Babies are so cute and vulnerable at the same time! You just want to keep cuddling and kissing them – but are afraid to bruise them. They are so tiny and small, but nothing that concerns them is a small matter! Especially for first-time parents!
Right from toys, to the clothes, to the baby care products – no decision is a small one! One would think that living in the information age, parents wouldn’t have to worry about choosing a bad product for their babies – but they couldn’t be more wrong!
Most of the baby care products available on shelves are made from synthetic ingredients with dubious certifications. According to some reports up to 3000 secrets, non tested chemicals are added in food products! And these are in our food products (and not personal care products) which supposedly have the stringiest of regulations. Can you stop to imagine what would be slipping into our lotions, hand washes and soaps?
Why babies require more protection from chemicals
More than 60% of the cream gets absorbed into the bloodstream – both adult and child. If any personal care product contains harmful ingredients then it can cause long-term effects and affect the development of a child, more so because their immune system is still developing.
A baby’s skin is more sensitive and thinner as the sebaceous glands are also not developed till now. The potential skin damage is higher and hence it is better to make use of only chemical-free baby products.
Why Synthetic Ingredients should be avoided wherever possible
Many manmade or synthetic ingredients like Propylene glycol, Parabens, and Triclosan, mimic the natural hormones of our body and can become endocrine. Natural hormone process gets disrupted and can cause life-threatening diseases like cardiovascular disease or fertility issues. They can also sometimes even affect the brain and result in difficulties in memory and learning.
Many baby products like mineral oil and petroleum jelly are made of a byproduct of petroleum. When applied to baby’s skin it reduces its ability to release toxins via sweat.
Parabens have consistently been found in tumours, establishing that parabens can be carcinogenic. They are present in most shampoos, conditioners and even moisturizers. Parabens are neurotoxins and are associated with hormone disruptors.
Fragrances are present in almost all commercial beauty and baby care products. They are usually added to mask the odour of the other chemicals that are used. Fragrances are again synthetic chemicals derived from petroleum products. Fragrances have been known to cause damage to the eye, and cause respiratory problems like asthma and other neurological problems to babies.
Benefits of using natural baby care products
Baby care products that are free of additives and synthetic chemicals in it are best for babies and kids. Lavender, Shea butter, Aloe Vera, Sweet Almond and Coconut oil are the most popular natural ingredients that natural mommies prefer.
Natural Oils: Many natural and cold pressed oils like sweet almond, jojoba seed oil and sunflower oil are of great use for home remedies for dry skin in babies. They do not cause any harm to the skin like what petroleum-based moisturizers can.
Lavender is well known for its soothing properties. Lavender oil can be used soothe skin irritations. It can even treat mild cases of eczema.
Shea Butter is derived from the nut of Karite tree –also known as the tree of life by Africans. It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is suitable for use for the delicate skin of babies.
I have a big jar of raw unrefined Shea Butter which I use for my kiddo. It has a nutty, chocolate smell which he loves. He always tried to eat and lick some of it -something which I would mind if it were a commercial product! But I like that he enjoys having shea butter rubbed all over him.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is something you will always find on my kitchen counter. I lay to put it away! Coconut oil is very beneficial for babies as it helps to eliminate cradle cap. Coconut oil and shea butter are best home remedies to treat a diaper rash.
Aloe Vera: Whenever I need aloe vera – I just step into my garden! LOL! Don’t you just love this plant? Most of the skin care products have Aloe Vera in them as it is refreshing to the skin. For babies, it can protect from diaper rash very well.
I have slowly moved to natural and homemade products wherever possible. I even try to make my own homemade cerelac at home. The key is to begin small. Don’t let perfect be the enemy! Start with baby steps towards and a natural lifestyle and you will surely notice a difference in your family’s overall well being!
What baby products do you prefer for your little one? Do you use any specific natural personal care brand, which you trust? How are you protecting your family’s health? Share below!
Anjana Bhartia is a mommy blogger at MommyRepublic.in She describes herself as an imperfect mom stumbling through motherhood, discovering the joys of natural and attachment parenting along the way.