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Today’s post features a guest blog, Abbi Meadows. She is a blogger and owner of BodSchool. It is always nice hearing stories from moms who are going through what you are going through or have been down that path before. Eli has become very independent and Abbi’s post about Baby-Led Weaning was very helpful! Enjoy..

From the moment a woman finds out she’s pregnant, she’s bombarded with decisions: Midwife or OB? Natural or epidural? Find out the gender or be surprised?

These questions are just a foreshadowing of the myriad questions a parent is faced with after Baby arrives: Cloth diapers or disposables? Bassinet, crib, or co-sleeper? Breastfed or formula? Should we ‘schedule’ Baby’s day? What do we call the grandparents? How are we going to discipline? Who do we trust to babysit?

I researched and read up on pregnancy as if it were my full-time job. I checked out library books by the dozen. I could quote the “Business of Being Born;” I knew statistics and the reasons I wanted to have a drug-free, natural birth; I adapted my workout regimen so I could keep exercising. By my second trimester, I felt like a pregnancy guru!

During my third trimester, I switched the focus of my reading to child-rearing books. And while knowledge is so important, researching cannot ever totally prepare you for actually BEING a parent. I realized this when my son, Beau, reached six months old– the magical age when babies are ‘approved’ to start solid foods.

In my maternal excitement, I gathered spoons and cute bibs and bowls and got ready to introduce my guy to the joy of mushed bananas! I even had a recipe book, tools, and plans to make all of his food myself. And then? He adamantly refused to be spoon-fed. WHAT?! All the books say he’s the right age! I spent time mashing up all this food! Is something wrong? Why doesn’t he like it?! What do I do now?

Luckily, I have many wise friends who have walked before me on the Mother road. One told me about “Baby-Led Weaning” and I found this book, and this site, Baby-Led Weaning Blog, and I just knew this approach would fit Beau perfectly.

Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) isn’t very mainstream, and because of that, it’s often misunderstood. Even I had my reservations about trying it out, and I was desperate. Rapley’s book explains the principles behind the method in such a way that my world was rocked! I originally thought there was only one way–the Gerber way…You mean not everyone feeds their babies the same things at the same age in the same way?! Whoa!

So we switched our method.

In following the BLW approach, so much has changed as a result. My son is an adventurous eater. There isn’t a power struggle to get him to take “one more bite.” My husband and I eat even better because we don’t want to be hypocrites and eat foods we won’t allow Beau to eat. I only have to prep one meal at each mealtime. Less food is wasted. Beau’s meals come from whole foods and fresh produce, not boxes and jars. When we travel, we don’t have to pack special baby food. Beau is learning independence, hand-eye coordination, textures, colors, and flavors…and Mama is learning a lot, too. There are many, many more benefits to BLW, but you’ll just have to read the book. 😉

As parents, it’s our job to be the expert on WHO our baby is. Whether it’s feeding or sleeping or daily routines, sometimes the “normal” way of doing things doesn’t work for our particular child(ren) and as the parents, we have to find a solution that does work. This is where all that research comes in handy!

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV) 

“One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.” E.M. Forster

We all have passions. We may have more than one, but all of them are unique to us. We do not have to share the same passion as the next person. Because we all have different interests it makes our ability to make change in the world all the greater because every one has certain things they truly are passionate about and are willing to share that with others. There are many things I am passionate about… God, my family, being a mom, living a more green and healthy lifestyle, writing as well as other things. Today I wanted to share with you the top 10 things that I have done about my passion for living a green and healthy lifestyle. When you are passionate about something you can’t just sit back and do nothing, it always inspires change in you. Maybe my passion might spark an interest in one of you…

Top 10 Green/Healthy Changes I have made

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  1. Cloth Diapers
  2. Making my own cleaning supplies
  3. Avoiding hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup
  4. The seldom times I use plastic I makes sure its BPA free
  5. Line drying my clothes and diapers
  6. Green and biodegradable laundry detergent
  7. All natural bath soaps
  8. All natural wash out bar soap for stains on clothes
  9. More home made foods and desserts
  10. Homemade baby food

There are many reasons why I have made these changes. Most of the reasons I have are because of the chemicals in the commercial products and what they do to our bodies. I understand not everyone shares in my passion for this, but that is all in what makes us unique. All I want to do is share something I am passionate about and hope to inspire some of you. What are you passionate about and how has it inspired you to change?