Posts Tagged ‘essential oils’

Do You Use Shopping Cart Covers?

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Do You Use Shopping Cart Covers?The shopping cart cover…you know what I’m talking about. The padded little washable covers parents use to cover the kind of icky spot many of us plop our babies in–the baby seat in the shopping cart (or seats, if you’re shopping at Costco with their minivan-shopping cart hybrids).

My sister viewed shopping carts as yet another integral part of her plan to inoculate her kids and build up their immune systems through frequent exposure to the same grubby things our mom probably never noticed as she worked to keep us clothed, fed and alive.

Then there’s me; I was a reluctant cart cover user, having acquired one as a hand-me-down from a kind co-worker (and thus I felt bad not using it). It was nice having the extra padding (especially during winter months when the carts were sometimes cold from being outdoors), but it was a hassle juggling it, my bag, my kids, and any reusable shopping bags or return items or whatever. Plus to be honest, I wondered that if I wasn’t washing it after each use if I was really avoiding any germ exposure at all?

Then there’s the third camp, like my friend, who not only obsessively wiped down every potential touch surface with antibacterial wipes; she also brought her own with her, not trusting the store to always have them out with the carts. And a sub-group of this set is the moms who aren’t interested in their babies being exposed to shopping cart germs OR to Clorox wipe chemicals, and make their own kid-safe essential oil blend germ sprays to do the same.

So what’s the right way? Honestly, I don’t think there is a right answer to this question. What’s right for you may not be what’s right for your neighbor or your brother or–like so much of parenting–you just need to find what works for you and yours. My sister, the one in the first camp, is now studying microbiology on her way to becoming a nurse. I kind of wish she would do a germ study on shopping carts and covers as part of her homework … maybe the little agar petri dishes in her lab could give us a little guidance on this matter.

Meaghan Howard is a stay-at-home mom to two little boys. She’s currently enjoying her boys finally being old enough to not need to go in the shopping cart seat.

Homemade Summer Cures for Bites and Stings

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Homemade Summer Cures for Bites and StingsSweet, glorious summer is here and so are all the creepy crawlers, stinging plants, poison oaks and flying insects that come with it. I prefer to make my own remedies for my kids, using essential oils, herbs, berries and items in my kitchen.

For wasp and bee stings, my favorite way to remedy the pain of the sting is to use a credit card to scrape off the stinger (never pull the stinger out, as this can cause the sack to still pump the rest of its contents inside the wound), and then soak the area in apple cider vinegar by soaking a cotton ball in the vinegar and taping it to the wound for a half hour or until dry. After this, you can add a paste of baking soda and lotion or coconut oil to the site to relieve the redness. If you happen to have papaya on hand, this is another wonderful way to help draw out the venom. Place a slice on the sting and let it rest.

To relieve the itching from insect bites, a paste of baking soda and lotion or coconut oil with a few drops of peppermint oil added works well. Baking soda is great as a clarifier and helps soothe the skin, while peppermint is a vasodilator to help draw the blood heat away from the site and reduce the inflammation.

For poison oak, sumac, poison ivy and stinging nettles, you can make a tea from sassafras root or burdock (a common weed!) to place on the rash to ease the itch. Aloe vera is very cooling for relieving the pain, or a poultice of mashed wheat grass can be used on the site, too.

Sunburns are awfully painful on anyone, much less on kids. A few ways to relieve the pain for include aloe vera gel, rosewater, milk or yogurt, lavender oil, cucumber placed on the skin, and my favorite, chamomile tea. For my boys, I steep four to six bags of chamomile in a bucket of hot water and add this to their bath with a few drops of lavender oil. It helps relax them before bed and soothes the sunburnt skin.

For biting insects and mosquitoes, I like to use a homemade spray of:

90 drops citronella oil
60 drops lavender oil
10 drops rosewood oil
250 ml of Everclear or vodka 

Mix all ingredients in a glass jar–canning jars work great for this–and shake well. Add a small amount to a spray bottle and use as needed.

It works well, is completely safe for children and babies, and smells great! This spray smells so wonderful that I use this as a perfume for all of spring and summer since I am also very prone to insect bites.

I hope some of these home remedies for summertime skin issues can be helpful for you as they have been for me. I always feel so empowered when I can soothe my little ones aches and pains with something I have on hand. Happy healing!

Pia Watzig is a mom of two boys who lives and writes in Portland, Oregon. 

Using Essential Oils with Babies

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Essential oils make great natural remedies and are a wonderful part of an all-natural first aid kit. They can be used for colic, helping babies relax and get to sleep faster, bringing down a fever, or breaking up chest congestion.

When using them on babies it is very important to use extra caution. Usually one or two drops are enough to mix with water for diffusing or mixed with a carrier oil (such as coconut or olive) for a baby massage. Never use an undiluted essential oil directly onto a babies skin and be extra wary when using them in an area that could make it easy to get into the eye area.

Before using any essential oil, make sure your baby is old enough. Most are not recommended for babies under 6 months of age. Three of my favorites to have on hand are chamomile and lavender–considered safe for babies 4 months and up–and tea tree oil, which is considered safe for babies 6 months and older.

Here are some great things you can do with essential oils:

Massage Oil. Mix together two tablespoons of your carrier oil with one drop of either chamomile or lavender. Both of these scents are relaxing and can help soothe your baby at bedtime.

Diaper Rash. The same combination used for massage oil can be used in place of traditional diaper rash cream and may even help prevent yeast infections.

Fever Reducer. One drop of lavender in one tablespoon of coconut oil is great for making a feverish baby feel better. Rub the mixture on the back of the neck, along the back, and even on the legs and tummy if they’re feeling warm.

Chest Congestion. An all-natural, homemade alternative to vapo-rub can easily be made with two drops of lavender and two drops of tea tree oil mixed with two tablespoons of coconut oil. Massage onto chest and back.

Toy and Surface Cleaner. Add about 5 drops of tea tree oil to one cup of water in a spray bottle and use it to clean baby toys. Tea tree oil is a wonderful antibacterial and can be used as a safe alternative to chemical-filled cleaning products.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.


Monday Funday Giveaway: Mango Mama Bump Butter by Delish Naturals

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Do you have a growing baby bump? What a blessing; congrats to you! As lovely as baby bellies can be, sometimes the stretching skin can be itchy, uncomfortable and/or irritated. Mango Mama Bump Butter by Delish Naturals is a great way to keep your baby bump looking and feeling silky smooth! Made with ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients such as organic coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter, this product heals stretchmarks as well as helps prevent against new stretch marks. Keeping your body well hydrated inside and out is your best protection against stretch marks. You will enjoy the lightly invigorating and entirely soothing scent of the citrus essential oils that work to nourish your most delicate skin. Best of all Mango Mama Bump Butter pregnancy balm comes in a convenient stick form for easy and mess free application! Simply swipe it across your baby belly and let the healing begin!

Would you like to win a FREE stick of Mango Mama Bump Butter by Delish Naturals? Then be sure to enter this week’s giveaway below for your chance o win!! Winner will be announced on Sunday, September 30. Winner will be notified via email and is asked to respond within 48 hours in order to claim prize. Good luck mamas!!


Product Review: Hippy Pits – All Natural Deodorant by Delish Naturals

Monday, July 30th, 2012

I have tried many several different brands of all natural deodorants mostly with disappointing results. While I don’t like the harsh and toxic ingredients found in many name brand deodorants, I also don’t want to be sweaty and/or stinky either. Usually I settle for harsh ingredients over stinky BO…BUT thanks to Hippy Pits All Natural Deodorant by Delish Naturals I may not have to settle any more! I have been using Hippy Pits for the last 2 weeks and am diggin’ it! 🙂

What I like about Hippy Pits:

  • The ingredients – Hippy Pits is free of all harsh, synthetic ingredients and full of soothing, natural ingredients. It is even free of baking soda. While baking soda is a common ingredient in many all natural deodorants, it can irritate the delicate underarm skin so it did not find it’s way into this refreshingly unique product. Just what exactly IS in Hippy Pits? Ingredients include beeswax, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, arrowroot powder, cornstarch, silk amino acids, vitamin E, and essential oils.Oh how I love turning over a product and reading familiar words in the ingredient list!
  • The Scent – Hippy Pits comes in fresh and fun scents with names as clever as the product itself. All products are scented with essential oils. I have Daisy Chain which is made from Bergamot, Geranium & Lavender. Shortly after I put it on for the first time, my mom even commented that I smelled good and asked me what I was wearing. She totally cracked up laughing at my reply, “Um, Hippy Pits deodorant?” 🙂
  • Overall effectiveness – Okay this next part is a little embarrassing to admit, but because it provides valuable information about the effectiveness of the product I will share. I went four days without showering and relied exclusively on my Hippy Pits to keep me smelling fresh and clean. I was actually kind of surprised how well it worked during those four days. I even asked my hubby if I smelled funky and he assured me I was still cuddeable 😉 Hippy Pits also passed the running test for me. This is super important because I don’t often have the opportunity to shower after a run before heading out the door. I need to be confident my deodorant will do its job well so I can be in public post-run without scaring people away.

Stuff I wasn’t crazy about:

  • Left my pits feeling kind of “tacky” – If you are accustom to using a gel deodorant this may not be an issue for you. I however typically use a stick deodorant that is really dry so Hippy Pits felt kind of wet/tacky to me at first. I got use to the sensation over time but it was an adjustment.
  • Top does not close properly – This may be a funky glitch that is unique to my own particular stick of deodorant but for some reason the top of it will not close all the way. This does not interfere with or effect the product in any way…it just kind of bugs me. 🙂
  • Left kind of a sticky residue after on my clothing after I went running – One time after a particularly hard run in humid weather, I noticed the pits of my shirt had some sticky residue on them. Correction my hubby noticed and pointed it out to me. I think during my run some of the deodorant came off with my sweat and it stuck to my clothing. I ran several different times with this deodorant and this only happened the one time. My guess is that it was a combination of the intensity of the run, the weather, and the fabric of the particular shirt I was wearing? In any case it’s something I noted about using Hippy Pits.

All in all a great product that I would reccomend trying out if you are in search of an all-natural, eco-friendly deodorant that smells nice AND is effective! 🙂