Best Skincare Products For Babies

IMG_0938 (Edited)Ok, so let me start this by saying THIS IS NOT AN AD. It deflates me a little to have to say it but I’m well aware of how product endorsement/monetised blogging has changed everyone’s perception of what appears to be a real, honest post only to read all the way to the end and realise it’s not.

All of these products were either given to me at our baby shower or bought with my hard earned cash. Either way we’ve loved them and they’ve proved to be invaluable to us over the past year and two months.

When you bring home your newborn baby you literally have no idea what you’re doing. Even the most basic things- bathing them and changing nappies, – you have to learn. And whilst you’re waiting on that parental instinct to kick in (which it does, but it leaves you hanging just long enough to send you into Google overdrive) the last thing you need is unreliable products. Or too many. Or not the right ones.

We were really lucky to have received so many gifts before Little Ored’s arrival, all of which left us needing to hardly buy a thing in those first few months. But I do remember having been given about three different types of nappy rash cream – wondering which one to use, if I should use any at all?

Newborn skin is so delicate and so we were super conscious about what we we were putting on it. For example, did you know that most baby wipes contain a form of antifreeze (WTF) which is why our midwife suggested using only cotton wool and water to clean during a nappy change in those early months?

It’s not just about having products that work but also about having products with safe, natural ingredients too. So here’s what we used and what we still use even now!

1. Kokoso – Coconut Pot

This was given to us as a baby shower present from a BFF after I mentioned to her that I’d seen it on TV (yep, she’s a great friend and a great listener)  and it turned out to be an absolute Godsend.

This natural, organic coconut oil moisturiser is designed for multi-use meaning it’s pretty much all you’ll ever need. It’s great for dry/sensitive skin, eczema and baby massage as well as preventing nappy rash. And it’s also cruelty free, ethically produced and made from sustainable, recyclable, BPA free packaging. Hurrah!

We have been using it on Little Ored religiously since he was a newborn. First we used it to help with all of the crazy flaking that all newborn skin goes through and then when that cleared up we switched to using it as a nappy balm. We use it every time we change his nappy and since we’ve been putting it on his bottom he’s never suffered from nappy rash again. Ever.

Comes in a changing bag friendly size making it easy to take out and about too!

2. Earth Friendly Baby Shampoo & Bodywash

Made by the people at Lansinoh, Earth Friendly Baby makes a wide range of skincare products that are all made from organic, natural ingredients (something like 99.2% of the ingredients are naturally derived).

Suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike, EFB is against animal testing and the range is made in the U.K. with recyclable packaging.

A bottle of lavender bubble bath was gifted to us at the baby shower and since then we’ve become devotees. We buy both the lavender and chamomile (which smells dreamy) but annoyingly it’s not stocked as widely and readily as other baby brands so I usually have to order it online.

3. Aveeno Baby

I’m always at odds when using Aveeno products on Little Ored. Because whilst they’re fantastic, Aveeno as a brand are not completely cruelty free, testing on animals when required to by law (in countries such as China, for example).

My personal and ethical dilemma aside, Little Ored started suffering from a bad rash around his chin and underneath his neck when he first started cutting teeth and weaning. In other words there was a whole lot of dribble and bibs just seemed to irritate it further. So on the recommendation of a friend, who was going through something similar with her little one, we bought a bottle of moisturiser. After eating or after an exceptional bout of teething related dribble, we’d clean up him up with warm water and apply the Aveeno to clean, dry skin and within a matter of days the rash cleared up completely!

Now that’s he older we don’t need to apply the product in this way anymore but we do still use it after bathtimes to keep his skin super smooth. And the great news? A little goes a long way!

4. WaterWipes/ Co-op Baby Wipes/ Nutmeg Wipes

Remember how I said that most baby wipes have antifreeze in them? Well whilst cotton wool and water may have been great for indoor changing it just wouldn’t have been practical for when we were on the go, so we stocked up on Water Wipes. Made with just two ingredients- fruit extract and water- these wipes claim to be the purest on the market and they were great for Little Ored’s sensitive newborn skin.

We probably used these particular wipes until he was around 7/8 months old and then we started seeking a cheaper alternative (one pack of WaterWipes costs £2).

So now we use own brands at either Co-op and Morrison’s because both are cruelty free.


Tips and Tricks

  • Avoid using body creams and washes on newborns

There’s probably a lot of conflicting advice on this so I’d say do your research, but our midwife told us that recent studies suggest that applying products to newborn skin can increase the likelihood of childhood eczema. I think the consensus is that newborn skin needs time to adjust to life outside the womb. So for the first 3/4 months we didn’t use any kind of wash or moisturiser, only applying Kokoso to the parts where Little Ored’s skin was flaking to stop it from becoming sore or painful.

  • Do a patch test

You never know how skin is going to react to any kind of cream, but particularly skin that is delicate. If you’re unsure, apply a small amount of product to a particular area and leave for 24 hours.

  • Check the ingredients

Whichever brand or product you opt for, make sure you read the ingredients first. If there’s anything you don’t recognise or you’re not sure about, don’t be afraid to Google it whilst you’re still in the store. Be 100% sure before you buy!

  • Stock up on offers

Besides the wipes, most of the products we buy are somewhere in the middling price point (£5-£10) but when there is a discounted offer on, I tend to buy a couple as I know it will get used eventually.

  • Be prepared

Like I said, we were fortunate enough to receive a ton of skincare products at our baby shower and this saved us having to do any kind of mad rush to the shops in that whirlwind which is the first few months of parenthood. Whether you’re having a baby shower or not, make sure you’re stocked up on the necessities before your baby arrives as it’s one less thing to worry about.

I hope you’ve found this helpful! What products do you swear by for your babies/toddlers? Let me know in the comments below!

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The (Im)Possibility Of Being A Present Parent

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A few weeks ago Little Ored and I were travelling by bus en route to our Monday morning baby class when I was approached by an elderly woman. “It’s so nice to see a young Mum playing with her child instead of staring down at her phone.”

I was taken aback. Firstly by the apparent compliment on my parenting skills and secondly by how old she actually thought I was (I’m a few months shy of 30 and let’s face it that’s not that young).

All joking aside, I’ve always made a point of putting away my phone when I’m with Little Ored but even more so when we’re out and about. What would be the point of taking him to soft play, for a walk along the beach or out to lunch if I then spent the entire time ignoring him? We treat Little Ored as we would any adult, and if I wouldn’t sit on my phone for the duration of dinner with a friend then I’m not going to start doing it with my son.

Of course I’m no saint. There are occasions when I reply to a text, listen to a voicemail or check Google to find out when the next train is due. Or the more obvious and frequent reason I reach for the phone- to take photos. But I’d honestly say that for about 80% of the time when Little Ored is awake my phone is either hiding in a coat pocket or buried underneath a mountain of toys and baby wipes on a tabletop/kitchen counter.

Having a one year old means that for the most part, I’m too busy to even have my phone in hand but of course there are occasions when I have to remind myself to put it down, and that’s because I’m actively choosing (and trying) to be present in my son’s life. Screen time- specifically social media- is a BIG distraction from real life relationships and I don’t want my son or any future children growing up with the feeling that Mama isn’t really listening. I don’t want them ever feeling as if they have to compete for my attention. Likewise I don’t want to miss out on the funny/cute/ new things Little Ored does because I was too busy thumbing through Instagram.

And Little Ored loves that I’m right there with him, building blocks just so he can knock them down later. Chasing him into the tipi as he squeals with delight or dancing with abandon when his favourite song comes on the radio. Or, as is always the game of choice on any form of public transport, playing ‘ticket inspector’ on the bus.

But I can’t help but wonder how fully present any parent can really be when it’s almost impossible to shake off our responsibilities, be it work, running a household or both? So whilst my phone may lay untouched for hours on end, that doesn’t mean I haven’t found myself promising repeatedly that “I won’t be long,” whilst unpacking the third machine load of the day.

I always thought my phone was the enemy but now I realise it plays just a small part in the day to day demands on my time. For there will always be dirty dishes in the sink. Clean clothes that need folding. Errands to run. It’s a juggling act for any parent and I’d argue that no parent can be 100% present, 100% of the time.

Of course that doesn’t mean I don’t strive to be the best I can be, but it’s all about finding the right balance that works for me and my child and that’s all anyone can do as a parent. I guarantee they’ll be moments when sitting in front of the TV for an hour or two is the only way to appease a grumpy one year old. Other times I’ll need to hoover or cook lunch leaving Little Ored to amuse himself for longer than I’d like.

But if I can eliminate the unnecessary distractions (I finally deleted my Facebook account two weeks ago and I’m still basking in the glow of freedom) then at least I know that for the most part, Little Ored is getting the very best of me.

 

A Letter To My One Year Old

I wish I could tell you to slow down. To pause for a moment whilst I catch my breath (and catch up). But your endless energy, knowing grin and curiosity wouldn’t let you even if time would.

So here we are, basking in the afterglow of what was your first birthday this time last week. How has it already been a week since your birthday? How has it already been a year? The past 365 days have been an absolute whirlwind, and they have been the best I have ever known. In that time you’ve morphed from a helpless yet content baby into an olive eating, book loving, shrieking and pointing toddler- seemingly in the blink of an eye.

I remember holding  you for the first time, surprised by how small and how light you were in my arms. I remember not being able to sleep the night you were born as you lay next to me, for the sheer adrenaline coursing through my tired body. I was excited but most of all I was completely and utterly in love.

And so with those memories so clearly etched, despite sometimes feeling like a dream, I can’t quite believe that we are now here. Encouraging you to take your first steps. Deciphering yells whilst eagerly awaiting the day you start to say your first real words.

I had no idea whether Motherhood would suit me. I was never maternal but I’d like to think of myself as caring and loving, and as it turns out that’s all that really matters. Still, I was nervous. Imagine starting a new job without any kind of training! But I had nothing to fear. Motherhood has unequivocally been the making of me and that’s all down to you.

Thank you for making the last year as stress free as possible. Even in the womb you were chilled (I will always remember the sonographer asking me to shake my belly to try to get you to move) and along with your sweet nature, you’ve eased me into motherhood without ever making me feel overwhelmed. Not everyone gets to be so lucky.

That’s not to say I didn’t use Google every time you had a temperature or refluxed after a feed, but there’s a lot to be said for trusting your own instinct even when your instinct as a first time parent is practically non-existent at the start.

I look at you now- strong-willed, determined with an unapologetic mischievousness – and I can’t quite believe you are the same person whose head I was worried I wasn’t supporting properly, or who spent his nights sleeping in a baby box. Now you wake me up in the mornings by crazily crawling around in your cot as if to say “Come on Mama, it’s a new day!”

But it’s bittersweet. I already feel you becoming more independent and self-assured, quick to get cross if either of us tries to help you  because you’re adamant to learn on your own. And even though you are still very much a boob man, I know there probably isn’t long left on our breastfeeding journey (I’m letting you decide when you’re done) not to mention the preparations we’re making to move your cot into your own room in time for the summer.

No one told me that a birthday could be so emotional. But also full of promise. What wonderful, exciting adventures lay ahead of you…

Every day you surprise me with something new. Like when you blew raspberries against Papa Bear’s shoulder (for a solid 5 minutes) or when you problem solve a new toy super quick. Not to mention how impressive your dexterity is. And with that comes an overwhelming pride and joy in watching you grow.

Of course it’s not only you that’s grown in the past year. I no longer fumble with nappies and become flustered when undressing you at the Doctor’s. I’m a pro at navigating public transport with a pram and somehow we’ve created our own language in which I know from a look, cry or shout what it is you want (a good 90% of the time anyway).

I had always thought of myself as patient and empathetic but these are qualities you’ve only heightened. I no longer have time for negativity or anger or to let tiredness dominate the day. And when I see it written down like that, I’m kind of blown away by how much you really have changed my life.

In you I see the best we can be. And I see an already kind, bright and beautiful baby whose future hangs above us like the night sky. What stars you’ll map and align we’ll have to  wait and see, but oh how they’ll be lots and oh how they’ll shine brighter than we could ever have imagined!

And that fills me with more excitement for the future than sadness for the year that has now been and gone.

To you our loving, ever-smiling, head-bopping, beautiful son. How lucky we are.

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