Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Costs - Getting Started

We all have to make a lot of decisions when it comes to purchases for your home and offspring. For those having to work with a budget how do we get the best quality, practicality and healthy products?

For me, I understood that if I limit cloths to second hand choices/consignment and also made bulk purchases on-line I could get everything I wanted. I was able to save significantly then use the savings towards a "discount" on the expensive items. But often what many perceive as expensive... is relative. For example the Stokke brand seems expensive...but I don't have a car so a stroller that makes my life easier and allows my baby to sit higher closer to me was worth the expense...more on that when I review Stokke's products.

One Time Baby Gear Purchases
Nipples silicone 2624.81
Organic General use pad17.99
Bottle Brush2.69
Organic Play Yard Pad19.99
Nipple brush1.19
Organic Crib Sheet12.99
Nipple Shield Silicone5.99
Organic fitted crib sheet20.00
6 glass 4oz bottles9.98
Organic Blanket20.00
6 glass 8oz bottles9.98
Wool Puddle pad Crib89.95
Organic Nursing pillow89.00
Hemp backpack33.00
Shampoo, soaps, etc20.00
Bjorne Carrier119.99
Book “What to Expect When Expecting”15.95

Thrift Store – (second hand)
Husband’s heirloom crib0.00
Cloths and Sheets40.00

Friends and relatives - Cloths, blankets, etc0.00

Other Baby Gear
Stokke Changing table (sale)399.00
Stokke High chair199.00
Stokke Stroller (10% off)799.99
Grecco SnugRide Carseat89.99
Grecco SnugGlider Swing49.99
BabeSound Monitor
Hand made scrap book75.00
Pump in Style319.99

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Organic Mattress


I did a bit of research into SIDS and Allergens. Yet, again I decided to take the high road, avoid the standard baby bedding and dish out the $$$ for a no-chemical added wool, organic cotton, and natural rubber mattress.

Most mattresses are sprayed with PBDE a flame retardant. Formaldehyde is also used on mattresses (and cloths in general). It amazes me that when I am in the laboratory people are suppose to handle with care and not expose themselves to these chemicals...but someone approved them to be on your mattress you sleep on and on your cloths you ware... ? ? What is that ? ?

According to the EPA..

What are PBDEs?

Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) are members of a broader class of brominated chemicals used as flame retardants; these are called brominated flame retardants, or BFRs. There are dozens of congeners, or varieties of the basic chemical type, of PBDEs.

What are PBDEs used for?

These chemicals are major components of commercial formulations often used as flame retardants in furniture foam (pentaBDE), plastics for TV cabinets, consumer electronics, wire insulation, back coatings for draperies and upholstery (decaBDE), and plastics for personal computers and small appliances (octaBDE). The benefit of these chemicals is their ability to slow ignition and rate of fire growth, and as a result increase available escape time in the event of a fire.

All that is interesting but should you be concerned? I was. You see there were preliminary studies done in the UK and a few other countries showing a link between sprayed mattresses and SIDS. All natural or wrapped mattresses did not seem to have this problem. It seems ones homework doesn't end with school. And now the EPA finally launched a campaign to study the health effects on people and more recently on children.

Luckily so far there is no link to SIDS according to the EPA. Though...

"There is growing evidence that PBDEs persist in the environment and accumulate in living organisms, as well as toxicological testing that indicates these chemicals may cause liver toxicity, thyroid toxicity, and neurodevelopmental toxicity. Environmental monitoring programs in Europe, Asia, North America, and the Arctic have found traces of several PBDEs in human breast milk, fish, aquatic birds, and elsewhere in the environment." As per the EPA.

See Post on PBDE

So where do you find the non-toxic mattress for baby (or you) ? ? ?



Tiny Bird Organics



Saturday, October 27, 2007

Diapers and Wipes


Most parents want the best quality they can afford for their offspring. I searched several websites, grocery stores...etc to find the most suitable baby diapers and wipes. Some of the most common brands were defiantly out. Green, non-toxic was in. The most difficult problem I had 8 months ago while on my crusade was there was no "one stop shopping".

At the time I had 3 choices...cloth, Seventh Generation or toxic diapers. So, I got a combination of cloth and Seventh Generation. I used cloth during the day and Seventh Generation at night or while out at the cafe. In addition, I know the nurses said to use warm cloths to wipe my baby because of the harsh chemicals in most wipes...but I was exhausted between two days of labor and running two companies I decided to buy my way out of the conundrum...Seventh Generation wipes! I even had to special order Burt's Bee's diaper ointment because the local store didn't carry it. So I was all set. So how did it all work out ? ? ?

I never used the diaper ointment...our baby never got a rash...6+ months and counting. My baby out grew her cloth diapers month ago. So, we have been using only Seventh Generation. The doctor at her last visit was perplexed that she had not yet had a rash let alone was not even reddish.

I pulled some info off their website...

As per their website...
Features and Benefits

Chlorine-free absorbent materials – do not contribute to dioxin pollution
Soft, cloth-like comfort
Premium absorbency
Super-stretchy resealable closure tabs
Close-fitting thin diaper
Super-stretchy leg gathers
No latex, fragrance, or TBT (tributyl tin)

So, in conclusion "All hail Seventh Generation" you have helped me on my journey to super women hood.


Over the last few months I have found some other great baby diapers.

Seventh Generation- Chlorine Free and disposable

G Diapers - a reusable shell with disposable liner, they even have a starter kit.

Tender Care - non-chlorinated and disposable.

Tushies Diapers - Gel Free and disposable.


Baby Carrier


Caring your baby can be one of the most wonderful experiences. I carried my baby in a carrier with lumbar support until she was 18lbs. I would have carried her longer had I not had a history of issues in my upper back. Though, I did gain some much needed back muscle I failed to get through my lack of exercising.

My husband takes the baby, now 6 months & 22lbs, for a walk in the carrier every morning. He'll continue until it snows. The cool part is watching all the other dads walking with their baby's in carriers each day. They always wave to each other like their part of some secrete club. We even ran into our plumber one day at the cafe. He too had his baby boy snug on his chest in the same carrier. I am thinking it is the new masculine thing to do. I'll take it.

The benefits: my hands were free to make a couple bottles, read a book, respond to business e-mails and do some basic research for my company on the internet. Carriers give the working mom/dad that extra 20-60 minutes here and there to get some little stuff done. The best part is your baby doesn't know the difference. They feel warm and cozy. They feel like their parents are there for them. Hence all the napping they do while in the carrier. Just make sure the nappy is changed before inserting them into the carrier. The warnings are usually included in the instructions too. The best warning...don't try to cook over a stove while wearing your baby.

Tip: Consider donating your sling to a thrift shop when your offspring no longer needs it or check out a consignment store if you like to both recycle products and cash.

Bjorn - carriers with lumbar support, sporty, smart and practical

Baby Hawk - Mei Tai style carrier, variety of prints with solid color straps

Oopa Baby
- hand made silk slings, sophisticated and classy

Beco Baby Carrier - Variety of prints, special adjustment strap

The Rockin Baby Sling - slings, practical for the parent who wants style & is on the go.

Toxic Household Materials


Toxic Air Contaminants

COMMON INDOOR SOURCES OF VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS: EMISSION RATES AND TECHNIQUES FOR REDUCING CONSUMER EXPOSURES. Principal Investigator: Alfred T Hodgson. University of California, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. 1999. 95-302.

"Objectives: To characterize and quantify the emissions rates of VOCs, including TACs (Toxic air contaminants), from three general categories of common indoor building and decorating materials. Also, to measure the effectiveness of various practical measures that consumers can take to reduce their exposures to the VOCs emitted from these products during and after home remodeling activities. Materials studied included carpets, carpet pads, adhesives, vinyl flooring, and interior latex paint."

"Findings: The investigators characterized the VOC emissions from three groups of materials: carpets and vinyl flooring (including associated installation material), and latex paints. Fifteen TACs were identified in the emissions from these products. Evaluation of methods for reducing exposure to related VOCs determined that use of low emitting products is the most effective means for limiting exposure to emissions from all categories of materials, and airing out the carpet and carpet cushion before installation is effective for reducing exposure from carpet compounds. Additionally, using a high rate of mechanical ventilation (exhaust fans) for at least three days, and for as long afterward as is practical, should lower occupant exposure to VOCs from paint and carpet."

"Importance to ARB’s Program: Results from this study will provide a scientific basis for future indoor air quality guidelines that advise Californians on ways to reduce their exposure to indoor pollutants in new or remodeled homes. Emissions data will be used in models to improve estimates of indoor exposures to TACs, as required by the California Health and Safety Code."

For more information go to:

Tobacco Smoke - VOCs



"Objectives: To measure the levels of over 20 toxic air pollutants in aged second-hand smoke (ETS) from the brands of cigarettes most smoked in California. In order to compare the results with existing data, emissions of the same pollutants from fresh sidestream smoke (smoke from the burning end of the cigarette, or SS) were also measured. "

"Findings: Most of the target compounds were present in levels high enough to be measured in both ETS and SS. ETS emissions were highest for particles, aldehydes, nicotine, and the aromatic hydrocarbons. The ETS emissions were fairly consistent among the different cigarette brands, even when "regular" cigarettes were compared to mentholated and "light" cigarettes. ETS emissions were generally higher than emissions measured in SS, apparently due to chemical losses in the SS apparatus. The ETS emission factors agree with other literature values and the investigators recommend their use in exposure modeling."

"Importance to ARB’s Program: Cigarettes are a major indoor source of many toxic air pollutants. This study provides unique information to help estimate Californians' exposures to many toxic components of ETS."

For more on this subject and the full report go to: