To Continue this week's theme of natural family and baby care, I am going to write about baby care that is not only wonderful for the family as a whole, but for the environment as well.
First, one technique that I thought was interesting and a great alternative to cloth and commercial diapers a like is the elimination communication technique (or infant potty-training as I like to call it). This technique requires a few diapers in the beginning, but as you pick up the baby's cues or signals that he (or she) needs to use the bathroom, it becomes easier. A great book on the subject would be Infant Potty Training by Laurie Boucke. This would be a great way to be eco-friendly and teach the child how to eliminate waste early on in life. Though this technique is aimed at infants, it can be used on older babies and toddlers as well.
Lastly, the most important natural baby care thing to do is to breast-feed, Breast-feed BREAST-FEED! I used such strong emphasis because it is very important for the baby that it is breast fed. The only time a baby should not be breast is if for some reason the mother is unable (HIV/AIDS or some other disease that makes it unsafe to breast feed). Natural breast milk provides all the nutrition a baby needs early on in life, provided the mother eats nutritiously, and creates a wonderful bond between mother and child. But, for those who cannot breast-feed, raw organic goats milk is the best alternative (cow's milk contains proteins that most babies cannot digest). Soy formula should not be used because it contains soy protein which deprives the body of minerals and some vitamins, so only organic, raw goats milk should be used (if that is unavailable, just use organic goats milk).
An additional tip for breast-feeding is to learn different feeding positions. We all of pictures in our head of mother sitting upright in a rocking chair feeding the baby, but breast-feeding doesn't have to be that static. Try breast-feeding the baby while lying down. This way, the mother can sleep and the baby can eat, and that means both won't be very fussy later! Also, this allows the mother to get much need sleep while her baby is feeding, after all a well rested mother can lead to more quality time with the baby as well as other family members (husband, other children).