Ecofriendly, safe baby and toddler care products

A mom knows what is best for her kid and I feel it’s not a good practice to give unsolicited advice in this matter. Many of you from my insta family has asked me to write about baby care products and so even though I have not much personal experience with this, I shall list out some helpful products that I came across in my research.  This is an assorted list of all things that are helpful for parents. Also these might make great gifts.

Kolkol Ergonomic Baby Carriers:

Let me quote the brand:

Ergonomic baby carriers let you carry your baby in a position similar to how you would hold them in your arms. This means the utmost comfort for you and your baby. It promotes bonding and helps breastfeed anywhere. It helps the parent handle everyday chores while taking care of the baby. There are many studies that show carried babies sleep, feed and grow better, and significantly cry lesser.

And with Kolkol you can carry your babies hands free. Their ring sling cloth carriers looks very simple and comfy for the babies and the buckle carriers can be used for toddlers.

Also their ring slings are on sale now.

Check them out : Kolkol

Cloth Diaper:

If you are someone who is conscious of the environment and would like to reduce the non-biodegradable waste generated from household, you can checkout this alternative to regular baby diaper.

In India there are many brands selling cloth diapers : Bumberry, Easyfeel, Superbottoms, Bumpadum to name a few.

Also Qtrove has a Bath and Health section for babies and many reusable cloth diapers from some of the above mentioned brands are featured here.

You can also join this FB group called Clothdiaperingindia, to get answers for your queries.

Safe wooden toys:

PC: Varnam Craft Collective

Majority of the toddler toys in the market are made from plastic. In a matter of months most of these toys will end up in waste bins and ultimately in land fills. Also many of these toys are coated with toxic paints including lead and can be harmful for kids. So why not switch to eco-friendly ones. I am listing down some options you can look into.

  1. Varnam Craft Collective  : Varnam brings a modern twist to the traditional Channapatna toy craft. They also have a variety of home decor and accessories collection that looks as good as showpiece items. They have two stores in Bangalore and they can be spotted in exhibitions as well. I have come across their stalls many times in exhibitions and they even have some quirky printed kids wewar in their collection.
  2. Shumee : This brand was started by the mom, Meeta to fill the gap of not having trust worthy safe toys in India. Their site also features Children’s books.
  3. Onlywood : An Indian brand that claims to make toys that are safe with no sharp edges, decorated with vegetable colors that is NON-TOXIC and LEAD FREE.
  4. Funwoodgames : Their toys are made from ivory wood and they support Indian cottage industries and rural artists. This brand offers free home delivery as well.

Cleansing and nourishing products for kids:

Eventhough there are many natural and ethical brands in India selling baby care products, do understand that natural products can also cause adverse reactions on skin, if the ingredient doesn’t suit your babies skin type. So my suggestion would be:

  1. Use minimal to no products on your baby. Regular oil bathing should be enough for the baby’s skin.
  2. If you do want to use any soap/cream/powder on your baby, either seek advice from the doctor or make sure you are buying from a trusted brand.
  3. All the trusted natural skin care formulators are always open for clearing any doubts. So talk to them and go as per their expert suggestions.
  4. Choose products with minimal ingredients with no synthetic colorants or fragrance.

I have only included very few trusted brands here. All these brands are 100% transparent about the ingredients and you can hence choose the products that would suit your toddler.

Krya : I have reviewed many Krya skincare products before and they are a brand completely based on Ayurveda (in its truest sense and not like brands that claim to be ayurvedic for namesake). They have separate line of products for babies and toddlers. Even separate cleansing powders for boys and girls. They have added elaborate description of everything you need to know here.

For toddlers they have anti lice products as well. Find the details of toddler care products here.

Juicy Chemistry : A regular reader of my blog will be familiar with almost all the products of JC so far. So this certified organic brand also has products for kids. I gifted the baby shampoo, soap and diaper balm from this range to my baby niece. I wanted to buy the mosquito repellent cream as well but on checking with the brand, they did not recommended it for babies. Check out their kids range here.

MamaEarth : This brand caters products for Mamas, Papas and babies. How cool is that? They are the first MadeSafe Certified Brand in Asia and the products undergoes dermatological tests. Some of the interesting products are  natural toothpaste, teas for expecting moms and organic bamboo based baby wipes. They do use a synthetic but safe preservative in their product. You can check out their website.

Toddler fashion:

Kids clothes from most brands are more expensive than adult clothes these days 🙁 . In our family we love using pre-owned clothes for babies and toddlers. Aunts and cousins circulate the clothes which are in good condition, to the next generation. Kids grow out of their clothes very fast and I feel these sustainable practices should be encouraged. All my clothes as a kid was stitched by my mom from cloth scrapes and were really beautiful. No she did not do any stitching before or after that. I guess kids clothes are relatively easy to stitch.

But incase you are looking forward to twinning with your kid on a special occasion, The Khadi Cult and Indieproject offers some colorful, quirky prints.

Read and grow:

I just had to write about books even though it is not exactly in context with this blog post. My love for books happened because of my grandpa. He used to take me religiously to kids library and then to public library as my reading matured. He would sign up for plans from DC books. On paying a small amount every month, we can take books for double the total amount at the end of the year. These days many of us live away from family and there might not be a grandpa around. But parents should find time to read to the kids and later introduce them to amazing books.

The Irrelevant Project:

I need a separate blog post to write about the amazing work, this awesome group of people does. They simply aim at bringing the stereotypes and biases surrounding gender/class/caste/religion etc, to light. Sometimes our opinions are strongly based on prejudices that are imbibed in us from our childhood and we don’t even realize it most of the time.

PC: The Irrelevant Project

Currently they have 5 books in store that are for ages 6 and above (I say 6 and ‘above’ because even though these are illustrated and written for easy understanding of children, the topics they talk about are relevant, current and applicable to all age groups.)

The books cover topics like body positivity, gender stereotypes, diversity, bullying and consent to name a few.

The books are available in Amazon.

PC: The Irrelevant Project

You should definitely follow their Insta account. The posts explains schema, gendered language, priming etc in a very simple and easy to understand manner.

Public Libraries:

Do take your kids to old book shops, public libraries or Just books atleast once or twice every month. It would help them to get to know the book loving community around and also develop reading into a habit than a hobby.

So that’s all for now. Let me know if you liked this post and found it helpful. Also do comment your go to brands for kids, so that it is helpful for others as well.

Insta shopping : 6 desi brands redefining Indian fashion

Indian textiles is rich in beautiful printing and weaving techniques like block/screen prints, ajrakh, kalamkari, tie and die, ikkat and many more. Many of these has influence from other cultures and geographies. But mostly when we think about these, we tend to lean towards ethnic wear like salwars and saris. But here is a list of popular Insta desi brands, that has redefined Indian fashion while staying strong to the roots.

Some tips to keep in mind before you ‘insta shop’:

  1. Make sure the brand is authentic : Check out the reviews in google or see if they have a website. Look out for customer ratings or comments under the product. Many instagram sellers just posts the pics from other sellers and sells bad quality products. So be careful.
  2. Chat with the brand people : All these brands are run by women entepreneurs themselves and they are always happy to reply to your doubts and needs. So if you want customizations done or if you are not sure of what to get, or need to know about the return policy, you can always reach out to them.
  3. Look out for a sale : Especially for clothing and jewelry, I eye my favorites and wait till a sale comes around the corner, to purchase them. You save a lot (really alot) and wouldn’t even have to pay the shipping charge most of the time.
  4. Buy from ethical brands: I am always looking out for brands that not only claims to be ethical in production but that sources their raw materials ethically as well. Many brands works in empowering women in rural areas. And it feels good to know that when you buy from them, you are also encouraging their efforts.
  5. Be respectful: Many of these brands are owned woman entepreneurs, passionate about their art and work. These clothes are not like the mass produced ones you buy from big brands, but are lovingly handcrafted. Many of them even made from natural fibres and dyes, handprinted painstakingly to achieve the precision.
  6. Payment: Almost all the brands I have bought from accepts only bank transfer, with a few exceptions who accepts paytm as well. So netbanking is the best mode of payment and make sure you correctly add the bank details of the seller, to avoid any issues with payment.

Iam not a fashion blogger, and these are mostly mobile clicks from my travel. Some of you might be familiar with these pics, as I have posted all these pics in my Insta handle.

What makes these labels special is that, these are all founded by strong passionate women, who thinks out of the box and paves their own path.

The Khadi cult

Oh this is my favourite of the lot.  This label is owned by Priyanshi Jariwala, aka theroundwoman, who is super cute and friendly.

 The Khadi Cult endorses the idea of being a ” KHADI- VADI” but in a voguish way.

You can also purchase from their website. I love the latest prints in their summer collection. Incase you like a print, you can get it customized in any design you want as well.

Udaipur shopping : In the wonderland of wooden curios

Who knew that prints in Khadi could be so cool and quirky.

Vipoojitha

Do you spot the mini white elephants?

This is a home based clothing brand by, Pooja based in Kerala. The clothes are simple, beautiful and very comfortable. Also super affordable. I usually ask her for fabrics in stock and get them customized.

Matching matching

Rivaaj Clothing

A Jaipur based brand that sells beautiful block printed dresses.

They are rightly priced, compared to many of the mediocre but highly expensive brands out there in the market today, especially for handblock prints. But customizations are not available.

 

 Okhai.org

Okhai is an initiative by Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD) for empoweing rural and semi-urban women and rural artisans across India.

Mix and match

 Okhai’s mission is to encourage women from less privileged backgrounds to acquire new skills; to give them the self-confidence and self-esteem required to earn by their own industry and initiative; and to enable them to carry this newly discovered skill and confidence into the wider world.

Their website has a huge collection of apparels for men, women and also homedecor items and accesories. All their attires are made for the modern women, with strong roots in tradition. Their kurtas are smart, flared, elegant and perfect with pockets.

Mogra Designs

I never thought I could afford one of their pieces but then again, they had a huge sale before they took a break last year.

The fabric is soft and the dress is very light, flared and comfortable. The the best things is it has pockets.

Margazhi Designs

I am not a sari lover and I don’t think I will ever get the draping right, but I couldn’t resist buying this piece from Margazhi designs.

The beautiful owner Madhulika, wears them with such elegance and poise. It’s a madurai cotton sari and Iam planning to turn it into a dress later.

If you love saris, especially traditional woven ones, this is the handle to follow.

© Copyright 2018 flavoursofbeauty.com. All rights reserved.

This has been the most requested post and many of you has been asking about my attires posted in Insta. Do subscribe and comment below and let me know if this post was interesting. Depending on that I will make a post on more brands.

Skincare, fashion, home decor and more

Christmas is over and I am all set to welcome 2018. But before we bid adieu to 2017, let me list out some of my favorite finds of this year.

Favorite color of the year:

Every year there will be one particular color I get obsessed about, and this time it was Cerulean blue for the first half of the year and Indigo for the second half of the year.

The Blue Guitar Project is something I took up this year(eventhough I didn’t completely finish it). So I turned this old guitar into a cerulean blue decor piece, and it now adorns this cozy corner.

The book shelf is upcycled from a wooden protective frame that came with an an online order of furniture.

Favorite Skin Care Finds:

I came across many new organic and natural skin care products and brands this year. Some of them are Gravitale, Junaili, JivaVrksa, Organistick and Burst of Happyness.

But this year I found out that whipping up skincare products myself is much more effective, fun and affordable. You can check out : Skin care recipes

So my favourite skincare finds are aloevera gel and tea tree oil. Make sure you buy pure aloe vera gel and not the one with added colour, fragrance and preservatives available in local stores. These are the two ingredients that can be used for almost all skin problems including dandruff, acne and dryness of skin and hair. These are the basic ingredients you need for silky soft hair and clear face.

You can buy them from Blenditrawapothecary or from Juicy Chemistry

Favorite Organic Food Store:

It is without doubt Happy Healthy Me Organics.

Check out my skin care and food recipes using ingredients from HHM store:
Super tasty breakfast recipes

Multi-mask with easy DIY anti-ageing and black head removing masks

Favorite Fashion Finds:

This has been the year when casual dresses made a come back to my wardrobe and also I have made an effort to buy only from Indian brands that sells sustainable fashion. You might have come across some of the dresses in my travel posts and many more on my Instagram handle. The block prints, Kalamkari, Ajrakh, Ikkat prints and natural dyes like Indigo and Madder has been on trend this year and I hope more and more Indian brands move to sustainable and ethical fashion.

My favorite fashion find of the year is The Khadi Cult. I love them for their quirky and original Indian prints on Khadi. But the most comfortable attire I caught hold of, is this Indigo block printed dress from Mogra designs.

It is so light weight and comfortable and has pockets which is super cool. So here are my attires from Khadi cult and Mogra designs.

Favorite Food Finds:

If you are my Insta follower, you will already know that I love exploring new cuisines and eateries.

The favorite food find of this year has to be malai lassi, specifically from Johari Bazaar of Jaipur. You can read more about it here.

I am not a fan of cold desserts but surprisingly the Italian Gelato store here in Bangalore Milano, converted me. The flavors are all natural and authentic. Eventhough the flavors keeps changing based on seasonal products, my favourite remains Pista. I despise the green colored pista flavors in ice creams and pastries but this one here tastes like roasted pista nuts.

Favorite Home Decor Find:

These handpainted wooden plates from Trove India and the hand made blue pottery magnets from Jaipur holds this position. Aren’t they really beautiful?

Favorite Jewelry Finds:

I am not a fan of anything bling and only prefer to wear small earrings. But this changed after I came across some stunning Afghani glass jewelry pieces. Here is one of my favorites, which was featured in July favorites post.

You can see tow other stunning pieces in this blog post: February Favorites

Favorite shopping site:

You are in for a surprise here. All the above favorites of this year has been bought from different Insta pages I came across over the year. So my favorite online shopping place currently is Instagram and incase you are interested to know the pages to follow, I can write a separate post on that. Let me know in the comments below.

Now let me add one more category, which is the Life changing product of the year:

This is something that I hope, all you ladies out there will give a try. It is the menstrual cup. This product will change your life for good, trust me. And this is the best thing you can do for the environment as well. So do read this post on Menstrual Cups and let this be what changes your life in 2018.

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