Diary of a First Child grew so much in 2011 and the support we received from brands and companies was pretty amazing. While we try to keep things as natural and environmentally friendly as possible, we also live in the ‘real world’ and I’ll admit, sometimes I too reach for the convenient, the beautiful, the luxurious and so on.

Below are the best products we reviewed in 2011 in two categories: Better for Babies and Top Picks.

Better for Babies
Better for Babies are the products we’ve used on Ameli between the ages of 15 and 27 months old. These are products we feel are superior to your mass market, mass produced, off the shelf alternatives:

  • Weleda Calendula Baby Lotion – provided by Hushabye Baby (now Baby Naturals)
    Weleda products use 100% natural ingredients, leaving out any synthetic ingredients, non-natural preservatives, artificial fragrances and colourants and have also never – since they started in 1921 – done any animal testing.
  • Green People Baby Oil, Nappy Balm, and Baby Lotion – Provided by Green People
    I’m often told I should sell Green People products as I recommend them to anyone who will listen. The Nappy Balm is a firm fixture in our home and is used on every cut, bump and scrape on Ameli and myself. It is pure magic.
  • Tidy TrayProvided by Tidy Tray
    Something that stops my child ingesting someone else’s left overs and provides a clean surface for her to eat from in any restaurant or coffee shop is a winner in my book – more so when we were in South Africa where we ate out a lot of the time.
  • Jackson Reece Herbal Wipes – provided by Jackson Reece
    These are still my favourite wipes. They cost more, but are better for the environment, better for my child since they contain no alcohol, parabens, SLES or SLS. I love, love, love them and although we’ve moved over to primarily cloth wipes, we still use these for dirty nappies.
  • VivoBarefoot Children’s ShoesProvided by VivoBarefoot
    Great shoes, perfect for walkers, good for feet and they come with no heel, no midsole, no arch support, and no gimmicks. They make the 200,000 nerve endings, 33 muscles, 28 bones and 19 ligaments in the foot do the work they were meant to do. And they’re beautiful too.
  • Hello Mellow Organic Massage OilProvided by Organic Monkey
    A lovely massage oil, Hellow Mellow contains all natural ingredients, with sunflower oil being the carrier oil. There’s apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil and vitamin E oil too, and then the essential oils are sweet orange, lavender and roman chamomile, all of which are calming and soothing aromas. A gorgeous product.
  • Green People Organic Toothpaste for Children – provided by Green People
    As mother to a two year old who eats her toothpaste and refuses to rinse after brushing, I love the fluoride free Green People toothpaste. It uses a blend of Calcium Carbonate to gently clean and remove plaque, and Vitamin C and Myrrh combat gum disease. Aloe Vera has a soothing effect on tender gums, reduces swelling and is a powerful antiseptic. It doesn’t use any nasty chemicals. A great finale to the 2011 Best for Babies category.

Top Picks

Top Picks are the products that we think are great. Not necessarily for babies, not necessarily for attachment parenting, but great in and of themselves. Some of these have been mentioned already:

In no particular order, the Diary of a First Child top picks for 2011 are:

  • Weleda Calendula Baby Lotion – see above
  • Natracare Sanitary Products – provided by Hushabye Baby (now Baby Naturals
    Organic and natural feminine hygiene products, chlorine free, dioxin free, 100% cotton and 90 – 100% biodegradable. What’s not to love?
  • Green People Baby Oil, Nappy Balm, and Baby Lotionsee above
  • GNappies – provided by Hushabye Baby (now Baby Naturals)
    A hybrid cloth and disposable nappy, these are on my must have list for the new baby. The same size as disposable nappies, with the environmental benefits of cloth and a disposable alternative that is not only baby friendly, but earth friendly too. Definitely a top choice.
  • Jackson Reece Herbal Wipes – see above
  • Smart Trike Recliner – provided by Smart Trike
    Another of those products I should sell, because not only do people comment about it everywhere we go, but I gush about it to anyone who asks. Read the review: it’s an amazing product. And best of all, I can steer with one hand while holding a cuppa in the other. Love it.
  • VivoBarefoot Children’s Shoes – see above
  • The Land of Me Game – Provided by Land of Me
    The Land of Me is like a ‘create your own adventure’ book, but it is online. It is hypnotic and mesmerising, but not addictive. You’re not going to lose hours of your life playing in The Land of Me. You’re just going to dip in and out, take an ‘adventure’ or two at a time and then do something I’ve never seen in a computer game before: go offline and do something with the supplied activity kit.
  • Wooden Food – supplied by the Wooden Toyshop
    Wooden toys, in abundance, at a great, great, price. There are four ‘crates’ like you’d find at a farmers market and in them are foods in four categories: breads, red and white meats, dairy and eggs, and fruit and vegetables. There are nineteen foods in the set, which I thought was quite good value for money.
  • M&P Advance Booster Seat – supplied by Mamas & Papas
    A fab booster seat, cheaper than most, and not a burden on the space in the house and most importantly, your child is sitting at the table, not next to it. I think it’s great. 

  • Baby Mule Changing Bag – supplied by Baby Mule
    It would be unfair to pick a top of the tops, you know. So I won’t, but wow. What a fab changing bag. And I won’t even have to get anything else for Squidge – this is big enough for two babies.

Congratulations to the Best for Babes and Top Picks brands for 2011.

Top Picks
Top Picks