From the time your baby is born, her skin comes into contact with lots of different substances. In the course of a day, parents may use all of the following on baby's skin:
- Baby bath soap
- Baby shampoo
- Baby lotion
- Baby oil
- Baby powder
- Baby wipes
- Diaper rash cream or protectant cream
- Hand soap
Baby may also come into contact with the following:
- Plastic bottles, nipples, dishes and feeding utensils containing parabens and pthalates
- Residue of laundry detergent
- Residue of cleaning products
- Residue of dishwasher detergent or dish soap
- Residue of floor wax
Each and every one of these products many contain harmful chemicals that can affect baby's immune system, allergen tolerance, and future cancer risk. Fortunately, by reading the label on each product you consider using for your baby or even in your home, you can minimize your little one's exposure to many of these harmful chemicals.
Here's what you need to know to keep your baby as safe from chemical exposure as possible. If you see any of the following ingredients on a label, it contains chemicals that may be harmful for your baby. Many of these are currently used in baby products, so don't assume that because it's for baby, it must be safe.
- Bronopol, also known as 2-Bromo-2 Nitropropane-1,3 Diol
- D&C Colorings
- DMDM Hydantoin
- Ethylene Oxide
- FD&C Colorings
- Methylisothiazolinone (MI and MCl)
- Mineral Oil
- Paraben (often with a prefix, like Ethylparaben)
- Propylene Glycol
- Retinyl Palmitate
- Triethanolamine (TEA)
What's a Parent to Do?
First of all, don't panic. If your baby is currently healthy and functioning, you can make changes a few at a time to reduce chemical exposure and make sure he stays that way. Here are some simple changes you can make:
--Get rid of your plastic bottles. Even if they say BPA free, plastics could still be leaching phthalates and other hormone-disrupting substances into baby's formula or bottled breast milk. Glass bottles are safer, and silicone nipples avoid the problems associated with plastic ones. If baby must have a warm bottle, heat it up in a pan of water on the stove rather than the microwave. When baby begins to eat, use glass or porcelain dishes and metal flatware.
--Avoid mineral oil and baby powder. Neither of these are really necessary for baby anyway, and both are harmful in different ways. If oil is needed, coconut or olive oil allows baby's skin to breathe and offers beneficial antioxidants. Using a natural oil can also take the place of baby lotion.
--Switch to vinegar and baking soda for most cleaning. Essential oils can provide a natural, chemical-free fragrance to mask vinegar's smell.
--Look for laundry detergent that is free of dyes and perfumes. Whether baby gets a rash or is just fine, those chemicals are not necessary for washing clothes, and why expose baby to chemicals that aren't necessary.
--Avoid chemical deodorizing sprays. Get a diffuser and use with your essential oils for a fresh scent and to counteract bad smells naturally and effectively.
--Find a natural baby bath soap. Look for one that is free of chemicals, fragrances and artificial colors. Biconi offers natural beauty products, made from the best and most effective natural ingredients, including noni enzyme and virgin coconut oil. Biconi is a trusted partner of Healthy Child.