No parent would like to put their child at risk, especially when it comes to baby care products. When buying diapers and other products for the baby, you would prefer sacrificing a premium cost to ensure the best care for your baby.
Baby products are marketed to make moms think they need them, but they can have toxic ingredients that can do more harm than good. The irony is they are not entirely necessary. A baby’s skin is better off with less intervention. The fewer shampoos, soaps, and lotions you apply on your newborn’s skin, the healthier it will be. Name-brand baby products contain toxic ingredients that can enter your baby’s body when used.
Chemicals to Avoid when Buying Baby Products
Talc is commonly added to baby powders, but if you didn’t know, you must keep your baby away from it. Talc is a drying agent, but it’s also a lung irritant that can be carcinogenic. The mineral talc that comes from rock mass formations intermingles with other silicate minerals, including asbestos – which is highly dangerous. Since it’s impossible to extract the talc rock from the asbestos, this carcinogenic mineral is always likely to be carried over into any product containing talc.
Since this news came out during the late 1990s, some companies switched to talc-free baby powders. But still, there are problems with many ingredients on baby powders that may not be safe for the baby.
Fragrance is added to countless personal care products, either to mask the odor of nasty chemicals used in production or to simply add a delightful scent to the product. The problem with fragrance is it causes a long-lasting, lingering effect on the skin for hours and can cause skin, respiratory, neurological, and eye damage, especially for babies. Fragrance is added to disposable diapers, baby wash, baby powder, lotions, and other baby care products. If you prefer to buy rather than make your own baby care items, go for fragrance-free variants. Your baby may not smell powdery, but babies don’t need it anyway.
Parabens are present in most soaps, shampoos, body washes, and moisturizes, including those formulated for babies. Parabens must be avoided because they are toxins linked to skin irritation, hormone disruption, and reproductive toxicity. Stay away from products with “paraben” in its ingredients, as well as propyl ester and benzoic acid.
Any product labeled as “antibacterial” most likely contains triclosan. This ingredient effectively reduces and prevents bacterial contamination, but it is found to interfere with the body’s thyroid hormone metabolism. When children are exposed early on to this compound, they get an increased risk of developing asthma, allergies, and eczema later on. Also, keeping things too clean, inhibits the baby’s ability to create natural resistance and immunity, which can render antibacterial treatments less effective when we need them to work.
5. Mineral oil
Baby oil is generally made of mineral oil mixed with fragrance, which is not a good combination for baby skin. Mineral oil is a byproduct of processing petroleum and acts as a plastic wrap on the skin that prevents the skin from releasing toxins. For your baby, choose natural and nourishing oils like coconut, almond, or olive oil to massage into your baby’s skin.
6. Propylene glycol
Propylene glycol enhances the penetration to products be easily absorbed by the skin. It basically opens up the pores of the skin and lets other chemicals in. This compound is used in wiper fluids and in de-icing airplanes, but it’s often found in baby wipes. Look out for polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polypropylene glycol (PPG) on labels, too.
7. 1,4-dioxane and ethylated surfactants
The Environmental Working Group found that more than half of baby soaps sold in the market are contaminated with 1,4dioxane. It’s not listed as an ingredient, but it’s often present in beauty products because it’s a byproduct that forms when ethylene oxide is added to other chemicals. Ethylene oxide is a known breast carcinogen and can also cause skin irritations. Ingredients that contain “eth” in the name – such as polyethylene, sodium laureth sulfate, ceteareth, polyethylene glycol, oleth, oxynol, -xynol, and PEG.
Benefits of Homemade Baby Care Items
Some people prefer making their own homemade baby care products. If you’re the typical busy mom, you might wonder why you have to go through the trouble of gathering the ingredients and making your own baby care products when there are a lot of clinically-tested, ready-made commercial products abundant in the market. Some are even labeled “natural” and “organic.” True as it may be, it’s best to know that what’s out there in the market may not be the best that your baby can get. You can try making DIY homemade baby care products such as baby wipes, baby wash, diaper rash cream, baby oil, baby powder, baby lotion, and more.
Here are the benefits you can get from making homemade baby care products:
1. No presence of harmful chemicals
As mentioned earlier, baby care products can contain chemicals that can be toxic and irritating for your little one’s skin. Your baby will tend to absorb anything, and exposing his skin and hair to chemicals at an early stage may affect their well-being later on in life. With homemade baby care formulas, you can be sure there’s no nasty chemical content since you will be making it on your own.
2. Natural protection
Homemade baby care products offer you a significant advantage since you would be using natural products to create them. All ingredients used in creating the oils and lotions tend to put together the natural properties, giving your baby’s body a lot of benefits. The protection that the homemade baby care products are safe and non-toxic.
The cost of making baby care products at home are lower than buying commercial products in the longer run. It may need a little more time and effort on your part, but it goes a long way in preserving your budget.