Every day there are more reports about how our environment is affecting our health. Pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, GMOs, over-processed foods, chemical additives in everything – the list is lengthy and it continues to grow. Enter a newborn life, and as parents you now have big choices to make. You are armed with much more information than your parents and grandparents had when they brought children into the world. So many things were “New and Improved” back then and they seemed fine. Now we all know much better when it comes to infant care. Natural choices are becoming increasingly popular.
Natural Infant Care Begins at Ground Zero
When it comes to your baby, you are ground zero! The most important choice you can make in caring for your baby is to care for yourself. Eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep and exercise and maintaining a positive outlook are very important. Ideally, you begin preparations even before you become pregnant so your baby begins in a healthy environment. Think of your body as transitional housing for your child. You want your baby to have the best, so you need to keep your body as healthy as possible for the duration.
Become Informed About Newborn Procedures
When your baby gets here, there will be some choices you need to make about certain procedures, many of which are automatic in today’s healthcare systems. Learn what these procedures are and talk with your doctor or midwife about their necessity. Some you can skip altogether, such as bathing your baby during the first day. The newborn screening is an example of a procedure you will want to keep. There will be some for which you may want to find an alternative. For example, some moms opt to use organic, raw prenatal vitamins to give their babies a healthy start from the beginning.
Research the pros and cons of newborn procedures; find out alternatives and the efficacy of both so you can make an informed decision for infant care. There may be some circumstances where you may choose to go with a certain procedure due to mitigating circumstances. Some moms allow the vitamin K shot while others prefer to use alternative methods to ensure their baby gets enough of the vitamin.
Infant Care 101
There will be much to learn about taking care of this brand new tiny human. How you feed your little one is going to be one of the major choices you will need to make. Breastfeeding has now come back into its own as the preferred method of giving nourishment. New mothers need to understand that they must watch what they ingest while nursing. You may love onions, but they may wreak havoc on your baby’s fragile digestive system. If you can’t afford a completely organic menu, learn which organic foods are recommended over the regular fare and opt for those when possible. In the meantime, choose healthy foods over junk food. You may find that, all things considered, that bag of chips may cost as much or more than a healthier alternative.
If you are going to use formula, do your research to find out which types of formula are best for your little one. Your midwife may be able to make suggestions and give you information on the types available. Since formula calls for bottles, you may want to go with bottles and nipples that work in a natural fashion. This may help eliminate some tummy problems bottle-fed infants sometimes experience.
Be aware of the products you use on baby’s skin. Soaps and shampoos can be irritating. Some moms just use plain water while others use natural soaps as well. Read the labels and choose products that don’t have a lot of chemicals and alcohols in them.
Making natural choices when it comes to infant care can mean fewer allergic reactions and a more comfortable welcome into the world for your little one. It also gives you the peace of mind knowing that you are providing a good, healthy start for your baby.