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Natural child health

CHILDREN AND BABIES

You’d think that when you buy any “Baby” product that it’s not laced with chemicals…wrong! Here, I share what I found to help our precious newborns stay away from the nasty stuff.

You’d think that when you buy any “Baby” product that it’s not laced with chemicals…wrong! Here, I share what I found to help our precious newborns stay away from the nasty stuff.

As I mentioned before, I am a mum of four beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons.

I truly hope, that some of the things I have found, may start you off on making a better future without harmful chemicals, for you and your families.

I think after starting this journey, being aware of what is out there, in our products and foods that we eat, has really changed the way in how we shop, and prepare our foods.

Most of the blogs that are on this site, cover things which effect not only ourselves, but our children too, such as what you are washing your clothing with, and the personal care products that we all use.

FACE MASKS

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With the children going back to school, one priority is to keep them safe and in turn ourselves. Our daughter is of an age that all the students are wearing masks from the time they walk into the school yard, and now around the exterior of the school.

I wanted to list some places that you could find some Organic Masks, washable ones that a child would wear because it was a bit different.

Amazon have a load of Organic masks. Of course there are many different types, including some that contain copper.

NATURAL BABY MAMA has a list of 30 places to buy not only Organic masks for Children, babies and adults. great explication on whether they have a pocket for an extra filter too.

BAMBOEZOR Have a reusable Organic 4 ply mask from sustainable material with filter for both children and Adults- UK – This company offers other baby products such as towels

THE NATURAL BABY.CO Have organic masks for 2-4 year olds made in USA and many other products for babies, such as cloth diapers.

WOOLY ORGANIC – Have masks from 3 years old to adult size, some beautiful soft looking colours too – made in Latvia

PINKSTIX Organic Masks but with added copper and silver– 3 layers

LIST OF TOXIC PRODUCTS TO AVOID FOR YOUR BABY

LESS TOXIC GUIDE have a truly huge list of toxic products that need to be avoided with your baby . Often we are so unaware of what we are using. Thinking it must be safe as it has been produced for our little ones.

MADE SAFE.ORG have a whole article on what products are really best to avoid or be aware of what they can contain. Some of the regulations are in their words scant. This is a well informed and very clear article ,on just what these chemicals can do to your baby or child’s body ,which are so much more vulnerable to the toxins invading their body. One of the most disturbing thing for me, is that these chemicals are not needed, why are they allowed to add them to the products we use for our little ones?

BABIES

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One of the first things we can change is the type of clothing we use. There are many companies offering Organic fabrics such as cotton. I have seen more and more household names offering these at a more reasonable cost. Supermarkets, clothing stores such as H&M and M&S.

GREENOPEDIA is an interesting site that gives the chemicals used when clothing is being produced . Also how to rid your clothing from these chemicals, I never realised there were ways of achieving this. Though obviously if you can avoid the chemicals in the first place it is better. 

There is some Organic products , such as bibs, towels and muslin squares ( I could not live without these, when we had our daughter, so many uses when you have a baby)

I first came across these when living in the States. They were a novelty at first , now they are everywhere. Great when you are getting covered in sick!

Cot sheets are another way to use organic products near your baby. I can never understand why companies are allowed to use chemicals on products near our most vulnerable and precious little ones.

Baby blankets and wraps.

When you think how long they sleep for, to have safe products near their skin

( if you are lucky! our daughter never slept longer than 20 minutes until she was two and a half! total sleep deprivation.)

It was a total shock when she first slept through the night.

Then you spend hours popping in and out just to look at them ,thinking something must be wrong, as it is so unusual!

Nappies /Diapers

After going through a bunch of the environmental issues with these, I had heard they took ages to decompose , but to find it could be hundreds of years, well that was an eye opener for me. I felt really guilty if we had had to use a disposable when travelling.

Through the nappy stage of your baby , I read on the website BABY LOVE TO KNOW.COM that in the first year they can go through 2,500 nappies, that is just the first year! Multiply that to the babies in one year the amount of nappies must be staggering. Then of course they are soiled as well, which must add to the problems in the landfills.

For us it was a conscious decision to use a non- disposable nappy. Like these.  The only thing we found was that some clothing really didn’t have enough room to fit a bulkier nappy into. It was OK with dresses but still some of those came with the matching panties to cover the nappy. It would have been helpful to find clothing companies to offer different clothing especially trousers and shorts. BUBBLEBUBS have some solution for this very problem. This is an Australian company, who offer cloth nappies. Mumsnet.com have a discussion on what they have found works too. For us I used to buy a size up, to fit over the nappy. Some makes that have been suggested in being a little roomier are H&M . We found some of the supermarkets own brands not bad either, such as Sainsburys.

I admit that when we had to travel, with no way of dealing with the washing, we had to use disposables.

Now that they have developed a more eco type nappy, it seems as though the recycle part needs to be separate from the normal rubbish bin collection ,for those type of nappies, to allow them to compost correctly. I do wonder who is offering that at a street level. I have never seen a refuse truck with that option.

Here in France they just have the large bins at the corner of a street so you would have no choice in the nappy side. The rest of recycling is in a different section.

With the cloth type of nappy, it gave us more control on what we were putting near our babies skin.

Also knowing that there were no chemicals involved in the fabric and washing of these, was great. Also the covers were really cute.The only issue we found was that some of the clothing out there were produced with the disposable nappy in mind, this made it difficult to get on certain trousers or close fitting outfits, as the non- disposable ones are more bulky.

When I was visiting a friend in the States, she had a service that came and collected the diapers to wash them, then return them clean. Great if you just don’t have the time. Though I am not sure what they were washing them in!

BABY LOTIONS AND PRODUCTS 

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As ever, I am totally impressed with the EWG Data base on safer products and their rating system. the link above goes to their search on baby lotions. I wish I had this available when my girls were small.

This link on Amazon goes to safer products for babies, although I still think you need to check out each of the ingredients, on the product you are looking for. What I am often surprised at, is that some products still have almond oil in them. I understand the quality of this oil, but if you have a child who allergic to nuts it is a huge problem. We found that we were constantly looking at the small print on the labels, not always easy! We even found a peanut oil in a child’s vitamin, so dangerous.

As I have mentioned before, not all of the Organic products are 100% free from non- Organic ingredients. You really need to read the small print. As I have found out.

BABY WIPES/ COTTON WOOL

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I couldn’t believe just what was in a baby wipe. They are so convenient but when you look at the chemicals in them and the environmental side, it makes you think. 

Though you also hear of these being chucked down the loo, along with cotton wool and ladies products, they are a nightmare to clean up and end up blocking everything.

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH have an informed article on this.There is just too much plastic in these products, it is of course going to end up in the sewerage and oceans.

 I READ LABELS FOR YOU has a comprehensive article on just what is hidden in baby wipes, from plastic to chemicals. 

I love the sound of these baby wipes, totally Biodegradable and without harmful chemicals, different products and ingredient list on this link for JACKSON REECE .

Here is another list of Baby Wipes which are organic and also Biodegradable. This video , gives a way of making your own wipes. Though be careful,some have been found to get mouldy. As they do not have a preservative in them.

Cotton wool, looks and feels great, safe right? The problem with cotton is the amount of pesticides used on the plants. It could also have been bleached or dyed. PRAVRA.CO.UK have a selection of organic products without the chemicals. They also offer Ladies Hygiene products too.

CREAMS, LOTIONS AND TALC 

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When we had our daughter, you seem to be either cleaning bottoms, bathing or washing their clothes on a constant bases.

You really have to look closely on some of the creams on the market. As I mentioned in another blog, I purchased some baby lotion,organic in our local supermarket. I admit to picking it up in a rush.But when I read the ingredient list, not all items were marked organic.It also had the word fragrance on it.

There is a multitude of names that are now offering an organic solution such as BURTS BEES or these I have found here 

Though still look at the labels for anything that you are not happy with. I always had to be careful with any nut oils on one of my daughters, aware  of any allergies.

BABY BATHS AND BUBBLES 

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A friend of ours said “bathing with some products , is like sitting in a chemical soup”. That has stuck in my mind when you look into what is in some of these bubble baths. They can contain such chemicals as Formaldehyde, artificial fragrance, which as we have found can contain a multitude of chemicals, also certain preservatives to give it a longer shelf life. Puracy.com are one company offering a natural solution, giving a link to a list of all their ingredients to help you make an informed decision. They also give an in depth look at just what chemicals can be found in baby bubbles.

EWG have a list of safe baby bubbles , their list includes a rating coloured coded for safer products.

EWG search bar

Uniquely j tear-free baby bubble bath, fragrance free has come out as one of their safer brands. I found this on a website called jet.com

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Sooo Cute ! those days are long gone!

WASHING CLOTHING AND BEDDING For Babies and Children.

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It is great to use Organic cottons and fabrics against the skin of your Children, but what about when you wash their bedding and clothing in washing liquid or fabric softener. Adding the chemicals to their lives through that method.

We all want the fabrics to be soft when touching their delicate skin, but they will be sleeping on and wearing these chemicals all the time.

There is a lovely sounding baby washing powder by FYSIO which is from 100% grated virgin olive oil soap without ( Chemical Free, Sulfates Free, Phosphates Free, Phthalates Free, Enzymes Free, Dyes Free, SLS Free, SLES Free, Parabens Free, PEG Free, colors & perfumes Free) taken from the link

Some of the washing powders or liquids , even though they are Organic still have the Fragrance or perfume listing with no idea what that actually entails.

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I used to be able to find a pure soap flake product which was great for hand washing some of the clothing. It was getting harder to find, everything seems to have added perfumes.

This one by Almawin is only fragranced with an organic Lavender essential oil. We haven’t tried this but it looks worth looking into. I do have one daughter who has issues with Lavender oil, though I love the soft fragrance.

This is a link here to the blog with many other washing solutions. 

GREAT IDEAS FOR CARRYING AROUND YOUR LITTLE ONE 

I wanted to share this video which I thought was helpful if you have never used one of these before, we were a bit clueless when we first purchased one.

This one is a fantastic shirt for dad or mum to carry your baby around with you ,I did feel rather shocked when I saw the price, but it is possibly because it is an American product, it is by a company called LALABU.COM

There are a number of different alternatives on this list here. 

We used something similar when our daughter was a baby, she hated being apart from us, and she constantly needed to be carried around.

She was no light weight! We had a sling type method which was a godsend ! She lived in there for about a year, some of them you can put on your back as your little one grows heavier. I remember we were travelling in Italy in the summer. Totally beautiful, but I ended up carrying a heavy six month old in a sling everywhere! You do need to be careful that they are not overheating. I think that I did everything with her attached to me. Even the cleaning! The sling we bought was so helpful, even to breast feed whilst we were out and about.

FOOD ,WHAT IS BETTER? HOW TO BE AWARE OF WHAT YOU ARE BUYING

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We all want to give our babies and children the best of everything.

I know it can be hard to make things from fresh all the time, as everyone has busy lives, maybe you have to work, and just don’t have the time.

But after seeing this article yesterday, it really has shocked me.  It popped up on a news feed that I have.

CNN have said that 95% of tested baby foods in the USA contain Toxic metals.

And 73% contain ARSENIC !

How on earth can that happen? They do give a list of alternatives to help reduce the risks. I had read before about RICE products that naturally have Arsenic in them , even Organic grains. That has led to us only using rice on a more restricted basis, but there is a lot of baby food products that contain rice as a starter food.

This link to the FOOD REVOLUTION will give you some more information.

The other area where we are always careful , is the container the food comes in, plastic? glass or tin? Some are in foil sachets too. Just to be aware of what can leach into the food you are serving. We normally stick to glass containers where we can to minimise any risk.

PICKY EATERS 

Some ideas that I used when our daughter was small.

When our daughter was a baby, she would eat anything I made.

She loved Broccoli and would cheerfully eat all of the meal I gave her.

As she grew we had more challenges with her eating. I wanted to give you a couple of tricks that I used to get her to eat a healthier diet. I have to admit I still use some of these methods if she is refusing certain vegetables. It still works!!

I have often seen articles about hiding vegetables in a tomato sauce or a blended soup.

We are vegetarian as well, so I wanted her to eat lentils as well for a balanced diet.

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A favourite then and now is Pizza.

Yes I do add vegetables to the sauce, I find it much easier to precook the vegetables so that they are very soft, and can be blended and the sauce remains smooth.

She is tricky! she would see even the smallest lump! I don’t know if you have a child like that. You have to hide everything, or a possible battle on your hands.

I make our own pizzas, so when making the dough, I would cook red lentils until they were very soft. Then I would use these as part of the liquid to make the dough.

Once cooked they go to a pale yellowy colour and can be hidden.

That was very satisfying to see our daughter eat and enjoy a pizza but with the added benefits of being healthy.

Being a Vegetarian, we are trying to cut out the cheese , I can not believe it has taken us this long to find this product called Nooch or Nutritional Yeast for its longer name, this product is great for a veggie. You can purchase it with the vitamin B12 which is one of the things that can be lacking in a Veggie diet. I am not sure what age you can use this product from. If our daughter had her way , she would add it to everything! She even eats it on its own. It has a” nutty flavour “. It can also be used as a pizza topping , but it doesn’t look the same as cheese when melted. Or it can be used in a sauce.

OTHER WAYS TO HIDE FRUIT AND VEGETABLES

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Making Ice lolly’s works really well , using fresh fruit, pureed too. If it even resembles a fruit it can be hard sometimes to get them to try it.

Of course smoothies are also a great way to hide fruit or vegetables.

FOODS TO BUY 

There seems to be a huge amount of companies out there vying for your business, baby food is big business.

This is just one list of some of the companies out there 

I was lucky to be able to make most of my children’s food . One book that I found really helpful was VEGETARIAN FOOD FOR HEALTHY KIDS by NICOLA GRIMES it gave me some different ideas , which was great even if you are not a vegetarian. There are some really great ideas out there.( I loved this book, until our Labrador puppy ate it! )

If you are going to refrigerate some of the portions ( they are so tiny at first) then ,here are some ideas so that you are not going to get any chemicals leeching into your baby or toddlers food. The glass ones are the best material to avoid chemicals.

Wean Green  have a whole selection of glass storage containers.

There is a great article on one of my favourite websites called Food Revolution Network , called 7 useful Ideas You can Use to Help Kids Eat More Plants. Even if this is just part of what they eat.

BOTTLES FOR BABIES

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The chemicals in some plastics can first effect your baby in the womb, THE TELEGRAPH NEWSPAPER this year followed a study done in Barcelona Spain , where they tested pregnant women’s urine samples, the scary thing was that 4 out of 5 women had BPA and other Phenols . This can come from a multitude of sources, internal and external. They believe these chemicals may effect your babies breathing.

This reminded me of a TV program I saw on finding the chemicals from dry cleaning in your breast milk. It is incredible that these everyday things can effect us and our children so much. We haven’t used the dry cleaners for years since we saw that program. I just buy fabrics that can be washed now. Even curtains. It just isn’t worth the risk to your health. I have a few more ideas here, on how to “dry clean” at home , without the chemicals. Dry Cleaning isn’t even dry, perhaps they should call it chemical cleaning?

WAYS TO RELAX YOUR BABY NATURALLY

Finding gentle lotions that you can use to help your baby relax and connect with you.

Something like this BURTS BEES Nourishing baby oil 100% natural . It is so therapeutic especially if your little one is like our daughter and won’t sleep.

I just wanted to add some ideas on allowing your little one to relax and sleep better. I guess we all have had sleepless nights, from babies to toddlers. Web Md have some great tips on how to get your little ones to get into a healthy sleep routine.

TOYS , SOFT AND HARD

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As with a lot of plastics, they can have additives such as the chemical BPA( MAYO CLINIC) what are they doing to us? I am sure you have seen as I have the BPA- FREE signs on some plastic items. Are plastic toys safe for a child? What happens when they chew a chunk off? Green child magazine has some answers on what are in these products.Explaining the problems that most toys have PVC, which can leach out when they are sucked or chewed. The huge worry with this is that its not just toys but teething rings, teats on bottles that could have these chemicals in them.Can you believe some plastic toys can also contain Lead!This can make the plastic last longer. Yuk!They suggest the safest plastic for toys is  polypropylene( thoughtco.com) What about the paints on some wooden toys, or the fabrics used for plush toys such as teddies. Whattoexpect.com have a list of safe toys and products for babies and children, giving clear examples of what to to look for in a toy.

Give me the good stuff. also cover how to buy safe toys. Non toxic Toys.

There are some great companies out there if you want to paint your children’s toys safely such as Milk Paint, they cover oils as well.

ECOS PAINTS.net also have tips on how to prepare old wooden toys and what paints are safe to use.

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Wooden toys always look great, they look natural and safe, but as with everything, look closely to see where they have been made, this will ensure that the paints are safe to give to your little one. I prefer the natural products without the paint, remembering to look at any oils or vanishes used as well.

The Tot.com cover some of the toxic paint that can be on wooden toys, they good advice on buying outdoor toys, even tents and play equipment. Some books made of plastic for use in the bath, might seem a good idea but can be filled with toxic material. They again cover all the problems covering plastic toys and what can be found in them.

Small footprint family , explain the problems that can also occur with soft toys such as teddies, dolls and rubber toys. Some of the soft toys containing chemicals for fire retardants. That is always a balance of not having something flammable to having those chemicals basically going to bed with our children. Of course with toys or teddies it is the small items that can be part of the toy that can also be a serious problem if the toys haven’t been made correctly and checked. Healthy Child .com have some ways of finding safe soft toys without the chemicals.

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The HUFFPOST have 22 non- toxic toys that can be found on Amazon.

Bellalunatoys have a range of Non toxic and Natural toys.What is great is that you can also look in the age range you want too.