Baby Bath Time? Keep It Simple, Keep It Non-Toxic

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A quick skim of supermarket or pharmacy shelves and you could be forgiven for thinking that having a baby was more of an opportunity for a bit more niche shopping than a responsibility towards the future.

With an impending royal birth in the UK (and more than a few lovely new arrivals here at Neal’s Yard!) it’s a good time to think about our children and our hopes and aspirations for their future health and happiness.

We all want the best for our babies. We want to ensure they are healthy and protected from harm. That protection can start before birth, even before conception, with what a mother eats and how well she takes care of herself. In many ways that’s the easy part, because once a baby is born parents have seemingly endless choices to make about food, nappies, clothes, nursery furnishings and, of course, baby toiletries

In a perfect world baby toiletries would be cleaner-than-clean and safer-than-safe but the truth is baby toiletries are not significantly different from adults ones.

They are largely made from petrochemically-derived and synthetic ingredients. Parents looking to keep their babies safe from toxic chemicals might be shocked at just how many individual chemicals they expose their children to each day just by bathing them and applying moisturisers.

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) every day, children are exposed to an average of 27 personal care product ingredients each day that have not been found safe for developing bodies. Overall, the EWG review found that 77% of ingredients in 1,700 children’s products have not been assessed for safety; andchildren are uniquely vulnerable to these chemical assaults.

First things first

Newborn babies are not “dirty”. The amount of vernix (the white waxy substance that protect babies’ skin whilst in the watery environment of the womb) and/or blood, which covers a newborn baby varies enormously. It is probably fair to say that it is not babies, but midwives, doctors and parents who prefer the smell of talcum powder and cream. Today the view is that vernix acts to protect the newborn’s sensitive skin during the first days of life and should be left to come off naturally over a period of time.

There is ample reason to consider the bigger picture of our use baby toiletries and question whether all those three-for-twos that parents stock up on are really the bargains they appear to be.

Skin reactions on the rise

In the developed world, the rate of eczema and allergies among children is on the rise. The early introduction of harsh toiletries onto sensitive skin may be a contributing factor. Unfortunately parents whose children have skin rashes often approach the problem by piling on more synthetic goop, when cutting out baby toiletries entirely would be a more rational and effective solution.

Of all the available bath products bubble baths, which are highly fragranced, have the greatest potential to cause skin irritation, allergic skin reactions and headaches.

However, a bigger problem with using bubble baths is that they can irritate more than just your skin.  Regular bubble bath use is associated with a high rate of urinary tract infections. The harsh detergents in these products can strip away protective oils from sensitive areas of skin as well as stripping away the mucous which lines the urogenital tract. Removing this natural protection allows bacteria to take hold.  Children are particularly vulnerable and bubble baths are a major cause of urogenital infections in babies.

Many toiletries are also full of hormone disrupting chemicals – this fact doesn’t changer just because they are baby products.

The eco impact of wipes

As an alternative to a ‘proper wash’, the convenience of wipes is such that in the last decade there has been an unprecedented boom in the use of disposable cloths of all kinds. Today in any supermarket, along with the ubiquitous baby wipes, you can buy hand wipes, self tan and deodorant wipes, make-up- and nail polish-removing, blackhead-clearing, car washing, multi-surface, disinfecting, furniture, floor, fridge and hob wipes.

Wipes are generally made from a mixture of plastic, cellulose and polyester fibres pressed together and soaked in a cleaning fluid. They are convenient which is why even people who don’t have babies can often be seen buying packets of baby wipes to use as instant clean-ups anywhere.

Globally we spend billions of dollars on wipes each year. We use them and then throw them or flush them without paying much attention to where they go after that.

Unless specifically stated that they biodegrade easily, wipes can be slow to break down in the environment. As is the case with disposable nappies, it is likely that most the wipes we’ve ever used are still somewhere under the ground. Amazingly given their popularity, the environmental impact of this has never been studied.

In addition to this, packs of wipes are the perfect breeding grounds for germs. To counteract this, wipes manufacturers add large amounts of preservatives and antibacterials such as parabens or methyisothiazolinone (MI). Most recently concern over MI and its link with dermatitis and eczema has been highlighted, and it’s not just baby that can suffer. Parents using wet wipes containing MI can also get dermatitis on their hands.

Try this instead

New parents, give yourself a break. Let common sense prevail when it comes to keeping your baby clean.

Not all babies enjoy early baths and not all parents find bathing their newborn the relaxing scene it is often made out to be. If you want to wash your baby, consider the ‘top and tail’ approach, rinsing the bottom area and face only, with plain water for the first few weeks or more.  Remember these golden rules:

Use less. A newborn baby is many times more likely to absorb toxic substances from a toiletry product that an adult, so use them sparingly if at all.

Look past the hype. Even those conventional baby bath products that are extra mild will be too harsh for most babies. Many paediatricians have expressed concern for babies who are exposed to detergents, creams and oils at a time when their skin is so thin and permeable. Skin reactions to liquid and bar soaps are common, and bubble baths, which strip the skin and mucous membranes of protective oils, can provoke urogenital infections in newborns and infants.

Go organic. Certified organic baby products will by their very nature avoid harmful ingredients and some of the worst preservatives like parabens. They will not have synthetic perfumes in them and will include actively beneficial plant oils and plant extracts that support your baby’s delicate skin.

Safe soaps. Always opt for vegetable and glycerine based soaps and washes over harsher petrochemical-based varieties. Look for bar soaps made from at least 70% vegetable oil. Many health food shops stock such soaps or you can order them from specialist suppliers. Liquid castile soaps foam well and are made from enriching oils such as coconut, hemp and olive. They make a good substitute for conventional body washes.

Go fragrance-free. Fragrances, used soaps, deodorants, baby wipes and lotions, cleaning agents all contain highly volatile fragrance compounds which have been shown to be carcinogenic, and allergenic as well as altering central nervous system function and depressing immune system function. Using fragrance-free products goes part of the way towards reducing your child’s risk of exposure. Avoid silly products like baby perfumes and don’t use air fresheners or long lasting fabric fresheners, detergents or fabric softeners on things that come into contact with your baby’s skin. The famous Children of the 90′s study in the UK found that children exposed to synthetic fragrances via air fresheners had more diarrhoea, vomiting and earache than those who weren’t.

Baby wipes can contain alcohol, fragrance and preservatives that can irritate your baby’s skin. Plain water is generally all that is necessary to clean your baby during nappy changes. Use cotton wool for smaller babies and tissue followed by  a wash cloth for older babies. Wipes can be useful if you are travelling or in situations where you are otherwise pressed for time.  But because they are slow to biodegrade keep their use to a minimum, and opt for organic brands that are free from alcohol and fragrances and which pay attention to biodegradeability issues.

Go talc-free. Talcum powder and cream can actually make your baby dirtier. It can become sticky and unpleasant if your baby becomes overheated, hot and sweaty. Inhaling talcum powder, which can be contaminated with asbestos, is a cause respiratory problems in babies. Natural cornstarch based products which work well to absorb moisture but carry none of the risk factors of talc are a better choice.

To avoid nappy rash and dry cracked skin let your baby go without a nappy as often as possible. Getting air on baby’s skin is the best way to keep it healthy. If you are a breastfeeding mum a little breast milk applied to a nappy rash can help clear it up.

If your baby has very red or sensitive skin try making your own herbal wash bag. Cut the foot off of an old pair of tights, about 6 inches from the end. Fill the pouch with a handful of oatmeal, some soothing herbs such as camomile or lavender and 2 tbl of finely ground almonds. Tie a knot in the open end of the pouch. You can now use this in the bath or shower. One wash bag will last one day maximum – keep it in the fridge in a plastic bag if you intend to use it morning and night, but don’t try to store it longer than this as it can accumulate bacteria.  When wet it will produce a lovely creamy liquid that will clean and nourish your skin without drying it. This is great for babies, children as well as for adults with very dry skin.

Source: www.nyrnaturalnews.com

2013-09-12T12:49:17+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: Thank you for the great advice! :) Our baby has had baby eczema since infancy; however it looks as though it is now getting worse. She has always been and continues to be breastfed; we have supplemented with formula and Gerber baby products once she was ready for solids. She is now eating foods such as oatmeal, whole milk (sometimes we tradeoff between that and baby formula), various fruits and vegetables, meats such as chicken, turkey and beef, pasta, bread, beans, rice, etc. She seems to be more interested in eating carbohydrates than anything else. Also, another question we have is pertaining to my wife's acne and melasma problem which she has had for several years since adolescence (acne) and since she started using contraceptives (melasma). She also has a few crow's feet around her eyes which she would like to get rid of. Do you have any advice and or recommendations for treating these problems? Once again, thank you for the advice and we greatly appreciate your help/suggestions.

    A:

    The baby's diet is unfortunately conducive to eczema. It is greatly acid-forming and needs to be changed immediately. For your wife, have her begin her healing journey by performing the FULL BODY DETOX.

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    Q: I recently purchased the Children's Cleanse (Liquid) to clean out my 6 month old baby boy. The problem is, every time the mucus comes up he quickly swallows it back down. What do you suggest I do?

    A:

    The mucus the child swallows back down will leave the body via the stools. When the child is older, he/she will learn to spit the mucus out. The body knows how to eliminate what is not wanted in the body.

    Product Links:
    Children Detox

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    Q: I have an 8 month old baby that has severe a topic dermatitis as well as food allergies, and other allergies. He is currently on different skin creams and allergy medicine. I would like to know if any of your products could be helpful for him?

    A:

    Yes, have him perform the Children's Cleanse. You can drop the extracts into his milk.

    Also, apply our Oz-Oil to his skin every day throughout the day.

    In addition, the child's diet needs to change. Consider a vegan (vegetarian) diet that is full of fresh fruits and vegetables to give your child the nutrients he needs for his body to function optimally.

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    Q: My concern is that my baby isn't chewing and he's 2 years old. He does not like solids in his mouth so he spits them out or throws them up. Do you have any suggestions? He's also dealing with eczema. Will the oxygen olive oil clear up his skin? Also, I do work the tuning forks and I'm interested in learning chakra balancing with sound.

    A:

    Baby knows best! If baby doesn't want solids, give baby liquids. Now for eczema, I know we have an article or two up covering â€ECZEMAâ€. Please kindly visit our article section for these articles, as they are loaded with helpful information and remedies. In re: chakras, I am so busy these days that I don't do much teaching anymore.

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    Q: I am the mother of a 2 yr old that suffers from eczema terribly. Not only does she have eczema she suffers from a host of food allergies. My baby also is very emotional and hyper sensitive. I have worked with herbalists in the past that seemed to help. Doing my research I learned that they were not really helping me but keeping my baby hooked on their remedies instead of teaching me how to keep my baby strong. I don't have a problem purchasing remedies, but this person was upwards of 200-300 per month. I am a single mother and cannot afford that. I have looked into your products and would like to begin my daughter on a regiment that would help her. Right now my daughter is suffering from severe itching of her legs, arms, everywhere and it happens mostly at night or when she feels she has not had her way. Help!!!!!

    A:

    All understanding of healing begins with knowledge and healing itself begins in the mind. See your child well and the child will get well. Check out our MENTAL SCIENCE MANUAL. Good reading! Please read our article on "ECZEMA" and "SKIN DISORDER = BLOOD DISORDER" in our articles section. It's not so much about taking products but modifying the diet. Most children with eczema are fed a horrible and poor diet rich in meat, dairy products, refined grains, etc. that only exacerbates the problem. Rub the child's skin down with Shea Butter. Alternate with our HEALING SKIN OIL. The child's bed should be draped in the color blue, the antidote to the color red, the color of burning inflammation. bed sheets, spread, pillows, etc should be blue or light blue. I'd even paint the walls of the child's bedroom sky blue due to its soothing effect. It's a shame that some herbalists are only about the money. At Dherbs, we are all about education which is why our site is laced with so much information. Stay positive and optimistic!

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    Q: In less than a year, I had two miscarriages with there being a fetal pole, but no heartbeat. Both babies died between 7-8 weeks. My last baby, I had an emergency c-section. During that time (either before or afterwards), I had a major infection in which I was given antibiotics for 4 days. Then once the infection was gone (so they say), my blood pressure went up. Because I am not a medicine taker (especially since I had hypertension with the two pregnancies before the last one and the medicine never worked), I refused to take the ONE pill that they say would make my blood pressure go down. Today, my pressure is pretty stable. Anyway, I was wondering if you think that the miscarriages have been caused by the infection or is there something still wrong with my body due to the c-section. What do you recommend that I do in order to get my body back so that so I can safely and fully carry another baby to term if it happens again that I will get pregnant? I can't lose another baby. I will be totally devastated. By the way, neither I nor my husband wants to do birth control. I don't want to have my tubes tied because I believe there are some underlying negative causes that can effect the body and I particularly do not want to put anything foreign in my body, i.e. IUD. I have been told that I cannot take Birth Control Pills due to my history with hypertension. What can I do?

    A:

    The miscarriages are more spiritual than anything. Babies have no soul until after birth, so until birth, you only have biological entities forming in your body, so you are dealing with physical health problems. You need to work on strengthening your reproductive system. Evidently you system is weak. The C-section was unnecessary and doctors did it to make money. That's all. You don't do a C-section for a fetus of 7-8 weeks. That's ludicrous! Antibiotics? Those things are dangerous and are still in your body until you detox. The poisonous drugs they put in your body caused the Hypertension. Beloved, here's what I would recommend in your case: first perform the FULL BODY DETOX that will target all of the above. After this, perform the TOTAL WOMAN CLEANSE. After this cleanse, perform the FERTILITY CLEANSE (which is optional in your case). You don't need birth control pills or any foreign device in your body. Just change your thoughts (see yourself pregnant, holding/nursing your baby), develop a healthy attitude (that you are worthy of holding a baby to term). Change your diet (vegan is best, eat more raw foods; fruits and vegetables). Drink Dherbs FEMALE HEALTH TEA daily. Remove all fears that you cannot hold a baby. Remove all thoughts about a 3rd miscarriage and how you will be devastated as you are setting yourself up for this by the very thought. Thank you for your interest in Dherbs.Com

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    Q: I had a question for the herbalist. I was wondering if there is a safe way to detox quickly from marijuana. My best friend is 30 weeks pregnant and she has been smoking her whole pregnancy. She has to quit now and be drug tested before the baby is born She has been looking for things to take and I don't want her just taking something that could be unsafe for her or her baby. She is going to be tested in 2 weeks is there anything she can do or take that will be safe for her and her baby

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    She could always drink our DETOX TEA!

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    Q: What are your diet and supplement recommendations for a baby that has Candida - 17 months old? She can only eat meat/eggs/low carb vegetables (no sugar, starch, fruit, corn or potato). Please advise. I bought your Children's detox and elixir products. I haven't given them to her. The mom did have Candida when she was pregnant with the child.

    A:

    By all means, start giving the baby the herbs!

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    Q: My daughter of 21 months has developed what's called baby eczema on her both her arms near the elbows, her wrist, and face. We would really like to heal her from this condition. She itches, and it's hard to have her avoid this. Do you have any advisory for us in healing baby eczema? Btw, we're in Los Angeles as well. Do you have a storefront that we can visit?

    A:

    What is the baby eating (consuming) daily? Was she on formula milk? I would recommend giving the baby our BLOOD AND LYMPHATIC TEA to drink (add maple syrup and a lemon juice) in a bottle and apply HEALING SKIN OIL to her skin daily. Read our article entitled "ECZEMA" located in our "Articles" department. Good information!

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    Q: Do you have any herbs for baby reflux? My daughter gives her baby boy soymilk. I told her soy milk makes mucus among other reasons. What other alternative for soymilk other than breast milk?

    A:

    Make a tea using anise seed and/or caraway seed, sweeten it with maple syrup, and add a little lemon and put in a baby bottle and give to the baby. However, remove the acid foods. Tell her to use hemp, almond, or rice milk. They are far better than soy milk.

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    Q: I don't know if you remember or know, but there was a Vegan Couple that had a newborn baby, and the baby had died from what seemed to be a lack a of nutrients because the couple fed the baby a vegan diet. If you remember this, what do you think went wrong.

    A:

    The couple was from Atlanta! What went wrong is that while they were well-intentioned, they were ignorant, ignorant to true nutrition. They fed the baby soy milk, and soy milk does not contain nutrition. They didn't supplement the soy milk with nutrition which they could have done with herbs such as alfalfa, Irish Moss, Iceland Moss, etc.

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    Q: Peace. First off I would like to say that I am in love with your site. I started my children on a vegan diet last year, but they're lacking a very large amount of nutritional needs, including myself. I saw yours children's multivitamins, will it be strong enough to get my children back on a healthy tract? They're age 2,4,and 5. One more question. I ordered the full body cleanse. I also have an issue with my skin. I have cysts all over my body covering some of my hair particles and when they come to a head, besides the pain, its full of puss n there's a large amount of baby fine hairs that come out with it. I've been suffering with this since I was 14 yrs old. Can you help my situations?

    A: A vegan diet provides all the nutrients one needs. Be sure that you're all consuming a good amount of fruits and vegetables, as these foods predominately provide all the nutrients that the body needs. You can give the children the multivitamin to help boost their immune system. We recommend doing the Full Body Cleanse first, followed by the 10 Day Blood Cleanse. Severe skin issues are related to a problem within the blood, cleansing it is best. Continuing with the Blood and Lymphatic formula is also ideal. Please take time to read the following article: Skin Disorder = Blood Disorder -http://www.dherbs.com/articles/skin-disorder-252.html Product Links: Full Body Cleanse - http://dherbs.com/store/full-body-cleanse-p-1.html 10 Day Blood Cleanse -http://dherbs.com/store/10-day-supreme-blood-cleanse-p-448.html Blood & Lymphatic Formula -http://www.dherbs.com/store/blood-lymphatic-formula-p-9.html

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    Q: My baby and I have developed a bug! We've been in hospital since last night. My temperature is 41 degrees my baby's 37. We're both on a drip; getting antibiotics both are very dehydrated. All my family are blaming dherbs but I know better. Please send me something I can READ TO MY FAMILY AND REASSURE THEM THAT DHERBS IS NOT THE REASON. KIND REGARDS. GOD BLESS YOU

    A:

    I can assure you herbs do not cause what you are experiencing. A bug may be doctor's lingo for any healing crisis. However, a bug is not a form of healing crisis. If you would have suffered from anything herbally, those doctors would have told you. A bug is a so-called virus (in doctor's lore) but viruses do not exist. Virus means "poison" as in "poisonous blood" and herbs do not poison the blood but simply remove poisons from the blood. If your family wants to legitimately blame Dherbs, get a blood analysis done. But again, the doctors have told you that you developed a bug. They didn't say you had an allergic reaction to anything. From time to time we experience these problems with people but it's always limited to the person's specific case. Breast-feeding does not weaken the body. Toxins do not go into the breasts but exit via the eliminative channels. My wife performed the FULL BODY DETOX while breast-feeding our 2-month old son and absolutely NADA! I always tell people to deal with a situation and when they get back on their feet show people wrong by performing your desired cleanse successfully. You're not the first situation of this sort. Not at all! Hang in there, Love!

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    Q: I have a 7 month old baby girl name Neffera. I breast fed her for about 4 1/2 months. I have been giving her soy infant formula and really do not feel right about it. I also have been giving her the Gerber organic green beans, peas, applesauce, ect. She has a lot of congestion and mucus like I have never seen before ever in a baby. I am not sure what has caused all of this mucus, but I want to strengthen her immune system and feed her better. What do you suggest?

    A:

    Wow, Beloved! I'll tell you what caused all that mucus: the soy-based infant formula which is crap!!!! Plus, those baby foods. Gerber's is CRAP!!!!! You must undo the damage you unintentionally done via ignorance. Please read our article on "ALTERNATIVE INFANT FORMULA MILK" and learn to make alternative formulas for your baby. You must also start making your own baby food. You must do these things to reverse the serious harm you've done to your baby. All wrong can be righted by doing the right thing. I would highly, highly, highly recommend you schedule a 1-hour health consultation (only $100) a.s.a.p. There's just so much that needs to be explained to you so that child can make a speedy recovery. Time here won't allow it, so a consultation is best!

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    Q: I have a question, my baby girl is 11 months old and this Friday I notice that she has a big eye and too much tear so I clean and wash the eye with chamomile and I just reading about this plant call clary sage they call the cleary eye so can you please tell me if it can help us.

    A:

    Yes, the actual plant is what you want to use. Not the essential oil. Any flower (i.e. chamomile, chrysanthemum, calendula or marigold, passionflower, etc.) will help the eyes.

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    Q: Can you tell me which formula is safest for me to use while I'm still nursing (baby isn't a baby, 2 1/2 years old, need to stop very soon), but would like to do the cleanse and your FYI says it can be done except certain products can't be used because they stop the flow of milk. Please advise as soon as possible. I would not want to harm my child in any way.

    A:

    Your best bet is to perform the LIQUID Full Body Cleanse as it doesn't contain milk-stopping herbs!

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    Q: After I had my baby over a year ago I've had a constant discharge. There is no foul order just thin white. I've been to the Doc four times she says I had Bacteria Vaginosis and treated it with gel. Its back! Can I do a cleanse to get rid of this or change my diet. I'm vegetarian but I occasionally have pizza with cheese. Help!

    A:

    There is help for you. I would highly recommend that you perform our Female Cleanse and the Full Body Cleanse. Using a gel is only masking the problem. You need to address the root of the problem, and herbs can successfully attack the root of the problem.

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    Q: My husband has Type 2 Herpes. I do not. We want to have a baby. What should I do to prepare for a healthy baby? Should my husband do anything before getting me pregnant? What would you recommend? I am 30 and he is 43 yrs old.

    A:

    Both of you should perform the TOTAL MALE CLEANSE/TOTAL WOMAN CLEANSE, then he should perform the ANTI-VIRAL CLEANSE AND REGIMEN. Please read the MENTAL SCIENCE MANUAL so you guys both can use your minds to really create the reality you both want. Start educating yourself! Read our articles!!!! You can have your dreams!

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    Q: If I may ask, what is it specifically about the baby's diet that is conducive to eczema? We try to give her a normal, healthy, nutritious diet. Exactly which foods are acid-forming so that we may alternate them out of her diet? As for my wife, she has taken several detoxes in the past with no results. She is now expecting and breastfeeding so I don't believe a detox would be the best thing for her at the moment. Are there any other suggestions you can offer us for currently treating these problems?

    A:

    The acid-forming foods are eggs, meat, dairy products, and refined grains. Shop for vegan foods. Your wife can drink DETOX TEA and use HEALING SKIN OIL (externally) as well as drink vegetable juice (which greatly cleanses the blood). Please consider a consultation so that all questions may be thoroughly answered and so you all can get on the path of healing together as a family.

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    Q: Baby has rash on his rear. I thought it was diaper rash, after a week I took baby to dr he said it was staph. I can't get r/x until late. is there a herbal rememady I can use?

    A:

    The Anti-Viral Extract would be the best thing for him to take. You can dilute the extract by adding it to his milk.  If you're breastfeeding, you can use the milk as a topical approach as it has healing properties as well.

    Anti-Viral Extract - https://www.dherbs.com/store/antiviral-extract-p-356.html