It’s normal for you as an expectant mother to be all excited about having a baby, especially when it is your first pregnancy. You will try as much as possible to buy a lot of things just to celebrate the arrival of your newborn. There are a lot of things you will want to get for your baby, from clothes to shoes, to baby bags, and even some baby products. Some baby products are so beautiful to the eyes that we don’t know how dangerous some of them can be to the health of the baby. Baby products are marketed to make you think you need them, but the fact is they are full of toxic ingredients that do more harm than good.
There is a multi-million-dollar industry out there promising to keep your baby’s skin as perfect as it was when he or she was first born. The unsurprising irony is that none of that is necessary. Your baby’s skin is far better off with minimal intervention. The fewer soaps, shampoos, and lotions that you apply to your little one’s incredible new skin, the healthier and more perfect it will be.
Mainstream baby products contain numerous toxic ingredients that will enter your baby’s body if used. The best option is to stick with natural, nourishing, and edible ingredients such as straight oils (olive, sweet almond, coconut) and fragrance-free bar soap; although omitting soap and rinsing just with water is usually fine. Your baby may not have that stereotypical baby-powder smell, but he or she will be healthier in the long run, and that’s all that matters.
Below are some chemicals and toxins to avoid when you are going haywire over getting some baby products:
This powdered mineral is added to baby powder (and many other cosmetic powders). It’s used as a drying agent, but it’s a known lung irritant and may also be carcinogenic.
Fragrance is added to countless products, either to create a particular fragrance or to mask the odour of the nasty chemicals used in production. The effects of fragrance are long lasting, lingering on the skin for hours, and can cause respiratory, neurological, skin, and eye damage. There is evidence that exposure to fragrance as a child may lead to asthma. Fragrance is added to disposable diapers (you know that strong baby powder-ish smell when you open a new package?), baby powder, baby wash and shampoo, lotions, and many other baby products. Check the labels carefully before you buy.
- Proplyene glycol
This chemical is a penetration enhancer that is easily absorbed by the skin and may be carcinogenic. Its job is basically to open up all the pores and let the other chemicals in. Propylene glycol is used in wiper fluid and to de-ice airplanes, and yet, it is often found in baby wipes, which is not safe. Read the labels of baby wipes when buying, avoid the ones containing this dangerous chemical.
- Mineral oil
Baby oil is essentially made of mineral oil mixed with fragrance, which is a nasty combination. Mineral oil is a cheap byproduct of petroleum processing and acts as a plastic wrap on the skin, inhibiting the skin’s ability to release toxins. Opt instead for natural and nourishing oils such as olive, coconut, or sweet almond to massage into your baby’s skin.
Unfortunately, parabens are everywhere. They can be found in all soaps, body washes, shampoos, and moisturizers, including those marketed toward babies. Parabens are neurotoxins and are linked to reproductive toxicity, hormone disruption, and skin irritation. Stay away from anything with ‘paraben’ in its name, as well as benzoic acid and propyl ester.
Anything that’s labeled as ‘antibacterial’ likely contains triclosan, which is a carcinogenic endocrine disruptor that’s also harmful to the environment. Although it makes sense to want to keep your baby away from unnecessary bacteria, that’s the wrong approach to take. By raising our babies in sterile environments, we inhibit their ability to create natural resistance and immunity, increase the likelihood of allergies, and render antibacterial treatments less effective when we truly need them to work. Stay away from all antibacterial soaps and body washes.
Follow these simple instructions and avoid all these chemicals and toxins that have been mentioned above, so that your baby can stay healthy and away from the hospital.