100% Natural Sunscreen

100% natural sunscreen - EarthyCrunchyMama.CoWith the summer here, this family LOVES to be outside. In fact, I think it’s baby’s absolutely favorite place to be. With spending time outdoors comes concern about too much sun exposure. Although that can be dangerous, traditional sunscreens are also dangerous and in my opinion, do more harm than good. The most common sunscreens on the market contain chemical filters. These products typically include a combination of two to six of these active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Laboratory studies of several sunscreen chemicals indicate that they may mimic hormones and disrupt the hormone system (Krause 2012, Schlumpf 2001, 2004, 2008). Some research on animals suggests that oxybenzone and other sunscreen chemicals can be toxic to reproductive systems or interfere with normal development. You can find a list of these ingredients and the hormone disruption they cause here.

Definitely don’t want the side effects listed in that table anywhere near my baby, so I had to find another alternative. I opted for a super simple yet effective sun protection method for my baby. Carrot seed oil and coconut oil – THAT’S IT! Carrot seed oil has an SPF of 38-40! You can also add a little bit of bees wax to make the cream water resistant. Please remember that consistent application is the key in any type of sun protection!

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100% Natural Laundry Detergent

100% natural laundry detergent - EarthyCrunchyMama.CoHere it is!! My coveted laundry detergent recipe. I have used this recipe for 3 years now and was previously selling it to friends and family. With baby here, I no longer have time to sell it, so I decided to share the recipe with you. When I first started making my own detergent, I used a recipe that called for Fels Naptha soap, after a little research, I found that even though many recipes were claiming to be natural, Fels Naptha contains many chemicals. I’ll let you do additional research on your own, and if you do choose to use Fels Naptha, you can just substitute it in for the kirk’s in my recipe.

Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is a naturally occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water. It is a white powder consisting of soft, colorless crystals that dissolve quickly in water. Borax is classified by the EPA as a pesticide and is toxic to ants, cockroaches, termites, and other insects. In its chemicalWATCH Factsheet, the organization Beyond Pesticides says this about boric acid and its related compounds:

Boric acid is a low-toxicity, non-volatile mineral with insecticidal, fungicidal, and herbicidal properties. It has long been embraced as a safer alternative to highly volatile, synthetic chemical pesticides.

Obviously Borax can pose some safety issues, you can find more information about them here. I feel comfortable using a minimal amount for my family’s laundry.

Laundry Detergent

.5 Cup Borax

.5 Cup Baking Soda

1 Cup Shredded Kirk’s or other Castile Soap

I use about 2-3 tablespoons per load depending on what the load consists of. You’ll have to play around with the amounts depending on load type and washer type. I do have an HE washer. As far as I can tell, it is not cloth diaper safe according to bumGenius’s FAQ page due to the baking soda. I do, however, use it on baby’s clothes and he’s done great!

What about YOU? What’s your favorite money-saving laundry trick?

Essential Oils and Cats

Essential Oils for Cats - Earthy Crunchy Mama

Using Essential Oils on cats is a highly controversial topic but it really is an argument that boils down to the quality of the oils. Please note that the oils suggested in this article are Young Living Essential Oils brand ONLY. I do not recommend any other brand and would never use a different brand on my own pets.

Much of this information is taken from Dr. Melissa Shelton’s book. She is a holistic veterinarian and has used Young Living Oils for over 3 years in her practice safely and effectively. Her book documents the uses of oils for animals. So, please purchase it and read it if you have concerns and would like more information.

How do I use Essential Oils for Cats?

Essential oils for cats should be highly diluted with a high grade pure vegetable oil. Dilute essential oils for cats (and all other smaller animals) at least 50:1 (fifty drops of dilution oil to one drop of essential oil). Dr. Mary Hess, DVM, recommends that Peace & Calming be diluted at 80-90% for felines.

Place a drop of the diluted oil on the inside of the paw or location of the cut or injury. Place some in your hands and pet your cat gently ears to tail.

Diffusing oils is a great way to use essential oils for cats. Lastly, you could place a few drops in a sprayer with some water, shake it up and gently mist–but most cats usually don’t like this method of application.

Here is a list of oils that can be safely used on cats:

For Fleas: Make a dilution of Cedarwood and Lavender oil and brush it into the cat. You can also make a spray mist with water and gently spray the cat to deter fleas.

For Emotional Needs: Use Valor for courage and Peace & Calming blend for anxiety and fear

For Skin Irritation and Minor Wounds: Use Lavender

For Mange: Use Lavender and Roman Chamomile 

For Natural Cleaning: Use Thieves to clean out cat’s crate safely and effectively

The most effective and easiest way to keep your pet’s coat in tip-top condition is by using Animal Scents™ Shampoo. Imbued with the power of citronella, lavandin, lemongeranium, and spikenard essential oils, Young Living’s pet shampoo gently cleanses, protects, and conditions without harmful ingredients.

What about YOU? Do you use essential oils on your pets?

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Fever Reducer

all natural fever reducer - earthy crunchy mama

 

When it comes to choosing medicine for baby, this mama can’t be too careful! We’ve only had two fevers so far, and have given baby instant relief from both withYoung Living’s Peppermint Essential Oil. One drop peppermint mixed with raw, organic coconut oil along the spine works like a charm. I know many mamas who swear by Tylenol, and I’m glad it works for them, but do they really know what they’re putting in baby’s body? The dyes and high fructose corn syrup are enough for me to stay far away!

Here are the Side Effects of just the first three ingredients in Children’s Tylenol:

Sound like something you want to pump in baby’s body every four hours? Yeah, me neither! This family will stick with good ol natural Peppermint!

What about YOU? What’s your fever reducer go-to?

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