What better place to throw out toxins in the home than when it comes to your baby? Here are some ideas on ways to care for your baby naturally - minimize the fuss, the cost, and the toxins. I hope these tips will help give you some ideas on ways to reduce or eliminate harmful chemicals in your baby's life.
1. California Baby Shampoo and Bodywash. While this product will seem expensive at first glance, it is actually a great price, in my opinion. You can find it for $17.99 at Target and it will last you a long while. We purchased it for the first time when my son had to remove allergens from his diet (this product is free of allergens). We just barely ran out and it has been a good 10 months since we bought it (it is used on two children, so it'd last even longer if you only have one child!). It is a concentrated formula, so it only takes one "pump" full to wash the entire body from head to toe. I especially love it because it contains only natural, organic ingredients! It is not harmful to your baby or the environment!
2. Coconut oil. I'm in love with coconut oil. There are so many things you can use it for! It is absolutely wonderful for the skin! And, it smells divine! The best part is that it takes hardly any for each use (barely a pea size amount will do). It can be used as lotion after a bath and is very effective with dry skin. We used it on my daughter's terrible baby acne and it helped it clear right up. It is also wonderful for diaper rash since it is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial (used in conjunction with Grapefruit Seed Extract it is powerful...it cleared up my daughter's persistent diaper rash in a day when nothing else was helping).
3. Lavender. Invest in some good, pure lavender essential oil. It is very calming and will help soothe a fussy baby or child (hey, it even calms mothers!). Put one drop of lavender in your palm, drizzle a small amount of olive oil, and rub the mixture on the baby's feet, wrists, behind the ears, and neck. It is the perfect first-aid oil as it is called "The Mother Oil" since it has such a variety of uses. Use it on burns, infections, digestion, etc. Rub it on a colicky baby's tummy to relieve pain. Combine it with coconut oil to fight diaper rash or eczema.
4. Cloth diapers and wipes. This is certainly a bigger jump than say, buying some California Baby bodywash, but it is a great way to remove toxins from your baby's life - considering they sit in a diaper 24 hours a day for the first 2-3 years. Disposable diapers contain all sorts of chemicals from chlorine to dioxin. I'll be doing a more in-depth post on cloth diapering eventually, but, in my opinion they are not much different than disposables as far as care goes - the only difference is that you have to wash them every couple of days (and, with a diaper sprayer, cleaning them is hands-off and not yucky at all). My cloth diapers function better than the disposables I've used (no leaking or blowouts) and they're pretty cute too :) If cloth diapers are too big of a leap, consider a more natural brand like Seventh Generation or an in-between diaper like G diapers.
5. Get rid of the BPA. BPA is a known toxin found in plastics. Buy BPA-free plastic items for your baby - from bottles, to pacifiers, to plates and cups. It is hard to completely avoid BPA since it is in so many things, but many products are now marketed with actual "BPA free" signs which makes things easier. Consider practicing attachment parenting, which would reduce the dependence on bottles and pacifiers by emphasizing the breastfeeding connection. If bottle feeding, never microwave the plastic bottle as toxins will leach into the formula or milk when heated (not to mention the fact that the radiation from the microwave will totally destroy the nutrients in the milk).