If you have a little bundle of joy coming into your house, you’re probably concerned by now. Here are my Top 7 tips to avoid exposing your baby to chemicals.
By Jennifer Taylor of Mom Tricks
Like many people, I’m concerned about our exposure to chemicals in daily life. These days, you really have to check every label and research every ingredient to make sure you’re making a safe choice.
And this becomes even more important when it comes to protecting our little ones!
When I was researching products for my son, I was surprised (and shocked) at what I found.
If you have a little bundle of joy coming into your house, you’re probably rightfully concerned by now. And if so, here are my Top 7 tips to avoid exposing your baby to harmful chemicals.
1. Get an Organic Crib Mattress.
What could possibly be toxic in a mattress?
I was surprised (and disgusted) to find out that most crib mattresses are full of chemicals!
The reason is that all mattresses sold in the USA have to pass safety standards, and the easiest and cheapest way to meet these requirements is by spraying them with fire-retardant chemicals.
So that’s what they do.
Thankfully, there are manufacturers that don’t use these chemicals and meet the fire safety requirements by using higher quality, organic materials that naturally withstand combustion without needing to douse them full of nasty and toxic chemicals.
2. Make Your Own Baby Food.
I’m a huge fan of making my own baby food, and you should be, too!
The fact that we don’t know exactly what goes into store bought baby foods is enough to make me want to make my own.
If you look around, you’ll read facts like how a 2012 study found that 92% of pears used in baby food contained pesticide residue. And there’s another 2012 study in Europe found that many baby foods contain toxic metals and arsenic!
Making your own baby food is simple, and anyone can do it!
You can easily do it by hand, or get a baby food maker which makes it even easier. What’s even better is that you could grow your own organic fruits and veggies, and then you’ll know exactly what’s going into your little one’s food.
3. Make the Home a Clean Environment.
This probably goes without saying, but the home should be where it all starts.
Don’t use chemical air fresheners or cleaning products that are full of toxic chemicals. Avoid fabric softeners when cleaning baby’s clothes, as well as the use of disinfectants. All of these things have chemicals that are linked to human health issues.
Of course, having a smoke-free environment is crucial too.
There are lots of natural, chemical-free alternatives available, so if you’re used to using regular cleaners, you’ll have an easy time making the switch.
4. Make Your Own Baby Wipes.
Baby wipes are really, really useful! They make it easy to clean up faces and tushies, and I always have them on hand. But most of them have awful chemicals that I wouldn’t want anywhere near me, let alone near my precious little one!
There was a big news story recently about how kids were breaking out with allergic reactions due to the use of wipes. Some of the kids were even misdiagnosed as having a skin condition, and prescribed medications!
I have a guide on choosing good, safe baby wipes, or you could check out Wellness Mama, where she has a great guide to making your own homemade wipes out of paper towel using water and all-natural ingredients like aloe and witch hazel.
She even has instructions on how to make them reusable with old receiving blankets or t-shirts!
5. Use Alternatives to Baby Oil.
Mineral oil is often sold as “baby oil,” which is a combination of mineral oil and fragrance, two things you would do best to avoid.
Mineral oil is a nasty chemical that’s a byproduct of the manufacturing of petroleum. Since the molecules of mineral oil are too large to be absorbed into the skin, it acts as a “wrap” on the skin, clogging the pores and preventing it from releasing toxins.
Even worse: if it’s ingested, it absorbs vitamins and nutrients, robbing them of these crucial elements they need.
Safe, natural alternatives include coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter. They’re awesome, natural and nourishing!
6. Cloth Diaper Instead of Using Disposables.
Every baby wears diapers, so they must be perfectly fine, right?
Nope, think again! According to The Real Diaper Association, disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, which is a carcinogenic chemical that’s banned in most countries.
But it’s still perfectly legal in the USA, and they also contain other harmful chemicals, such as Tributyl-tin and sodium polyacrylate.
I know what you’re thinking: it’s not easy to cloth diaper. But that couldn’t be further from the truth!
Another huge benefit of using cloth diapers is that they’re way cheaper! It’s a win-win.
Learn all about the many benefits (and varieties) of cloth diapers in Erin’s eBook, Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert.
7. Choose Natural Bug Repellents Without DEET.
It’s very important to avoid mosquitoes and ticks, which can transmit many deadly diseases.
But it’s equally important to avoid typical bug sprays with DEET, which is an effective but unfortunately very toxic chemical that has been linked with neurological damage and seizures.
Although DEET is found in the majority of repellents, you can still get very effective ones that use natural ingredients and essential oils. On my blog, I have a guide that features 5 effective and natural bug sprays for babies!
Do you have any more suggestions on ways to avoid exposing your baby to chemicals?
Jennifer Taylor is a coffee-addict, part-time blogger and full-time mama of two wonderful kids. You can find her blog at MomTricks or follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!
We have always made our own baby food–better for them and just plain cheaper! I didn’t know about the chemicals in mattresses, though. Thanks for informing us!
Making your own baby food and wipes is certainly a great thing to do. It is cheaper also.
Thanks for this post! I have been making my own wipes. I found a recipe online but didn’t know that mineral oil was so bad. I will definitely be trying this other recipe from Wellness Mama. Thanks for the info!
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
These are great tips! (Tips *I* won’t be needing 😀 but I’m happy to pass them along.)
Great tips! In addition, my wife usually gives herbal medicine at first if one of my children has health problem. We try to far away from conventional medicine. We think that medicine could feed certain contaminant to the children
Normally I love your posts and look forward to reading them but this one is just one big advertisement for momtricks.
I mean, seriously, one sentence summarizing the heading and then a link to that website under each post? And the articles linked to are designed to sell you products and it’s very obvious the owner of momtricks is more interested in pushing sales rather than providing accurate (or even factual) information.
If this the direction your articles continue to go you will definitely lose me as a reader.
Please return to your usual quality content.
Michelle Jane Heller
I actually agree with @Jenna above. This article is simply awful, even by guest post standards. I hope you at least charged them money for this pseudo-article because this is nothing more than a big advertisement.
One thing I always do as well…read ingredient labels! Just because something says its natural and organic or safe does not mean it is at all!!!
[…]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[…]
Have you heard that saying that a worried parent does better research than the FBI? Unfortunately, parents almost have to be professional sleuths to figure out what’s safe to use for their children. Scant regulation of chemicals, confusing labeling, and rampant “greenwashing” can make the simple act of going shopping for a family feel like you’re navigating a minefield.