The Top 10 Organic Baby Bath and Bed Time Essentials
One: Baby Bodywash/Shampoo
Because I only gave birth seven months ago, I very well remember that feeling of not knowing what I really will need and which products are just unnecessary; there purely to catch out mothers and fathers to be who are frantically trying to prepare for the new arrival; often not knowing what is and is not essential which makes them perfect targets for companies who want to sell little extra bits that aren't actually particularly useful.
As a none-the-wiser first timer, I ended up with more than a few bits that I actually didn't need and were absolutely a waste of money. So, to jump straight in, I would recommend a body wash and shampoo dual-purpose wash for three main reasons:
- It takes up less space than two
- Buying one bottle is cheaper
- A combination wash is just as effective as two individual ones
All-Natural Baby Body Wash And Shampoo
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My Konjac Sponge
Two: A Natural, Eco-Friendly Sponge
This is the type of bath sponge I use for my little boy. I feel that organic and sustainable, eco-friendly products are the way forward for a multitude of reasons and if something is going to be in direct contact with my little one's skin I try to ensure it is as organic and natural as possible.
To be really honest, if you are on a budget and you need to cut one thing off your bathing list, the sponge is the one to lose. I would say I only use it because I have it, if I didn't have it I could live without and not miss it too much.
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Three: Earth Mama's Angel Baby Bottom Balm
Newborn babies are very prone to diaper rash and when it strikes it flares up as a big, red sore patch all around their little bottoms and groin area. When my baby had his first bout of diaper rash, I felt so sorry for him and tried battling it with Sudocrem which had been recommended to me by other mom-friends.
It cleared up after a few days, but when I read about the bottom balm from Earth Mama, I decided to give it a go as I swear by herbal remedies that are as chemical free and natural as possible. It couldn't have arrived at a better time because my poor little man's bottom was beginning to look sore again; I smoothed the balm over all of the red, angry skin and could tell once his nappy was back on that he was instantly more comfortable.
A whole hour passed before I needed to do another nappy change and when I took off his nappy, the affected area was already looking more soothed and less red and irritated. I would highly recommend this balm to any mums and it has lasted me, like so many other Earth Mama products, for ages!
Better Than All The Rest:
Babies Love Water!
Four: A Bath Towel Or Robe
Having used both, I can honestly say the robe is my personal favourite. Towels are fine too, but the hooded robe means that you can wrap your baby up warm and snug and every inch of them is covered by warm, soft and fluffy towelling.
Newborn babies lose their body heat very quickly and they can't regulate their body temperatures and so it is vital to get them wrapped up, dried and then diapered and dressed as quickly as possible after bath time.
Also, I just thought I would mention that I was told by my midwife that you don't need to bathe a newborn for the first week of their life as their body is still covered in the waxy, protective layer known as vernix. This will nourish and protect the skin and so washing off the vernix could end up doing more harm than good. Following the advice given to me, I didn't bathe my newborn for the first seven days. I got by simply washing under his neck, arms and around his bottom area (any bits that were in need of a wash, basically), and that worked out great for us!
The rules and advice are constantly changing, so check with your midwife or health care provider who will be able to give you up-to-date information on bathing.
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Five: Choosing A Bath Tub
Finding a baby bath is great fun. There are so many styles and designs out there that choosing the right bath for your baby is more fun than chore.
As someone who has "been there, done that" the one piece of advice I would give is remember that your child is only going to need a separate bath to the age of about 11 months or one year. After this point, she can safely sit in the "grown up tub", providing an adult is sat with her to supervise. The reason I say this is just because there are now so many bath tubs available which say they are suitable for "up to 7 years" - which is probably a really useful thing for some families but I can't say I see the point for having a separate bath tub for a child past the age of 4 years, as by that time they are well and truly big enough for a full size bath... Maybe I'm just missing the point? I'd love to know...
At any rate, I bought a baby bath for round the $20 mark and I've seen a fair few being advertised for $90 which just seems like a lot of money for something that you only need for a few months. You CAN use them until your child is at school age, but is it going to make life easier, or is it rather pointless?
Anyway, another thing to consider is a bath support. There are hundreds available, from cheap and simple sponge ones to the kind of support that is already a part of the bath, much like the whale tub I have featured here. I thought I wouldn't need a bath support, but as it turns out, they do make life a lot easier, and as my boy was 9lbs 6oz at birth the support took the weight off my back, which was a life-saver!
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First Size Cloth Diapers
Once Washed and Dried...
When it comes to diapering your newborn, more and more people are choosing the "old-fashioned" Terry towelling style cloth diapers, which are the kind I decided to use. They are unbelievably easy to put on a baby and leaves little ones feeling far more comfortable than the classic chemical and paper diapers which are one of the things responsible for babies suffering from diaper rash. Due to the fact the cloth diapers are chemical free, they are a much healthier and more comfortable option for your baby and you would be amazed at how easy they are to use!
Once you have bathed your baby and dried him, the next step is to apply baby oil or lotion if you are using it (and you could even have a go at baby massage at the same time). Next, smooth a bit of bottom balm over that little botty and once that's done you can put on the diaper, bodysuit and sleep suit and by this time your baby will probably be ready for a snooze.
The Babysoy Range Is Beautiful
100% Organic Clothing
Apart from the sweet designs, these sleep suits boast softness, comfort, warmth and no chemicals or harsh dyes that could irritate your baby's delicate skin.
Seven: Organic Pyjamas for Little Ones
If you baby is going to be spending 8-10 hours wearing the same item of clothing at night-time (providing there aren't any 'accidents'), it makes sense to buy some organic pyjamas so that you are providing the maximum amount of comfort for little one.
Newborn babies get all kinds of red spots and small rashes coming up and going away on a regular basis because their skin is still adjusting to being is air rather than the protective fluid that was all around her for the 9 months she spent in her mother's womb. I used organic clothing for my little boy from the start and it did seem that he came up with far fewer mystery spots than some of the other babies I know - however, every single baby is unique and this may not be linked to the use of organic clothing.
I have used a fair few brands that sell organic clothing by now since my son will be 8 months old at the end of this month. The following brands I have used and recommend:
- Babysoy by Janey Baby
- Hudson Baby
- GOTS Certified
I think that as mothers we tend to stick to brands that we know are really great and begin to trust them, so I wanted to pass these brands on to any mothers-to-be who aren't certain which brands to go for.
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Orthodontic and BPA free
Eight: BPA Free Pacifiers
I really hate it when parents get tagged as "lazy" or "silly" for allowing their baby to use a pacifier. There is mixed research about the negatives and positives of using pacifiers to soothe babies, just the same as there are good and bad things for every other parenting decision you can think of.
I chose to let my baby have a pacifier but to only give it to him when he was going down for a nap or at bed time.
My son was exclusively breasted until recently as we have now begun feeding him solids as well as continuing with the breast feeding, and he never had any kind of "nipple confusion" though I know this can happen with some babies, so I'm not saying it's made up or anything.
I read up a lot on the use of pacifiers whilst I was pregnant and the moment when I decided to let my son use one until he was 8 months old (to prevent wonky teeth), was when I read that the sucking can help prevent cot death. I know that cot death is very rare now as babies are put to sleep on their backs etc etc... But anything that can help eliminate the risk is surely not a bad thing? Anyway, for me, the positives outweighed the negatives and if you are considering using a pacifier, I would just say go with your instinct and read the readily available information so you can decide what you want to do comfortably.
If you do decide to use one and like the idea of going as natural as possible, choosing a BPA free, natural-material pacifier is probably one of the best ways to go. Also, there is a fair amount of research that suggests orthodontic pacifiers may help reduce the risk of wonky teeth in the future, which is one criticism for the use of pacifiers.
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Nine: Organic Bedding for Babies
Depending on what you feel is right for your baby, you may want to use a Moses basket or you may feel that it is better to put your little one straight into her cot from the first night.
My baby started out in his Moses basket, but then loved his basket so much he found the transfer into his cot fairly difficult. I think that when I have a second little one I will put him or her straight into the cot, but use a baby comforter nest - if you have ever seen them they are one of the best ideas I've ever come across. They allow newborns to feel surrounded and secure, just like in the womb.
It is easy to forget how a newborn baby is used to being completely curled up and surrounded by the feel and sound of his or her mother, which means that when they are met with the outside world everything suddenly feels open and scary. That is the main reason I used the Moses basket - it is a lot easier on the baby who is trying to fall asleep and they feel much more secure than in a crib which is far bigger.
Whichever type of bed you decide is best for your little one, organic bedding isn't much more expensive than the regular kind and it is extremely good for new, sensitive and delicate skin.
Ten: An Organic Snuggle Buddy
Babies can really find mum-scented things a huge comfort to them when they wake up in the night and find they are not being held or cuddled. By carrying a soft toy, blanket or other snugly object with you for a day, it will absorb your scent and your baby will then come to link comfort with that object.
I did this with my son's cuddly rabbit, which he tends to cling on to at night-time and fall asleep with, and I am pretty certain the scent of me helps to calm him when he is angry or upset - right now there is a lot of tears for my poor sweetheart because he is teething, but the comforters do help a lot.