These days you'd be hard-pressed to find a pregnant woman who isn't aware of the fact that the things she eats, breathes and exposes herself to can impact her developing fetus. Whether the insult is in the form of cigarette smoke or high-mercury fish, pregnant women are increasingly sensitive to the health issues associated with environmental hazards and will go to great lengths to protect an unborn child.
This enlightened thinking, however, often ends when a baby is born. Parents can be entrenched in old habits or have never been informed otherwise; as a result, they unknowingly expose their little ones to toxic substances on a daily basis.
Infants are extremely susceptible to environmental toxicants: pound for pound they breathe in more air than adults; they're continuously developing, leaving many windows of opportunity for outside exposures to affect their insides; and they can't detoxify well. This means that using conventional cleaning products for jobs as innocent-seeming as getting stains out of a crib sheet, washing a baby bottle or cleaning a high chair can contribute to dermatitis, respiratory problems and even long-term health worries including cancer.
Well, the new year is upon us and it's the perfect time to make changes. I know -- you've already resolved to watch your waistline and get 8 hours of sleep a night. And while I can't fully help you with those resolutions at the moment (other than to tell you that the package of Oreos is not actually calling your name, and that you really don't need to watch a midnight airing of "Wedding Crashers" again), I can definitely tell you what you need to easily "clean up and green up" a day in the life of your babe. So add that vow to your list -- for the sake of your child -- and his new year will be healthier for it.
Check out this collection of non-toxic, effective cleaning products you can easily buy for your home. As a rule, you should always test products in a small area before you use them freely. Once that goes well, you can go ahead and knock this New Years' resolution out of the park.
Homepage image by Matt Beardsley.