Baby powder, baby lotion, baby oil, diaper cream…think about all the products marketed to moms of infants. Many times moms come to believe they absolutely need to have on these on hand. We need them at home, we need them in the diaper bag, we need little travel sized versions stuffed among the diaper cake at our baby shower. It is a huge money making racket for unnecessary products. Unfortunate really because that money is needed elsewhere in most budgets. Even worse though is the fact that these products may not be the safest things to be slathering all over your baby’s skin. In fact, they may be downright toxic.
Online this week I saw a tidbit about a company I have talked about oodles of times previous. According to this news site the FDA suspended the license of Johnson & Johnson for one of their plants. Now surely they have not been permitted to be selling unsafe products for babies right? Actually yes. This article highlights a problem found in 15 batches of baby powder.
Kamlesh B Shende, FDA joint commissioner (drugs), said: “There were unacceptable levels of ethylene oxide, which is a trigger for cancer. Ethylene oxide was being used to bring down microbial load in the powder by sterilisation. But it was found that there was ethylene oxide residue in the talcum powder, which is primarily used on infants. In light of this, we have suspended the licence.”
I cannot find many other sites reporting on this so I can investigate the validity of the claims but this is not a new issue. I already wrote about a some unsavory things found in baby shampoo and bubble bath. You probably already know how bad talc is and talc is in most baby powders. Our government is attempting to make these consumer products a bit safer but they are super slow and they don’t go far enough. Not even remotely far enough. We as consumers have to boycott chemical cocktails disguised as baby products.
You don’t even actually need baby powder. If your baby’s skin is too moist then let them go diaper free for awhile or try cloth diapers, which keep them dryer than paper diapers wrapped in plastic. You can also make your own baby powder.
Homemade Baby Powder Recipe
1 1/2 cups Arrowroot Powder
1/2 cup powdered rose petals or powdered chammomile flowers (organic)
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup white clay, powdered (can also use rice powder)
10-15 drops lavender or chammomile essential oil (optional)
Sift all ingredients together into a mixing bowl, add the essential oils and mix well. Transfer to a shaker style container for easy use. I like this stainless steel powdered sugar, cocoa shaker. Alternatively you might also use a sprouting lid and a mason jar.
You and your baby can do without most of the conventional baby powders. Either avoid them altogether or try the DIY route. To the health of your family!
Are you going to be welcoming a new baby soon or know someone that will be? Well, having a baby shower is one of the most fun things about being pregnant, at least it was for me. I generally didn’t enjoy being pregnant but I certainly loved the anticipation and getting to share my excitement with those closest to me. Baby showers are just a wee bit magical don’t you think?
The folks at Once Upon a Treehouse have shared some baby shower tips with me and I am passing them along to you…along with the opportunity to win one of their fabulous handmade dolls. Can you believe that my little girl never much cared for dolls? I played with them until I was 14ish years old so that was a tough pill for me to swallow. In fact I still get a warm gooey feeling when I look at dolls and I especially love handmade dolls.
Baby Shower Tips
Comments in italics are mine…
* Select the theme and color scheme based around the nursery decor – If you are unsure of the nursery decor, I suggest a “natural” color scheme and theme such as outdoors, forest, jungle, etc. It works for both sexes.
*Ask guests to bring along a copy of their favorite childhood book, and they can even inscribe a special message for baby to be – For me that would have to be The Pokey Little Puppy!
* For a shower activity do a group craft and have the guests create something for the new nursery walls or decorate onesies and burp cloths – Cloth diapers on a line would be adorable too
* Have a station with an iPad/phone to take a short video of each guest and their special message for the new parents and baby
* Display seasonal planted flowers or herbs in spray-painted pots for centerpieces that double as the party favors – You might even have your guests do the planting as a fun activity if the weather permits
* Have a few quick and easy games like, have each guest cut a piece of ribbon the length they think will best fit around the honoree’s belly, and the closest one without going over wins
* Instead of spending time on watching the honoree open gifts, ask guests to bring the gifts unwrapped or in a gift bag and have a large table or area where they can be displayed - Love the idea of no gift wrapping!
* A small box filled with a few miniature cupcakes of different flavors is a favor everyone will love! – A waste free favor/gift idea as well :)
Ready to win an adorable handmade doll? The cutie pictured above is what the winner will receive. Her name is Daisy and she is a dollhouse doll made of cotton, wool, and wood. The face is hand painted and she is made in Europe. Ages 3+. Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter, a winner will be chosen on 4/17. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I recently asked the followers on my Natural Family Living Facebook page for some insight into what essential oils they use and what they use them for? I wanted to see what some common uses were and if any creative and new-to-me ideas popped up. I was so impressed with the range of answers that I have decided to share the info here. There are so many every day, practical uses for essentials oils it blows my mind! The power of plants indeed!
My question was “What’s the last essential oil you used? What did you use it for?”
Some of the answers…
Peppermint for headache
Lavender for homemade baby wipes
Rosemary for homemade dish soap
Lavender for a stuffed nose / head cold
Melaleuca in the nostrils to prevent a cold
Sweet orange mixed in baking soda to freshen carpets
Lavender to help mom and child sleep
Tea tree for cleaning
Lavender for a cooking burn
Lavender for seasonal allergies
Clove oil for a toothache
Roman chamomile for relaxation
Tea tree oil for acne
Eucalyptus for cleaning
Peppermint for homemade toothpaste
Lemon to fill a diffuser
Oregano oil to combat a cold
Geranium in the steam room at the gym
Peppermint for lotion and scenting sheets
Eucalyptus for clearing sinuses
Lavender for teething
Eucalyptus in the bath for aches and pains
Rosemary and tea tree for an all purpose spray cleaner
Rosemary and black pepper for muscle aches
Clove oil with vinegar mopping the floor
Thieves for a cold sore and to freshen breathe
Rose hip seed in moisturizer for an anti- aging omega boost
Peppermint in my homemade all purpose cleaner
Patchouli for the wash
Thieves oil on the feet before bed to combat a fever
Lavender to relax in the tub
Lemon for cleaning
Thieves and eucalyptus for a chest cold
Lavender for homemade body butter
Eucalyptus and coconut oil on feet at night to helping with coughing
Teat tree in the cloth diaper bin
Wild orange in the diffuser for calming
Orange to keep the cat off the bed
Peppermint and tea tree to soak cloth diapers in after a rinse, but before the wash
Peppermint for nausea
Lavender in the dryer, instead of using dryer sheets
Thieves for disinfecting after illness
Tea tree for athletes foot
Orange oil to make hand soap
Peppermint and eucalyptus in a rock fountain to freshen air
Orange for homemade cleaning supplies
Tamanu for skin rash/eczema
Tea tree oil to prevent bed bugs
What oils have you used lately???
To purchase essential oils try Mountain Rose Herbs or Amazon. For information I recommend The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. I got this book when I was 20ish years old. Loved it then and love it now.
Ever come across a product that you may have hesitated to buy at first and then it ends up changing your life and you cannot imagine life without it? The Diva Cup is one of those for me. I think I first wrote about this wonderful product about 7 or 8 years now. The concept of reusables came into my life via cloth diapers and then cloth pads for moms. While I have lots of love for those too it was the Diva Cup that ended up being the real game changer. After the second month using it I knew that I would be using a menstrual cup until I no longer needed them anymore (menopause). Also being the big fan that I am, I will happily introduce these to my daughter from the get-go. I only have a few more years until I am likely to do that. Yikes! Where does the time go?
My motivation in trying the cup was to reduce waste and eliminate the need to buy disposable pads and tampons. I also HATED both of these products with a passion. They are more like modern day torture devices and I can see why so many women refer to that time of month as a curse when those are the standard options. Who wants to deal with adult diaper rash from pads and the dryness and possible Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) from tampons? Not me, thank you. Cloth pads I found, were infinitely more comfortable but they also required more work. Storing them until wash day and then actually washing them was not going to make my top ten favorite things to do list. Then I came across a mention of menstrual cups on a cloth diapering message board and I ordered one. We have been likes peas and carrots ever since.
If you are not familiar with The Diva Cup, it is a cup that is inserted just like a tampon is. The “cup” catches your monthly flow and when it is full you simply empty it, wash with soapy water, and reinsert. It is made of soft medical grade silicone, which is latex-free, 100% hypoallergenic and odorless. It comes with a lovely carrying case so that you can keep it clean between uses and hidden away so kids won’t be inclined to steal it and play with it in the tub like it some kind of toy. Not saying that has ever happened but it could…hypothetically. I will say that it is really fun to explain to any male child that happens to be handling the cup, what it is and what it does. ;) This may be why I recently had to replace mine though. After one such conversation it mysteriously disappeared after bathroom cleaning duty. I think it disappeared into the trash. I wasted no time buying a new one and if you need one in a hurry you can find them at Whole Foods usually.
Reusable menstrual products are healthier to use and infinitely more comfortable. They may take some adjustment as some women/girls may be uncomfortable dealing with menstrual blood because of years of using disposable, traditional products. I will admit that I am not squeamish in that regard. Caring for them is pretty easy too.
Have you tried a menstrual cup yet? What are you waiting for?
Related: Alternative Menstrual Products – Ditch the Disposables