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Three Ways to Make Your Baby’s World Less Toxic

March 8, 2013

iStock_000006304469XSmallThroughout your pregnancy, you’ve been doing everything possible to protect your baby from harm and to enhance their development. From prenatals to abstention from unpasteurized cheese, you’ve had a close eye on everything to which you’ve exposed yourself and your baby. But after she’s born, your baby will need you to keep a watch on everything from toys and bottles to strollers and car seats. Toxins and carcinogens lurk in many popular products. Here’s how to identify them, and what to look out for.

  1. Babies love to put things in their mouths. Pacifiers, teething rings, bottles, and plastic toys are all bound to be some of your baby’s favorite items to gnaw on. But some brands manufacture items that contain BPA, PVC, and phthalates. BPA, or bisphenol A, has been shown to put infants and children at moderate risk of neural and behavioral complications, and PVC contains a carcinogen that is linked to lung and prostate cancer. Phthalates have been linked to a disruption in normal reproductive system development in infants and children, and has been classified by the CDC as a possible carcinogen. When buying toys, pacifiers, or teethers for your children, check the label and look for products that are BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free.
  1. Nursing pillows are likely to be one of the surfaces your infant lies on, drools on, and rubs his face on most frequently in those early months when he isn’t capable of supporting his head well and needs support while nursing. But many nursing pillows are manufactured with toxic, flame-retardant chemicals. Look for nursing pillows that are made with organic materials to make sure your baby isn’t exposed to unnecessary toxins.
  2. Many car seats and strollers have been found to contain a variety of toxins. Since your child will spend so much time not only in their infancy, but throughout their young lives, hanging out in a stroller or car seat, try to buy a brand that is moving away from using these types of toxins. Many high-end strollers are already manufacturing toxin-free products, and popular brands such as Graco and Britax have stated that they will be studing ways of reducing toxins in their products as well.

There’s no way to entirely shield your baby from toxins. From the everyday products in our homes to the air, we breathe, toxins are rampant. But by keeping the items that will be in closest proximity to your baby toxin-free, you’ll be going a long way in protecting her from dangerous chemicals and materials.

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