I worked part-time at a baby boutique while I was pregnant with my first baby- for the discount. Obviously. There were other perks, though. One was that I got to talk to a lot of other pregnant and new moms. I got to see them stroll through the stores with their babies, or chase their toddlers before they tried to dash out the door.
This post is sponsored by Handzies- natural soap & water wipes that I keep in my purse all the time! They were created by a mom in Texas, and I’m all about supporting brilliant parents. Read on to see why I think you need these.
I didn’t have any local friends with babies, so it was in interesting peek into the world of parenting- the real one. Not the one on any of the many TLC shows I was obsessed with at the time. (Wow. Remember a time before Netflix… or like when Netflix was just DVDs??)
2008 was the year everyone started freaking out about BPA. It was in a lot of the bottles we sold at the store, and there was a bit of panic about it. We made it a big deal to point out that we took all those bottles off the shelves. Every parent was clamoring for glass. We couldn’t keep them in stock.
There was a general frenzy about all things “toxic” along with a heightened awareness about germs. Not that BPA and germs are related, but the fervor to protect from both seemed the same to me.
I watched countless parents sanitize their kids hands with antibacterial gel – sometimes multiple times- after they touched any of the toys in the play area we had set up in the store. Some even whipped out their own antibacterial wipes to wipe down toys before letting their kids touch them.
The message to me- an expecting first-time mom- was clear: you gotta keep your kid safe from toxic stuff, and especially safe from GERMS. They are everywhere and you must DESTROY THEM.
I recall sanitizing my first son’s Mega Bloks every couple months in a bathtub with diluted bleach, and then I worried that the capful of bleach in a tub of water would somehow leave a toxic residue on the toys and poison him.
There were a lot of mixed messages back then. Be green! Avoid toxins! Also don’t let your kid lick any dirty surfaces and NEVER leave home without antibacterial gel! Cover everything in it!
Cut to two more babies into life, around 2014, and there was a buzz that antibacterial soaps and excessive antibacterial hand gel use is actually bad. Not that I needed an excuse to cut back on sanitization at that point. As a mom of 3, I had way less time to disinfect the toys every 6 to 8 weeks. My 3rd baby often ate food straight off the floor and I didn’t even gasp.
While we’ve always been pretty good about hand washing while prepping meals and before we eat (Scott has a Master’s in Food Science, after all), any fear of germs infecting our kids stopped ruling our life a long time ago. By the time we had baby #4, we were confident in the power of a good immune system, and a sniffle didn’t scare us.
That all changed when our 4th baby had his first febrile seizure as we hauled an RV down the highway in 2018- one day after Christmas, 5 days after he turned 2.
I know I bring this moment up a lot when talking about life with Wallace now. I just can’t begin to describe how much that one day changed us, and how we will forever be haunted by the real fear that our baby ways dying in front of our eyes.
Fevers are very serious and very scary now. While there is little long-term risk with febrile epileptic seizures, it’s absolutely not something we ever want to witness or for our child to go through again after already experiencing 5 of them. So we’re back to taking germs seriously.
I like to think we’ve found a balance, though. We always prefer hand washing in a sink, but when that’s not an option, we’ve found Handzies natural soap & water wipes are the next best thing.
We aren’t pouring antibacterial gel all over everything Wallace touches. In fact, we aren’t using traditional antibacterial chemicals at all. Handzies are free of alcohol, BZK, and tricolsan.
Instead, they are made with purified water, natural castile soap, tea tree oil, tangerine oil, a naturally derived solubilizier (to help the water mix with the oil), citric acid, and a non-GMO preservative blend.
These individual packets have a very soft, generous sized wipe in each one. They are so convenient for life on-the-go. We even had these with us on the RV trip and took them into (and packed the waste out of) many national parks! Now, they are my go-to for the grocery cart handle, before a drive through lunch, or as we leave a play space.
And they aren’t just for hands, of course! While I have been known to clean a dirty face with a (hopefully) less dirty random sock floating around the baseboards of my car in a pinch, my kids will beg me to look for a Handzies in my purse first.
“Born from the messes surrounding a young family, Karen Trenk discovered that once the “baby stuff” was no longer needed, the ability to clean kids on the go remained. Handzies was founded with the core belief that health and happiness on the go needs to be easier and safer.”
You can get Handzies from Amazon! They come individually packaged or in a pop-up canister.
So happy to partner with Karen and Handzies on this post. If you buy some, be sure to tell her you found out about them here!
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