Simply Being A Mama

Benefits of Using Organic Wool in Your Baby’s Sleep Environment

Posted by in A Natural Lifestyle, Ideas for an Organic Life

Benefits of Using Organic Wool in Your Baby’s Sleep Environment

When deciding which materials to use for your baby, there is nothing that can compare to organic wool.  It has everything you would want for your baby.  It is the ultimate in organic baby care!

How traditional (non-organic) wool is processed:

In traditional wool production, after the sheep have been shorn, the wool is washed with chemicals to remove dirt and grease and to also sanitize the wool.  It is then dipped in a chlorine bath, where the wool absorbs about 1.5% of the chlorine.  It then may be treated for bugs by adding even more chemicals, some of which can cause neurotoxic effects in humans.  It does not stop there because the wool then is turned into yarn and a variety of synthetic dyes are used in that process.

How organic wool is processed:

The production of organic wool begins with the sheep.  In order for wool to be certified organic, the sheep must not be given synthetic hormones, must not be dipped in chemicals (before or after the processing of the wool) and must be fed an organic (grazing) diet.

When making wool into fabrics, organic wool is minimally processed and does not use toxic dyes or toxic chemicals.  The fibers are also weaved using environmentally responsible practices.

Organic wool production is much simpler and safer.  The wool fiber Simply Mommy uses to fill their Snuggle Me Wool is shorn, washed in a mild detergent and sent to the distributor with zero added detergents, chemicals or toxins.  This minimal processing allows the beneficial attributes of wool to shine.

snuggle me organic

Snuggle Me Wool co-sleeping beds & infant loungers for babies; hand-filled with organic virgin lamb’s wool, shorn humanely in the USA.  Comes with removable Merino wool cover, handmade in Minnesota.  Comes packaged in our reusable muslin travel bag.  Perfect for co sleeping, tummy time, play, travel and more.

So what are the benefits of organic wool?

  • Naturally regulates body temperature.  

Sheep have evolved over millions of years and their wool has adapted to ensure the sheep stay cool in warm weather and warm in cold weather.

  • Wicks away moisture.

Sheep wool has adapted to keep the animal not only a perfect temperature, but also to keep the animal dry.  Wool wicks away moisture which is perfect for keeping human skin dry.

  • Naturally fire resistant.  

Wool will not burn, but will only smolder.  It will also not melt or stick to the skin.  This makes it an ideal choice of material to have around babies and children.  It also means that no fire retardants need to be used in organic wool fabrics or fibers.

  • Does not create static.

Wool does not create static like other fibers will, so it does not attract dust or other allergens.  This means that it is a perfect material for people who are affected by allergies.

  • Environmentally safe.

Because organic wool is a natural fiber, it is biodegradable, making it gentle on the earth.

  • Incredibly comfortable. 

Merino wool, in particular, is incredibly comfortable against the skin, making the perfect material for baby clothes, blankets and other bedding. Simply Mommy uses an organic Merino wool fabric for their Snuggle Me Wool co-sleeping bed for babies.

snuggle me organic cosleeping beds and infant loungers for babies

Reasons to use organic cotton for your newborn

Posted by in A Natural Lifestyle, Ideas for an Organic Life

Why use organic cotton for your newborn?  

When you buy organic cotton, you are buying the cotton in a form that has not been touched with toxic chemicals during the growth or manufacturing process. In the normal cotton growing process, pesticides and poisonous fertilizers are used, which is not only harmful to the soil, but to the farmers who grow it, the workers who pick it and to the end consumer. Infants and children are at a greater risk to the effects of pesticide and synthetic chemical exposure.  Pesticide and synthetic chemical exposure has been linked to developmental issues in babies and toddlers and a wide range of other negative effects. In non-organic cotton, these chemicals will actually stay and be present in the finished cotton fabric.  These chemicals and pesticides are then transferred to your baby through the respiratory system and also through the skin, which is the largest and most absorbent organ in the body.  

organic cotton, snuggle me organic, cosleeping beds There are also studies being conducted on the link between synthetic materials in crib mattresses and SIDS deaths in the UK as I write this.  

On the other hand, when you purchase organic cotton products, none of these chemicals are used and natural methods of repelling pests and nourishing the plants are used instead.  Choosing organic cotton not only protects your own family, but also the farmer’s and the field workers and the ground it’s grown on.

Why use organic cotton for your baby?  Using organic cotton keeps baby’s environment safe and non-toxic during their most crucial developmental years. Organic cotton is a fantastic material to have around your baby!  Organic cotton is comfortable, warm, breathable and very rarely the cause of allergies.  It also protects your baby against all of the harmful effects of synthetic materials or chemically treated cotton. It is biodegradable and when used in it’s raw form, it is also compostable. To limit baby’s exposure to these harmful chemicals, make sure that your baby’s clothing, bedding, play/sleep surfaces, and also skin care products are organic. Organic cotton makes a fantastic material for these items.  

Using organic cotton with your baby is safe and creates a healthy environment for baby!  Choose wisely!

The Big 3 | Organic Living and Why It’s Important

Posted by in Guest Posts, Ideas for an Organic Life

The Big 3

Katy Lytal | Ethical Infant

So there I was, every bit of 12 months pregnant with my first child. Ok, a bit hyperbolic, but really, you should have seen me. After parking the car at my 7th stop of the morning, I breathlessly race-waddled into our local, groovy, world market and found the first customer service person that I could. As I approached him, I tried to muster up a pleasant smile, but I’m sure that the look I gave this young man was more like deranged and desperate.

Excuse me,” I said. “I’m having a bit of an emergency, do you happen to carry organic welcome mats here? I’ll take anything. Hemp… Wool… Bamboo… I’ve looked everywhere, and I really need to get one before the baby gets here.” I tried harder to squeeze my face into a smile, but I’m pretty sure that I just looked extra crazy.

Um, no.” said the young man. I could tell from his puzzled look, and the sound of his almost laugh, that he was doing his best to take me seriously. “Actually, I’ve never seen an organic welcome mat.” Defeat. “ But we do carry a number of organic items that might have a bigger impact on the health of your baby. You know, clothes, bedding, food… Do you have all of the important things already taken care of?” Genius. Leave it to the customer service guy to talk me out of my hysteria. With a sigh of relief, I paused. He was right. I needed to be focusing my mama energy on the things that were going to have the greatest impact on my little one.

the big 3Of course, in the perfect world, all things would be safely, sustainably, and organically produced. Needless to say though, our world is a work in progress. So, until we attain perfection, thoughtfulness will be key in maintaining ones sanity. As we strive to provide our kiddos with the absolute best, a good mama mantra to keep in mind is, “do your best, as often as you can, and remember what’s important.”

When it comes to buying organic products, lets remember what’s important. We mentioned in the last article, Pesticides Dirty Little Secret, that there are two avenues by which we can provide protections for little ones, against harmful toxins and chemicals; what goes on them, and what goes in them. Pretty simple right?

Let’s agree that foods, regardless of type, are important to buy in their cleanest form. You (and your baby) are what you eat. If you must pick and choose, or have limited organic availability, checking out a lists like, The Dirty Dozen”, can help you to decide which foods are must buy organic and which ones may contain fewer pesticides than others. This takes care of the “what goes in them” aspect of protection.

But what about what goes on them? When it comes to prioritizing which products are must buy organic for your little one, let’s break things down a little further. In order to make things simple, we have to first answer a few questions.

  1. What will your baby have the greatest skin contact with?
  2. Were will your baby spend most of their time?

By answering these two questions, we are able to determine which items in your home are organic “MUST HAVES”.

the big 3We like to call the Must Haves, “The Big Three”.

  • Clothing – Your little one will spend roughly 97% of their day in some form of clothing. If you’re like me however, you dream that this number would be more like 70% – I’m sort of a skin to skin junky.
  • Bedding – If you hit the mama lottery, and have a good sleeper, your baby could spend up to 75 % of their day in contact with some form of bedding.
  • Diapers – Just like clothing, your little one will spend the vast majority of their time with their skin in contact with their diaper.

Because of the unique way in which little ones interact with the world, and the length of time that they are in contact with particular items, we are presented with a distinct opportunity to do a great deal of good for them, with just a few decisions. Yes, of course, things like organic car seat covers are cool, but proportionate to the amount of time that they will be spending in contact with them, it is far more important to consider “splurging” on (VALUING), organic bedding, clothing, and diapers.

Here’s why:

We should think again about skin contact. In the same way that we think about their little systems processing nourishment, we too should think about what touches their skin. Remember, their skin is their body’s largest organ, and it too must process what it comes in contact with. This processing includes harmful chemicals that are present in non-organic textiles. Not that I am at all into scare tactics, but I am sure that you are familiar with horror stories that have been in the news; seen the pictures of terrible chemical burns that were left on babies who were exposed to harmful chemicals that were present in the tags of their clothing. So very sad.

Even though non-organic cotton only accounts for 3% of the world’s crops, it uses 25% of the world’s pesticides (Hae Now, 2010). It is the dirtiest crop on the planet! To put this into different terms, this means that proportionate to other crops, non-organic cotton contains 6 times the amount of chemicals per unit of volume. Eek! Even after multiple washes, petroleum based chemicals can be found in our little one’s garments.

the big 3All too often the, the ethics of textile production go unnoticed. For so many, it’s an “outa sight, outa mind”, kind of topic. After all, who the heck knows where, let alone how the garment they are wearing was made. The blankets on your bed? Your underpants? Yep, outa sight, outa mind. But tides are turning. There is a movement afoot. Rather than seeking out, “the best bargain” in town, mamas like you and I are seeking out the highest level of safety and quality. A gentle and holistic approach to purchasing is thankfully leading to a greater availability of organic goods.

As a young mother I remember feeling almost frozen by the decisions that I was making for the little person that I already loved so much. Buy a black and white mobile, or colored mobile? Sing to them, or play them classic music? Take a walk, or do prenatal yoga? Thinking back on it now, I am slightly amused. Yes, I have relaxed a bit, and have come have fully embraced the wisdom of the young salesman that I met those years ago. I have decided to focus my energy on that which will have the greatest impact on my child; on that which will make the biggest difference in their wellbeing. I know that I cannot protect them from every thing, but I also know that I can protect them from many things.

Although I would still love to find an organic doormat, for now, I will stick with buying organic for, “The Big Three”. Knowing that we have the power to protect is an amazing thought, and sometimes a seemingly daunting responsibility. But a few deep breaths, an evaluation of priorities, and sometimes the wisdom of a stranger can help us to restore the spirit of joy to our souls when it comes to providing protections to our little ones.

Be well. -Katy


 

ethical infant

Katy Lytal is a Mompreneur, and Co-founder of Ethical Infant: Organic, Fair Trade, Vegan Fashion for Infants. She’s inspired by thoughtful, crunchy living.

I adore every minute with my little loves. I truly believe that joy and health go hand in had. Most of the time I try not to drive my hubby crazy with crafts, creations, and chaos- he’s a good sport.”

Follow Katy on Twitter.

 

 


 

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Reference

Simply Being a Mama – http://www.simplybeingamama.com/pesticides-dirty-little-secret/?v=7516fd43adaa

Organic.Org – http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214

Parenting Science –“Baby Sleep Patterns” http://www.parentingscience.com/baby-sleep-patterns.html

Hae Now – www.haenow.com

 

Opportunities for Ethical Giving

Posted by in Ideas for an Organic Life

IT IS QUIET FOR NOW

Katy Lytal | Ethical Infant

THIS IS MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR. The world is quiet for now. Yes, I did just put on my first sweatshirt. Perfection. Part of me loves a good sweatshirt because no one can tell if I’m wearing a bra underneath it or not (tee-hee). But the other part of me realizes that putting on a sweatshirt represents a little bit more. The air is cooling, and season is changing. My thoughts are minimally jumbled as I survey them on my paper. There is a familiar rumble about. I am sure that you are familiar with it. There is the low murmur of excitement, the buzz of impending joy, and possibly a hint of tension. So begins the list making. I look back down at my paper. I examine potential candidates and write a few notes next to each name. Yes, it is that season again- voting season. Of course I am not referring to anything remotely political. I am referring to something potentially much larger.

“The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.”

I close my journal for a moment and read the quote on the front. The quote is from 17th century French dramatist, Pierre Corneille; it says, “The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.” Beautiful, right? But where am I going with this? (At this point you may be questioning my previous statement about my, “minimally jumbled thoughts”, but stick with me.) So, what does a 17th century playwright have to do with the changing of the season? A lot, I hope.

You see, the season that we are rapidly approaching is the gift-giving season. And yes, you are right, I already said that it was also voting season. Could these two seemingly different activities be one in the same? I say, yes. Momentarily it may seem a bit coarse to discuss these two topics, gift giving and voting, in the same arena. However I assure you that it is not. How do these two relate to one another? Let’s take a closer look.

hand-683909_1920I love the holidays. I love the time with family; wrapping gifts, eating holiday treats and taking part in family traditions. But, I need to confess something to you. Almost every year, around this time, I have a very narrow view of life. I worry about little things. Did I get my mom something that she’s going to like? Did I buy enough for the kids? What should I get the teacher? First-world problems, right? As could be said of many things in my life over the years, my thinking has been completely wrong during the holidays.

I have failed to step back. I have failed to see the greater impact that my gift giving has, or could have. Purchasing is power. There is an opportunity here. There is a voice, or should I say vote. With every purchase that I make, I am reaffirming that which I wish to perpetuate. It’s all well and good for me to wish and hope for the conditions of others to improve. Wishes and hopes are lovely thoughts, but that is all, just thoughts. In a place of such unmatched affluence, isn’t there more that I can do beyond wishing and hoping? Yes, there most certainly is. Gift giving however is an action. When I step back, when I look at what I can do, I am astounded by the possibilities.

Opportunities for ethical giving are all around (thank you internet), and my ability to do something meaningful is real. What do I mean you ask? Well, with every holiday purchase that I make, what if I took a big step back? What if I thought about loving more than just the recipient of the gift that I am giving? What if I thought about giving to others as well? Really, I won’t just be well wishing and sending good thought this year. I will be taking action. It’s truly exciting. Pick a cause, condition, plight, whatever you’re passionate about, and I assure you that you can find a company that is making a positive change that you can support.

On a local level, take companies like Mitscoots. They make beautiful socks and employ those transitioning out of homelessness. For every pair of socks that you purchase, they donate a pair to someone in need.earth-587827_1920

On a global level, there are companies like Jewel and Lotus. They have created an ethical, global market place. The goods that they offer make it possible for folks around the world to do everything from accessing education, to overcoming poverty and human trafficking.

If you are concerned with the environment, there are companies like Snuggle Me Organic that produce infant sleep solutions using only organic materials.

Really, name a cause. There is someone out there paving way, and making it possible for us to support that which we are passionate about. As I think forward to giving gifts this year, I am inspired to find out about what is important to those that I will be giving gifts to. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could give someone a lovely gift that also supported a cause that they were passionate about?

Yes, it may take a little bit more time to do my shopping this year; so I will start now. My mom has said to me so many times, “Show me where you spend your money, and I’ll show you what’s important to you.” Good old mom. It’s true though. If I am concerned with the availability of organic products for my family, then I should be purchasing them. If I am concerned with animal cruelty, then I should be buying vegan products. So, getting back to where we began. Every purchase IS a vote. Corneille was right, the manner of giving is more important than the gift.


“How then, keeping this new mantra in mind, would our gift buying be different?”

 

Itree-990856_1280 do love a good Gandhi quote, but from time to time they seem overused. I am sure that you’ve heard, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Maybe it’s time for an update to this quote. Maybe it’s time for something more tangible, something more direct. What if our mantra this year became, “Buy the change you want to see in the world.”  How then, keeping this new mantra in mind, would our gift buying be different? In addition to making well wishes and sending good thoughts this year, lets make thoughtful purchases, and lets send gifts that make a positive difference.

Peace be with you this holiday.

 


 

ethical infant

 

Katy Lytal is a Mompreneur, and Co-founder of Ethical Infant: Organic, Fair Trade, Vegan Fashion
for Infants. She’s inspired by thoughtful, crunchy living.

I adore every minute with my little loves. I truly believe that joy and health go hand in had. Most of the time I try not to drive my hubby crazy with crafts, creations, and chaos- he’s a good sport.”

Follow Katy on Twitter.


 

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Notes:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Ethicalinfant?ref=hdr_shop_menu

http://www.mitscoots.com

https://jewelandlotus.com

http://www.snugglemeorganic.com

Why Organic?

Posted by in A Natural Lifestyle, Ideas for an Organic Life

BABIES NEED ALL THE PROTECTING THEY CAN GET, so it’s best to keep their environment safe and clean by using organic fabrics and products.

Organic products are those that are grown, harvested and manufactured without synthetic chemicals, pesticides or other harmful chemicals.

The market for organic baby products is exploding due to parents’s growing awareness of the dangers.

When you buy organically grown products, you are voicing your opinion on where you stand and slowly, more and more farmers will switch to a more safe way of producing their crops.

So which organic products are worth the money and which can be skipped?

Not all organic products should be treated with equal value.  Some make a big difference in reducing baby’s exposure to harmful chemicals, and some don’t.

When deciding which items to splurge on, and which to skip, consider how much time a baby will be close contact with that item.  The longer the time, the more important it is to go with organic versions.

Clothing: Babies spend almost all of their time wearing clothing of some kind.  Buying a few, high quality organic clothing items for baby is one of the biggest ways to reduce harmful chemical exposure.  Since the organic clothing market has been exploding, you can usually find good deals if you look for them!  Look for organic cotton, wool, bamboo or even hemp materials.  As an added bonus, organic baby clothes are usually very original and down right adorable.

If you’re decide a crib is an investment you’re planning on making then it is well worth the money to splurge on an all organic mattress for it as well.

It can take quite a while for baby to get used to sleeping in the big wide open spaces of a crib. A good rule of thumb is that they were tucked safely inside you for 10 months, it’s important to give babies (and you) AT LEAST that long to adjust to the outside world.

snuggle me baby | Snuggle Me Organic | Family Album

Some parents choose to skip the crib all together and co-sleep with their little one. Dr. James McKenna & Dr. Helen Ball have proven time and again the clear benefits as well as safety of co-sleeping with our children. FACT:  Even if you don’t choose co sleeping, 50% of parents will still bring baby to bed with them within the first few months of life and almost all will have baby sleep on a non-crib surface during the day time.  These hours add up, so make sure any and all surfaces your baby sleeps on are 100% pure organic.

We will recommend our signature Snuggle Me Organic or Snuggle Me Wool in this category, not just because we make the best organic lounging and co sleeping bed for babies, but because we are the only product available with the both the high quality organic materials and flexibility to be both a sleep and play surface.  You can save a great deal of money by only using the Snuggle Me Organic or Snuggle Me Wool in the first few months of baby’s life and you will also keep them safe from the harmful toxins found in other mainstream bouncers, swings, play mats, and co-sleepers.

Skin Care Products: The skin is the largest organ of the body and is extremely absorbent. Therefore, anything you put on baby’s skin, goes directly into the body.  It is well worth the trouble of finding an organic skin care line for your baby.  This includes, shampoos, soaps, lotions and bottom creams.  Once you find something that works, stick with it!  There are so many fantastic, organic skin care lines out there it is hard to know where to start, but we’ve listed our favorite places as a starting point.

Here are our favorites in each category. Do you have any to add? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear what yours are.

Our Choices:


 


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