Baby Proofing: Challenges and Solutions

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, HEALTH, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, Parenting, PRODUCTS, TODDLER

Baby Proofing 101, easy way to go about making your house safe.

    Baby Proofing 101, easy way to go about making your house safe.

Babyproofing…. such a weird concept to me.

Protect your child by locking up EVERYTHING imaginable and moving it out of his reach. It doesn’t seem so overwhelming when you’re in the pre-crawling or even crawling stages.

But once they walk, you realize “HOLY SHIT! There are hazards everywhere!“. I mean seriously!

To me, babyproofing is more like a managed protection spanning the range of  “watching the energizer bunny constantly” to “lock everything away”.

Our challenge was….

wait, who am I kidding?

Our CHALLENGES (plural) were the following:

  • a large staircase
  • a zillion cabinets
  • another zillion drawers
  • a large house.
  • a super active baby

That means hazards were EVERYWHERE.

So instead of going crazy, attempting to baby proof everything and then break down and cry because it is impossible, I took things a few steps at a time.

Non-Toxic Pool Toys

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, Fun as a Toddler Mom, HEALTH, New Mom Experience, TODDLER

NON TOXIC POOL TOYS

Have you found any pool toys for babies that isn’t toxic?” is one of the most frequent questions I get on this blog.

The reality of the pool and water related toys is very bleak with nearly 95% of the items made out of PVC/vinyl (Why PVC is bad? Read here). And yes, some companies go as far as to say that their pvc is phthalate complaint ( which means they can still have extremely harmful phthalates but in lower doses), or phthalate free, but that does not rid the products of potential lead contamination along with the off-gasing of PVC.

When it comes to pool toys, sometimes we simply don’t have a choice. Sometimes phthalate free PVC is all that we get.  Which is fine as long as you make an educated  decision and know the risks.

So I have compiled a few products that I have found in the sea of toxic items. This time I didn’t get to take personal pictures of Lexi using these items for lack of time and the desire to not take too long before I get this post out.

Full Term Breastfeeding: the wonders and challenges of breastfeeding a toddler

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, HEALTH, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, Parenting, TODDLER

Breastfeeding a Toddler
This post is about breastfeeding a  toddler in general. Specifics like when, how, how long will be coming next week in the “daily routines” post.

I could start this with a typical sentence that you hear from the majority of women who are still breastfeeding at a year and a half  “When I first had my son/daughter, I never thought I would breastfeed for this long!”.

It would be a lie, though. I always knew. I knew that if it was up to me, I would breastfeed well into toddlerhood. It was an obvious, a given.

But I actually respect the women who say they never thought they’d breastfeed for this long, because that means they  adjusted their plans and expectations as they went, and more importantly did what was best for their baby.

Toddler Vegetable Soup

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Cooking, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Health and Fitness, New Mom Experience, TODDLER

TODDLER VEGGIE SOUP

I cannot think of a healthier meal for a toddler ( or an adult for that matter) than a vegetable soup.

As adults, Andrew and I love a simple vegetable soup as a low calorie and tasty alternative to any meal. In fact, a big bowl of vegetable soup fills you up and only “costs” you 100-160 calories ( the way we prepare it).

For toddlers, though, a veggie soup packed with more hearty vegetables, offers hydration and those precious vitamins and minerals that  many babies reject.

Obviously, offering a picky eater a vegetable soup won’t make him suddenly eat vegetables. Alexis eats vegetables just fine and that’s why this type of soup is her absolute favorite. However, even at times when she rejects certain veggies, this soup is always welcomed by her.

PostPartum Skin Care

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, Friday Finds, Fun as a Toddler Mom, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, LIFE, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, Other Recommendations, PRODUCTS, TODDLER

NON-TOXIC SKINCARE

A year after having a baby and I think I am finally in a good place when it comes to my personal care routine. {I am always searching for better products, though, so I will keep updating you if I find something superior}

I still don’t have time to do certain things regularly, especially now with my new website, Daily Mom.

I don’t get to shave legs unless I am going out somewhere semi-important.

I forget to moisturize my body more often than I care to admit, and that is one of the biggest things I need to work on.

I wash my hair only if I know that I will be leaving the house. Or when it’s really dirty.

I put my make up on at the same time or when I want to look more put together at home.

I like to prioritize and personal care falls somewhere in the middle on the priorities list. However, one thing I have done over the last year is assemble a good “team” of personal products that I use, love and swear by. They help me be a little bit more of a woman that I want to be without having to put too much effort into it. I’ve been mentally writing this post for 6 months and each month I would add something else to it.

In fact, in the last week, I’ve had a chance to try out some organic and natural hair products that I am quite impressed with that you can read about on Daily Mom in the coming months. I am thinking about going on a mission of finding more obscure products and brands you don’t see in retail stores and trying them out. If only I could find time…

In the meantime,

Baby Solids: What we cook

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Cooking, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience

What our Toddler eats

If you missed previous BLW posts, you can visit them here:

BABY LED WEANING
SOLIDS: GEAR 

I’ve been emailed and asked about what we cook for Alexis in terms of BLW and how our whole feeding process goes. So here is the breakdown.

First thing you have to remember is that we don’t really eat like a typical American family.  You almost never see green beans on our table, or green peas, or corn. No mashed potatoes (no reason for that, we just never get around to making them), no meats, no dairy. What you will see is mostly other types of vegetables, fruits, grains and fish. My husband was vegan for a couple of years, but I think we’re slowly starting to permanently introduce fish. I would always eat certain fish, because of its benefit when pregnant and now, but my husband used to stay away from ANY animal products (except for trace amounts in baked goods on occasion). But I think we have decided that the benefit outweighs the disadvantages. I do eat eggs once a month or so now, my husband doesn’t. We’ll occasionally “cheat” if we have to or want to. So at this point our family is a bit of a smorgasborg of vegan/pescetarians/vegetarians/whatever. However, our eating habits are constantly changing and I am not exactly sure which direction we are going with them.

Our goal is (and of course that doesn’t always pan out) to make sure that Alexis has a protein source at almost every meal (beans, fish), a few vegetable servings every time, whole grains (which can also be considered high in protein if you stick with quinoa) and fruit/berries for breakfast.

My sister had a preemie in Russia

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in HEALTH

Up until recently, Prematurity Awareness month would have been as far from me as a Leukemia month or something equally unrelated. I do know a few people personally who had premature babies, but I never actually heard exactly what they went through. It can be tough and heartbreaking. But I doubt that most mothers who had premature babies had to worry about their baby’s wellbeing IN RELATION to how the doctors are treating them. We all know, doctors are there to help and we put our trust into them.

This is different from the experience some people have in other countries.

Today I wanted to tell you the only premature story that directly affected my family.

SAFE TOYS FEATURE: LAMAZE

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, HEALTH, PRODUCTS

If you missed the Toy Safety post, go back to read it here.

Today we’ve got Lamaze toys by TOMY brands. Lamaze toys are pretty mainstream and aren’t known for being “green” in particular. However, the company, that also owns my favorite Boon, is obviously set on making safe products.

First of all, all Lamaze toys are made primarily out of fabric with a few small plastic components.

What Lamaze toys DO NOT HAVE:

Fire Retardants
PVC

Now that’s that out of the way…

SAFE TOYS FEATURE: APPLE PARK

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, HEALTH, New Mom Experience, PRODUCTS

applepark2

APPLE PARK

{Read the first part about toy chemicals here}

I remember when I first got our Apple Park toys when Alexis was still little, I became obsessed. I had never seen organic toys that were SO COOL! I never even hoped I’d find something like that. A company that carries a good assortment of organic toys that don’t look like they’ve been sewn by hand ( though that look can be cute).

Take this crawling ladybug critter. It has a wood teething ring, a soft body and a cute little leaf to suck on. But that is not what kept ME playing with it. If you pull on the teething ring and let go, the ladybug vibrates and moves towards you. Wicked cool! So it’s a teething toy that later would be turned into a cool moving toy that even a toddler wouldn’t be bored of.

Toy Safety {In Time for the Holidays}

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, New Mom Experience, PRODUCTS

IMG_2772

As we are approaching the most important holiday of the year (at least from a little kid’s standpoint), one might wonder if all those bright colorful toys that are routinely bought for babies and toddlers are safe. I mean, OF COURSE, they are safe! The government makes sure of it, right? Right?

Apparently wrong!

While 65% of people believe that toys that contain toxic or potentially toxic chemicals wouldn’t be allowed on the shelves of baby stores, the reality is more grim. In fact, our government has long since subscribed to the philosophy of “safe unless proven otherwise”. That is where we, as parents, are forced to do the due diligence before buying a cute toy.

It is true that we cannot protect our babies from every danger, no matter how hard we try – we can’t live in a bubble. But we CAN take certain steps to educate ourselves about, let’s say, toy safety, especially considering that aside from food (more on food safety in another post), this is the one thing that gets put in their mouths constantly in the first few years of life. I also won’t be talking about “fringe dangers”, like plastics that are yet to be found dangerous (all those millions of new chemicals, plastics and materials that get made and discovered in labs all the over the world have not been proven dangerous and thus are by default “safe” as far as our government is concerned). So even so called safe plastics are not necessarily safe. Wood is, of course, the best, but wood can have hidden dangers, as well as natural rubber.

What makes it even more dangerous is our current standards for levels of toxic substances in children’s toys are based on a 180 pound adult male. As you can imagine that makes a huge difference when the same amount of toxins is ingested by a 20 pound infant whose body and brain are developing and don’t have the same capability of processing toxins.

The issue also comes in when these toxins “interact” in our body and create different reactions all together than they would if they were simply ingested alone.

I would like to list all the common dangers, as well as the materials that are considered somewhat safe, ways to find out what is in your toys, hidden dangers of “safe” materials to watch out for, and finally a list of companies that are committed to making toy safety a priority and have been found to be more consciences and safer than others. What I will NOT cover is the physical danger of toys, like making sure they are age appropriate, can’t be choked on, as well as can’t cause bodily harm. Those are more common sense things.