When I was pregnant and shopping for baby gear, I gave the most attention to where my babies would sleep. After all, babies spend more time asleep than awake. Safety was my primary consideration – not just whether they would be physically safe and not roll out of bed or get their head stuck between the crib bars, but also whether they would safe from harmful toxins. Children develop at a rapid pace and their bodies are not always efficient at resisting or excreting contaminants. In other words, all of those toxins in the environment have a big impact on your growing child. So, I chose bedding and mattresses constructed from organic, all-natural materials.
At home, I used cloth baby wipes when changing diapers. But when I was out and about, I found disposable baby wipes so much more convenient. I really tried to use nothing but cloth wipes and diapers but it was causing more stress than I was willing to handle. Plus, disposable wipes are great for wiping hands, faces and car seats too. I still use them now even though both of my kids are well out of diapers.
Only the safest and most natural products should be applied to your baby’s skin. This includes diaper rash creams and balms. Some people swear by creams, others by ointments and others by balms. I have included a selection of each. These products are in no particular order and none have an EWG rating of more than 1 (meaning they are super safe and natural). I always used California Baby Diaper Rash Cream and Motherlove Diaper Rash & Thrush Relief with my kids and found both really effective (although I would not recommend California Baby for open cuts because it can burn). I used The Honest Company Healing Balm in lieu of petroleum jelly for things like lubricating thermometers.
It’s important to choose safe and natural products when cleaning your baby. Most conventional baby care products are full of toxic chemicals that can cause skin irritation, asthma and even cancer. Babies are most at risk because their bodies are still developing. The easiest way to know what you are putting on your baby’s skin is to make these products yourself using natural ingredients. Making personal care products from scratch is definitely trial and error. I have compiled a list of the best recipes that I have found that use only natural ingredients.
My daughter is getting ready to turn one year old! For the past six months, she has been fed a diet free of sugar, salt and preservatives. I made all of her baby food from scratch and the breastfeeding is still going strong! After all of that hard work, the idea of feeding her a first birthday cake full of sugar and processed junk isn’t very appealing. Instead, I plan to serve my baby girl a healthy, natural, organic birthday cake that will still delight her.
Entertaining a baby is deceptively hard! I had this delusion that I would continue to take my six-year-old to all of his normal activities and the baby would just come along for the ride. I had pictures in my mind of the baby calmly playing at my feet while I cooked or sitting contently in my arms while I taught my son math. I obviously had completely forgotten what it was like to have a baby! It turns out that I am desperately in need of help playing with my baby. Fortunately, a blog called Nothing if Not Intentional introduced me to a great idea called Heuristic Baby Play.
My baby girl is six months old, and just the right age to start solid foods. With this milestone comes the question, pre-made or homemade? Most pre-made baby food comes in plastic containers or pouches, even the organic foods (which is a mystery to me). Conventional, non-organic baby food can include pesticides, GMOs and additives. Organic baby food in glass jars is definitely the best option as far as store-bought food goes. Homemade is the only choice for me.
One of the (many) fun parts of having a newborn is setting up a nursery. Choosing just the right paint color, furniture and decorations seems to be somehow linked with inspiring sweet dreams in your new baby. Many parents spend months trying to decide whether to nurture an aspiring astronaut, a forest ranger or a ballerina. Often, the last thing parents consider is the level of toxins in the nursery.
While pregnant, I scoured Google Images and Pinterest for inspiration for the perfect mobile. I was sure of one thing – that I wanted to make it myself so that my little girl would have something to treasure and hand down to her children. Since we co-sleep, I didn’t see the purpose of trying to set up a nursery so the mobile didn’t really have to fit a theme. I just wanted something beautiful that inspired sweet dreams and happy feelings. We live on the outskirts of the Blue Ridge Mountains and often see hot air balloons gliding calmly through the sky. And so the seed had been planted.