You’d think that when you buy any “Baby” product that it’s not laced with chemicals…wrong! Here, I share what I found to help our precious newborns stay away from the nasty stuff.
As I mentioned before, I am a mum of four beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons.
I truly hope, that some of the things I have found, may start you off on making a better chemical free future for you and your families.
I think after starting this journey, being aware of what is out there, in our products and foods that we foods we eat, has really changed the way in how we shop, and prepare our foods.
Most of the blogs that are on this site, cover things which effect not only ourselves, but our children too, such as what you are washing your clothing with, and the personal care products that we all use.
One of the first things we can change is the type of clothing we use. There are many companies offering Organic fabrics such as cotton. I have seen more and more household names offering these at a more reasonable cost. Supermarkets, clothing stores such as H&M and M&S.
GREENOPEDIA is an interesting site that gives the chemicals used when clothing is being produced . Also how to rid your clothing from these chemicals, I never realised there were ways of achieving this. Though obviously if you can avoid the chemicals in the first place it is better.
There is some Organic products , such as bibs, towels and muslin squares ( I could not live without these, when we had our daughter, so many uses when you have a baby)
I first came across these when living in the States. They were a novelty at first , now they are everywhere. Great when you are getting sick on you!
Cot sheets are another way to use organic products near your baby.
When you think how long they sleep for ( if you are lucky! our daughter never slept longer than 20 minutes until she was two and a half! total sleep deprivation.
It was a total shock when she first slept through the night. Then you are looking at them thinking something is wrong, as it is so unusual!
After going through a bunch of the environmental issues with these, I had heard they took ages to decompose , but to find it could be hundreds of years, well that was an eye opener for me.
Through the nappy stage of your baby , I read on the website BABY LOVE TO KNOW.COM that in the first year they can go through 2,500 nappies, that is just the first year! Multiply that to the babies in one year the amount of nappies must be staggering.
For us it was a conscious decision to use a non- disposable nappy. Like these.
I admit that when we had to travel, with no way of dealing with the washing, we had to use disposables.
Now that they have developed a more eco type nappy, it seems as though the recycle part needs to be separate from the normal rubbish bin collection ,for those type of nappies, to allow them to compost correctly. I do wonder who is offering that at a street level. I have never seen a refuse truck with that option.
Here in France they just have the large bins at the corner of a street so you would have no choice in the nappy side. The rest of recycling is in a different section.
Also knowing that there were no chemicals involved in the fabric and washing of these, was great. Also the covers were really cute.
When I was visiting a friend in the States, she had a service that came and collected the diapers to wash them, then return them clean. Great if you just don’t have the time. Though I am not sure what they were washing them in!
BABY LOTIONS AND PRODUCTS
As ever, I am totally impressed with the EWG Data base on safer products and their rating system. the link above goes to their search on baby lotions. I wish I had this available when my girls were small.
This link on Amazon goes to safer products for babies, although I still think you need to check out each of the ingredients , on the product you are looking for.
As I have mentioned before, not all of the Organic products are 100% free from non- Organic ingredients. You really need to read the small print. As I have found out.
I couldn’t believe just what was in a baby wipe. They are so convenient but when you look at the chemicals in them and the environmental side, it makes you think.
Though you also here of these being chucked down the loo, along with cotton wool and ladies products, they are a nightmare to clean up and end up blocking everything.
FRIENDS OF THE EARTH have an informed article on this.
I READ LABELS FOR YOU has a comprehensive article on just what is hidden in baby wipes, from plastic to chemicals.
I love the sound of these baby wipes, totally Biodegradable and without harmful chemicals, different products and ingredient list on this link for JACKSON REECE .
Here is another list of Baby Wipes which are organic and also Biodegradable.
CREAMS, LOTIONS AND TALC
When we had our daughter, you seem to be either cleaning bottoms, bathing or washing their clothes on a constant bases.
You really have to look closely on some of the creams on the market. As I mentioned in another blog, I purchased some baby lotion, Organic in our local supermarket. I admit to picking it up in a rush. When I read the ingredient list, not all items were marked organic.
Though still look at the labels for anything that you are not happy with. I always had to be careful with any nut oils on one of my daughters, aware of any allergies.
BABY BATHS AND BUBBLES
EWG have a list of safe baby bubbles , their list includes a rating coloured coded for safer products.
Uniquely j tear-free baby bubble bath, fragrance free has come out as one of their safer brands. I found this on a website called jet.com
Sooo Cute ! those days are long gone!
WASHING CLOTHING AND BEDDING For Babies and Children.
It is great to use Organic cottons and fabrics against the skin of your Children, but what about when you wash their bedding and clothing in washing liquid or fabric softener. Then adding the chemicals to their lives through that method.
We all want the fabrics to be soft when touching their delicate skin, but they will be sleeping on and wearing these chemicals all the time.
There is a lovely sounding baby washing powder by FYSIO which is from 100% grated virgin olive oil soap without ( Chemical Free, Sulfates Free, Phosphates Free, Phthalates Free, Enzymes Free, Dyes Free, SLS Free, SLES Free, Parabens Free, PEG Free, colors & perfumes Free) taken from the link
Some of the washing powders or liquids , even though they are Organic still have the Fragrance or perfume listing with no idea what that actually entails.
I used to be able to find a pure soap flake product which was great for hand washing some of the clothing. It was getting harder to find, everything seems to have added perfumes.
This one by Almawin is only fragranced with an organic Lavender essential oil. We haven’t tried this but it looks worth looking into. I do have one daughter who has issues with Lavender oil, though I love the soft fragrance.
GREAT IDEAS FOR CARRYING AROUND YOUR LITTLE ONE
I wanted to share this video which I thought was helpful if you have never used one of these before, we were a bit clueless when we first purchased one.
This one is a fantastic shirt for dad or mum to carry your baby around with you ,I did feel rather shocked when I saw the price, but it is possibly because it is an American product, it is by a company called LALABU.COM
We used something similar when our daughter was a baby, she hated being apart from us, and she constantly needed to be carried around.
She was no light weight! We had a sling type method which was a godsend ! She lived in there for about a year. Some of them you can put on your back as your little one grows heavier.
We all want to give our babies and children the best of everything.
I know it can be hard to make things from fresh all the time, as everyone has busy lives, maybe you have to work, and just don’t have the time.
But after seeing this article yesterday, it really has shocked me. It popped up on a news feed that I have.
And 73% contain ARSENIC !
How on earth can that happen? They do give a list of alternatives to help reduce the risks. I had read before about RICE products that naturally have Arsenic in them , even Organic grains. That has led to us only using rice on a more restricted basis, but there is a lot of baby food products that contain rice as a starter food.
This link to the FOOD REVOLUTION will give you some more information.
Some ideas that I used when our daughter was small.
When our daughter was a baby , she would eat anything I made.
She loved Broccoli and would cheerfully eat all of the meal I gave her.
As she grew we had more challenges with her eating. I wanted to give a couple of tricks that I used to get her to eat a healthier diet. I have to admit I still use some of these methods if she is refusing certain vegetables. It still works!!
I have often seen articles about hiding vegetables in a tomato sauce or a blended soup.
We are vegetarian as well, so I wanted her to eat lentils as well for a balanced diet.
A favourite then and now is Pizza.
Yes I do add vegetables to the sauce, I find it much easier to precook the vegetables so that they are very soft, and can be blended and the sauce remains smooth.
She is tricky! she would see even the smallest lump! I don’t know if you have a child like that. You have to hide everything, or a possible battle on your hands.
I make our own pizzas, so when making the dough, I would cook red lentils until they were very soft . Then I would use these as part of the liquid to make the dough.
Once cooked they go to a pale yellowy colour and can be hidden.
That was very satisfying to see our daughter eat and enjoy a pizza but with the added benefits of being healthy.
Being a Vegetarian, we are trying to cut out the cheese , I can not believe it has taken us this long to find this product called Nooch or Nutritional Yeast for its longer name, this product is great for a veggie. You can purchase it with the vitamin B12 which is one of the things that can be lacking in a Veggie diet. I am not sure what age you can use this product from. If our daughter had her way , she would add it to everything! She even eats it on its own. It has a” nutty flavour “. It can also be used as a pizza topping , but it doesn’t look the same as cheese when melted. Or it can be used in a sauce.
OTHER WAYS TO HIDE FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Making Ice lolly’s works really well , using fresh fruit , pureed too. If it even resembles a fruit it can be hard sometimes to get them to try it.
Of course smoothies are also a great way to hide fruit or vegetables.
FOODS TO BUY
There seems to be a huge amount of companies out there vying for your business, baby food is big business.
I was lucky to be able to make most of my children’s food . One book that I found really helpful was VEGETARIAN FOOD FOR HEALTHY KIDS by NICOLA GRIMES it gave me some different ideas , which was great even if you are not a vegetarian. There are some really great ideas out there.
If you are going to refrigerate some of the portions ( they are so tiny at first) then ,here are some ideas so that you are not going to get any chemicals leeching into your baby or toddlers food. The glass ones are the best material to avoid chemicals.
Wean Green have a whole selection of glass storage containers.
There is a great article on one of my favourite websites called Food Revolution Network , called 7 useful Ideas You can Use to Help Kids Eat More Plants. Even if this is just part of what they eat.
BOTTLES FOR BABIES
The chemicals in some plastics can first effect your baby in the womb, THE TELEGRAPH NEWSPAPER this year followed a study done in Barcelona Spain , where they tested pregnant women’s urine samples, the scary thing was that 4 out of 5 women had BPA and other Phenols . This can come from a multitude of sources, internal and external. They believe these chemicals may effect your babies breathing.
This reminded me of a TV program I saw on finding the chemicals from dry cleaning in your breast milk. It is incredible that these everyday things can effect us and our children so much. We haven’t used the dry cleaners for years since we saw that program. I just buy fabrics that can take a wash now. Even curtains. It just isn’t worth the risk to your health.
WAYS TO RELAX YOUR BABY NATURALLY
Finding gentle lotions that you can use to help your baby relax and connect with you.
Something like this BURTS BEES Nourishing baby oil 100% natural . It is so therapeutic especially if your little one is like our daughter and won’t sleep.