One thing most parents go through is teething. The dreaded, makes you cringe with lack of sleep, time when you feel like the world is ending. Up all night with an inconsolable babe who is in pain. Up all day with the same situation. Sleep has become a luxury. A happy babe has become a luxury. Cold coffee becomes the norm. Meals may or may not be eaten while trying to take care of the small teething babe. Not to mention, if you are breastfeeding, cringing with every suck, worried about the little daggers finding their way to your nipple. What options are there do help? You're in luck, there are quite a few.
1. Camilia by Borion* - I was hesitant to use this at first as it's a homeopathic medicine. I had heard some pretty negative things about Hylands teething tabs and that caused me to question whether or not to buy Camilia. I'm glad I did. It was our main go to. Bee loved it. She knew exactly what it was and even opened her mouth with excitement when I got the little packs out. I always made sure I had an extra box on hand as it really did seem to help Bee. I put some in the diaper bag, left some in the car, put a few in my coat, I didn't go anywhere without the Camilia.
2. Amber Necklace** - Bee has worn her necklace as a bracelet around her ankle for quite sometime. I truly think it helped. She barely drooled and was always in a semi-good mood. She didn't seem to be in a lot of pain most of the time. I wanted to see how well it worked so I purchased one for myself. I have noticed a decrease in pain myself so I can only imagine how much it helped her. I didn't feel comfortable with it being around her neck so it stayed on her ankle.
3. Rash Treatments - One of the main indications that Bee was actively teething was a rash. We never had problems with rashes until she cut her first tooth. They were pretty relentless but we had a routine that seemed to keep the rash down. We ran daily baking soda baths, we switched to disposable diapers (eco-friendly chlorine free, no dyes , perfumes) we alternated between coconut oil (our usual bum change lubricant) and Weleda Calendula diaper cream and if you don't mind the mess, lots of naked bum time.
4. Frozen breast milk - I froze breast milk in ice cube trays and popped it into one of those mesh feeders. I'm sure any frozen item (berries, veggies etc) would work with this as well.
5. Wet Face Cloth - I have a cloth teething toys. You dip the ends in cool boiled water and freeze. The baby sucks on the ends for relief. A cold wet face cloth would do the same, the only difference is, with certain cloth toys or other teething toys, not all of the item is frozen so it isn't too cold for baby to hold in hands.
6. Teething Toys - There are so many teething toys on the market, you have a great choice. Hevea, Natursutten, Ringley, Begin Again Toys, Loulou Lollipop and Caaocho are just a few that come to mind. If you love farm animals like we do, Caaocho has a goat teether. If you love food like we do, Loulou Lollipop has a burger and fries teether. The possibility of teething toys are endless these days. So many adorable options that can help soothe those sore gums!
7. Teething Teas - I discovered these after Bee was done teething so I have yet to try them. However, I do hear good thing about them from those who have used it. Check with your local holistic businesses or even look online for recipes about how to make your own.
Truthfully, teething didn't seem to bother Bee as much as it did her friends. Perhaps it was because of the amber necklace or perhaps she just that she handled it well. It didn't seem to affect her mood or sleep nor had she ever had a fever while teething. She did pull at her ears though, which is one indication that a tooth is about to pop through, and I tried to find the cues she was giving me so I could start our teething remedies before the pain got too bad.
*Please check with your doctor before using.
**Always use caution with anything around a baby's neck.
***These are just my opinions, not to be replaced from professional advice
It's a toss up as to what my favourite type of food may be. Our family has a wide palate and enjoy most foods. I do pretty much live for tacos, at the same time I also live for Thai food. When I had to change my diet, I knew enjoying food would pose challenges, but I don't mind challenges. Being creative in the kitchen and altering recipes to meet my dietary requirements (no diary, gluten, peas, mushrooms, nuts) has been a learning experience. I have had my fair share of recipe flops but also success, like these egg rolls. Egg rolls, especially deep fried, were a large part of my diet way back when. Given, they were not the healthiest so when looking for substitutes to make them gluten free and dairy free, I also decided to skip the deep frying and bake them. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does.
1. Mix equal amounts plum sauce and soy sauce
2. Peanut sauce
3. Sweet and sour sauce
4. Sweet Thai sauce
*If by chance these do not get consumed all in one go, they do freeze well.
Our playtime must haves is back for another edition. This time we are introducing wooden toy companies. Since it is inevitable that your little one will put their toys in their mouth, make sure they are at least safe. When considering toy options for you littles, I highly recommend wood toys. Though, not all wood toys are created equal. You will want to be aware of what type of paint is used as some paint can be toxic. A lot of main stream toy companies still use plastic which contains bpa, phthalates, pvc and in some recent cases even lead. Add on the paint they use to paint those toys, it's better to avoid them if possible. I will admit, we do own a few plastic toys. I cringe every time my daughter plays with them but there are only a few and she is old enough to know not to put things in her mouth. The majority of our toys are wooden or safe plastic (think Green Toys or Plan Toys).
1. Little Peg People - Local to us, Brianne makes the most adorable little peg people. In addition to peg people she also makes a few other wooden toys (cameras, cars, horses). Little Peg People also offers the option to skip the paint and have an image burned with no sealer, making it safe for the smaller babes who put everything in their mouths. Though all the paint they use is non-toxic, sometimes its nice to have the option of burning an image, it gives a very natural look.
2. Hape - I would have to say 1/2 of our toy collection is from Hape. We love Hape and all their toys. Our toys range from their small kitchen to the coffee maker, mixer, cake set, food set, string blocks, pull toys, actually it would be better if I named the things we didn't have. Hape toys are made from sustainable materials and non-toxic ink. They offer such a large variety of toys it would take all day to list them. The best part about Hape, they are often featured on Zulily, a great place to stock up on some safe wooden toys.
3. Haba - A smaller portion of our toys are from Haba. Haba is also made from sustainable materials and painted with non-toxic ink. Haba's plastic toys are pvc, phthalate, lead and bpa free. The list of toys offered is also quite extensive (but that's not a bad thing) and includes our favourite, the french fries. Yes, simple french fries are what my daughter loves. Oh and don't forget the bottle of ketchup to go with the french fries.
4. Elves and Angels - If you are looking for larger wooden toys, Elves and Angels is the place to go. Their dollhouses, kitchens and play stands are made of dreams. Beautiful, handcrafted, made in the USA, finished with a natural beeswax oil, no formaldehyde glue and pieces that are made to last generations. They also offer smaller toys and accessories for their larger items.
5. Bannor Toys - I must admit, our collection does not include any Bannor Toys....yet. I often see pictures posted on Instagram and swoon over their gorgeous wood toys. Their wood toys are made from organic wood, paint and finish. I love everything about the company, small, USA based and made, family oriented and of course, organic focused.
There are plenty of options when it comes to toys. In my opinion, wooden toys are the best option and the safest. I find a lot of wood toy companies are usually local based, so check out your local markets this summer and see what you can find. Make sure to ask what the toys are painted and finished with, as that is as important as the wood aspect. We are now off to "eat" french fries with some ketchup, I may even have some tea made for me. The possibilities are endless.
Gooie hands down, crispy rice treats have always been one of my favourite treats to make. From the early days in my moms kitchen, to my kitchen now with my daughter. The simplicity of making them is favourable but the best part is that you can make them in so many different ways. Try adding some chocolate chips or sprinkles. Mix in some strawberry jam. Use flavoured cereal. Use flavoured marshmallows. Add crushed candy cane. Add peanut butter. The possibilities are endless when it comes to making crispy rice treats more than just the standard cereal and marshmallow (though sometimes, the classic is just what you may want).
5 Cups Natures Path Organic Crispy Rice Cereal
1-2 Bags Dandies Vegan Marshmallows
3 Tbsp MELT "butter"
1 Tsp Organic Vanilla
Perhaps one of the greatest resources in making the switch to a green life (besides us of course) is the Environmental Working Group (EWG). "The Environmental Working Group is an American environmental organization that specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, agricultural subsidies, public lands, and corporate accountability". That's the official definition, but to me it's so much more. When I am researching new companies, specifically things that I apply to myself (lotions, soaps, sunscreens etc) I always check the EWG. They offer a database of over 66,770 products that have been tested. Products that meet their requirements are verified with a symbol. When searching products you are looking for products that have a rating of 1 or 2 (a green rating). The ratings go up to 10 but 10 have ingredients with great concern. To read more about the ratings and what they test, visit their about section.
You will often see me refer to the EWG rating if something I am posting about is applied to your skin. I don't tend to post anything that is not a 1 or 2 because I feel those products may cause some harm. That being said, there are some companies who have products in the green category but also have products in the yellow and red categories. Always refer to the EWG when looking into the safety of an applied skin product.
In addition to the database the EWG offers various articles on clean and healthy living, such as the dirty dozen and clean fifteen lists and consumer guides. Book mark the page, you will find yourself visiting it on many occasions. It is a trusted and well researched resource available to you.
Summer is almost here, or at least for us in the Mid-West of Canada, we are hopeful that it's right around the corner. The cold, bitter, snowy winter will soon be replaced with hot, humid and sticky summer. As a Canadian, we enjoy the finer weather. We don't see if often, nor does it stick around very long, so even on milder days you will find many of us dressed in shorts and t-shirts. Seeing as we also do not see the sun very often (it can feel like months pass without the bright yellow ball of fire in the sky) we tend to burn a bit easier. Our skin is rather delicate and for my daughter and I, our red hair, ghost white skin is very fragile. I'll admit, I never care about sunscreen and I got burnt a lot. When Bee was born and I made the decision to change our life for the better, sunscreen became a top priority. So what do I use or what do I recommend? Here are 4 sunscreens that are great at keeping one from looking like a sizzling piece of bacon and rather mildly ghost like.
1. Goddess Garden* - Made with a simple ingredient list for your baby's sensitive skin, free of chemical sunscreens and made with certified organic ingredients. Water resistant to 40 minutes with SPF 30 broad-spectrum UVA/UVB coverage, pediatrician & dermatologist recommended, biodegradable, reef-safe, cruelty free, vegan, Non-GMO, and Non-Nano.
EWG Rating -1
Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (6.4%), Zinc Oxide (6.0%) INACTIVE: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Oil), Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Glycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sorbitan Oleate, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum *CERTIFIED ORGANIC
*This is what we use, love it and have great success with it.
2. Green Beaver - Organic Certified, Health Canada approved non-whitening, waterproof, fragrance-free Non-nano, non-silicone coated, spreads evenly and quickly.
EWG Rating - 1
Ingredients: Active Ingredient Actif (W/W): zinc oxide / oxyde de zinc 21% Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Isostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Glycerin, Sorbitan Olivate, Glyceryl Stearate, Acacia decurrens/Jojoba/Sunflower seed wax/Polyglyceryl-3 esters, Dicaprylyl carbonate, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil*, d-alpha Tocopheryl acetate, Hydrolyzed Jojoba esters, Jojoba Esters, Aqua (Purified water).
3. Think Baby - First Sunscreen to pass Whole Foods Premium Care Requirements. Free of biologically harmful chemicals. No Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, or UV Chemical absorbents. Highest SPF 50+ (per FDA 2012 Rules - any sunscreens boasting higher are falsely marketing) Highest level of Broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection (per FDA 2012 Rules) Highest level of water resistance (80 minutes) (per FDA 2012 Rules) Non-nano, paraben, phthalates, PABA and 1,4 dioxane free, Applies and absorbs easily.
EWG Rating - 1
Ingredients: Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20% (Non-nano) Inactive Ingredients: purified water (0), aloe barbadensis leaf juice(0), capric caprylic triglycerides(0), sorbitan stearate (coconut based) (1), pine wood resin (0), vegetable glycerin (0), cetyl dimethicone(0), hydrogenated castor oil (0), magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) (0), sunflower oil, jojoba oil (0), ascorbic acid (vitamin ) (0), tocopherols (vitamin E) (1), olive oil (0), raspberry seed oil (0), cranberry seed oil (0), hyaluronic acid (made from vegetable) (0), papaya (0)
4. Badger - Safe, Effective, & Gentle Baby Sunscreen. Badger's SPF30 Baby Sunscreen Cream contains non-nano Zinc Oxide to protect from both UVA & UVB rays, in a base of safe, soothing USDA Certified Organic ingredients. It is water & sweat resistant for 40 minutes, biodegradable, and works immediately upon application.. Packaged in a BPA- and Phthalate-free, recyclable #2 plastic tube. This Baby Sunscreen Cream has the mild scent of Chamomile and Calendula, and can be used by the whole family! Pediatrician tested & approved safe for babies and kids.
EWG Rating - 1
Ingredients: Active Sunscreen Ingredient: Non-Nano, Uncoated Zinc Oxide 18.75% Other Sunscreen Ingredients: *Helianthus Annuus (Organic Sunflower) Oil, *Cera Alba (Organic Beeswax), Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E), CO2 Extracts of *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Organic Seabuckthorn), and *Calenduls Officinalis (Organic Calendula), *Anthemis Nobilis (Organic Chamomile) Essential Oil.
* = Certified Organic
There are other sunscreens on the market. Make sure to do your research, I highly recommend visiting the EWG to view their ratings, keep in mind you want something that is either a 1 or 2. You will want to look for natural and organic ingredients, something that is reef safe, mineral based, a decent uva/uvb strength and easy to apply. Most importantly, ingredient read, there are some sunscreens that may use organic and natural ingredients and market that, but if you take a look at their ingredient list, you will quickly see there are some chemicals in those sunscreens that are best to avoid.
My grandmother loved to bake. Her house smelled so sweet every time we visited. She was a pie lady, lard and everything. Her pies were amazing. She would often bake other goodies too and one of my favourites was called monkey bread. I've been blessed to have many recipes passed down to me from both of my grandmothers and now I take them and alter them to make them slightly healthier as well as gluten and dairy free (most recipes can be made vegan as well, just substitute the egg). I also use organic ingredients where I can. So without further ado, here is the remake of my grandmothers monkey bread, in muffin form.
YIELD: 9 STANDARD SIZED MUFFINS
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 25 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 35 MINUTES
*These muffins are not overly sweet, if you prefer sweet, you can up the sugar to 3/4 cups and use sweetened shredded coconut instead.
Playtime has to be one of my favourite times of day. By time of day I mean as an adult because I have other responsibilities I also have to take care of, unlike my child who gets to play all day. When I do find moments to play with her, I love exploring all her toys and games. Sometimes just sitting and watching how she uses her toys or what she comes up with is fascinating. There are some amazing toy companies out there who are organic and natural based. I wanted to highlight a few of the stuffie companies but you can find our full list here.
1. Ever Wild Designs - 100% organic cotton from head to toe! GOTS certified cotton knit with a cotton fleece backing, printed using water based inks, stuffed with anti-bacterial eucalyptus filling. Tags are also organic cotton and maple wood teething rings (removable) are sealed with organic coconut oil. Fall in love with your next Fernwie (pictured above) and snuggle up to coziness. Wash machine safe.
2. Finn + Emma - 100% GOTS certified organic cotton stuffed with sheep's wool and printed with Eco-friendly inks and dyes. Finn and Emma offer a variety of stuffies, from their do-goodies to their rattle buddies, mini rattle buddies and rattle lovies. Produced in fair trade settings. Hand wash and air dry for knit toys.
3. Under The Nile - 100% GOTS certified made with the leftovers from Under The Nile's clothing production. Made in a fair trade setting and contain no Azo colorants, BPA, flame retardants, formaldehyde, fragrance, PVC or lead. They offer lovies to rattles to many different stuffie characters. Wash machine safe.
4. Cate & Levi - 100% USA Polar fleece made from recycled plastic water bottles. Also carry a wool line of stuffies made with reclaimed wool. They even offer a DIY kit to make your own wool stuffie. Wash machine safe.
5. Kippins - 100% organic cotton, stuffed with organic cotton. Kippins come in a variety of adorable animals from wolfs to zebras to flamingos. They also offer stuffed rattles with a detachable teething ring. Wash machine safe.
This post contains affiliate links.
Walnut Creek Organics was started in 2016 by Jessica Nelles. Jessica felt a calling to create a stylish, comfortable, gender neutral and organic line of clothing for kids. Walnut Creek began with a love for the environment and the products children are exposed to. Jessica believes in comfort, safety, simplicity and style when it comes to Walnut Creek apparel, which is why organic cotton is used. Organic cotton is often much softer and more breathable than conventional cotton and contains no pesticide residue.
Walnut Creek Organics strives to help families make the transition to an organic life easier by creating various products which include printed shirts, designed and hand-printed locally, pants, hats, wash clothes and banners. Their first print, Cow's It Going, has always been a classic but shirts have grown into various sentimental and funny prints and a line of their own animals (Hugo Hedgehog, Barnabee Bear, Eadie Elephant and Milton Moose).
Walnut Creek Organics offers 100% organic clothing (though some times the fabric content is 95% organic cotton and 5% elastane) Ink used is 2/3 water based and is lead, pvc, bpa and pthalate free. All printed materials are on recycled paper and all shipping products are Eco-friendly and reusable. There is no fabric waste as every single shred of fabric is used. If fabric is too small for pants/shirts it is made into hats. If it is too small for hats, it is made into washcloths. If it is too small for wash clothes it is cut into stripes and used for rag rugs. If it is too small for rag rugs, it is shredded and used to stuff pillows, floor cushions and stuffies.
Walnut Creek Organics currently has their Spring line stocked on the website and will be releasing their summer line in a few weeks. Be sure to check out their limited edition Canada print (2 different choices) to celebrate Canada's upcoming 150th anniversary, releasing mid-May.
Where to find them
Oh Baby Boutique
Enter the giveaway below to win a $25 credit to Walnut Creek Organics
If there were ever a day to describe what we do here at Baby's Nest, it would be Earth Day. Our mission at Baby's Nest is to provide information to those seeking a more organic, natural and Eco-friendly lifestyle. We review companies not only based on the health aspect for kids but for the environment as well. We care deeply about the environment and are making it our goal to leave less of a footprint. We are passionate about living green.
We have not always led the most organic life and I admit, there are a few areas left we need to "green". The important thing is that we are moving forward. Even if we are moving slowly, we are still moving. In doing so, we also found that making the switch to organic caused us to become more focused on quality rather than quantity and we've since led a much more minimalist lifestyle. Making the switch to an organic life can seem overwhelming. When you think about it, there is so much to learn and so much to change where do you begin? That was the question we asked ourselves many years ago. Here are some tips for making the change and going green.
1. Do Your Research - Our first step was to pop online and google everything related to organic, natural and Eco-friendly living. At the time there wasn't a ton of information as we jumped on board at the start of this movement. But with perseverance we found some great sites with lots of knowledge. Learn what areas of life will make the most impact right away. Learn what it means to live green. Learn about the resources available to you. Find the guides that will help you through the transition.
2. Start Small - The best place to start is small. Pick one thing to change today, whether it be your shampoo/conditioner, toothpaste, bowls, plates, underwear etc, pick one small thing and make the change. It may seem insignificant to change one small thing, but it is a step in the right direction.
3. Look Locally - Look to your local community for support, there are many Facebook pages and groups within cities that live a green life and are more than willing to help new people on the journey. There are also a lot of small local businesses that are focusing on more of an organic lifestyle, seek them out.
4. Take Time - Understand that it will take time. Making the switch doesn't have to come over night. Figure out your budget and set a plan from there, change one thing a week, or month. Depending on the cost to switch, make one big change per year.
5. Look for deals - Use our resource list to find some businesses and follow them. Many offer sales throughout the year as well as giveaways on their social media accounts. Make sure to also sign up for e-mails as many companies send e-mail subscribers special deals every now and then.
6. Stay Tuned - Make sure to follow us on all of our accounts, we will be posting reviews along with hosting giveaways. It's a great way to start making those small changes.