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Baby Care

Which Wipe Is Right For You?

baby_wipes_review.jpg

When I had my second baby I decided to review my choice of wipes.  I mainly used Bambure and then Ecoriginals with my first baby and I wanted to review that decision. 

Without going into tremendous detail, my base requirement is that they contain no nasties. With that in mind, these are the wipes I bought to try out.  I though having them all at once would give me a better perspective on each one.

Overall, I found that there is not much difference between them.  They all held up well, were strong enough for big jobs, soft, good size.  As you can see from the comparison there is not much difference in size, Wot Not is slightly larger.    

Below are the key characteristics and the cost per sheet (current).

What is excluded from the below, is the recent Thank You Wipes launch and the TOMS Tushies.  I am really impressed with their wipes, they are a good thickness and wetness. I really like that the Thank You Wipes do a lot more than just wipe a bum! It feels good to help others.  For me, now, I alternate between Thank You and Ecoriginals.

Remember to check out bulk buy deals for these.  You use a lot of wipes, there is no point paying more than you have to for them!

Bambure

  • 100% biodegradable
  • Made from bamboo
  • Not as moist as some of the other brands
  • $6.95 for 80Wipes ($0.09 per wipe)

Ecoriginals

  • 100% biodegradable
  • Thick wipes, really durable
  • Just the right amount moisture in each wipe
  • $6.75 for 70Wipes ($0.10 per wipe)

 

Water Wipes

  • People with baby’s with sensitive skin rave about them
  • 99.9% water
  • For me they are too wet.
  • $7.50 for 80Wipes ($0.13 per wipe)

 

Wot Not

  • 100% biodegradable
  • Larger size than other wipes  (Thank You Wipes are also this size)
  • Just the right amount moisture in each wipe
  • $7.95 for 80Wipes ($0.10 per wipe)

Safe Sleeping

baby safe sleeping

Safe sleeping practices for babies are a favourite subject.  It’s been a while since I’ve given any updates, so I thought it would be worthwhile doing a round-up. I have included not only safe sleeping tips but also general tips on better baby sleep.

1.       Let’s start with SIDS & Kids and their recommendations:

a.       Mattress firmness reduces SIDS deaths fivefold – make sure the mattress yu choose has passed the voluntary standard for firmness (AS/NZS Voluntary Standard: Methods of testing infant products – Sleep surfaces – Test for firmness)

b.       The mattress should be snug to the sides of the cot – ideally no gaps between the mattress and cot sides; and absolutely flat

c.       Maximum breathability in and around cot – eg no bumpers, breathable mattress

d.       A baby should sleep on their back, ideally in a safe cot or bassinet next to adult care givers’ bed that meets current Australian Standards

e.       The baby’s feet should be at the bottom of the cot or bassinet

f.        Keep baby 'smoke free' before and after birth, ie away from cigarette smoke

g.       Avoid keeping a baby in the parents bed or on couch – for long or short sleeps

h.       Keep head and face uncovered

i.         Bedding should be kept to a minimum - no: pillow, cot bumper, loose lamb’s wool, soft toy e.g: teddy, doona

j.         If using a blanket, then ensure it is firmly tucked into the sides of the cot or bassinet.

k.       If using a baby sleeping bag, swaddle or wrap ensure that it is the right one for your baby’s age and current weather conditions – e.g. babies who are rolling should not have their arms constrained; use only a singlet/light romper and nappy in warm weather or light grow suit in cooler weather

l.         Baby sleep bags or wraps should be made of muslin or light cotton.  Do not use bunny rugs and blankets as they may cause over-heating; no hoods

m.     A baby sleep bag or wrap needs to be firm but not too tight to allow for natural hip and chest wall expansion. Wrapping legs tight, straight and together may increase the risk of abnormal hip development. Loose wraps are hazardous as they can cover baby’s head and face

2.       No strings: Keep any type of string or rope away from the cot or bassinet – i.e. Position the cot away from curtain cords; do not put dummy ties or teething necklaces of any sort into the cot with a sleeping baby; decorative garlands should be at a safe distance; no toys with strings

3.       No head cover: Don’t put hoods, hats or bibs on the baby while sleeping; and if baby has fallen asleep in the pram make sure they are not covered in any way and are supervised.

4.      Temperature control: make sure that the baby and the room are at a comfortable temperature.  An overheated baby is dangerous; a baby that is uncomfortable won’t be sleeping peacefully.  Ensure that you have a non-synthetic breathable mattress and the baby is dressed appropriately for the weather and room temperature and is, ideally, dressed night attire that is made from organic or natural materials.

5.       Wrapping:  Studies have shown that wrapping can have a calming, sleep-promoting effect, increasing sustained sleep and reduce the frequency of spontaneous awakenings. There are different wraps for different age groups and temperatures and to get the maximum benefit from wrapping and keep it safe, you must use the appropriate type of wrap.  Keep in mind, also, that every baby is different and you may not get the right wrap the first time. You may have to change the style you use until you find one that baby feels comfortable in. And don’t be frustrated if your baby just doesn’t like being wrapped. It happens.  The below is a quick guide

a.       Muslin or cotton unstructured wraps are great for newborns but harder to use for growing babies as they are very loose and come undone quite easily. You can keep using an unstructured wrap for as long as it works for baby, by not wrapping the arms once baby has started to show signs of rolling.

b.       Structured wraps for newborns restrain the arms so that baby can sleep and not wake due to startle reflex. It should not be too tight, natural movement of chest and legs should be maintained.  A wrap with restricted arm movement should not be used once baby is rolling. 

c.       Structured wraps for rolling babies – you can buy wraps that have gradual introduction of arms for transitioning i.e. one arm at a time.  You would start using this at around 4 months and transition to a bag or wrap that has complete arm movement.

d.       TOG ratings help you choose the right bag for the weather and room temperature.  The smaller the number the less warm the sleeping bag is.  Eg ergoPouch – 0.2 rated is for warm weather, summer conditions; 2.5 tog for colder, winter temperatures.

6.       No distractions – babies need mobiles to play not to sleep.  Keep distraction in or around the cot to an absolute minimum. The cot must be a restful place.

7.       Burp well – An uncomfortable baby is a wide-awake baby. Make sure that you spend a good amount of time burping the baby during and after the feed.  

8.       Additional peace of mind can be bought – you can buy under mattress monitors or pads that react if baby stops breathing. The simpler, more common monitors are the video monitors that either connect to your mobile or to a compatible monitoring device.

source: http://www.sidsandkids.org/safe-sleeping;  kidssafe.com.au

Product finds

We were at the Essential Baby & Toddler Show over the weekend.  There was a lot to see as always - the same big brands that we always see and also some great new brands that I have not come across before. 

Viddia – organic clothes and blankets  

So soft, so beautiful.  Of course I bought a whole bunch of stuff for my little girl and the baby in the belly.  I also fell in love with their blanket which I thought would be great for warmer, Spring weather.  All of their stuff is using GOTS certified cotton.  Their stuff is all classic and very cute.  And they cater for newborn to 6 years.   viddia.com.au

Viddia organic baby clothes and baby blankets
Viddia organic baby clothes and baby blankets

de’bee – natural balms

I wanted to try all of their range but ended up getting their Storytime balm, Breathe Easy rub and Pucker Up lip balm.  The products are organic, made from pure Australian beeswax plus other complimentary botanicals.  I used the lip balm as soon as I got it as it immediately fixed by ridiculously dry lips.  My little girl has had a cough for the last week, which of course bothers her most during the night.  I put the Breathe Easy rub on and her coughing was less (while I was awake, anyway). It has menthol, tea tree, cedarwood and eucalyptus, so it has quite the aroma. I loved it and my little girl ok with it but it was a bit much for my partner.   Yet to try the Storytime balm. I use the Badgers Sleep Balm so I am intrigued.   http://debee.com.au/

de’bee natural balms

Bambooloui – baby clothing

This stuff is so soft and cute. Little onesies and tshirts with cute prints. I liked the simplicity of the range and the fabric texture. I think it's quite ight so great for indoors over winter and the warmer temperatures.  http://bambooloui.myshopify.com/

Bambooloui baby clothing
Bambooloui baby clothing

Halcyon Nights – collection of linens and baby clothes

Halcyon Nights Baby Linen and Baby Clothes

Halcyon Nights use beautiful prints by a designer called Min Min on a collection of linen, from bassinet to single beds. They also have the cutest onsies and t-shirts. Very soft and lovely.  Look out for the range online and at markets around Melbourne.
https://www.halcyonnights.com.au/

 

 

Home made skin care and general use products

What I have discovered is that for almost everything you need in the home there is a home made and natural option. Almost everything that I have fallen in love with revolves around coconut oil and essential oils.

Here are some oldies and new ones to try.

Organic Coconut Oil
  1. Great uses for coconut oil – it’s an amazing product great for mum, dad and baby.
  2. If you want something more than just coconut oil than this might be worth trying: body lotion 
  3. Homemade vaporub
  4. Something for me – an essential oil shower bomb
  5. Aurora Spa – shower uplifter: Put 3-5 drops of the Aurora Spa Replenish Oil in a shower, turn on the warm water and then step in.  Take in the beautiful smell.
  6. Liquid Hand Soap



Baby Essentials Checklist - Bathing Baby

We believe less is more in the bathing area.  Skin is sensitive and needs gentle care.  Here are some of our bathing essentials.

  1.  Gaia Organic Sleeptime Bath And Massage Oil;

  2. Eco Lavender Essential Oil for a calming before bedtime - just a  few drops should do it;

  3. Boon Naked Collapsible Bathtub if space is an issue or if you have a surface on which to put a bath. Otherwise go with something on a stand; 

  4. Boon Bath Toy Storage And Toys;

  5. Little Bamboo Hooded Towel;

  6. Kuu Konjac Natural Sponge

Baby Essentials Checklist Bathing Baby

Newborn Sleep

newborn sleep

When I see my little girl sleeping I just want to kiss her little nose, squeeze her little cheeks and cuddle her into me as close as I can.  But that’s not advised!  Let sleeping babies sleep.  It’s a glorious thing.  And you don’t realise how glorious it is unless you have a baby that doesn't sleep well.  Getting into a good newborn sleep routine is one of the most important things to do when you bring baby home from the hospital. 

It all sounds wonderful in theory but can be quite tough, especially if you have a child with colic and reflux issues, or something else.  The below is a guide – a baby sleep checklist of sorts.

  1. A well fed baby is a happy (and sleepy) baby.
  2. Establish a routine as quickly as possible, either use the babies own rhythm to identify key times of the day for sleeping or eating or use a guide – Save Our Sleep and Happiest Baby on the Block are two great books. I personally used Save Our Sleep and it was a fantastic resource with routines by age. Rebecca Judd also has a routine on her blog that she used for her babies.
  3. Make sure your baby is well burped.  Most people don’t spend enough time on this.
  4. If you are having trouble with sleep, try and rule out possible reasons e.g. reflux, colic, not enough burping, routine, not enough food, room/bed temperature.  Speak to your maternal health nurse and doctor, read and talk to other mums to see if there is any sage advice they can offer.
  5. The maternal health nurse network have sleep consultants that can come out to your home and help with getting you back on track. They are at no cost for a one time visit.  Or there are independent, private sleep consultants that can help in the home.
  6. Have an established bed time routine – keep a consistent time for everything; it means baby gets used to a certain way of things happening before bed time.  Try: a warm relaxing bath with lavender oil to relax baby; make sure tummy is full and well burped; read a little baby book; if baby needs some extra help snoozing off try a few minutes rubbing or tapping.  Whatever you do, consistency is important
  7. Room temperature is very important.  We have a tendency to overheat because we are worried about baby not being warm enough.  If baby is too hot she won’t be able to settle.
  8. Lavender – try this in the bath, a candle, oil in the humidifier or oil burner before bedtime.  It’s very calming.
  9. Sleep school – I have heard great things about Masada.  It does not come cheap but for parents that need some time out and need settling time of their own it is incredible.  You need a referral from your GP.
  10. Try not to disrupt sleep as much as possible, i.e. don’t wake your baby and try to put baby into his own bed so that he wakes in the same place he went to bed. (This is where a routine helps – you can build appointments etc. around when baby is due to sleep and eat, no surprises). Obviously it’s not always possible, i.e. when baby unexpectedly falls asleep in the car, but as with anything in life, all you can do is do your best.
  11. Daytime sleep is absolutely crucial for night time sleep so do your best in getting a good daytime sleep routine happening.
  12. Make sure the room environment, particularly the sleep area does not have distractions (or attractions) and is as serene as possible.

Getting your newborn sleep rhythm right doesn't have to be difficult but it does take a little bit of effort, patience and discipline.

Here are some other resources:

Baby Centre - Understanding your babys sleep

Raising Children Network - Baby Sleep

 

Baby Essentials Checklist - Nappy Changing Station

This is a new series on baby nursery essentials.  It can be used a baby essentials checklist.  We are starting the series with the nappy change area.

When we had our little girl, we decided on a change table.  There are so many more options for changing trays these days and I would go that way next time around.  They are especially great if space is in short supply.  

For products that spend a lot of time on or near the baby's skin we suggest a non-toxic solution.

  1. Weleda Nappy Change Cream;
  2. Eco Originals Biodegradable Disposable Nappies;
  3. Bambeco Bamboo Wipes;
  4. Change Tray For A Dresser Instead Of Buying A Change Table;
  5. Diaper Caddy;
  6. Ubbi Diaper Pail (so HOT!!)
Baby Essentials Checklist Nappy Changing

Tory talks ... Caring for multiple kids

If motherhood has taught me anything, it’s that hindsight it a wonderful thing! In my pre-mum days I remember thinking I could just accumulate all the advice from people and prepare myself adequately for what was to come. Sleepless nights, check. Changing nappies, check.  Baby proofing corners, check.

My reality was very different. Suddenly I felt like I’d lost every single spare second of time. I didn't, it would seem, have time for anything so in effect, getting everything done with no time felt very stressful.

This for me was the biggest adjustment. Once I’d realized and accepted the limitations of time and learnt how to adapt to it, adding more kids the mix seemed inconsequential, sort of.

The critical key to 2+ kids is organization and routine. I know there is a school of thought around letting kids run their own lives to develop who they really are. This sounds lovely but as previously mentioned, there is no time left for anything in our house and this includes self discovery so we forge ahead running our tight ship.

Our strict method of parenting affords us the luxury’s like getting everyone fed. Getting out of the house and to scheduled appointments, work, childcare etc.. within reasonable late time frames. Sometimes, when we’re really strict we make them on time! Going into public fully clothed in weather appropriate attire (most of the time)…the list of successes continues.

Some key components of our approach:

  1. Whatever can be prepared the night before, gets prepared (school bags, lunches, cleaning the kitchen, loads of washing)
  2. Give kids ownership of processes (age specific). Getting dressed, cleaning teeth, eating own breakfast etc.
  3. Fit your own mask before assisting others…AKA Get up and ready before the kids get up. Getting multiple kids ready is a challenge akin to juggling so it’s best to not be trying to get ready yourself
  4. Have a game plan. Know exactly what needs to be done and by whom i.e. to get out of the house of a morning, shopping list, weekend plans etc..
  5. Have and monitor a household to do list so that everyone knows what needs to be done and can pitch in
  6. Take/enlist any help you can get/afford e.g. a fortnightly house cleaner is an investment in sanity.

 

So, in the immortal words of Dr. Seuss:

Two kids

So be sure when you step.

Step with care and great tact

and remember that Life's

a Great Balancing Act.

Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.

And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

 

 

Cold and Flu season

It's almost here.  The dreader winter.  I love the summer.  The warmth.  It's hard to believe I made it through 10 years in Eastern Europe for work given how much I dislike the cold.

And one of the things, now as a mum, I dislike most about the winter is the inevitable cold and flue that come with it - especially when bubba is in childcare. 

So, I thought it might be good to give you some tips to survive the season. 

Good tissues

Little noses need the softest tissues possible.  You will be wiping the little nose a lot.  It's an investment in comfort.

 

TAAV Vaporiser

A great vaporiser, for bed time is priceless.  There are a lot around now.  And you can put oils into them to help clear the nose. The vaporiser keeps the air moist, especially important as the heating will be running constantly.  I have bought expensive ones, middle of the road and cheap and of all of them the one we found worked the best was TAAV.  You need to buy their brand oil which was strong and I found worked better than some of the other ones we tried.  I found that the amount of actual vapour coming out kept the closed baby's room very comfortable. And I also used it when I was sick and it was fantastic.  The one bad note - its very unattractive.  But, its dark at night so how cares???

Fess Little Noses

This is a great little kit to help keep the nose clear of all the goo that babies cant get rid of themselves.  The spray is saline solution so very gentle as is the nasal aspirator. 



Good blanket

You need a great blanket for home the bubba can snuggle up to and a great pram blanket to keep baby warm.  

My choice for this winter will be the Nook Organic Cotton Knit Blanket.  The firm weave and thickness will keep bubba very warm!


 

Thermometer

We have tried under arm and forehead thermometers but the one that we have appreciated the most - and used the most is the Braun in-ear system.  

 

 

Hand sanitiser and/or wipes

I have a hand sanitiser as well as wipes.  The hand sanitiser is in the kitchen and baby room for a quick fix and the wipes are in the kitchen for the sneeze at the table.  It doesn't happen too often so a pack of wipes lasts a long time, but its great for a quick clean up of the baby seat. 

Breastfeeding resources

Breastfeeding is natural.  And I truly do believe that it is best.  But it is far from easy and does not come as "naturally" as some people make it out to be.  Being the mother that can whip out a boob and have a baby attached in the blink of any eye in a public space is lucky group.  And some don't ever get there.

iStock_000003226881XSmall.jpg

I have had both a lucky and unlucky experience breastfeeding run.  I am not one of the blessed and it was an emotional roller-coaster when I was in the thick of it.  

My mother had no milk at all.  Not a drop.  And I had a wet nurse - the days before formula necessitated it. When I was pregnant, aside from having a healthy baby, I wanted to breastfeed. I didn't care about anything else.  I knew it was not a great sign when my boobs didn't grow even a cm when I was pregnant.  (Slight side step - EVERYTHING else GREW.  A lot. But my boobs, which are tiny anyway, not a mm. It's my one and only gripe with the universe about my pregnancy. Come on!!!!) 

Anyway, while I was pregnant there were positive signs as well - I had colostrum coming through in small amounts, and ultimately, I had a little bit of milk.  So I was able to feed my baby some breastmilk in conjunction with formula. 

The midwives and maternal health nurses are very helpful but beware - everyone is going to give you differing advice.  And some people will be very insistent on things that may not sit well with you.  Follow your instincts and do what is right for your family.  And even though I found this hard to do myself, please don't get disheartened.  

Below are some other resources I thought you might find useful.  And Check out our previous blogs on this subject. 

breastfeeding resources

www.breastfeeding.asn.au
www.breastfeedingonline.com
www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications – go to ‘Infant feeding Guidelines’

Baby Bathtime

When you have a baby that doesn't mind a bath,  it is gold.  It is such a special time.  

Boon

In all honesty I was frightened of washing my little girl when she was a newborn. She was just so fragile.  I was convinced that I was going to break her. But, like the midwife told me, they are pretty resilient.  And as time went on baby bathtime became one of my favourite things to do with her.  One of our favourite things to do.

There are so many different options for baths these days, you can choose whatever suits your space - there is the traditional white tub, the fold away, the in sink, the bucket variety, the blow up.  I mean they have one for every situation, regardless of space.  And it you have a bath you can put them onto a seat or simply hold them if it's comfortable for you.  There are also stands to place the baths onto if you have the floor space, or fold away varieties if you don't.  

Baby bathtime equipment

Be realistic about the space you have and the existing set up.  Test what will be the most comfortable for you - use a clothes hamper or bucket to physically move it around. As long as baby is warm and safe there are no other rules. (Well, you back is important as well, so consider your own physical well being!)

Consider where you want to bathe the baby i.e. in which room and then decided on the set up.  Some people choose to bathe in the bedroom and keep the baby in the one temperature and in the same place; others are on the dining room table, and others in the bathroom. No rules.

Based on the above decision, the rest will fall into place:

  • the type of bath you need
  • which seat fits the bath you get
  • which stand fits the bath your get (if required)

As time goes on you will be tempted to get the bath seat which locks a seated baby into place, which we do not see as a necessity.  Once baby can sit don't lock them it - it's part of the joy of the bath.

Our rule - keep it simple. As baby gets older they will want more things in the bath but at the beginning it will be pretty basic.

In the bath we prefer organic products - you don't need a lot and it lasts for ages so invest in something good. We have a few posts on skincare and babycare that you can check out for more product specific information.

  • baby bath and/or lavender oil
  • baby wash and shampoo
  • organic sponge or  face washer

The face washer is a must.  When baby first arrives, it may feel strange in the bath and may not like it.  Aside from remaining very calm and enjoying the experience yourself, you can put a warm face washer on the baby's tummy during the bath so that he is covered. He will feel comfort and warmth and hopefully enjoy the experience.  Personally, I did this for at least for the 3 or 4 months.   

The other must is a hooded towel. It makes it so easy to get bubs rugged up after the bath.  If you are handy with a sewing machine there are lots of tutorials on Pinterest or you could simply buy one.  Whichever option go for a larger towel.  They grow quickly and if you buy a good one you want it to last a while.

As baby gets older you will want to introduce toys - don't go for anything with holes in the bottom that can develop fungus. (Or if you do, replace it often). And go for non-toxic toys such as Boon.  It's worth the extra penny. They last for a long time.  And they look great.  Their bath toy holders are very cute.

 

Baby bathtime safety first

  • NEVER leave baby unattended in a bath
  • Don’t leave water in buckets or baths 
  • Use a nonslip mat in the bath and around the bath
  • NEVER poor water into a bath while baby is inside
  • Always make sure the bath is on a stable surface
  • Make sure you have everything in arms reach – bathing products and towels primarily

Updates from our favourite people... Tara talks baby and mumma natural care

When a beautiful baby arrives into our world, they are pure. As mothers, we all try to keep it that way, not wanting anything to taint our little one’s perfection. These things might range from harmful attitudes, emotions or physical harm. It can also include the chemicals that are rife in our environment. Baby showers are often filled with gifts of wipes and care products that we aren’t sure are good to put onto virgin skin. While we don’t want to wrap our babies in cotton wool or become worried over what is good and bad, it helps to be informed of the best products out there to reduce any future harm.

The below are my favourites that I have used on my baby since birth and will continue to travel down this path of 100% natural and chemical-free products. These are all great gifts for Baby shower presents also.

SKIN

cocnut oil.jpg

Starting with the skin, for both myself and my baby we only use 100% organic virgin cold-pressed coconut oil. There are many brands of coconut oil in the market now, which is a positive for the consumer. Not all are organic or virgin and even less are cold pressed. Our favourite is Nui ‘Wild Harvest’ Virgin Coconut Oil. It’s produced from Vanuatu coconuts which are cold pressed to keep all of the goodness. It’s great on your skin and smells lovely, as well as using for cooking and its tastes good too. It’s also great to place a couple of drops into a warm bath.

Almond Kernel Oil is also another great natural oil that I would suggest placing on babies skin or in their bath if their skin is very dry or is showing signs of skin irritation such as psoriasis or eczema.

Sunscreen for both yourself and your baby: WotNot 30+spf sunscreen is my recommendation. 100% natural sunscreen, which is gentle enough for babies. It’s broad spectrum protection, UV-A and UV-B and is enriched with certified organic aloe vera. A positive is that it’s also free from titanium dioxide which is unfortunately in most sunscreens. Also free from chemical UV absorbers, sulphates, petrochemicals, parabens, glycols and artificial fragrances and preservatives.

Another option in sunscreen when children start to spend lengthy times in the water and sun is Soleo Organics Sunscreen. As a surfer myself, all other natural sunscreens rub off when in the water for too long. Soleo stays on your face and doesn’t wash off. It’s organic and safe, and protects from both UV-A and UV-B solar radiation. It’s also free of UV-absorbers, titanium dioxide, PABA, SLS, benzoats, parabens, artificial colours and fragrances and synthetic preservatives.

Vanessa Megan ‘Bug Off My Baby’ natural mosquito and insect repellent is a fantastic roll on to have on hand at all times, especially in the Australian summer. Also good to take travelling.

It’s Australian made products that are free from mineral oils, parabens, PEGS, artificial preservatives, colours or fragrances. All Vanessa Megan products are lovely and I recommend them.

NAPPY RASH

There are many good natural nappy rash options on the market now, which is great to see for our babies pure little bottoms. Using a chemical-free cream is the best option to place on such a sensitive area for babies. I recommend Natures Child ‘bottom balm’ which is made from all natural and certified organic ingredients.

BATHING

Often, we assume that since we may use a body cleanse or soap ourselves, we must use one for our babies. I believe that babies don’t need any or little bathing products. The more natural and the less the better, just warm water and a touch of organic virgin coconut oil is the best option. If your baby is unsettled you can also place a couple of drops of pure lavender oil into the bath to calm them down. If you really want to use a product then I would suggest Gaia baby products, as I do use this brand for other reasons. It’s a great brand which all products are free from parabens, soaps, artificial fragrance, petrochemicals and sulphates. I also feel the same with hair shampoo, less is more, babies don’t need shampoo just water and lots of love and fun at bathtime J

gaia_skin_naturals_brands_cluster_a.gif

WIPES

Babies bums are constantly in need of a wipe J When you think about how many nappies you will change in a child’s life that is also a lot of wipes needed. I was lucky to be introduced by a friend, who is a naturopath, to a homemade wipe option. It’s as simple as making up a natural concentrate shown below and placing in a glass jar with a spoon to mix. Then using either a cloth wipe or face-washer or a paper towel/sheet to soak up the water concentrate and use it as a wipe. I find that Viva Towels are the best, as they soak up the water perfectly.

Ingredients:

~ 1 tbsp 100% pure virgin Calendula Oil

~ 1 tbsp natural shampoo (I prefer Gaii)

~ 2-3 drops either Lavender or Tea Tree Oil

~ 1.5-2 cups of water

Place all in a glass jug or jar with a lid with a spoon to mix it up. The best thing is that its 100% natural and cost effective.

Of course I don’t carry a jar around with me at all times, especially when I’m out or travelling. On these occasions I would highly suggest WotNot baby wipes. You can buy them in three different pack sizes.

WotNot Wipes are:

~ Natural

~ Organic

~ 100% biodegradable and compostable

~ enriched with Australian Certified Organic Aloe Vera

~ free from parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals, caustics, glycols and artificial fragrance

~ not tested on animals

~Austalian Company

WotNot is definitely my favourite. The Facial wipes are also great for us mama’s too, made from Australian certified organic aloe vera, rosehip and sweet almond oil.  The second option if you can’t get hold of WotNot wipes would be Bambeco wipes.

TEETH

My 8 month old still doesn’t have any teeth as yet but when his teeth decide to join us I will most definitely be using

jacknjill.jpg

Jack N Jill Toothpaste and Toothbrush. Its 100% safe for young children and is all natural, hypoallergenic toothpaste made with organic ingredients. All packaging is recyclable and BPA free, plus its super cute and inviting to young kids learning to brush their teeth.

As for the fun times of teething, Wedela produce a fantastic homeopathic baby ‘teething powder’ that works beautifully to help those teeth through the gums with less pain for our bubs.

Actually, Wedela have a fantastic range of baby products including nappy rash creams, nursing tea, nipple cream plus a lovely pregnancy oil that I used and loved. All Wedela mother and baby care products are natural and use Calendula as the main ingredient and have been developed in conjunction with doctors and midwives. Highly recommend checking this whole brand out.

If you are ever unsure of a product, firstly check out the ingredients on the back or the leaflet and if still unsure its always best to leave it out. Less is best . . . just use love and kisses instead.

x


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Tara is mama of 8 month old Mason and a Health and Wellness coach specialising in natural and non-toxic living.  You can contact Tara at tara@wellnesstree.com.au

 

Skin care products for baby

Skin care products for baby

The other day new parents to a beautiful baby boy asked me about skincare.  They had heard that J&J did not have a good reputation and wanted to know what else was out there.  So, I thought it might be useful to share...

newborn baby

To preface - the vast majority of baby products are laden with chemicals.  (As are adult products.) Not only is it difficult to understand, but most of them you can't even pronounce. It takes patience and time to find natural products that work for you and your baby. Everyone is different and every product works differently. The only way to know is to test, unfortunately.

As with anything, check with your doctor if rashes or other skin conditions are not getting better.

Skin

My approach has been to limit, in general, how much I put on Caitlin's skin.  Mother Nature knows best is my approach...  I use products on a needs basis, which is sporadically.  We all have natural oils in our bodies that we produce as necessary. When you need an oil for either baby massage or to condition dry skin try Almond Kernel Oil, Avocado Oil and even Olive Oil. Gaia have an organic oil which is produced from multiple oils.

If you need to use powder - buy the natural variety which generally contains cornstarch.

 

Side Note:  If you are using standard powder on your baby - make sure that you don't use it around the genital area, especially for girls.  Has been linked to ovarian cancer.

Bathing

It was at bath time that I finally found something that would work on her skin rashes - chamomile tea.  So, basically buy loose tea, put 3-4 heaped teaspoons into a cup and make it with boiling water as you normally would.  Leave it there for 10-30mins. Then add the tea through a strainer into your baby's bath, i.e. you don't want bits of tea floating in there.  This helps ease heat rashes and nappy rash for Caitlin.  I always have it in the house now!

I love the smell of lavender in the bath - I have used J&J Bathtime in the bath. I love the smell and a tiny amount in the bath is enough. But unfortunately J&J is far from natural. I also used the Gaia sleeptime bath which was also good (and organic). The one flaw with Gaia is that it is not as aromatic as J&J Bathtime, but I wonder if a drop of lavender oil in the bath wouldn't do the trick? 

I have also used the QV Bath Oil which came highly recommended by a number of people but I'm not sure how much of a difference it really makes to her skin and it contains products that are not recommended - its ingredients are parabens and petrochemical based.  

Nothing beats the Chamomile Tea for Caitlin.

One of my favourite products to use in the bath, which I have already shared on this blog before - the Konjac natural sponge.  Love it. 

 

Wipes

I have been experimenting in the baby wipes area and am happy to report that I have found the most amazing wipes.  Bambeco wipes are not only natural but also biodegradable.  I order them in bulk online.  I have tried a lot (although not WOTNOT as yet) and Bambeco it is.  The reason why I like them is because:

  • they are strong without being overly thick;
  • they are gentle but effective cleaners;
  • they are moist but not soggy;
  • and the fact that they are bamboo, with natural ingredients is a major plus for me.

Nappies & Nappy Rash

I have a graveyard of nappy rash products - none of which have worked except for Amolin and the chamomile tea bath.  Let me say though - they work at the very early stages of rash and on mild rash only.  Once it has taken hold - which happened when the teeth were coming through - the only thing that helped was Hydrozole. A few days and it was all clear.  Hydrozole is a cortisone based cream and should not be used on an ongoing basis. Before using something like this on your baby, check with your doctor.

If you are concerned about chemicals on your baby's skin look no further than the average disposable nappy. (And don't even get me started on mattresses and cotton). We have written about nappy options in the past - find it here. There are a lot of factors which need to be considered but generally, for many reasons, cloth is best. 

Head/Hair

Make sure to gently brush baby's head (or hair if they have any) from early on.  It helps clear oils which can build up and cause cradle cap.  So a bit of gentle brushing with a soft haired brush everyday. If cradle cap does develop, don't worry it's nothing serious, all you need to buy is a special brush & glove set which you use during bath time. It doesn't take long, and easy to do, and gets rid of it quite quickly.  It may come back but just keep using the brush set.  

For shampoo/body wash I have used Aveeno and Gaia.  Much of a muchness in terms of result.  Aveeno claim natural but the ingredients label on the back tells a different story.  Gaia is organic and easily available.

Sun

 

 

Last but not least - sunscreen.  The chemicals in sunscreen are a shocker - and have been linked to cancers and skin conditions.  Solve one problem create another 10....  I bought WOTNOT natural sunscreen originally for Caitlin but we have all now started using it.  

 

So there you have it - this is my list.  There are of course other products.  My list may not work for you, but I hope that it gives you a starting point. There are some great shops around now that stock organic and better for baby products, like Little Green Footprints & Nourished Life.

On a final note, I know it seems like a lot, so my suggestion is go step by step if it's all too much.  If you want to make a major change to baby's exposure to chemicals then start with one or more of the products that spend the most time on or near the baby's skin -  nappies, under clothing, mattress or skincare products.

And, if you want to be more careful with chemicals around the baby, look at the home cleaning chemicals as well - including the dish washing liquid.  There are a great natural alternatives.  Check out our older posts here.

What babies know...

newborn

A great article to remind us of the amazing way Mother Nature makes us!  And it may seem that your newborn baby is in his own little world he really is paying attention, has some self awareness and developing in his own little way.

Click here

 

 

Tips & Bits... Cloth vs Disposable Nappies

Big decision.  Lots of choices.  Lots to weigh up. This is seriously one of the most perplexing questions that parents face.  Of course, for some the choice is simple, but I would say that I have spent a lot more hours discussing nappy choice than pram choice.

Firstly it will have more skin to skin contact with baby than you will.  And we spend a lot of time changing them, so they are omnipresent.  (And they do take up a lot of space.)

Here is some food for thought.  (And don’t forget to check out our older posts on this subject.)

Cloth

  Baby Bare Cloth Nappy

Baby Bare Cloth Nappy

  • Once you buy the full set, the main expense is done (only need to buy liners      which are relatively inexpensive)
  • Easier to toilet train – uncomfortable in wet diaper
  • Limited landfill issues
  • Good quality nappies can last multiple children
  • Better absorbency in the newer, modern cloth nappies
  • Home-delivery for cloth is an option although this obviously increases the cost
  • Cot linen changes likely
  • More likely to cause nappy rash
  • Smell from soaking nappies
  • Detergent, Power & Water usage increase, plus time for washing/drying
  • Can be slow drying depending on the cloth used
  • Can be reused for baby number 2 and even 3

Disposable

  • Highly absorbent
  • Minimising night time changing – maybe more sleep for parents
  • Less chance of nappy rash – with frequent changing
  • Don’t require any accessories –they are an all in one solution
  • Higher cost over the lifecycle of nappy usage
  • May increase difficulty of potty training
  • Environmentally unfriendly – take a long time to degrade in landfills

Cost

  • In the first year the costs work out to be quite similar (we based our costs on Huggies 144 packs of nappies versus Pikapu All-in-One Full Time Pack of Cloth nappies)
  • Year 1: cloth $1,308.55; Disposable $1,318.88
  • Year 2: cloth $653.35; Disposable $1,271.42 (cloth cost is based on using disposable liners for every nappy change)
  • Obviously kids toilet habits are different, volumes may differ; there are cheaper   & more expensive nappies on the market than Huggies; and costs fluctuate. The above does not include costs for buckets and nappy covers.  You need to do the exercise for yourself considering the brands you want.

     

     

    My advice – don’t sweat it.  And don’t be black and white about it.  It doesn't have to be either/or – it can be a combination.  Don’t forget that there are great disposable options now that decompose quicker than the mainstream nappies, if you are trying to balance environment with convenience.

    I am a combination user – the cloth nappies I have are amazing.  They just don’t leak.  They don’t.  Even when there is major stuff leaking out of the baby.  But I use them at home and during the day only.   

    Ultimately, you have to do what you feel is right for you.  

    Playing favourites... Konjac Sponge

    A while back – at the baby show, we purchased the Kuu Konjac sponge, a natural sponge derived from Konjac root plant. 

    We bought it to trial it.  At the show the representative told us that it is a biodegradable product that actually degrades as you use it. So we bought it to trial it, to see whether it lives up to the story.  In short – it does.  It’s a great product. Great for soft baby skin.  And we were told it would start to degrade after 3 months, which it did, but it only really become unusable after 5 months of bathing baby every day. 

    You can get more information from the manufacturer website, but to give you a quick summary:

    • 100% natural
    • Free from colours, additives and preservatives
    • Biodegradable
    • Very gentle on baby’s soft skin
    • Very soft once water has been absorbed, but dries hard

    Frankly it’s not cheap.  $8,95 for one sponge.  But I certainly think it’s worth it.

    Keep an eye out for... secrets of happy kids

    Found a great article, written by a child psychologist about what makes a happy child.  Easy advice to follow, and fairly reasonable I would say.   

    In short - good routine, healthy independence, respect and your heart. Not so much different from what us adults need... 

    1. They eat on time.

    2. They get consistent sleep.

    3. They play without instructions.

    4. They are allowed to express emotions.

    5. They get to make choices.

    6. They feel heard.

    7. They experience unconditional love.

     Check out the article here.

    Keep an eye out for...a great article on low breast milk supply

    This is something very close to my heart as I had a very low milk supply.  By day 3 my baby was screaming with hunger.  It was confronting not only because of the physical expression and the tiredness post birth, but also because it made me question my ability as a mother.  How could I be a good mother if I cant provide the most basic of functions for my baby.  

    Needless to say I could not watch my baby screaming from hunger and we gave her formula top up, which later of course became the main feed;  and at about 3 months my daughter refused the breast all together.  I tried SNS but it was too late.  I had tried expressing, all of the herbs, teas, drinks, food and medication I heard about.  I had tried everything. I expressed and fed her from a bottle until 6 months post which she was exclusively on formula.   

    Anyway, this is a great article.  Well worth a read. 

    P.S And the moral of this story.  Do what's right for you and your family.  Not what anyone else tells you is the right thing.  Trust in yourself.