So, you’re expecting – congratulations! No doubt you’ve been sticking to your list of “Do’s” and “Dont’s” while pregnant. You’ve probably purchased or received a lot of baby gear, taken a baby care class and are working on training the dog in preparation for your little one.
Most baby-proofing doesn’t start until a baby has learned to crawl. After all, you don’t have to worry about a newborn baby breaking a vase or getting friendly with an electric outlet. But as the big day approaches you’ll want to start thinking about the hidden dangers in your home that are toxic to your newborn.
Here are some things you’ll want to kick to the curb before the little bundle of joy makes an appearance:
1) The paint on your walls
Most paint is made with VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and VOC fumes can emit from the walls long after the paint is dry. Make sure to paint the nursery with non-toxic paint, and keep the rest of the house well-ventilated. If your house was built before 1978, bring in an expert to make sure none of the paint on the walls contains lead.
2) Toxic cleaning products
Read the labels on your cleaning products. Steer clear of ingredients such as sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, butyl cellusolve, formaldahyde, bleach, ammonia, sulfamic acid, petroleum distillates, sulfuric acid, lye and mopholine. Look for the USDA Organic seal.
Unlike “natural” products, USDA Certified Organic products are heavily regulated, ensuring any products donning the seal are held to the highest organic standards. To create our household cleaners and laundry detergents we use simple, non-toxic ingredients (organic whenever possible), free from GMOs, harsh chemicals, animal testing, and regulated by the USDA.
3) Fragrance-laden cosmetics
Manufacturers are not required to list fragrance ingredients on their labels, and most fragrances contain phthalates which have been linked to several health concerns from asthma to ADHD.
4) Air fresheners
Indoor air quality is often times much worse than outdoor air quality, no matter where you live. Air fresheners are only contributors to the chemical soup in your air made from fumes coming from paint, carpet and toxic cleaning products. Open up the windows and let the air flow through your home on a regular basis to keep the air as clean as possible, and put air fresheners on the back burner.
While scented candles are great at setting the mood or helping you to relax, they aren’t the best for your baby. If you burn a candle for too long, don’t trim the wicks or place a candle in a drafty area, the candle will start producing soot which can end up inside your baby’s nose and in his lungs. Also, some citrus scented candles contain ingredients that if altered can turn into formaldehyde in the air.
Bringing home a new baby will be one of the most wonderful and nerve-wracking moments in your life. A perfectly baby-proof home is impossible, so don’t stress yourself out! Simply making more mindful choices when it comes to your every day products and habits can help create a safer home for the whole family.
Have some advice of your own you’d like to share with new parents? Share your story with us in the comments below and we’ll pass it on!