It's been almost a whole year since I've talked about raising Nia naturally, so I thought it was time for an update how we're continuing to raise her as naturally as we can - just so you can see what we mean by 'naturally'. I've broken the post up a bit into the different areas where we try really hard to practice this! And I've tried my best to not make them lengthy, but feel free to check out all or only a few of the sections that interest you. Again, these are just our attempts to do what we feel best for our child, but I also realize that it's not an umbrella!
We still try our best to dress her in organic or hand-me-down clothing. My SIL gives us a ton of my niece's old clothes every few months, which is so amazing (thanks, Amanda!) and super helpful, seeing as they grow so quickly! But when we're not enjoying hand-me-downs, we tend to stick to purchasing organic, with the exception of some non-organic clothing.
We do the majority of our organic baby clothes shopping at H&M or online at paradebaby.com, and here are some other suggestions:
- Kate Quinn Organics: Nia had one top when she was younger, and I still absolutely love their clothing (especially when you can find it on super-sale, like I did with her top). Like, how could you not love these baby pajamas??
- Baby Gap: Although very limited in stores (read: inexistent), they do have some options for organic clothing online. Luckily when Nia was born, we had a gift card to the Gap, so I used it online to purchase her some things, like this top.
- Other stores catching onto the organic baby clothes craze: In the search for more offerings of organic baby clothing, I noticed these leggings online at Nordstrom, and I can only imagine that more and more companies are accommodating to this with more awareness being placed on pesticides on cotton crops.
- LOOK FOR SALES! I know that some organic clothing can be super expensive, especially for how quickly children grow, but if you're anything like me, I'm a total sale scouter outer (that's a thing, right?), and have done pretty awesome finding really good prices (maybe even comparable to non-organic) if I put the time in.
Now this category can still be broken down into two parts: solids and breastfeeding. Yes, we've made it 1.5 years of BFing (someone hand me my medal!). I'm actually pretty shocked because I was really clueless before having a baby and thought I would stop at 6 months. HA!
So what is my breastfeeding plan?
Since Nia knows the sign for 'milk' and uses it to communicate when she wants milk, AND uses it pretty frequently, I gather that she's not ready to wean herself. I think I'm going to ride it out a bit longer of her choosing how often she wants milk, and maybe start scaling back in the next month. Right now, she eats when she wakes up in the morning, before or after both naps, and before bedtime. I want her to naturally wean herself, but we will see (because I kind of need a life back also).
And, what about solids?
Despite a little pickiness that happened when teeth majorly started coming in, she's still a pretty good eater. We still try to choose mainly organic, where I'd say 80% of what she eats is organic and 20% isn't, which is normally from eating out or traveling and choosing items from the 'Clean 15' list.
I do admit that I am kind of an organic freak, especially for Nia, but like the clothing, we try to do our best to sale/clearance items. I just have issues with the amount of pesticides being allowed on produce because it's actually what is tolerable for adults to handle; they don't even take into account how that impacts these much smaller humans (and another reason to avoid the dirty dozen altogether). That's why we try and choose organic whenever possible.
As for the physical eating part, now that's she has pretty much all her chompers (except for the canines -- come in soon, please, I can't take it anymore!), baby led weaning is a thing of the past, and she can pretty much eat all the same textures as we do! Success!
Diapers and potty training
I discussed in detail a loooong time ago about our cloth diapering system, which apart from a few new brands added into the mix, we still use exclusively. I have never been more satisfied in a decision than this one. Even with traveling, we bring our big ol' bag of cloth diapers because I'm that passionate about it (or, that crazy mom - your choice!).
From the link above (if you click it, it will take you to the post on all the different brands of cloth diapers we use), we've also added the following new cloth diapers into our system:
- Funky fluff: our newest one; made from bamboo; working out really great so far
- Lil Helper: Tyler's mom got us the starter kit a while back, which I swear is actually way less now than what she got it for (and looking at the prices, I think they've dropped them all, making them super affordable); some leak issues with them, but still a contender in her "good" stash of diapers (trust me, we have some "bad" ones - trying to phase them out!)
- Next up: Get more BumGenius or scout out a new brand that catches my attention!
Potty training, on the other hand, was never implemented enough, so she has fallen out of feeling uncomfortable in a wet diaper. I hate that I failed at it, because I really wanted to succeed at Elimination Communication. I would like to work on really potty training her again soon though. We talk about 'the potty' a lot throughout the day (plus she can do the signs for: potty, change, pee pee, and poo poo), so the awareness is there. It's just making the switch from her going in the diaper and then telling me she needs a change, to signing potty before it actually comes out. My goals are to get her on the potty at least once a day, and we always clap, so she knows that sitting on the potty is a good thing!
We got in the habit of brushing Nia's teeth--I want to say--around the 6 month mark. At first, we started with a little rubber toothbrush that fit over our finger, and then switched to a toothbrush and toothpaste a little while back when teeth started coming in like crazy!
Not so 'natural' here (especially when things are purchased for her not from us), but still trying to do little things. Like, recently, I got her some natural crayons.
They colour like a dream, and it's awesome knowing that they're natural and non-toxic.
Moving forward with the more items she accumulates, I will try my best to make sure any plastic is phthalate and BPA-free, and have products that use plant-based dyes and recycled material, as much as possible.
Sleeping and bathing
We still have her sleeping in a crib (with an organic mattress and mattress cover), on organic cotton or bamboo sheets, and recently upgraded her to an organic sleep sack (her previous one was just a hand-me-down from a friend). I love her sleep sack now that we got a few months back. It's an Ergo Pouch 1 Tog (<--bought from the store that it's linked to), because it's lightweight, but has a ton of room for her to grow more! And thankfully pretty much all of her pajamas are hand-me-downs from Tyler's sister, otherwise, I'm not sure what we would do. Organic PJs are expeeeeensive!
Meanwhile, bathing is still done in her baby tub (mainly because the bathroom in our house with the bathtub belongs to Tyler's sis and her boyfriend, so we don't want to overtake that, plus, Nia's fine in the baby tub still…for now!). And, we haven't strayed from using Burts Bee's shampoo and body wash since she was born. I think we'll eventually change one day, but we know this one works, plus she had a reaction to another brand (which I'll talk about in a different post!). For toys, we just bought her a little seahorse made from BPA and phthalate free plastic (like I stated above!).
Ok, I'm done! So if you made it this far, thanks for reading and understanding our decision to raise Nia in the way we do. I know it's not for everyone, and I'm sure some people disagree with a lot of the things we do, or find some of it unnecessary, but I want to express that this is what works for us and what makes us feel comfortable. Thank you for understanding!
It's actually a shame that as a parent, I can't trust majority of what's out there. If all companies, like the smaller ones I support, were trying their best for our children and the planet, then maybe I wouldn't be so reluctant. But as it stands now, I really don't think they're looking out for families. That's why I suggest doing your research and making sure you know what you're buying before you actually purchase it!!
Question: Have you heard of or use any of the items I mentioned above for your child(ren)??
Disclaimer: This post contains some (not all) affiliate links in it, and please note that it only includes items that I 100% agree with and purchase myself.