I need a playpen for my 4-month old baby, so I can do things like wash the dishes and eat. However, I am reluctant to get one (such as Graco) because I'm sure it's filled with toxic flame retardants. How can I wash this stuff out? Just stick the whole rig in the shower and soak it? Vinegar?
Let me know, thanks!
ps. I am going to cross-post this because I really need a good response and am not sure where I'll get answers. Hopefully this wont be a problem! Thanks!
I would suggest trying a carrier such as a mei tai or ergo for washing the dishes and eating instead.
Or you could put the baby on the carpet while you eat. In a couple of months, if baby is eating solids, you could just eat with baby. When DS was little, I put him on my back or on the floor when I was washing dishes or cooking, and when I ate, he ate too(I did baby led solids, but when he was younger I usually just nursed him while I ate)
hmm...I do wear the baby, but sometimes it's not an option. I want some security whilst I do a few things of my own. Everybody needs to shower, for example, right? Thanks, though!
Any answers to this flame-retardant question?
I don't know if you can wash it out, but I know it does wear-off over time. I work in a school and we have to re-spray flame retardent every year on all of our fabrics. Don't get me started on how I feel about this...
You could try buying a used pack-n-play. Hopefully most of the chemicals would already be worn-off, plus you would be re-using something that might otherwise be put in a landfill.
Baby Aerick is here! Born at 40+6 on 5/16/10
I was looking around on google after reading your post. I never quite gave it much thought before. Everything I could find was more related to clothing. It did say that some detergents and fabric softeners would take some of it away, but it's hard to tell how much is really being washed out. I think you'd have to put the pack-n-play in the tub and wash over and over and it would just end up causing damage to the metal parts on it, since they aren't really made to get wet. Like the previous poster I would suggest going for a used pack-n-play, since time seems to be the best way for the flame retardants to wear off.
For my little ones I would lay them on a blanket on the floor while they were still immobile while I did things I needed to do, bringing baby into the same room as me. Like when washing dishes, I would put the blanket on the floor and baby on the floor in the kitchen. Once they were crawling and rolling around I would put them in an exersaucer or jumper when I needed to have them contained and safe. I know a lot of people frown on the use of things like that, and yes they are made of plastics, but the cloth parts of the seats can be taken off and washed (to remove flame retardant) and it always kept them busy and happier than just sitting in a pack-n-play. Just throwing the idea out there.
I don't know of any way to remove the fire retardant, but maybe something like this would work?
There were days I would put ds in the baby swing or bouncer in the bathroom with me. Or, if you have a pack and play already, you could put a new mattress pad or blanket on it.
Ah I was just reminded of the time I took a nice "relaxing" bath with a pre-mobile ds in the portable baby swing next to the tub.
I agree with the other moms. A pack n play doesn't keep them busy for long... at least not happily. However, it was nice for a brief time when I just needed to run the the restroom. My LO would rather sit in her high chair (reclined at 4 months) and watch me cook. I used a bouncer in the bathroom to shower, then an exersaucer. We keep a stroller indoors as well to give her another portable place to sit. But really, I don't get much time out of any of those options. The best way to get time NOT holding her once she was mobile was to completely childproof and gate off 1 room and sit on the floor with her until she got busy playing and then I could fold laundry or whatever. Then we expanded the area to the family room and the kitchen once she got really good at walking. When I get tired of chasing her around the house, I close off some of the rooms and I can catch a break.
I also wanted to mention that I did wash a pack n play because my MIL gave it to me and my FIL smokes. I scrubbed it down outside with dish detergent, I think, but you could do vinegar. It did rust some inside because it was dripping rusty water. I didn't care because it was unusable otherwise. But I don't think the flame retardants would come off much that way.
I'm not sure but I;m sure I've read (here) about some man made fabrics having the flame retardants "built in" as the fabric is made, unlike the cotton PJs where it's sprayed on after manufacture. If that is the case I would expect it to be harder to wash out.
Personally we used a cotton sheet over the pad and called it good, though we generally only used it at other peoples houses.
If you're OK with even more plastic the pack and play makes a great ball pool which kept mine happy much longer than anything else I could put in there.
For most things at home we did better with a lot of baby proofing in our sitting room (I can't say enough good things about magnetic cupboard locks) and a baby gate. I could still hear them from the kitchen but they had more options to keep them busy.
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