Total Eclipse Solar Glasses, Safety, and Homemade Viewing Options

Families the nation over will be sharing August 21st with their children watching the Solar Eclipse take place. Proper protection for the eyes, especially for little ones who cannot do so for themselves, is essential. The following information has been shared by NASA Education, and various astronomy educators for parents and children alike, and put together here for Peaceful Parenting audiences.

Looking directly at the sun is always unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (totality) if you are in this particular path -- when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face. This minute (or two) of totality will happen only within this narrow path. In all other areas, having solar glasses during the entire eclipse viewing is necessary.

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed, or partially eclipsed, sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as 'eclipse glasses' or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even those with very dark lenses, are not safe for looking at the sun - they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight.

Refer to the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers page for a list of manufacturers and authorized dealers of eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers verified to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for such products. One quick way to tell if the cardboard glasses you may be able to pick up at your local store, library, or museum are reputable is to look for the ISO stamp on the inside of the glasses.

Approximately half of all libraries in the United States (in each state) have solar glasses that they are giving away for free, so check with your local library if you do not yet have a pair. The following retail chains have all been carrying solar glasses for a few dollars per pair:

Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter. Always supervise children using solar filters. Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun. Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.

Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing injury.

Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.

If you are within the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.

Outside the path of totality, you must always use a safe solar filter to view the sun directly. If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them. Note: If your eclipse glasses or viewers are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard, you may look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through them for as long as you wish. Furthermore, if the filters aren't scratched, punctured, or torn, you may reuse them indefinitely.

Some glasses/viewers are printed with warnings stating that you shouldn't look through them for more than 3 minutes at a time, and that you should discard them if they are more than 3 years old. Such warnings are outdated and do not apply to eclipse viewers compliant with the ISO 12312-2 standard adopted in 2015.

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is pinhole projection. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other, creating a waffle pattern. With your back to the sun, look at your hands’ shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse. Or just look at the shadow of a leafy tree during the partial eclipse; you'll see the ground dappled with crescent suns projected by the tiny spaces between the leaves.

A solar eclipse is one of nature’s grandest spectacles. By following these simple rules, you can safely enjoy the view and be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime.

Optical Projection
(inexpensive options for viewing the eclipse):

Feeling handy? Build a solar viewer yourself. Instructions:

Read more about Terry Richardson, senior instructor of astronomy and physics at the College of Charleston, who has made sure everyone can afford to safely view the eclipse:

A sun funnel is another option for viewing the Solar Eclipse - and one that several people at once can safely observe. Instructions for building this (if you already have a telescope):

Additional information:

Live video streaming of the 2017 Solar Eclipse:

For viewing through cameras, telescopes, or binoculars, using a solar filter sheet is one less expensive way to outfit your gadgets for safe viewing.

Above: cloud coverage averages along line of totality.
For updates:

Babywearing in the First Year

Thank you to peaceful parenting mom and babywearing educator, Michelle, for sharing her graphic. 

Babywearing in the First Year

When it comes to babywearing, it is important to remember that many changes occur during the first year of life, both physically and psychologically for your little one. Because of this there is much to consider when it comes to choosing and using a carrier for all of baby's diverse developmental stages.

The above diagram of the natural babywearing progression throughout a baby's first year of life highlights some of the ways that a human baby's hips, spine, neck and legs need different support through these stages, and also the ways in which a baby is nestled in the most safe and secure manner on a parent or care-giver's chest. In this fashion, whether using a quality wrap or carrier, baby will have the physical and neurological benefits of being worn, while the wearing adult has the most comfort!

Related Resources: 

The Benefits of Babywearing (Dr. Sears)

Reasons to NOT Wear Your Baby Facing Out

Babywearing: Safe Positioning

International Babywearing Symbol

Real Men Wear Babies

Babywearing Coat Alteration Instructions

The Babywearing Group

Kinderpacks (Buy / Sell / Trade / Chat)

Love note for a second baby

By Danelle Frisbie © 2014

Love note for a second baby

To my second little one on the way...

If I am to admit my fear, it is that I need to love you deeply, intensely -- with a love as BIG as I love your sibling -- but I am scared that I could not possibly love this greatly again.

I am told that this will undoubtedly happen. That a mother's love doubles the instant her second baby is in her arms. Yet I wrestle with doubt that this could not happen...

How could I love two more than life itself?

How could my heart - already full and overflowing - pour over another sweet child just the same?

The day I became Mom for the first time all the universe stood still. Before that moment there was no possibility of understanding this kind of love, this kind of attachment, this kind of soul-quenching power.

I would do anything, give anything, go anywhere, for my new baby.

The long nights of nursing, teething, rocking, snuggling...
The leaking, wearing, walking, singing, sleepy days that blend together...

It solidifies the rock upon which Mom and Baby are One.

How can this MotherBaby existence open up to add a third?

But I am told that it will happen. That there is something mystifyingly profound about the way that a mother's love works. Like the ocean waves that wash us over - and again, and again - each one as drenching as the one before, a momma's love for her littles is never less from one to the next.

So I trust.

I trust that what you and I have built already for these many months between us will only become insurmountable when we finally embrace.

I will breathe in your fresh goodness. I will touch your tiny, tender hands. I will scoop you up and never want to let you go.

We will nurse and snuggle and sing. We will rock and wrap and play. We will fall deeper in love each passing night, each new sunrise.

You have all of me, my sweet second baby. Every beat. Every breath. Every thought. Every step. And this does not take away from any other, in any way, because it is a mother's love. ❤

-Danelle Frisbie © 2014

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

As a lioness with her cub, I will protect you fiercely, my little one. ❤

Your Baby's Signs of Hunger

This poster, created by the Women's and Newborn Services of Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, highlights a human baby's hunger cues - her way of communicating to parents that she needs to eat.

As highlighted in the 2010 article, 7 Breastfeeding Fact You Should Know, parents are reminded that stirring, mouth opening, turning a head (to seek a nipple) and rooting are signs that your baby is hungry. Stretching, becoming agitated, and sucking on her fist, fingers or thumb is your baby's way of telling you that she is really hungry. By the time fussing and crying start, your baby is experiencing hunger that is physically painful. It is the type of hunger you experience after your belly has been empty for 14-16 hours. Your baby's belly is very small - this is the reason she gets full so quickly, and then hungry again so soon. Her tiny stomach cannot handle more than this, and does not have any place to 'store' some for later. She is entirely dependent upon you to provide that fill-up according to her cues that she is hungry.

Too often new parents believe they should schedule feedings or wait until their baby cries to nurse. But crying is a late indicator of extreme hunger. Always eating when you are so famished, when your belly hurts and stress hormones from being anxious to eat are at an ultimate high, leads to things like reflux, gas, stomach aches, 'colic,' and general agitation and general withdrawal from the world around - especially if you are brand new and helpless in this world.

Don't wait until your baby is in pain to nurse. Instead, feed at the first cue of hunger, and everyone will be much healthier and happier all around.

For related reading, see the Breastfeeding Resource Page.

Request these informational cards to share with new parents in your area here.

A little tiny tummy wisdom from Baby Wisdom (UK):


Breastfeeding Badges: Celebrating Milky Milestones

For a number of years breastfeeding moms arriving at peaceful parenting with lactation questions, seeking community, and finding support, have asked for breastfeeding badges to celebrate milestones along the way. This World Breastfeeding Week we are happy to share our badges with the hope that they empower, encourage, and warm many mommas' hearts along the way.

No matter how long you've nursed your baby, you are giving your little one a beautiful start in life - and one that will impact them forevermore.

The design for our breastfeeding badges includes colorful spirals with a glistening of milky white. Danelle Frisbie explains:
The breastfeeding badge spirals represent many things: the circular nature of life and love between a mother and her baby; generations of breastfeeding women before us and those to come; the ebb and flow and flexibility required as both a parent and as a nursing mom; the constant sureness that while we may not see things change moment to moment, they always are; the yin/yang type of opposites that exist in us all - sometimes bubbling forth through our breastfeeding years (anyone who has nursed a 2 or 3 year old will have days they want to quit, or feel touched out, but deeply long at the same time to keep going for the wellbeing of their child - knowing that a natural end in weaning will too quickly arrive, and this will all be gone in the blink of an eye). Spirals have also been used far into antiquity, and to the present day, to represent female energy, power, reproduction, and life-giving -- all of which flow forth in a mother's milk. 

We invite you to take and use breastfeeding badges along your own journey, and if you feel like sharing any of your experiences or photos with us, drop a note to or join the Breastfeeding Group on Facebook.

Wishing you all the milky love this year and beyond!

Breastfeeding badges can also be found on Facebook here.


Specialty Badges


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