite TV show and of sports. "In my best ode to Seinfeld, I created “Festivus Trips” for my boys once they were old enough in a way to see the country and take in some great sporting venues.

Pigskin Festivus – This was the original annual trip that I put together that I take my boys and my father on.  We try and travel to at least one away Auburn game each year and they have been able to experience LSU, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and will get to experience a Miami/FSU game this year.  Missouri will be on the schedule for next year!

Baseball Festivus – This came shortly after as a post-Memorial day trip to start the process of my boys seeing each baseball stadium in America.  They’ve now been able to see 11 of the ballparks and we have the rest scheduled out for the years to come.

Hoops Festivus -  This one began in 2014 as a Christmas time trip to visit NBA arenas and other cities that might not make it on the other trips.  We’ve visited New Orleans and Oklahoma City so far with Boston on the schedule for this year."

 

Nick & Roxanne Morganti, Controller at Abena North America

Nick and his wife Roxanne have created a very special tradition that has been since passed down to their adult children. "On each of my children's birthdays , I tell them the "story" of their birth day. It's the same story, year after year... but they both love it and feel special that I take the time to repeat it! My daughter, who is now 35 and is the mother of a two year old, has decided to continue this tradition. It's fun to remember all the details of each birth and repeating it yearly keeps the memories alive forever!"


Looking for more ideas? Try some of these:

  • Birthday Handprint  – Every year on your child’s birthday, paint a canvas any color you choose, grab a second color for the handprint, dip your little ones hand in the paint and place on the canvas. Add the age or date and watch as their handprint grows.
  • A Yearly Memory – Collect one item each year that resonates with a memory. It can be their favorite toy, a souvenir from a family trip or a book you read together.
  • First Day of School Jitter Juice – Give the kids a special yummy juice on the first day of school each year to help them calm their nerves. Draw a cute label for the bottle for an extra fun surprise.
  • Back to School Fairy – Have your kids leave their book bags outside their bedroom door the night before school starts. Fill up their bags with cute new school supplies and goodies with a note from the Back to School Fairy.
  • Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to show your kiddos some extra lovin’! Try covering their bedroom door with butcher paper and writing all of the things you love about them. Extra points for cute doodles!
  • A Family Gratitude Jar is a great way to teach your children to be thankful for every small awesome thing in their life. At the end of every day, before bedtime, have everyone write down one thing they’re grateful for that day and stick it in the jar. Have a big fancy dinner at the end of the month and pass the jar around reading the cards out loud.

What are some of your favorite family traditions? Leave us a comment below or tweet us at @BamboNatureUSA to share yours!

So you’re ready to introduce baby to food? Nervous? Excited? Maybe even a little sad about how quickly time has gone by? Whatever you’re feeling, introducing your little one to new foods is a fun and eventful experience; especially when you’ve decided to make the food yourself.

Photo credit: @kimberlynoelhildebrand, www.sawyerandjune.com


Some important things to keep in mind:

  • Always introduce one food at a time. You want to give a minimum of 48-72 hours before introducing a new food. This will allow you to learn about any side effects or food allergies your baby may have.
  • At first your baby may not seem to enjoy any of the foods you introduce. Their pallets are new and inexperienced. Try a new food 4-10 times before completely cutting it out of their diet.
  • Sometimes babies may not like a particular food by itself, however if you mix it with something they enjoy (after you have eliminated the possibility of a food allergy) they will gobble it up. Different foods can bring out different tastes or disguise other foods. Have fun experimenting and trying new recipes!
  • The food may taste bland to you but never add seasonings to your baby’s foods.

The first step is figuring out what your baby is ready to eat.

4–6 Months Old

  • Some people choose to introduce pureed foods to their children around 4 months of age; most decide to wait until 6 months.
  • If your baby is able to hold their head up with no assistance and sit on their own, talk to your pediatrician about whether it’s a good time to introduce foods.
  • A common first food for babies at this stage is baby cereal. However, these commonly cause constipation, as they tend to be thick and a little heavy
  • Some easier foods to digest are common, bland fruits and veggies
  • Some vegetables to try: sweet potatoes, green beans, squash, corn, peas, carrots
  • Some fruits to try: apricots, peaches, apples, bananas, avocados, plums, kiwis, grapes
  • Remember to puree the food extremely well and test one food at a time, allowing a few days in between new foods to test for any allergies.
  • Also keep in mind that your breast milk or formula is still an incredibly important source of nutrients for your baby and should continue to be the main source of food, especially if you are introducing foods as early as 4 months.

6–8 Months Old

  • After baby’s body has grown accustomed to fruits and veggies, it’s a safe time to introduce some grains.
  • Oatmeal, rice, and quinoa are good places to start
  • Try mixing some oatmeal in with their fruits for breakfast in the mornings and rice or quinoa with their veggies at lunch and dinner.
  • Remember to introduce one at a time and never at the time you are introducing a new fruit or veggie – food allergies are common and you want to recognize any weird symptoms, including constipation (which can be a common side effect of grains or a common side effect of a gluten intolerance or even celiac – be sure to keep your pediatrician in the loop and never be afraid to ask questions).
  • After your baby has successfully eaten fruits and veggies, as well as gotten used to the grains, they will be ready to try meats (still pureed).
  • You will want to first introduce meats mixed in with vegetables, as a way to avoid shocking their system – avoid meats on their own at first.

8 Months Old

  • Around this time your baby may have started teething or even have a few teeth showing prominently! If so, you may start trying out finger foods, rather than just pureed foods.
  • Be sure each piece of food is nice and small – they aren’t able to completely chew food at this stage and will most likely be swallowing the pieces whole
  • Continue to offer a variety of different foods at each meal, even though they are finger foods now. Throw in some shredded chicken, pieces of avocado, some steamed carrots, and a little rice. 
  • Let them make a mess. This is an incredibly fun and important stage in their development – both physically and mentally.
  • Talk to your pediatrician about introducing egg yolks (not egg whites just yet – baby’s system is still too sensitive for some of the things in egg whites) – this will be a great source of protein in your baby’s diet.

9-10 Months Old

  • At this time your baby should be eating extremely well on their own and have been introduced to an enormous variety of fruits and veggies.
  • You may now begin experimenting with herbs and spices – again, this is very different from seasonings – no salts, nothing that you shake out of a bottle.
  • Try mixing in fresh rosemary, mint, parsley, basil, etc. with your baby’s meals.
  • If certain spices are common in your household, discuss them with your pediatrician before introducing them to your little one’s system.

10-12 Months Old

  • This is a common age to begin introducing yogurt, cottage cheese, and regular cheese to baby’s diet.
  • Remember to stay away from soy if you are a vegan household or still avoiding dairy products at this stage, unless otherwise instructed by your pediatrician.
  • The same rules apply with dairy based products as with fruits and veggies – one at a time with space in between to check for any allergies.
  • Breads and batters are great for baby at this time as well – pancakes, waffles, and toast are great starters and easy to make in gluten free form, should your mini-me have a sensitivity.

Photo credit: @positivelyoakes

Teaching your baby how to eat table food and learning their preferences is such a fun time in each of your lives. Don’t’ be afraid to try new and different things. Eating around the same time as your child, or even just sitting them at the table with you is a great way for them to learn through watching and socializing. Eating is a great developmental milestone in your baby’s life on a multitude of levels, so enjoy the mess and chaos of this time. Remember that your pediatrician, friends, and even social circles online can be a great resource and venue for tips and advice.

For recipes and tips on meal prepping on a budget, be sure to check out our Pinterest.


Sources
Gerber
Mayo Clinic

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