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A natural approach for good health – for Mama & baby

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Picnic Alfresco In The Forest… In The Rain! (Donegal, Ireland) by Natural Health Mama


Last week’s Steemit Culinary Challenge theme inspired me to have my own ‘picnic alfresco’, and despite the rain we had a wonderful time!  Since my wee man isn’t yet 2 I cook and bake all his food from scratch so I know exactly what’s going into his body.  For this picnic I made a selection of different savoury and sweet items, all made with natural organic ingredients suitable for little ‘uns:

– Mini khorasan soda farles

– Aduki falafels

– Salad skewers

– Curly potato crisps/chips

– Potato and red onion salad

– Pecan & date gingerbread men (no sugar)

– Cinnamon cookies (no sugar)

I will be sharing my recipes for these things in due course… I figured it’d make the post ridiculously long if I included all the food preparation too.  So for now I hope you enjoy viewing my picnic photos.  I live on the edge of Ards Forest in County Donegal, Ireland, and so picnics are a common occurrence for me, my husband and son Sky.  I had been hoping for a sunny day, but Donegal is a decidedly damp county and overcast drizzly grey skies are more the norm than summery days, even in summer.  Oh well!  Armed with a brolly and booted with wellies we found a good sheltered spot beneath the forest canopy, and so even though the drizzle continued we remained fairly dry 🙂  Well, until the heavens opened that is and we had to make a mad dash for home!  I got a few photos of the torrential rain, you can see at the end.  Thank goodness for umbrellas!

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After a couple months of this kind of weather I think we’re due some sunshine, because when you live beside a forest you’re practically obliged to be wild, and never too old to be swinging from trees! Or maybe that’s just me 🙂

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All photos in this post are my own original, taken with my Fujifilm Finepix S8200.



Non-Toxic Personal Care for Infants by Natural Health Mama



Meet the love of my life – my son Sky.  Just like all you other devoted parents, his health and happiness has been my number one priority from the moment I knew of his existence.

I’m not saying I’m a perfect mother by any means, but I know there are some good choice I make that others don’t, and a lot of it is down to simple knowledge.  So just in case there is anything I know that will be of help to other parents, I think it’s a good idea to share these few tips on personal care for infants 🙂

I don’t want to waffle, but suffice to say mine was a complicated and traumatic pregnancy and birth.  Due to having complete placenta previa, and then having my placenta hemorrhage, Sky was born by emergency cesarean 2 months early.  He then suffered a collapsed lung the following morning, and had to be airlifted across the country from Donegal to Dublin, to a special intensive care unit.  Argh.  Tell you what, it’s a good thing I was dosed up on morphine and tramadol or I don’t know how I would have endured the heartache of being separated from him, and not knowing if we would ever be together.  After a week in Dublin he was transferred back to a hospital in Donegal.  For a whole month he was kept in intensive care, and I had to get the bus to see him every day, and come home without him every day.  So, you can imagine after all that we both went through, his wellbeing was more important to me than ever.




A few days before he was coming home, one of the midwives suggested we bath him.  Great.  Except after filling the tub she then squeezed a massive amount of toxic chemicals into the water.  I was horrified!  If I hadn’t been in such a fragile and sleep deprived state I would have refused to let him in it!  For the next 3 days all I could smell on him was Johnson’s Baby Bath.  As discussed in a previous post:

 “…many people tend to forget that our skin is permeable and absorbs whatever we put on it. I’d guess most of us have at some point experienced adverse reactions to commercial beauty products, such as spots from clogged pores, skin rashes, dryness, itchiness, burning, etc, but those things are really the least of our worries. The chemicals contained in these popular brands we’re so fond of are extremely toxic, are absorbed right into our bloodstreams, and can result in serious health conditions that most people would never dream could be linked to a topical product. But the truth is not only can chemicals affect the surface of our skin, they can also affect our hormones, immune systems, nervous systems, reproductive systems, liver, brain, heart… everything!!!”

The skin of babies is even more delicate than ours, as it is much thinner and much less resilient than the skin of adults.  It is more absorbant and more susceptible to irritants.  Therefore, in my mind at least, it makes no sense to allow chemicals anywhere near them.  We wouldn’t let them drink poison, so why let their skin absorb it?  Hence why I use absolutely no chemical-filled baby products, only 100% natural, organic and edible products.


1.  I only bathe him once a week


Bathing too frequently damages the microbial balance by removing the beneficial bacteria on our skin, which we need for producing our own antibiotics.  It also removes the natural oils, leading to dryness and skin conditions.  Babies and infants don’t need much washing – I give Sky a quick wash before bed of his face, hands and groin area.  It’s usually on a Saturday morning that he gets to enjoy a nice full bath.


2. Vitamin C, in the form of ascorbic acid, to dechlorinate bath water


I add 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid to the bath water, which neutralises chlorine and chloramine, which are very harmful contaminants.  There are also other ways to reduce chemicals in bath water, which you can read about in a great article here.


3.  Homemade herbal hair rinse, instead of baby shampoo


This is pretty much the same hair rinse as I use myself (see previous post here), but with less ingredients.  I make a very simple mixture and put it in a spray bottle, then at bath time I spray it on his hair and leave it for roughly 5 minutes before rinsing.  When he was tiny I only used water, but now he’s grown a bit I found his hair tends to stay slightly oily if I only use water, so this herbal rinse spray is the perfect thing.  Soft, shiny, healthy hair, healthy scalp, and it smells great.  I also found it helped reduce his cradle cap when he was smaller too.




1 tblsp dried chamomile flowers

1 tblsp dried calendula petals

1 tblsp dried rosemary

1 tblsp dried sage




Put all the ingredients into a jar and cover with boiling water.  Leave to brew for at least 30 minutes.




Strain into a spray bottle through cheesecloth or old stockings




There you have it, ready to use 🙂




4.  Coconut oil to prevent and treat nappy rash


Coconut oil is all you need for any dryness on your baby’s skin.  I’ve tried a few other oils, such as almond oil and vitamin E oil, but I find coconut is the best.  Apply a little every night to help keep skin moisturised during the night, or apply generously at every nappy change if your baby has nappy rash, and you’ll find their skin heals very nicely.  Even sore and bleeding skin can heal overnight, it’s really that good!  Perhaps it’s due to my no-chemical approach, but Sky rarely gets nappy rash, and when he does it usually coincides with teething, as the two often happen together.

If you’re a user of cloth nappies, I recommend Disana organic raw silk liners to treat nappy rash, which have an anti-inflammatory effect.  I have used them when needed along with the Disana knitted nappies, but they can be used with any cloth nappies.


5.  Banana toothbrush


Although children don’t really need to start brushing their teeth until they’re around 2 (when teeth are touching and therefore food can get trapped), it’s not a bad idea to get them used to taking care of their oral hygiene.  I love this banana toothbrush, you may have seen or even have one – made from food-grade silicone, toxin-free – for teething infants.  It’s great for them to chew on, which is it’s main function, but the massaging bristles also gives them a sense of what it’ll be like to brush their teeth later on. When the time comes for Sky to brush his teeth properly, he won’t be using a fluoridated toothpaste, that’s for sure. Homemade toothpaste recipe coming soon from Natural Health Mama!




6. A good diet

I can’t stress enough the importance of diet for holistic health, though my WordPress followers will definitely know by now how enthusiastic I am about natural food!  Simply put: if we eat crap, we’ll look and feel like crap, and the same goes for our children. If they eat well, and by that I mean fresh nourishing wholefoods, plenty of vegetables and fruit, good fats, no processed rubbish, no sugar… then their skin will be clear and glowing, their hair thick and shiny, their teeth cavity free, their eyes bright, their bodies strong inside and out. Diet really is the most important consideration for looking, feeling and functioning well.





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