Tag Archives: eco-baby

Home-made baby bath bomb perfection.

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Some may call it poor planning, others ingenuity, but whichever way you see the journey, here we are. Yesterday we ran out of bathing products for Bo. I’ve only ever used organic, chemical free, planet friendly bath products on Bo’s skin because, well, she’s worth it. Actually it all began in the hospital on day 2 post birth when we gave Bo her very first bath.

J&Js is an extremely popular baby bathing product in Australia (and I’m sure in other parts of the world too), and in the hospital you get a little mini travel pack FREE with every baby. Don’t get too pumped though, don’t just run out and get pregnant for the awesome freebees… I hate to tell you, J&J, in my opinion, is pretty average [crap]. But then, what do I know right? I only ever used it ONCE. Once was more than enough. One squirt of this stuff into the bath water and my beautiful newborns skin was dry and flaky afterwards. Poor poppet. So we donated the stuff to charity because hey, someone might want to use it? And upgraded to organic. Which was great. Never in the past 15 weeks of Bo’s life have we had a problem again.

Until now. Because we are out of products and in the local store is the dreaded J&J and a whole lot of other products that are overpriced and full of chemicals.

So, we made our own. Bo wasn’t much help this time… she was busy trying to roll off the mat.

The Method:

We are pretty limited here with what we can get our hands on. I’d love to use some lavender, or other dried flowers or goats milk soap… but I can’t find anything like that here… so for now we went really simple.

I used quick oats (cos we can’t get rolled outs here) and both peppermint and chamomile tea (I’d have preferred to use the dried flowers/leaves whole but again we have a supply issue here). It really is as simple as that.

Open up the tea bags and mix the two teas together then add the oats.

I used a muslin wrap cut up into pieces… anyone with a baby has a million muslin wraps… we just used an old second hand one. i cut it into squares, added the oat mixture and tied it up in a tight little parcel (with the fabric tie from my pj pants – cos since pregnancy, well, I haven’t really needed to tie my pants up anymore… they are snug enough).

That’s it. At bath time we just pop one of these little parcels into the warm water and squish it around a bit to release all the goodness. I then use it like a sponge on her skin, its really soft and gets in those chubby baby folds really easily, beautiful soft oat milk comes out and cleans her skin as you go. It makes the bath smell lovely (like a big cup of herbal tea) and the oats make her skin super smooth and milky. Baby spa treatment? Bo seemed to think so.

Perfect xox

To inherit the earth, is our gift to them.

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Bo’s birthright: it’s in her blood.

Living in the village has taught me many, many things over the past few years. I have learned to let go where I used to hold on, and I’ve learned to hold on or hold back at times where it’s no longer appropriate to let go. I’ve learned how to eat with one hand (even deboning a fish or unshelling a prawn), how to barbeque fish over hot coals and how to shower with a bucket. I’ve learned a language, a culture and an identity I didn’t know I had in me. I’ve learned how to appreciate faith, even if I don’t have a particular faith of my own.

I’ve learned a true appreciation for the luck of my birth rights, the luck that was handed to me just because I was born when and where I was. I grew up middle class. I grew up with clothes on my back and food in the fridge. There were hard years, where perhaps I was too aware of financial stress and bills piling up… but there were also many easy years where i was allowed to just be a child. I was lucky to be given the opportunity to have government support whilst i studied at university and the freedom to study what I wanted, where I wanted, when I wanted. These privileges weren’t earned. I didn’t do anything to receive them. They were inherited. They are privileges I am so honoured to be able to pass on to my daughter, and privileges I know my husband wishes he had had.

I’ve always been aware of recycling, in Australia we are very well educated when it comes to garbage disposal etc. Our government programs that actually DO the disposal haven’t quite caught up to our education, but that’s a whole different story. When I first moved to the village I was shocked that there is no garbage disposal system here. There is no dump. There are no trucks that come to collect your household waste. Waste get dumped into a hole in the front (or back) yard and gets unceremoniously burnt off when the hole gets too full. Good or bad, it’s the system here. And as I got used to the many cultural differences I have over time come to accept our rubbish hole.

The blessing of the rubbish hole is the new thinking it brings. It makes me consciously THINK about what goes into our household bin… knowing that I will have to live with seeing it in the hole for the next few months until it is burnt or covered with fallen palm fronds. We create very little household waste now. With food scraps going over the fence to the chickens, dogs, water buffalo and other wild (and not so wild) animals that pass by and using cloth nappies (who wants to live next to a pile of dirty nappies?) we are greatly reducing our impact on the local environment we are a step in the right direction.

The problem is the plastic. What can be done with all the plastic? Everything comes in a plastic bag, or two… when I go to the market (which post-Bo is not very often if at all) I try to take a canvas bag with me to avoid plastic, though some sellers are pretty insistent that their goods come wrapped in plastic. We donate our unwanted plastic bags to my mother in law who uses them at her house and in her food stall to sell her wares… is there another great use for unwanted plastic?

Maybe it takes knowing that you have to FACE your garbage every day to truly THINK about what you throw out? Whether you do already or not, it’s certainly worth considering isn’t it? We leave many things for our children. We leave them love and useless belongings. We leave them with lessons and letters and photographs. We leave them with a world that we as adults have helped create. Maybe we can’t change the politics or effect global change in a day (though I’m not saying we can’t in our lifetime… because if we all just STOOD UP we truly could) but one thing we can change is our own actions and how they impact the world around us. And maybe the simplest way to start really is by looking in your bin?

Let’s let these kids inherit the same beautiful earth that we did.

A bum in cloth.

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cute, soft and enviro-happy… Bo in one of her 2nd hand Itti Bitti’s

I never thought that I would be spending time seriously considering the pros and cons of different nappies, nor did I think I would spend time writing about them. But here we are, and here I am… writing. I have a confession to make. I have an unhealthy love of cloth nappies. I’ll admit it. Even from here in Indo I find myself using my slow internet connection to browse second hand (I try not to buy new, but that’s a story for another time) nappy sites and look at the beautiful cloths and dream about Bo’s little toddler bum running around in cloth. I don’t purchase, I just look, and dream.

I don’t purchase because Bo has enough cloth. We have thirty something nappies in a big red plastic bin in her corner of our house. 90% of these nappies were gifted to us and the others were bought second hand. We love our cloth.

When in Australia we used disposables most of the time… with a brand new first-time-mama baby, a husband overseas and packing for a move… we had enough on our plates, so I “learned” cloth slowly. Once we arrived here in Indo we went cloth, and we are using the last of our disposables just for night time sleeps (they last a super long time when you are only using 1 or 2 a day!).

I read a lot about cloth diapering before we started the cloth adventure. I joined MCN (Modern Cloth Nappy) forums and found out how to wash, care for and use cloth diapers of all makes and models – and you may find it hard to imagine, but there are a few.

We have our favourites. We love Itti Bittis and Designer Bums… but the China Cheapies we have are really just as reliable and Bo couldn’t care less which one we put on her. My husband loves them, I love them, they don’t leak, they don’t smell, they look cute and they are super easy to use and to wash.

Good for our pocket. Good for our environment. Good for Bo’s bum. And now we have our semi-automatic (yes that means it’s part manual) washing machine and we don’t have to handwash… there is no reason not to go green and use cloth.

When nappies are $40 a box in stores… it’s definitely something worth considering when thinking about your babies bottom.

xox