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“What are the Natural New Baby Essentials?” plus Weekend Links

admin January 19, 2013

Welcome to our weekend links!  Every Saturday, we post a reader question and all the awesome posts from our sister sites and contributors.  This week’s question is all about new baby essentials!

Make sure you don’t miss all the excellent contributors’ posts…and two giveaways happening on our sister sites!

This Week’s Reader Question

“I am pregnant with my first baby. What all natural baby care products do you recommend? I find a few out there but not sure which is best. I’m looking for bathing essentials, lotion, and wipes. Also, which chlorine/chemical free diapers do you recommend? Thanks.”

It’s hard when you’re preparing for your first baby to know what you really need — and what’s a good/safe brand of anything.  While there are many natural baby care products out there, there are some simple options that I like that can you started.  (Just my preferences though!)

Bathing

Babies don’t really need more than water in most cases.  If they do (the diaper area can get messy sometimes!), I like Dr. Bronner’s plain castile soap, or Burt’s Bees baby wash.  These are very safe.

If you need baby powder, try one based on bentonite clay, like the one Redmond Clay makes (or just use plain bentonite clay).

For lotion, any plain oil is good — I prefer avocado, but olive, jojoba, sweet almond, etc. will work.  I don’t recommend coconut only because it can be drying to skin.  This oil can also help to clean meconium off their bottoms in the first few days.  Keep some unbleached cotton pads to help with this job.

I also recommend a big, soft towel to wrap baby in.  The baby towels aren’t very big, warm, or absorbent.  The big towels are also good for sponge baths, which are all babies really need for the first few weeks and really up to six months (until they are big enough to sit in a bath tub and really enjoy splashing).

Diapers/Wipes

I personally love cloth diapers, and I sew my own.  If you need disposables, there is Seventh Generation, Huggies Pure & Natural, and a Pampers natural brand (I can’t remember the name).  I usually went for one of the first two, on the occasions that we temporarily used disposables.

For wipes, I use cloth at home (with plain water) and I buy whatever natural brand is available for on the go — a store brand, Seventh Generation, etc.  (I often use Whole Foods’ 365 wipes.  I don’t buy a new pack very often.)

Goldenseal powder and cotton swabs are good for cord care.  Goldenseal is really expensive but you only need a tiny bit.  Dip a swab in the powder and rub it gently around the cord stump at each diaper change.  Goldenseal can also be put on diaper rash.  Or, if you are looking for a cream, Earth Mama Angel Baby makes a good one.  Use only as needed.  (Chronic diaper rash may be a sign of an allergy, to a food or to a chemical in the diapers.)

Those are my best recommendations for baby products!

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7 Comments

  1. Re: diapers…I recently read that Seventh Generation actually dyes their diapers the “natural” brown color. I’ve been buying Nurtured by Nature chlorine free diapers off Amazon at their subscribe and save price. They’re very reasonably priced and work well.

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  2. We use 7th gen diapers, and we love them. I used cloth for a good long time (we are expecting our 4th babe anytime), but through more babies and a couple of moves, I felt I had to choose between cloth and my sanity. I’m pretty sure that the Huggies “natural” brand, while readily available, are not chlorine free. At least they were not when I investigated them several years ago. There are, however, several chlorine free diapers on the market. Personally, we have found diapers.com to be the best place to purchase them. I’ve tried a couple of other brands, but always come back to 7th gen. Gdiapers are another great option. We used these [gdiapers] for a while, but they did cost more than the regular diapers, and we could not sustain the expense.

    I’m a minimalist when it comes to skin products. We use very little. I like Burt’s Bees baby wash, but we bathe our babies VERY infrequently. I cleanse the diaper area at each diaper change, and other than that, my kids have had brief encounters with water every other week or so until about 6 months. I use organic cornstarch to keep little bums dry IF I notice a little redness. Once it’s gone, I stop using it (I just put it in a flour shaker and use as needed). But I’ve never used lotions on my little ones’ skin. I have occasionally used a pure vitamin E oil in a massage when I’ve had time or it seems like they might enjoy that extra soothing.

    Babies really need so little! With my first, I felt an obligation to use certain things or to do certain expected things, but discovered that most “expected” baby trappings made our lives more complicated. A few diapers, some comfy clothes, and a baby sling or carrier (and the knowledge to use it safely) are all I find I need for the first few months!

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  3. Why are some of the Contributor’s Posts links through Facebook? Is there not a way to link to them directly?

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  4. So true..Great site thanks x

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  5. Thus web site is really insightful. I love all the interesting ideas and products.I have a question. Is there some kind of natural mosquito repelant for toddlers? My son has very sensitive skin, and I really hate using all the chemicals?

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  6. […] can be used as a baby powder just by sprinkling a bit of clay onto the bum or can be mixed into a homemade diaper cream to […]

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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