5 BEAUTY INGREDIENTS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY

Navigating skincare can be a daunting task in itself, but add the extra layer of pregnancy and it's a true chore to learn what ingredients are safe for you and baby, all while searching for effective products. We're excited to have Nine Naturals expertise in the matter, whose mission is to use only natural and organic ingredients to make beauty simple, smart, and safe for mamas and mamas-to-be. Read on to learn more about the ingredients to avoid while you're expecting. 

A growing number of studies show that common chemicals in everyday personal care products, such as shampoo, makeup and moisturizers, are associated with developmental, reproductive and behavioral disorders, hormone disruption and cancer. That is why, during pregnancy or breastfeeding, women should especially avoiding synthetic chemicals. Here is our list of top 5 most harmful agents:

Parabens are the most widely used preservative in cosmetics. Intended to stop the growth of bacteria in your products, they disrupt your endocrine system—chemicals that act like hormones and disrupt the reproductive system. They can build up in the body over time and have been associated with reproductive disorders in babies. That is why all Nine Naturals products are free of Parabens, Sulfates, and Phthalates.

Sulfates are cleansing agents used to create soaps that foam and lather. Nitrosamines and 1.4-dioxane are the two primary culprits present within sulfates and have been labeled carcinogenic. Sulfates have also been shown to disrupt hormonal balance, incite reproductive and developmental problems and seriously pollute the environment. At Nine Naturals, we use a variety of citrus juice and oils--like those in our shampoos and conditioners--because they are natural cleansers that not only maintain your body’s natural balance, but helps improve move and reduce inflammation.

Phthalates are found in a wide variety of personal care products, such as shampoos, conditioners and perfumes, and are often a component of fragrance in products. Exposure to phthalates is associated with hormone disruption, birth defects and endometriosis. Our Citrus + Geranium Soothing Body Wash will fill your shower with a fresh, floral aroma that not only calms you, but may even help alleviate pregnancy nausea!

BPA is a chemical commonly found in plastics mostly used for containers. Recent studies have shown BPA to cause developmental disorders, such as cancer, ADHD and asthma, in fetuses when pregnant women interact with the substance. Make sure you look for bottles that are BPA-free, as these chemicals can seep into the products the bottles were intended to hold.

Petrochemicals are made from natural gas liquid and crude oil often used in the manufacturing of plastics. What many people don’t realize is that petrochemicals are widely added to food, personal care products and household products. Because petrochemicals are known hormone disrupters and have been linked to causing many health problems, such as cancer, Nine Naturals’ moisturizing bodycare products only use non-toxic essential oils naturally-derived from plants.

The prevalence of these toxic chemicals may be overwhelming, but don’t worry! Staying educated on what to avoid and what natural ingredients are better substitutes will make the journey to a healthier lifestyle much easier. Whether it’s upgrading your beauty routine--try 7-free nail polish and all-natural mascara--or simply switching to glass from plastic, feel at ease knowing that you are creating a healthier, safer environment for mommy and baby.

How To Dress A Crib

 

Dressing your baby’s crib is a far more daunting task than outfitting your own bed. Not only are there style, comfort, and budget concerns, but there are also safety concerns. Arm yourself with the facts and eliminate the stress. Below is a list of what you need to know.

Crib mattress

This is a must have item. When choosing your baby’s crib mattress, the most important element to look for is a tight fit. If you can fit more than two fingers between the edge of your mattress and the side of the crib, the mattress is too small which will pose a potential safety hazard. Your crib manufacturer should be able to recommend the right mattress for their crib. Another consideration is the type of mattress you prefer. You will see coil, foam, and eco­friendly options. Each have their own special set of benefits, so be sure to read the information and find the one right for you.

Crib sheet

Crib sheets are essential. Look for fitted corners that will keep them secure on the crib mattress. Do not use any sheet that is loose or bunchy. You want them to fit like a second skin. We recommend having 3­5 crib sheets on hand, to cut down on daily laundering. When it comes to material, it’s all about what you love. You can never go wrong with any kind of cotton, but for a more luxurious look, opt for faux silks. 

Crib mattress pad

Buy two waterproof mattress pad covers so you can have a back up. Even if you have a waterproof mattress, I still recommend covering it with a pad to keep the mattress as clean as possible. 

Crib bumper

When it comes to crib bedding, nothing is more hotly ­debated. The use of crib bumpers has been banned in the city of Chicago and the state of Maryland. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute of Health have all advised against their use and warn crib bumpers can cause infants to suffocate. 

However, the U.S. Consumer Safety Commission has not created any regulation banning their use, and they are legal everywhere else throughout the United States. They were designed to prevent limbs from becoming entrapped between the pickets, which can result in serious injury. 

If you do choose to use a crib bumper, make sure it fits around the entire crib without sagging or gaps, have straps or ties at least in each corner and in the middle of each long side, and tie at both the top and bottom edges. If all of the ties cannot be securely attached to the crib, do not use the bumper segment. Avoid pillow like bumpers and once your baby can pull up to a standing position, remove any bumper. It’s best to be armed with the facts, and make an educated decision.

Crib rail cover

A crib rail cover is a length of padded fabric that extends over the length of the front crib rail and is secured. Crib rail covers have a dual benefit. It covers your crib rail, which many babies use as teethers. When they chew on the rails of their crib, they risk wood and paint ingestion, so by adding a crib rail cover, you add a layer of protection between your baby and the crib. Additionally, a crib is a major investment, and a crib rail will help you’re your crib looking new. When your baby is no longer teething and a bit steadier on their feet, you can remove it.

Crib skirt

There are no real safety concerns when it comes to your crib skirts, so it’s all about style.   Most cribs today offer several heights for your crib mattress, so crib skirts often come in a variety of lengths to give you options on how you want your skirt to drape. The most common length for a crib skirt is 18” which will allow your skirt, in most cases, to gently grace the floor when the crib mattress support is in the highest position.

Loose items

Pillows, loose blankets or comforters, stuffed animals, and toys are beautiful and have a variety of uses, but they should be removed from the crib when baby is in residence. These loose items can be suffocation hazards for babies.

A well­ appointed crib is truly the jewel of your nursery. Now that you have the facts, relax and have fun putting it all together on your very own terms!

Guest post by Mary Bauer, founder of Bratt Decor

7 Easy Ways to be a Green Mama

To celebrate Earth day, we're breaking down easy ways for any mama to go green and help preserve the planet for our little ones!

1. Consider cloth diapers. These have come such a long way from their clothespin and rag days, and several trials have shown that by using cloth diapers over the average disposable one, you can save up to half your yearly costs, while also being kinder to the environment. FuzziBunz and Thirsties Diaper Covers come highly rated! Or if you're not ready to make the full switch, there are great options for a greener disposable as well. These are chlorine, perfume, dye, and latex-free, meaning they're good not just for the planet but for baby as well. Try Bambo or Honest Company.

2. Start a compost pile and never waste food again.

3. Try buying local and organic when possible. Hit up the farmer's market on the weekend or join a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program for fresh produce from small farmers. You'll be receiving better quality, fresh, healthy food while supporting smaller businesses within the community. And don't forget to bring reusable grocery bags! We love Baggu's.

4. Ditch paper. Switch over to online subscriptions for newspapers and magazines, download apps for coupons delivered straight to your phone, order your movie tickets online, download e-books, pay your bills onlines. There are so many different ways to forgo paper waste by finding electronic options instead!

5. Green your closet. When cleaning out your or your little one's old clothes, always donate! Or host clothing swaps between friends as a way to get some new, gently worn items without having to purchase new ones. If buying new, fashion has become more and more eco-conscious and transparent, so know your brand! We love labels like People Tree, Fibre Athletics, and Wallis Evera, who all support Fair Trade and sustainability practices, as well as produce products using organic and sometimes even biodegradable materials. 

6. Carry your water with you. Not only are reusable water bottles an excellent way to eliminate plastic waste, they're now a fashion statement! Our favorites are bkr and S'well. You'll likely end up drinking more water and staying better hydrated to boot. 

7. Makeover your makeover. Changing out some of your beauty products for natural ones can not only make a difference for the Earth but for your skin as well! There are simple swaps like replacing your makeup remover with coconut oil or making your own face masks at home . And then there are some brands like Honest Beauty , Nine Naturals, and Tata Harper that create incredible products without and toxic ingredients.

How do you go green? Sound off in the comments! 

Design Spotlight: Land of Nod Does a Woodland-Themed Nursery

We're so excited to have our friends at Land of Nod guest posting for us today! Since 1996, The Land of Nod has been dedicated to providing safe, high quality kids’ home furnishings. From handcrafted rugs to exclusively designed furniture to artist-designed bedding, Nod has everything for kids and people that used to be kids. Read on for tips on creating a theme for your nursery.

It is a standard assumption that styling a themed nursery entails filling every nook and cranny with objects that directly support the overall motif (think princesses, sports teams, and racecar beds). Unfortunately, the drawback to this approach comes when your kiddo outgrows or loses interest in the original theme and you’ve got to start over again from scratch. In contrast, the Nod approach to a nursery theme relies more on colors, patterns, and textures to convey an emotion. Sticking to a loose interpretation of a motif ensures you won’t be heading back to the drawing board in a few short years. Take a woodland-themed nursery, for example.

In a softer take on this theme, woven baskets and wood finishes evoke a sense of being in nature. More literal elements – a twig mirror, fox nightlight, and bird wall hooks – are introduced with a modern twist, rather than a true-to-life replication. To complete the look, a blue, water-like, painterly pattern in the Pattern Play baby quilt gives a subtle nod to a stream or river.

A bolder woodland nursery uses a grass-green Patina rug, a smiling pine tree pillow, and a whimsical log floor pouf. Hand-painted animal heads and painted rock wall hooks add color and charm, and the knotted table lamp provides that touch of natural material to complete the look.

Whatever your theme, have fun exploring a subtle expression with whimsical touches rather than striving for a literal translation. A racecar bed may last until your kiddo is in high school, but that doesn’t mean he will still want to sleep in it.

Happy Styling!

Post by Stephanie Geurkink, Home Stylist from The Land of Nod’s Design Services Team. The Land of Nod’s Design Services team offers free one-on-one design advice, mood boards, and space planning. You have a room to decorate? The Design Services Team would love to hear from you. Visit The Land of Nod’s Design Services page to get started today.  

Nursery Art

One of our favorite parts of decorating the nursery is deciding what art will go on the walls. If you're less of the DIY type, see our favorite below.

 

1. Jorey Hurley creates minimal but sweet graphic prints that are cute for the little one's room, but aren't so coy that parents can enjoy as well. Pieces range from backhoes to beach scenes, so there's sure to be something for everyone.

2. Sharon Montrose's baby animal photography—portraits on little darlings on stark white backgrounds—are stunning simple but SO adorable.

3. We love the option to create personalized pieces over at Minted.

4. Different than the traditional print, metallic frames or hanging tapestries bring a little extra to a classic space. We love these options from Pottery Barn Kids

What art do you hang in the nursery? Tell us in the comments!