There he is. Your beautiful pristine baby. You want to do right by him. You want him to be healthy. You want him to turn out okay. Just as you think you are giving him everything he needs, you realize you’ve given him a bunch of stuff he doesn’t. For example:
- The phthalates and parabens in his body wash
- The BPA in his bottles and toys
- The flame retardant on his pajamas and his mattress
- The PVC in his play mat
What is a new parent to do when plagued by all this information? How the hell do they sleep at night (when they already have trouble)!
Before I became a parent, I never thought about this kind of stuff. I never thought about how pollutants in the air and water might affect me directly. Well, I guess I thought about it, but not for very long periods of time, while I smoked a cigarette and took a swig of water from a plastic bottle that had been sitting in my hot car for a month.
Now that I’m responsible for someone else, this kind of stuff haunts me. It’s hard for me to take a jog in my neighborhood without thinking about all the poison I might possibly be inhaling, and thus, allowing my children to inhale as well.
Over the past 31 months, although I haven’t been as hardcore as I could be (or maybe should be), I’ve definitely made some changes in our household. I have switched over to organic and natural mattresses. I only buy cotton pajamas for my kids with no flame retardant. I have attempted to reduce the number of plastic toys for Fuzz (Shnook played with tons of plastic toys) and use mostly natural phthalate/paraben/sulfite free cleaning products both around the house and on all of our bodies.
Interestingly, I’m not sure it’s helping me feel like my family is any safer. While I worry (a teeny tiny bit) less about the jammies and mattresses going up in flames, I still feel like I find more information every day about the horrible poisonous stuff that is in our every day products.
Sometimes I’m able to relax and say: “It’s fine. I can’t control it, whatever will be will be.” Then I start to feel guilty and worry about everyone’s health.
Do you live in constant fear that your environment is harmful to your child? If so, how do you cope? If you don’t worry about this stuff, why not? And can I borrow some of your confidence? Please discuss in comments below!