Food, glorious food
“Breast is best!” says Latham Thomas, author of Mama Glow (210.99, Hay House). Your milk works as Mother.
Nature’s vaccine for the baby, she explains: “Your body takes a sampling of the germs that your baby comes into contact with, creates the antibodies to those pathogens and then passes them to your baby through your breast milk,” she says. “In essence, your baby is innoculated each time she suckles at the breast. Plus, breastfeeding helps contract the uterus to its normal size,” she adds garcinia cambogia results
“Research also shows that it helps reduce your chances of developing breast cancer later in
life. And, breast fed babies have higher !Qs!”
She also cautions that if you express breast milk or have to use formula, that you choose bisphenol A (BPA)-free bottles. BPA is a chemical found in plastic that some studies have found can affect the brain, behaviour and prostate gland of babies and children.
“BPA is also found in some dummies, teethers and the like,” says Latham.
“So double-check labels and make sure anything your baby frequently puts in her mouth is BPA-free.”
We all know that pesticides can harm developing cells, even in small amounts. So when it is time to wean your baby, make sure you go organic and try homemade meals. “Making your own baby food is the best way to ensure your child’s food is loaded with nutrients and eliminates the preservatives that are in packaged baby foods,” says Latham. “Introduce root veggies and stone fruits. Peel and steam foods to clean them before processing through a blender or food mill.”
Keep it clean
It’s not just what you feed your baby that’s vital to their well being, you also need to watch what goes on to their precious skin. “While adults can often develop adverse reactions from synthetic chemicals, babies are even more sensitive,” explains Claire Braithwaite, naturopath and founder of natural skincare retailer.
“Avoid using shampoos, bubble baths and body washes on baby for the first three months, even natural ones. These products contain surfactants which can irritate a newborn.
Instead, for the first three months keep it simple by using only natural baby oils, fragrance free organic soaps and plant oil-based balms,” she says.
“When your little one is old enough to start using a shampoo choose products that are free from sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS); this harsh surfactant over-strips natural oils from the skin and can exacerbate conditions such as eczema. Other ingredients to avoid are mineral oil, propylene glycol, PEGs and paraffin,” she said. “I am a huge fan of Weleda’s baby care range for newborns upwards; the products are functional and affordable and made with the highest quality natural ingredients (their nappy cream is an essential). I also recommend Lavera, Green People and Neal’s Yard. If in doubt look for the Soil Association or Ecocert symbol on products; these certifications provide piece of mind that the product is genuine,” she adds.
Janey Lee Grace, Natural Health columnist and author of Imperfectly Natural Baby and Toddler
Suggests this natural lifesaver “Coconut oil is one of the best, natural all-round products.”She adds: “For nappy changes avoid baby wipes; cut up pieces of fabric or even paper towels and make your own solution using cooled chamomile tea with a few drops of almond oil and one drop of lavender oil. You can also add half a teaspoon of honey, which is antibacterial and very soothing.”
Babies respond well to being touched and caressed. It makes them clever and cheerful, strengthens the parent-child bond, and lays the foundation for a healthy life. If your darling is six months or older try the exercise below from Baby Shiatsu: Gentle Touch to Help Your Baby Thrive by Karin Kalbantner Wernicke and Tina Hasse (£14, Jessica Kingsley Publishers).
By now your baby has become pretty mobile, hasn’t she! For this reason it’s best to do baby shiatsu on the floor. So, sit in front of your baby with your legs wide apart, and a cushion for support. It’s important to go very slowly, so that the child can consciously follow the movements.
For the workout you will need:
Large towel that won’t tear easily beach ball a toy plastic ring (one that’s not too thick) III a chair or stool.
SHOW ME YOUR SIDE
Turn your baby onto her side. One hand supports under her chest and tummy, and the baby’s arm and leg that are uppermost lie over your arm. With your other hand work little by little, using gentle pressure, along the baby’s side. Continue working in the same way along the outside of the baby’s leg, from the hip to the foot. After that, repeat the movement along the baby’s arm. Feel your way, with gentle pressure, along the outside of the arm from the shoulder to the hand.
GIVE ME YOUR ARM AND LEG 1 Next, roll the baby slightly backwards until her back is resting against your leg. Then continue the treatment with your other hand. The hand that you were using to begin with is now on the baby’s shoulder, and your free hand works its way little by little along the baby’s other leg, from the hip towards the foot.
BABY IN BALANCE
Now turn the baby slowly onto her back again. Rest your hands on the child’s breastbone. Stay in this position long enough for your little one to centre herself.
Detox your home
“Human babies are born without some of their functions, such as digestion and immune system, fully working,” says environmentalist Pat Thomas author of what’s In This Stuff? (£7.49, Rodale), who advises keeping your home free-from harsh chemicals and synthetics. “Babies indulge in a lot of hand-to-mouth activity, making it easy to transfer toxins into their bodies,” she says. “Try to avoid disposable nappies that are made of bleached paper, brand-new plastic baby carriers and car seats that have been treated with toxic flame-retardants, and cribs that have been treated with pesticides,” she adds.
The best all-around defence against harmful fumes is the simplest: Bring the outdoors in. “Open the windows whenever you can,” says Latham. “You don’t need to worry about pollen and other allergens. It’s probably a protective thing,” she says. “Studies show that if babies visit a farm during their first year of life, they are much less likely to develop allergies.”
Consider the effects of electro-magnetic frequencies too says Janey Lee Grace. “Keep the baby away from your mobile phone (better still don’t use it for too long!) and always turn off wi-fi at night as it can disrupt restorative sleep,” she adds. “Avoid too much screen time; a recent study suggested under threes should have no TV, video or computer whatsoever, don’t beat yourself up, but ensure the time is limited.” Also, there’s no need to fork out for a small fortune for presents, she adds: “Don’t overdo it with plastic toys. Most toddlers can have hours of fun with a small saucepan and wooden spoon; toys made from natural materials are much nicer and are sustainable.”
Try these natural homeopathic baby remedies from medical herbalist Carole Symons
Teething – Chamomilla can be used for painful teething. You will always know to use chamomilla if your baby has one hot cheek, the other pale and cold.
Colic – For violent, cramp-like pains that are relieved by heat or pressure, try colocynthus. It is also helpful to ease the initability associated with pain.
Diarrhoea – A caution: diarrhoea can be serious in an infant. The problem is the loss of fluids causing severe dehydration resulting in loss of fluids from tissues and blood. If it persists, consult your health professional. If stools are foul try aloe socratans. Opt for arsenicum album if your child is exhausted after a movement.