Bringing baby home is an exciting, although sometimes overwhelming time. Despite the temptation to buy all the beautiful baby clothes and gadgets out there, a few basics is all you really need. Today on the blog, I share a few of the essentials that helped us to navigate those early days.
Organic cotton sleeping bag, blanket and sheet from Nature Baby.
ORGANIC COTTON CLOTHING AND LINEN
Over the years, our family has made a gradual shift to eat more organic food when possible, particularly dairy, homegrown vegetables and meat. I hadn’t prioritized organic and natural fibre clothing or linen, although as I do a little more research, I am surprised and quite shocked at how little I know.
Cotton crops make up approximately 3% of the worlds total farmed land area. It accounts for 35% of the insecticides and pesticides used worldwide, making it one of the most chemically treated crops. There are dozens of different chemicals used on cotton crops, and about half of them have been named as possible carcinogens by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
Not only do the chemicals used on cotton crops remain in our clothing, I am startled to learn that only about 10% of the pesticides used actually accomplish their job, the rest ends up in the air and water supply. The EPA estimates that up to 2 million birds might be killed annually from just one of the insecticides used on cotton. The environmental impact alone is tremendous, and something that has made me want to make the switch to organic cotton.
Most synthetic fabrics contain chemicals, plastics and other substances that can be potentially harmful to us. Doesn’t it sound a little unsettling?
Think of all the dangers of plastic use in our home and environment and consider having those plastic chemicals in contact with your body’s largest organ, the skin.
With these worrying statistics, I have chosen mostly organic and natural merino for baby to help to protect his delicate skin, particularly in early stages of life. Wether you are expecting your first child or starting from scratch, I believe a small, simple and considered capsule of clothing can be cost effective and long lasting. We will also use a combination of hand me downs and second hand organic to help keep costs down.
- Information and statistics are from The Wellness Mama, read the full post here.
Organic cotton clothing and lambskin booties from Nature Baby
BODYSUITS, BOOTIES AND SOCKS
These cute little pull over and snap bodysuits are most certainly a well loved essential. Buy at least five or six, more if you don’t think you will launder as often. Your baby will likely wear two or three every day. I like to keep eight or so pairs of booties or socks on hand, they seem to go missing within minutes. I love these luxuriously soft and fluffy lambskin booties from Nature Baby, they are excellent for staying on little feet and will last for years to come.
Nature Baby organic jersey cotton wipes.
HOMEMADE BABY WIPE SOLUTION
Disposable wipes often tend to be filled with fragrances, preservatives and chemicals that can be harsh on babies skin, not to mention expensive and awful for the environment. I like to keep it simple and make my own baby wipe solution using with hazel extract and filtered water. Witch hazel is soothing, antibacterial and has a wonderfully clean fragrance that’s hard to describe.
Combine 4 parts filtered water with 1 part witch hazel extract in a glass container. Place re-useable muslin or cotton wipes in the solution to soak. A few drops of chamomile or calendula essential oil can be added for sensitive skin. The solution will keep for 2-3 weeks.
Cloth nappy essentials and Sophie the giraffe from Real Nappies.
REUSABLE CLOTH NAPPIES
For both of my older two, we used cloth nappies and absolutely loved them. There are many reasons why you might choose to use the same, whether its to help the environment, reduce chemicals against your babies skin or to help save on costs. Cloth nappies are surprisingly easy and simple to use as long as you have a well thought out set up.
We used the Real Nappies brand and found them highly absorbent, leak proof and long lasting. Check out their website to see the different options available. I reccomend trying out an essentials bundle. It comes with 12 cloth inserts, 3 nappy covers and a roll of nappy liners to help get you started.
A good laundry soaker and stain remover is key to using cloth nappies. I keep a large bucket with a lid filled with water and a little Eco Store laundry soaker at all times. The soiled cloths are simply rinsed under the tap, and then placed in the bucket to soak for 12-24. I find that if I do a small load of nappies a day, I am able to keep nappies re-stocked and ready to go. I sometimes add a little lavender or citrus essential oil to the bucket to keep them smelling lovely.
SOPHIE THE GIRAFFE
Not so much a baby essential I admit, but a lovely toy that is well loved by babies and children alike worldwide. In fact, Sophie the Giraffe is so popular, she has many websites dedicated to her. Sophie is made in France out of 100% natural rubber, painted with natural food paint and is specifically designed to help soothe teething, and stimulate all five of baby’s senses. You can buy Sophie along with many other eco friendly toys here.
Organic change pad, blanket and muslin wrap from Nature Baby.
MUSLIN CLOTHS AND WRAPS
Muslin wraps have an abundance of uses, I believe all new mamas should have a decent stash. Here’s a few ideas of how to use them.
* Burping your baby is the most well known use for muslin cloths. Simply place the cloth over your shoulder while you burp baby and your clothing will stay clean and dry.
* Always have a muslin cloth nearby when you’re feeding baby. They are wonderful for wiping up spills, you can even use one instead of a bib.
* Muslins are a nursing mama’s best friend. They make ideal nursing covers if you would like a little privacy and can be secured using your bra strap.
* Large squares of muslin are often used to swaddle baby in, or as a light blanket on a warm day.
* I have used a muslin wrap to drape over the pram or capsule, acting as a light breathable sun shade.
* Muslin wraps are sometimes used as comforters, babies love the texture on their skin, soft and snuggly.
CHANGE PAD FOR ON THE GO
I like to keep a small washable changepad in my nappy bag at all times for when I am out and about. I purchased a Nature Baby organic cotton change pad as I have heard wonderful things about them. Slim enough to pop in your bag, you can also clean them in the washing machine for when little accidents happen (and they do! particularly with boys).
MERINO OR COTTON SLEEP SACK
Both of our two used a cotton merino sleeping bag at night time. I find they would often wriggle out of the blankets causing an unsettled sleep. The sleeping bag helped them to stay warm and comfortable throughout the night, particularly in winter.
Baby will use a hand me down from the older two that I purchased from Nature Baby. The sleeping bags are designed to last for years to come making them a wonderful investment.
BABY MASSAGE OIL
Our daughter Bella was born premature at 29 weeks, she was in the intensive care unit for the first three months or so of her life. We were lucky receive an abundance of helpful information and tips from the loving nurses there, one being the wonderful benefits of massaging your baby after bath time. There are plenty of baby massage classes available where you can head along with your little one to learn the basics, a search on google will let you know if there is a class in your area (thanks for the heads up Amelia!). Sweet almond oil is lovely for babies skin, and can be found in all health food stores. I also love The Herb Farm’s natural blend with a calming hint of lavender and chamomile oils.
AMBER TEETHING NECKLACE
Amber teething necklaces are a traditional natural remedy for helping to sooth teething pain. They are designed to be worn (not chewed on). Both my older two wore a necklace, when we weren’t wearing them, we knew about it!
When worn on the skin, these little healing gems release ethereal oils in to the blood stream, helping to sooth pain and in babies and toddlers. Amber has also been known to boost the immune system, and might help with allergies and eczema. I find the necklaces look pretty cute on littles too.
Merino clothing from Mamoo & Lou.
Our little boy will be born in winter, so I am stocking up on plenty of warm woollies. I have some lovely clothes and blankets that have been hand knitted by my Grandma, as well as a few cute jumpers and leggings I picked up on sale from New Zealand brand Mamoo & Lou (Thanks to my friend Mira for pointing me in the right direction!). I often find brand new hand-knitted baby items in Hospice and Church shops.
For a more in depth list of the things baby will need in the early stages, you might find this guide from Nature Baby handy.
Please note: this is not a sponsored post, each item has been personally chosen and I like to support the brands I love.