Why are parents opting for natural products?
Being a parent can be overwhelming. There is so much information out there, much of which is contradictory. Still, most parents agree that natural and organic is the right way to go. Any parent who purchases a product for their baby selects it on the basis that it is something safe and effective. Baby skin is delicate, thinner, and absorbs quickly and is less resistant to bacteria and harmful substances. For this reason, we want to use products with more natural ingredients and have the least amount of chemicals.
So, when a baby product is labeled ‘natural’, what does it mean?
Firstly, it’s difficult for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate companies who claim their products are natural because it has minimal resources and authority to regulate their safety. So, companies don’t have to pass any test to label their products natural, even if the products are for babies. Shocking right?
Now comes the marketing aspect. The best way to grab any parent’s attention is to use the right words on the product, and natural is one such word. While a product may claim it contains natural ingredients, the rest of the product could have chemicals that are not suitable for anyone, let alone babies.
When I see a product on the shelf that includes the word ‘natural’ I assume that it is made of natural materials, and you would too, right? Don’t be fooled by this marketing tactic. To be sure, I often check the ingredients list, and though most tick the natural box, there is more often than not some words I don’t understand. These words are, in most scenarios, the chemicals, and you wouldn’t know if they are natural or not unless you googled them, which let’s be real, we don’t always do when at the store.
Here are some tips that I’ve used when I’m not sure and may help you select the right product for your baby:
- Read product labels, and, if you don’t recognize an ingredient, use EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) Skin Deep database to research products and ingredients.
- Look for a recognized certification that will guarantee a good quality baby product, such as Ecocert. For example, the organic Ecocert certification guarantees that 95% of the ingredients are naturally derived, and a high percentage of these ingredients are organic.
- Avoid these nine ingredients: talc, bleach, synthetic fragrances, parabens, phthalates, tributyl-tin (TBT), flame retardants, formaldehyde, and sulfates.
Now that you can navigate your way to a product with the least harmful ingredients, the next thing to look out for is any natural ingredients or combinations that don’t suit your baby’s skin. Your baby may be allergic to an ingredient, or the product may not suit your child’s skin. For example, my children all have eczema, so even though I tried many natural products, I eventually had to resort to a product that had some chemicals.
My point is, while we may not be able to get 100% natural products, your best bet is to go for products that are as natural as possible and that suit your baby.
How do you inspire creativity in babies and children?
Inspiring creativity in babies and children is vital to help them become critical thinkers and innovative problem solvers, and the benefits are endless. Creativity improves self-esteem, problem-solving skills, motivation, ability to cope with complicated feelings, and chances of future success are higher. You see, children are born with a natural instinct for creativity and imagination, all we need to do is nurture it. However, as children grow older, creativity decreases due to a more structured way of living. Hence, the nurturing should start from the very beginning.
So, where do parents start and how to encourage creativity in your child? Here are some top tips to help inspire your child’s creativity and keep it a priority.
Dedicate Time and Space for Creativity
From a toy box filled with play items to a decorated corner in the room or even the entire room, the choice is yours. Fill the area with inspiring products for imaginative play, lego, artistic supplies, and more. Dedicate regular intervals of creative play to show them the importance as it helps develop concentration, communication, and motor skills. Our boys’ room has dedicated sections, which include the kitchen, Lego table, cars and gadgets shelf, and the arts and crafts corner.
Introduce a variety of creative activities for your child. Every child is different, and you never know what will appeal to them. All my children enjoy different activities, which often get merged into one big activity when they combine forces! Activities like drawing, telling stories, playing dress-up, and even singing or dancing help nurture their creativity and get their imagination going.
Do Not Force
Forcing a child to do an activity will only make them less interested and even stress them out. Embrace what your child has an interest in and then prompt them to do similar activities. For example, my kids like painting, so I let them paint on a wall in the house or have them try coloring and sketching as variations.
Let Them Make Mistakes
We all make mistakes. In fact, encourage kids to make mistakes and fail. You read it right, children who are afraid of failure and judgment will limit their creativity. Instead of focusing on correcting the mistakes your little one may have made, celebrate the creativity and talk to your children about their ideas. It’s not about perfectionism; instead, it’s about your child’s journey to create and explore. You want your child to freely express themselves, not be afraid!
Many of you may be like WHY! It’s like opening pandora’s box with some children, and it’s a very good thing. If your child isn’t naturally inclined to ask, you can start with a question. It may amaze you to hear their imaginative answers. I know I always am!
Nurture Problem-Solving Skills
Show your child that there’s more than one way to use an item or solve a problem. This teaches them to explore new ways to reach the same conclusion.
Let Them Get Bored
Our hectic lifestyle and trying to keep children busy all the time, we forget the importance of downtime. Boredom pushes children to think of new ways to entertain themselves and motivates them, ultimately boosting creativity. When my children get bored, they make a fort using cushions, dining chairs, and bedsheets!
Make Screen Time Beneficial
Select apps that educate and inspire your child’s imagination and let them try it out. What I found to works is, if you use the app yourself, your children will be more interested.
Lead by Example
Be creative and show your child by starting a new activity at home like reading, painting, or cooking. Explore as a family by going to a play, art display, or a show. When you demonstrate creativity yourself, your children will also take an interest.
Our aim is to provide parents with a collection of products that are natural and inspiring to foster creativity from the beginning and nurture it as they grow.
The Crib is an online baby shop in Dubai, UAE that offers natural and inspiring products for babies and children.