With a sister and a sister in law both expecting babies soon, I started thinking about all of the things I wish I would have known before I had children. There are so many people who don't care and don't want to hear about eco-friendly or chemical alternatives, but if you are that type you probably won't like this blog. So, I am listing my top ten here in hopes to help other mothers who are interested in learning healthier ways to raise their children. If you are offended by this post, please skip over it. As always, I am not a scientist. All I know for sure is that I have done my due diligence and research on all of the things I listed. Something that is a cause of concern for me may not be for others. Do not use this post as your 'be all end all'. Do your own reading and research to determine if it is an issue for you.
Top 10 things I wish I had known when I had babies:
1. Plastic is not good. Plastic contains more than BPA (although BPA is pretty major in and of itself) it also contains phthalates and sometimes even lead. Try to stay away from it at as much as possible- especially when purchasing food in plastic containers, teethers and objects that go in mouths, bottles, etc.
2. It is SO easy to make baby food! Just think not only of the money saved, but also the relief of knowing exactly what you are putting into your precious baby’s mouth and body. All you need is a food processor or blender and some fresh veggies.
3. Flame Retardants. Stay away from them at all cost. Since when is it a good idea to sleep in chemical-doused clothing? Breathe in air and dust that has harmful chemicals from curtains, mattresses, and electronics? I am not suggesting you throw away your television, but when making future purchases keep in mind that there ARE some companies that do not add flame retardants when manufacturing their products. I AM suggesting you do NOT purchase any clothing, blankets, or curtains that contain flame retardants. Install good fire detectors, minimize all fire hazards, and do not expose your babies to these chemicals.
4. Crib mattresses. Please, please, please consider a wool crib mattress. There are flame retardants in other mattresses, which I just discussed above but also other factors to consider. Here is a great post that I read when weighing the cost/ possible benefits of purchasing a wool mattress. I am the worrying/ guilt laden type and I knew that if something were to happen to my child and there was something that MAY have prevented it from happening I would have carried the guilt around with me for the rest of my life. To me the extra cost was worth it.
5. Soy. This is a debate that I am not going to get into, however it poses a question to consider. I would prefer to be aware of a possible issue than to be oblivious which is why I am listing it here. Personally when I found out about the soy debate I switched to organic milk for my boys. As stated above, it just wasn’t worth the guilt later on. I think like everything else it is probably fine in moderation; however toddlers drink a LOT of milk so I chose to stay away from it.
6. Cosmeticdatabase.org LOVE LOVE LOVE this site. 4 years ago I looked up Johnson and Johnson tear free baby wash. 4 years ago I switched to a safer alternative. A few months ago it was FINALLY pulled off store shelves due to toxicity. I was thankful I was proactive and did my own research before washing my child with it. I search EVERY thing on this site before I purchase it. Every shampoo, soap, lotion, and cosmetic we own is rated less than a 3.
7. Get a female pediatrician. As a first time mom I went to the doctor every time my son sneezed wrong. My first two peds were males. The first one told me to give my infant cough syrup and aspirin. The pharmacist almost died when I asked him if they were okay for a baby to take. Needless to say it was on to ped #2. Pediatrician #2 actually told me he hoped he didn’t see me again until my next well baby check (after I went in worried about a deep cough). On to Ped #3. A female who understands what it is like to be a mom. She knows not to give a baby aspirin because she HAS a baby. She doesn’t mind when I page her in the middle of the night if my infant has a 104 degree fever. A good doctor is a must.
8. Stock up on EVERYTHING before your little one arrives. It is not fun to have to run to the store for a pack of diapers every 3 days. With my second son I had enough diapers to last 3 MONTHS when he was born.
9. A Baby Bjorn and an exercise ball were my saving graces for the first 6 months. When rocking and pacing resulted in louder wails, holding them and gently bouncing up and down while sitting on an exercise ball never failed to calm them down.
10. Dr. Sears’ vaccine book. So many people are questioning vaccines these days. This book goes into pretty good detail about what the side effects of each vaccine are, and the purposes of the vaccine. It is a great way to be informed about what you are having injected into your child.
If you have anything to add, please do so in the comment section. Hoping for happy, healthy futures for our little ones!