Green Swaps for Family Essentials
So it’s another big bumper post again! And this time I’m looking at something which with two young children is obviously close to my heart… and that’s products for family.
As a parent these days, you are made to feel like you need to buy EVERYTHING to be able to raise your child properly. But actually you don’t need half the stuff they want to sell you! So please before you read this post I do feel the need to say, you don’t NEED to use all of these products. But they might be nice to have, and I have certainly been enjoying using them… plus I find my toddler is more likely to get in the bath without a fuss when there are bubbles!
For most swaps I have chosen at least two different options, generally one basic and one a little more luxe. When you’re using “green” products, you can often buy singular ingredients, saving yourself a little cash, whilst still getting brilliant results. OR you can spend a little more on the most beautiful, organic, handcrafted products for your little one.
All the products I’m recommending here are tried and tested by myself, my toddler Ernie, and my baby August, and we are wholeheartedly giving them all our stamps of approval.
Basics: Raid your kitchen cupboard! Coconut oil is very popular at the moment, although some find it a little too drying on certain skins – and the same can be said for olive oil. I would personally suggest trying sunflower or grapeseed oil.
Luxe: The Erbaviva Organic Baby Oil is a gorgeous blend of almond oil, safflower oil, jojoba oil, mandarin orange peel oil, rosemary extract, sunflower oil and chamomile. I use this to give baby Gus a quick little massage after his baths, and he smells divine after – without taking anything away from that delicious natural baby scent.
I personally would avoid using shampoo for as long as you can. But sometimes you really do a bit of extra help to get that dried on weetabix out of their gorgeous little locks…
Basics: The Weleda Baby Calendula Shampoo & Bodywash is a super moisturising wash and shampoo. To be honest I like it so much that I’ve even used it on myself as a shower gel a number of times!
Luxe: If you’re looking for something a little more special, the Enfance Paris Gentle Shampoo is just gorgeous. Hand crafted in France from the most beautiful organic ingredients, this one is gentle enough to use from birth.
Oh I loved Matey when I was little… I mean come on, they had MERMAIDS, and PIRATES on the bottles! But the ingredients… I do not love those I’m afraid. And I would be very careful with bath products, as often bath water does end up being swallowed!!!
Basics: They don’t really need anything in their baths. So this one you can get away with using nout if you’d like. If your little one has problematic skin a great addition to the bath water is a little bag full of oats. The easiest way to do this is to grab some (Clean!) old tights, cut off a leg, fill with oats, and tie the top off. Attach it to your tap so the water runs through it whilst you fill the bath. Leave the bag in the bath, and you can even use it to wash your babe to really get that oaty goodness everywhere! Skin should feel soft and soothed.
Luxe: Weleda Baby Calendula Cream Bath is a fabulous option for a mild yet cleansing bath, packed full of luscious ingredients – including my very favourite sesame oil.
It’s not a secret that I love all things NomNom (see a review of their stretch mark butter and relax oil here, and meet the founder here!) And I thoroughly recommend any of their baby products. But my current favourite of theirs is the Baby Bath with aloe vera and orange blossom. Gorgeous ingredients, suitable for babies from just one month old. And Soil Association Certified organic!
A good option for sore, inflamed skins is Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Sea-Bags. You can buy these in single bags, or multi boxes. If the bag opens you will end up with a seaweed covered child…. although my toddler thought this was hilarious!! He did come out with gloriously soft skin though….
Ok so no basics or luxe this time. But I am giving two very different options…
Disposable: The perfect equivalent to your standard baby wipes would be Organyc’s – Sweet Caress Organic Cotton Baby Wipes.
Washable: If you want to get a bit more zero waste, why not try washable wipes? You can buy pre-made washable wipes like Cheeky Wipes. Or you can very easily make your own little set with cloths like the Human+Kind Cleansing Cloths or some organic muslins, a little container and some water. Some people like to take them out damp, but if I don’t get round to using them, it can mean they end up sitting there all damp for days, getting all stinky. NICE. So I take out a spray bottle to dampen off the dry cloths, as and when I need to use them. I love to use floral waters like the Balm Balm Chamomile Hydrosol, or if I want to be a bit more thrifty a bit of chamomile tea does the job well too! I generally take out two boxes – one with wipes for face, and one for little bottoms. Don’t forget a little wet bag too, to hold the dirty wipes, and just make sure you remember to pop your wipes in the wash at the end of the day (unlike me), and ta dah! Washable wipes.
Even if you aren’t the type to start using washable wipes, I would recommend using something other than disposable wipes for a newborn’s soft little bottom! Cotton wool and water is a great place to start. Although for the very first few days I might suggest trying pressed cotton pads or squares rather than balls, as those newborn poops are so sticky, you do not want to end up in some fluffy, sticky, pooey mess!!
Basics: Sesame oil is known as the queen of oils. It has incredible healing properties, and I have found it absolutely amazing to use on sore bottoms. We had a bit of a rubbish start to Gus’s life with him becoming very poorly, ending up with a week in hospital and a scary amount of antibiotics being pumped into his little body. This resulted in seriously nasty poops and a very sore bottom for Gus. I’m talking broken, weeping skin. Poor thing! Sesame oil sorted it right out. (But do make sure to be very careful with what you use on broken skin!)
Another option would be shea butter, a big favourite of mine, and totally multi purpose! You can get it in a handy portable tin from Aviela here.
We have also recently been using the Earth Conscious Natural Baby Balm – a beautiful blend of natural ingredients. It smells almost edible due to the coconut oil, so much so that Ernie has tried to eat some on more than one occasion…oops.
Luxe: S.W.Basics Shea Butter Cream is completely organic, just absolutely divine. With only three ingredients, coconut oil, shea butter and olive oil, this cream is wonderfully simple and yet gives brilliant results. Can be used on any dry skin, so perfect for your hands that I’m sure are being constantly washed! I use this for baby massage quite often, as it’s a bit less slippery than just an oil by itself. It might be pricier than some options, but a little does go a long way and my pot seems to be lasting a lifetime.
Natural sponges are great for use in the bath, but I can’t help but worry about how ethical and sustainable they are. The Australian Marine Conservation Society have said that sea sponges are under threat for many reasons including over harvesting. Luckily there is a more environmentally friendly option, the Konjac Sponge. This is made from the konjac potato, and is totally nontoxic, vegan, cruelty free, biodegradable and naturally sustainable. It’s moisture rich and pH balanced, making it perfect for baby’s (or your) skin!
I’ve been using the Konjac Sponge Co Pure White Big Baby Sponge for Gus and Ernie. It is so soft, and the boys love playing with it in the bath. It actually gently cleanses by itself too, so you can even avoid using any products when using it. I have one that I use to wash my face in the mornings without the need for a cleanser! I know, it blew my mind too…. 😉
Tooth paste: The Weleda Children’s Tooth Gel is great option, with wonderful ingredients that are even safe enough to be swallowed. Jack N’ Jill’s Natural Calendula Toothpaste is perfect for those cheeky toddlers, as it’s a little sweeter (due to xylitol – it’s still sugar free) and has some funky branding! Our favourite is the blueberry flavour, AHEM, I mean ERNIE’S favourite is…
Tooth brush: We love the bamboo “Environmental Toothbrush“, an entirely biodegradable toothbrush that even looks super cute on your bathroom shelf. Every person in our family has one as they make adult and child sizes. If you’d like something a little more colourful try the Preserve Recycled Eco Friendly Toothbrush – made from recycled yoghurt pots, and is 100% recyclable once you’re finished with it.
First Aid Kit
Plasters: Organii Organic Cotton Plasters are absolutely ideal to keep in your bathroom cupboard. Made from 100% organic cotton, and free from chemical bleaching. These plasters are also covered in cute designs, distracting little minds from nasty grazes.
Soothing Gel: With 99.9% natural ingredients and certified organic Z- Gel Organic First Aid Gel is a favourite in this household. It not only soothes physical injuries like burns, insect bites, inflammations, cuts or abrasions, but also balances you emotionally after shocks or minor traumas.
Disclaimer: Some of these products were bought by myself, some were given to me for review, and some were chosen by me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Programme. My opinions on them are completely honest and very much my own, as they are for every review I do! Some links may be affiliate links.blog comments powered by Disqus