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The best natural baby products according to a beauty editor
By Sarah Tarca
One of the cool things about having a second child is that you get to un-make all the mistakes you did the first time around. Now that you’re semi-confident you can keep a baby alive, you get to spend more time worrying about other fun stuff like how to keep your two-year-old from sticking his grubby fingers in the baby’s mouth, or putting pegs on his tiny fingers (just me?)
Now that I’m out of the spectacular war zone that was the fourth trimester I’ve been able to look at things with fresh eyes, and make the tiny upgrades I’d been wanting to do since my first son came into the world. And of course, I couldn’t do this without a few products that I either didn’t know about, weren’t around, or I was too deep in first-mum-freakouts to find two years ago. And now, I’m passing these excellent recommendations onto you too, because that’s what mama’s do. You’re welcome.
Oh boy, to call this an MVP would be a gross understatement. It’s changed how I feel about pumping which was a huge roadblock with my first babe. Let me backtrack a bit, I hate/hated pumping with a passion. The groan of the machine, the grotesqueness of it, the fact that you were stuck in a corner like some cow, chained to a machine. Hated it. So I never did it, which meant my partner could never help out, and that was also an issue.
And then, the Haakaa came into my life. A little piece of holy silicone that I have recommended so much I should own shares in the company. It works by suction; you peel back the lip, squeeze it, pop it over your boob, then peel the lip back. At first you think there’s no way it could ever work (how?!) and then it starts filling up, and you feel like there’s deadest wizardry at play.
I use it literally every time I feed, on the opposite boob to where he’s feeding, and over the day can get 100ml or more, without having to use an electric pump. Plus it’s portable – you can literally walk around with it attached, which is 100 per cent not sexy, but essential when the toddler has the pegs and is running for the baby.
Here’s what I know about baby skin: their skin barrier (the thing that keeps water in, and irritants out) is more fragile than ours as it hasn’t had time to strengthen yet. What this means is they’re more susceptible to irritants, which increases the chance of rashes or eczema. Now, there are a million baby products out there, but somehow, up until Bunjie came on the scene, there weren’t any that worked to protect the skin microbiome – and help strengthen it.
The range has got my favourite combination of being science-and-research backed, planet-friendly, and also free of all the known irritants (synthetic fragrance, parabens, phthalates and 1300 more). But the real kicker is that it includes probiotics and prebiotics (“good bacteria”) to help the babes on their way to healthy skin. The science sold me, but the products themselves kept me, particularly the Snug As A Bug Moisture Lotion, which smells amazing. And, I don’t know if this is just genetics, the cream, or both, but my boy has had no irritations (not even nappy rash) and regularly gets told he has amazing skin. Yes, that’s a thing people say.
I’m on a bit of a probiotic roll here – can you tell? After years of gut issues, I’ve always been a big believer in looking after your gut, but somehow that fell by the wayside with babies. That was, until I got a particularly gnarly bout of mastitis in my first week of juggling two kids and dear lord, NEVER AGAIN.
I got onto Qiara as soon as I felt the fever creep in, and with a combo of that and drainage managed to nip it in the bud and not need antibiotics (I’m not against antibiotics, and I’m not a doctor, this was just my experience).
Anyway, now I’m never not on the stuff. This Aussie-owned small biz product is specifically designed for breastfeeding mamas, with a patented strain of probiotic that was actually originally found in breast milk (you know how breast milk is the solution for seemingly every ailment? Now it makes sense). It also helps to promote a healthy gut microflora for you and the baby which in the age of Covid, can’t hurt to have a little extra help, right?
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