Natural Parenting — Organic Baby Care

RSS

Formula Vs Breastfeeding Video 1

Formula vs breastfeeding. Do you know the facts? All moms want to do the best for their babies but they may not be aware of how formula, even in small amounts, can undermine even the best breastfeeding efforts. Breastfeeding advocates have long known that free formula samples undermine exclusive breastfeeding by giving tired, frustrated mothers an easy out in the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Formula manufacturers have long known the same thing and they know that they best way to get mothers and babies hooked on the formula cycle is to offer free samples in the hospital in the form of "gift bags". Lactivists and the formula companies may know it all too well, but unsuspecting new mothers believe they are simply getting a "perk" for delivering in the hospital. Forego the goody bag if you are a new mom because every sip of formula will alter your baby's latch and reduce your own milk supply. Leave it at the hospital or dump it down the drain if feel inclined but whatever you do, don't bring it home. <iframe width="640" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5Tey_Ip-5pw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Baby Skin Conditions 7

Common Baby Skin Conditions A newborn baby's skin is soft and also very delicate. It would be difficult to find a baby with "completely flawless" skin in the first weeks to months of life. For a few weeks after birth, the mother's hormones will continue to circulate through a baby's system. These hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands. Conditions caused by this over stimulation of maternal hormones can cause symptoms such as infantile acne and cradle cap. A child's skin defense system has not fully matured which makes their skin vulnerable to effects such as - irritation, nappy (diaper) rash, infection, temperature and other conditions such as miliaria. Most of these conditions are not harmful and will usually clear as baby grows. Typical skin conditions found in young babies include: Infantile Acne Some baby's will develop lesions on the face. These are thought to occur as a result of mother's hormones which, as mentioned above, are still present in a baby's blood system. The acne will usually clear up on it's own. If the acne shows signs of being infected you may need treatment or advice from a doctor. Cradle Cap Babies will sometimes develop a build up of greasy white or brown scales on the scalp or forehead. It is not likely to occur after 12 - 18 months of age. It usually appears within days of birth. The condition is not serious and will usually clear up itself. For a natural approach to treatment try massaging the baby's scalp with an organic marigold (calendula) ointment. This will help with healing and will ease any itching that may occur. Diaper Rash As we have learned above, a child's skin is delicate and as such most babies will develop some degree of nappy rash from birth up to around 2 years of age. Nappy rash, which develops around the butt and genital area is usually caused by a reaction of feces and urine. It can appear as red blotches in the early stages but can spread into generalized redness. Incidentally, your child will never get a diaper rash if you don't use diapers. Consider elimination communication. Miliaria This condition which is more commonly known as "Sweat rash" or "prickly heat", is caused due to a hot, humid environment causing a blockage of the sweat glands. The rash will develop around areas prone to sweating such as the folds at the elbows and knees and between the buttocks. It can occur at any age, however newborns are more susceptible to miliaria. The rash should disappear in time. Keep your child cool and avoid over dressing during warmer weather. Frequent cool baths will help with itching and irritation while the rash heals. If your child's spots or rashes seem inflamed or infected you should take your child to the doctor. Your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics or antiseptic cream such as lignocaine to be applied directly to the spots or rash. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist for assistance and advice on managing your child's skin irritations. by Eric J. Smith About the Author: Eric J Smith is an Organic Gardener & a Passionate Environmentalist. He is dedicated to promoting the need for a chemical free environment. Find out more on Organic Skin & Personal Care Products Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/randysonofrobert/1100731764/

How Organic Is Your Baby? 1

How Organic is Your BabyHow Organic is Your Baby? What does it mean to have an organic baby? There was a report done by The Environmental Working Group that showed results including findings of a significant amount of toxic chemicals are found in the blood of newborns. The American Red Cross ran a series of blood tests on 10 umbilical-cord samples and their findings included 287 contaminants in the blood samples. Of the 287 found in the blood, 180 of the contaminants cause cancer in humans and animals, 217 of them cause damage to the brain and nervous system. 208 of the toxic chemicals caused abnormalities and birth defects on animals tested. Included in the contaminants were mercury, fire retardants, pesticides, plastic and other noted toxic contaminants. Now there is a whole market of organic baby products that you can buy to help eliminate the toxic chemicals that bombard our babies. The National Organic Standards Board or NOSB was established to assist the National Organic Program (NOP) with creating and maintaining guidelines for substances in organic production. In 1990 the US congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act, which made its stipulation that the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) establish uniform standards for Organic Agricultural Products. Today you can buy both edible and non-edible organic baby products. You can find organic baby food, organic baby textiles in which products are made from, pesticide free wood based organic baby furniture products, organic baby clothing, organic baby body care products and even a whole organic baby shower waiting to happen. Organic standards included that the NOP enforces are; no organic food products may contain in production or handling: genetic engineering, ionizing radiation and sewage sludge. Crops meet organic standard if they were grown with out the use of most conventional pesticides, petroleum based fertilizers and sewage sludge based fertilizers. Livestock must be raised according to organic standards. This means that livestock are fed organic feed, raised with access to outdoors, and raised free of antibiotics and growth hormones. Also in accordance with the NOP, organic farmers adhere to practices that minimize soil erosion and practice renewal resources and exercise maximum water conservation. Organic farmers rely on rotating crops and livestock grazing as opposed to using harmful chemically synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Organic farmers do not use harmful chemical pesticides that contaminate the groundwater and use natural fertilizer alternative like animal and plant waste to avoid polluting waterways. Many pregnant women who sharecrop have medical problems themselves as do their babies because of exposure to non-organic toxic substances. Today you can walk into any well-stocked grocery store and find a supply or organic baby food as well as your local health food store. The label will say organic to ensure that you are getting organic baby food or organic baby products. Online I found organic baby crib sets including the mattress made by a family based company called Shepard's Dream. All the wool and cotton used in their products is organically grown. Arlington Furniture Factory makes FSS certified wooden products. FSS certified means that the wood they use is not wood byproduct it is real wood and it comes from renewable forests. Their finishes are natural and non-toxic. There are also lines of pesticide and chemical free organic baby clothes you can get for your baby. Organic baby soaps and products can be found in your local health food stores as well. For those who are expecting their own organic baby or grandchild there is a fun site where you can get all your organic baby shower products at http://www.organicbabyshower.com/. One other great site for all Organic non-edible baby needs including rattles and teethers is http://www.organicgiftshop.com/. http://debraslist.com/ has a listing of many organic baby sites to choose from including the one's I have mentioned above. Today's health and environmentally conscious parent has a lot of choices when it comes to keeping their organic baby healthy and safe. Author: Regina Schwartz About the author: Here is an excellent site written by Regina Schwartz on Infant CPR and other Life saving Tips. This site has a lot of relevant information for new parents. Check it out at: infant cpr information Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/clappstar/2605714815/

Benefits of Breastfeeding 0

benefits of breastfeeding Although medical views on breastfeeding tend to change like trends over the years, a new mom simply has to weigh the benefits of breastfeeding against any cons when deciding if breastfeeding is the right choice for herself, her family and her new baby. Every mom and every situation is different. In this article, we'll put together some thoughts that might assist in making such a decision, but remember, it's very personal and you shouldn't let anyone influence you to do something you really don't feel is right for you. An unhappy breastfeeding mom is soon bound to find the reason why breastfeeding just isn't possible for her, and there can be a lot of guilt attached to that kind of negative decision making. So ultimately, when people are putting pressure on you one way or another, try to gently remind them that you've weighed all the facts about breastfeeding and have decided the best option for you. A few positive benefits of breastfeeding your baby: 1.) It's medically agreed that the fluid colostrum, secreted from the post-partum breast before the milk comes in, is a high-density brain food for baby which builds immunities naturally. Its typical during this time for older generations, extended family and even some doctors to tell the new mother that she's not producing enough milk to feed her baby and to advise bottle/formula feeding. They often attribute every little whimper from the newborn as a cry for being hungry. This is very worrisome for a sometimes anxious new mom and most often, it's simply not true. The fact is, this status of the breast providing little or not so noticeable quantities of clear fluid during nursing can safely remain for several days. It is the act of sucking on the breast that causes the milk to come. A relaxed you and your baby will make it happen with a little persistence. In the meantime, you can rest assured your baby is being fed a miraculous substance that he/she'll get only once in a lifetime. 2.) No muss, little fuss. No heating, washing, or carrying bottles. No measuring and mixing formulas. No watching and worrying about ounces taken in by baby. No accidentally too hot or too cold temperatures of the formula. When your baby is hungry, all you have to do is think of her/him and your milk will come down the breast, ready to feed. Perfect amount, perfect temperature. No danger of bottle tooth decay. No high fat cow's milk, no allergic reactions, no lactate or soy intolerances, all of which can contribute later to child obesity and complicate other illnesses. Your breastmilk is perfectly designed for your baby, will change as your baby's needs change, adding nutrients, having thirst quenching qualities or hunger satisfying qualities as needed. In addition, breastfeeding is all natural, and waste-free, therefore a completely environmentally friendly process. 3.) The perfect food provided by breastfeeding also produces less smelly diapers. Yes, soiled diapers are unpleasant when compared to flowers, but comparing formula fed and breastfeed babies' dirty diapers, the smell of breastfed babies excretions, both diapers and spit up residue are significantly less offensive to the nose than that of formula fed babies. Breastmilk contains the exact right nutrients for your baby. Unlike any other food on earth, breastmilk guards the newborn against stomach bacteria, aids in digestion and allows for fulfillment of your baby's potential in optimal physical and mental development. Babies who are breastfed have been shown to have higher IQs than formula fed babies. Breastfed babies also have the emotional advantage of skin-to-skin contact with mother, which enhances bonding and is not the usual practice of bottle fed babies. 4.) Breastfeeding mom's recuperate from childbirth faster. Carrying your baby to term and the process of giving birth has likely left your body retaining fluid, and the uterus stretched out. Don't be alarmed at the menstrual like flow and cramps you'll experience during the first couple of weeks while you breastfeed. The very act of breastfeeding causes the repeated release of a chemical in your body called oxytocin, which causes the uterus to contract back to its pre-pregnancy size and prevents hemorrhaging in the first 48 hours after giving birth. Sustained and exclusive breastfeeding is also an effective birth control method. Milk production can take up to 500 calories a day, which assists new moms in more rapid and steady weight loss than formula feeding moms. Women who breastfeed their children are at significantly less risk for breast, ovarian and uterine cancer, as are, amazingly enough, their breastfed children. Negative aspects of breastfeeding your baby and some solutions: 1.) There is an initial period of time when your nipples can be very tender and sometimes even painful. As your baby's sucking toughens up your nipples, you may also find that your nipples actually crack and bleed. Just as your nipples begin to heal, its time for the next feeding and these wounds can be re-opened and painful. This is a natural process and you don't need to worry about baby getting a little bit of blood during nursing sessions as your nipples heal. Remember, not long before this, you shared a bloodstream. But this is a very challenging time for mother as she may be insecure about breastfeeding and now have excruciating pain during the process. On the other hand, this is a short lived problem for mothers who really want to breastfeed, so hang in there if it happens to you. The nipples will heal and the breastmilk will aid in this. The baby will learn how to suck with your helpful free hand guiding the nipple toward proper positioning, and breastfeeding will soon be a joy for moms who can withstand this temporary difficultly. Most hospitals offer nursing assistance or some sort of counseling to get you started in helping baby suckle properly. Contact your local La Leche League. There are also many breastfeeding manuals you can read for perfecting this art. 2.) When mom is breastfeeding, dads may feel a little left out of the process. Dad will not be able to enjoy the strong and effortless bonding that occurs during feeding time. So, breastfed baby's daddy will need to make an extra effort to find other ways to bond with newborn. Daddy can lay quietly next to breastfeeding baby and mom, stroking and encouraging them both. Daddy can take baby immediately after baby is finished feeding, to burp, interact and cuddle or play. For the working mom who uses a breast pump and saves her milk for supplemental bottle use (recommended only for older babies, not newborns learning how to breastfeed), Daddy can feed baby this ultra-healthy substance himself. Remember, quite often breastfeeding itself takes place in the life of a baby and a family for only a matter of months. Soon, baby will be taking solids as well, which Daddy can provide. 3.) Mom must take all the night time feeding responsibility, this is true. But Daddy can pitch in during these early months by taking the baby from sleepy mom after the feeding and rocking, diapering or comforting as needed. Here's a good place to remind all those conscientious parents who are advised never to bring baby to the spousal bed. Yet, there is no easier way to cope with sleep deprivation than to bring the infant to the family bed, nuzzle him to the breast and go blissfully back to sleep. Watchful Dad can then enjoy the pleasure of being close during this process or take fulfilled baby back to the crib, making night feedings a family effort. Don't be shy. Don't leave this all up to Mom. This is Daddy's lovely baby too and no one is more creative than a loving, attentive Daddy, singling out the needs of his new baby and his breastfeeding wife. 4.) Restriction of certain foods and medicines must be taken into account when breastfeeding. While foods like peanut butter and broccoli may cause gassiness in babies and for some breastfeeding mom's should be avoided, for othe r breastfeeding mothers, these foods may cause no problems for baby. Substances like caffeine and alcohol can be hidden in even some over the counter medications so be mindful, these are not good for baby. Certain foods can also alter the taste of the breastmilk and may cause the baby to fuss, so breastfeeding mom's should remain sensitive to diet at all times while breastfeeding. In addition, of course all medicines and alcohol will have the potential to penetrate into the breastmilk, so moms who have to take certain medicines for their own health should always consult their physicians about how this will effect a decision to breastfeed. Some parents may be concerned that breastfeeding can become too restrictive in terms of being able to leave their baby with relatives or sitters to get out for a night or go back to work. Consider breast pump options as a possible solution when you are ready to become more independent of the exclusive breastfeeding. Carefully and patiently introduce bottles containing the familiar 'breast food of health' can give mom more freedom to get away, especially when baby is getting older. In conclusion, there are certainly many other factors that weigh in on making this decision for you and your baby. It's important to do your own research, know the facts and myths of breastfeeding before you take mis-informed advice out of guilt or obligation. Everyone will offer an opinion, but in the end, its you and your family that will carry out and live with the decision whether or not to breastfeed, so make it a comfortable one that you and your spouse have seriously contemplated and feel sure its the right choice for you. Author: H D Adkins Article written April 2007 by HD Adkins for Organic Baby Store - HerSweetBaby.com. About the author: H D Adkins is a content writer for hersweetbaby.com. Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/goetter/1353787707/

SIDS Cribs and Cosleeping 20

SIDS. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Hearing those four little words or the one little acronym can strike fear in the heart of any new parent. SIDS is real, random, quick and totally unexpected. Parents will naturally do anything in their power to prevent the unthinkable from happening to their perfectly healthy newborn. What is SIDS? Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is exactly what it sounds like. A perfectly healthy newborn baby, usually less than 6 months old, simply stops breathing in their sleep. The unsuspecting parents go to wake their child up from his or her nap and find their worst nightmare has come true. While many theories are flying around about the cause of SIDS, most focus on the deepness of sleep and how it affects the child's breathing. Babies do not sleep as soundly when they are on their backs and many attribute this fact to the success of the "back to sleep" campaign. SIDS Cribs. Could there be a connection? Another theory which you may not be familiar with is that the crib mattress itself is to blame for SIDS cases. It is actually the chemicals and toxins emitted from the mattress that is actually to blame. Arsenic, phosphorus and antimony are intentionally added to crib mattresses by the manufacturers as fire retardants. SIDS was very rare prior to the 1950s when these additives became standard.
"As crib mattresses start to age, these fire retardant chemicals react with ordinary household fungi (harmless fungi, at that) to create a very, very dangerous chemical reaction. The toxins emitted, as these compounds interact, are actually a thousand times more toxic than carbon monoxide."
According to the article found at bestinbedding.com "As crib mattresses start to age, these fire retardant chemicals react with ordinary household fungi (harmless fungi, at that) to create a very, very dangerous chemical reaction. The toxins emitted, as these compounds interact, are actually a thousand times more toxic than carbon monoxide. While other factors like nutrition, smoking around the baby, and sleep position are still potentially factors in SIDS, given the research relating non-organic crib mattresses to fatal toxin release should be enough for new mothers to take a look at their portable and non-portable crib mattress purchases." In addition, the toxins emitted become greater as time goes on. This may explain why SIDS rates are higher for second children.....and higher yet for third children and so on. Many parents will only purchase a crib mattress one time and re-use it for all of their children. In addition, the fungi left by the first baby is already in place to start interacting with the chemicals more quickly when the following children use the mattress. The toxic mattress theory also explains why the "Back to sleep" campaign has been so successful. If a baby is not lying face down in a pool of neuro-toxins then they at least have a bit of fresh air in the mix and a better shot at survival. The toxic gases released by the mattress when it interacts with the fungi is very dense and heavier than air so it lies in a very thin film on the mattress which the baby is face-first in when sleeping in a prone position. If you think the toxic mattress theory has merit or if you just want to err on the side of caution then there are three options you have to minimize your newborn's exposure to these potentially lethal toxins (which some also theorize are connected to the rise in autism in the United States): 1. Purchase an organic crib mattress 2. Mattress wrapping 3. Co-sleeping Let's quickly explore these three options. Organic Crib Mattress Organic crib mattresses are free of synthetic fabrics, plastics, formaldehyde, chemicals, dyes and the hazardous chemicals that are linked to SIDS. The mattresses are commonly made with wool which acts as a natural fire retardant. Even if SIDS does not concern you, do you want your child spending 70% of their early life laying on a toxic, synthetic mattress? Don't forget to make sure baby's mattress pad, crib bedding and sleepwear are also organic. You can buy organic crib mattresses at Amazon, TheNaturalSleepStore, Non-toxic.com, or Nature'sCrib.com Mattress Wrapping Mattress wrapping is simply wrapping your existing crib mattress in a particular way with an impermeable cover (plastic) to minimize the toxic fumes that your baby comes in contact with. The cover keeps moisture from the baby out and toxic fumes in. It is certainly much less expensive that buying an organic mattress for up to $1000. Parents have been wrapping crib mattresses in New Zealand for the last twelve years thanks to aggressive public awareness campaigns and in that time their SIDS rate has dropped to one of the lowest in the world and there has never been a reported SIDS case on a properly wrapped mattress. Please read that again.
There has never been a single reported SIDS case on a properly wrapped mattress.
Why isn't this common knowledge? Can you imagine the lawsuit if mattress manufacturers ever have to admit responsibility? Well, now you know and you should probably make a point of telling all of your pregnant friends. If you are going to use a crib with a non-organic mattress, then wrap it. You will probably have to import your mattress cover from overseas but its a small price to pay for not gambling on your baby's life. Learn more about mattress wrapping at: http://www.cotlife2000.com/ http://www.babysake.com/Howtowrap.htm http://www.healthychild.com/cribdeathcause.htm http://www.preventcribdeath.com/ Cosleeping The last option (and the least expensive) if you are interested in keeping your baby safe from SIDS is cosleeping. Odds are that your adult mattress is not organic either, but it contains more springs and frame than pure foam which is what contains the PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) used as flame retardants. (Please never cosleep with your baby if you are using a tempurpedic or memory foam mattress.) Other than reduced gases, cosleeping offers further protection against SIDS. Breastfeeding babies are a substantially reduced risk for SIDS, and cosleeping facilitates breastfeeding more than any other lifestyle choice. Breastfeeding newborns will also not assume a prone (tummy lying) position while sleeping next to their lactating mothers. Babies generally sleep on their sides or back for easy access to mom. Cosleeping mothers are also in a higher alert state during sleep so they are much more likely to respond to a baby in any sort of silent distress. Lastly, since a fear of fire seems to be the rationale for loading up crib mattresses with chemicals (by federal law mind you), then doesn't it make sense to keep the batteries in your smoke alarms fresh and sleep next to your child so you can carry them out of your home in the event of an emergency? If you are concerned about the myths surrounding cosleeping safety, then first keep in mind that there is a reason they call it "cot death" or "crib death" and not "sleeping next to mom death". One well publicized study which attempted to portray cosleeping as unsafe found 515 cosleeping deaths in an eight year period. While that may sound like a large number, it pales in comparison to the approximately 34,000 crib deaths that occurred in the US in the same time period. There are other SIDS risk factors such as having smoking parents (smokers exhale toxins when they breathe) and recent vaccinations. Knowing the risk factors and causes of SIDS, particularly the ones that are exceptionally easy to eliminate, is the first step parents can take to sleeping easy knowing your baby is safe. Learn more about cosleeping and SIDS at: http://www.babyreference.com/Cosleeping&SIDSFactSheet.htm Other SIDS death factors: http://www.healthychild.com/SIDS-crib-death-factors.htm Author: Sheryl Lyon Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/peasap/2561252071/