Itty Bitty Greenie

eco-fabulous finds for kids

Posts Tagged ‘Organic’

The Baby Burrito

Before I had my first child, I’ll admit I was slightly intimidated by the concept of swaddling. Newborns always look so cozy when wrapped snugly in a nice soft blanket – but would I ever be able to master the wrapping technique affectionately known as the “baby burrito”? And how is it even possible to wrap a wriggly baby so neatly?

Well, I soon learned that it’s not only possible, but the tradition goes back as far as human history itself, and babies love it. For generations, mothers have recreated the secure and cozy feeling of being in the womb by swaddling and, more recently, scientific evidence has proven that babies who are swaddled sleep more peacefully because being wrapped snugly prevents spontaneous body movements from waking them up during the night.

In 2002, the Journal of Applied Physiology wrote that swaddled infants stay in REM sleep (the most restorative, deepest sleep) longer than those who were not. And there is growing evidence that swaddling may indirectly help prevent SIDS as well.

Once I mastered the swaddling technique (it’s pretty easy actually), I also learned that using a pure cotton muslin blanket is a great choice for baby wrapping – and this was something that seemed second-nature to Australian mothers, but I’d never seen muslin blankets in Canada, where I grew up.

Muslin is finely woven and breathable, making it ideal for swaddling because it has a natural “give” that allows the blanket to be tucked snugly around a baby without being restrictive, and it allows air to circulate around the baby’s body so you don’t have to worry that they’ll overheat in moderate weather. Cotton muslin is also a workhorse fabric – so the natural fibre not only stands up to repeated washings, it becomes softer – and better – with age.

All these reasons were motivation enough for one Aussie mother to start her own company, Aden + Anais, when she moved to America and couldn’t find muslin blankets. Raegan Moya-Jones designed the now-famous muslin swaddle blankets large enough to be useful not only for swaddling, but for stroller covers, nursing shields, tummy time blankets and burping cloths.

If the photo collection on her website is any indication, Aden + Anais blankets also seem to be the item of choice when celebrity moms want to shield their babies from the lenses of paparazzi cameras.

Closer to home, Aden + Anais has launched a new line of organic muslin blankets that I’m proud to offer at Itty Bitty Greenie. Not only do they come in some gorgeous prints, but each blanket has its own matching muslin bag, so there is no need for additional plastic packaging or tags. That’s what I call eco-fabulous – Check out the full range here.


By Donna MacMullin

Creative Communications, Graphic Design, Communications, Blogging, Copywriting, Content Management

What’s going on?


If you think of the huge transition newborns face when going from the protective environment of the womb to the outside world, skin care is one of those delicate matters every parent should consider. Newborn skin is immediately challenged with exposure to germs, changing temperatures and irritating substances – and those small, developing bodies are less capable of fending off chemical assaults.

Of course we all have the best of intentions when caring for our baby’s skin, but here are a few good reasons to take a closer look at the ingredient list on your skincare:

> The surface area of a child’s skin relative to body weight is greater than adults, and infant skin is considerably thinner than adult skin. That means anything that is absorbed by the skin of a baby is a lot more potent. After a review of 23 studies of early life exposures to cancer-causing chemicals, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded that carcinogens are typically 10 times more potent for babies than for adults, and some chemicals are up to 65 times more powerful.
> A child’s developing organ systems are more vulnerable to damage from chemical exposures, and children are less able than adults to detoxify and excrete chemicals.
> Children have more years of life in which to develop disease triggered by early exposure to chemicals, and research suggests exposures to industrial chemicals may prime children for adult disease, just as a few severe sunburns during childhood doubles the likelihood of developing malignant melanoma later in life.
> There are more than 10,000 ingredients being used in the skin care industry, and 89% of these have not been tested for toxic or carcinogenic chemicals.

Awareness of chemicals in skincare is certainly increasing and more parents are trying to choose wisely, but in the meantime the number of so-called “natural” products on store shelves has multiplied dramatically. These days, buying baby’s bathtime bubbles isn’t so straightforward, but here are a couple of ways to keep it simple.

First, read labels carefully. Just because a product claims to have “natural” ingredients doesn’t mean ALL of its contents are derived from organic sources or are paraben and phthalate free. Knowing how to decipher ingredients can be a bit tricky, but some key toxic ingredients to look out for are: parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), petroleum derivatives, diethanalomine (DEA), mineral oil, artificial fragrances and colours.

For a more comprehensive list of ingredients and their potentially toxic affects, read Skin Deep’s safety guide to children’s personal care products, which identifies 20 common ingredients of concern. The Skin Deep website also has a good database if you want to look up the safety rating for baby products.

Second, bear in mind that whatever you put ON your child’s skin, is also going IN. Most people use far more product than is necessary and children don’t need to be slathered in suds, lotions and powders. A little warm water and mild cleanser at bathtime, then a small amount of moisturizer (or spot treating) does the trick.

While we’re on the subject, here are some of my tried and true favourite products I use regularly to keep my baby’s very sensitive and eczema-prone skin healthy:

Taslie Skin Care
Not only are these products super cute and organic, the packaging is completely biodegradable (pictured right). I LOVE supporting companies that embrace a green ethos in everything they do. To purchase items from the Taslie skin care range, please click here to visit Itty Bitty Greenie’s retail site.

Little Innoscents

This Australian brand of certified organic skincare (pictured above) was developed by a health care and aromatherapy specialist. I love the the sweet orange, lavender and spearmint combination in the body wash – it’s so refreshing. The gentle vapour rub balm is also a must-have, to soothe any congestion from cold & flu. Check out the entire range here.

Buds Cherished Organics
Buds was formulated in Australia, and uses unique organic ingredients sourced from 100% organic farms all over the world. The formulas are preservative-free and certified by ECOCERT, one of the world’s most highly regarded certifying boards. Visit Itty Bitty Greenie’s retail site for more details on the Buds range of skincare.