So since it's beginning to get warmer outside (and by warmer I mean low 50s, other than that one awesome week we had--at least here in New England) I've been thinking about what I'm going to use for insect repellent. I didn't use any last year because Carter was so little I just avoided being outside during "buggy" times. Lots of natural moms love California Baby products, myself included, but when it comes to insect repellent I get pretty freaked out about putting anything on Carter's skin because even the natural products seem so strong. The CA Baby insect repellent still has a lot of ingredients. There are two products that have me intrigued:
1. Citronella oil. Since this would be the most effective ingredient in the CA Baby product, I'm thinking of only using just this one ingredient. I didn't think of this super smart idea all on my own, unfortunately. I read about it in something I was reading for work and it made a lot of sense! Livestrong.com recommends adding 1 drop of the oil to 3oz of water. I think I might use coconut oil instead of water though, or add 1 drop to his regular (not SPF) lotion, just to make it's easier to apply without having to spray it on (apparently it can irritate their breathing if the oils get too close to their mouths and I think using an oil or lotion to apply would help to avoid that). Also, you don't want any combo insect repellents/SPF because SPF should be reapplied often, but repellent should not.
2. Bug bands! Have you seen these? I really like this idea because they don't even have to be directly on a the baby/child(/even adult!) for it to work. I'm thinking of using the citronella as my main form of insect repellent and using the Bug Bands as a backup (like attached to our stroller when we go for evening walks).
I'm pretty excited about these ideas.
And while we're on the topic of warmer weather, these are some sunblocks that I really like. California Baby and Badger.
They are mineral sun blocks and don't have any of that Oxybenzone, Octocrylene awfulness. Makes sure to check the active ingredient in your sunblock to know whether it is a mineral or chemical sunblock/sunscreen. Mineral sunblocks will have either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (or a combination) listed as the active ingredient(s). If you want to check how "healthy" the sunblock you normally use is, check out the ratings on the EWG's (Environmental Working Group) website here. Just type your brand into the search box. California Baby and Badger Balm both rate as a 1 (which means their ingredients are the cleanest and healthiest). And here is a list of the healthiest sunblocks in case you're looking for one!