Green Cleaning Around Baby
When it comes to cleaning baby items we have to walk a fine line between trying to get rid of the germs and not using toxic chemicals that the baby could ingest. I suggest using some DIY recipes for cleaning. These are recipes you can make at home and will work safely on items that are near your baby. We also have to remember that babies LOVE to put their mouths on everything, so we should use very green cleaners on all their items.
Here are some recommendations for cleaning specific baby items:
Use a microfiber cloth with an all-purpose cleaner which is a mixture of white distilled vinegar and seltzer water. The vinegar is a natural way to kill bacteria and germs. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, you can add an essential oil to it and the oil will cancel out the vinegar smell. Now you have a great anti-bacterial spray that won’t hurt the baby.
Use hydrogen peroxide to clean baby toys. Whether hard plastic or stuffed, hydrogen peroxide will kill the germs, yet is safe if baby puts them in his/her mouth. Hydrogen peroxide is used in hospitals to kill germs and is also used by dentists to whiten our teeth!
Clean the baby tub before and after being used. Spray it down with an all-natural spray and wipe it with a microfiber cloth. The microfiber will catch and hold the dirt and wipe it right off the tub. You want to make sure you clean the tub after the bath too, just because you just never know what may have gotten into the water during the bath (if you get my drift). Babies don’t know how to control their bowels or bladder, so you need to use the antibacterial spray on the tub after the bath too.
Get a very good mattress cover for the mattress. Organic mattresses are the best, but if you can’t afford them, just buy a high quality mattress cover to keep the allergens inside the mattress. I would also recommend an organic cotton cover too. Launder it with a gentle laundry soap so that it doesn’t bother the baby’s skin or promote allergies. You can make your own laundry soap from a recipe. I have one from my Great Grandmother which has four simple ingredients – baking soda, washing soda, soap flakes and Borax. This recipe washes totally out of the clothes so there won’t be any residual detergent in the mattress cover to aggravate the baby’s skin. If you don’t want to make your own, there is a good natural soap called Charlie’s Soap that moms love for baby clothes and diapers.
Keep a bottle of anti-bacterial spray (natural) right by the table for accidents. I also would use paper towels here – so you can throw it away right after cleaning. I know this isn’t a green solution- but it is safer than reusing a rag or cloth. The linens should be cleaned in a gentle laundry soap.
Keep a microfiber cloth and a small spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner in the bottom of the stroller. Cleaning right when an accident happens is much easier that waiting until you get home. A simple spill will harden in the hot car, and will be 10x worse to remove. Also, a simple spot remover for spills on the fabric would be good to keep with you as well. You can make a spot wipe with vinegar and club soda with some lemon essential oil to keep handy. Just soak the mixture in paper towels and store in a zip lock bag.
Three recipes for DIY cleaners that are safe for babies and young children. They all are from The Joy of Green Cleaning.
Great Grandma’s Laundry Soap
- 2 cups Soap Flakes1-cup baking soda
- 1-cup Borax
- 1-cup washing soda
- Essential oil for scent, 6-8 drops
Mix and store in an airtight container. Use 2 tablespoons for a front loader – 1/2 cups for a top loader.
Daily All-Purpose Cleaner (disinfectant)
- 1-cup white vinegar
- 1-cup seltzer water
- 8 drops tea tree oil
- 1/8 cup hydrogen peroxide (Will only disinfect for short time – you can add more each time you want to use the cleaner. Hydrogen peroxide is very volatile and turns to water quickly.)
- 1/4-cup vinegar
- 1/4-cup club soda
- 8 drops essential oil for scent
Combine all these ingredients and soak 20 heavy-duty paper towels in the mixture. Squeeze out the excess and store in a zip lock bag. Use for spots and spills as needed.
How Does an HSP Cope With All the Suffering in the World?
If you’re not familiar with the term HSP, please see the definition for “Highly Sensitive Person” from Dr. Elaine Aron.
With no simple answer, I’m afraid. I’ve pondered my own answer to this question for several years. The following Meditation of Hope and Love came to me during one of my own meditations a few years ago. I use it often…and lately, that means almost daily!
A Meditation of Hope and Love
Find a meditation time – at least 30 minutes, or longer, if possible. You know the criteria – quiet, uninterrupted time and space, preferably your own special place that may have candles or a special feeling of comfort and security for you.
Sit or lie down in a very comfortable position. (I prefer lying, with something light and soft to cover me.)
- Begin slow, deep breathing, focusing on blowing all your breath out – as if blowing out a candle.
- Breathe in deeply, through your nose, to a count of 8 or 10. Hold for a count of four.
- Breathe out, again as if blowing out a candle, to a count of ten.
You want to create a very deep cleansing breath. Notice: You might begin yawning, or drifting off to sleep. Go with whatever feels best for you. There is no ‘doing it wrong’ here. Just keep practicing until eventually you can complete the whole meditation. Now here comes the harder, yet important part.
Begin to allow your mind to go ahead and focus on all the things you have been concerned or worrying about. Like many of you, I have been close to tears each day as I hear about all the suffering in the world.
Lovingly ask each individual concern to patiently wait in line — assuring them they will all have a chance to be heard. In your relaxed state, begin to see each entity forming a line, waiting patiently. As they come up to be heard, assign them a name like Robin Williams, Gaza/Palenstine conflict, Nigerian girls or maybe for you it might be lost job, finances, or whatever else evolves as an appropriate and loving way to remember and honor your concerns.
As an HSP, these kinds of images tend to burrow deep into my inner world and I can begin to feel burdened, lethargic, and sometimes hopeless. Cognitively, I know there is really nothing I can (concretely) do about these tragedies, yet my yearnings for a better world keep my mind occupied.
Now comes the next step in your meditation.