Originally Posted by JosieAK
My question is, though, I've read so much about plastics in clothing and dangerous chemicals in baby toys, what should I do about it? Do I ban the soft fleece and cozy 100% polyester sleepers? Do I get rid of the soft plastic teethers and hard plastic rattles? Should I call the companies of the items I have received? Am I a nut case for even considering it? I know this is baby #1 for me and I'm probably over reacting, but what would you more seasoned mamas do? To make matters worse, I'm completely alone in this. I don't have any friends who have researched pacifier brands to learn which ones use safe plastics so I feel a bit like a freak to begin with. Thanks!
Don't worry about PJs and flame retardant chems until you're looking at 9-12 month size. Then stick with cotton snug-fitting PJs or fleece playclothes, not sleepwear. I'm fine with polyester fleece playwear (it's recycled
it's in my diapers -- I'm okay with it) prior to the mobility age -- at that age (9-12 months, and 12+ months) they add chemicals to the fibers prior to weaving the fabric even, for designated sleepwear. The chemicals are linked to endocrine issues, and other problems. I know some people dislike polyfleece because it's not a natural fiber and that's fine.
But not all polyfleece is the same. While it is all flame resistant (it melts instead of flaming up), not all is treated with flame retardant chemicals. And for me, that's the distinction in terms of my comfort level.
But relying on 100% cotton sleepwear isn't a guarantee either. Some manufacturers (like LL Bean) have started adding a variation of the retardant chems to cotton PJs too.
Hanna Andersson is a great retailer for organic cotton PJs (they are slightly more snug-fitting now than they used to be but still great products -- and they're having a sale right now, matter of fact!). The Children's Place has good cotton footie PJs -- not organic, but affordable. They nearly always have some on clearance over at Amazon. You can always go with wool (naturally flame resistant) but it's expensive. We stick with layering.
They also add flame retardant chems to things like carseat covers. Washing in soap and fabric softener can help break down the chems slightly (and won't hurt the cover, as long as you're washing it in cold -- don't want to shrink it!), but it's no guarantee that it is actually removing the chems. Still, it doesn't hurt. Hang to dry.
Avoid things like vinyl mattress covers. These off-gas. Use wool blankets (cheap Army/Navy, cut to size, or wool puddle pads) as mattress protectors instead. Get an organic crib mattress if you can afford it, and baby will be sleeping in crib.
Look at the ingredients in baby products. Keep in mind that any soap is drying to baby's sensitive skin and scalp. Plain water works great for bathing. Look at alternatives to petroleum-based products.
Check these sites for potential hazards with toys:http://www.environmentcalifornia.org...pers_Guide.pdfhttp://www.pollutioninpeople.org/saf.../kids-productshttp://www.zrecommends.com/http://www.zrecsguide.com/http://www.truceteachers.org/toyactionguide.htmlhttp://www.healthytoys.org/product.askforinfo.php
Click the jump to to scroll to next brand in list.
There are more links out there. PM me if that's not enough.
Check out some natural toy makers and distributors, like Oompa, Nova Natural, Magic Cabin, etc. You can search through LwaB and Toddler forums for more retailers and manufacturers. Stick with European-designed toys, as they have to adhere to much stricter and safer regulations than US-designed toys.
Avoid plastics other than 1, 2 and 5.
Stick to organic foods once baby's eating solids. Delay solids until at least 6 months (can trigger food allergies/sensitivities if introduced before gut is mature enough to handle the solid particles). Breastfeed! Breastfeed! Breastfeed!
There's lots and lots and lots more, but it is very possible to avoid a good deal of hazardous and chemical influences. Not possible to avoid all in most cases (the padding in carseats offgas, for instance -- which is why it's important to let them air out as much as possible before use, as PP pointed out). But minimizing is key, and very doable.