Archives for June 2011

Pushing Your Baby Away

A few months ago we watched the movie Away We Go – an artsy movie (quite tasteful except for the first 20 seconds of the movie…) that documents the journey that a couple goes on to find the perfect place to raise their first child. In each place that they go, there are interesting people that they visit and in one location there is a weirdo couple that is what I would describe as hippy-new age EXTREME. One of the things that this couple has chosen is to only use baby carriers and never to use a stroller. They are in fact, extremely offended when a stroller is presented to them as a gift because they think it is absolutely awful to push your baby away from you.

This scene made me laugh very hard, because in a way I empathize with this couple. I feel bad for the babies who seem to be pushed around in their strollers very frequently (especially when they are very little) – I think that I would be lonely in there, unable to see my mom or dad, unable to feel their warmth and their heartbeat… you get the point I think.
That being said, I can definitely appreciate my jogging stroller. Especially now that Karis is getting heavy and I no longer wear her for many extended periods of time in the sling or carrier. Lately I have been taking all of the kids outside often – the older girls ride their bikes (and Zoey tells every person that we come into contact with that she knows how to ride a two wheeler with no training wheels – she is just slightly excited about that), and I run behind them with Karis in the stroller. Karis loves going fast while watching her sisters hooping and hollering in front of her! It is moments like these that I appreciate my stroller. But I do connect with hippy extreme from the movie. It’s all about balance right?

Everyday Toxins

Over the past couple of weeks I have been reading Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects our Health, by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie.

In this book Smith and Lourie experiment on themselves with different everyday chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis – the results are VERY interesting! At the risk of turning into a paranoid mama, I think that it’s important to be informed and to make the best decisions possible for my girls.

This compelling book gave me some simple, practical ways that I can reduce the toxic load in our household which will hopefully help us all to stay healthy.

-Avoid whenever possible plastic and rubber toys and dishes for babies and young children as well as all personal care products that list fragrance or parfum on the label – these contain phthalates and almost all mainstream baby lotions and body washes contain it!

-Eat a very limited amount of tuna and other fish due to mercury levels (although there are some safer options if you know what is safe to consume).

-Avoid teflon cooking pans as well as stain repellant furniture, carpets, and clothing. Teflon and it’s chemical relatives called PFCs, or perfluorinated compounds are very toxic.

-Avoid kids pajamas and furniture that are coated with fire retardants.

-Avoid all antibacterial products containing Triclosan.

-When possible avoid canned food. Virtually all cans used for food are coated with a lining containing BPA. We know it’s toxic – this resulted in the mass baby bottle recall, but it’s leaching into all canned food including baby formula (yet another good reason to breastfeed)!

I’m not going to go into all of the evidence showing why these chemicals are so toxic and nasty, but if you want to know more this is a great book that is worth the read!

Thanks for reading,

Karen