Thursday, September 19, 2013

Non Toxic Baby! Steps I've taken to create a safe environment

Since my last post I have had my first child!  That has brought a whole new lot of challenges in my goal of avoiding chemicals/plastics etc.  There is a lot already around the internet on this so I won't reinvent the wheel but these are some of the things we have done with our new baby:

Changing Station:  It took us a while to figure out what worked best for us but in the end we set up in the second bathroom on the counter.  We put a towel there and lay the baby on the counter and change him there. It's great as we can use fabric cloths or flannels and clean up all the messes with water and have eliminated the need mostly for wipes.  I love this setup.  However now our baby is nearly four months he is starting to get too big for this arrangement and he's wanting to roll over. I'll let you know what we come up with next as our solution to this once we have it!

While I'm talking about this I want to recommend some AMAZING organic cloth wipes from this company. I actually bought them from Earthfare for a lot cheaper than they sell them on their website. At Earthfare they are $12.99 at the moment but usually out of stock.  Popular I guess! They are super soft!!

Diapers/Nappies:  Well I had every good intention of cloth diapering from the start, however the reality of sleepless nights, meconium and constant dirty nappies forced me to put that on hold.  I tried him in cloth nappies a few weeks in and they looked so ridiculous on his tiny little body that I have held off so far.  What have I been using? I've actually been using Honest diapers and find them really good. Zulily often has them for a really good price and you can buy them on their website without doing the monthly thing.  I love the patterns on them also

I tried GDiapers but found that the velcro on the sides cut into my baby's tummy and left huge red welts so have discontinued using them. Also with GDiapers, I think it's a bit of a gimmick as in theory you just change the insert and put another in but my baby's explosions meant I had to clean the shell every time too meaning I may as well just use a disposable then I dont have to wash as well.

My mother-in-law bought some chlorine free, non toxic diapers from BJ's called 'Generation Earth'.  I tried them and found though they feel very thin, they hold a lot and are actually really good! The price on them is excellent - unbeatable really!

In all this, however, I will be going back to cloth diaper in the day times at home as they are the safest thing to use and also help with elimination communication - which I hope to do also.  Now we're not getting as many dirty nappies and things have settled down more I feel the timing is about right to go back to them.

I will continue to use nontoxic/chlorine free disposables for when we go out.  Also I use the Honest Wipes and keep a pack in the diaper bag - they are great and nothing harmful in them at all.

Car Seat:  I researched and researched this one - spending literally hours!  In the end though, there is no car seat 100% chemical free for children to date.  A brand called Orbit does have oeko tex certification on their fabrics but still have the flame retardants doused in their foam as every car seat has.  In the end I went with a Diono Radian RXT as it's a very strong safe baby carseat. It's convertible so can be used all the way through. Much of it is a steel frame design so minimal plastic.  I found a lady who makes new covers for it, I got organic fabric and organic batting and she made it up for $50!  She is based in Ozark, Missouri and at the time we lived in Branson so I just met up with her and saved on shipping fees which helped too! I recommend her! She did a great job.

To be honest, our newborn was so tiny in this big seat.  Our midwife saw it and went out and bought us a Graco infant seat.  I thought I didn't need one of them but now I wonder how we could have survived without it. It's so convenient to be able to put the baby in the seat while in the house then just click the whole thing into the car. It's convenient for shopping and restaurants, so yes, I am thankful for her purchasing that for us.  I did take out all the padding and made my own organic padding etc for it with the same fabric and batting used for the Radian. It's a basic job as I'm no seamstress but it has done the job.

Bassinet:  I was fortunate to find a baby bassinet for $50 handmade and just raw wood with no varnish or anything on it.  The craftsman selling it was embarrassed that it wasn't finished with paint but for me it was just what I was looking for!  I wasn't going to get a bassinet but with living in a tiny apartment and finding this, we got it.  I bought a Naturepedic bassinet mattress for it and then, to be safe, according to the research on Dr J Sprott on SIDS being linked to molds etc in mattresses I got a babesafe mattress cover.  Then as per instructions from Sprott I put an organic towel down and then an organic sheet over top and that was what our little one slept on.  I actually discovered King size organic pillowcases fit over that bassinet mattress so used them which saved me buying sheets for a bassinet which had a limited timeframe for use.

After about two and a half months our baby was too big for this bassinet anyway and was banging his arms constantly on the sides and getting his legs stuck through the bars etc.  Since we were in the process of moving interstate we decided to find a pack n play style travel cot to use in the meantime.  So back to the drawing board with research and boy, once again, I was researching for hours to try to get to the bottom of things.  Once again I came to the conclusion that there just aren't any completely safe travel cots, so I had to go with the best for us for this time.  I heard good things about the Baby Bjorn light however I dont like the shape of it and I dont like that it means your baby sleeps on the floor with dust and who knows what - especially when in hotels and travelling etc.  I'd prefer one with legs that had the baby off the floor.  I ended up going with the Nuna Sena travel cot and love it. I love the styling of it and the bassinet layer has been perfect. I've only just recently removed it as it's only for use till your child hits 15lbs.  It is really easy and quick to put up and take down too.  Nuna Sena isn't perfect in terms of toxicity. Their fabrics that touch the baby are all oeko tex certified though.  I aired the mattress out in the sun for a while before putting our baby on it.  Ideally I would like to get a babesafe cover for that too - although it is so thin it hardly feels like a mattress.

We are travelling again to visit my family in Australia soon so have put off getting his crib and will just use the travel cot for now until we settle down into our own place again next year.

Clothing/Miscellaneous:  In terms of clothing I was able to get quite a bit of well priced organic clothes from zulily and other such deal websites.  Though organic is my preference I have been given non organic items and purchased non organic items and always just wash them first in my soap nuts!

I absolutely love Aden and Anais' muslin swaddles and use them daily. (Prince George was wrapped in an A&A swaddle when he left the hospital) I tried Bambinoland - which are organic and they just aren't the same quality as the Aden and Anais and I found they looked worn after the first wash.  I also have some 'Luna Lullaby' swaddles and they are a lot finer which I use when it's hotter as the A&A ones are thicker.  Also I have some 'Basic Grey' which are really nice and holding up well too. All of these swaddles I have purchased through Babysteals as they have come up as a daily deal.

Bathtime: I have an organic hooded towel from Under The Nile which has been fantastic and also an organic one from Giggle.  Love the hooded towels to really wrap him up in.  We've been using 'California Baby' lavendar baby wash and also 'Mambino' baby wash and love both of them - both are 100% non toxic and safe!  The Mambino one is actually a foaming one and has a really yummy orange smell.  I always put a shake of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) into the bath before putting baby in to neutralise the chlorine (see previous post here) I use Aden and Anais baby cloths to wash his face etc.

We just bath him in the big bath and have done since his first bath.  He loves it and that's where we got his first smile!  I didn't want any of the plastic baths etc and this works out really well anyway.

So there's some of the things we've been doing so far!  It's a constant challenge though, for example our pediatrician recommended Vitamin D for him and the one she gave us was the Enfamil brand full of all sorts of stuff including sugars, caramel coloring etc.  I threw it out and ordered some Carlsons Infant Vitamin D drops as they only have Vit D3 and Coconut Oil in them.

So much more I could say but will stop for now. Any questions? Please ask and would love to hear your comments tho, so feel free!

Enjoy your week!