How to Clean Your Children Naturally: A Tutorial

Welcome to the April 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids and Personal Care

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles relating to their children’s personal care choices.


Because I have five children, I am often asked if I know what causes this have any parenting tips. Here is my advice on How to Clean Your Children Naturally!

1. Start with Water

Note: Chlorine swimming pools don’t count, only because apparently chlorine is a toxin. Dang. 

Sorry, kids, this does not count as a bath.

Usually I accompany them the bathroom and point at the nozzle, since the phrase, “Please take a shower,” is often met with confused looks, especially by my nine-year-old twin boys. Where is the bathroom, again? I have to use WATER, you say? This is news to me! Inside I’m smiling and thinking about our fairly inexpensive water bill for a family of seven.

2. Check Out Cosmetic Database, Then Take Out a Second Mortgage…

I do like the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website for information on chemicals in products but it can be a little overwhelming. And the products that are the healthiest may be the most expensive and hardest to find locally.

2.5 … Or, Be Prepared to Spend the next Five Hours in Front of the Computer


Cheaper, drugstore type products are listed there. It’s just a challenge to find products that are limited in toxicity and sold at Target.

3. Wonder If Good Mothers Only Use Products With a Rating of 0

Like, will using soap with a rating of 1 or 2 give them a third eye immediately, or will it be slow-growing for the next forty years? 

His mother used mainstream soap, full of dangerous chemicals! (Flickr/Newtown graffiti)

4. Worry about Your Water’s Toxicity

Once you’ve found a cleanser you can live with, this is the obvious next step in concerned parenting.

5. If You Have a Long Haired Child, Hope He or She Has Manageable Hair

There is a reason that my boys have very short hair; I shave them with barber’s #2 razor every month or two. I don’t like dealing with any more hair than is absolutely necessary (and my boys don’t care about their hair, at this point in their lives). However I have three girls, two of whom have long hair. One has completely manageable hair. One has completely unmanageable hair. One is a baby and therefore yet to be determined, but she seems closer to manageable.

The point is, hair manageability seems to be a genetic crapshoot.

My four older kids, about a year ago.

Since my boys have short hair, they just use soap on their hair. The girls need shampoo and sometimes a conditioner, and so it’s back to step 2, this time for hair care products. Sigh.

6. Repeat as necessary

In the winter, or anytime my kids’ skin gets dry or they’re not playing wildly outside and getting sweaty, I’ll skip baths or showers for a few days. In the summer, and when they’re swimming regularly, it’s at least every other night.

***Note: this blog post does not address teeth-brushing, skin-moisturizing, hair-combing, hair-styling, nail-cutting or any other hygiene-related parenting task. It’s JUST cleaning. My new motto is “Parenting: You’ll Never Think Anything is Easy Ever Again.”***


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon April 10 with all the carnival links.)

  • Holistic Care of your Toddler’s Teeth — Erica at ChildOrganics tells a tale of her children’s teeth issues and how she uses homeopathy and good nutrition to keep cavities at bay.
  • Bath Time Bliss : Fuss-Free Bath Time for Toddlers — Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares how she has made bath time completely fuss free for both her and her toddler.
  • Homemade Natural ToothpasteCity Kids Homeschooling hosts a guest post on a homemade natural toothpaste recipe that kids will love!
  • Bathing Strike StrategiesCrunchy Con Mommy offers her best tips for keeping your little ones clean when they refuse to bathe.
  • Bodily Autonomy and Personal Hygeine — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses the importance of supporting a child’s bodily autonomy in the prevention of abuse.
  • A Tub Full of Kiddos! — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment has kiddos who love the water, so bathtime is a favorite evening activity!
  • The Trials of Tidying My Toddler — Adrienne at Mommying My Way shares the difficulties she has with getting her on-the-go son to be still enough to get clean.
  • Wiped Clean — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen shares her recipe for homemade diaper wipe solution to clean those sweet little cloth diapered bottoms in her home!
  • Snug in a Towel: Embracing Personal Grooming — Personal care is time consuming,especially with more than one child; but the mama at Our Muddy Boots is learning to embrace this fleeting and needful time.
  • EC: All or Nothing? — Elimination Communication. Even the title sounds complicated and time consuming. It doesn’t have to, if you adapt it to meet your family’s needs, says Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy.
  • Routine Battles — In a guest post at Anktangle, Jorje of Momma Jorje outlines a simple incentive to help inspire your little one to follow a routine.
  • Redefining Beauty For My Daughter — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger relays her struggle to define her own femininity and how her preschooler unexpectedly taught her a lesson in true beauty.
  • Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Three Girls In The Tub — Chrystal at Happy Mothering shares how she turns bath time into a few minutes of peace and quiet.
  • Montessori-Inspired Activities for Care of Self — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now has a roundup of Montessori-inspired activities for care of self and ideas for home environments that encourage independence.
  • 10 Gentle Tips for Little Ones Who Hate the Bath — Kim at life-is-learning gives 10 tips to get your little one into the bath and maybe even enjoying it.
  • The Boy With The Long Hair — Liam at In The Now discusses his son’s grooming choices.
  • Personal Care in a Montessori Home — Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings shares a summary of the ways she has organized her family’s home to make for easy, Montessori-inspired toddler personal care.
  • Styling Kids — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is letting her kids decide what to look like.
  • Clean Kids: Laundry and Bath Tips — Kimberly at Homeschooling in Nova Scotia shares tips on how to get your children helping with laundry plus recipes for laundry and liquid soap.
  • How to Clean Your Children Naturally: A Tutorial — Erika at Cinco de Mommy shows you how to clean your children.
  • Cleaniliness is next to… dirt — The lapse-prone eco-mom (Kenna at Million Tiny Things) sometimes forgets to bathe the kids. Except in the mud pit.

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