Babies and Biohacking
Seeking out the finest natural, organic, environmentally-friendly products for baby
I’ve been so lucky to recently become a parent. It’s been an absolute rollercoaster ride so far and I have loved every minute. Well, apart from the odd 2am poonami.
In the interests of a healthy, happy, thriving baby, we wanted the best and most natural home environment. We also wanted to buy second-hand or use hand-me-downs wherever possible to help the environment. So here is the non-toxic, super natural, low EMF, as-environmentally-friendly-as-possible approach which has helped us.
Feel free to check out the stuff we are using, but remember, this is my personal experience only. Please always get expert advice (and consult your doctor where appropriate) before using any of these items. This is just the the baby stuff that has worked for us.
Disclaimer: you may read this blog and think - this man has far too much time in his hands to do all this research. You may be right. Don’t judge me! There are Amazon affiliate links in this blog for which I receive a small amount, so maybe that somehow justifies it, but mainly, this is just a labour of love. And okay, I admit it, I quite enjoyed putting this list together.
First the overview: You can immediately click through to your favourite product, or scroll down for my in-depth review for each one.
Nuna Pipa Lite car seat
Little Green Sheep waterproof protector
Simple ol’ Airplane Mode
Snuzpod 3 Bedside Crib.. Comes with an Organic mattress. Safe co-sleeping
Natural Nipple Butter (not for me you understand)
Helping baby with colic and reflux and wind.
Burts Bees for bath time.
Supplements/bits for Mum
And now the detail…
GreenTom pram - I searched high and low for non-toxic prams. I really do have an exciting life! What does non-toxic actually mean? We didn’t want a pram/stroller with flame retardants/polyurethane foam/plastics that contain BPA, PVC, phthalates, and other harmful chemicals, or any other nasties. Prams have to meet very stringent safety standards which is obviously great, and there are a few select brands that meet those standards whilst retaining organic natural materials and without using chemicals to treat their products. We went for a GreenTom pram (the “world’s greenest pram”). All fabrics and frame components are non-toxic, have been extensively tested for chemical substances, and it comes with an organic mattress made of cotton, flax and wool. Slightly useless side-note: This pram is so green, it’s fully recyclable, though after shelling out all that money on this pram, you won’t be wanting to throw it out anytime soon.
Nuna Pipa Lite - We bought the Nuna Pipa Lite carseat which is pretty much the cleanest one we could find. The technical blurb: it’s made of a Merino wool and TENCEL™* lyocell fiber blend (whatever that is) and no added fire retardant chemicals (sounds good).
We looked at the Bumbleride pram, which is very organic and natural, however it’s harder to get that here in the UK. Any others you like? Let me know in the comments.
Organic pram sheets. It’d be a shame to go to all the trouble of getting an organic pram, and then putting some cheap scratchy sheet on it. Organic pram sheets and waterproof protector from the Little Green Sheep, these can also be used for your Crib.
Reducing electro-magnetic fields (EMFs) is a big theme on Zestology. But so are gadgets that can help with health and wellness. Here’s how we’ve ticked both boxes.
Hartig and Helling Baby monitor. Trust me, I’ve read a thousand baby monitor reviews so you don’t have to. Okay, here goes, deep breath. To communicate without any wires, all baby monitors transmit a signal. Often this signal is really quite strong - not good for baby. Most baby monitors in fact are constantly emitting Radio Frequency radiation either in the FM band or as microwaves, and they are close to baby. Which even to someone as EMF-uneducated as me, doesn’t sound like a good thing. Hartig and Helling make an ‘extremely low-radiation’ baby monitor which works through a very low analogue radio signal, that is voice-activated (important) These radio signals are considered to be safer than the newer digital frequencies (bluetooth, wifi, etc). Even the charging units for this monitor are low EMF. I spent ages finding this monitor, let me know if you have anything better though. There are lots of blogs where the issue of EMF and monitors is more in-depth, you could start here.
Snuza Hero MD (Medically Certified) Portable Baby Breathing Monitor. While we’re on the issue of monitoring baby naturally, there are a number of devices out there such as the Baby Monitor sheets or socks which offers an enticing amount of data about your babies breathing, heart rate, temperature, and lots more. This may well be the solution for some parents. For us though, we felt there was a problem. Devices like this are transmitting small amounts of radiation through bluetooth or wifi, and it is literally in contact with your baby, so very close. I don’t even wear anything transmitting bluetooth myself (I use the Oura tracker as you can switch the bluetooth off), so I certainly wouldn’t want anything like that for the baby. We did however find an absolute godsend for baby peace-of-mind in the early days. The very compact Snuza Hero MD is a medically approved device that measures your baby’s breathing, and makes a discreet click sound with each breath. You affix to the baby’s nappy, and it has provided us with a certain peace of mind at night. It’s natural for parents to worry about babies, well it certainly seems natural to us, but this device has reduced some of that worry. It’s battery operated, and should the baby not breath for a certain amount of time, it vibrates and makes a loud sound.
Airplane Mode. Good old fashioned airplane mode and keeping our phones in airplane mode around baby as much as possible. Trying to keep baby away from wifi signals and so on. Easier said than done when it’s two in the morning, the baby is awake, and you are desperate to know if someone else in the NCT group is in the land of the living.
Snuzpod 3 Bedside Crib. It has an organic mattress and attaches to your bed. Safe co-sleeping. We love the snuzpod. It’s like the baby has his own bed, but is close to us when he needs us.Organic cot sheets. See organic pram sheets above. Why buy normal sheets, when you could spend double on something that’s organic? Joking aside, we were very happy to use nice organic sheets with baby. I just need a new mortgage now to pay for them.
Sleepyhead Deluxe+ Baby Pod. New parents talk in hushed awe about the power of the Sleepyhead, and we soon worked out why. We were lucky that we got a family hand-me-down from Our little cherub didn’t want to sleep at first in his lovely new Snuzpod, but he was quite happy in the Sleepyhead. It has undergone some rigorous safety testing, but please note the instructions around night-time use.
(With thanks to my partner Faith)
If you decide to breastfeed avoid any embarrassing leaks with these organic, hypoallergenic Reusable Nursing Breast Pads.
My partner swore by Multi-mam Compresses as a lifesaver for the early more uncomfortable days of breastfeeding
Protect your nipples after each feed with natural Earth Mama Angel Nipple Butter. Apparently non-natural nipple butter is a thing. So do yourself a favour and go natural.
Helping baby with colic and reflux and wind.
Colief. I’ve never celebrated farts as much as with the new baby. Our baby has a lot of trapped wind. At first we thought he had a cold, but then it turned out to be a wind/reflux situation. We’ve found some great natural solutions including Colief Infant Drops.
Organic Baby Tea from Neumann. Tea for babies? Sounds crazy. It’s not. Brew it up, let it cool down, then give him a tiny amount to help with the wind and discomfort. We discontinued this a few days ago and regretted it for the night. Helps with the farts. Too much info? It won’t be if you’re up half the night with baby’s trapped wind.
Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water Liquid. One of the best things we’ve used. This stuff works. Great company too - all organic. Prepare for rocket-powered baby-farts after taking this stuff.
Water Wipes - the world’s purest baby wipes. Apparently. Nice n’ moist, can’t say fairer than that, and 99.9% water.
Cam Cam Changing Cushion. As sure as night follows day, when you change his nappy, he loves a good pee. This keeps everything dry. Organically grown cotton.
Burts Bees for bath time.
Coracor Organic Baby Wraps. This is a lovely natural way to carry your baby around close to the body. Warning: the process of putting this sling is considerably more complicated than building a piece of IKEA flat pack furniture.
The Better Baby Book: How to Have a Healthier, Smarter, Happier Baby by Dave Asprey and Lana Asprey. Dave Asprey is a regular guest on my podcast Zestology and me and my partner read this book before we started to try for a baby. It’s very, very good. One my fave bits: some great supplement suggestions on improving your sperm count, which delicately speaking meant the added bonus of making the whole process of trying for a baby even more enjoyable.
Gentle Birth Method: The Month-by-Month Jeyarani Way Programme. My partner says this book by a childbirth guru and Gentle First Year: The Essential Guide to Mother and Baby Wellbeing in the First Twelve Months are brilliant and highly recommends them.
The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother is full of wise advice and recipes for nourishing mum after birth. I cooked up the chicken, ginger and red date soup and it came out well. I don’t think I’d ever eaten red dates before.
Supplements for Mum
Seeking Health | Optimal Prenatal | Prenatal Vitamins for Women. Dr Ben Lynch is one of my favourite health experts, and he has devoted much of his work to healthy, happy pregnancies and babies. We met him at Paleo FX in Austin last year and my partner has been taking his prenatal ever since, and since the baby is born too. It’s expensive, but it seems to cover off most of the bases in terms of the vitamins/minerals and supplements you need. I also take quite a few of the Seeking Health supplement range and consider them very good quality.
Udderly Gorgeous Stretch Mark Balm. Again, probably worth pointing out it wasn’t me using this. But it was good for Mummy getting back her tight tummy. Free of parabens, petrochemical, sulphate or artificial colour. Natural, basically.