It’s a little early for EcoFriday, but we still wanted to share a revamped version of a past post of some of our favorite newborn care tips for new moms who are wary of using chemicals on their babies. Enjoy!
1.Avoid using most baby products. WebMD advises parents to keep their newborns away from harsh powders and shampoos to protect their delicate skin and immune systems.
2.There is a right and a wrong time for infant massage. Gagazine’s article on infant massage explains how the time just after a bath or diaper change is perfect for a little touch therapy. Try to avoid touch therapy when the baby appears hungry or cranky.
3.Be gentle when cleaning nipples. When breastfeeding an infant, Medline Plus recommends that mothers prevent drying and cracking nipples by avoiding soaps and drying with harsh cloths or motions. Uncomfortable nipples negatively affect both mother and child.
4.Cleanse baby acne with water. As a residual of connecting with his or her mother’s hormones, some newborns break out into small acne patches. Avoid using oils or lotions that can irritate it further, but very mild, all-natural soaps may work in more severe cases.
5.Wash cloth diapers with baking soda and rinse them with vinegar. Avoid using harsh detergents when cleaning cloth diapers, even those without artificial dyes or fragrances. A wash in baking soda and a rinse in vinegar should suffice.
6.Train newborns for EC by laying them on diapers or pads. Elimination communication is a rather controversial practice that will not work for everyone, but this article seeks to cover a variety of viewpoints to allow parents to decide what they feel is best for their children. This tip from DiaperFreeBaby.org suggests one way to transition a newborn to the EC routine.
7.Wash newborn eyes with water. Normal tear duct issues need to be discussed with a pediatrician, but parents needing to clean their newborn’s eyes can do so by simply wetting a soft cotton ball and gently scrubbing the gunk away.
8.Use glycerin laxatives. Newborns and babies who struggle with constipation issues can have their systems unlocked with glycerin laxatives, either as a solid or a liquid. Those made with artificial chemicals may prove too harsh for their bodies to handle.
9.Use steam to unblock nasal passages. While professional medical care may be needed in instances of severe illness, parents can alleviate some cold symptoms at home. Congestion, for example, can be cleared up using the steam from a hot shower.
10.Make newborns sleep on their backs. One preventative measure against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) involves having newborns sleep on their backs rather than their stomachs. They may feel less comfortable, but it helps bolster their chances of surviving the night.
11.Wash clothes thoroughly. Another WebMD tip, this time touting the importance of washing baby clothes in dye- and fragrance-free detergent before dressing infants.
12.Infant massage requires a calm setting. As with adult massages, Gagazine believes that the infant version of the ritual is best executed in a calm, warm atmosphere. Place the baby on a soft blanket or towel in a draftless room away from a television or cell phone, perhaps encouraging relaxation with soft music or speech.
13.Protect nipples with milk or lanolin. To prevent painful cracking, Medline Plus recommends leaving a little bit of milk on the nipple after feeding to keep the area moist. Alternately, cracking can also be avoided by applying 100% lanolin to the nipple. Never use any artificial chemicals near the area where an infant feeds.
14.Read the signs of needing to expel waste when practicing EC. When not exacted correctly, EC can lead to disgusting, unsanitary messes – and a newborns’ inability to verbally communicate only makes things more complicated. Fortunately, parents wanting to stick with the diaper-free movement can learn how to read their child’s body language and know how to properly react to the incoming flow.
15.Use natural cleaning products around the home. For added protection against contact with harsh chemicals that can make a newborn ill, take advantage of the disinfectant properties of natural substances such as vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda.
16.Prevent chapped skin with natural products. A multitude of newborn- and infant-friendly products exists to keep babies from suffering dry, irritated skin without the use of artificial chemicals.
17.Weigh the pros and cons of circumcision. Outside of a religious context, the decision to circumcise or not stands as a heavy issue with natural parents. Be sure to understand all of the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure before making the choice.
18.Clean the umbilical cord with water and a Q-Tip. Be sure to use a Q-Tip wetted with clean – even sterile – water to keep the umbilical cord free of bacteria. Alcohol, honey, and goldenseal powder work as well.
19.Make homemade nasal drops. Combine saline and water together for nose drops suitable for safe cleaning of a newborn’s clogged nasal passages.
20.Extra water works as a laxative. As an alternative to glycerin laxatives, consider feeding a newborn a little extra water to unbind the constipation.
21.Bathe conservatively. WebMD recommends that newborns receive a gentle sponge bath 2 to 3 times a week, as washing them too much compromises the health of their skin. Use either no soap or extremely mild, natural soap to prevent any dermal irritations.
22.When massaging, always keep at least one hand on the newborn. According to Gagazine, parents should leave at least one hand on their child at all times in order to maximize the effectiveness of touch therapy.
23.Avoid “baby bottle tooth decay.” Breast milk makes for one of the healthiest, most natural ways to keep a newborn healthy and strong, but blending it with foods and drinks pumped full of refined sugar actually expatiates the process of tooth decay.
24.Know how to properly store soiled cloth diapers. Become familiar with the wet pail and dry pail methods of containing the odor and bacteria associated with cloth diapers. Wet pails must be contentiously kept covered in order to prevent drowning.
25.Keep the crib nearby – even at night. The American SIDS Institute recommends parents allow their newborn’s crib to remain in their room for the first 6 months of life, as dong so greatly reduces the risk of suffering the condition.
26.A little sunlight can clear up jaundice. A little extra bilirubin is normal in newborn infants, and a bit of time in the sunlight – no more than 10 minutes, with 5 minutes each in the front and the back – can clear up any jaundice that may crop up. Of course, a physician should be consulted if it doesn’t clear.
27. Stick with soft clothing. According to WebMD, dressing children in clothes cut from coarser materials heightens the risk of eczema, rashes, and other uncomfortable skin conditions. Organic cotton, bamboo, ore hemp are all extremely appropriate choices.
28.Avoid using lubricant on the head. Due to the sensitivity of infants’ skin, it may be a good idea to only use natural lubricants with a pediatrician’s permission. If they give the go-ahead, do not use any oils or lotions on the baby’s head.
29.Use BPA-free bottles. Some mothers do not produce sufficient milk for their newborns, no matter how hard they try. In these instances, they will want to use BPA-free bottles to keep their babies properly fed without worrying about problematic chemicals leeching into the formula.
30.Avoid baby wipes. –When cleaning the baby after an accident and subsequent diaper changes, WebMD advises parents to use with a dry, soft cloth rather than commercial wipes that may contain harsh chemicals.
31.Know how to trim nails. When clipping a newborn’s nails, be sure to use special trimmers or scissors to prevent any unfortunate injuries. Cut along the natural lines when it comes to fingernails, but go straight across when doing the toes. On both, make a contentious effort to push down the pads of skin away from the nail to further reduce the risk of an accidental cutting.
32.Never clean the inside of a newborn’s ear canal. Parents may clear wax away on the outside of a newborn’s ear using extremely gentle swabs with a Q-Tip. Sticking it inside the baby’s ear canal, however, runs the risk of causing permanent hearing loss. Pediatricians will be able to give more information on removing internal excess wax without exacting any damages.
33.Make homemade baby shampoo. For instances when water may just not be enough, parents may want to whip up a batch of this all-natural baby shampoo to scrub out the germs without causing skin issues.
34.Use natural insect repellent. Many companies sell products that repel mosquitoes and other pests without the use of harsh chemical blends that will irritate a newborn’s skin. Seek these out – they usually contain eucalyptus and lemon and often come formulated especially for people under 12 months.