Just like there’s no one right way to parent, there isn’t one hard-and-fast way to define yourself as a “Natural Parent.” For some, it means they favor a drug-free birth and babywearing. For others, it could mean baby-led weaning or cloth diapers. There are many parenting choices a Natural Parent can make, but the common thread is a desire to raise your baby in the most natural way that works for your family.
A desire to raise your baby in the most natural way that works for your family.
Most Natural Parents agree that the body does best with the least amount of “meddling” possible. The human body was designed to balance itself and recover naturally, and the closer we can keep things to how nature intended, the better off our babies, and ourselves, are. Medical care is typically viewed as preventative and for emergencies more than anything else.
The term “natural” appears on almost every single baby skincare product out there, but it’s extremely misleading.
The safest choices are products with ingredients that provide extra nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and are derived from plant sources, like the BEB Organic Bubbly Wash, Bébé Orange Blossom Face Cream from Chantecaille or natural skincare by Pai.
Read ingredient labels and avoid artificial fragrances, parabens, phthalates, phenoxyethanol, petroleum byproducts or other harsh chemicals that can harm your baby’s delicate body and development. These can all be present, even in baby products that say “all natural” on them.
Strengthening the Immune System
Strengthen the immune system wherever possible through breastmilk, infant massage and minimizing exposure to artificial additives or chemicals to help prevent health issues later in life.
Massage, for example, enhances your child’s nervous system, immune function, circulation, respiration and elimination in addition to all the emotional benefits.
Babywearing is the parenting practice of carrying your little one in a sling or a carrier against your body.
Babywearing advocates say this gives babies security as they experience familiar movements and sounds they knew in the womb: hearing your voice, feeling your heartbeat and your rhythmic breathing.
Many parents enjoy the ability to respond quickly to their baby’s cries and the increased eye contact from carrying him/her close.
Choose Natural-fiber Clothing
Choosing natural-fiber over synthetic fibers prevents toxic chemicals and dyes from rubbing against your child’s skin (or yours) and possibly finding entry into the body via open pores or sores. We’re fortunate that natural fiber clothing, even organic natural fibers, are easily available. Look out for product specifically sold as sleepwear because government regulations require that “sleepwear” be infused with fire retardant chemicals.
Use Cleaning Products That Are Chemical-free
Natural cleaning products help minimize toxins in your home. Without even trying, modern life exposes us to about 80,000 chemicals per day. Removing them makes our lives healthier, and a Natural Parent looks to create a healthy life for people and the planet. Check out the Environmental Working Group (EWG) for suggestions on alternative products.
Filtered water removes chlorine and other harmful chemicals from your home water. Water filters vary a lot in which chemicals they remove. Prescription drug residue shows up regularly in the water systems, along with many other things that you probably don’t want to be drinking. Whether you’re mixing up a powdered drink or bathing your baby in the tub, you’re best off with filtered water whenever possible.
Organic or Real Food
Eat unprocessed foods that are full of the nutrients we need to keep our bodies healthy, our minds well-functioning and the planet strong. We particularly try to avoid processed grains like white rice.
Eating foods grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers helps keep toxins out of your body and out of the ground we walk and play on.
A Natural Parent comes in all shapes and sizes, and these are just a few suggestions. Choose your own adventure by defining which alternatives you use to bring more health to your family and your world.
Kim Walls, Activist and Founder of BEB Organic skincare products, has spent years sourcing the purest, most healthful ingredients for her organic newborn skincare line, especially designed with delicate preemie skin in mind.