The Best Natural Baby Care Products

Best-Natural-Baby-Care-Products

I am a huge stickler for natural ingredients when it comes to my skincare and beauty products (hence this blog ; ), but I admit that I’ll make the occasional teensy-weensy exception for a particularly effective or otherwise desirable product (though I never compromise on the big bad ingredients listed below).  But when it comes to my baby, I am gung-ho, 100% of the time.  I’ve never let anything chemical or toxic touch my baby’s skin, and that is no small feat.

Most of the baby care lines out there, even the self-proclaimed natural ones, are not as natural as they claim.  A quick glance at the extensive ingredient lists can reveal a whole range of chemicals and mysterious ingredients, which though not necessarily toxic per se, are definitely not natural.  Babies have the most delicate of skin, and since their organs are always growing, what we put on (and, of course, IN) our babies can literally impact the building blocks of their little beings.

Though they’re obviously not the sole cause, chemicals in baby care products have been linked to asthma, hormonal imbalance (including premature puberty), skin issues like eczema, and even cancer.  So even if you’re not totally on board with the green beauty industry, making sure the products you use on your baby are all-natural should be a really high priority!

I’ve tested several natural baby-care lines, and the ones below have come out on top.  All of these best natural baby care products are formulated without toxic chemicals, including:

  • Talc (carcinogenic)
  • Phthalates (carcinogenic, asthma)
  • Synthetic Fragrance (linked to asthma, allergies, endocrine and hormone disruption)
  • Propylene Glycol [PEG] (allergies and asthma)
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (skin irritation, hormonal disruption)
  • Mineral Oil and other petroleum-derived ingredients (possible carcinogen, hormonal disruption)
  • Parabens (neurotoxin, endocrine disruption)
  • Triclosan (carcinogenic, endocrine disruption)
  • Lanolin (contaminated with pesticides)

Some of the product lines below are 100% all-natural, which I tend to favor, and others contain a few synthetic or chemical ingredients that are considered safe for babies and still receive the best ratings on EWG.  There are definitely other brands out there, and new natural baby care products are coming out all the time, so this list is by no means exhaustive.  If you’re going to try another product line, just make sure the products are free of the chemicals above, the ingredient lists are rather short, and that you recognize every ingredient listed (a great rule of thumb when selecting any product to put on or in your body!).

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Best Natural Teething Remedies for Babies

Best Natural Teething Remedies

It seems like babies spend the better part of their first year teething… and then, right when you think you and your little are getting a break, the molars come in!

Being a firm believer in natural remedies, I was always slow to turn to baby Tylenol or Motrin, especially since our teething dramas went on for months at a time (and giving your little those medications for more than a few days ina row can be really damaging to their sensitive digestion, liver, and kidneys. Plus, a few studies over the last few years have shown an increased incidence of asthma and wheezing in children who received frequent dosing of acetaminophen in the first year of life (I will not that the results of these studies haven’t been completely conclusive, but even a hint of controversy is enough to give me pause).

So when at all possible, I give my little one natural remedies first, and only switch to over-the-counter medications if all else fails, never as a first line of treatment.

These 5 best natural teething remedies below are very effective and completely safe. I’ve listed them in order of efficacy, from least to greatest.  Always start with the lowest level of intervention and work your way up the list!

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L.A.: Affordable Farm-Fresh Groceries, Delivered!

Affordable Farm-Fresh Groceries Delivered | The Organic Beauty Blog

As a busy mom and business owner, grocery shopping can sometimes feel like an unnecessary hassle.  Don’t get me wrong, I love our weekend family trips to stock up on pantry items and the like, but for our weekly supply of organic produce, eggs, and seafood, it’s amazing to have high quality, affordable food come straight to our door.  Yes, health food stores like Whole Foods deliver through services like Instacart, but I can’t seem to place a single order under $200 at that place.  The food is great, but is it really necessary to drop that much cash on organic food?

Thankfully the answer is no.

Recently I discovered Milk & Eggs Farm Grocery Delivery, which connects health conscious, locavore consumers directly to local farmers (kind of like a CSA), at a 50% discount.  You can set up recurring monthly subscriptions that are completely customizable, or order one-off items.

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5 Toddler Bad Eating Habits to Break NOW

5 Toddler Bad Eating Habits to Break NOW

As parents, we hold the power to set our children up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits and a happy relationship with food and their bodies.  The eating habits we enforce now, from the very beginning of their relationships with food, can determine how they will eat for the rest of their lives. But sadly, in this country (and pretty much only in this country), parents are set up for failure almost from the get-go with bad eating habits that have become the cultural norm when it comes to feeding babies, toddlers, and kids.

In my holistic nutrition practice, all of my weight loss clients have one (or more) of these three bad habits in common: snacking, emotional eating, and eating on the run.  So much of the struggle with losing weight and keeping it off comes down to breaking these three bad eating habits, but when you’ve been eating that way all your life, or when you come from a household where those habits were the norm, it is much, much harder to move past them. Growing up with bad eating habits can set you up for a frustrating years long battle with weight, dieting, stress eating, body hatred, hypoglycemia, and in more extreme cases, even type 2 diabetes!

Thankfully, it’s not too late to break these bad eating habits, even if your child is no longer a toddler!  But it takes commitment, and a bit of going against the grain.  These bad habits are so deeply ingrained in our parenting culture that it can feel weird to be the one parent who’s kid isn’t attached to a cup of Goldfish or Cheerios.  But I promise you, it is so, so worth it.  You will save yourself and your child so many power struggles, tantrums, and frustrations around mealtimes. And down the road, you can feel proud that your kids have healthy eating habits and are set up for a lifetime of healthy weight, strong bodies, and efficient metabolisms.

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Must-Have’s and Tips for Airplane Travel with Baby

Little M and I are wrapping up our first solo trip (without daddy), and now that she’s at the ripe old age of 1, the experience couldn’t be more different than traveling with her as a little baby. As you’ll see below, you need much less to stay sane while traveling on a plane with an infant (or pre-crawler), but once the little tykes start moving (or, god help us all, walking), it takes quite a bit more strategy to keep baby entertained and calm, and keep parents sane.  After 8+ flights with our little one over her first year, I’ve nailed down the perfect set of must-have’s and tips for airplane travel with baby, to keep everyone comfortable, entertained, and happy (or at the very least, sane!). Check them out below!

Must-Haves-for-Airplane-Travel-With-Baby

Must-have’s for airplane travel with baby (aged 0-18 months):

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Adorable Non-Toxic Play Mats

Corkimat Non-Toxic Play Mats | The Organic Beauty

Babies spend a ton of time on the floor.  That’s where they progress with their gross motor skills, play with their toys, and gradually learn about independence.  Frequent, regular floor play, particularly on their tummies, is awesome for our little ones, and is one of the best things we can do to support their development (that, and, paradoxically, holding and cuddling them the rest of the time ;).

So with the amount of time our babies spend on the floor, it’s so important that they have a safe, non-toxic space to play.  Unfortunately, the common foam play mats from the days of yore do not provide them with that safe space.  

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Best Baby-Safe Cleaning Products (plus what to avoid!)

Baby-Safe Cleaning | The Organic Beauty Blog

With all the research that’s come out in the last several years into environmental toxins and endocrine disruptors, a whole slew of common baby and household products have been labeled with major red flags.  We know so much more now that we did 20 or 30 years ago — I shudder to think about the products that were used on and around us when we were babies!

Most of us know the big bad ingredients to avoid by now: parabens, phthalates, bleach, sodium lauryl sulfate (if you don’t know about these, read this) — but so much more awful stuff in lurking in the products some of us use every day, from soaps and detergents, to air fresheners, cleaning supplies, and even candles.  And of course, don’t even get me started on edibles — especially so much of the foods marketed to babies and kids… I’ll save that for it’s own post ; )

Guys, this is something I am really passionate about, and I’ll admit, I get really upset when I see a mom slathering her baby in Johnson & Johnson’s or buying Tide detergent.  There are so many inexpensive, safer brands out there that make it so easy for most families to make these changes.  With all the dangerous stuff out there that our babies will at some point be exposed to, this is something that is totally, 100% in our control as mindful parents and caregivers.  We love our babies so much… why would we ever consciously expose them to chemicals that can cause hormonal imbalances, inflammation, growth problems, allergies and asthma, and even cancer down the line??

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How to Naturally Treat and Prevent Diaper Rash

naturally-treat-diaper-rash

A mom friend was telling me today about the turmoil of diaper rash, and she was shocked to discover that we’ve never had a bout of it.  As luck would have it, literally THE DAY I STARTED WRITING THIS ARTICLE, we had our first incident!!  And it was all because I got lazy and broke rule number 1 below.  But, this was actually a blessing in disguise, as I now actually have personal experience with the beast that is diaper rash, and can even further attest to the effectiveness of the remedies in this article!

There are a bunch of factors that play into diaper rash, but let me be the first to tell you, it’s not just another icky inevitability of babyhood. You can totally prevent diaper rash by taking a few, simple steps.

So what causes those rashy bums?  These are the main perpetrators:

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Soothing Silver for Sore Nipples

Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers  |  The Organic Beauty Blog

If there’s one thing that comes up ALL the time amongst new moms, it’s sore nipples.  First they’re super sore in the beginning, as we sort out shallow latches and supply and get the hang of the whole breastfeeding thing.  Then, just when we think we’re home free, around 4-5 months, those babes start getting teeth, and being super distracted during nursing sessions, pulling and tugging at our poor nipples, and occasionally giving them a good ol’ chomp.  We’re not there yet, but I assume once the top teeth start coming in at 8-9 months, we’ll be in for a whole new round of drama.

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6 Ways to Boost Milk Supply

Boost Milk Supply

A lot of breastfeeding women freak out when they notice their supply dropping while traveling, if they get sick, or around the time they start menstruating again (usually between 4-6 months after birth), and think they need to start supplementing with formula.  It doesn’t help that many myself had major drops in supply from all three of these factors, which led me to dive deep into natural ways to boost milk supply. The good news is, I discovered tons of easy peasy things you can do to boost your supply when things get a little dry.  Unless there is something medical going on, like hypoplasia (or insufficient breast tissue), there is no reason to start using formula if you want to keep exclusively breastfeeding.  If you choose to use formula for other reasons, no judgment here! These ways to boost milk supply are for you ladies (like me!) who desperately want to keep nursing your little one and are faced with a drop in supply.

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