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The Other Baby Book: An Interview with the Authors

The Other Baby BookThe Other Baby BookKeen For Green is excited to be today's stop on The Other Baby Book's Virtual Book Tour!  I had the opportunity to interview the authors, Megan McGrory Massaro and Miriam Katz.   Learn about their book and their green parenting practices.

How did you first come up with the idea of writing this book?

Megan and I met through an Attachment Parenting moms group in the Boston area. We were using similar practices – elimination communication, baby-led weaning, babywearing, co-sleeping, nursing on demand, etc. Many of our friends and even group members would ask about our parenting tools, which we had both researched extensively. We found ourselves repeatedly wishing that there were one resource where you could learn about all of these baby-centric practices. New moms don’t have tons of time to read, so we felt we’d be doing them a service if we converted our knowledge and passion for the topic into a practical how-to manual.

What kinds of resources did you use?

We were very DIY with the whole process. We wrote the chapters in Google docs, then later began using Dropbox for our manuscript. We did journal reading and even watched documentaries on our iPhones while our daughters napped next to us in bed. We reached out to some amazing experts in the field who were instrumental in advising, critiquing and contributing pieces for the book. We drew upon my coaching skills to empower new moms through our language and put Megan’s journalistic skills to work in tracking down key studies and sources for the book. 

What topics in the book discuss green parenting?

Green parenting is woven throughout the book, mainly in debunking the myth that babies need all the “stuff” that we’re sold, even “basics” like a crib, diapers and baby food. We’ve also included research that we use to keep our families healthy, calling out the worst toxins used in our bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms.  

Could you tell us a little bit about baby led weaning?

Baby-led weaning is an amazingly simple way to introduce solids to babies aged six months and older. We feed them the same food their parents eat, with a few basic exceptions. Rather than spooning cereal or purees into their mouths, we offer finger-sized foods that babies can pick up themselves, explore through touch and play, and eventually eat. Because babies get most of their nutrition from milk, parents don’t need to worry about how much solid food they’re ingesting. Instead we can offer them a fabulous multi-sensory experience, and enjoy watching them learn.

What are some good examples of finger foods offered for BLW?  

Any roasted vegetable – sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, etc. Banana slices, avocado, apple or pear slices. Beans and lentils are great fun once babies start working on the pincer grasp.

You've mentioned Elimination Communication  (EC) as a way to reduce waste.  Could you tell us about EC?

EC is another straightforward practice that blows the minds of Western parents because we’ve been led to believe that babies are meant to “go” in their diapers. Babies actually don’t want to soil themselves, and many of those early “unexplained” cries of babyhood are requests to take their diaper taken off so they can go! Babies can be held over sinks, toilets, the ground, a repurposed bowl, or a baby potty and cued to go. If they have to eliminate, they will. Most EC babies stop pooping in their diapers within days of beginning EC. The average age that Western EC’ed babies are out of diapers is 18 months. It’s an incredible savings. Less diapers used means less waste in our landfills—or less cloth diapers you’ll need to buy and wash—and a huge savings for the family. 

Aside from the aspects of green parenting, what are some other topics covered in your book?  

All the parenting practices we promote are green – birthing locally and naturally, babywearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, pottying, feeding whole, healthy foods, and focusing on the parent-child relationship as opposed to stocking the toy room. We also spend some time focusing on moms – what issues they’ll face while adapting to motherhood, and how to thrive through the transition. One topic that’s popular among our readers is sex after childbirth. Our central message is a powerful one – you are all your baby needs to thrive, and you already have everything you need to care for him. We provide the research and context that empowers moms to trust their instincts. 

Where can we buy your book?

Our book is available via Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. We’ve been working with some local bookstores to stock it, as well. All the latest and greatest information is available on our website at www.theotherbabybook.com