As most of you know, YBC's Marketing and Events Director Lauren gave birth to her baby boy Hudson in April of last year, so we thought it would be fun to share some of her favorite picks for mom and baby in a new recurring series: Lauren's Picks. Hope you enjoy! xoCandace
Earth Mama Organics - Safe, Organic products for Mom & Baby
Earth Mama was nice enough to send over a few items from their collection of products and they didn't disappoint. The Organic Nipple Butter is without question my most used and prized product during those first few months of life. If you're breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed in the future, you NEED this in your life. NEEEEED.
Organic Nipple Butter: This product was a lifesaver for me, and the best part is that you can use it after you're done breastfeeding, as well, because you can put it on any part of your body - dry skin, hands, feet, anywhere! It doesn't contain petroleum, parabens, or lanolin, and is USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO. Hudson had a few patches of really dry skin on his cheeks after birth; this worked wonders and didn't seem to irritate his skin at all.
Milkmaid Tea: This tea is fantastic for breastfeeding moms! Add a little ground ginger and cinnamon, and it tastes kind of like chai because it's got a fennel blend in it that it delicious hot or cold.
Earth Mama Mini-Deodorant Pack: These organic deodorant minis pack a punch and actually work. They're specially formulated for sensitive skin, pregnancy and breastfeeding with the perfect balance of baking soda and magnesium. I've been using these for months and absolutely love them. My favorite scent is the calming lavender.
The Sonnenalp Hotel Kids Club.
The little and I recently made our way to Vail to see if it’d be a good spot for a YBC Retreat or Workshop in the future. While there, The Sonnenalp, a family owned hotel, was kind enough to host us. If you’re heading to the Vail area, you need to stay at The Sonnenalp. If you’re traveling as a family with kids - no worries. Their Kids Club is SO impressive - I was a bit bummed that Hudson’s still too young to participate (the program starts for children 3 years of age - must be potty trained - up to 12 years) but we’ll definitely be taking advantage of their kids club services in the future! Even though Hudson was a bit too young for the Kids Club, he still wasn’t forgotten. There was a beautiful crib set up at the foot of my bed with key travel essentials for baby like body wash, lotion and shampoo - how thoughtful?! Living in Colorado, the air is really dry so sometimes Hudson gets a bloody nose during the night - I thought about contacting The Sonnenalp ahead of time to ask about having a humidifier placed in our room. I ultimately decided against asking, just to avoid being that high-maintenance guest, haha, but guess what was already going when we walked into our room?! A HUMIDIFIER. I know this seems like such a small or silly thing to get excited about, but it’s the small things that really make a HUGE difference when traveling with an infant. It was really nice to keep this small piece of our routine in place while on ‘vacation’.
Okay, now back to the Kids Club. I was especially impressed with their unique ways to keep kids active and outdoors with things like guided hikes on Vail Mountain. When you’re in such a gorgeous place, the last thing you want to do is have everyone cooped up inside the hotel. Staying active on family vacations was a priority to my parents when I was growing up, so I really appreciate their efforts to incorporate nature and the outdoors now that I have a babe of my own.
Vacations are already expensive enough so it’s great that The Kids Club comes at no additional cost to guests - ah-mazing! However, the club does offer some add-on activities that come with an additional fee. These are for events that require a ticket and/or when dinner is provided: Gondola Ride & Hikes ($30), Pizza & Movie Nights ($35) and Dinner & Game Nights ($35) are some examples. If The Sonnenalp Kids Club isn’t your thing, the hotel concierge can always provide a list of local professional babysitting companies - which is really helpful when traveling to a new place.
Keep your eye out for a full review of The Sonnenalp and Vail Village coming soon!
KinderSprouts Organic - Organic Handmade Clothing & Accessories
If you’ve been following along with Lauren’s Picks, you might recognize this super adorable ETSY shop which is run by the most amazing woman, Shelly. A few months back I stumbled across her shop and ever since I’ve been telling all my new mom friends about them! If you’re new to Lauren’s Picks, KinderSprouts Organic is a small, family run business that hand makes everything from start to finish in Wisconsin. My favorite part about their clothing by far is the use of GOTS (global organic textile standard) certified organic cotton. This means that the entire fabric production chain from seed to fabric to printing has to follow very high standards for minimum environmental impact, no toxic chemicals and fair labor practices. Because of this, KinderSprouts Organic can be confident that the materials they use in their pieces haven’t harmed people or the planet.
Another thing I’ve started to be mindful about is the amount of clothing we’ve been buying for Hudson. If you’re a mom you know how fast these little nuggets grow - especially in the first few months/years of life. I hate the thought of adding to the environmental impact of ‘fast-fashion,' so I’m more methodical about what I add to his wardrobe. For example, when he outgrows a pair of pants, I look for a new pair with a drawstring waistband over an elastic waistband. This ensures that Hudson will be able to wear the pants as he grows because we’re able to comfortably adjust the string without it digging into his belly. What about the length, you ask? I’m not too concerned with the leg length because I kind of live for the shorter ‘jogger’ look on babies; so it works for us! That being said, I la-la-LOVE that KinderSprout’s leggings are designed with a drawstring added to the waistband. Hudson has been wearing these little leggings since he was 4.5 months and he still fits in them at 9 months **Just for reference, the pair pictured here is a size 3-6 month: waist 16” (this is un-stretched and can also be tightened with the drawcord), length from top of waistband to bottom of cuff is 14”. The 6-9 month: waist 16”, length 15.25”. All fabrics are all pre-washed so there should be minimal shrinkage.
Aleva Naturals - Skincare for mom & baby.
Navigating the current skincare industry is scary enough when it comes to products you use yourself, but when you throw a baby into the mix, it’s a whole other ballgame. It’s one thing to choose and use a traditional skincare product with questionable ingredients for myself, but Hudson isn’t able to make that same choice for himself. Because of this, I am extremely cautions with almost everything I put on or near his skin - and rightfully so, with baby’s skin being so vulnerable. I was really excited when Aleva Naturals sent over a few essentials (daily soothing moisturizer, sleep easy hair/body wash, bamboo pacifier/toy wipes, bamboo tooth and gum wipes and bamboo baby wipes) from their skincare collection for mom & baby.
I really like Aleva Naturals - a Canadian brand - for a few different reasons. One being that their products are not only natural, but they are certified vegan, made with all plant-based ingredients and no animal by-products. With that being said, I’m sure it doesn't come as a surprise to you that their products are also cruelty-free with absolutely NO animal testing. Fun fact: even though a product is plant-based, that doesn't necessarily mean it's toxin free; I really admire Aleva Naturals' use of 0% toxins and 0% harsh chemicals which also contributes to their products being hypoallergenic and eczema-friendly.
I also love that their wipe products are produced out of bamboo - making them not only insanely soft and biodegradable, but extra strong too. I want to put an emphasis on the ‘extra strong’ part because Hudson started doing this really fun thing lately where he grabs and pulls on EVERYTHING during diaper changes. If he gets ahold of an ordinary wipe and pulls hard enough, it’ll actually tear in half with part in his hands and part in mine. Not only is this extremely annoying, but I’m terrified that he’s going to tear a piece off and shove it in his mouth before I can get to him. When he tugs on these wipes, they stay in one piece, which makes for a much less stressful time on the changing table and a much happier Momma.
The pacifier and toy wipes live in my diaper bag this time of year (#fluseason). It's a 100% guarantee that Hudson will throw his pacifier on the ground more times than I'd like to keep track of when we're out of the house, haha. It's nice that I don't have to pack an arsenal of pacifiers before heading out; a packet of these wipes guarantees a clean pacifier - no matter how many times it makes its way to the ground.
I'd love to hear what you've been into lately! Any new finds I should know about?! Leave them below in the comments section! -Lauren