Here is a recipe for homemade baby powder from our friends at More Than Alive.  You can get all of the high quality, all natural ingredients at their website.

I had no idea you could make homemade baby powder out of such wonderful ingredients like chamomile flowers and arrowroot!  Check out this recipe and then I will share my thought with you...

Homemade Baby Powder

1 cup arrowroot powder

6 tsp chamomile flowers powder

6 tsp oatmeal flour (1 1/4c rolled oats to 1 c oatmeal flour, you can grind them in a blender)

Lavender essential oil(or your favorite scent) - amount varies based on your scent preference.

Add the powders to a glass jar with a lid.

Soak a cotton ball with the lavender oil (or your favorite essential oil), add it to the jar and let the mix sit for about a day or overnight.

Shake and let it sit again.

Remove the cotton ball and enjoy!

I am just thrilled about the ingredients, so natural you could eat it!

My favorite thing about this powder is the scent!!  IT'S AWESOME!   I have never smelled anything so wonderful in a baby powder!

You may have to do some testing to find the right shaker top.  When I first used one that had holes that were too big the powder came out in a thick layer which then led to wet clumps of powder after the diaper got wet.

I hope you enjoy this!  Leave a comment and let me know what your experience is with this or any other homemade or all natural powders!

I know you probably won't believe this remedy to get rid of wasps if you are hearing it for the first time.  It's just too easy.  Oh, and it's free, most likely, because you already have what you need in your house.

Every spring we get plenty or red wasps that think they own our house.  Wasps are territorial so even if you come within range of their "home" they will go after you and sting.  I know this from experience!

Now that I have a little boy running around the yard we avoid chemical pesticides at all costs.  So, how to get rid of the wasps??

Get Rid of Wasps with a Natural Wasp Repellent

When they show up go into your kitchen, grab a bunch of brown paper lunch bags, fill them with paper or whatever you want, tie closed at the top, and hang outside around your house wherever those little nasty guys are hanging out.  It's that simple. 

It doesn't matter what your bag looks like.  It doesn't have to be a certain shape.  It doesn't matter.  You will get rid of wasps just by hanging these bags outdoors.

Remember I said wasps are territorial?  Well, when they see those brown, stuffed, paper bags they mistake them for wasp's nests - that is a wasp's nest of another family of wasps that have already claimed their territory, so they move on!  I swear it's true.

In fact, it's so true that if you go to the store and check out the wasp repellent section you will find something that looks like a bag.  They sell it for a whopping $10 and it is nothing other than a fancy fabric bag version of our paper bags!

If the wasps move to another part of the house just hang up another paper bag and wait a day. Eventually they will leave the area altogether and you have succeeded in

This really surprised me when I first tried it but it's been a great success.

My little boy screamed and his face turned beet red.My son has rarely had a problem with diaper rash.  I of course always kept a tube of Desitin diaper rash cream on hand for the rare occasion that we needed it.  It always seemed to work really well.  I had also had a tube of Burt's Bees Diaper Rash Cream, which was wonderful, but harder to come by.

It wasn't until he caught something - a bug or a parasite ( I suspect a parasite from the water park we went to which is exactly why I tried to avoid those places) - that led to a week straight of diarrhea. Some days it was every hour of the day and night.  Diaper rash was unavoidable and near impossible to cure until the diarrhea let up.

Every diaper change was a struggle and of course he fought me putting the Desitin on his bottom, but we got through it.  It wasn't until later that I figured it out.  I had switched to Boudreaux's Butt Paste to switch it up a bit and maybe get a different healing effect on his rash.  A few days later I went back to the Desitin.  That was when it was extrememly obvious.  He screamed, cried, and his little face turned as red as a tomato as soon as I slathered the Desitin on his rash.  It was awful.  I wiped the Desitin off and he immediately felt better.  I put the Boudreaux's on with no reaction at all.

I had read a while back one mother on a message board say that Desitin burned but I thought to myself "I've never noticed that before."  Well, now I noticed it.

So beware Mamas.  If you notice any reaction at all from your little one it may be the Desitin.  Every diaper rash cream uses zinc oxice as its main ingredient.  Apparently it's the secondary ingredients you have to watch out for.

Boudreaux's Butt Paste elicited no negative reaction and seemed to work nicely for healing or at least keeping his diaper rash in check.  Once the diarrhea let up the Boudreaux's healed the rash within a day.  Using cornstarch alone during the diarrhea was not a winner.  It was absolutely imperative that I have a barrier cream over the wound and A&D on top of the diaper rash cream made it especially water proof so the poop was very easy to clean off.

Boudreaux's is a little more expensive than Desitin but not as expensive as Triple Paste so I will be sticking with that from now on (which hopefully won't be too much longer as we work on potty training - but that's another story!)

Just like all my other baby stuff - I get my Butt Paste on Amazon!

Without a doubt, if you are interested in natural remedies for babies or alternative medicine for your children, you must get this book.

This is by far my favorite book and it is absolutely invaluable when your child gets sick.  This book covers conventional treatments, homeopathy, herbal remedies, acupressure, nutrition and it covers just about any ailment you can think of. It describes symptoms and precautions and is just an all-around great resource for a parent that is easy to understand.

If you want to bypass the over-the-counter drugs and take a ride to the health food store instead, you can go armed with the names of the alternative medicines specifically designed to treat your child’s ills.  This book will put your mind at ease and will be instrumental in teaching you about alternatives to conventional medicine.

I absolutely, highly recommend that every parent have this book on hand all throughout childhood.  Whether you are fully into alternative medicine, just dabbling, or still comfortable with conventional medicine – this book will be a resource you will not regret investing in.

It may seem unbelievable but the research is in.  This is monumentally important to the health of your baby and possibly the easiest thing for you to control. Your diet during pregnancy.

Scientists believe that a baby’s lifetime of good or poor health is determined by the nutrition it receives during your pregnancy.  Poor nutrition during pregnancy and in the first few months of life may lead to higher risks of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Professor Koletzko of the University of Munich and coordinator of a Europe wide research project on Early Nutrition Programming said: “Major differences in risk factors for significant health problems – such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, bone health, immune function, cognitive development and behavior – have already been observed in children who experienced different diets in the first few months of life, or whose mothers were given different supplements during pregnancy.”

Do your homework …

My Naturally Well Baby – a website set up by Dr. van der Veer and offering wonderful, detailed yet easy to follow information about diet for your pregnancy.

Ask Dr. Sears – the author of some of my favorite books on baby care, this web page guides you through the ins and outs of your diet during pregnancy.

Prenatal Vitamins

Even the most complete diet cannot provide everything that a mother and baby needs for optimal health during pregnancy and breastfeeding. A supplement is the best way to cover your bases.  However, I recommend you steer away from the prescription that your doctor may hand you and look for higher quality elsewhere (unless you have an enlightened doctor who is educated in integrative medicine).  Most prescription prenatal vitamins are made by large commercial manufacturers that are going to use the cheapest ingredients possible, many of which may not even be in “usable” form for the body. If you do your prenatal vitamin research you may find the name Rainbow Light coming up frequently.  Women love these vitamins.  Rainbow Light is the creator of the first ever food-based line of supplements that offer natural, usable vitamins to the body.  They are complete with digestive enzymes and even probiotics.  Both very important to your health and your baby.

If you are looking for a natural laundry detergent, especially for your baby or child, then get a load of this one… I was reading through a forum post on CafeMom about making homemade laundry detergent and someone mentioned Soap Nuts as their favorite natural laundry detergent.

I know, I said the same thing.  What the heck are soap nuts???  I immediately began my exhaustive research…

Why a Natural Laundry Detergent? The chemicals used in commercial laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets are despicable. They include things that are classified under federal law as toxic, hazardous, and carcinogenic.  Some ingredients are even on the EPA hazardous waste list.  Yet we wash our clothes with these things and wear them in direct contact with our skin all – day – long.

You don’t want that for your children and you don’t want that for yourself either.

You can find quality soap nuts here!

I had been interested for some time in finding a natural laundry detergent, especially for my son, but I really wanted something for all of us.  We have always used a mainstream dye-free baby detergent but I really didn’t feel like that was good enough and it was too expensive to do all of the household laundry in.

So then I started toying with the idea of using household items like vinegar, baking soda, and wool laundry balls which are all supposed to be wonderful but for some reason I just never got around to trying it.

Then I came across the post about soap nuts, started my research, and immediately ordered a package!  I have never been so excited about laundry soap!

How Is a Soap Nut a Natural Laundry Soap and Fabric Softener? Hard to believe I know, but a soap nut actually grows on a tree.  The seed is removed and the remaining skin is full of saponin, a natural soap.  Soap nuts are completely, entirely, non-toxic and natural, even biodegradable.

They are not only an amazing soap that removes the odor on your worst clothes rather than covering it up like commercial detergents, but they also serve to replace your incredibly toxic fabric softeners.

My Personal Experience With the Soap Nut I was ridiculously excited when my soap nuts arrived in the mail.  I know, I need to get out more.  I was just so tickled by the idea of a natural tree berry washing my clothes and saving me money, and removing toxins from my child’s life, and freeing up about four square feet of room in my laundry cupboard that is filled with cheap laundry detergent, fabric softener, dye-free laundry detergent, dryer sheets, baking soda, bleach, spot remover pens, Oxyclean, hydrogen peroxide… arg!

No fooling around, I went straight for the kill… the cloth diapers!!!

The directions say to use 4 to 6 nuts.  I was being generous because I was doing the diapers so I went with six.  So – not – necessary!  I started the machine, came back five minutes later and the bubbles were unbelievable!  WAIT!  When I went to do the second load of laundry I got nearly no bubbles so I emailed the company inquiring why and received a quick response:

            "About your first load of diapers. If I had to guess, I would say that the first load of diapers were                         releasing the suds from the detergent you were using before. Detergents contain chemicals that do                     nothing but make suds and have nothing to do with cleaning. Consumers have been brain washed to                 believe that suds equals clean. This is not true. Soap nuts are naturally low sudsing."

I have known for some time that “sudsing” when it comes to shampoo is an artificial process that is just meant to make you feel like the shampoo is working really great.  I hadn’t thought about the same thing for the laundry detergent.  He was right.  The dye-free detergent I had been using for the diapers was a high-sudsing soap.  And look what was left behind!  All of those chemicals were stuck in my son’s diapers!  Disgusting.

I finished the load, put the diapers in the dryer with no balls, no dryer sheets, nothing.  When they were done I buried my nose deep into the diapers and took a big whiff…  nothing…  clean.  OH!  And so soft!

I’m still in disbelief.  I am so excited that I want to do more laundry but I don’t have any to do (not that that will last long)!

So, the next day I did a load of my husband’s grimy, sweaty clothes.  This was my first load with just the soap of the nuts and not all of that lousy build-up coming out of the clothes.  Once again, when the clothes were dry I buried my nose in and took a big whiff…  ahhhhh, soft and fresh smelling.  I Love Soap Nuts!

Where Do I Get These Crazy Soap Nuts? Okay, so those of you who know me know that I research things endlessly before I buy online, and I buy online a lot!

I got my soap nuts, and will continue to get my soap nuts from Green Virgin Products.  They are very high quality direct from growers in India that have been in business for 100 years.  They are prepared and packaged properly, come in a biodegradable, sealed plastic bag to protect them from bacteria and rot, they include a washer bag and a cloth bag for storage.

And they work!!!

Apparently, other people complain about their soap nuts not working up in cold water.  Guess those are inferior soap nuts because I only use cold water and I get great results.

And conveniently you can get your Green Virgin Soap Nuts from Amazon so your purchase is worry free!

Amazing Bonus – It’s Not JUST a Natural Laundry Detergent This is so awesome.  You can throw a nut in just about any container, add some water, make suds, and clean anything you want.

Even better… you can BOIL a few nuts and separate the soap to use as hand soap or shampoo!!!  AWESOME!

Long story short… I highly, highly recommend that you switch to soap nuts.  You can make a major impact in your family’s toxic load AND save money.

Have fun – go nuts!! (pun intended!!)  Now I’m going to clean out my laundry cupboard!!

P.S. – don’t worry, the soap nuts come with complete instructions – not that it’s hard, but you know.

Phthalates are industrial chemicals and they are found in the products you are putting on your baby and yourself.

These chemicals are used to soften plastics, like baby toys.  Even worse, they are used in our cosmetics and beauty products, including soap, shampoo, lotions, powders, oils, sunscreen, bug spray...etc.  Yes, even if it is a product made for babies.  Phthalates help stabilize fragrances and help penetrate and soften the skin, whether it's for your hairspray or your baby's shampoo.

Phthalates are absorbed through the skin when you rub in the lotion.  They are inhaled when you spray on the hairspray and perfume.  They are even ingested when our food or drink becomes contaminated from the container or our child sucks on a plastic baby toy.

So what is the danger of exposure to phthalates?

  • Liver damage

  • Kidney damage

  • Lung damage

  • Developmental and reproductive toxicity, especially to developing testes
  - this is particularly important to mothers of boys or pregnant mommies.  Think about all of the products you apply everyday.  You are not only exposing yourself  but also your son's developing reproductive organs.

Remember, our children are much more sensitive to toxins because their reproductive, endocrine, and immune systems are still developing.  That is why it is so vitally important to take this information to heart and start getting rid of those commercial products. It's fun and easy to make your own natural stuff at home anyway so why not have some fun with it knowing you are making an impact on your baby's health?

If you need some ready-made baby lotions and soaps I recommend you check out Earth Mama Angel Baby, Kabana Skin Care, or Burt's Bees. California Baby is also a popular one as well as Dr. Bronner's Castile soaps.