Green Parenting l 10 “Biotiful” Ways Of Raising Your Baby

I was naturally inclined to use mostly eco-friendly, natural, and chemical-free products for baby long before she was born. Here is a list of ten things you could do to bio-tify your baby.

  • Diapers. They produce so much waste that they had to be on the top of the list. Cloth diapering would be the greener option but for those of you who can’t or don’t want to cloth diaper, eco-friendly diapers are  better than big brand names. They are free of many of chemicals and work just as well as their counterparts. We do both and it works wonders for us. Sixtine has never had a rash since she was born and we don’t use any ointment.
  • Wipes. Even the milder wipes are very irritating for the skin of your baby. You could make your own baby lotion and use cloth wipes, or if you are like my husband and like things to be practical, get scent-free, chlorine-free, alcohol-free, paraben-free wipes. I have used several brands (Naty, Seventh Generation,…) but my favorites are the NatraCare which are just the best. “They are free from detergents such as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) or any of its close relatives, parabens, SHG and other types of formaldehyde releasing preservatives.” They are very efficient, smell naturally delicious and leave Sixtine’s bum moisturized and softened.
  • Baby products. Wash. Shampoo. Balm. I know times are hard but don’t let yourself bribed by big brand name companies and check the labels of your baby’s products. You will be surprised to see how many toxic chemicals are in them. I use products such as Lüsa organics, Dimpleskins and I am always on the look for new natural products.
  • Food. Many store-bought meals (ie.jars) contain lots of preservatives, thickening, salt, and sugar that your children don’t need. They also don’t taste as good as a real homemade meal so why take the chance? If you don’t have time to cook, then look for organic products are they are a much healthier and tastier option for your baby.
  • Clothing. Organic cotton, pure cotton and bamboo are the best for your babies’ skin. I like my daughter to look nice and unfortunately, organic clothing is expensive and not always very fashionable which is why I only buy them in onesies. They are the closest to her skin; she looks nice on the oustide and (I like to think) feels wonderful inside.
  • Detergent. Babies are messy, the real kind ! They go through a lot of clothes and if you are cloth diapering, you can double or triple the number of laundry a week.  A great brand we use is Rockin Green Laundry Detergent, you can also use other eco-friendly detergent that will respect baby’s sensitive skin and Mother Nature. Another great option would be soap nuts  which are suitable for the most sensitive skin and are organic and vegan.

  • Check your labels always and refer to EWG, Environment Working Group, (“works to protect kids from toxic chemicals in our food, water, air and the products we use every day.”) to find out if your products are safe and compare them.
  • Natural play. Outdoors, wooden toys, homemade playdough, flower and leaves picking…, they are a lot of natural ways of playing that are non-toxic and will bring a lot more to your children than some over-stimulating toys. Be crafty and creative !
  • Bring Earth awareness to your home. If Mummy and Daddy are respectful to the Earth, baby will as well.
  • Now tell us. How Biotiful is your baby? Please share your tips on to raise an eco-friendly baby !

Finally, I know that it is not always possible to get the greener option (financial, location, or even lack of knowledge on the subject) and I am still learning everyday. I think the more important is to try and get informed. I am lucky to have a few green-oriented friends who have been very helpful in the process and I will be happy to answer questions to the best of my abilities or direct you to someone who would know.

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Comments

  1. bellissimom says:

    We have been using unscented, off brand diapers but are converting over to cloth as soon as he can fit into what we have. I have been amazed by how many diapers we go through in a day and it disgusts me to think how full the landfills must be with just dirty diapers. It seems like something has to change – this is just not a sustainable model. We have also been using homemade wipes about half the time so we know what goes onto our baby’s skin. For baby care products we use California Baby, which I really like.
    Looking forward to see what tips and pointers other readers post as well.

  2. mrsdressup says:

    Of course, those are all brands in Canada, and not available in the UK…. we used cloth nappies and eco-disposables when we went on holiday – Nature Baby, and their wipes as well. They weren’t soapy like the Pamper ‘sensitive’ ones we were given. We still use Ecover laundry soap and did before our son was born! We Baby-led Weaned and I still go on this website which has mums from all over the world on it: http://www.babyledweaning.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=12 – lots of support and help on many topics, not just weaning!

    • I actually bought Natra Care products in France. They are distributed by these companies in the UK: http://www.natracare.com/WhereToBuy.aspx?CountryId=31&PageId=23&CultureId=en-GB.
      I use Ecover as well and I love their products ! Would love some recipe ideas or tips about baby-led weaning if you have time ! I am already on the forum but I haven’t been very active. Thank you !

      • mrsdressup says:

        Hey, I have tons, but really just give her whatever you are eating. No honey or nuts is the rule for under 1’s, unless there are allergies in your family. And don’t worry about spicy foods, let her try them – the faces will be priceless, but I bet she’ll come back for more. Messy foods like porridge and yogurt you can spoon-feed or jsut put on a spoon for her to try, Just follow her lead if she wants more or not. “My Daddy Cooks” is a good cookbook, by another BLW’er – you should be able to get it on Amazon. The only thing I would suggest to stay away from is Couscous! Horribly messy unless you make it wet! Tiny little bits everywhere……. and don’t worry if she doesn’t eat much right away, until 1 yr old, BM or Formula is what she’ll get her calories from!

  3. mrsdressup says:

    oh, and I forgot to say that we used terry muslins cut up and hemmed and soaked in chamomile tea when he was very small – it’s anti-septic, anti-fungal and i think we had a bad rash once…. you can use this on new-borns!

  4. We use Paraben-free, Sulfates-free wipes and soap, and lotion for TJ, and actually for the whole family. I have a lot of organic-cotton vests from when he was a baby but as you say they are very expensive. For our laundry, we use a detergent “au savon de marseille” (French Eco-friendly ;-).
    And now that TJ is getting older we are also educating him a little. For example he knows we have 3 different bins to recycle and where to put what. We also make sure he does not throw things on the floor but put them in a bin (especially outside).
    I have also recently bought an Aloe Vera plant, some Cactuses and put them in pots next to the Wifi Router. Wireless waves and micro-waves can be harmful to young babies and pregnant women. Plants like Cactuses counteract the effects of the waves. Aloe Vera plants counteract the effects that some glue and products used in modern wooden furniture can have. We also try to use the microwave less than before but it’s still very helpful: we make sure we are not in front of it when it’s warming the food, and it’s on a shelf high up, so far from TJ. xx

    • So interesting ! I wil get those plants as soon as I get home !
      My husband is Canadian and Canadian are very equipped for recycling ! We have a hundred bins in our house (or so it seems). It took me a while to get used to it to be honest and I still make mistake but we are getting there. Hopefully Sissi will be better at this ! Merci Mymy !

  5. Seventh Generation is my favorite non-cloth diaper. You can buy them in bulk on amazon.com and even set up a schedule to have them delivered to you, so you don’t have to worry about it (except when baby changes sizes).

    Happy Baby was my favorite store-bought baby foods. I prefer to make my own, but sometimes convenience would win over.

    I love all of the brands and the tips for helping our babies stay green and away from unecessary chemicals. 🙂

  6. Great post! Off the top of my head, some of the green things I do for my kids/babies are: make my own skin lotion/baby balm by melting 4 parts olive oil and 1 part beeswax, pour into a jar and let it set, it lasts months and months and months! One 30g/1oz bar and some olive oil does 2 or 3 jars. You can melt it on the stove in a double boiler (in a pot, and put that in a pot of boiling water).

    California Baby or Loving Naturals sunblock are really good ones free from bad stuff. I did soooo much research on this last summer!

    Wash them with just water unless they’ve been swimming or are dirty from the playground or sandpit.

    Just discovered that in the UK, Sainsbury’s Little Ones fragrance free are safe(est) from nasties. I prefer to use cut up flannel/facecloths/towels/old pajamas just dipped in water, (or Dr Bronners Baby Mild or my homemade soap if really smelly bummed!) My husband prefers ‘real’ wipes, hence the Sainsbury’s ones!

    Toothpaste is a minefield as well! Most things in toothpaste are bad, it seems. I settled on Dr Organic for the moment. We also liked Sarakan.

    I’ll stop now, maybe I need to write my own blog post on this topic too!

  7. Wow. I just saw that you subscribed to my blog so I wanted to read yours and I am amazed ! Thank you for all the tips and brands you cited because every time I look into this I become so overwhelemed that I can’t buy anything. My baby uses so many diapers that I am considering using a cloth-disposible hybrid. Of course, I will have to look into that more because I am, as always, not sure of what I should buy.

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