Family

3 Simple Non-Toxic Changes You Can Do After Bringing Baby Home

Totally doable, even if you're sleep deprived

First of all, congratulations! You're probably more in love than you've ever been and also more sleep deprived than you've ever been. Don't worry. You got this. And we're here to help you.

You already know this, cause you're a parent, but research confirms that babies grow super fast and are sensitive to things in their environment. Because of that, there are some decisions that impact them more than they do us full size humans. So, we've narrowed it down to the 3 easiest changes you can make that will help you create a non-toxic environment and keep your baby safe during this special time. We promise that even on only 2-3 hours of uninterrupted sleep, they are all totally doable and have been shown to positively impact the health of your growing baby.


1) Switch to a Safer Laundry Detergent

Even though the fresh garden breeze scented laundry detergent may smell clean and relaxing to you, it's probably not something you want on your baby's skin. Traditional laundry detergents are actually not meant to completely wash out of your clothes. That means they can leave behind chemicals and residues that are meant to smell good, make your clothes look brighter, or soften the feel of your clothes. While those things sound nice, the chemicals they leave behind can also contribute to skin irritation, endocrine disruption, bad air quality (VOCs), and have even been found to be carcinogenic - Yikes!

If you're thinking, "oh, no problem, I'll just buy a baby detergent," that might not be the easiest answer. Baby detergent is supposed to be scent-free and non-irritating, but the claims are hard to verify. Instead, it's better to just go with a laundry detergent that's safe for your entire household. It's not only easier for you to wash everything with the same detergent (no need to think which detergent to use when you throw in a load in the middle of the night), but think about it- your baby isn't only touching their own onesies. They are going to be snuggled up with you and all over your clothes, sheets, and towels, too. So, save yourself the worry, and just pick up or order one of these safe laundry detergents from our roundup.

2) Wet Mop and Dust

Want to make tummy time on the floor, even more fun? Put a microfiber cloth down under your baby and slide them around. Just kidding! But, wet mopping and dusting with a wet cloth is a great way to lower allergens and remove dust. Dust is a common place for toxics like lead and flame retardants to accumulate. But, using a wet mop or microfiber cloth to dust can remove those minuscule particles of badness that you don't want anywhere near your baby. Don't forget about the window sills because they are a common place for dust from air pollution to settle - and they often get overlooked. For dusting, just grab a wet cloth, no need for a cleaning product. And for mopping, most of the time all you need is water and a couple drops of liquid soap, but you can use any of the products in our roundup of safe floor cleaners.

3) Get a Water Filter

Whether you're breastfeeding or formula feeding, having good clean water is super important for you and your baby. In general, we are huge fans of tap water in a real glass over water that has been sitting in plastic bottles on a shelf for who knows how long. But, it's important to find out what's in your tap water. Water quality reports are required annually and are usually provided on the utility's website. EWG also has a tool to help you look up water quality reports for your zip code. Then, once you have figured out what's in your water, you can use EWG's water filter guide or go directly to the NSF site to find out what filters work for different contaminants. (NSF actually certifies water filters for doing what they say they will do.) If you're on a private well, it's the perfect time to get your water tested. Did you know, it's recommended that you test your water yearly?

If having to look up what's in your local water and find a corresponding filter is too daunting, just a simple carbon filter like Brita or Pur that you can find at Target or your local grocery store is really good at filtering out some of the most common contaminants. Just make sure to replace the water filters on time, usually every couple of months. And remember: Don't use hot water for formula or for making tea/coffee.



References:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080723134438.htm

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/26/tide-det...

https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/index.php#.Wz6F5y2ZORs

https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/water-filter-guide.php#.Wz6EYi2ZORs

http://www.nsf.org/consumer-resources/water-quality/water-filters-testing-treatment/contaminant-reduction-claims-guide

https://www.epa.gov/privatewells

Tired of changing and throwing away tampons or pads every month? Want a zero-waste alternative for your period? Heard of menstrual cups and period underwear, but not sure which one to pick? Well, look no further! We rounded up the 10 best-reviewed non-toxic menstrual cups and organic period underwear options for you to try out. All of the menstrual cups are made of a flexible medical-grade silicone that collect fluid instead of absorbing it. The period underwear options we found are made with organic cotton, and can be washed.

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Family

Environmental Factors May Have a Bigger Impact on Fertility than You Think

Breaking Down the Science and Ways to Limit Harmful Exposures

Trying to get pregnant should be an exciting time of planning for the next stage of your life, not one full of doctors visits, constant testing, and worrying about body temperatures. But, if you and your partner are struggling with infertility, you are not alone. According to the CDC about 12% of women have impaired fecundity, which is another way of saying that they are having difficulty getting or staying pregnant (1) [there are no statistics on infertility in men, but there is science showing that overall sperm count is decreasing(14)]. And, the science is clear, environmental factors definitely impact reproductive health - for both men and women. Some of the biggest impacts come from air pollution, pesticides, and endocrine disrupting chemicals (2), which are in all sorts of products and affect the way hormones interact with your body.

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Roundups

9 Stainless Steel & Glass Tumblers

For iced coffee, iced tea, and smoothies on the go

Getting iced coffee in a plastic cup with a plastic straw is a lot harder to do after watching that video of a plastic straw being removed from a turtle's nose. Plus there is also that pesky condensation that creates a pool of water at the bottle of your cupholder or on your desk. So we found the 9 best reviewed stainless steel and glass tumblers, so that you can have your iced beverages in style this summer. Many of the brands have different sizes ranging from 20oz to 30oz and variety of colors. We prefer stainless steel or glass because many of the acrylic or plastic tumblers may have chemicals similar to BPA. We also link to some stainless steel straws because not all of these tumblers come with straws. And if you're like us, drinking iced coffee through a straw is just synonymous with summer.

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Life

Easy Ways To Keep Your Car Smelling Fresh Without the Synthetic Scents

Cause Traditional Car Air Fresheners Are No Good For Your Health

Those little tree-shaped air fresheners dangling from a rear-view mirror or air vent clip-ons may feel festive, but most car air fresheners can be bad for your health. They seem so innocent, so how is that possible you might ask?

One of the biggest issues with these products is the mystery behind what goes into them. Believe it or not, It's actually hard to be 100% certain about what chemicals are in air fresheners. There's a ton of secrecy into what actually goes into a fragrance product because companies can claim their ingredients are trade secrets. We definitely can't say a product is safe if we don't even know what is used to make it.

However, we do know that most air fresheners are made up of a ton of synthetic fragrances. There are literally thousands of chemicals manufacturers can choose from when making a product with synthetic fragrance. And a lot of these chemicals are known to have negative impacts on our health. (1)

On top of that, fragrance in air fresheners usually contain both phthalates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (2). Although these chemicals can make scents powerful, they can also be allergens that cause coughing, headaches, and runny noses (2). Phthalates are also hormone disruptors and VOCs can be carcinogens. We definitely don't want to be constantly breathing in those chemicals, no matter how good they might smell!

The amount of space inside your car is also a reason we don't like traditional car air fresheners. A smaller space = more concentrated exposure, and since you probably have your windows closed 90% of the time, a car is one of the worst places to keep a strongly-scented product.

Luckily, there are easy, nontoxic ways to make your car smell fresh! You can keep a container filled with baking soda or a baking soda freezer pack hidden somewhere. Baking soda is a completely natural way to eliminate odors and a box is only a couple of dollars! Using scents from natural sources are also a great way to add a little freshness to your car. You can put a few drops of an essential oil onto a clothespin or another wooden item and leave it somewhere in your car (3). When the smell goes away, just replenish with a few more drops of oil! If you prefer something a little more contained, we also love putting satchels of lavender or rose petals around our car.

But perhaps the easiest way to get rid of a bad smell is to simply roll your windows down! Maybe rolling down the windows will help make your commute a little more relaxing too.

References:

  1. https://www.nrdc.org/media/2007/070919
  2. https://kellybroganmd.com/is-your-uber-air-freshener-making-you-sick/
  3. https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/how-to-make-3-naturally-scented-air-fresheners-for-cars/
Roundups

12 Best Non-Toxic Diaper Creams

Our top recommendations for your baby's bottom that parents love

Updated for 2019!

We get it- you're busy but you also want the best for your baby. But who has the time to sit down and do hours of research on the best diaper creams for your baby's bottom? That's why we're here! We have nothing butt (get it?) amazing products for our non-toxic diaper cream roundup. These 12 products are free from irritants like fragrances and use soothing ingredients to keep diaper rash at bay. Some options have non-nano zinc oxide to protect the skin, and some work more as an ointment to prevent redness. Looking for an organic diaper balm? We've got those too. As always, we thoroughly researched consumer reviews to ensure you're getting a stellar product that actually works and that parents love.

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Home

10 Places to Buy PVC-free Wall Decals

Why it's worth considering before your next redecorating project

Wall decals are the perfect decorating solution for nurseries, kids rooms, renters, dorm dwellers, or basically anyone who is a commitment-phobe. There are endless designs that can add just the pop you need, and they are easy to remove for when you want to change it up. But most wall decals are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), otherwise known as vinyl. These vinyl stickers have added phthalates which make the plastic stickers super thin and flexible, yet durable enough so they don't rip easily. Phthalates have endocrine disrupting properties that can wreak havoc on your hormones and have been linked to a variety of health issues like cancers, infertility, preterm birth, impaired brain development, and asthma and allergies. Basically, not good stuff. Plus, the manufacturing process of PVC is really bad for the environment and communities where it's manufactured (1) and there's no way to recycle it. Eek. Not good all around.

So next time you're shopping for a wall decal, check the 'details' section on the product page. A decal that says vinyl or doesn't specify anything is probably one you want to avoid. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites that make PVC-free options that still get high marks from designers. We pulled together our top 10 favorites sites down below.

  1. Chocovenyl
  2. Eco Wall Decals
  3. Koko Kids
  4. Love Mae
  5. Oopsy Daisy
  6. Petit Collage
  7. Pop and Lolli
  8. Sunny Decals
  9. Tiny Me
  10. Wall Dressed Up


References:

  1. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/vinyl-chloride.pdf
Family

5 Tips for Healthy Kid-Friendly Meals (cause the struggle is real!)

Dreading dinner time every night? We're here to help.

Let's face it, getting a child to eat, no less a picky eater, might actually be the most daunting task in the world. Whether you've been on the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches only train for the past week or past month and just want your child to add something green or leafy to their palate, we've got you covered. We've put together some overall suggestions to incorporate into meal-prep that are not only more kid-friendly, but will also help you avoid processed foods that might be less healthy or have added toxic chemicals.

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