Tag Archives: mom

DIY All-Natural Baby Body Wash

16 Nov

DSC_4851

This recipe is so easy I don’t even know if it warrants a blog post. But post I shall, because when I was a 15 weeks pregnant first time mommy browsing the aisles of my local Babies R Us to make a grand wish list of junk my baby may or may not need, I had no clue what to do come bath time.

I had bought into the illusion that to keep my child sparkly clean, I needed to buy the piles of baby bath products lining the shelf of the baby bathroom aisle. Since every single bath product (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, etc.) was on the new baby “essentials” checklist the store handed out, I assumed, naturally, that I would be using all of these products on my newborn the moment she popped out of me. If I didn’t, I’d be a bad mother with a dirty baby. Right???!

With the help of wonderful crunchy momma friends (thanks Bree!) and gleaning info from the interwebs on the science behind baby skin and the way it all works, I finally have this whole bath time thing (mostly) sorted out.

Using the giant pile of “recommended” products on your baby isn’t natural or healthy at all. Especially not the majority of products out there. I didn’t discover all of this until around the month Tessa was born. I didn’t even think to question the current status quo of baby bath routines till I discovered the Johnson and Johnson baby products scandal, which I wrote about earlier in my DIY Baby Wipes article.

Basically, it was discovered not too long ago that Johnson & Johnson’s iconic baby shampoo contains the formaldehyde-releasing preservative quaternium-15, as well as the chemical byproduct 1,4-dioxane. Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are known carcinogens. They’re even freaking listed on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services list of known human carcinogens NOT to be used in cosmetic products. And here we are, slathering this toxic junk on our newborns skin. W.T.F?!

Baby skin is like a sponge. It soaks up EVERYTHING. That’s why you can’t even put sunscreen on an infant. The SAFE chemicals in sunscreen will get soaked up into a newborns skin and literally POISON the newborn with an overload of chemicals that would just safely sit on top of an adults skin.

So all of that said, the fact is, the best way to care for your baby’s skin is to keep it away from products – even “natural” ones, for the most part. A newborns system has to work extremely hard to remove toxins from the bloodstream, so the less you use on your baby’s skin, the better. God has designed our little munchkins so magnificently – they have naturally protective oils in their skin that are better not washed off.

BUT! Every once in awhile, if baby is getting really grimy, you CAN use extremely gentle natural cleansing solutions on your baby to help clean off and sanitize the gunk that can gather in those beautiful chunky baby skin folds.

DSC_4808

DSC_4838

Here’s the utra-simple recipe I use for our DIY All-Natural Baby Body Wash:

1 cup of warm water

2 tablespoons Castile soap

1 vitamin e capsule

Castile soap is made by a process called saponification, a process in which an alkali is added to oil. This is how soap had been made for centuries until the recent proliferation of synthetic surfactants, which consist of potentially toxic chemicals. *cough*Johnson and Johnson*cough*

Castile soap made by saponification is safe because none of the unreacted alkali remains in the soap. And since the soap is made with gentle natural oils, like olive oil, it is one of the gentlest cleansing agents you can use on your baby. Used sparingly, the soap will cleanse without drying or irritating delicate baby skin, and what is absorbed into your little ones skin won’t pose a threat to her delicate little system. Just be careful with your baby’s eyes because saponified soap is not tear-free – only baby shampoo made synthetically can be tear-free.

Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant found in many plant and animal based foods. Vitamin E oil closely mimics the natural oils found in your babies skin, and is one of the few natural oils that are safe for direct use on newborns. The tiny amount added to the baby wash serves as a moisturizer and a preservative for your little squirt bottle of baby wash.

And there you have it! I use this stuff sparingly on Tessa, and only when she gets milk getting all grody in her neck folds. Or if she has a particularly explosive diaper. But we try not to use it all the time – and only sparingly when we do use it. For instance, the last two baths were just plain ol’ warm water baths with a wash cloth to gentle wipe away any sticky milk grime.

If your baby appears to be suffering from dry skin, cut back on the frequency of bath times and use a gentle, safe, natural moisturizer like a DIY All-Natural Diaper Rash Cream to spot treat dry patches.

And voila! Bath time with baby, made simple and fun! I am so lucky that my little Tessa loves bath time so much. She giggles, and splashes, and laughs, and watches the water droplets with such wonder in her eyes. It is such a fun bonding time for Jonathan and I as a new little family. I am going to forever treasure our bath times with baby!

DSC_4866

Advertisements

Mothers Day and My Mission Statement on Motherhood

12 May

DSC_4052

This is my first Mother’s Day as a mom! There is a little 21 week old baby happily swimming around in amniotic fluid in my belly, kicking at my bladder and stomping on my cervix and generally reminding me every moment that I am growing a peoples. And I could not be more excited. I’M A MOMMY!!!!

I have always dreamed of being a mother. I’ve spent far too many hours of my childhood mothering dolls, children, pets, etc. My baby crazy haze is partially why I currently have 5 cats. It’s really less crazy cat lady and more, lady with unfettered maternal instincts run amok, and oh god give me more furry things to cuddle.

This is also my mother and my mother-in-laws first Mothers Day as grandmothers. So the gifts Jonathan and I decided to give are Tessa centered!

At 18 weeks, during Tessa’s anatomy scan, we received some gorgeous 3D ultrasound images. So far these have only been plastered over Instagram, so for Mothers Day we decided to have these framed for our moms.

DSC_4043

DSC_4047

While window shopping at Marshall’s not too long ago, we spotted some Valerie Bertinelli picture frames and I knew these would make the perfect gift for mums day. American actress Valerie Bertinelli launched her namesake boutique line of home accessories last year as part of a limited release, and they are no longer available, except at TJ Maxx and Marshalls outlets. (God, I love those stores so hard.) So I am happy that we were able to snag a couple of these designer frames before they were cleared out.

The frames are hand carved and painted, and the simple design and 4×4 image window make for a perfect showcase of our beautiful little baby. Isn’t she precious?!

Jonathan and I are still visiting his family and so we spent our Mothers Day at a cabin in Hoodsport, Washington, a little town along the misty coast. Jonathan and his dad treated Connie Jo and I to handmade crepes and coffee for breakfast, then we went for a hike in the Olympic Peninsula. It was lightly sprinkling, and the mossy green everywhere was just breathtaking. In addition to the special treatment and wilderness hike, Jonathan also got me some aromatherapy socks, pink fuzzy slippers and a specialty olive oil diffuser spray for my first Mothers Day. ^_^

DSC_4653

DSC_4648

So I’ve decided that now, while Tessa is still just a wiggle in my belly, and before I’m dealing with the demands and pressures and craziness that a baby outside the belly is sure to bring, that I’d like to make a kind of “mission statement” on what kind of mother I want to be. That way I can come back, year after year, and make sure I am still being everything I have always wanted to be for my children. I’m hoping this will serve as my North Star of motherhood, and that as the years go by, I will add to this list and stay true to it, heart and soul.

I will always love my children unconditionally and constantly strive to let them know that they are loved and cherished.

I will do everything in my power to ensure that my children are healthy both physically and emotionally. I will provide healthy foods for my children and foster healthy eating habits and good hygiene.

I will expose my children to a variety of cuisines, music, hobbies, art and locations and give them every opportunity to be cultured and world-savvy. I want my children to be as comfortable in a fine art museum as they are hiking through a forest.

I will let my kids explore their interests, and foster a creative and imaginative spirit. I will encourage playing make-believe, playing dress up, singing silly songs and using mom and dad as a jungle gym. I will let them know that a light spirit and a sense of humor, even when things go wrong, is a virtue.

I will raise my children in a godly, Christ-centered household where family prayers, Bible studies and Christian outreach is regular and sincere. I want my kids to be familiar with the Word of God and to see the love of Christ lived out in their parents.

I will homeschool my kids and make every opportunity a learning opportunity for them. I will impart life lessons as a day to day experience of life and surroundings and teach my kids to think, not just to learn. I will foster a love of literature in my kids and give them ample opportunities to be involved in activities in their community.

I will do my best to teach my children morals and ethics, and to work towards an attitude of humility, honesty, integrity and goodwill toward others. I will give them opportunities to be good stewards of their surroundings, from nurturing, loving and raising animals to tending a garden and protecting our environment.

I know that there are many more things that I would like to add to this list (and most likely will add each year) but I figure for now this is a good start. I know this blog is young, and my readers are all over the place in their lives and their interests, but I really would like some feedback… what do YOU have in your mission statement that differ from mine or that you would add that I have missed??