Getting ready to welcome a new baby into the world? Still in the planning stages, perhaps coping with infertility? Here are few eco-conscious ideas for creating a baby friendly home.
While the source often remains a mystery and you should of course seek the advice of a medical professional, there are several suspect environmental sources linked to infertility. These include flame retardant chemicals in most household furniture and foam-filled baby gear, bisphenol A on cash register receipts and in most food can linings, and many more hormone disrupting chemicals in our everyday environment.
If you must choose new furniture, you can seek out items that meet a new flammability standard without the toxic chemicals, but you must ask the manufacturer for the product.
To avoid BPA in food packaging, choose fresh or frozen foods whenever possible.
As for the multitude of other chemicals in the environment, avoiding synthetic chemicals around the house and garden whenever possible is one step toward protecting yourself. If you live anywhere near fracking for gas or oil, you may want to check the safety of your drinking water source, as fracking chemicals are being identified as hormone disruptors.
Home, Sweet Non-toxic Home?
Less is usually more when it comes to preparing your home for a new baby. Prospective parenthood often puts the need for a non-toxic home into perspective.
You could start by eliminating or severely limiting the use of any toxic pesticides around your home and lawn or garden.
You may want to resist the urge to add a fresh coat of paint or new carpeting, as those can create volatile organic compounds that are unhealthy for you or the baby to inhale. If you must have a renovation project, be sure that mother and baby stay clear of it for the first few days, and choose the lowest VOC paint you possible can. Keep in mind that darker pigments tend to add more VOCs to the paint, even if you are told it’s zero VOC to begin with.
Keeping a house clean for Baby does not need to mean harsh chemical cleaners that can be inhalation hazards. You’ll find many greener alternatives to yesterday’s bleach or ammonia products. Even vinegar and baking soda or washing with plain castile soap can go a long way toward cleaning household surfaces. Vacuuming thoroughly on a regular basis can reduce household dust that scientists have shown contains flame retardant chemicals.
Keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends your baby sleep in a crib with no loose bedding or extra pillows, as a safety precaution. You could save enough by simplifying to perhaps buy a new generation of crib mattress made without toxic flame retardant chemicals.
Simplest First Foods
Breastmilk has always been best for babies, and it can be the most economical way to feed Baby, as well.
If you must use infant formula, you may want to seek out an organic or non-GMO formula.
Once baby does start eating first foods at around six months, you may save money over packaged baby foods when you prepare your own tiny amounts of fresh, organic veggies, fruits and grains.
Less Gear is More Fun
You can save yourself money and hassle by taking stock of what you really need and whether you can find it secondhand. Sturdy toys, high chairs and even clothes are often available via consignment sales, friends and online swapping sites. Unless an item’s age means it might not meet newer safety standards, it could be just what you need.
What other ways are you making pregnancy and parenthood as eco-conscious as possible?
This blog is not intended to give any medical or other professional advice, but is for informational purposes only. Seek the advice of a medical professional.