Thursday, July 22, 2010

Choosing safe baby toiletries

This article, although very informative, doesn’t really tell me anything I wasn’t already aware of, but it has successfully restarted my paranoia engine. The fact that many of the products that we come into contact with on a day to day basis contain known carcinogens, hormone disruptors and even lead is scary enough as an adult making choices just for yourself, but when you add responsibility for the health and future of a baby to the ix, suddenly looking for more natural products shifts from an interesting pass-time to what feels like an urgent imperative.

When I was expecting Oliver, my husband and I talked a fair bit about the products we’d use to care for his little body. Organic foods were a given, once we get there, because we’ve already made that switch in our house, but we also agreed to use the most basic items we could. Cloth diapers with homemade diaper wipes (plain water works just fine on breastmilk poop), olive oil to moisturize, cornstarch if powdering was necessary, and as little of the mildest soap as we could find – after all, babies hardly get dirty.

When we brought Ollie home from the hospital we were super conscious of everything we put on his delicate skin. His tiny body wasn’t exposed to anything except tap water until he was at least a month and a half old. But as he got bigger and the need for things like diaper ointment, moisturizer and shampoo became apparent, we faced a bit of a dilemma. Many of our friends and family gave us gifts in anticipation of Oliver’s arrival, and many of those gifts were the so-called baby basics. Their generosity was incredible, and we were set up with practically a lifetime supply of Johnson’s, Aveeno and similar products. All great and traditional for babies, and all containing the chemicals (like sodium laurel sulfate) mentioned in Annie Leonard’s article.

To simply throw out all of these products would be completely irresponsible, obviously, and seems pretty ungrateful. Returning them to the store is a labor-intense challenge (lazy, I know). Donating them is completely out of the question, as there is nothing that rubs me the wrong way more than middle-income yuppies making choices that basically say “This isn’t good enough for my child, but it’ll do for a poor one”.  So somewhere around the two month mark, we gave in and started using Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, and all of the other typical products. After all, everyone we know was raised on this stuff, and we’ve all turned out fine, right?

In the meantime I’ve been investigating natural cleaning solutions, reconsidering vegetarianism and sadly, learning about a member of my family’s decisions to cut out unhealthy foods and products as he battles cancer. Coming across this article just reignited my concerns about what goes on the delicate skin of my sweet little baby.

So this afternoon I’ll collect all the bottles and jars, head to my local Shoppers Drug Mart and go through the hassle of returning all these unopened products to exchange them for things I’m more comfortable with bringing into our home. I’m happy with the ingredient listings for Live Clean products (thanks to my friend Jody and my Auntie Anne, who brought these to my shower, and therefore to my awareness!) And really, it won’t be any hassle at all, since I know I can feel good about the outcome.

Now if only I could convince myself to stop dying my hair – there are no chemicals in that, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...