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baby bath

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

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

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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


wellness tree blog.jpg

 

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.

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.