Monday, March 28, 2011

10 Things You Don't Need For Your Baby

Sorry everyone that I haven't written in a while. We've had a lot going on lately. Anyway, I've seen a couple of these "Things you don't need for your baby" lists around but I decided to make one for Natural Attachment Parents. This is the first of a series I'm going to do of things you don't need, things you do need and things that are nice to have. You'll be surprised how little your baby actually needs.

1. Crib - One of the biggest most expensive purchases that is totally not necessary.  One of the 7 B's of Attachment Parenting is Bedding Close to Baby. Co-sleeping just makes everything about caring for an AP baby easier. Breastfeeding on demand is so much easier when you can just roll over to nurse instead of having to get out of bed, take your baby out of their crib, nurse your baby, put them back in their crib and get back in bed. No wonder non-AP parents are so tired! My son woke up every 2 hours all through the night when he was born, I couldn't imagine getting out of bed that many times while recovering from the delivery! If you don't need a crib that leads into number 2.

2. Crib Sets - While cute, if you don't need a a crib then obviously you don't need an expensive crib set. These can cost between $70 and $500 and the soft bumpers are not safe. Your baby can easily suffocate if they roll into them.

3. Changing Table - Another big expensive furniture item that you don't need. Don't get me wrong babies need their diaper changed but you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to do it. All you need it a waterproof changing pad and you can change baby anywhere. We had a changing table for my son but we hardly ever used it. We always just ended up changing him on the bed or floor or couch. We bought two organic wool puddle pad from White Lotus home for $36 with a 40% off coupon, so we have one in the diaper bag and one at home.

4. Disposable Diapers - Disposables are bad for your baby, the environment and your budget. Disposable diapers have Sodium polyacrylate in them a super absorbent polymer. It was used in tampons until 1985, when it was removed because of toxic shock syndrome. Also Some dyes and dioxin according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) are known to cause damage to the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver. The (FDA) Food & Drug Administration has received reports that fragrances in disposables caused headaches, dizziness and rashes.  Problems reported to the Consumer Protection Agency regarding disposables include, chemical burns, noxious chemical and insecticide odors. 

A study conducted by Anderson Laboratories in 1999 and published in the Archives of Environmental Health found that disposable diapers release volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), including toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and dipentene. All of these VOCs have been shown to have toxic health effects, such as cancer and brain damage, with long-term or high level exposure. The researchers also discovered that mice exposed to the chemicals released by disposable diapers were more likely to experience irritated airways than mice exposed to emissions from cloth diapers. These effects were increased during repeat exposures. The authors suggested that disposable diapers may cause "asthma-like" reactions and urged more study into a possible link between diaper emissions and asthma.  

It can take 200 - 500 years for disposable diapers to decompose in a landfill. Not to mention the chemicals used to produce the diapers pollute the environment. For those who say that using cloth diapers is bad for the environment because of the water used to clean them, it makes no sense. It uses about the same amount of water as flushing the toilet four or five times a day. The average baby needs about 6,000 diaper changes in their life, at an average cost of $1,600 for two years. 

Cloth diapers can cost between $300 and $1,000 we spent about $350 for our diaper set and if we ever have more children they will be able to use the same diapers doubling the savings.

5. Disposable Wipes - If your using disposable diapers it's better to just use washcloths. When you change a diaper just wrap-up the washcloth in the dirty diaper just like you would with disposable diapers. Besides a lot of wipes contain dangerous chemicals as "wetting agents." All babies need to be clean is a washcloth and some warm water.  

6. Wipe Warmer - They cost around $20 and are a complete waste of money. Besides if you are using washcloths just run them under warm water and Ta-da! a warm wipe.

7. Formula - We all know that breast is best. Breastmilk helps prevent infections, allergies, asthma, diarrhea, cavities and helps form proper jaw, teeth, speech and facial development. It also helps prevent breast and ovarian cancer in women, as well as helps the uterus to contract back to it's original size after birth and helps the mother to loose "baby weight" and helps prevent postpartum depression and helps the mother and baby to bond. But they way you really should think about it is: If I don't breastfeed I am increasing my babies risk of developing infections, allergies, asthma, diarrhea and cavities. If I don't breastfeed I am increasing my risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend breastfeeding for at least 2 years. Breast feeding also just makes life easier. You never have to worry about sterilizing bottles and nipples, having clean water and formula, and mixing and warming it. If you breastfeed you always have milk for your baby.  Plus it's free! Which brings me to the next couple of unnecessary baby items. 

8. Bottle Warmer - If you can stay home with your baby (that doesn't mean you have to stay home, I have breastfed at the beach, museum, zoo, grocery store, library, clothing store, birthday parties, while Trick-or-Treating, Christmas Parties, New Years Parties, friends houses, family's houses, on the bus, train, airport, and ferry, while camping, on road trips, cooking and sewing. Just because you are breastfeeding doesn't mean you need to limit what you do. Breastmilk is always the perfect temperature. 

Now if for some reason you can't stay home with your children, and you have to pump and freeze your milk. You still don't need one of these silly contraptions. Recently a few bottle warmers have been recalled because they have burst into flames! All you need is a pot of water and a stove.

9. Bottles, Nipples, Bottle Cleaners, Bottle Drying Racks etc. - Once again if you are exclusively straight from the breast to the baby's belly breastfeeding all these are not necessary and it's better for your   baby to not have to use these anyway. Especially in the first few weeks/ months your baby can develop "nipple confusion." 

Let me explain The way a baby sucks on a breast and they way he/she sucks on a bottle is totally different. Babies have to form a suction and pull your nipple into their mouth in order to get milk out they have to work for it which is why breastfeeding helps develop jaw and tongue muscles as well as the pallet. When sucking on an artificial nipple all babies have to do is press on it with their tongue and the milk just squirts right into their mouth, this makes for a lazy baby ho doesn't want to have to work for breastmilk, which leads to breastfeeding problems. 

Not to mention that plastic bottles have a lot of toxic chemicals such as bisphenol-A which have been linked to a variety of sex-hormone-imbalance effects, including breast and prostate cancer, early puberty, miscarriage, low sperm count, and immune-system changes. What's worse is that in developing infants, such sex-hormone effects may come into play at exposure levels far below what health authorities have deemed safe for adults. 

So if you absolutely have to pump a bottle then make sure you use a glass bottle. Don't buy a plastic bottle that says "BPA free" and think you'll be OK because who knows what other chemical in plastic will come into the public knowledge next. 

10. Pacifiers - Pacifiers are entirely a bad idea. Besides also causing "nipple confusion" because they teach the baby to suck in the wrong way. They can also tire your newborn out. When your baby is born sucks uses a lot of energy. So, after sucking on a pacifier your baby will be too tired to suck to eat. Not to mention it is a difficult habit to break, I've seen quite a few 4 or 5 year olds still sucking on pacifiers. Pacifiers also increase the risk of middle ear infections and can cause dental problems. Also, it's another thing to worry about keeping clean. Your baby will become dependent on it. When it falls out of their mouth they'll start crying in the middle of the night or at the playground. It's not necessary and just causes more problems. If your not at a breast feeding friendly hospital, make sure you tell the nurses not to give your baby a pacifier. When your baby cries just give them your breast. Soon they'll learn that their needs will be met and will be much happier, confident, independent babies. 

No comments:

Post a Comment