Monday, May 22, 2006

Bathing Baby

I am not the kind of parent that slathers my baby in lotions and powders bottoms religiously. I am very serious about using as little as possible on babies. I have used baby lotions and powders, but do not suggest using them all the time, or purchasing them just because you are having a baby. The most that any baby needs from the start is something to wash his hair, and something to wash his body.

While the most popular “natural” products are soap products, I prefer to use products that are soap-free. This is because soap-free products work much better in hard water, and more importantly, they do not tend to clog pores like soap products do. It is very important to babies’ health and skin health that the pores remain free of anything. The skin is an organ, and it performs functions which can be altered if the tiny pores are clogged. If you do want to use a soap product, we recommend
all natural baby soap.

If you prefer a soap-free cleanser, we suggest Logona. While reading the ingredient list might be scary, we have checked out the ingredients, and it is the safest we have been able to locate. We will provide more information on Logona soon.

Bathing a baby naturally does not stop there. You also need to think about the water that you are bathing your baby in. Not only should YOU be
showering in filtered water, you should also fill your baby’s tub with filtered water. Not only does this get rid of any chlorine from the water, it also filters out any iron, lead, arsenic, mercury, hydrogen sulfide, several types of bacteria, algae, fungi and mold. You don’t want your baby breathing in the vapors from unfiltered water, nor do you want these things getting absorbed through her skin.

Other things you should do include using very little baby wash, and allowing your baby to enjoy a “baby wash free” time in the tub. It takes very little baby wash to do a great job. It’s also important that you don’t wash your baby first, then allow her to sit in the soapy water. This is especially important for little girls who are more prone to urinary tract infections. Allow her to play in clean water for a while, then wash her, rinse her, and quickly remove her from the tub. If you have help from your spouse, it is even better to take your newborn into the shower as long as you feel comfortable handling a baby. (The spouse is not necessary for this; just helps when you can hand the baby to a waiting towel!) Many parents find good, clean water does a great job cleaning their baby and they use baby wash very infrequently.

If you have gotten this far and you are still wondering what’s wrong with all those $3 bottles of baby shampoo on the grocery store shelves, they have lots of ingredients that are not necessarily looking out for the health of your baby. Many ingredients have been approved for use in “small amounts” but over time we have come to realize that when you put “small amounts” in everything, it adds up. As a general rule, anything that is mass produced for the general public is made as cheaply as possible with the most inferior ingredients available. I don’t know about you, but that’s not good enough for MY baby!

Monday, May 08, 2006

What IS Natural Baby Care?

Natural Baby Care has become a popular phrase and keyword for many on-line stores and parents looking for products that are more “natural.” But what exactly IS natural baby care? For most, it is simply using shampoo, lotions, and other baby care that is more gentle or natural than the mainstream products placed on store shelves by corporate giants. For us, it goes deeper than that.

Viewing the baby as a whole being, we need to be concerned with a number of things, and not just what is being used to clean the baby. Another popular phrase, “Natural Parenting” is similar in meaning to Natural Baby Care and most natural parents also subscribe to the use of natural baby care products. But in my opinion, “Natural Parenting” is more a way of life aimed at producing socially and emotionally well-rounded children, while “Natural Baby Care” is more focused on the physical health aspects of baby care.

Regardless of how you define either phrase, most people will agree that overall, subscribing to either belief system defines you as “alternative,” “anti-mainstream,” and even “anti-doctor.” This is because the focus is on preventing problems, rather than fixing them. Mainstream people typically use the cheap, store bought products that contain all sorts of unknown chemicals, and when their child gets sick, they immediately call the doctor. Mainstream parents use pharmaceutical drugs much more frequently than alternative parents, whether for their child or themselves.

If you make the step to natural baby care shampoo, soap, etc. it’s really unnatural to disregard other steps to protect your baby from things that can make him sick. By using safer products on his skin, you are protecting him from chemicals that enter the body through the skin. But what about what he eats? The air he breathes? The water he drinks? What about other chemicals entering his body through these functions performed daily? For true protection, we must consider the WHOLE baby and the dangers out there just waiting to cause harm to their rapidly developing bodies.

We will start with what most people consider “Natural Baby Care” and move on to the more often missed topics that are equally as important to raising a healthy baby. Right now, our “natural children” need my attention so I will return as soon as possible with more natural baby care information!