Guest Post by Yvonne of Save Live Love
After nine precious months of protecting and cherishing your baby in the womb it can feel difficult trying to keep them safe in the world when they are finally born. Everyone wants to do the best they can for their children, but with so much conflicting information it can be a challenge trying to establish what the best actually is.
We’re bombarded with commercials featuring cute babies pushing the message of chemical sanitation and what’s wrong with that, right? Most people I know use commercial chemical-laden products and never give it a second thought, but these chemicals can irritate your baby’s skin and tiny lungs.
When we think about using natural cleaners, many of us assume it will cost a lot more than our growing family’s budget can accommodate. I used to think that I didn’t have time to make my own cleaners and thought a chemical-free home would only be possible if I gave up food and spent our grocery budget in the cleaning and cosmetic aisles at Whole Foods.
Thankfully I was wrong. It’s fast, simple and cheap to make your own cleaning products, and there are several small steps you can take to ensure your home is both clean and safe for the arrival of your little one.
image by lululemonathletica
It won’t be long until you have little hands reaching for everything in sight and you will of course want to make sure that all your floors and surfaces are clean. This is also important during the early days as you don’t want to be placing bottles, soothers, etc. onto unsanitary surfaces. Forget about those half dozen chemical cleaners under your sink and meet your two new best friends – vinegar and baking soda!
Your life is going to be busy enough; there are only so many hours in the day to snuggle your new little bundle, so keep things simple and make one bottle of multi-purpose and natural antibacterial cleaner.
Simply combine one part white distilled vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle and use to clean bathrooms, tiles, kitchen surfaces and even floors. The vinegar is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial due to it’s high acidity.
The vinegar smell dissipates pretty quickly, but if you want fragrance you can add a few drops of an antibacterial essential oil (try to buy organic) such as tea tree or lavender.
To create a natural abrasive and stain remover, sprinkle some baking soda onto the area you have sprayed with the vinegar solution and rub with a soft cloth. This works well for bath tubs and toilet bowls.
image by Photostock
Using natural laundry products is one of the best choices you can make for your baby’s delicate skin. There are several laundry recipes out there, but I can really vouch for soap nuts. These are shells of harvested berries from the soap berry tree and when mixed with water they create a natural source of saponins.
The pods are completely natural and safe for anyone with sensitive skin. Additionally, they are very economical. You can buy enough to wash 100 loads for around $12 online, but if you are doing more than one load in the same day you can reuse the pods 3-4 times to make them even more cost-effective.
These little pods can be used on any wash cycle, so they are great for cleaning cloth diapers. There is no need to use fabric softener with soap nuts, but for added softness you can add vinegar to the fabric softener drawer. Did I mention vinegar will be your new best friend? 😉
I wouldn’t recommend adding fragrance to your baby’s clothes, but if you want to add fragrance to your own you can splash a few drops of essential oil onto the soap nuts.
The following essential oils are antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral and antibiotic:
- Tea Tree
Soap nuts are compostable and provide a source of income for third world farmers.
image by OTP Photography
Diaper rash, colic and teething can all bring worry for you and discomfort for your baby. Keep a few items on hand and you’ll be prepared to soothe your baby naturally.
Apple cider vinegar has natural germ and bacteria fighting properties, which adds to it’s effectiveness in treating diaper rash. Use one part apple cider vinegar and one part water, wipe over your wee one’s rash and allow to air dry.
Witnessing your baby suffer with colic can be really distressing, but researchers have found that using probiotic drops on a daily basis eased symptoms in 95% of the babies they studied. Probiotics increase the number of good bacteria in your digestive tract and it is now thought that colicky babies may not have enough good bacteria.
Do you remember Grandma Walton fussing over the benefits of Chamomile tea? It seems she was onto something. Chamomile has a soothing effect and can aide teething pains. Simply brew some tea from loose leaves, dip a soft cloth in the tea and freeze it. This creates a natural teether with soothing properties for older babies.
Allergic reactions to chamomile are very rare, but test with small amounts (a drop at a time) added to a bottle of milk before using the teething cloth.
How do you keep your home naturally clean for your babies?
Disclaimer: This blog is for entertainment purposes only. Any health claims must be substantiated with your trusted healthcare provider.
Top image by Tom Clare
Yvonne blogs at Save Live Love and is married to James, her best friend. She is a freelance writer, covering a wide variety of topics such as personal finance, relationships and business. Her wish for her blog is that it becomes a community of like-minded people who all share a desire to live frugally, healthily and happily. Passionate about saying no to chemicals and choosing organic, she also shares tips on her Facebook page.