5 Good Reasons to Use a Sling

An excerpt from The Green Parent

1. Healthier babies. Promotes breastfeeding. Aids digestion. Improves circulation. Reduces levels of stress hormones. Stimulates vestibular system and brain development.

2. Happier babies. Studies show that babies who are carried cry less. Even when they’re not in the sling. Prolonged crying is not good for baby or you.

3. Better communication. Helps you bond with baby: you become more aware of pre-verbal cues and respond appropriately, without any need for crying. From the vantage point of a sling, baby also observes more adult conversation and interaction – real, live education for teeny babies.

4. Fit mummy. It’s good, weight-bearing exercise for you, and a delightful way to lose your baby fat. For good measure, I find that energetic dancing to a lively tune provides boundless joy for both baby and mummy.

5. A good start. Lost of physical contact in a sling promotes secure “attachment”. The implication of being secure is that as baby gets older he is confident to initiate his own separation from you, and is less likely to become an anxious, clingy child.

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Recall Mania, What can you do to protect your children?

Cookie Magazine printed a wonderful article on toxins and recall mania with steps a parent can take keep their child as safe as possible.

In the wake of recall after recall of lead-tainted toys, plus revelations about harmful plastics in baby bottles, one self-proclaimed dorky organic mom suddenly finds herself the go-to source for nontoxic living.
By Alexandra Zissu

Some of the suggestions to help parents attain a nontoxic lifestyle are:

Shop Smarter: When it comes to food, buy organic to reduce pesticide and other chemical intake. Join a local farm to save money, buy at farmers’ markets and in bulk, and avoid processed, packaged food.

Safer Waters: For cleaner water, carbon filters (like those made by Brita and Pur) are sufficient for most taps, but don’t take my word for it. You can buy send-away tests at hardware stores or call a lab to have someone come to your house (go to epa.gov/safewater for a full list). Instead of using (and reusing) plastic bottles, which can leach out phthalates and BPA, buy nonleaching metal versions—including sippy cups—made by Kleen Kanteen or Sigg

Read the full article: Toxic Shock

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Polycarbonate: The Plastic that Keeps on Giving…BPA

Janelle Sorensen

for Healthy Child Healthy World

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Last year major recreational retailers pulled polycarbonate water bottles off the shelves over concern that BPA could leach into the drinking water. Later in the year, the Environmental Working Group examined baby formula from cans and found that the epoxy lining was leaching BPA into the formula. The latest news is that polycarbonate baby bottles leach BPA into warm milk and formula.

Last year major recreational retailers pulled polycarbonate water bottles off the shelves over concern that BPA could leach into the drinking water. Later in the year, the Environmental Working Group examined baby formula from cans and found that the epoxy lining was leaching BPA into the formula. The latest news is that polycarbonate baby bottles leach BPA into warm milk and formula.

While manufacturers argue that the exposures are too small to have any health impacts (their same old song and dance), studies are piling up linking BPA to breast cancer, testicular cancer, diabetes, hyperactivity, obesity, low sperm counts, miscarriage and a host of other reproductive failures in laboratory animals. It is also linked with immune system alterations, early puberty, developmental problems, insulin resistance, increased risk of type II diabetes, and hypertension. ,

It’s a shameful laundry list dirtied even further by a recent study showing that infants face the largest risk because their bodies do not yet produce the enzyme necessary to clear BPA from their system. “We can’t say there are conclusive data in humans," says Frederick vom Saal of the University of Missouri, who headed the study. "But given the fact that we’re seeing irreparable damage in animals, for heaven’s sake, let’s get this out of products our babies are coming in contact with." http://www.newsweek.com/id/105588

Enough is enough. It’s incorrigible that a chemical with such negative health implications is being used in products manufactured specifically for the population they could harm most, babies. Especially when they are absolutely unnecessary to human life. Safer bottles are available. Safer toys are available. Safer sippy cups are available. Safer dental sealants are available. Safer water bottles are available. Safer baby spoons are available. Safer formula cans are available.

We don’t need it. We don’t want it. And while we wait for industry and government to understand that, we don’t have to buy it.

BPA rules to remember:
• Steer clear of plastics with the number 7 in the chasing arrows recycling symbol. If it’s not labeled, call the manufacturer.
• If you use formula, opt for powdered.

For more info:
The Soft Landing – BPA, phthalate and PVC free feeding gear for babies and children

Dr. Galvez on Plastics and Childhood Exposure
Baby Formula Cans Lined with Dangerous BPA
Toxic Baby Bottles

BPA Video Clip from ABC News
Baby’s Toxic Bottle (The Work Group for Safe Markets)
Bisphenol-A Free
Guide to Baby-Safe Bottles and Formula

Back to Articles »

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The Battle Over the Ban: Getting Gender Bending Chemicals Out of Children’s Products

Janelle Sorensen

for Healthy Child Healthy World

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The headlines about toxic toys are increasing and so are policy initiatives to protect our children. States across the US are reviewing bills and you can help support them with the click of a button. It really couldn’t be any easier.

What Everyone Can Do!


Tell Your Formula Company to Remove BPA

Sign the Petition for Toxic-Free Baby Bottles

Tell the Consumer Product Safety Commission to Protect Kids from Toxic Toys

 

What you can do in your state:

Connecticut     –       Urge Governor Rell to Support Safer Alternatives to Toxic Chemicals

Maine                 –        Support Kid Safe Products

Maryland          –         Urge Lawmakers to Ban Toxic Toys


Michigan           –        Protect Children from Toxic Chemicals

New York         –        Safe Children’s Products Campaign (email at bottom of page)


Washington     –           Support the Children’s Safe Product Act


For our Canadian readers:


Urge Canada to Ban Bisphenol-A
And these are just the ones with on-line actions to take. If you have a little more time and initiative, many other states are promoting similar policies. Ask around and find out how you can get involved.

Massachusetts   –        Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow – Safer Alternatives Bill


Minnesota            –         Healthy Legacy – Healthy Children’s Products Bill

Hawaii                   –          Protect Children from Toxic Products Bill

We’ve heard Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Colorado have plans in the making, as well, and I’m sure we’ve missed others. Try Googling your state’s name along with the phrase “toxic children’s products bill” or something similar to find out what’s going on near you if we haven’t covered it.

View all Healthy Child Healthy World Articles

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Everyday Toxins that are Potentially Harmful to your Baby and You

We have witnessed quite a few recalls of late due to lead in paint on toys made in China. What most people don’t realize is how many household items as well as normal everyday items that we put on or give to our child or place them in can also be very toxic, especially to newborns and young children. In one of my favorite books, “Natural Baby and Childcare” by Dr. Lauren Feder, M.D. Dr. Feder has grouped the most dangerous toxins to children in 4 families. I have listed them below:

      Brominated flame retardant chemicals are used to make items such as pajamas, furniture and mattresses less flammable. One of these chemicals known as Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs), has been linked with the onset of learning disabilities and can cause thyroid damage and cancer. While PBDEs have also surfaced in farm-raised salmon, they are primarily found in polyester fabrics, plastics, and foam, including carpets, furniture, mattress and bedding, computers, and so on. PBDEs, although banned in Europe, are still being used in North America. PBDEs have also been recorded in breast milk.
      Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in (plastic) baby bottles and plastic food containers, and may be absorbed into the milk. It has estrogen-like effects in the body which can disturb the hormonal system, potentially raising the incidence of breast cancer. In addition to baby bottles, BPA is a component in the lining of canned foods.
      Phthalates can be found in soft squeezy plastic toys, pacifiers, and teething rings. Children often put these items in their mouths, and this chemical is known to accumulate in the body. Phthalates are linked to abnormalities in the genitals of baby boys and are banned in Europe.
      Organotin compounds are found in hard plastic toys. They are known to cause hormone changes according to tests on animals.

    Dr. Feder also lists some additional tips to minimize a baby’s contact with these potentially harmful chemicals

    • Avoid synthetic fabrics and plastic toys
    • Choose natural brands of cleaning products or make them yourself
    • Steer clear of all fumes: glue, new carpeting and furniture, gasoline, finishes and dry cleaners can all pose inhalation risks
    • Drink filtered water to reduce intake of chlorine and fluoride.
    • Avoid antiperspirants (which prevent release of the toxins through the skin) and only use natural deodorants, if any.
    • Use stainless steel, ceramic-coated or iron cookware, and avoid aluminum, as it has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Also, avoid Teflon-coated pans. Teflon contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which have been linked to ozone damage; trifluoroacetate (TFA), which is toxic to plants; and polyfluorocarboxylic acids (PFOs), which can accumulate in humans and animals where they are know to affect the thyroid gland.

    You can read more about Dr. Lauren Feder or buy her book on her web site at www.drfeder.com

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Breastfeeding – Best Bet for Babies

Great link on why breastfeeding is good for babies:
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/895_brstfeed.html

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The 5 Hidden Dangers in Toothpaste

Check out this link, important for all moms to read:
http://www.downwithbasics.com/toothpastedanger.html

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101 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Child

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Over the Counter Cold and Cough Medicines, Are there Alternatives?

A group of pediatricians are petitioning the FDA to look into the safety of over the counter cold and cough medicines given to children, especially under the age of 6 years. The petitioners argue that these products have never been proven to benefit children so young.

Dr. Charles Ganley, top FDA administration official said the agency was revisiting the risks and benefits of the use of these drugs in children. In a CBS news article it states, Ganley also acknowledged to reporters that the petition, perhaps unwittingly, asks a much broader question about the efficacy of the drugs when used in children not just to age 6, but up to 12. That’s because the efficacy of the drugs in children across the 2-to-12 age group generally has been established by extrapolating data from testing in adults.The article goes on to state that according to the CDC The FDA has never approved dosing recommendations for the 0-2 age group for the drugs. Nor is it known just how much of their various ingredients it would take to injure or kill children that young

Adding to this, the American College of Chest Physicians last year (2006) recommended avoiding using cough and cold medicines in children, especially young ones. In the Associated Press article they reported in above-normal doses… (which many parents commonly do accidentally), …cold medicines can lead to heart arrhythmias, and some have been linked to hypertension and stroke when taken in high doses. In rare cases, children have had medical problems after taking recommended doses.

In the world we live in today there seems to be a drug for everything. As a parent you want to find the thing that will quickly make your baby better or seem better. I know I reached for every fever reducer, and cold and cough medicine I could find when my first child was born. Now as a mom of 3 children, with more flu and cold experience, I have stepped back a bit and think more about what Im putting into my childrens bodies. Dont get me wrong I am certainly not paranoid about drugs and medical treatments I believe there is a time and a place for everything. I am simply opening my mind to the alternatives and taking a walk down the holistic path.

Most newborn babies are innocent and pure, not tainted by our worlds toxins and chemicals. Their bodies are learning how to react to the world around them, internally and externally. Each time a baby is sick their immune system kicks into action and builds antibodies to fight off the infection. Have you ever heard that saying Fever is your best friend. Dr Lauren Feder, nationally recognized physician specializing in homeopathic medicine states in her book Natural Baby and Childcare The fever and its accompanying symptoms, whle annoying are vital in helping to strengthen the immune system and ward off future infection”. Ask your doctor how high you can let your childs fever go before administering fever reduction medicine – its much higher than you think and according to many doctors if you can hold out it will help your child fight off the infection faster and his immune system will grow stronger. Over the counter medicines have never claimed to be a cure they just take away the discomfort. Dr. Michael Marcus, director of pediatric pulmonology, allergy and immunology at Maimonides Infants and Children’s Hospital in New York, said, “The best thing (parents) can do is support with fluids and lots of kisses and time, because lots of infections are viral and will pass in a few days. The medications have a greater potential for harm than the infections you are trying to treat.”

What about the natural way? As I said, I have been steering down the holistic path since my oldest son seemed to go from one virus to the next and had bad eczema. For me, homeopathic and natural remedies really have worked. I have seen a noticeable difference in his immune response since I stopped reaching for traditional over the counter medicine at every bout of a cold. I have learned there are homeopathic remedies for most common ailments for babies and children. Boiron, Hylands and Child Life are the most common brands of childrens remedies. If you arent familiar with homeopathic remedies check out your local Whole Foods store, or look in your area for homeopathic or naturopath doctors. You can also visit Dr. Lauren Feders website for a lot of useful information.

The goal for me is how can I help my children be healthier, stronger and boost their immune response. As parents, we do have choices to make for our childrens health and its important to do some research and make informed decisions. I feel better about the choices Ive made in the past year and after the recent cold and cough medicine reports it makes me think I moving in the right direction.

References:
Children’s Cough Medicines Could Be Fatal for Youngsters, Christine Moers March 2, 2007
Over-the-Counter Cold and Cough Medicines Can Kill Babies, CDC Says, Associated Press January 12, 2007
Natural Baby and Childcare: Practical Medical Advice and Holistic Wisdom for Raising Healthy Children from Birth to Adolescence. Dr. Lauren Feder

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Antibiotics aren’t always the answer

The Center for Disease Control has a informative brochure to help you know when antibiotics work and when they won’t.

Read Brochure

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