The list author says: "At the bottom of this list are helpful environmental and nontoxic childrearing products. Libraries, craigslist, eBay, second hand stores and yard sales (often the best deals) are great economical resources, and reusing is nicer on the environment.
A child's personality is formed in the first three years of their life, and extra time and attention even in your baby's first two years will pay off IN DIVIDENDS with regards to their personality (naturally well-mannered, compassionate, emotionally stable & resilient). Benefits include easier terrible two's and a better relationship during their teenage years! Recent child development studies all support gentle and responsive childrearing, yet many parenting books still advocate harmful or dangerous techniques like letting babies "cry it out". I agree with William Sears' advice to "say yes to items that help you stay connected, and no to all the stuff that gets in the way.. the absolute best plaything for a baby is another human being. The face of a loving parent is infinitely more stimulating than any mobile. The arms of a parent are guaranteed to soothe and comfort in a way that no crib or bouncy seat can. Invest in a baby sling - or even two slings - and let your baby's enriched environment be the view from your arms, which is constantly changing.""
"This and "What Babies Say" are the two parenting books I think anyone should own. Compassionate advice current child psychology research is proving to be true. His attachment parenting philosophy basically says your instincts are right and following them makes life way easier. There are a lot of bad advice books out there. Read this one first and compare the difference."
"This is arguably one of the best books on baby development and psychology that a parent can read. An entire early childhood education in an easy to read format. Also helps you better communicate with baby, boost their self-esteem and understand your newborn's facial expressions. I can't say enough about this book but read the reviews to get a better idea of just how excellent it is!"
"Sleep may become you and your baby's #1 issue from birth through childhood so I highly recommend reading this book even *before* baby is born if possible!! This book gives gentle methods to help baby/toddler sleep without crying it out. Also see William Sears' "Baby Sleep Book"."
"Not only is co-sleeping by far the easiest sleep method (& more common than will be admitted) it may reduce occurrence of SIDS as mom's breathing helps regulate baby's. Gives facts that disprove critics/naysayers (esp family/community) about bedsharing. Newborns need constant close contact with their mothers to thrive. Forget about a separate baby room & crib, and go for a cosleeper instead."
"This well-organized and convenient book may be the only breastfeeding book you'll ever need. If you do end up needing further information, then you can turn to the absolutely comprehensive La Leche League's "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding"."
"This book has great tools for emotionally healthy parenting, information on child development, how to better communicate and interact with your baby, and avoiding common pitfalls. Your baby will really appreciate your reading this book, and you'll love reading it."
"The first year of a baby's life is statistically the most challenging period of any relationship, so this book could could be a lifesaver for the whole family. Strengthening the relationship with one's partner is one of the best parenting steps anyone can take toward better parenting, as arguing in front of babies or children is harmful."
"Baby signing speeds up and hones verbal ability, reduces frustration for baby, and enhances the bond between parent & child. Makes life easier for both. I would not consider raising any of my children without teaching them to sign at least a little - it has such a wonderful emotional benefits."
"It's not just mercury, which many vaccines still contain. Aluminum is incorporated into many childrens' vaccines at known toxic levels for infants, and often exceedingly over the safety limit. If you are at all questioning within yourself the validity today's standards of (over)vaccination, read this book. What have you got to lose by reading it?"
"Many diseases are on the wane, but brain/neurological diseases, attention disorders, allergies/asthma, etc. are the new epidemics with steep increases in the past several decades. Educate yourself, as most contain aluminum at potentially toxic levels, antibiotics, preservatives and human & animal tissues. If breastfeeding at least delay until done nursing and try to reduce less important vaccines."
"This baby book has different information from William Sears' Baby Book. It gives great advice on vaccinations, avoiding chemicals for a nontoxic home environment, and simple home and homeopathic remedies which are often cheaper, more earth-friendly, and effective than drugs (i.e, garlic + olive oil instead of antibiotics for ear infections)."
"This can help one relax about feeding and weight gain. Forcing or pressure can lead to eating issues in the future so better to listen to baby's natural instincts (hint: they will guide them true). Breastfed babies gain weight slower than formula babies after the 3rd month, but are often taller. Also see "Preventing Childhood Eating Problems" and "Take the fight out of Food.""
"Translates latest neuroscience findings into clear explanations and practical suggestions, demonstrating the importance of the simple ways you interact with your child every day. It is as simple as Attention, Bonding, and Communication, and itís within every parentís ability to provide. Practical games and tips for each developmental age group."
"This excellent reference applies a full spectrum of responses to common childhood health problems: conventional medical treatments, dietary guidelines, nutritional supplements, herbal treatments, homeopathy, and acupressure; for each ailment, general recommendations and preventive measures are also offered."
"Babies who are carried an extra 3 hours a day in the first few months cry 40% less. They pick up verbal skills faster and develop better core muscle strength, balance and gross motor skills. Itís also a proven way to make babies smarter (DVDs cause sleep/attention/behavior problems and AAP says no tv before 2 yrs). My only regret is that I didn't get a sling before the baby was born."
"I've owned 8 different baby carriers and I can tell you hands down the Ergo Baby Carrier is the best (Mei Tai a close second). However, I don't recommend it for the first 4 or 5 months before baby has head control. I found Ergo's "infant insert" to be cumbersome and impractical. Pouches, wraps or slings are best for the first few months."
"Lite-on-shoulder is a great pouch/ring sling hybrid, but new and improved ones are coming out every day so look around. Wraps like the Moby & Maya wraps are more work intensive but highly versatile and better for larger figured moms and those with weak backs."
"You can "potty train" your baby from birth. In many cultures parents tune into baby's signals and don't use diapers. It is actually not paying attention to baby's signals that desensitizes them to when they have to go. This book helped me pay better attention and tune in to my baby's nonverbal cues. And it's easier clean up poop from a potty than a diaper. I just used this when convenient."
"Provides scientific research on how an infant's brain is affected by his/her early experiences with you, the parent. How you respond to the baby's emotions/needs is the biggest component in how they view themselves and the world-- both at the time and decades later, well into adulthood."
"Blendtec/Vitamix grind fiber in fruits & veggies into a very smooth texture which is more palatable for babies. Blenders are great too, although they don't blend as smoothly & leave a little chewy fiber in it. Ideal baby food & smoothie maker. Picky eaters may not notice if a few veggies are added. Freeze baby food into covered ice cube trays for single servings."
"Safe, natural, nontoxic, gentle and smells great - Burt's Baby Bees is hands down my favorite baby hygiene company. Their diaper cream cures diaper rash faster and better than any other cream my friends or I have tried, and their tear-free shampoo is our baby's favorite. And don't forget their gentle, great smelling baby soap and shampoo bars!"
"Haba (Germany) makes beautiful, safe and non-toxic toys that can be handed down for generations. My son preferred toys with faces over abstract toys. Melissa & Doug (USA) also make nontoxic toys less expensive than Haba but I find they still have a faint lacquer odor. European standards are higher than U.S. -- many of the chemicals commonly used in American products are banned in Europe!"
"Take and Toss makes the best sippy cups because they are: RECYCLABLE, bpa free (#5 plastic), affordable, easy to clean/find (only two pieces!) and can be used with straw lids and straw sucking is better for jaw & palate development."
"To avoid a space-guzzling highchair with nooks and crannies to clean, this affordable alternative can be used as a booster chair as your child grows. If you ever travel or visit someone's house overnight, it will also come in very handy. My kids actually preferred the "blockier" style booster seats over this one, but this is more portable."
"Gentle on the environment and also baby's clothes/diapers, biokleen detergent is also very economical. I only use half of their scoop for my front loader to get clothes clean. For cloth diapers I add baking soda to wash and vinegar to the rinse to sanitize. Their "Bac Out" is economical, and enzyme cleaners will truly remove odor of urine/poop."
""Pocket" style cloth diapers like bumGenius/Fuzzibunz are my favs, but Nikky/Bummis also great. GDiapers are a little easier with flushable insert that degrades immediately in toilet. Only Bambo diapers are actually biodegradable (80%) & 100% compostable. But if it goes to a landfill it won't degrade, only if you compost it. And just read about the chemicals in disposable diapers."
"Choose BPA-free plastic bottles and sippies which have a #5 recycling symbol on the bottom. For stainless sippies I recommend Klean Kanteen (Sigg second) - the sippy lid has four pieces but the sports cap allows it to be used into elementary school. However, Kleen Kanteen's sippy is hard to suck which can be bad for palate & jaw development, so wait until after the first year to use it."
"When avoiding plastics remember to replace utensils with bamboo (sustainable) or stainless steel utensils (recommend Oxo or All Clad). Hot oil, food or water leach toxins out of plastic utensils into food. Stay away from anything non-stick or black including 'hard anodized' pots & pans, which are coated with toxic teflon. This is my fav because it incorporates a spoon rest."
"Go plastic free using pyrex for storing foods and as bakeware. It is the original nonstick, nontoxic cookware. Easier and cheaper and no need to use foil. You can bake cookies, cakes, pies, meatloafs, muffins, lasagna, etc."
"Brush or wipe baby's gums DAILY (esp. night) from 6 months on. Early childhood cavities is fastest growing epidemic among children, sharing utensils with parents passes a cavity-causing virus on to baby. If you nurse to sleep make sure baby swallows after last suck. To check for cavities pull upper lip up and look for white streaks on front teeth - if you see them, go to dentist immediately!"
"If you plan to co-sleep wait before buying a crib. You may prefer a co-sleeper, and if you end up cosleeping the first couple of years or beyond, they can transfer directly to a twin or toddler bed with rails. I bought an expensive crib & mattress and never used it for either of my two kids."