Thursday, January 1, 2009

In with the old, out with the new!

The title seems a little backwards, right? However, I think that with all of the dangers of chemicals in today's toys...well we could stand to go a little old school for our children. Most of the toys, teething rings, and even medicines are made with harmful chemicals and chemical by-products. There are reports almost every month with more toys being recalled due to safety hazards. Because of this many companies are jumping on the "trend" to become BPA free and cold medicines have been recalled for children under the age of 6. Great! Those are all good things, but let's talk about bypassing the problem completely.

There are several companies that have BPA free plastics now for their bottles and sippy cups, but there are also companies that make their products out of completely safe materials from the beginning. There are now glass bottles again! These days you can even get a rubber sleeve for them so when/if they are dropped, they will be protected and less likely to break. These can be a little heavy so make sure your baby can hold them before leaving them unattended. There are stainless steel bottles that come in a variety of colors and designs that you could use for sippy cups. There are usually three cap choices and one of them is a sippy spout and adaptor. These are eco and child friendly. An added bonus is that these bottles keep beverages colder longer which is a must in the Texas summer. These bottles all have great resale value or freecycle them to pass on the eco goodness.

There are several companies that make natural and eco friendly toys. There are wooden rattles and cloth teethers for babies. Getting the cloth teethers organic is even better. At the very least you could use a damp, cold washcloth and you now have a free teether! I have seen rattles made out of cherry wood which is sustainable and maple which is a hard wood and perfect for chewing on. And what could be more wonderful than a handful of play silks? Get large rectangles or squares of cheap silks or some other light fabric and use them for dress up or fort making. Get the kids outside and using their imaginations. We find it really easy to get stuck in front of the tv or computer and I'm always trying to find ways to get my kids outside and pretending the day away.

How about comfort measures for teething babies? There are homeopathic tablets and gels that you can use (and I do!) but I really like something a little more natural. I've found that amber necklaces really do the trick. Actually, these do the trick for relieving pain and discomfort for several different maladies in babies and adults. Keep in mind that these are not to chew on! You only need to put the beads on the skin to get their healing properties. Amber is a healing stone that has been used for generations to help relieve discomforts. I've also found that letting baby gnaw on a shaved corn cob works wonders also. Delicious and nutritious!

Eating out of plastic bowls, plates, etc. can be just as dangerous as playing with plastics! Especially if you microwave them since the heat releases toxins that seep into your food. Try using bamboo bowls which are sooo pretty and the bamboo is sustainable. Plus, the clacking of wooden spoon to wooden bowl is so cute and homey sounding! Don't forget to try bamboo towels and washcloths. They are amazingly soft. I mean that in a "I can't believe more people aren't using these because they feel so good!" soft.

I hope to have inspired you to try a few old school goodies. I always feel that I must have been born in the wrong era since I love all of the retro products so much more than their electronic counterparts!

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