One thing I knew before Diane was born and that was confirmed later on…. Newborns don’t need much, besides your contact, your love and your breast (or milk…;-) ).
So these are the basics we have been using, nothing more. We honestly haven't needed more than that. Why make it complicated when it can be so easy?
1. The diapers / nappies
So first of all, you don’t need to buy a special “diaper” bag. Any bag that you already have will make it! Unless of course you fancy those absolutely…;-)
What do I have in my diaper bag?
Seriously… almost nothing.
- The diapers:
We started using the fully disposable nappies “Eco by Naty”. They are highly efficient and left our baby’s bum clean, which is what we want. But even better: they are completely chemical-free. No GMOs, no chlorine, no toxins for baby’s skin to absorb (in most conventional diapers you will find phthalates, fragrance, heavy metals, formaldehyde... all sorts of nasties that are NOT GOOD for your baby). Check their website if you want to know more. They are absorbent thanks to completely natural materials, like wood pulp for example. And they are completely biodegradable, which goes a long way regarding the tons of diapers used every day all around the world….
We still use them when we go out for example. But when I stay at home, I like to use the Organic Cotton reusable washable AppleCheeks diapers. First, they are so cute and so soft!! It is all organic cotton and bamboo. And they are efficient too. But well, if you are on the go, you will have to take a bag for the soiled diaper and another to keep the clean ones… that is feasible, maybe more complicated when you are traveling though :-) Anyway, those ones work just fine, and it is a dream on baby’s skin.
As a result, Diane has never had any “diaper rash”. Only once because we hadn’t changed her for too long… (more than 14 hours, my fault…!!!). We used 100% Aloe Vera Gel and it completely disappeared after a few hours.
Please people, avoid by all means those commercial creams that are laden with very toxic chemicals. You don’t need 150 ingredients to have a good soothing nourishing cream for your baby!! Coconut Oil or Avocado Oil are what I would advice you to use. And by the way, this works for you as well. Beware of the daily cosmetics (shampoo, make-up, deodorants...)you are using. Unfortunately today, they are mostly loaded with harmful toxins that can wreak havoc your health, and your baby's health especially if you are breastfeeding. Personally, I highly prefer the feel and smell of all organic natural products. And THEY WORK. Don't be a victim of the professional marketing ads out there.
- Water wipes
To wipe her off, we chose simple Water Wipes that are made of water and a few drops of essential oils.
2. Baby's clothes
That’s the part where I felt the most overwhelmed with. I really didn’t know: how many bodysuits? Sleepsuits? Trousers? Tops? I was lost. The book I have been recommending now for a while , and that helped me so much with all of it is: The Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth from Genevieve Howland. I would advice anyone to also read: The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care from Sally Fallon Morell.
Newborns really don’t need much!! The only thing that I spent time on, is the quality of the clothes: they are all 100% Organic, GOTS certified (Global Organic Textile Standard), which means that there are no chemicals used to treat the organic cotton or put some colors on it. This is very important, as many brands say they are organic but then will use toxic dyes on top of the material, or they will treat it/bleach it. And that’s no good. Remember: your baby’s skin absorbs EVERYTHING. Keep them as far away as possible from toxic materials that can penetrate and disturb their developing body.
3. The bed linens and blankets
This is the same as for the clothes: we chose all organic. As we are co-sleeping (bed-sharing), it meant beautiful soft organic sheets for us as well :-) If you use a crib, there are now nice natural mattresses, covers, sheets…. The best site I found for this is The Little Green Sheep. Their stuff is just super clean and the quality is OUTSTANDING.
4. Baby Carriers
Diane is almost 4 months old now and we still haven’t bought a stroller…. The Baby sling we have been using is perfect for our daily walks and outdoor activities. She is getting bigger though, we might change now for a more “Advanced” baby carrier model. One we can take her hiking with us :-)
5. Baby toys
Honestly, newborns don’t need any toys at all. Everything around them is like a toy. Toys at that age are more for the parents who find them just too cute…!
But from 2-3 months on more or less, it can be nice to have them play around by themselves, and that’s when I thought we would need a play mat with some hanging rattles to see how she interacts and moves her body, freely. I like to let her do her thing on her own time. Whenever she will feel the need for more, the need to turn from the back to the tummy and vice-versa, to shake her rattle… She will do it. I like to see her grow slowly enjoying every step on the way, we don’t need to speed up the process. I even think that we shouldn’t speed up the process, for their own good.
Again, the quality of the toys you are going to use is highly important. An environment made of plastics can easily wreak havoc their endocrine system and can be an early trigger for early puberty onset and other mid/highly severe hormonal imbalances. Find non-treated wooden ones, with organic cotton covers… I loved the brand Finn and Emma. Their stuff is super cute and super clean. Check them here.
6. Be present
As I am breastfeeding and co-sleeping with Diane, I must say that I am spending a lot of time depending on her own activities… She likes to breastfeed quite often, and wants me to stay with her during her naps and at night. This is changing now, as she is growing, she knows we are here even if sometimes she can not see us, which makes a big difference compared to a small newborn, who has no clue that you will come back once you are out of their eyesight.
Many people have told me that is a bit too much, it is a real sacrifice of my life and time, I should leave her alone, breastfeed only on a schedule, even if she wants more, etc etc. First, I think at that age, babies know better than us what they are doing. If she is hungry or thirsty, she needs milk. When she is going through some growth spurt, she needs more milk as well. She might even be preparing the increase of milk production for the next days when she needs more of it. I have been listening to her demands and needs as much as possible, with some mistakes here and there for sure...! But the bottom is this: she knows better.
When they just have born, I do believe that they only need YOU, your PRESENCE, your WARMTH, your SMELL, your VOICE. The first trimester on Earth is the 4th trimester of pregnancy. They just came into the world which is very aggressive to them. You are their only anchor to some love and security. So yes, it takes from your time (especially the breastfeeding mama). My vision of it is that at this stage of their existence, our role as parents is to let them feel protected, loved no matter what. And when they want to cry out their stress (because yes, they have a big daily amount of stress to let go of), they should be able to do it. There are 2 books that helped me tremendously understanding it: Tears and Tantrums, What to do when babies and children cry by Aletha J. Solter. The other one is "Kiss me: how to raise your children with love" by Carlos Gonzales from La Leche League. Check them out, their website has loads of information, from breastfeeding, to sleeping, to eating....
So that was it. The easy simple basics for our holistic baby :-)
Maybe the most difficult task is actually to give her a nutritious milk to thrive on! This is for another article about how to produce a nutritious breast milk, and how to choose formula milk and better alternatives for mothers who can not breastfeed.
In Love and Health,