How Denisa went diaper free with her babes

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The Diaper free method (“DFM”)


The first time I came across the diaper free method, it was by accident on YouTube. After watching some videos and finding information on the internet, I found out that it made sense to me and I decided to follow it. 


Here is the main idea:

Babies can poop and pee into the potty from birth. Just like animals do not pee and poop into their nest, human babies actually prefer not to wear diapers.


When my first daughter was born, I decided to give the DFB a try. When I saw her moving fast with her legs, I held her above the toilets and in ten seconds, she was peeing. “Excellent, it works!” And as I am a lazy parent, I put her above the toilet “only” before changing diapers, especially after her sleep, the method worked every time. But if it does not work at the first time, please keep trying as babies will understand the logic very quickly. 


What were the results and benefits of this method?

  • You use less diapers because most of the poop is going into the toilet. It does not mean you will stop using diapers at all but you will save some diapers every day. 
  • The second benefit is to avoid irritation of the skin of your child as the child does not stay in excrement. Therefore, you do not need any (or less) cream for the irritation and your baby is happier as he/she does not feel any pain. 
  • The third positive impact of the DFM has on colic. Logically, its better to pee/poop in a vertical position than lying on a back with a diaper. So every time I saw my baby feeling uncomfortable, I said: “the pants down!”:)
  • But the best benefit of this method is that your baby is doing what he/she knows from the beginning that pee/poop outside of pants is a standard. Having diapers all day long teaches your baby other way round: pee and poop into the diaper is normal. And later on when the toddlers are 2 years, you teach them not to use diapers which is confusing.

I am not saying that my daughter never pooped into the diapers.. A few times it happened. But when it happened, she came to me and cried as she felt uncomfortable. She has never been walking with a pooped diaper like nothing has happened:) And that is the situation we want to reach. 


In conclusion, my daughter is without diapers since 1.5 year old without any potty training.

When she needs the toilet, she makes a specific sound and heads to the bathroom.  As this method works very well for both of my kids, I wanted to share it with you. It is saving your time, energy, money and especially, it has a very positive impact on your kids to feel more comfortably and happier. 


PS: My both kids were excellent sleepers since the birth (6-8 hours in a row at night). I have not read any article about a connection between sleeping habits and the DFM but logically, babies who do not have an irritation of skin, who feel comfortable, who have empty stomach so they can suck more milk, these babies are more likely to sleep longer.

More about the contributor:

Denisa Skrickova is a mother of two daughters born in Luxembourg.

Before her maternity leave she worked for corporates such as Honeywell, Amazon and White & Case, spending high amount of time traveling around the world. Now she fully occupies herself with fingerprint drawing, singing kids songs and dancing with her daughters.

What’s Green Parenting?

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“#greenparenting is about making conscious choices, good for us, our children AND good for our planet. Creating little humans and accumulating stuff as we raise them, accrues a heavy ecological footprint. It’s their future after all, so it makes sense to be mindful about how we support nature, not only take from nature…”  –     Luxmama

In 2019, the European Economic and Social Committee along with Make Mothers Matter hosted a seminar highlighting the importance of engaging families as changemakers for sustainable development.

EESC President Luca Jahier explained that families, as the cradles of the passing-on of
cultures, traditions and behaviour to the next generation, have a key role to play here. Firstly, because parents focus naturally on the well-being of their children and this characteristic makes them natural candidates to pass on the message of sustainability.

Secondly, in view of the role of mothers specifically, in despite of shifts in society, more than a third of women in the EU still work for free while caring for their family members, and almost 80% of those working outside the home nonetheless cook or do the housework to a much larger extent than men. This means that, at least in the domestic domain, they are the ones deciding what to consume, and are thus primarily concerned when making more sustainable choices. Thirdly, still in view of the role of women: because, when working, women are still over-represented in sectors such as healthcare, care and
education, which are paramount for people’s well-being, and they can use their position to push for sustainable options.

Women thus have a crucial role to play and need to be especially made aware of this power and empowered to play it right. He affirmed: ‘we must stop living at the cost of our children. Instead, we must create frameworks for sustainable lifestyles – and we must act now’.

Here are 5 steps towards #greenparenting and a better future for our children:

  1. Composting, Refusing (waste prevention), Reducing, Reusing and Recycling

Consider consuming differently…

Yes, you’ve heard “reduce, reuse, recycle” it a million times. But this time we’d like to emphasise the “refuse and reduce” bit. In general, most of us are over-consuming, creating tons of waste. Consider consuming differently, buying bulk, local and seasonal, more vegetables, second hand and sustainable. Instead of opting for disposable products, turn to other alternatives, or homemade articles or use rental, second hand etc.

  • There are tons of second-hand markets in Luxembourg and lots more on Facebook.
  • Zero-waste consumption is now made easier by Ouni, a packaging-free, organic cooperative in Luxembourg. Other online options like Zwoice is also sprouting up.
  • Consider how you give gifts to loved ones. How about shifting from giving things to giving experiences or your time?
  • Consider eating less meat and if you do choosing sustainable options.

2. Vote for political players that prioritise the environment

Simple..

3. Learn more about climate change and support local action

Greta Tunberg has created a movement like no other. Children world-wide are standing up. Support this movement. Show your children you care and that they can too can make a difference. Children (before conditioned otherwise) naturally respect nature.

Visit Youth for Climate Luxembourg.

Visit the Transition Network Luxembourg, a non-profit organisation that provides an experimental space for thinking, researching, disseminating and practising post-carbon lifestyles and regenerative culture.

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. In 2019, Luxembourg already over-shooted ecological resources on Feb 16th…

Learn more about climate change and solutions here:

4. Vote with your funds – say no to players still investing in fossil fuels

Believe it or not, one would have imagined that all banks and other big players are supporting renewable energy all the way. Well it turns out, many are still investing in what’s killing our planet. So ask your bank where they stand. The collective voice of consumers are the strongest…

  • Here’s a cool ecological search engine powered by green energy and using profits to plant trees: www.ecosia.org
  • Do yourself (and the earth) a favour and check in with other services you regularly use (e.g. amazon, itunes, facebook, spotify etc) to see if they have made/have plans to make the energy shift away from dirty sources of energy like coal towards renewable sources.
  • Ask your energy provider if you can opt for renewable energy sources.
  • Next time you buy a car, why not opt for an electrical one (whilst ensuring you will recharge it with renewable sources of course). In fact, use your car less and opt for the growing network of public transport, cycling or walking. Your kids will love it too…

5. Speak up where you can

You’d be surprised how shifting to more conscious ways in your community is possible if someone starts planting little seeds (no pun intended)…

Where can you speak up so habits start shifting? At your little one’s school/creche? Sharing your enthusiasm with your friends on how your family managed to shift consumption behaviors etc (ensure at all times not to judge others, not yet understanding the urgency of the matter. That’ll just scare them off 😉

Thank you for just thinking of this, much love to you! Together, you would be surprised at what we can do!

Read more about Luxmama’s #greenparenting awareness pillar.


More about the Author

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Mother of two, holistic maternity coach/educator, Marise Hyman provides worldwide coaching, healing and education in preparing for an empowered conception, pregnancy, birth, life and parenthood journey. She is an IMPI Maternity Coach/Educator, IMPI Holistic Pregnancy & Child Sleep Practitioner, Happiest Baby on the Block Educator, “Becoming Us” Facilitator, Dancing for Birth™ Instructor, Birth Advocate, Holistic Childbirth Educator, Reiki Practitioner, Head-trash Clearance + Fearless Birthing Professional and “Birth into Being” Facilitator (level 1-3).

She is also the founder of the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep asbl, a non-profit organisation raising awareness for green, natural & holistic parenting alternatives, birth rights and perinatal mental health by offering a variety of social and educational events in Luxembourg.

Luxembourg Parks: Bambesch

Another wonderful park in Luxembourg is the Bambesch playground. The parc is right next to the Bambesch forest which has beautiful trails to explore, many of them are all-terrain buggy friendly.

There is really an array of interesting installations to explore for all ages and the benches and shady trees make it great for picnics. If you don’t feel like packing a picnic, next door by the Tennis Club, you will find the restaurant Am Clubhaus op der Spora – also with a little terrace overlooking the tennis courts. The food is great and includes great sushi!

When visiting the park, the closest restroom facilities are below the restaurant. There is no changing facility so keep that in mind.

To get to the Bambesch playground: (very close to Boo’s Café)  – Rue Bridel – Centre Bambesch L-1264 Luxembourg.

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Various beautiful walking trails into the forest

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Taking a break in the heart of the forest

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Time to picnic!

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More about the Author

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Mother of two, holistic maternity coach/educator, Marise Hyman provides worldwide coaching, healing and education in preparing for an empowered conception, pregnancy, birth, life and parenthood journey.

She is an IMPI Peri-natal Coach/Educator, IMPI Holistic Pregnancy & Child Sleep Practitioner, Happiest Baby on the Block Educator, “Becoming Us” Facilitator, Dancing for Birth™ Instructor, Birth Advocate, Holistic Childbirth Educator, Reiki Practitioner, Head-trash Clearance + Fearless Birthing Professional and “Birth into Being” Facilitator (level 1-3).

She is also the founder of the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep asbl, an edgy non-profit organisation raising awareness for green, natural & holistic parenting alternatives, birth rights and postnatal mood disorders by offering a variety of inspiring social and educational events in Luxembourg.

Winter Herbal Remedies

This month, Ana Gross from Ana Healing Herbs, shares with us some Herbal Winter Goodies, to improve the immune system this winter and keep the sniffles at bay…

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Ana’s Immune Musts

Before we get to the recipes, herbs or supplements, below is a short discussion about fundamentals for good immune health. Without these, even the best herbs and supplements would not be able to reach their full potential. Since immunity does not happen overnight, it’s a good idea to prepare.

In my view some of these fundamentals are the following:

  1. Good Sleep: sounds like a no-brainer, but really worth the mention. Ideally, we should aim for getting at least 8 hours a sleep every night (kids need more). Includes good sleep hygiene (such as having a night ritual, like we do for our kids – like winding down, limiting screen time, etc. It can include a warm bath, calming tea, etc).
  2. Adequate nutrition – this is fundamental. Without good nutrition, all other treatments, whether herbal or conventional medicine will not be as effective. Some nutrition tips that you may want to take into consideration are things like eating seasonally as much as possible, including plenty of fruits (especially berries & no tropical fruits), tons of veggies and good quality protein, limiting refined sugar and eating warm foods. I really love stews, soups, broths, etc. in the winter – you can pack in a lot of nutrition in there, plus you can add immune boosting herbs. I also encourage a smoothie a few days a week and including fermented foods in the diet such as kefir, fermented veggies, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, and yogurt.

There are also immune boosters that you can include in the diet:

    1. Bone broth
    2. Broth boosters: dried shiitake mushrooms, ginseng, astragalus, codonopsis.
    3. Garlic: chopped garlic (add towards the end of cooking to avoid losing too much of the antibiotic activity). Eat chopped garlic when sick. Can also make garlic lemonade for kids (or you!) and garlic honey.
    4. Spices: a lot of spices will not only help keep you warm but they are antibacterial, and can strengthen your immune system. Favorite spices for winter: turmeric, ginger, peppers, cayenne (if you can tolerate spicy food because this is pretty spicy), cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg. They can also help clear mucus if you have a cold or cough.
    5. Mushrooms
  1. Reduce Stress: stress has a profound effect on the immune health (as does lack of sleep by the way). Stress contributes to the production of adrenal hormones (the fight or flight hormone), which negatively impact the immune system.
  2. Exercise: I always recommend some sort of exercise (I know its hard since we are all so busy). Among its many benefits exercise stimulates the production of serotonin (happy hormone). This can really help those also suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
  3. Spend Time outside. Yes, even in the winter when it’s cold and even if it’s just a short while.

Ana’s Herbal Winter Recipes

Disclaimer: Products and information presented here are intended to be used for educational purposes only. They are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease nor are the views intended to be a substitute for conventional medical services. You must always contact your health care provided if you have a medical problem.

BEEF BONE BROTH

Ingredients:

  • 5-8 lbs beef bones (with or without marrow)
  • A scoop of fat – e.g. coconut oil for roasting
  • Filtered water
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar – essential to leach mineral out of the bones and maximize the mineral content in your broth
  • 1 onion
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1 chopped celery stalk
  • 2-3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2-3 bay leafs
  • Herbal Broth booster (optional)

Method:

  • Rinse and clean the bones with water; pat dry, and rub with fat.
  • Roast the bones with the garlic at 400F for 45 minutes to an hour, turning once, until they are well-browned. This improves the final flavor of the stock.
  • Add the bones and the pan scrapings to a big pot (or slow cooker pot), cover with filtered water and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add the vinegar, bay leaves, garlic, onion, celery and carrot.
  • Turn down the heat and simmer covered for several hours and ideally minimum 12 hours up to 24 hours. If you use a slow cooker, you can just add all the ingredients to the slow cooker at the start and simmer on medium or high for 24 hours.
  • Try to skim off any scum that comes to the surface at the beginning. Keep adding water to keep the bones underwater.
  • When the stock is finished simmering, allow it to cool, and filter through a fine mesh strainer. Refrigerate until chilled.  Once chilled, the stock should set like gelatin, and the fat should rise to the top.
  • Pick off the fat and reserve it for cooking or discard it.
  • Scoop out the gelled stock. You can use right away, keep in the fridge for a week or freeze in small portions.  You can add it as a base for soups or take drink it directly from a cup.

INFUSED OILS AND BALMS

Infused oils are a great way to extract plant properties into oils in order to use them topically. You can later use the oils in balms and creams. Great plants to make infused oils are chamomile, rose, plantain, lavender, calendula.

How to make an infused oil:

  • Fill a glass jar half way with dry herb (ie Calendula)
  • Pour in a carrier oil (ie olive oil) until it covers the dried herb completely. Can use any oil, but olive oil is popular one as its very stable (ie does not rancid so quickly)
  • To infuse:
    • Slow method: let sit in a warm place for two weeks (works best in the summer when you can put in the sun)
    • Semi-slow method: if you have a slow cooker, you can leave the covered jar for 3-4 days in warm water on the low setting.
    • Quick method: put in pot with simmering (not boiling water) for 3-4 hours.
  • Strain the oil and discard the plant material.
  • You can use the oil directly or use it to make a balm or cream.

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To make a basic balm:

  • Prepare a double boiler or a glass jar in “bain marie”. Caution – put tray on bottom of pan or use larger jar lids so glass jar is not on directly on bottom of pan.
  • Bring water to a light simmer.
  • Measure 1 cup of the infused oil and 3 tablespoons of beeswax
  • Add 3 tablespoons of beeswax to the top boiler or glass jar. One the beeswax has melted, add the infused oil. Mix well to make sure it is well combined and the beeswax is melted.
  • If using a double boiler, pour the mix into a clean glass jar. If using the jar directly, just remove from the heat. Make sure no water leaks into the oil, as it can make the balm rancid.
  • At this point you can add essential oils if you wish. Mix well with a stainless steel fork or whisk.
  • The balm will start to set after a few minutes.
  • Wait until completely hardened and cool. Then add the lid and label.
  • The shelf life of a balm is about 1 year.

Balm Recipe #1: Calendula Lavender Balm

  • 1 cup Calendula infused olive oil
  • 3 TBSP beeswax
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil

The calendula oil can be used for all kinds of skin irritations and dry skin. Can be used by the whole family.

Balm Recipe #2: Respiratory Relief Balm

  • 1 cup Lavender infused olive oil
  • 3 TBSP beeswax
  • Essential oils: 20 drops eucalyptus, 5 drops peppermint, 20 drops rosemary

Rub in the upper back, chest, feet. Wash hands well after applying as it can irritate eyes and sensitive skin areas! Not for use with small children.

For smaller children over 2: you can use the following essential oils: 15 drops pine essential oil, 20 drops frankincense essential oil, 5 drops bay laurel or fir essential oil

SYRUPS

Quick honey syrups

  • Can add extracts to honey to make a quick syrup (e.g. cough syrup recipe below).
  • Fresh herbs syrups:
    • Fresh ginger with honey. This is a great tasting warming remedy. Great for fevers and coughs, as well as stomach ailments such as nausea, diarrhea and stomach flus. Great to sweeten tea. Keep refrigerated. Chop a few pieces of ginger.
    • Fresh onion with sugar (or honey). Cut onion into thin slices. Place layers in a jar alternative with sugar. The onion juices will mix with the sugar to become a syrup. Great for coughs and colds.
  • Cold infused syrups
    • Marshmallow Root Syrup. Mix 3 Tablespoons Marshmallow root powder of finely cut with 6 ounces of cold water, let sit 4 to 8 hours
    • Strain and measure 2 ounces of the liquid and place in a glass jar or bottle.
    • Add 2 ounces of honey (or maple syrup) or 2 ounces of glycerin.

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberries (Sambucus nigra) have a long history of use to prevent and treat colds and flus. When used on a regular basis throughout the winter, it can help prevent colds, flus, and respiratory infections. Can be prepared with honey or with glycerin (for children under 1 or those with honey allergies).

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup dried elderberries
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup honey OR 1 ¼ cups food-grade glycerin (honey is a medicine in itself so when possible, use honey).

Method:

  • Place elderberries and water in a pot on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and steep for 30 minutes
  • Strain the mix and return the liquid to the stove on low heat until the liquid is reduced to 1 cup.
  • Remove from the heat and mix in 1 cup of local honey (or if planning to use for children under 1, mix in instead 1 ¼ cup of vegetable glycerin.
  • Label and bottle. Will keep for at least a year refrigerated.

For illness, general immunity, maintenance and prevention give 2-3 times a day. Can be given directly, diluted in a small amount of water, juice or formula/breast milk, or added to yogurt of smoothies.

Each dose:

  • For children under 2 –  ½ tsp.
  • Older children – 1 tsp
  • Teenagers and adults – 1 TBSP

Cough Syrup

And for a quick cough remedy that’s safe for kids and adults:

Mix the following in a 4 ounce bottle:

  • 2 ounces elderberry syrup
  • ½ ounce thyme glycerite
  • ½ ounce Echinacea tincture or glycerite
  • ½ ounce anise seed tincture
  • ½ ounce catnip glycerite or tincture

Take for up to a week and if there’s a tendency for recurrent coughs stay on it for several weeks. The echinacea prevents recurrence, the elder is a respiratory immune tonic, the catnip relaxing and the anise mucolytic and a respiratory antispasmodic.

Dose:

  • Kids: ½ tsp 4-6 times/day
  • Adults: 1 TBSP 4-6 times a day

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INFUSIONS & DECOCTIONS

Infusions are basically teas prepared medicinally. They are steeped for a longer time than a tea, and usually are steeped covered (usually flowers and leaves).

Decoctions are preparations of herbs that have to be simmered to obtain their maximum benefit (usually harder pieces and roots).

Calming Tea

This tea is so versatile it should be in every home. It can be used for babies, kids and adults. It’s a calming tea for irritability, can be used for teething, great remedy for children’s fever and calms irritated tummies. Safe for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. For babies you can also add a cup of the tea to the baby’s bath.

Mix ¼ cup each of dried Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Catnip in a glass jar. Mix Well. Take 2 teaspoons of the mix and add 1 cup of boiling water. Steep covered for 10 minutes.

Dose:

  • Babies: 20 drops up to 3 times a day
  • Toddlers: up to 1-1 ½ cups a day (divided into two doses) and
  • Older kids and adults: up to 2-3 cups a day.

Fever Tea

Mix ¼ cup each of dried Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Elderflower & Yarrow place in a glass jar. Mix well. Take 2 teaspoons of the mix and add 1 cup of boiling water. Steep covered for 10 minutes. Safe for kids and adults. Safe in Pregnancy.

Dose:

  • Toddlers: ¼ cup to 1 cup (depending on age) up to 3 times a day while fever persists
  • Adults: up to 3 cups a day while fever persists.

STEAM INHALATIONS

Steam Inhalations to relieve congestion:

Boil water in a large pot. Have ready a bunch of some of the following fresh herbs; Thyme, Rosemary, sage, peppermint. Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat, throw in the herbs and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes. Then, very carefully, open the pot and inhale the vapor while holding a towel over your head. Be very carful to avoid burns. Repeat a few times. Could also use steam in halation with essential oil or vapor rub (use only a small amount (2-3 drops of essential oil) as it can be very irritating.  Alternatively, and for younger kids and babies, you can do steam inhalations in the shower.

Steam inhalations for babies and toddlers to relieve respiratory congestion

You need only about 5 drops of thyme OR eucalyptus essential oil on a washcloth. Steam up the bathroom by running the washcloth under the hot shower until the bathroom is steamy and turn off the water. When the bathroom has filled with steam, bring in with the baby into the steamy bathroom for 10 minutes. You can do it twice per day.

OXYMELS

Oxymels combine the stimulating properties of vinegar with soothing properties of honey. They are also both anti-bacterial. This centuries-old preparation is great for coughs and congestion, especially when there is a lot of mucus.

Oxymel Recipe: Thyme and Elderberry Oxymel

This is a great recipe for coughs with a lot of phlegm.thyme.jpeg

  • Combine ½ cup dried elderberries + ¼ cup dried thyme in a glass jar
  • Add ½ cup honey (local honey preferable)
  • Add ¾ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • Cover with a plastic lid or put wax paper on the lid if using a metal lid (as vinegar will corrode the metal). Let sit 3-4 weeks.
  • Strain, label and bottle.
  • Has a long shelf life. 2-3 years.

OTHER RECIPES

Turmeric Milk

Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and helps strengthen the immune system. The warming herbs are also great for digestion as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.

Mix 2 TBSP of Turmeric powder with ½ tsp each of spices (cinnamon, clove, cardamom, black pepper, vanilla, rose, pumpkin pie spice and ginger in a clean glass jar. If you like very spicy can add 1/8 tsp cayenne powder (optional).

To prepare:

  • ½ to 1 tsp of the mix
  • 1 cup Milk of choice
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½-1 tsp of turmeric powder Mix

Combine all ingredients in a pan on medium heat. Once the milk begins to simmer turn it off and serve in a cup. Sweeten with honey (or other sweetener) to taste.

Smoothie Recipe

I really like smoothies as I find it’s a great way to add many nutritious items and kids love them.

  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup almond (or other nut) milk or water
  • 1 TBSP nut butter (I normally use almond butter)
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • ½ cup spinach or other green
  • 1 soaked and pitted date
  • 1 banana
  • small piece of fresh ginger (3-4 cm)
  • Can add bee pollen or turmeric root powder for added immune boosting ☺.

Garlic Honey

Both honey and garlic have natural antibiotic properties as well as antibacterial and anti-viral properties, making them great allies in the winter.

  • Peel a whole head of garlic and place the whole cloves in a clean glass jar.
  • Add honey enough to cover the garlic
  • Let them steep 4-6 weeks.  You will have to mix daily since the garlic will float to the top as it slightly ferments. After 4 weeks, store in the refrigerator.
  • The garlic will become like candy! You can also use the honey in teas or in cough syrups.

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Garlic Lemonade

This is a great remedy for kids and adults for when you have a cold, cough or respiratory infection.

Gently crush a clove of garlic. Add 1 cup of boiling water and let it steep for 20 minutes. Sweeten with honey.


More About the Author

Ana is a practicing clinical herbalist based in Luxembourg. Her passion for plants and natural products started 16 years ago with ana-herbs-new-logoa small artisanal soap production which led her to continue studies in herbalism and aromatherapy incorporating both Eastern and Western wisdom.

Ana Healing Herbs also stocks traditionally handmade products and teas, made with care using only carefully selected natural, organic or wild-crafted ingredients and absolutely no artificial ingredients of any kind – ever. She believes that every product we put in and on our body should be a gift of nourishment to our bodies.

Top 10 tips to Green your Family

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“Greening” is the process of transforming a space or lifestyle into a more environmentally friendly version. The act of greening involves incorporating “green” products and processes into an environment.

Now why on earth would we bother, this sounds tedious?!

Reasons that may resonate with you could be:

  • To preserve the earth for future generations
  • Out of pure respect to Mother Earth and realising our responsibility as inhabitants
  • Sustainability just makes sense

and/or

For the HEALTH of your growing baby in your belly, your children, yourself, your partner…

You see, these days we are exposed to environmental toxins on a daily basis that increase our toxic load and as a result our risks for chronic diseases. Many of these toxins are a by-product of an industrialized world. Some even go as far as saying that the daily toxic load we encounter in 1 month, is more than your great-grandparents encountered in their whole lifetimes..

If you’d like to explore these thoughts a bit further, take a look below:

The good news is that in your home, YOU are in control (unless you have toddlers/teenagers!), so making a few small changes can have a significant impact on your family’s daily toxic load intake.

Really.

In your home, YOU are in control.

Ideally, becoming mindful of environmental toxins you are exposed to and aiming to decrease your intake is important for everybody’s health. On the other hand, it is also never too late to start your Greener journey. Babies are particularly vulnerable to environmental toxins and that is exactly why expecting families can only benefit from a decrease in toxin exposure. And then once baby is born, continuing Green practices and being realistic yet not obsessive to the point where it stresses you out (yet another toxin!) will be beneficial for your whole family as well as Mother Earth.

So it’s really a win-win!

There are many ways to do this. You do not have to rebuild your home. Just make some easy changes, bit by bit and you’ll be amazed at where you’ll be a few months down the line. Each time you run out of something, simply replace this product with a Greener more natural/non-toxic option.

Before we shoot with the actual Greening Strategies, it’s important to understand how we absorb toxins:

Anything you:

  • Put in your mouth (foods and drinks)
  • Put on your skin (your largest organ and highly porous – absorbs what you put on it)
  • Inhale

As simple as that.

Go Green with Cleaning Products

Gradually replace the cleaning products you use at home with more natural options. Luckily in Luxembourg, more natural versions are readily available in commercial stores and in particular, Naturata. The laundry detergent you use can be replaced with a 100% natural, economical and bio-degradable miracle of life – soap nuts! (Available at Naturata).soap nuts

Another fun thing to do, is to make your own products. With basic ingredients like vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and essential oils, you’ll be amazed at how far you can go.

For more inspiration check out:

Go Green with Personal Care and Baby Products

Now do exactly the same with your Personal Care Products. From deodorant to face wash to each and every product you use on your baby. You will be surprised at how many unpronounceable chemicals are contained in mass-marketed and well-cherised baby brands. Product ranges like Weleda, Aveda and others found at Naturata are a better bet. Coconut oil is also a staple here. Limit the use of wipes at home (replace with a washcloth and water) and when you do use wipes, go for the most natural versions as opposed to the most baby-friendly-marketed versions. Water wipes are great.

greenbaby

Go easy on the plastic

Plastic is nobody’s friend. Once in touch with food, toxins can leach into foods and drinks, even more so when put in the microwave. Plastic toys for babies and children are also something to consider avoiding. They all do eventually end up in their mouths and the phthalates making plastic soft and flexible is a major contributor to indoor air pollution as they are not chemically bound to products, which makes them easy to migrate and off-gas into the air we breathe. That “new car” or “new toy” smell is the smell of phthalates off-gasing…  Furthermore, plastic doesn’t biodegrade. Animals can ingest it, with sometimes fatal consequences. And there is a toxic soup of plastic swirling around in the ocean. Most plastic is made from fossil fuels like oil and natural gas, which release toxic emissions when extracted from the earth. So what to do? The next time you buy something, choose a non-plastic alternative. Material and wooden toys (from sustainable sources with non-toxic finishing), ceramic, stainless steel and glass sippy cups, bottles and eating utensils. Bio-degradable vegetable fibers are also now being used more and more.

plastics

Eat Organic

Not taxing your digestive system with additional toxins ingested from foods will also go a long way. Yes, it is more expensive, but for a reason. Pay the farmer now or pay the doctor later. Yes, not everything you encounter outside of your home will be organic. But opting for locally grown, organic food at home will be a game-changer for your whole family.

organic-food

Open windows!

Indoor air pollution is a reality, especially now that we live in highly insulated homes. Open the windows, especially the sleeping environment at least 1 hour per day.

Invest in Indoor plants

Indoor plants can assist with filtering polluted air. “The air cleaning capability of plants maintained within a closed living environment goes far and beyond simple removal of carbon dioxide (which humans and animals exhale) and replacing it with clean oxygen. House plants also have the remarkable ability to remove toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air, which can be a particular health hazard for those living or working in newly built residential homes, apartments, and commercial office space.”

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Read more here:

Say no to Toxic Wall Paint

Wall paint is one of the leading causes of air pollution.  Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application.  THe source of these toxins is a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) which, until recently, were essential to the performance of the paint. Thankfully, new environmental regulations and consumer demand, have led to the development of low-VOC and zero-VOC paints and finishes. Most paint manufacturers now produce one of more non-VOC variety of paint, durable, cost-effective and less harmful to human and environmental health.

Green baby’s Nursery

Baby’s Nursery deserve a whole blog post on its own. As explained above, VOC paints are not what we want in here.  Opt for the most natural mattress you can find. This is more important than anything else. Select natural (organic if possible) fabrics for bedding.

Choose furniture made from natural materials and finishing. Blinds, shades, and curtains gather dust mites, so minimise these and wash frequently. In humid conditions, carpeting may harbor mold and mildew. Synthetic carpeting, backing and pads contain so many chemicals they are often referred to as a “toxic soup” that can cause headaches, fatigue and breathing difficulties.

Consider EMF’s

While Electro Magnetic Field Radiation (“EMF”) is dangerous for adults, they can be life threatening for babies so it is a good idea to minimise electronics and especially wi-fi devices where baby will sleep and spend a lot of time.

Here’s why…

  • Babies skulls are thin.  This allows for radiation to penetrate deep into the brain.
  • Babies are growing fast. This means their cells are dividing really fast. Every time a cell divides, it makes a replica of itself. Stuff like radiation can cause the new cell to be mutated. Mutated cells are also known as cancer.
  • EMF exposure weakens the immune system. Babies don’t yet have fully formed immune systems. This is why babies are so susceptible to colds and infections. Expose them to EMF’S, and they become even less able to fight off bacteria, viruses or fungi.emf

Banish Toxic Thoughts

We often don’t realise how our thoughts shape our world. In fact, everything starts with thoughts. So being more mindful of them will shape a better world, simply put. If this intrigues you, read the beautifully written little book by Sandra Ingerman, How to Heal Toxic Thoughts.

ChangeThoughts

OK, so reading this may trigger some overwhelming feelings. Don’t sweat it. This is not an overnight process. Take it step-by-step. One small change at a time. Finished with a product? Simply substitute it with a more conscious choice next time. It ALL adds up.

Here is a guided relaxation to help you relax about it all. When you are in a relaxed frame of mind, you will be better equipped to think consciously going forward.

And each conscious decision you make, will not only benefit your own family but also Mother Earth, none of us can live without…


More about the Author

Mother of two, holistic maternity coach/educator, Marise Hyman provides worldwide coaching, healing and education in preparing for an empowered conception, pregnancy, birth, life and parenthood journey.
She is an IMPI Peri-natal Coach/Educator, IMPI Holistic Pregnancy & Child Sleep Practitioner, Happiest Baby on the Block Educator, “Becoming Us” Facilitator, Dancing for Birth™ Instructor, Birth Advocate, Holistic Childbirth Educator, Reiki Practitioner, Head-trash Clearance + Fearless Birthing Professional and “Birth into Being” Facilitator (level 1-3)
She is also the founder of the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep asbl, an edgy non-profit organisation raising awareness for green, natural & holistic parenting alternatives, birth rights and postnatal mood disorders by offering a variety of inspiring social and educational events in Luxembourg.