Baby & Child Care

If you have a child and are interested in giving them the best optimal health from birth, let Pharmaca help you navigate the best in healthy child care. We offer a broad selection of nutritional supplements and vitamins for children of all ages, from multivitamins to easy-to-take omega-3s to vitamin D. We can help you get informed about what supplements to give children when, alongside child care tips to give them the best start possible. We believe that optimal health starts an early age, and want all children to be equipped with the nutrients they need to become a vibrant, healthy adult.

  • Parenthood 101: Our “Love-It” List

    Mother with babyA new baby brings so much joy and happiness—and often, a serious learning curve. With so much information awaiting new parents, we wanted to provide a few can’t-live-without necessities and tips from the new mothers among our friends and family here at Pharmaca, from helpful toys to homeopathic remedies.

    Safe, entertaining toys

    Toys need to be safe, fun and keep them entertained for long periods of time! For napping or bedtime, marketing manager Cathy turns to Cloud B’s Twilight Turtle. “It’s one of his favorite toys, and also helps my baby sleep!” This plush turtle projects constellations on the ceiling, providing a focal point that relaxes babies and offers a nightlight effect to ease fear of the dark.

    For bath time, choose toys that can’t trap water. “Squirty toys are fun, but they can hold in water and tend to grow mold,” says Tess, mom to 9-month old Hagen. “I like to make sure my little guy’s bath toys are soft and squishy yet sealed, so I don’t have to worry when they inevitably end up in his mouth.” We love Green Sprouts' adorable Stacking Duck Set for bathtime.

    And for on-the-go entertainment, Water WOW! books are inexpensive and mess-free, and feed kids’ creativity anywhere—in the car, on a plane or at the kitchen table. These travel activity books will keep kids occupied for hours with reusable pages and a refillable pen—when your child is done with a page, just erase and start over!

    The daily diaper grind

    In those first months, be prepared to change a LOT of diapers, so think about what kinds of diapers you want to use. If you’re looking for disposables, Seventh Generation offers a convenient solution without fragrances, latex, petroleum-based lotions or chlorine processing. And while the idea of cloth diapers can be intimidating, “It’s easier than you think!” one of our moms insisted. “Try GroVia’s reusable diapers—we’d throw dirty diapers into a bucket with a secure lid and just wash.” A word of warning when going reusable: be sure not to use diaper rash ointments with talc, which creates buildup in the diaper and reduces absorbency. For more on the ins and outs of GroVia’s diapers, check out this handy guide.

    Finally, make sure you’re ready to conquer diaper rash. There are several effective products that our moms recommend to quickly eliminate this uncomfortable skin condition, caused by wetness trapped under diapers. GroVia’s Magic Stick Diaper Ointment works immediately to sooth and clear any irritation caused by diaper rash. And when it comes to cleansing delicate skin, Cathy, mom to 2-year-old Rhone, recommends the Mustela line, in particular their naturally formulated Stelatopia Cream Cleanser.

    On the go

    Traveling with infants can be a challenge, but with a few convenient and packable products, it can be a stress-free experience. Whitney, mom to Avery, made a habit of taking a portable tent from PeaPod with her when leaving the house. The tent provides a comfy and contained environment for picnics in the park and backyard barbeques, allowing your baby to feel nested anywhere. It’s also a great portable sun shade for beach days and sporting events.

    Another key element of travel with children is, of course, snacks. Make sure you’ve always got nutrition in hand by packing it up in Kids Konserve’s stainless steel food containers that are leak proof, insulated and keep food hot or cold for hours. Convenient and durable, these containers ensure you’re always ready to nip hunger pains in the bud!

    Keeping them healthy

    When your little one gets sick, you want access to effective remedies—that are safe and don’t come with side effects. Herbal and homeopathic remedies can be great for just this time in your little ones life. Here are the most popular supplements recommended by our expert parenting panel .

    Gaia Herbs' Sniffle Support, a natural blend of herbs known to support and soothe ear, nose and throat inflammation, is especially helpful for croup, an airway infection that often results in a dry cough.

    Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets work fast to relieve the pain of teething

    Nordic Naturals’ Baby’s DHA encourages healthy eye, brain and heart development, are thought to have calming effects, and come in a convenient dropper

    Speak with a Pharmaca practitioner about other recommendations for newborn necessities.

  • No Adults Allowed! Kid-Friendly Supplements

    ClassroomStart those healthy habits early with a variety of supplements specially formulated with the vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy development for brain and body. With a new school year rapidly approaching, it's all the more important to give them a nutritional edge for increased energy and strengthened immunity against the germs lurking in their classrooms.

    To prevent nutritional deficiencies, get your child into the healthy habit of taking a daily multivitamin—and turn it into a fun morning (or nightly) ritual instead of a chore. Bluebonnet's Super Earth Rainforest Animal Chews Multi-Vitamins feature a superfruit blend along with with extracts of bone-building vegetables (broccoli, broccoli sprouts, brussels sprouts, carrots, kale, onion, spinach and tomatoes) in one yummy, raspberry-flavored chewable. The tasty tablets also help facilitate calcium and phosphorus absorption and increase the formation and density of children's growing bones.

    Rainbow Light's Sunny Gummies Vitamin D3 is a delicious lemon-flavored gummy that delivers a potent level of vitamin D3 to support bone and muscle strength, immune function, and circulatory and cellular health. Vitamin D3 is the most effective form of vitamin D, and Berry D-Licious contains 2,500 IU of this important vitamin. Totally natural and free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives and additives, this delicious supplement is also allergen safe, created without gluten, soy, yeast, milk, eggs, nuts, fish or shellfish.

    Fish oil, known for its fantastic benefits, isn't just for adults. Kids everywhere love Nordic Naturals' strawberry-flavored Children's DHA. Made entirely from Arctic cod liver oil, this supplement is rich in the omega-3 DHA–essential for the proper development of the brain, eyes, and nervous and immune systems. Easily swallowed or chewed by children over three, Children's DHA also contains healthy levels of naturally derived vitamins A and D.

    Babies can also benefit from supplements. Nordic Naturals' Baby's DHA Vegetarian is formulated for the specific omega-3 nutritional needs of infants, and is a safe, effective way to ensure that babies 6 months or older (or as directed by your pediatrician) get the DHA they need for healthy development. And don't forget the vitamin C! Ensure your toddler receives crucial quantities with Hyland's Vitamin C tablets. These no-fuss tablets dissolve quickly and deliver 71 percent of the daily value for babies under a year, and 63 percent for kids between 1-3 years.

    Should a cold strike–despite your best efforts–treat your child with Hyland's 4Kids naturally soothing Honey Cough Syrup, Cold 'N Cough, or Sniffles 'N Sneezes. Safe and effective, these homeopathic remedies quell the symptoms of the common cold, cough or congestion for fast recovery.

    Pharmaca is committed to offering a holistic and well-rounded approach to children's health. Visit one of our stores to talk to a licensed practitioner about your child's health and nutritional needs.

  • Beyond Antibiotics: Natural Ways to Fight Ear Infections (Video)

    Ear infections can be a persistent problem in young children. Here, Dr. Tori Hudson talks about natural ways to prevent and treat ear infections without having to turn to antibiotics, which can exacerbate the cycle of infection. She covers homeopathic and herbal remedies, as well as long-term prevention with probiotics.

  • Omega-3s for Better Health (Video)

    Learn why omega-3s are an important part of your diet. Here, Dr. Tieraona Low Dog talks about why you should be getting fish in your diet or supplementing with fish oil. Fish oil is especially vital during pregnancy and early childhood because it supports cognitive development and eye and nerve health, and can be great for supporting cardiovascular health in later life. Some evidence has even shown it can help prevent cancer, support weight loss, improve insulin resistance, reduce inflammation and more.

  • 4 Good Reasons to Take Omega-3s

    Mom and DaughterOmega-3s like DHA and EPA are called essential fatty acids for a reason—they’re essential to our health. But just why are omega-3s so essential? We spoke with Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, ND, member of Pharmaca’s Integrative Health Advisory Board, about why she recommends essential fatty acids.

    Fighting inflammation
    “Fish oil can help normalize the inflammatory process in the body,” says Dr. Low Dog. That’s vital, she says, because it seems that inflammation is what’s driving many of the chronic ailments we see today. We need a certain level of inflammation to heal ourselves, she says, but it’s the chronic levels that are causing a lot of health problems—like allergies, heart disease, arthritis, cancer and more.

    Reducing insulin resistance
    “Omega-3s have been shown to have very beneficial effects on insulin resistance in obese people without diabetes,” says Dr. Low Dog. People in this pre-diabetic stage see real results from fish oil, which helps increase insulin sensitivity, she says, and therefore reduces the risk of developing full-blown type 2 diabetes. And since the CDC believes the rate of diabetes in America will continue to increase, taking omega-3s preventively can be vital for a large portion of our population.

    Supporting baby’s neurodevelopment
    “Most of our brain and eyes are made from DHA,” says Dr. Low Dog. That’s why it’s a vitally important nutrient for baby’s development, specifically during pregnancy and breastfeeding. “You can’t give what you don’t have, so the baby may not be getting enough if there’s not enough DHA in Mom’s diet or they’re not getting a formula with added DHA.” That’s why she recommends that all pregnant or breastfeeding women eat fish or supplement with a vegetarian source of DHA.

    Boosting cardiovascular health
    There’s so much evidence showing EPA’s ability to lower triglycerides that it’s approved by the FDA as an effective therapy, either by prescription or over-the-counter fish oil supplements.  “Studies have shown that about 4,000 mg per day can reduce triglycerides by about 30 percent,” says Dr. Low Dog. She adds that because omega-3s help fight inflammation and lower insulin resistance, they can also help reduce heart disease risk. “With fish oil, you’re getting a multitude of benefits for the cardiovascular system.”

    A few more reasons…
    There is strong evidence for fish oil’s effects on rheumatoid arthritis. “What they’ve found is that when you give 5,000 mg of fish oil to people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, it actually can reduce the need for so much medication. People are also more likely to go into remission,” says Dr. Low Dog.

    “We think inflammation may be a direct link to depression,” says Dr. Low Dog, so fish oil’s ability to lower inflammation may also have some beneficial effects on depression itself. Medications used to treat depression can also drive inflammation, and it is well known people suffering from depression usually have a higher risk of heart disease. That’s why Dr. Low Dog almost always puts patients with depression or bipolar disorder on at least 1,000 mg of EPA per day.

    There are new studies that showing overweight people, especially those with high abdominal obesity, saw greater weight loss on 1,000 mg of fish oil per day than others taking a placebo. “Weight around the midsection can increase insulin resistance, increase triglyceride levels, increase inflammation…and fish oil can help combat all of that,” says Dr. Low Dog. As if there wasn’t enough to love about fish oil!

    Speak with your doctor or a Pharmaca practitioner about finding the right fish oil and dosage for your health concerns.

  • Humidifiers for Newborn Health

    babyFrom our friends at Crane USA

    When you bring your new baby home for the first time, you take note of every movement, noise and bodily function. One of the most common worries is if your baby is congested…have they already caught a cold? Stuffy, congested noses are often not the result of a cold, but simply the fact that for the first 4-5 months, babies can only breathe out of their noses.

    That can make breastfeeding difficult during those first five months if babies can’t breathe while their mouths are full. Nose-only breathing can make sleeping rough, too. That’s where cool mist humidifiers come in—the addition of moisture and humidity to baby’s room helps to open nasal passages, making it easier for babies to feed and sleep. Pediatricians specifically recommend cool mist humidifiers instead of warm mist humidifiers because the cool air can help to prevent croup, a persistent cough infants and children can get, as well as colds and the flu.

    Another great reason to run a humidifier in baby’s room: Germs travel faster in dry air, so the presence of moisture makes germs heavier, which means they move slower. This actually helps reduce the number of germs in the air, making the air in your home cleaner. And since cool mist humidifiers don’t get hot, you don’t have to worry about curious babies burning their fingers.

    For regular maintenance, Crane recommends dumping out excess water from the base and water tank each day and adding fresh water before running it again. About once a week, rinse out both the tank and the base of the humidifier with white vinegar and water. Simply mix two tablespoons of white vinegar and two cups of water and pour into the tank and the base. Let it sit in the base for 20-30 minutes to clean out any mineral or bacterial buildup. In the tank, add the white vinegar and water solution, put the water tank cap back on and shake, shake, shake! Doing this dance just once a week will help keep your humidifier and the mist it produces clean.

  • Protect Tender Skin in Cool Weather: Natural Baby Products That Work!

    Cuddles from her daugherYour baby's soft, perfect skin is extra sensitive, so take care to give it extra protection as the cold weather settles in for winter. Natural baby products like lotions, moisturizers and bath washes can help protect your infant's skin using only the safest, most effective ingredients—ingredients you can feel good about!

    Natural Ingredients that Protect Tender Skin in Cool Weather

    Shea Butter
    Vitamin A-packed shea butter is derived from the seed of the African Shea tree and is known for nourishing properties and ability to treat skin allergies, insect bites, sunburns and a number of other skin conditions. Shea butter absorbs rapidly into the skin, boosting the soothing and healing properties of a skin care product like body lotion. Look for it in Burt's Bees Baby Bee Nourishing Lotion and help protect and heal baby’s skin during the harsh winter months.

    Coconut Oil
    It seems like coconut is everywhere these days—and with good reason! Research suggests that among the many benefits of almighty coconut oil is its ability to serve as an antiviral and antibacterial agent that can even help fight off diaper rash, which is quite common in infants. Fast-absorbing coconut oil will help keep your baby's skin moisturized and protected, and is safe to use with cloth diapers. Don’t be surprised the first time you use coconut oil; this natural oil actually begins as a solid, quickly melting into a soothing liquid as you smooth it onto your baby's skin. Look for it from brands such as Nature's Way or Jarrow Formulas.

    Not only are the proteins in oatmeal a tasty way to start your day, they can also soothe skin from the itchy and painful effects of eczema or diaper rash. Dry skin often has a high pH level, and oats have the ability to neutralize the pH level, providing relief from dry skin irritation. With colloidal oatmeal as a main ingredient, Babo Botanicals' Moisturizing Baby Lotion is a wonderful product to nourish and soothe sensitive baby skin.

    In addition to using natural baby products, there are a variety of other ways to ensure that your baby's skin does not get too dry during the cold winter season. Avoid bathing your baby every day, as daily baths can make skin problems worse. Always wash your baby's new clothes in a gentle detergent before wearing. Opt to use wet wash cloths as baby wipes rather than pre-packaged wipes, which can contain ingredients that irritate sensitive skin.

    Give your baby the gift of soft, moisturized skin this winter with these natural strategies and products!

  • Diapers Demystified

    Yellow GroViaYears ago, disposable diapers became a savior to parents who were overwhelmed by the time-consuming, sometimes messy process of changing cloth diapers. But then people started to realize how much waste was generated by disposables, and eco-minded parents began searching for new alternatives. And fortunately, there are alternatives, including compostables and hybrids, that help reduce waste and are easy to clean.

    The average baby uses 6,000 diapers before potty training, so it’s important to choose the ones that work best for your baby and your lifestyle. We checked in with the experts at The Natural Baby Company to get the low-down on diapers, traditional to high-tech.

    The evolution of the cloth diaper
    What were once plain white cotton sheets, secured by large safety pins, are now made from cotton, hemp, bamboo, polyester and even stay-dry athletic fabrics—often with added layers of absorbency. From the classic to the newest innovations, here are five cloth choices to consider.

    • Prefold Cloth: The original, rectangular and flat. It’s fitted on your baby with a snap or pin fastener, and a waterproof shell or cover is worn over it.
      • Pros: Kind to baby’s skin, inexpensive and reusable. Cons: They’re bulky and require a separate cover and fastener (not to mention the extra laundry!).
    • Fitted Cloth: Layers of shaped absorbent material with leg and back elastic fastened with snaps or hook and loop closures. There’s no waterproof outer layer, so a cover or shell is worn over it.
      • Pros: Cost-effective and highly absorbent. Cons: Fitted sizes mean new diapers as your baby grows, along with new covers, and the diapers need washing after every use.
    • Pocket: A waterproof cover with a stay-dry polyester lining that acts as a “pocket” between the lining and the cover to keep moisture away from baby. An absorbent pad or prefold goes into the pocket.
      • Pros: No cover needed. Cons: “Unstuffing” a messy pocket isn’t easy (or fun), and the synthetic lining comes into contact with baby’s skin.
    • All-in-Ones: One-piece diaper with a set of absorbency layers (typically two, sometimes hourglass shaped) sewn inside an outer waterproof cover.Pink GroVia print
      • Pros: Easy to use, a trim fit, one wear and one wash. Cons: Take longer to dry.
    • Hybrid: A cover with a variety of absorbency layers you attach. It’s a hybrid because the absorbency layers can be either cloth or disposable.
      • Pros: Flexible and the outer shell can be used several times before washing. Cons: Disposable layers are more expensive.

    Pharmaca favorite: GroVia Hybrid. This one has it all. Cute, fashionable colored shells with both reusable cloth and disposable inserts that can be composted (best done through a professional diaper composting service), thrown away or flushed (with consideration to your plumbing system). GroVias are fabricated with solvent- and formaldehyde-free waterproofing, certified organic cotton and without petroleum or dyes. Plus they come in one size, fitting 8 to 30 lbs.

    Natural disposables
    If you prefer the ease of disposables, or just need to use them when cloth diapers aren’t practical, there are good choices that are gentle on baby’s skin and are gentler on the environment. Using thousands of single-use diapers can cost more in the long run though, and even biodegradable disposables can’t break down in an airtight landfill.

    • Natural, hypoallergenic diapers: Fitted, these come in a variety of sizes and are made without skin-irritating materials, notably chlorine.
      • Pros: Easy to use and easy to take with you, minimize diaper-rashes caused by contact with irritating materials. Cons: Add to landfill.
    • SAP-free (super absorbent polymers) Diapers: These come in several fitted styles, and are almost always chlorine free and hypoallergenic. They do not contain sodium polyacrylate, an SAP that absorbs very large amounts of liquid. SAPs became controversial when they were linked to Toxic Shock syndrome in tampons, but since then SAPs have been rigorously tested both in the U.S. and abroad, and the predominant conclusions are that they’re safe and non-toxic.
      • Pros: Good for those who have any concerns about using any synthetics and want a disposable. Cons: Often found only online.
    • Pharmaca favorite: Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear Diapers. They’re hypoallergenic and made without chlorine bleaching, latex, fragrances or lotions. Plus, they’re sleek under clothing and have adjustable tabs for a great fit to prevent leakage.

    Speak with a Pharmaca Team Member about the different diaper options available at your store!

  • New School Year, Healthier Kids

    It's an exciting time of year--when the thrill of starting a new school year means fun new gear for little ones. Get your kids off to school in style with everything they need for a healthy, happy fall.

    Clean 'em up

    We love the whole line of Clean Kids by Gabriel--from their Germ Busting Soap to their Banana Smoothie Detangler (yum!). Start your kids off right with this essential-oil infused, all-natural body care.

    Give them the right nutrition

    Our practitioners rave about Nordic Naturals' full line of kids' supplements. From their Nordic Berries Multivitamins to their tasty Children's DHA Strawberry liquid, Nordic offers everyday nutrition that your kids will love.

    Protect their skin

    Make sunscreen application a much easier task with Goddess Garden's new Sunscreen Sprays. They're packed with broad-spectrum, SPF 30 protection, and are gentle on even the most sensitive skin.

    Pack them up

    The littlest school-goers will love Skip Hop's fun insulated lunch bags and wear-proof backpacks, available in whimsical animal shapes (or try their Bento Mealtime Kit, an easy way to pack up little snacks).

    Add a reusable water bottle from Pura Kiki or Earthlust and fill it with water mixed with an electrolyte-infused drink mix. We love the tasty flavors from Ultima Replenishers, a great way to ensure they're getting hydration without the artificial sugar and flavors found in other drink mixes.

    You'll also want to send them off with school supplies from Melissa and Doug-their child-safe scissors and washable markers are an easy, eco-friendly way to equip them for their artistic endeavors.

    Give them style

    Keep wayward hair out of the way and add flair to any outfit with Natural Life's Hair Clips and Bobby Pins. Available in a variety of colors and styles, these accessories will guarantee your little girl will feel one-of-a-kind.

    Boost their immunity

    They're about to come in contact with a lot more germs than they're used to. Give them some extra protection with Pharmaca's Kids' Immune Booster, a well-loved herbal formula that gives their immune system a little extra oomph.

    Help them sleep soundly

    After a long day in the classroom (or on the soccer field), help them rest easy with the sweet sights and sounds of Cloud B's children's sleep products. Little ones clamor over who gets Twilight Turtle, which projects a starry night sky on the ceiling.

    For other great suggestions on getting your child's school year off on the right foot, speak with a Pharmaca practitioner today.  

  • Children's Health 101

    At Pharmaca we take pride in offering all-natural products for children, from super-nutritious multivitamins and fish oils to non-toxic baby bottles, educational games and safe body care.

    Over the years we’ve also done some serious research on health issues that are important to little ones—and provided some helpful advice for parents (and grandparents). Here are a few to explore:

    Early essentials for natural kids
    From the best pre-natal vitamins to probiotics ideal for elementary-schoolers, find some great suggestions for keeping kids healthy naturally. Read more...

    Helping your child sleep through the night

    Getting your little one to sleep can be one of the biggest challenges of parenting, but there are a few ways to tackle those challenges. Here, read about some common sleep issues and solutions. Read more...

    Battling vitamin D deficiency
    Low blood levels of vitamin D can put children at risk for a range of conditions, such as weakened bones, rickets, diabetes, and even some cancers. Learn more about easy ways to get more vitamin D into your child’s diet. Read more...

    Addressing ADHD
    If your child is one of the 4.4 million kids affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), read up on some interesting prescription and non-prescription treatment options. Read more...

    Talk to a practitioner about any health issues your little one may have.

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