Having a baby can be the biggest change to your life. You immediately have to start caring for another person, one who can't walk or talk but has a near-constant set of demands.
Babies also require a lot of extra equipment and products. Between feeding them, keeping them clean and stimulating their minds, babies can use up a lot of resources. When you're stressed and trying to save money, the temptation could be to go on auto-pilot and grab whatever product is the easiest to find on the shelf or is on sale.
The problem is that since babies' needs are so copious and necessitate immediate attention, they can generate a lot of waste. Also, babies are much more susceptible to contaminants and toxins than older children or adults.
For both of these reasons, taking the time to educate yourself and consider alternatives to common commercial baby products can ensure a long, healthy life for your baby, as well as a vibrant world they'd actually want to grow up in.
Babies and the Environment
Studies have shown that for every child born, an average of 9,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide will be added to the atmosphere. The waste generated by babies has been shown to have a significant impact on landfills, adding 2%-4% of the total landfill's mass from diapers alone.
On top of that, all the toxic chemicals that get washed down the pipes or accumulates in the trash can significantly increase their concentrations in the environment.
Healthy Products Equals a Healthy Baby
Another reason to invest in higher-quality or all-natural products is that the harmful chemicals that appear in most baby products aren't present. Since babies have more fatty tissue and a lower mass, these chemicals can build up in higher concentrations and cause issues such as hormone disruption.
FDA regulations permit a host of worrisome substances in the manufacture of baby products, including but not limited to:
To avoid negative consequences for your baby's development as well as the environment, consider alternatives to commonly-used products.
Baby Bath/Body Shampoo
These clean your baby without introducing known carcinogens such as those left from petroleum products, and can reduce the likelihood of health or developmental issues. They also break down quicker in water treatment facilities and create less chemical runoff that could contaminate oceans and streams.
Ironically, many of the substances in petroleum-based diaper cream could actually be worsening the problems they're trying to alleviate. Conditions like rash and eczema can be exacerbated from contact with certain compounds, especially if your baby has sensitive skin or allergies.
These natural alternatives also leave behind less chemical build-up and residue, you will want to keep this in mind when shopping for the right product for your baby.
Most commercial baby wipes are made of non-biodegradable materials that can clog up water treatment facilities and cause overflow into reservoirs and creeks. The synthetic fragrances and moisturizers also have chemicals that can build up in your baby's fatty tissue and potentially lead to hormonal problems.
All-natural baby wipes can be made of materials like bamboo that break down easier and contain less treating chemicals to manufacture. They are also free from most harmful manufacturing compounds.
Make sure to thoroughly research and compare products before using them. Consider a natural alternative and consult a health professional if you have any serious questions about what would be best for your growing baby.
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