I’m well into my second trimester right now, enjoying tiny kicks and punches as I start to plan ahead for our little one’s arrival into the world. The other day a reader asked me if I knew of any protocols for the first months of life, because presumably MTHFR babies have special needs. I had to admit that I don’t. Not being an expert of any kind, I’m pretty much just trying to make common sense decisions that are based around my knowledge of the toxin issues that adults deal with. We are searching hard for a pediatrician that will be on board with this. I plan to breastfeed and continue with my prenatal nutrition program, which includes the active forms of B vitamins and other nutrients. We are also being very careful about baby’s environment.
One of the most important things that parents can do for their baby, whether he or she has MTHFR gene mutations or not, is to take care in the selection of products that the child will be in contact with. I began the daunting task of putting together our baby registry several weeks ago and have been researching brands and items carefully. When I say registry, I mean every item that we will purchase for our baby from the outset. It’s a good idea to register for everything you will buy even if you end up paying for the items yourself so that you can take advantage of merchant completion discounts and receipt record systems in case you need to return or replace items. So we put everything we want on our registry. First, however, you have to figure out what you want.
Keeping the nursery green and organic is really important to us. I started off with some research as to what this means. The Green Moms Collective provides a Green Nursery Checklist on their website, which reminds parents about things like using low or no-VOC paint or milk paint, hardwood flooring and air purifiers. It also introduced me to concepts like Greenguard certification when choosing furniture and non-toxic toys and products. One would think that all toys are safe, but this is not always the case. The Women’s Voices for the Earth Initiative offers a free guide to non-toxic products for baby with all kinds of excellent recommendations.
Areas where parents need to take care when choosing products include:
- Personal care
- Car seats
I found the last three particularly challenging. While it’s possible to look for things like Oeko-Tex certification, most car seats have chemical flame retardants that help protect baby in the event of a crash. Natural Baby Mama has a great write-up on her search for a non-toxic car seat. She recommends using HealthyStuff.org to research your products. The balance is finding a non-toxic product that still has an excellent safety rating. Strollers can also be covered in toxic materials like PVC (check out the Washington Toxics Coalition for more information). This article from Organic Baby University offers some comparisons on stroller toxicity.
The number of products available for new parents to choose from is staggering. Be prepared to research each category thoroughly to make the best choices. Something that made it a little easier for me was to find a compatible store to register with. The store’s buyers will have already narrowed down the search for you and you need only to choose which products you like. I found some articles online about this as well, from sites like Café Mom. We ended up with two registries, one online and one where the store has a physical location (for the convenience of our family and friends). Going online offers more choices but people have to be happy to order things over the internet. You can also find registries that allow you to choose any product from any store, which might be the ultimate tool for parents creating a completely organic registry.
Baby shopping is definitely a minefield. What are some of the non-toxic products that you and your family couldn’t live without?
Thanks for sharing our Green Nursery Checklist, Andrea. I hope you found it useful. It is tricky finding those larger baby gear items in a less toxic form. In the very least, letting them off-gas outside of your home can help somewhat. Also, there are some great new strollers, Bumbleride, who are releasing eco-friendly materials, and Clek, a carseat manufacturer is Greenguard certified! We love both of these at our house! Good luck on your hunt for better baby stuff!
Andrea Post author
Thanks for the info, Sara!