Sunday, December 8, 2013

Homemade Baby Wipes

For so long I thought, "why make them when they are so easy to buy and I really do not need to add one more thing to my list".  Well I finally did it months ago and I am so glad that I did, we will never go back to store bought wipes.  They are so cheap and easy to make, in fact I still have the original ingredients that I purchased to make these wipes.  I am only now about to reorder.  The best part about it....I know exactly what is going on my children's skin.
As always, when researching something I was stunned at the REAL ingredients .  Why would I assume that this would be any different?  When doing my research I found it very difficult to find out what all of the ingredients in wipes are.  The harder it is to find ingredients on something the more suspicious I get.  I looked and looked and looked and could not find where Huggies disclosed what all of the ingredients are in their wipes.  I could find some ingredients online, only the ones that we all know are good though.  They did not mind disclosing aloe, cotton, and vitamin E, unfortunately they do spin the other ingredients as many companies do.   Finally I had to turn to the box and another mother who researched the same subject.
All baby wipes contain water, skin conditioners, product enhancers, synthetic cleansers and synthetic preservatives (to prevent the growth of bacteria).  In each ingredient category, ingredients vary on the scale of toxicity. As Irina Webb, writer of "I Read Labels For You" states, "All baby wipes use synthetic cleansers and most of them (even plant-based ones) use toxic chemicals in their manufacture.  Product enhancing ingredients are relatively ok, although some of them may be quite toxic.  As for preservatives (and they have to be used in baby wipes because a moist environment is a breeding ground for bacteria), they are the most problematic group in baby wipes.  There are no synthetic preservatives that are absolutely free of any concerns."  Again, it is a matter of toxicity degree.


Huggies Baby Wipes
Huggies describes their baby wipes as “Natural Care” baby wipes.  But what do they mean by “Natural?”  Let’s take a look at Huggies baby wipes ingredients and see for ourselves if they are truly natural and if their manufacturer made choices that are in the best interests of babies.  Apparently, there are a few different formulations.  And from what Irina Webb discovered, this formulation is not the most toxic.


Huggies Baby Wipes Cleansers

There are two synthetic cleansers in the Huggies baby wipes, which are potassium laureth phosphate and polysorbate-20.  These cleansers have something in common.  To produce them, a carcinogenic chemical, ethylene oxide, is used to make harsh petrochemicals less irritating to the skin.  There are three problems with that: 1. The manufacturing process is toxic; 2. The cleansers remain irritating to the skin; 3. Ethylene oxide produces carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane that may remain in the final product (for more information see Irina's post ”1,4-Dioxane in Cosmetics and Personal Care and Cleaning Products” post).  Often manufacturers do not make an effort to remove 1,4-dioxane from the final products, even though it is not expensive to do. According to a 2008 Organic Consumer Association and EWG study, 46% of personal care products and 57 percent of baby soaps are contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, and not much has been done since then to fix this situation (,4-DIOXANE/).


Huggies Baby Wipes Preservatives

There are two preservatives used in Huggies baby wipes, which are methylisothiazolinone and methylparaben,  Baby wipes are a breeding ground for bacteria because of their moist environment, this is why the preservatives are added.  Why so many companies refuse to use essential oils that serve the same purpose is infuriating to me, especially when it is a product for our babies.  There are no absolutely non-toxic synthetic preservatives; however, some preservatives are more toxic than others. Methylisothiazolinone and methylparaben are potent toxins. Methylisothiazolinone may cause an allergic skin reaction and lab studies in mice suggest that it may be toxic to brain cells ( The major concern about methylparaben is that it mimics estrogen and disrupts the function of the hormone system (


Huggies Baby Wipes Enhancers

Tetrasodium EDTA and malic acid are two ingredients used to help Huggies baby wipes do their work. Tetrasodium EDTA is a chelating agent and malic acid is a ph-adjuster.  The EWG gives a favorable rating for Tetrasodium EDTA of only 2 out 10, with 10 being the most toxic (  However, there are other sources on the Internet that consider it much more toxic.  Irina looked at the Tetrasodium EDTA MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) and what stood out for her the most was as follows, “The toxicological properties of this substance have not been fully investigated.” (  As for malic acid, its main concern is that it may cause skin irritation (


Huggies Baby Wipes Skin Conditioners

Lastly, there are a few ingredients in Huggies Baby Wipes that are actually good for the skin, such as glycerin, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, and tocopheryl acetate.  All of them have skin conditioning properties.  There are two things I want to say here.  One is that tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), if derived synthetically, might be contaminated with carcinogenic hydroquinone (  And the second thing is that given the concerns I have mentioned above, any benefit is outweighed by the potential harm.


Here is more information about baby wipes and their ingredients at
Now on with our recipe for wipes.
1 roll of heavy duty paper towel (I recommend Bounty)
Container for wipes
1 Tablespoon pure aloe vera-we use Mountain Rose Herbs
1Tablespoon pure Witch Hazel-again we use Mountain Rose
2 Tablespoons liquid Castille Soap-we use Dr. Bronner's
1 teaspoon of Vitamin E (optional)
1 Tablespoon almond oil (optional)
1 3/4 cups boiled water-cool a little
Essential oil of choice

First put water on to boil.
Next, using a good serrated knife cut the paper towels in half.

Then either you or your assistant can put one half in container, with cut side down.
Add witch hazel, vitamin E, aloe, oil and soap and stir carefully.
Have your assistant add desired essential oils and stir.
This time we used lavender. eucalyptus and lemon.
Pour mixture over paper towels.
Let sit for a few minutes then pull cardboard piece out of middle.

And here is the final product.

They smell wonderful and are safe.


For further information regarding essential oils please visit Baker's Guide to Essential Oils.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Hippotherapy has been on our radar for Emma for a long time.  We first ruled out Atlantoaxial Instability by x-ray when Emma turned two.  As soon as we got the okay from our pediatrician we pressed forward as quickly as possible.  Horses have always been a part of Chad's family and I wanted to continue the tradition with our children.  Grant and Olivia love the horses and enjoy riding them, I want the same for Emmalin.  We were very relieved the day we received the news that riding would be safe for her. 

Understanding the majestic power horses yield may help explain the power of hippotherapy, which “refers to the use of the movement of the horse as a treatment strategy by physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists to address impairments, functional limitations and disabilities in patients with neuromotor and sensory dysfunction,” according to the American Hippotherapy Association (AHA).

The horse's pelvis has a similar three-dimensional movement to the human's pelvis at the walk. The horse's movement is carefully graded at the walk in each treatment for the patient. This movement provides physical and sensory input which is variable, rhythmic and repetitive. The variability of the horse's gait enables the therapist to grade the degree of input to the patient and use this movement in combination with other treatment strategies to achieve desired therapy goals or functional outcomes. In addition, the three-dimensional movement of the horse's pelvis leads to a movement response in the patient's pelvis which is similar to the movement patterns of human walking. A foundation is established to improve neurological function and sensory processing, which can be generalized to a wide range of daily activities and address functional outcomes and therapy goals.
Lori Garone is a physical therapist who also is a board certified clinical specialist in hippotherapy. She explains, "the horse's movement… access[es a patient's] central nervous system… by the repetitive and innate rhythm of the horse's walk."
Garone says that movement creates "new motor, sensory and speech pathways in the brain" that can help a patient reach developmental, motor and speech goals.
Garone works for AHA and is a AHA past board director. She says after being around horses her entire life, their ability to heal has never surprised her.
"Incorporating the horse into human rehabilitation certainly is a more natural way for us to heal ourselves in any variety of ways," she explains.
She emphasizes, "[Hippotherapy] is not riding a horse, nor is it horse therapy or equestrian therapy. It is either physical, occupational or speech therapy, and when a specially trained team of therapist, horse, horse handler and side helper incorporate it into a patient's therapy, goals are reached faster."
Hippotherapy is a treatment strategy that "has been incorporated into patients [Plan of Care] for over 25 years in this country and over 40 years in Germany, Austria and most of Europe," Garone explains. Garone began a private practice on Long Island, New York, in 1990 called Physical Therapy In Motion, which incorporates hippotherapy into patients' treatment.  AHA's website shares testimonials from parents of children who have achieved significant success through treatment with horses. "Hippotherapy is more effective than traditional therapies because horses have a unique ability to motivate children to try new things," explains the parents.
For a parent of a child with Down syndrome, the hint of a promise at progress is compelling enough to pursue hippotherapy even when health insurance provides no coverage.
"I cannot say enough wonderful things about [hippotherapy]," shares Ashley, whose 8-year-old son has Down syndrome and recently began treatment at Horse ”N” Around in Lancaster, South Carolina. "It was expensive for us; insurance did not pay," she says. "But, when we were there, I always had a moment of: 'This is worth it, and I will do whatever it takes!'"
As Ashley watched her son interact with his speech therapist (who is trained specifically in hippotherapy), she marveled at his response on various levels, from following commands to talking to and guiding the horse.
His therapist adapted the treatment plan to his sensory issues, finding a larger and thus stronger horse with a heavier trot. "He didn't do as well with the smaller horses," Ashley explains. "He needed the strong input of the bigger horses."
"He was so at peace there," she shares. "I loved hearing him talk so much, follow directions, smile and just enjoy the whole atmosphere and experience."
To find a physical therapist, occupational therapist or speech/language pathologist who is trained in hippotherapy, visit AHA’s resource page.
We currently use Beyond Boundaries and they are amazing.  Our OT, Lori Tankersly, who has been one of my anchor's over the past couple of years, works with Emma during hippotherapy.  She is assisted by Tyler Stone, who Emma absolutely LOVES, and Kandi Brandon, so sweet and patient.  Below is a video of our experience with hippotherapy.
I also want to recognize Jimmy McMinn who is the Barn Manager at Beyond Boundaries and Beth Stamp who is the Executive Director and owner of Allied Therapy and Consulting Services.

You can read more about Down syndrome and Atlantoaxial Instability at

Beyond Boundaries is located at 2195 Peyton Street in Ward AR.  For more information call 501-941-1522 or visit their website.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Essential Oils-God's Medicine

Essential Oils are the life blood of a plant.  They are mentioned more than 200 times in the Bible, most commonly for anointing or healing.  They are similar in composition to the human body and are easily absorbed by the body.  If you inhale an essential oil, it will reach the brain within 22 minutes.  If you apply it topically, it can be detected in the bloodstream within 2 minutes, and within 20 minutes it will have affected every cell in the body.  Essential oils do not treat, cure, or prevent any illness.  Rather they  help the body to function as God designed it to.
 Why Young Living Essential oils?
They are truly pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  They are steam distilled, usually right in the country where the plants are grown.  They are tested by Young Living and also a third party testing facility to ensure purity and the maximum number of beneficial properties.  In the US, to be labeled a 100% pure, essential oil, the bottle only needs to contain 1 drop of pure, essential oil.  The rest can be fillers or impurities.  You do not want impurities in your essential oils because many essential oils contain properties that allow them to pass through the blood-brain barrier, and you do not want them to carry toxins to your brain.
Methods of application:
1.    Aromatically.  You can diffuse the oil with a diffuser (the Basic Plus Starter Kit and Premium Starter Kit both come with a Home Diffuser, and there are several others that you can purchase), inhale it from the bottle, or place a drop on your hand and cup your hands over your face.
2.  Topically.    Apply as directed on the bottle.  Essential oils are often applied to the bottom of the feet or the area of need.  When applying essential oils on young children or sensitive skin, you will want to dilute the oils with a carrier oil (coconut oil is our favorite!).  For the young children, I will often put 1-2 drops of essential oil in 1 Tablespoon of carrier oil.  Essential oils can also be mixed with Epsom Salts and added to a bath.
3.  Internally.   Some oils are recognized as Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) for consumption.  The citrus oils are among those oils.  When consuming oils, never put them in a plastic cup.  Always use glass.
How do I get started?
I recommend starting with the Everyday Essentials Kit (which is also included in the Premium Starter Kit).  It contains 10 of the most popular Young Living essential oils and gives you a fantastic start to your family’s natural health toolkit. 
young living OTC makeove
LAVENDER:  I find myself using the oil almost every day!  It is “first aid in a bottle”.  It contains antihistamine, antidepressant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, anti-infectious, and sedative properties.  Lavender is my first choice for cuts, scrapes, burns, and other boo boos.  It is very soothing to the skin, and a wonderful choice for eczema, rashes, and cradle cap.  You can dilute it with coconut oil and massage it around your eyes for any kind of eye trouble.  It is also my first choice for allergies (just place one drop under the tongue or place a drop on your thumb and put your thumb to the roof of your mouth). 
LEMON: Lemon is an antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant tonic.  I start out each morning by consuming one drop in a glass of water (make sure you use a glass cup) with some Apple Cider Vinegar, which can help with gout, kidney stones, gallstones, and digestive problems.  It helps to balance the pH and supports the immune system by making white blood cells.  Lemon is also an astringent.  It works extremely well in removing stains, gum, and grease.  I add it to the steam cleaner to help disinfect, clean, and purify.  Lemon is invigorating and a can help with poor concentration.   We often diffuse lemon during school time. 
PEPPERMINT:  Peppermint is an analgestic, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory, making it wonderful for aches and pains (including headaches).  It is also good for tummy aches.  For centuries peppermint has been used to soothe digestive troubles such as colic, constipation, heartburn, indigestion, and nausea.  It can be used to help reduce fever and aid respiratory function (useful for asthma and bronchitis). 
FRANKINCENSE: Frankincense is known as a cure-all.  It is mentioned in the bible at least 52 times, most notably known as one of the gifts the wise men gave to Jesus. It is anticancer, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antitumoral, and an immune-stimulant.  It contains sesquiterpenes, which enables it to pass through the blood-brain barrier.  It also increases the activity of leukocytes, so it can be effective in fighting infections.  One drop on the big toe has been said to stop seizures.  It a good choice for allergies and supporting the respiratory system (coughs, asthma).  Apply topically to remove growths from skin (i.e. warts, moles).  Frankincense is also clarifying and can be diffused during prayer and meditation.  It is approved by the FDA for use as a food additive and flavoring agent, however consumption for children less than 6 years old is not recommended.  Mix Frankincense and Copaiba for a powerful anti-inflammatory.
PANAWAY:  Wonderful for pain, arthritis, and injuries (sprains, strains, bumps, bruises).  PanAway is a blend made up of Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Clove, and Peppermint.  Wintergreen contains 99% methyl Salicylate, which gives it properties similar to aspirin or cortisone.  Helichrysum is a powerful anti-inflammatory and improves circulatory function. Clove is a topical anesthetic and anti-inflammatory.  Mix PanAway with coconut oil and apply on location.
PEACE AND CALMING:  A blend that contains Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, and Blue Tansy.  It does exactly what the name implies, brings peace and calms the nerves.  This is a great oil for children with ADD, sensory issues, anxiety, or trouble sleeping.  It can also reduce depression, stress, and tension.  Apply under the nose, on the back of the neck, and on the feet.  You can also put it in the bathwater.  This is an especially good choice before bedtime.  (Taking Citrus Fresh, another blend,  internally each day – 1 drop in a glass of water or rice milk – is also recommended for helping with sensory issues)
PURIFICATION:  The oils (Citronella, Lemongrass, Rosemary Cineol, Malaleuca, Lavandin, and Myrtle) contained in this blend have powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, and sanitizing properties.   Lemongrass is known to kill even MRSA.  This blend purifies the air, repels bugs and pests, and neutralizes poison from insect and spider bites.  Place a drop on a cotton ball and place it in the air vent in the car to freshen the car.
THIEVES:  This blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus radiate, and Rosemary cineol is a powerful antiviral and antiseptic.  It got its name because it was used by the thieves in England to protect them from the plague when they were stealing from the dead.  A study conducted by Weber State University in 1997 showed a 90% reduction in  the number of Gram-positive Micrococcus luteus organisms after diffusing Thieves for just 12 minutes, and a 99.3% reduction after 20 minutes.  It is also effective against mold and can penetrate into the sheetrock and insulation in a house (diffuse for 24 hours if dealing with a mold problem).  Apply to the bottoms of the feet or massage under the arms at the first onset of flu, colds, strep, bronchitis, etc.  Young Living also makes several Thieves products, including hand sanitizer, hand soap, wipes, and spray.  These are great alternatives to the commercial hand sanitizers and cleaners that are loaded with harmful chemicals.  I like to keep the wipes in the diaper bag to wipe down shopping cards, tables and high chairs, and hands.
VALOR:  Known as “Chiropractor in the Bottle”, Valor contains Spruce, Rosewood, Blue Tansy, and Frankincense.  It balances and aligns electrical energies within the body.  It is a great choice for scoliosis and spinal pain.  You can also use this blend to empower the physical and spiritual body.  It is calming for hyperactivity and ADD in children.  Best applied on the bottom of the feet (up to 6 drops), but also on pulse points.  To balance the left and right brain, put valor on the right rights and rub the left temples, or do the reverse.  It is also an oil used in the Raindrop Technique where it is applied along the spine.
JOY: A powerful blend comprised of Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Rosewood, Lemon, Mandarin, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa, and Rose.  It promotes feelings of love and being held, something every child needs!  Rub over heart, ears, temples, and wrists.  You can wear it as a perfume or cologne.  It is also an excellent choice for the bathwater.  Dilute with V-6 oil to make a massage oil.  Add a few drops to a wet cloth and place in the dryer for great smelling clothes that lift the Spirit all day long.
10 Must Have Essential Oils for Children  #essentialoilscynthia   See more at
Where can I learn more?
*Oil Testimonials is my favorite internet resource.  You can search nearly 8,000 testimonials by keyword.  Enter a symptom to find out which essential oils have worked for others.  Or, enter an oil to find out new and alternative uses for that oil.  Remember, essential oils are highly versatile, so one oil can be used for many different ailments.  You do have to register with a valid email address, but it is free to use. 
*Reference Guide for Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley
*Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern
*Healing Oils of the Body by Dr. Stewart
*Search Facebook Page “Baker’s Guide to Essential Oils”.  Stop by to say hello, learn more, ask questions, and share your story.
To see the full line of Young Living Products and to get started using essential oils visit  Order as a Young Living Retail Customer, or sign up to be an Independent Distributor (you need to purchase one of their kits) to receive a 24% discount on product purchases and receive bonuses and commission.  The Premium Starter Kit contains the Everyday Oils Collection highlighted in this article, as well as Stress Away (a mom’s lifesaver!), a home diffuser, Essential Oils at a Glance user’s guide,  and several sample packets.  If you order the Premium Starter kit under my team (Please use Member ID 1570232 and Enroller ID 1572032), and send me an email letting me know 3 of 21 referred you ( I will donate one bottle of Lavender (per kit) to Precious Baby Ministries to include in their newborn gift baskets.  Thank you! 
Robin and I have been using essential oils for a while now and we currently use them every day.  Below is just a small example of their many uses.
Many uses for 4 of the favorites... 
Below is information regarding two classes that Jessica will be hosting.  Please contact or for directions if you are interested.
Essential Oils 101
Thursday, December 5th @ 6pm
Learn about and how to use the Everyday Oils.

  Rhonda Favano, a Doctor of Naturopathy and Certified Natural Health Practitioner, will be presenting a class on the Practical Applications of Essential Oils in Siloam Springs, AR, we will be fortunate enough to Skype in and learn some valuable wisdom. If you are interested in learning where, when, why, and how to apply essential oils, please join me at my house shortly after 6pm. The class will start at 6:30, so this will give us some time to introduce ourselves and get settled. I will have some essential oils to sample and apply. You can message me for more information or if you have any questions. Have a blessed day everyone!

Essential Oils for the Homeschool Classroom
Tuesday, December 10th @ 1pm
Learn how to enhance your homeschool classroom with the Everyday Oils Collection.

*These suggestions are intended for the YLEO's only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.